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June 8th, 2011 3:26 pm
Bureaucrats on Armed Power Trips

Drudge has been all over this one today, but it bears comment anyway.  This is the sort of thing that should never, ever happen in a free society.  Armed, officious, thuggish bureaucrats in a pre-dawn raid burst into a man’s home and handcuff him in front of his children because his estranged wife is late on student loan repayments.  This is sick. It is outrageous.  It is inexcusable.  The bureaucrats, the SWAT team itself, ought to be thrown in jail for this type of behavior.

This is an increasing problem.  It is the sort of thing that ended up with a small town’s mayor’s dogs killed and his mother-in-law terrified within an inch of her life in a mistaken raid in Maryland a few years ago. And there are a horrific number of similar stories, all indicative of the fact that we are all subject, at the whim of idiots without any good reason to carry arms, to tactics reminiscent of a terrible police state.

When I was at The Washington Times, exactly one year ago yesterday, I wrote about the proliferation of armed agents in federal departments that shouldn’t let any of its workers within BB-gun distance of a real firearm. Why, for instance, do the Small Business Administration and the Railroad Retirement Board have armed agents?!?  How about the IRS: Isn’t that agency scary enough, and doesn’t it have enough access to regular law enforcement, without arming its own agents?

Congress is utterly at fault here. Congress should de-arm federal agents. It also should stop overcriminalizing honest mistakes or clerical errors, and weed out thousands of criminal laws from the federal code. Congress is shirking its responsibility to keep federal power in check, and thus to protect individual freedom.

Words cannot express how dangerous it is for these sorts of abuses to continue unchecked. Again, it is the SWAT teams, and the bureaucrats who order them, who ought to suffer, and face imprisonment, for these abuses.

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