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Texas agency under magnifying glass over sect raid

June 1st, 2008 . by TexasFred

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) - For nearly two months, Texas child welfare officials had insisted conditions at a polygamist group’s ranch were so abusive that none of its members should be allowed to keep their children.

Now, however, one of the largest custody cases in U.S. history is unraveling, and some are looking for what went wrong when the state raided the Yearning For Zion Ranch and removed more than 400 children.

Since the state Supreme Court ruled that the Texas Department of Child Protective Services overreached when it swept the children into foster care, agency officials have been unwilling to discuss the case, their strategy or what went wrong.

However, some close to the debacle say the operation was doomed from the start by a series of missteps.

I honestly don’t think our officials here in Texas take a full look at things before they act sometimes, I think they fail to assess the situation and the possible negative ramifications of their actions, this is one of those times, they didn’t look at ‘the BIG picture’…

Texas has been known to go a bit overboard in some of their other enforcement policies in the past as well, Cops go to hotel bars to arrest drunk guests and then tends to fold like a cheap suit when called up on the carpet by the public, Texas stops arresting drunks in bars after public outcry

And then there was the infamous raid in Waco, The Massacre of the Branch Davidians, and while not an operation that was directly commanded by the State of Texas, it is a good example of exactly what could have happened when Texas CPS authorities and Texas DPS raided the FLDS compound had the FLDS members been violent and/or prepared to offer a serious defense of their people and property, it could have been another Waco, and another blood bath…

First is the oddity of a religious sect the agency knew little about, exacerbating the inherent perils of balancing parents’ rights and child safety. Then there were the abuse allegations, starting with a mysterious telephone call and echoed by disgruntled former members, seemingly accepted at face value.

And therein lies the problem, so far it appears that most, if not all of the under-aged girls that were supposedly molested and impregnated were actually of legal age to marry and have sex with their partners…

I realize that there are laws in place regarding polygamous marriage and if those were the violations Texas authorities were attempting to enforce they may have been well within their jurisdiction to do so, but to some it seems that the polygamous part was merely the catalyst and the children were the victims of some heavy handed law enforcement, all stemming from an anonymous phone call that seems to have come from a party that had no interest in the FLDS other than being a busy-body…

And an ill-fated 1992 brush with another religious sect - which led to the fiery deaths of 21 children at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco - still lingers on the agency’s collective conscience.

“It’s difficult to know whether, in fact, they screwed it up,” said Linda Spears, vice president of the Child Welfare League of America, a national collection of nonprofits that aid abused and neglected children. “It’s the 20/20 hindsight thing.”

I am not a Judge, and it’s probably a good thing too, because if I were, and you could show me solid proof that are children being molested, not hearsay, not some anonymous caller, but solid proof, you betcha, I’m sending in the troops, but lacking that proof, what have you got??

The folks at the FLDS are guilty of practicing a different form of religion, Koresh and the Davidians were different, they practiced a religion that was different from what is perceived to be normal and accepted religious beliefs, and they owned guns and questioned the authority of the federal government…

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. SOURCE

If being different, owning guns and questioning the government is a reason to raid my place and take me to jail, uh, hang on a minute, be right back, there’s a knock at the door…

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Texas agency under magnifying glass over sect raid

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4 Responses to “Texas agency under magnifying glass over sect raid”

  1. comment number 1 by: Bloviating Zeppelin

    Don’t even get me started on the Branch Davidians.  That was an abortion on toast from the get-go and the BATF Admin KNEW it. 

    They KNEW the raid had been compromised by a phone call and STILL allowed it to occur. 

    The ATF Admin’er who gave the final green light should be lined up against a wall and shot; he as much as killed his own four men. 

    They could have served the warrant on Koresh at a later date when he exited the compound prior to the assault, but BATF wanted to make a statement.

    I know I’m off topic, but it still irritates me to this day. 

    If only the FBI or other federal agencies put THAT MUCH energy into investigating ISLAMISTS in this country, Islamofascists preaching hate and death from mosques in this country, taking down and halting ILLEGAL INVADERS from MEXICO into this country.  .  .

    Let’s try a little test, Texas Fred — let’s say the people at the YFZ Ranch were all black — or were all Middle Eastern Muslims — what might the outcome have been then, do you think?

  2. comment number 2 by: TexasFred

    Bloviating Zeppelin, not saying anything I haven’t said for years…

    And yeah, the whole thing would have been a bloody massacre if these hadn’t been reasonably peaceable folks, but the CPS and DPS and other various and sundried agencies that went in, went in prepared for another Waco, they weren’t about to get caught with their pants down on another tactical faux pas…

    Faux pas, I love that word, it give me the freedom to say f*cked up without really saying it… :D

  3. comment number 3 by: Basti

    I said from the onset that TX screwed the pooch on this raid.  But then again that’s the way we do things in this country any more.  Someone makes some allegations about abuse of children or rape (See NC for the rape FUBAR) and the next thing you know everyone from the local cops to the FBI is all up in arms.  Never mind that there is no solid proof of anything they’ll just get a ‘friendly judge’ to sign off on the raid.Well this time the ‘friendly judges’ weren’t to be found and the TX Supreme Court would not roll over for this one.  Then typical of authorities who can’t have their way those who made the raid clam up and look for ways that will provide damage control.It’s never any more if you’re actually guilty or not.  It’s about finding some ‘friendly judge’ who will say you’re guilty so the ‘witch hunt’ can continue apace.  I don’t hold the so called ‘rule of law’ nor the American ’system of justice’ in very high regard when it never seems like law or justice is behind the actions taken.

  4. comment number 4 by: Patrick Sperry

    I can’t add anything at all to this. Before I retired though, my ambulance was sent to a home where much the same allegations were made about the parents there. Guess what? The DSS people insisted that I write my report stating that a sexual assault had occurred. What I did was note what they had said, and also that there was no physical evidence that an assault had happened, and that the patient / child denied any such thing had ever happened. Please note that Colorado law was changed some years back, and Texas was used as a model for those changes.

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