Wednesday, June 08, 2011

We Don't Need No Education.

Hey, kids! Remember those 14-inch Remington 870 "entry guns" the Department of Education acquired recently?

Well, now we know what they're used for. (Alternate Link.)

Seriously? A federal SWAT team? Looking for a frickin' student loan defaulter? Where did she spend those student loans, SoCal Ninja Academy?

The Department of Education, originally billed as an organ to "establish policy for, administer and coordinate most federal assistance to education, collect data on US schools, and to enforce federal educational laws regarding privacy and civil rights" enforced the hell outta this guy's privacy and civil rights in the most Orwellian way possible, complete with automatic weapons and jackboots.

Look me in the eye and defend this. No, wait... imagine looking Thomas Jefferson in the eye and defending this.


Don’t get bogged down in the minutiae of who allegedly issued the warrant or what offense it was allegedly for. Let’s not forget that the article was written by a reporter; they know as much about these things as they do about shoulder things that go up. Remember the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect. Looking at the purview of the DoE IG’s office, this had to involve fraud or something, not a simple default, and I'm sure said warrant was signed off on by a judge. No doubt i's were carefully dotted and t's were painstakingly crossed on this gobsmackingly stupid raid.

The larger question is “Why does every federal agency need their own internal cop shop, to include SWAT teams, which they then have to use at the drop of a hat to justify funding?

Saving for another day the question of the constitutionality of a federal Department of Education and the logic of them having their own law enforcement branch complete with powers of arrest, why can’t they investigate cases and then farm out arrest warrants to locals or even the US Marshal’s service? Why does every federal agency need their own tac team? Give a bureaucrat a hammer, and it’s only a matter of time until he turns and whacks you in the head with it.

The guns are just a symptom: badges come with guns, else you may as well not pass out the badges. The question is "Why so many badges?"


Kevin said...

I am gobsmacked.

The world has gone completely batshit insane.

Themadlemming said...

I am actually stunned by this. Wow.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they need to breach boys bathrooms to keep young AQ males from smoking and flushing M-80'd down the toilets.


Bram said...

A Federal Education SWAT. That one is going to take a while to digest.

Not surprising that their first raid that made the news is a botch.

What would they have done if the woman had been home? Break her legs?

Jim said...

A preemptive Godwinism would not be misplaced here.

Bubblehead Les. said...

What's next? Does the DMV plan on Napalming your ride if your plates have expired?

Saw you said Rope elsewhere. I think it's time to have to have the Weaver mounted.

John Stephens said...

Why isn't this national news...oh, right. Democrat President. It's not fascism when THEY do it.

Nowayoutbutup said...

In any US city over 100,000 pop. you will have between 15 and 20 agency SWAT teams. We even have a local city school district with not only its own police dept but a 5 man dedicated SWAT team.
Problem is the vast majority are part timers and consequently not well trained.
My good friend, LEO for the Feds will not even work with most of these folks. To quote him,” I don't want to take a round in the back."

Mister_V said...

And for the first time ever, I have imagined being punched in the mouth by Thomas Jefferson.

Bram said...

Nowayoutbutup - These were FEDS!

Stuart the Viking said...

The Department of Education has a SWAT team? Who gave the DoE a FRICKEN SWAT TEAM?!?! Next thing you'll tell me is that Canada has a Navy.... Oh wait....


Tam said...


The Inspector General Act of '78 and the Homeland Security Act of '02.

Living in Babylon said...

The only thing that mitigates my concern here is that they still haven't found their target.

Ferret said...

Look Thomas Jefferson in the eye while defending this. Just don't make a move which can be loosely interpreted as dance or you'll wind up with a Park Police knee in your back.

Laura said...

I really do wonder what would have happened had their "target" been home...and I'm *still* trying to understand what possessed them to toss the guy and his kids in a squad car.

The Raving Prophet said...

Seeing as how the ATF has very little problem doing much the same thing over nonpayment of a $200 tax, I must say I am hardly surprised.

Disappointed, frustrated, even despairing, but not surprised.

Anonymous said...

We need an organizational death penalty.

Death penalty for dept of Agriculture due to Pigford.

Death penalty for dept of Ed. for this.

Death penalty for ATF for RubyRidge/Waco

The whole department should be defunded, closed down, employees fired, and buildings sold at auction.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

@ Mister_V: You made the Quote of the Day.

Rope. Appropriate parties. Some assembly required.

Anonymous said...

I see a very simple solution to the problem, abolish the Dept of Education.

Yeah, its simplistic but do it for the children.


Pathfinder said...

Better yet, imagine YOURSELF looking Thomas Jefferson in the eye and trying to explain how you let this happen?

It's happening on our watch, folks, and all we do is blog about it.

Anonymous said...

Well, when they're arresting people IN the Jefferson memorial for dancing, I don't think they're thinking about what Jefferson would say.

Brian J. said...

The only way this could be better is if part of Obamacare includes giving HHS the ability to kick in your door and shoot you in the leg if you don't buy insurance.

Standard Mischief said...

hmmm, does the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect predate Knoll's Law of Media Accuracy?

Everything you read in newspapers is absolutely true, except for that rare story of which you happen to have first-hand knowledge. -Erwin Knoll

Standard Mischief said...

>The only way this could be better is if part of Obamacare includes giving HHS the ability to kick in your door and shoot you in the leg if you don't buy insurance.

Have you and your two lawyers actually sat down and read this monstrosity that we needed to deem as passed before we could find out what in it?

NotClauswitz said...

From my understanding and the dire warnings of Suzi Orman, Student Loans are no longer the somewhat complicated paper-pushing prevue of various beneficent agencies and kindly School administrators - in fact they have been taken over by the .Gov who are now the sole owners of such paper.
Nowadays Student Loans are the one Loan-Thing on which you cannot default – houses and mortgages fine, some patronage-weenie at Freddie Mac get's a bonus off the Taxpayer anyhow - but they don’t let Stoodintz go bye-bye anymore, it’s Verboten -- and as with so much top-down directives by this administration, it's handled Chicago-style!
What explains the recent .Gov acquisition of such loans? Now they OWN your student-ass, now they can make you pay, or go to National Service. See who's pwned now?
The Students who rebel will be made examples, democratically of course. Maybe someone should thank Bill Ayers for the "inspiration" of sorts.

Bubblehead Les. said...

"The question is why so many Badges?"

Answer: Because no one above them in the Political Food Chain said, "No, you don't need a Polizei".

BTW, anyone know if the FCC has a SWAT Team? Just wondering if they plan on kicking down doors if there's a Blog that says something that might "Offend" the "Political Establishment".

"First they came for the Jews..."

Standard Mischief said...

second link was broken for me, here is google's cache:

global village idiot said...

Let's see...a Federal department with no Constitutional mandate for existing, with a SWAT team they have no business having, exercising police powers they have no rational reason for, over an issue far outside its purview, and doing it publicly, ham-fistedly and unsuccesfully...

Why on earth would anyone have a problem with that?


global village idiot said...

I see now that the link Tam got the story from no longer exists.

Must be really something if both Miniluv AND Minitrue are involved.


Anonymous said...

I've met members (so they said) of the US Postal Service and HUD special weapons teams. Why do they have them, sounds sexy and it get more money in the budget from Congress.

Then some .gov accountant will start to question the expense of a team, the training costs and equipment. So the powers that be will have the team do something, almost anything to say we need even more money in FYI 2012 for more head count, toys and training.

I do know of a CBRN unit that was set up on set aside money that the agency did not want or ask for.


Jim said...

GVI: The station just pulled it for a minor rewrite available at the home page via the "local" button.

Tam: <>.

Correct, I think. Authorities love nothing better than interest in a travesty like this dying from an overdose of legalese and bureaucratic pettifoggery.

Beyond "why so damned many federales dressed up like SEALS," there the fact of a violent home incursion and the imprisonment of one citizen because some other citizen may have breached a fiduciary responsibility.

NotClauswitz said...

First they came for Teh Students who signed a contract.
Unlike some other debts, there is no statute of limitations and they can sue you indefinitely.
You also will not be accepted in the Federal Bureau of Investigation if you have defaulted on a student loan.
...If you are in arrears for more than 90 days, they will notify the IRS who then stops your tax refund.
...The agency can instruct your employer to hand over to them a portion of your paycheck up to a maximum of 15%.
...Social Security retirement and Social Security disability benefits may also be garnished for loan arrearages...
...Once a loan is declared in default, you are no longer entitled to any deferments or forbearances...

They got a whole bunch of lawyers working for them who need to get paid, somehow or another.

Tam said...


Don't forget that the worst law enforcement debacle in US history arguably started out as a budget-justifying exercise.

Once they've got the SWAT team on the budget, they have to justify keeping it there.

I'm just glad nobody in this guy's house got shot.

Tango Juliet said...

We get the government we deserve.

Tam said...

Tango Juliet,

100% of us get the government that 51% of the 40% of eligible voters who bothered to vote deserve, which is the built-in failure of the snout-counting system.

We've been voting (or not voting, as the case may be) our way into this mess for over a hundred years. As Billy Beck is fond of saying, we aren't going to be voting our way out of it.

Anonymous said...

I work for a student loan guarantor doing collections, and all I can say is, where do I sign up? I want me a short barreled Remington. Got to be more fun to use than the crappy PC on my desk.

St Paul

NotClauswitz said...

Ok so now the DoE says it's NOT "related to a defaulted student loan, that is incorrect. This is related to a criminal investigation. The Inspector General's Office does not execute search warrants for late loan payments."
But the Feds DID send in their own: federal agents with the Office of the Inspector General for, "issues such as bribery, fraud, and embezzlement of federal student aid funds."
If only it were more poetically described as the Police of the Inspector General. Since that's what they were, not office-managers with staplers and paperclips.

Tam said...


That's what I've been saying all morning. ;)

Sigivald said...

On the updated question, well...

There's fraud and corruption.

Someone has to investigate it, right?

Those people need to be "cops" at some level.

So the question is, is it better to spread them about in each agency, so that they can know the specifics of the laws in question and work with the notional experts in those agencies?

Or is it better to make the FBI do everything for everyone, with inter-agency communication?

Both approaches have problems and are likely to lead to some sort of abuse; in the latter alternative, imagine FBI agents doing wrong because the memo got garbled (figuratively) between administrative boundaries.

(My solution might well be to abolish the DoEd, simply because if there's no department, you cant' embezzle or defraud it, and it's not Constitutionally justified or useful.

But even then, there are such agencies, like Defense, and the core problem is persistent.)

Larry said...

In the "War on Some Drugs" they justify these dynamic entries by saying the 200 kilos of whatever they want to ban because someone, somewhere might be having fun will get flushed if they don't get in there quickly and stop the fiends responsible.
I wonder what their justification is for this one? Do they think she was going to flush the loan papers?
And janitors bitch about paper towels...

Tam said...


For a start, maybe just have the various agencies do the legwork and investigatin' and then call in the locals or the feds, as appropriate, should there need to be any actual door-kicking or handcuffing.

I can't see how that approach would have worked any worse at, say, Waco.

Big Chief said...

Look Nathan Bedford Forrest and Stonewall Jackson in the eye . . .

Matt G said...

Meanwhile, here's how I served a felony warrant the other night:

I sat around the corner and called the guy at his apartment on the phone. He answered. I asked to speak with him in person. He said okay, what was this about? I told him that I had some paperwork to show him, and that, given the hour, I'd appreciate it if he would come out to speak with me, so that I wouldn't have to bang on his door. We met outside. The paperwork that I showed him was a felony warrant. I asked him to put his hands behind his back. I handcuffed him, took him to my car, and put a transport belt on him so that I could move the cuffs to the front for his comfort. We went to jail.

See how easy that was? The shotguns, the auto guns-- all stayed put up. One man converses with another man, and serves the order by a judge, and it's just business.

I sure wish my life was exciting as a real-live federal school cop!

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

@ Matt G: We need more cops like you.

Now if only you had been in charge of search warrants in Pima Co., AZ.

Jenny said...

“Why does every federal agency need their own internal cop shop, to include SWAT teams, which they then have to use at the drop of a hat to justify funding?”


There's a certain kind of person that likes to play soldier.

Do it in Iraq and you sleep in barracks, eat lousy food, have to talk to your sweetheart across half a planet, and actually stand a chance of getting blowed up for real.

Do it in Mayberry and you still get be a tough soldiery-guy, but get to sleep in your own bed, hang out with your own family, and the chances of the folks you're busting in on actually banding together to launch a rocket at *you* are next to nil.

All the cool points of busting down doors for real, no downside.

Anonymous said...

Even if it was fraud, that's a nonviolent offense. Why the heck are you sending SWAT to deliver the warrant?

Nowayoutbutup said...

There are PRO'S and then come all the rest. I did not want to out my friend by agency name. To easy these days for someone mean to figure things out. The LEO I know tends to use Matt G's methods.

BobG said...

It they're calling in SWAT for student loans, what do they do for overdue library fines, an air strike?

NotClauswitz said...

It's also still wicked leverage to have over Teh Student Body, from MD's to PhD's - to own their loans with go-getter Police doing Collections is to own them.
"Say that's a nice little degree in French Literature you got there, shame if something were NOT to happen with it, looks like you need a job in Publications and I know a guy at a newspaper in New York, do some community-service for us and we'll knock 20% off..."
Funding is absolutely everything about the job: it's money with a contract and a name written down - they don't have to justify it, it justifies them.
Just think if Fannie Mae had a police force - but the .Gov doesn't really want all that empty real-estate all the time, they Kelo for it when they need it...

Josh Kruschke said...

My problem is not that the warrant was issued, but that they are so lazzy they couldn't even be bothered to find out if the person they are looking for was even there.


blindshooter said...

Criminally stupid = lending big bucks to attain a PHD in in some obscure field that will never generate enough income to ever pay back the loans. Design for fail. Our institutes for higher learning are mostly greedy on an industrial scale and could care less if they encourage young people to borrow more than they could ever pay back when the majority of them would be much better off attending community college and getting a useful degree or trade.

Anonymous said...

I used to, for my sins, work in New York City.

I used to joke with my co-workers that everyone but decent law abiding people seemed to have guns.

The Crooks did
Every "authourity" had it's own "cops"( bridge and Tunnels, airport, train co., Subway, Port Authourity... I could go on)
The real local police
The Feds
I think the library system had it's own "police" who were packing.

Ordinary decent citizens....god forbid.

Odysseus said...

Now repeat after me children, "J is for Jackboot."

Dr. StrangeGun said...

I figure...

1 - Any given federal agency may actually need a tactical *protection* force, depending on what they operate, why, how, and where

2 - the FBI is already tasked with enforcing and investigating violations of federal law

3 - any given IG office ought to stick to inspecting and auditing, and leave the enforcement to agencies who enforce

4 - a $6 an hour cubicle farm debt collector or skiptracer would probably have been able to determine not only the actual whereabouts of the woman the charges are being laid against, but also that the woman in question no longer resides with her estranged husband at that address

5 - a white-collar crime search warrant was just executed in a way that didn't give this guy time to go downstairs and open the door... were they afraid he was going to flush his computers down the commode? Is there even an arrest warrant out for the defrauder in question? How exactly do you defend this kind of raid for an evidence seeking activity when you're trying to find a *paper trail* with essentially an accusation behind it?

6 - What color was the boathouse at Hereford?

ParatrooperJJ said...

The FBI is concerned with terrorism, intellegence, and public corruption. They are not really interested in anything else.
The Marshals have around 2500 Deputy Marshals and are already swamped with work. There are already not enough of them to do their current duties much less serve search warrants for all other federal agencies.
As to state agencies serving a federal search warrant, there are some major liability issues involved with doing a tactical entry for something that's not a corresponding state crime.

Old Grouch said...


Cry me a river. If the FBI needs retasking or the Marshals need more funding, do it.

The point is: All the cop-stuff should be handled by a cop-agency, not some subdepartment of some bureau.

That way you get accountability and (hopefully) a more professional approach. (See Matt G's comment.)

Anonymous said...

The point is: All the cop-stuff should be handled by a cop-agency, not some subdepartment of some bureau.

But that wouldn't justify bigger budgets and mission creep.

Josh Kruschke said...

Dr. StrangeGun


Turk Turon said...

Apparently the feds were looking for evidence of fraud, to wit: evidence that an applicant for a college loan had lied about having a high school diploma.

Jeez, they never do that for folks who lie on 4473s.

Drang said...

The only way this could be better is if part of Obamacare includes giving HHS the ability to kick in your door and shoot you in the leg if you don't buy insurance.

Drang said...

@Pathfinder: "It's happening on our watch, folks, and all we do is blog about it."
So get involved. Write congress, write the newspapers & news sites--bonus points for getting libtard sites to take this issue seriously!--get active in the Tea Party, join Promise Keepers...
Run for office yourself, if you're able.

Blogging is a big help, actually, especially an extremely popular blog like Tam's, like the patch says, "The Propaganda Department of the Unorganized Militia."

Dr_Mike said...


I thought I was bright. Got my degree in a field where they paid me to go to grad school. No loans.

So, if you google my name, you get my work address and phone. I've been getting calls for someone with the same first and last name, different middle initial, different last 4 on the social (I forget what his are, they asked I confirmed that's not me) and born 3 years earlier. Bad student loans.

And I was upset when the collection agent claimed to be from the Dept. of Education (Sorry, wrong DOE...) Makes me glad the home address doesn't show up in Google. It took this guy six hours in a car convincing the cops he wasn't a woman. Imagine the time I'd have getting them to check the middle name and date of birth...

Always assuming I didn't get six warning shots to the chest (out of 78 rounds expended...)

WV - liestinf - liest in f's sake make sure the perp lives there.