Thursday, June 09, 2011

Pop Quiz Time:

What's the difference between:
  1. a SWAT team, and

  2. fifteen guys from the Department of Education's Office of the Inspector General wearing raid jackets and tac vests, carrying long guns, and swinging battering rams?
Yeah, me neither.

As Bill Shakespeare put it, back before the modern jackboot had even been invented, "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

Unc linked to a copy of the warrant. That looks like some dangerous stuff. I'm surprised they didn't bring along tanks. Or call in Tac Air.

40 comments:

Lissa said...

Got a friend who sometimes works with the SWAT team in his city, kicking down doors and playing with the fancy toys. Don't worry though -- I'm fairly sure he makes it to the range at least once a year!

Tam said...

Lissa,

Oh, I'd be willing to wager that those OIG guys had more (and more expensive) gun schooling than all but the biggest and best municipal SWAT teams.

So they're dressed like a SWAT team and kick doors like a SWAT team and carry long guns like a SWAT team... but they're not a SWAT team, see, because a SWAT team would be overkill on a white collar fraud warrant like this.

Standard Mischief said...

you know, I'm pretty sure we could easily come up with a few hundred bankers that created and resold mortgage-backed securities after concealing the level of risk. I bet they're sleeping sounder and sounder as the statute of limitations overtakes their crimes.

Me? I'm worried I'll get my door bashed in at 6AM after they play a recording of a car alarm and knock lightly - all because of some kind of electronic screw-up when I paid that parking ticket online.

They'll be sure to confiscate my computer, cellphone, and my Rolodex just in case one of these were used to "facilitate" the "crime"

Aaron said...

Don't give em any ideas with the tac air are armored vehicles.

Seeing as how ATFE had a tac air component with its OV-10 Broncos (supposedly they've since divested oif same), its just a matter of time before Department of Ed screams me too.

Instead of Broncos though, DOE should more appropriately procure the T-6 Harvard, the CT-156 Harvard II or the CT-114 Tutor to highlight their educational focus.

Matt G said...

The thinking apparently is to stop the destruction of evidence. Please note that the warrant isn't even a Search And Arrest warrant; it's just a Search Warrant.

Given how much evidence they listed to take, one wonders how all of that could have been destroyed between the time it takes to say "Knock-knock-- OIG agents" and door opening.


I do give them this, though: the description of the house and the photograph on the front were properly done.

Anybody got the PC affidavit?

DirtCrashr said...

I see what you did there with Havad, but won't the Yalies be upset? Not to mention Cornell, not to mention USC or Ohio State either...

Tam said...

MattG,

I am not willing to see my country crucified on a cross of "Destruction of Evidence".

Anonymous said...

Even a fair manager would look at this and say,"This not what we were thinking about when we funded this unit. Stand down before something goes terribly wrong."

What will probably happen is that they will tighten up and defend this action against all comers rather then admit a error.

It will only get worse.


Gerry

Bubblehead Les. said...

Funny thing is, having just finished the whole Student Loan Rigamarole, when one applies, the Money goes to the School, not the Student. Most schools won't even disburse the Funds for the classes for about a month AFTER the Semester begins, then they do a Pro-Rate if you drop the course. So how was this women able to get the money by NOT going to school? If there is any Scam Investigating due, it needs to be done at the Lender and the University FIRST. But I don't think it looks good on TeeWee for the D.O.Ed. Mall Ninjas to be tearing up a University Financial Aid Office, does it? But it's perfectly all right to send in the Jack Booted Thugs into a Residential Neighborhood and scare the crap out of People over a Student Loan Fraud Case?

But having set the Precedent, does this now mean the FBI can Shoot Treasury Secretary Geithner for Non-Payment of Back Taxes, or is that reserved only for Unarmed Women in the Mountains in Idaho?

Tam said...

I don't see why the warrant couldn't have been served by two guys with wingtips and briefcases instead of fifteen guys with shotguns and battering rams.

*knock, knock* "Mr. X? Good morning Mr. X. I'm Inspector Y and this is Inspector Z, and we're with the Department of Education's Inspector General's office. This is Officer A from your own city's police department. We have a search warrant for the premises..."

Bubblehead Les. said...

Tam, let's just Pray that when Mr. Y and Mr. Z show up to Investigate, they don't turn over their Lapel Collars and show a Brass Oval Disk as their I.D.s! But the way these Federales are abusing their Power nowadays....

Tam said...

Bubblehead Les,

Are you suggesting that fraud cases not be investigated?

The Jack said...

Tam says:
*knock, knock* "Mr. X? Good morning Mr. X. I'm Inspector Y and this is Inspector Z, and we're with the Department of Education's Inspector General's office. This is Officer A from your own city's police department. We have a search warrant for the premises..."

Huh..... Call me crazy but isn't this what the feds used to do?

Or am I hallucinating?

Heck, even the FBI would normally show up in suits and wingtips.

Yeah, this isn't a worrying trend.

Firehand said...

But if they do that, they can't put on their ninja suits and kick doors and shove people around!

And if they don't get to do that, they'll be all upset and such.

And if they don't actually use them, how will they justify all the money for short-barreled shotguns and body armor and SWAT training and such?('course, to ME that means they can afford a big budget cut...)

Joanna said...

If I go to the trouble to commit fraud, I want Neal Caffrey and Peter Burke coming after me. And Neal had better wear that hat.

Joshkie said...

Obviously we're missing and not taking into consideration the safty of the "officers." They didn't know what they would find behind that door. They need to take maximume use off force to insure their safty. It could of turned into an armed baricaded hosage situation.
Time is of the essences. They couldn't be botherd to take the time to investigate the seen, other that take the time to get a discription and picture of the property. If they (who they are looking for) are stupid enought to keep incriminating evidence, they could wise up and distroy it. We are all potential criminals, and guilty in till we can prove our innocence.

So you see the coppers have ever reason to act as they do.

Sigh....
Josh

P.S. What ever happened to, "To Protect and Serve?"

Joshkie said...

in till = until.

Drang said...

Let's see, "destruction of evidence", yeah, I covered that... "Officer safety", covered that... "Protect and serve", Deputy Fife might want to re-read that part...
Glad we're all on the same sheet of music--or, is that "muzhik"?--except that no one else has noticed (yet) that none of the libtards who were whining about celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden are objecting to this crap.
Oh, well, we now have a new test for political candidates...

Old NFO said...

Ouch, personally I think the response was a 'bit' over the top considering...

Odysseus said...

Even the KGB would typically just knock on the proletariat's door and wait for them to answer before carting them off to Siberia as enemies of the people.

TomcatTCH said...

back in 2003 the FBI raided the computer store I worked for. It wasn't a swat raid, but they wore obvious external body armor with drop leg holsters and drop leg mag carriers.

The came in through the front door, yelled "Police" and swarmed into the offices.

This is when I learned that shouts of "Police" from down a hall without even closed doors aren't very clear if you aren't listening for them.

They recognized my voice from the phone tapping, and had the place under surveillance for longer than I worked there.

Yet they still showed up, if not loaded for bear, ready for boar. To a small store front with two people working in it.

Oh, and the raid was due to software piracy. I'm not sure why the raid type event, but I'm not LEO.

Anonymous said...

To Do List
1. Send payment on suspected outstanding student loans
2. Subsist on top ramen noodles for rest of month
3. Study law & sue DofE for everything
4. Vote!
5. Retire & live in Alaska!

Ulises from CA

Crotalus (Dont Tread on Me) said...

Or, to put it a little more bluntly, if it's MY house, they're both targets.

docjim505 said...

Drang - [N]one of the libtards who were whining about celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden are objecting to this crap.


Yeah. All through the Bush years, we were assured that the NSA was listening to our telephone conversations with Aunt Sally and it was THE WORST THING EVER, but SWAT teams kicking in doors (sometimes even the right ones!), roughing people up, shooting their dogs, and tearing up their houses... Meh. No big deal. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Honestly, I don't get it. It strikes me that heavy-handed police tactics are a threat to EVERYBODY, yet the left and MiniTru (BIRM) don't seem to care. I guess Sarah Palin's old e-mails are considered much graver threats to our nation and liberties...

Anonymous said...

Am i reading this wrong?! they are actually looking for. . . . . . Fruits... also?!
-raddiver

docjim505 said...

And another thing...

WTF are these police officers THINKING??? Don't any of them have a moment of pause when they push the adrenalin aside and think, "Um... I've just broken into a house inhabited by what's pretty clearly a bunch of harmless, average Americans; AT WORST they are white-collar criminals who are no danger to me or anybody else. I'm carrying a machinegun and dressed in combat gear. I just cuffed them and their children and shot their dog. My fellow officers are trashing their house looking for 'evidence'. There's something wrong with this picture. Maybe I shouldn't do this again."

Or perhaps they can think BEFORE the raid: "Er... Chief? Um... Do we REALLY think that the suspects - and they are SUSPECTS in most cases; innocent until proved guilty, doncha know? - are heavily armed narcoterrorists who are sitting behind a machinegun lined up on the front door just itching to shoot at us? 'Cuz if we DON'T, then maybe - I'm just spitballing here - we could get a couple of uniformed officers to knock on the door and just quietly serve the warrant. What do you say?"

I had a captain once - a mild-tempered, Christian family man - who once joked that putting on his BDU filled him with a strange desire to curse and chase women. It seems that putting on black cammies and an entry vest fills other men with the desire to demonstrate their mad Attila the Hun skillz.

theirritablearchitect said...

"Even a fair manager would look at this and say,"This not what we were thinking about when we funded this unit. Stand down before something goes terribly wrong."

What will probably happen is that they will tighten up and defend this action against all comers rather then admit a error."


These two statements are rather contradictory, which means that there are not any "fair manager(s)," about in the EdDept.gov, hardly to my surpise, or anyone else's.

The God-damned teachers' have their own Cabinet seat, and have demanded that the guns be taken out of the schools, at all costs, only to have purchased same so that they could kick down doors on delinquent debtors.

Does heavy drinking help with understanding any of this?

jetaz said...

Joanna wins +1 internets.

Tam said...

docjim505,

"WTF are these police officers THINKING??? Don't any of them have a moment of pause when they push the adrenalin aside and think, "Um... I've just..."

Nope.

If they were, there'd be an epidemic of LEO's suck-starting their Glocks, which obviously is not happening.

Anonymous said...

"That looks like some dangerous stuff. I'm surprised they didn't bring along tanks. Or call in Tac Air."

Tanks with Steven Segal in them.

docjim505 said...

Tam - If they were, there'd be an epidemic of LEO's suck-starting their Glocks, which obviously is not happening.

Kind of a sad commentary on human nature, ain't it?

1911Man said...

To me, the funniest (err, the only funny?) part of the warrant is that Attachment B item 1.u authorizes the ninji to seize "the lack of software".

Umm, antimatter called from the other side of the mirror, and it wants its unseize warrant back.

Tomorrow, I'm going to the dentist and having my lack of cavities filled.

Matt G said...

Mind the brushes. Some of us might get more tar than we might otherwise deserve.

I have noticed a trend toward using "felony stop/arrest" for everything that involves a felony. No doubt, the federal code considers defrauding the government out of thousands of dollars of student loans to be a felony. All too many things are felonies, these days.

Anyhow, I have more than once been aghast at the over-zealous deployment of long guns and such in the service of felony warrants. I recall a pair of warrants for the felony theft of some home furnishings, in which I had to tell a rookie and a reserve officer to stand down with their rifle and shotgun; there was a child present. Their reasoning? They knew that the defendant owned a pistol, and probably didn't want to go to prison on the felony warrant. My response: "He's not threatening anyone now, and you're scaring the kid, so knock it off."

Cops are trained to treat felony warrant services as high-risk. Well, if felonies were correctly written, they might be. But now you can't swing a dead cat (probably a felony in its own right) without hitting a piece of "Get Tough On Crime" legislation that makes what heretofore was a misdemeanor into a felony. From what I can see, it does little to reduce crime, and much to clog up our legal system (and prisons!) with expensive cases.

Tam said...

MattG,

I was responding directly to docjim505's question about LEOs directly involved with this plague of excessive door-kickery and dog-shootiness.

No tar on anybody out there who is able to distinguish Fallujah and Farmington without the aid of flash cards. ;)

Anonymous said...

If anyone is left who thinks this nation isn't swirling around the drain, compare this behavior to a buddy of mine from the '80's who was an IRS Field Auditor. His job was to contact businesses regarding tax fraud cases and he was not allowed to carry a gun, even tho' some of his cases involved the "Dixie Mafia" operations. Hell, now Animal Control carries sidearms, as well as Zoning Enforcement. It this isn't a police state, then how do you define one??
And for the record, Les is correct. All funds are sent to the schools, not to the student. Students can only get what is left after the Fin.Aid office of the school reviews and allows it.

Joshkie said...

Tam -

To your and MatG's point where are the good ones to speak out. As some else put it there does seem to be alot circling the wagons when stuff like this happens.

:-)
Josh

Tam said...

"To your and MatG's point where are the good ones to speak out."

Well, MattG, for starters...

Montie said...

Tam,

As I'm sure you remember, I have been seeing more and more of an overuse of SWAT team dynamic entry tactics in all levels of law enforcement, including local, state and federal and have voiced my concern here more than once.

I have served no-knock drug lab warrants in the middle of the night with little more than a couple of detectives with vests on over our clothes and a couple of uniformed officers up front so that we LOOKED like the popo when we busted in yelling "POLICE" at 0-dark-thirty.

That's so old school nowadays. I now (by policy) have to don a full rifle-proof vest over my black nomex coverall (keeps the slacks and shirts clean) elbow and knee pads, a ballistic helmet and carry an M4 along with my pistola. Oh, and possibly a gas mask if needed. Hey, gotta use that stuff, it was paid for by a grant. Hell, all that's WITHOUT calling SWAT!

Now granted, a lot of that stuff does make for improved officer safety (although the friggin' vest is so heavy it's almost an impediment). But, (unofficially) I also still serve a lot of warrants via the old two cops knocking on the door route.

This Dept. of Edu. "warrants service team" is an example of "give an inch / take a mile" type thing that Federal agencies are so famous for when it comes to power grabbing. They were whining back in the Bush years (yes as painful as it is for me) that the Justice Dept. wouldn't make time to serve their bullshit warrants and wanted the statutory power to serve them themselves.

Well, they were granted "limited" power to do just that. Of course, that meant that their "agents" had to have all the cool toys just like the big boys for those dangerous
warrant service missions.

Hell, nowadays nearly every federal dept. that has any regulatory enforcement power has their own armed agents all equipped with the latest cool toys and the latest high-dollar training / shooting schools under their belts, like the FDA, EPA, Dept. of Agriculture, you name it.

Does anyone remember the fall of the Soviet Union when all the various military / police agencies belonging to the various ministries squared off against each other? we are accelerating in our rush to emulate a failed state and form of government.

I noticed that the warrant in the story in question was a "daytime service only" warrant. Not generally indicative of an anticipated high degree of danger with regard to destruction of evidence or officer safety. Certainly a low profile door knocking by a couple of plainclothed officers would have been preferable.

I also noticed that they went in just barely within the comencement of the service time (06:00) for the warrant. All the better to be able to execute a suprise door kicking, just like the real SWAT guys do!

Matt G said...

I was actually concerned at the overspray from Joskie's brush, Tam. ;)

J.R.Shirley said...

Yeah, the little old lady from the records section (as Byron used to say) and two cops could have served this warrant.