Knee-Jerk

Did you hear the one about…? Well, neither did I. How about the one that has Paul Revere warning the British? Heard that one, laughed in pity. But seriously, did you hear the one about the Department of Education? Their SWAT Team? Bet you never thought that the DOE was ‘wasting tax dollars’ on a SWAT Team.  Just one more reason why THAT useless department ought to be shuttered.

A familiar blog blew up this ‘story’ to great proportions and added a photo of the ‘incident’ wherein this alleged SWAT Team busted down the door of a house in Stockton CA at 6 AM in order to collect overdue payments on a student loan. You can read the blog story here:  Thuggery from the Department of Education.

I searched CNN for the story but came up blank. Then I figured that FoxNews ought to have carried it as the blog tilts far to the right. Sure enough, there it was, ‘Unpaid Student Loan’ Raid Claim Refuted as Feds Target California Couple in Fraud Probe. However, FoxNews said this further down in the story: In a statement to FoxNews.com, Education Department Press Secretary Justin Hamilton confirmed that its Office of Inspector General executed the warrant with the presence of local law enforcement authorities. “While it was reported in local media that the search was related to a defaulted student loan, that is incorrect,” the statement read. “This is related to a criminal investigation. The Inspector General’s Office does not execute search warrants for late loan payments.”

Also, the ‘story’ of the alleged victim seems to be quite exaggerated. He claimed that 15 officers surrounded his house in the early-morning raid and that his 3 children were traumatized.  “They put me in handcuffs in that hot patrol car for six hours, traumatizing my kids,” he told ABC 10/KXTV. However, according to ABC 10/KXTV, the Stockton Police Department said it was asked by federal agents to provide one officer and one patrol car for a police presence when executing the search warrant.

I’m thinking that this incident and the right-wing hype about it was just that, hype for those right-wingers who hate government, who hate the Department of Education. I’ll be happy to write an apology if this Stockton story is essentially true. Yet, I’m betting that the truth will come out in the next few days.

If a person is to be a credible blogger, then he must not shade the truth in order to enhance his political ideology. Knee-jerk reactions to ‘stories’ does not constitute real journalism nor does it qualify as a judicious post by a blogger. With the recent Palin-Revere dust-up still fresh in our minds, we bloggers ought to be quite careful what ‘facts’ we include in our postings.

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25 thoughts on “Knee-Jerk

    1. BTW muddy, the man’s neighbors were also interviewed and stated that it was upwards of 15 armed swat members surrounding his house and dragging him outside in his drawers as reported.

      “If a person is to be a credible blogger, then he must not shade the truth in order to enhance his political ideology.”

      You must be referring to those who simply omit things that don’t jibe with their ideals or, are embarrassing to the administration they obediently support right?

      And let us just suppose that the man who’s house was raided does happen to be guilty of something.
      That still doesent explain or, even justify the EDUCATION department’s need for tac shotguns and it’s own SWAT team to conduct raids for ANY reason!

      You should be outraged.

      1. No, Sepp, Muddy shouldn’t be outraged.

        YOU Sepp should be embarrassed that you cannot read the very search warrant you posted as a pdf for content.

        Clearly any department of the federal government appropriately is assigned an IG, with special agents and whatever they need.

        Sheesh!

        Let me remediate your lack of knowledge of government Sepp, with a simple introduction to IGs:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inspector_General

        United States
        General IG emblem.In the United States, an Inspector General (IG) leads an organization charged with examining the actions of a government agency, military organization, or military contractor as a general auditor of their operations to ensure they are operating in compliance with generally established policies of the government, to audit the effectiveness of security procedures, or to discover the possibility of misconduct, waste, fraud, theft, or certain types of criminal activity by individuals or groups related to the agency’s operation, usually involving some misuse of the organization’s funds or credit. In the United States, there are numerous Offices of Inspector General (OIGs) at the federal, state, and local levels.

        [edit] Federal Offices of Inspectors General (OIGs)There are 73 Federal OIGs,[1] a significant increase since the statutory creation of the initial 12 OIGs by the Inspector General Act of 1978.[2] OIGs employ special agents (criminal investigators, often armed) and auditors. In addition, federal OIGs employ forensic auditors, or “Audigators,” evaluators, inspectors, administrative investigators, and a variety of other specialists. Their activities include the detection and prevention of fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement of the government programs and operations within their parent organizations. OIG Investigations may be internal, targeting government employees, or external, targeting grant recipients, contractors, or recipients of the various loans and subsidies offered through the thousands of federal domestic and foreign assistance programs.[3] The Inspector General Reform Act of 2008[4] (IGRA) amended the 1978 Act[5] by increasing pay and various powers and creating the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE).[6]”

        I sincerely hope that smartens you up, at least a little, Sepp.

        You’re welcome.

        1. Smarten seppo up? You gotta be kidding. He likes being dumb.

          Dumb it down for seppo!

          It’s gotta be on a bumpersticker or cartoon for him to understand it. Otherwise he likes the pretty pictures and characters on a page, but they really mean nothing to him.

  1. That would be consistent with the media hype over the totally false accusation of the snow plowing slowdown in New York City. The commission findings indicate there was never any such slowdown. It was a claim made by someone looking for notoriety – and he got it, courtesy of Fox News.

    It was a ham-handed attempt to portray unions as bad guys…..wow, what are the chances THAT was a premeditated, calculated FRAUD on the part of the right, given the attempts to paint unions as the bad guys we have subsequently seen?

    Noticeably absent has been any retraction of the story, any acknowledgement that they overstated the whole thing.

    The hoopla resulted in not one, not two, but FOUR investigations – one federal. To prove that one guy looking for sensational attention LIED. How is that fiscally responsible again? (It is not.)

    I regularly read a blog written by a friend of mine, a conservative, who runs with every single one of these false stories, always giving them his support. I read his blog just to find out what new idiocy on the right is worth my time to fact check it, to blow it up. It’s a sort of time saver for writing, really.

    I look to see what they are smoking, er, selling. And then ask myself how likely this is or is not to be true. Pretty universally it is not. Then I go looking for the facts. So…….there was no bribery with ice cream of busloads of high school students being taken to polling places where they were offered Democratic-only ballots for their first time voting (in Cleveland). There was no exploitation of disabled voters in Crow Wind County MN either. Or any 103 fudged ballots in Dinkytown (an area of Minneapolis) uncovered in our Governor’s race recount. New York City, Cleveland, Brainerd (Yes, MN has a city named Brain (N)erd, named long before anyone knew what a nerd was), or Minneapolis, when something seems too much of a right wing good thing to be true, when it wacks the knee-jerk reflexes of conservatives with a sledge hammer, and especially when it lights up the blogosphere like a giant cyber sparkler, you can bet that the facts are almost certainly WRONG.

    I’ve written about all of the ones I mentioned here on Penigma.blogspot.com. I like to think of our blog as the one where we throw buckets of cold water on those who generate all that, you know, ‘HOT AIR’, LOL!

    Good one Muddy!

    1. Did you read the document in the link you provided Sepp?

      This is clearly a search warrant for materials relating to wire fraud and money laundering, not anything remotely related to a delinquent student loan. Muddy was perfectly correct, and you Sepp, were spectacularly wrong.

      To wit from that document:

      i. Any and all fax machines, scanners, and printers used to manufacture, produce or facilitate the submission of FRAUDULENT (emphasis added -DG) federal and non-federal student financial aid applications, fraudulent identification documents, wire fraud, and mail fraud.

      and

      n. Any computer equipment or digital devices that are capable of being used to commit or further the crimes referenced above, or to create, access, or store evidence, contraband, fruits, or instrumentalities of such crimes, including central processing units; laptop or notebook computers; personal digital assistants; wireless communication devices including paging devices and cellular telephones; peripheral input/output devices such as keyboards, printers, scanners, plotters, monitors, and drives intended for removable media, related communication devices such as modems, routers, cables, and connections; storage media; and security devices;

      and goes on to continue to reference CRIMES of fraud and moneylaundering equipment throughout the full 47 pages. There is not any reference whatsoever to a delinquent student loan or loans.

      If you had a remotely fact based concept of government, Sepp, rather than your clearly fantasy based notion, you would be clearly aware that the office of the Inspector General, in this case the IG for the Department of Education, does not concern itself with delinquent debt collection. It DOES however concern itself with an operation that appears to generate MULTIPLE false identities, and fake admissions and related applications for student loans to obtain money from both the government and private lending institutions.

      Sepp, this warrant and affidavit CLEARLY are about identity theft, and defrauding the government. NOT to see that is just………stupid, and ignorant, and willfully blind and hateful.

      I have no reason to believe that there was any abuse of force, or that the accounts of SWAT teams was correct. I do believe that if serious crimes are alleged that the local SWAT teams and other law enforcement would APPROPRIATELY support the IG special agent to the precise extent that violence to law enforcement was a concern. I don’t really give a rip what the man’s neighbors claim or don’t claim.

      Or are you going to try to assert that criminals about to be arrested or served with a search warrant don’t behave on occasion with violent resistance?

      The feds have an excellent conviction rate for crimes, something on the order of 90% or better. They don’t typically screw up this sort of thing, contrary to your imagination.

      Muddy, would you mind if I pick this up and run with it, following subsequent arrests, arraignments, trials, etc.? I’ll give you full attribution with a link to this post if you like.

      1. Yes, I am quite aware that the IG has departments that cover everything from the military to the DOE and that they conduct investigations and act as an internal affairs section for different governmental programs.

        However, I was not aware that the Dept of Education’s OIG had it’s own armed high risk entry team to serve warrants with the full statutory powers of the FBI and police forces to conduct raids.

        “I have no reason to believe that there was any abuse of force, or that the accounts of SWAT teams was correct. I do believe that if serious crimes are alleged that the local SWAT teams and other law enforcement would APPROPRIATELY support the IG special agent to the precise extent that violence to law enforcement was a concern. I don’t really give a rip what the man’s neighbors claim or don’t claim.”

        You mean in your OPPINION there was no abuse of force.
        The eyewitness accounts as reported on the news was a SWAT team.
        But, as you said, you don’t give a rip what the witnesses saw.

        Also, it wasn’t a local SWAT team acting in support of the DOE’s IG agents, it was the DOE’s own IG entry team who asked the LLEA to send an officer to observe the raid.

        One would think that since the DOE IG agent was so thorough to provide detailed descriptions of the house, construction materials, door composition and color, that they might have also been watching the house (which most agencies do before a raid to gather intel pertaining to the occupant’s personal habits, commings and goings, visitors, etc) they might have noticed that their primary suspect no longer resided there!
        They were not serving a warrant on a high risk crackhouse where the officers would be likely to see armed resistance, they were going to serve a warrant for a white collar crime where the main suspect was a woman and the homeowner was a man with no priors at all…meaning that the risk to officers was an extreme minimal.

        In my oppinion, the DOE and it’s IG should conduct their investigations and, if reasonable belief exists to charge someone, they should turn the arrest of the suspect over to the FBI or, police.
        We don’t need a militarized arm of the DOE’s Inspector general’s office to conduct raids on citizens.

        As I’d asked before, where do you draw the line?

  2. No where else to make this comment but here.

    If any one wants to see what is wrong with the politicis in the United States, consider the following….

    President Obama has asked Boehner and Kasich to play a round of golf. Talk about playing while the country goes down the tubes. If it were possible, this would be enough to not vote for Obama again. Boehner and Kasich are personally calling Obama a “thug”, why?, because he supports unionism. By licking the asses of these GOP leaders, one nationally and the other a State leader, Obama is showing he is selling out the 98 percenters. These two men have called for the defeat of Obamaism, the financial reform and the health care reform, and he goes play golf with them….He should be beating the GOP over the head with their non-job stances, their call for the repeal of the above two laws, and their support of the Ryan Budget Plan. Obama should be out playing golf with the millions of men and women GOP policies have put out of work, not with these two
    corporate mouth pieces., these plutocrats who are diminishing our liberties and democracy…..

    1. You talk of the GOP calling for the defeat of “Obamunism”?
      So in the 2+ years he’s been playing golf and taking vacations UTF, what exactly has Obama doen besides create uncertainty in the financial and job markets while spending massive amounts of money?

      Obamacare? You mean that hurried piece of shit the democrats rushed through…just to say they did it?
      That “we need to pass it, then you can see what’s in it” that all those unions and pressure groups supported…and now are getting exemptions from?

      How about those Bush tax cuts that Obama him-hawed over for months while businesses waited on the fence to decide whether they would be hiring or, not?
      So, pretty much while everyone is still whining about Bush, they neglect to mention that Obama has kept Bush’s shitty policies in place for the last 2+ years he’s had the power to do something about them.

      The Ryan budget plan…instantly dismissed in favor of NO budget at all which was due how many months ago when the democraps held power?

      Here we are mid june using the “pay as you raise” the debt limit formula of moonbattery in action.

      So no, Obama shouldn’t be playing golf with those 2 clowns…his ass should be at work before he gets laid off for his chronic absenteeism.

  3. Seppo always wanting to pin the blame on Obama neglects that Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution, is known as the Taxing and Spending Clause. What’s it say?

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    Got that <Congress seppo. Those playing “the debt limit formula of moonbattery” are the people YOU support, Seppo! They are the ones who may send the country into default. They are the ones who cranked out the POS you call Obamacare.

    And General Welfare goes beyond your simplistic understanding, seppo, but it means the general business of government. Government, the non-profit service industry that people expect to see make everything go smoothly.

    Unless they are the tea party clowns who pander to historically, economically, politically, intellecturally, and logically bankrupt individuals like Seppo.

  4. Of course, Seppo is more than happy to publish any crap that comes up on the internet. here’s the Official version (http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/oigstatement.pdf):

    On June 7, U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General (OIG) special agents executed a search warrant at a Stockton, California residence. The warrant was authorized by a Federal Magistrate Judge.

    Reports by the media that the search was related to a defaulted student loan are wrong. The OIG does not engage in the collection of late student loan payments. The OIG conducts criminal investigations of fraud, bribery, embezzlement, and other criminal activity involving the Department of Education.

    Before we execute a search warrant, OIG always assesses the risk involved so that we can ensure the safety of the officers involved, the occupants of the property, and the general public. We look at a number of factors, such as the persons known to occupy or frequent the location and whether they have any criminal or violent histories.

    The reasons for our search warrant are currently under seal by the court and cannot be discussed publicly. Also, to protect the integrity of the investigatory process and the privacy of any individuals associated with an investigation, OIG does not discuss details of its ongoing criminal investigations.

    Additional Information on OIG:

    OIG is the law enforcement arm of the Department of Education and is responsible for the detection and prevention of waste, fraud, abuse, and criminal activity involving Department funds, programs, and operations. We conduct independent audits, investigations, inspections, and other reviews. We make recommendations to the Department to address systemic weaknesses and take administrative action. We also make refer criminal matters to the U.S. Department of Justice for prosecution. Our staff includes auditors, financial analysts, information technology professionals, special agents, inspectors, management and budget analysts, and attorneys. OIG operates with full statutory law enforcement authority, which includes conducting search warrants and making arrests. We carry out our activities in accordance with Federal policies and procedures.

    Of course, seppo, who is incapable of critical thought finds that something bad about the gumment is printed on the internet which means it MUST be true. It’s even more likely to be true if it’s in a cartoon or on a bumpersticker for seppo!

    Hint, seppo, consider the source and credibility of the source.

    Of course, seppo is the type who believes supermarket tabloids, so…

  5. BTW, I thought I would check out seppo’s news stories to confimr my hunch that he just cited shit to cite shit:

    The Classic Liberal’s title to the post: Department of Education SWAT Raid?

    Note the Question mark, seppo, it’s that curly thingie (?). That’s a hint for anyone with a brain that the writer doubts the story’s credibility.

    Huffpo:
    The title, Department Of Education: Raid Of California Man’s Home Was Not Related To Defaulted Student Loans, should clue seppo in that there may be a credibility gap here. A little further on: The initial report said the U.S. Department of Education “issued the search and called in the S.W.A.T for his wife’s defaulted student loans,” although that story has since been taken down and replaced with an updated version that did not contain the claim about the raid being connected to student loans.

    Confliciting stories here–how credible is this story?

    Politico: Correction: This story has been updated to clarify that the officers that raided the home were not a SWAT team, although the man who lives there thought they were one.

    Seppo, reads the Inquirer “because his inquiring mind wants to know”.

    Seppo, if you had a brain, you’d be dangerous.

    Unfortunately, you are probably more dangerous since you are someone who should be in a home for the feebleminded, but are deinstitutionalised and running loose on the American public.

  6. Hello Laci,
    What?!?!?! Seppo has posted a link to support his statement only to have this debunked as fraud!!!

    How can that be because he speaks with such authority on ALL subjects? Even those he knows nothing about.

    Hey Sepp,
    Did you ever finish that 4th grade math problem? Remember I want you to show your work in fractional form.

  7. In Sepp’s own words: “Well then Jeff, what was untrue about the story?
    Unlike some bloggers, I actually will correct a mistake as opposed to just ignoring it.”

    OK then, we’re waiting…………

        1. Seppo, I post cites that SUPPORT my position.

          You cite posts that CONTRADICT your position.

          SO, who lacks a grasp with reality?

          You do, buddy, you do.

    1. And you have yet to show me where it was untrue Jeff.
      Did the man’s door get kicked in?
      Was the DOE behind it?
      Was there a SWAT / High risk entry team?
      Were they armed?
      Was he detained?
      Was he even charged with anything?
      And since nothing more has been released on the story (other than the DOE saying it wasn’t loan related), you sure seem to profess to know some more than anyone else on the issue.

      And where do you draw the line with this crap?

      I’d bet money that if the Dept of human services dispatched their IG SWAT teams to go after welfare fraud, you clownish libs would be crying foul ad-nauseum…
      even if they did their homework and kicked the in the doors of actual perps.

      Unlike you statists, I don’t believe that these agencies should have a militarized wing of their IG dept that has no-knock warrant powers.

      1. Seppo, see above.

        Everybody here has shown you are WRONG, yet you insist you are correct.

        As I said above: so, who lacks a grasp with reality?

        You do, buddy, you do.

      2. From above

        Politico: Correction: This story has been updated to clarify that the officers that raided the home were not a SWAT team, although the man who lives there thought they were one.

        That was one of the articles YOU cited to above, seppo.

        Sumbuddy say summat about not being in tuch wi’ reality?

        It’s you, seppo, it’s you who is not in touch with reality.

      3. I also also note my amusement at seppo attempt at using the term “statists” as an epithet.

        Seppo again is using words he does not understand since Statism (or etatism) is a scholarly term in political philosophy either emphasising the role of the state in analysing political change; or, in describing political movements which support the use of the state to achieve goals.

        The state being a compulsory political institution of a centralized government that maintains a monopoly of the legitimate use of force.

        When seppo was made aware of the close relationship between anarchy and libertarianism he said:

        Anarchy is a state of lawlessness. Libertarianism does not promote lawlessness. It does promote keeping the government in check and out of affairs it has no business involving it’s self with.

        Anyone who has a rudimentary knowledge of the topics that seppo pontificates upon is plainly aware that seppo demonstrates that he is both ignorant and confused. While decrying the state, he would support those characteristics that make the state a state: i.e., the use of force to maintain order.

        Of course, he might claim that he only dislikes government “intrusion” in “affairs it has no business being involved”, yet what exactly are those affairs? The constitution talks about the general welfare of the nation which includes health and prosperity making the constitution a “statist” document with powers to regulate economic and commercial aspects of society.

        This government regulation of trade, commerce, and the economy is not an intrusion, but is sanctioned by the Constitution that Seppo claims to support.

        I should also add that the US government has the power to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts” as well.

        The real first right guaranteed by the US constitution is that of good government, anything else is an afterthought (i.e., Amendment).

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