April 20, 2015

“HANDS UP, DON’T SHOOT!”:   But it’s not your stereotypical white-officer-in-minority-neighborhood situation, where we are admonished by the political left that “Black Lives Matter.”  Instead, it’s in America’s Heartland, Wisconsin.  And the targets are–gasp!–conservatives who supported modification of Wisconsin’s collective bargaining rules for public employees.  In this terrific new piece at National Review Online, David French breaks down the shocking excessive force used against conservative targets of the so-called “John Doe” investigation.  In the words of one target, “Anne”:

“It’s a matter of life or death.”

That was the first thought of “Anne” (not her real name). Someone was pounding at her front door. It was early in the morning — very early — and it was the kind of heavy pounding that meant someone was either fleeing from — or bringing — trouble.

“It was so hard. I’d never heard anything like it. I thought someone was dying outside.”

She ran to the door, opened it, and then chaos. “People came pouring in. For a second I thought it was a home invasion. It was terrifying. They were yelling and running, into every room in the house. One of the men was in my face, yelling at me over and over and over.”

It was indeed a home invasion, but the people who were pouring in were Wisconsin law-enforcement officers. Armed, uniformed police swarmed into the house. Plainclothes investigators cornered her and her newly awakened family. Soon, state officials were seizing the family’s personal property, including each person’s computer and smartphone, filled with the most intimate family information.

Why were the police at Anne’s home? She had no answers. The police were treating them the way they’d seen police treat drug dealers on television.

In fact, TV or movies were their only points of reference, because they weren’t criminals. They were law-abiding. They didn’t buy or sell drugs. They weren’t violent. They weren’t a danger to anyone. Yet there were cops — surrounding their house on the outside, swarming the house on the inside. They even taunted the family as if they were mere “perps.”

As if the home invasion, the appropriation of private property, and the verbal abuse weren’t enough, next came ominous warnings.

Don’t call your lawyer.

Don’t tell anyone about this raid. Not even your mother, your father, or your closest friends.

The entire neighborhood could see the police around their house, but they had to remain silent. This was not the “right to remain silent” as uttered by every cop on every legal drama on television — the right against self-incrimination. They couldn’t mount a public defense if they wanted — or even offer an explanation to family and friends.

Yet no one in this family was a “perp.” Instead, like Cindy, they were American citizens guilty of nothing more than exercising their First Amendment rights to support Act 10 and other conservative causes in Wisconsin. Sitting there shocked and terrified, this citizen — who is still too intimidated to speak on the record — kept thinking, “Is this America?”

Sadly, it is America, as controlled by a liberal/progressive agenda that inanely believes that conservatives who “coordinate” their political messages are somehow subverting the democratic process (rather than actually furthering it).

These secretive “John Doe” proceedings in Wisconsin are but a page in the progressives’ political playbook, evidenced by IRS targeting of tea party and other conservative groups, pressure on A&E to suspend Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson for making politically incorrect comments, and Rep. Raul Grijalva’s letter to 7 university presidents outing professors who dared to question global warming climate change (just to name a few): Harass conservatives; make it hard for them to raise money/make a living; get the media onboard to paint them as “shady,” subversive or dangerously ignorant; and tie them up with legal fees and lawsuits, with the goal of marginalizing and silencing them.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is considering arguments in the case via papers only, to decide whether the secret prosecutions should be halted under Wisconsin law.  Oral arguments were cancelled to protect the identities of the targets.  Frankly, it’s shocking that it’s taken over 5 years to get consideration from the Wisconsin Supreme Court–5 years of abuse of free speech and association rights is too much.

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