Sunday, April 20, 2008

The American Civil Liberties Union and Some Polygamists


I do find it troubling that the raid on a Polygamist group called "Yearning for Zion" was based on a possible crank phone call. Now that the raid has taken place, it would appear that there is evidence of some forms of abuse. What those are, are not clear. The question now is whether or not the rights of the children and the members of this church or cult whatever you want to call it, were violated. The ACLU thinks so. I am not sure how I feel about this, so I am throwing it out there. While there are so many that are FREAKING OUT about phone tapping etc., does this fall under freedom of religion or an invasion of privacy or an illegal search and seizure case? I am not sure I feel comfortable that the police can knock down my door and take my child because of a bogus phone call. Now of course there is the concern of the welfare of the children this point is duly noted. But I feel a bit uneasy about the manner in which this occurred and apparently so does the ACLU. I hate agreeing with the anti-civil-liberties-union, but I just might this time. Just because illegal activity was found after the raid, doesn't make the raid justified. I'm just sayin'.

19 comments:

DB said...

Thank you Patriot Act. The secret FISA court is fast and hardly ever turns down requests by the FBI, why create a law that ignores that court? Why no oversight? Where is the checks and balance we need over law enforcement?

In this specific case, I am willing to bet that a court would have protected the rights of the people (privacy, not religion) if they went through a court. If they did go through a court, than I am sure the evidence was somehow convincing. The result is a good result for the children, but the end does not justify the means.

Nikki said...

DB...The ends and the means are not justified. Now a massive DNA testing is under way and we get to hear about all the incest. Do you really think the patriot act is to blame here? :)N

Marci said...

I think that the government has overstepped it's bounds here. I can't even watch the news reports about this because it upsets me. I think of those children being ripped from the sheltered life they know and put into state custody, without the only security support person they know, makes me sick. If the state is soooo concerned then send someone to live in the house with themm monitor the situation in a place that is best for the kids. I am with you I hate to agree with the ACLU but this time I am going to have to back 'em up.

namaste said...

yes, nik, i'm with you on this. i have sooo many mixed feelings about this. every time i see a segmant shown on the news, my heart breaks for all those children taken away from their home and placed with strangers who have NO idea how to interact with them, much less take care of them.

Karen said...

The Patriot Act deals with phone calls from international boundaries, as we know, so this doesn't apply to whatever surveillance there was here. I understand the FBI had a mole there for 4 years. Why so long without any action, I don't know. It makes me think there really wasn't anything to justify taking over 400 children off premises and separating them from their mothers.

I haven't completely sorted it all out in my mind. As a Republican, it irritates me to no end that the 'government' took charge of American lives in such a way. It certainly magnifies the harm as it was proven to be a hoax from out of state.

Many lawyers have been dispatched from here in Houston to go over to San Marcos and provide legal aid for the women and children. The numbers alone are staggering to an already overloaded judicial system in our state.

Friday the judge ruled the children will not be returned to their mothers. So where will all the foster homes come from? Will they just open up ophanages and from where will they come? Today they will begin DNA tests to prove parentage as most of the children can't name relatives, etc. It's not a good situation any way you look at it.

Nikki said...

Marci...it is strange to side with the ACLU. I do feel so conflicted about this and listening to the radio this morning it is a hot topic and most americans agree with us. thanks for the comment. :)N

Maria, my heart breaks too. I wish the mothers would at least be allowed to take care of them under supervision or something. A very strange case indeed. watch and see I suppose...hope you had a great weekend chickie! :)N

Karen, I appreciate your comment very much. It sounds like this is going on in your backyard (I know Texas is HUGE, but same state anyway). I had no idea the FBI had a mole inside the compound. I agree it seems strange that 4 years until a raid...and on a possible crank call. It makes me uneasy to say the least. I agree the Patriot Act is not to blame here...thanks for the comment. :)N

Mike said...

While I am glad to see the ACLU is watching out for the civil liberties of everyone involved in this case, I'd say that the women of this cult should never be allowed to have contact with their children again. They stood idly by while their men-folk were raping children. I'd say that qualifies them as unfit mothers.

A lot of talk has been raised over the issue of freedom of religion, but I think that any religious freedom has to end at the point where children are being sexually assaulted. But that's just me.

Nikki said...

Mike I am a bit shocked by your comment...someone who is so concerned with the civil rights of terrorist being followed with exactness has come down on the side of the ends justifying the means? I understand the children were in harms way but you have no problem with the manner in which this went down? I see a double standard here. The question is not about religion and the free practice of it...the question is should the government be allowed to raid the place based on a crank phone call...I would think our "rights" that you so adamantly fight advocate for terrorists would also be examined in the same manner. A civil violation to one american is a civil violation to all americans...:)N

Freadom said...

I have to say I agree with Mike 100%. If the parents are guilty of what they are accused of here, then they should be held accountable. After all, they are responsible for their children and should not be putting their children in harms way.

Mike said...

Nikki, I'm not saying that the ends justify the means. The sheriffs had a search and arrest warrant when they arrived at the compound. They got a second warrant on the following Sunday, and a federal warrant has been issued as well. I think the only question is whether the warrants were legitimately issued and properly executed. If the means were not valid, we have laws in place to protect the members of the sect and their rights, no matter how vile their lifestyle is. That's the great part of our system. It protects the most contemptible lumps of crap, because we all deserve equal protection, even child rapists.

Perhaps I should have started my previous comment with "if they are found guilty."

I think the cops may have gone too far when they busted into the temple. I don't know the circumstances, but last time I checked, religious buildings were off-limits.

ba and the boys said...

nambla...errr, i mean the aclu, usually upsets me with their pettiness on things that don't really matter. this one has me confused.
the pologs did a good job at showing women pretending to cry (no tears). i feel bad that their kids were taken away, i can't imagine that happening to me. but then again i didn't marry away my 13 year old daughter to a 57 year old man. i am sad for the kids...no matter what the foster people say, these kids had problems in the compound but outside, where everyone is 'evil' must be terrible and all they have is each other...for now.
ps-nambla is for north american man boy something something. it is a joke from the daily show

Nikki said...

Mike, from what I understand the caller has not even been found and may not even exist or it may be a prank. I understand that the children were in crazy cultland, but the raid seems a little "unwarranted" if all you have is the call. Talk about your slippery slope to violated rights, kinda like the christmas tree on the lawn of the courthouse. It is the same slippery slope argument. The same argument should then be used to not set a murderer free, when miranda rights are not properly read, or NAMBLA and the danger to little boys trumps free speech, these all lead to someone in harms way. I guess the ACLU and judges can sort it out...It just seems just as BA pointed out that NAMBLA shouldn't even have the right to exist by the same logic. just for argument sake...you know how I am. :)N

Freadom...like I told Khaki, no one is allowed to agree with Mike, he is the fun generator!! JK...Mike is my favorite lib!! :)

Nikki said...

BA...NAMBLA is the North American Man Boy Love Association and they should be raided by the FBI anytime soon I am sure...they are foul scumsuckers. And you make a great point! :)N

Khaki Elephant said...

I refuse to respond to this post on grounds that I might agree with Mike and I believe I have already exceeded the limit. :)

Nikki said...

Khaki...LOL! Mike is getting some fans. He deserves it. yep I am kissing some butt. :)N

Thinking Sage said...

My very first thought when I heard this was that I bet those folks are tickled that Clinton isn't president. When he was and there was a cult involved he burned them to death.
just sayin

Mike said...

Wow, I've got Freadom and Khaki agreeing with me? Maybe I'm not as liberal as I thought. :)

I agree with you and BA (and probably 99% of the world) that NAMBLA is a disgusting group of perverts and our country would be better off if they didn't exist. However, since talking about how much they like to touch little boys is protected speech, I would defend their right to do so, if it does make me want to puke.

Speaking of Miranda, did you know that a few years ago, the Bush administration submitted briefs in a case where our Miranda rights were being challenged, and they argued on the side to overturn them? People should not have the right to remain silent, they argued, or to having an attorney present during questioning.

But getting back to the polygamists, I don't see the slippery slope you're talking about. The cultists have lawyers working for them. They are in the system, so every aspect can be challenged to make sure their rights aren't being trampled. If the cops had busted in without a warrant and rounded up the sect members, stripped them, hooded them, beat them, and shipped them off to an undisclosed location where they were denied their right to habeas corpus and couldn't talk to a lawyer or their families, and were held for several years without ever being charged of a crime, and maybe even waterboarded until they confessed to assaulting the girl that called in the tip, then we could talk about the slippery slope.

Out of curiosity, what should the cops have done differently?

Nikki said...

Mike, don't get me wrong obviously there was ample "reason" to storm the place, but the reasons were only found after the raid...that is the difference. The alleged phone call is in question at the moment. My point is only to state that the raid MAY have been done under false pretenses...then the impropriety was discovered. that's my concern. I wonder if someone decided to make a bogus call about my family if the police should be allowed to storm the place based on that call...thats all. It doesn't sound constitutional to me but I am no lawyer. It makes me a bit uneasy. And of course I disagree with the NAMBLA assesment...yelling fire in a movie theatre is not protected speech and teaching others how to find little boys and rape them shouldn't be either. I fail to see the difference between NAMBLA and this cult...I think it is a stretch to say that nambla only "talks" about what they want to do and doesn't act. Maybe I'll make a crank phone call pretend to be a boy who was raped and then the FBI can raid the place. I agree that the children should be out of there, I find the initial raid a bit suspect. :)N

Khaki Elephant said...

thinking sage, that was funny. Sick, but funny.