It could be argued that the agency has gone rogue. Unfortunately, that the greater system…from the judiciary to the watchdog press…enables the behavior and abuses hints rather strongly that something much more substantial is wrong with the Republic established to ensure justice and liberty for all.
I do give the The Los Angeles Times credit for bringing the story to us at this point. While it should…MUST…be read in its entirety, here are some pull quotes to get you started:
FBI misled judge who signed warrant for Beverly Hills seizure of $86 million in cash
The privacy invasion was vast when FBI agents drilled and pried their way into 1,400 safe-deposit boxes at the U.S. Private Vaults store in Beverly Hills. …
Eighteen months later, newly unsealed court documents show that the FBI and U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles got their warrant for that raid by misleading the judge who approved it.
They omitted from their warrant request a central part of the FBI’s plan: Permanent confiscation of everything inside every box containing at least $5,000 in cash or goods, a senior FBI agent recently testified.
The FBI’s justification for the dragnet forfeiture was its presumption that hundreds of unknown box holders were all storing assets somehow tied to unknown crimes, court records show. …
“The government did not know what was in those boxes, who owned them, or what, if anything, those people had done,” …
“That’s why the warrant application did not even attempt to argue there was probable cause to seize and forfeit box renters’ property.”
This is not a very positive set-up to the story for the famed FBI but I’m sure there is a perfectly good explanation. Let’s continue:
The FBI and U.S. attorney’s office denied that they misled the judge or ignored his conditions, saying they had no obligation to tell him of the plan for indiscriminate confiscations on the blanket assumption that every customer was hiding crime-tainted assets. …
The 4th Amendment protects people against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” It requires the government to get a warrant by showing in a sworn statement that it has probable cause to believe that a particular place needs to be searched and describing specific people or things to be seized. ..
In her affidavit, [FBI Agent Lynne] Zellhart made sweeping allegations of criminal wrongdoing by box holders, saying it would be “irrational” for anyone who wasn’t a lawbreaker to entrust the store with assets that a bank could better safeguard.
“Only those who wish to hide their wealth from the DEA, IRS, or creditors would” rent a box anonymously at U.S. Private Vaults, she wrote.
I’ll stop there with a simple note that this agent Lynne Zellhart and everyone in The Bureau who has ever spoken to her, communicate with her in any way, or been within ten miles of her needs to be relieved of duty and their substantial government pension immediately. To even utter such stupidity is unforgiveable, that she wasn’t ejected over the cliff immediately as if she just gave a wrong answer at the Monty Python Bridge of Death confirms much of what we already know about media and (anti-)narrative cultivation.
The Instapundit entry that linked to this story provides the unfortunate but growing list of abuses we are supposed to continue to ingnore:
● This Is Not The America I Know: Dozens of FBI Agents Raid Home of Catholic Pro-Life Activist as Children Scream in Terror.
● Whistleblower: FBI Deliberately Miscategorizing J6 Cases to Boost ‘Domestic Extremism’ Claims.
● FBI labeled veterans group “terror organization” despite knowing they weren’t.
● Biden Reportedly Pressuring FBI to ‘Cook Up’ White Supremacy Cases.
● Majority see FBI as Biden’s ‘personal Gestapo’ after Trump raid.
To repeat, this national police force now feels free to operate openly on the blanket assumption that it would be “irrational” for anyone who wasn’t a lawbreaker to do “something” so they are free to confiscate property indiscriminately, even if it means misleading a judge to do so. But, as we have seen, even those judges that attain positions as high and mighty as the FISA court don’t seem to mind being lied to. In fact, one couldn’t be faulted for now thinking that they kind of enjoy it. It is all part of the game…and makes for big laughs on the cocktail circuit.
Well, the joke is on us, until it isn’t. I’ve always been fond of Alexander Hamilton’s clarity in The Farmer Refuted. This part seems worthy of revisiting from time to time:
Hence, in this state of nature [inviolable right to personal liberty, and personal safety], no man has any moral power to deprive another of his life, limbs, property, or liberty; nor the least authority to command, or exact obedience from him; except that which arose from the ties of consanguinity.
Hence also, the origin of all civil government, justly established, must be a voluntary compact, between the rulers and the ruled; and must be liable to such limitations, as are necessary for the security of the absolute rights of the latter; for what original title can any man or set of men have, to govern others, except their own consent? To usurp dominion over a people, in their own despite, or to grasp at a more extensive power than they are willing to entrust, is to violate that law of nature, which gives every man a right to his personal liberty; and can, therefore, confer no obligation of obedience. …
When the first principles of civil society are violated, and the rights of a whole people are invaded, the common forms of municipal law are not to be regarded…In short, when human laws contradict or discountenance the means, which are necessary to preserve the essential rights of any society, they defeat the proper end of all laws, and so become null and void. – Alexander Hamilton (1775)
Voluntary compacts rarely last forever. Neither do the associated obligations of obedience. Those with all the power today seem determined to push things into some kind of endgame. How far will they push?
Interesting times indeed.
Into the abyss…
___ ___ ___
I had read The Farmer Refuted several times before reading 1775: A Good Year for Revolution by Kevin Phillips (2013). Hamilton stands alone quite well (and is entertaining to boot), but the added context of the Phillips book is worth the time and effort to read.
For what it is worth, I first used the extended quote above in a RedState post titled “Echoes of ’75…” in 2010. I think than one holds up quite well also.
2 thoughts on “Irreversibly Broken – Is Today’s FBI no Longer Compatible with American Liberty?”
The FBI Robs a Bank
“The FBI’s take amounted to some $86 million dollars. When some of the depositors asked for their possessions back, the FBI threatened to charge them with crimes. Most people gave up rather than spend tens of thousands of dollars and fighting in court for years to get their stuff back. David French calls spending tens of thousands of dollars in court to have your rights returned a “blessing of liberty.” I call it Gangster Government.”
FBI SWAT: The Most Miserable Job
“Why use an FBI SWAT team? This is becoming the preferred method of the Left.
“It is intimidation, pure and simple. It is dangerous, and the government is way to overconfident about their ability to manage the reaction to a Ruby Ridge or Waco-style blunder. No doubt Ceaușescu felt similarly confident up to the moment he didn’t.
“Pray the Left comes to its senses before the Right loses its mind.”