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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Big Brother Not Behind Raid on Polygamist Compound

Despite my flawless logic, the early returns on my recent post regarding the raid on the compound of a fundamentalist Mormon group alleged to have been engaging in systematic abuses (including sexual abuse) of their own children seem to indicate that there are still a lot of people out there who believe the raid never should have happened. You can check out some of the reader responses to the article here.

The following is an extended response to the first four reader comments to the Mixx page for the post linked to above:

For the record, I have deep-rooted libertarian leanings, and I am well aware of how the 'global elites' manipulate the public via the media into accepting and welcoming the precedents that form the foundation of a big-brother police state.

I am a freedom-loving individual, a gun-owner and member of the NRA. The very thought of government separating parents from their children by way of force makes me cringe. However disturbing that thought might be, the thought of what was in all likelihood happening to the children at that compound is far worse.

That said, while this situation does at first glance appear to be another attempt at advancing a totalitarian agenda, a deeper look reveals that this is probably not the case. When you've got a fundamentalist religious cult systematically brainwashing and sexually abusing their own children -- or even just reason to believe that it might be going on -- something has to be done.

I think this is more a case of a sheriff who was forced to make a tough decision who probably factored in his ability to sleep at night for the foreseeable future into the decision making process than it is an example of the big-brother conspiracy in action.

You have to look at each circumstance individually. This was not a federally sanctioned raid -- a stark contrast to Janet Reno's massacre of law-abiding citizens at a law-abiding religious compound in Waco, Texas. This was carried out and executed by state police (Texas Rangers). There was no federal involvement, and unlike Waco, laws are actually alleged to have been broken.

Somewhere along the line in this process, somebody (who probably has children of his/her own) had to make a judgment call as to whether or not to act on the unconfirmed report alleged to have been called-in by the 16 year-old sex slave and prisoner at the compound. At some point, this person probably considered the notion of somebody doing things alleged to have been taking place to that person's own child/children. When I look at this from this perspective, it becomes very clear just how easy a decision this would have been had I been responsible for ordering or calling-off the raid.

If the parents and leaders of the religious sect are innocent of the crimes of which they've been accused, the justice system will ultimately come to conclude this, and the accused will be free to return to their compound to like their unusual lifestyle. However, if these people are in fact guilty, the court will see to it that the criminals are locked up in prison -- which is exactly where they belong if convicted of the crimes that they are alleged to have committed.

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Update:
Texas officials investigating possible abuses to boys at polygamist compound

Details:
Carey Cockerell, the head of the state's Department of Family and Protective Services, told state lawmakers Wednesday his agency was investigating whether young boys were abused based on "discussions with the boys." Cockerell also said 41 FLDS children had evidence of broken bones, some of whom are "very young." Full article

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