The time has come to reform the FBI
Friday mornings are usually the cheeriest time of the week, just hours away from the weekend. Alas for pro-life advocate Mark Houck and his family, last Friday was anything but joyous. At 7 A.M., the father of seven was awakened by a SWAT team of heavily armed FBI agents.
Mark's wife, Ryan-Marie, said she pleaded with the FBI agents to be calm, owing to the presence of the couple's seven young children. Alas, those pleas fell on deaf ears. Ryan-Marie recounts the raid as follows:
A "SWAT team of about 25 came to my house with about 15 vehicles and started pounding on our door."
"They said they were going to break in if he didn't open it. And then they had about five guns pointed at my husband, myself, and basically at my kids[.]"
The "kids were screaming. It was all just very scary and traumatic."
The FBI agents said they were there to arrest Mark.
When Ryan-Marie asked for their warrant, "they said that they were going to take him whether they had a warrant or not." When Ryan-Marie protested, saying, "You can't just come to a person's house and kidnap them at gunpoint," the FBI agreed to get the warrant from one of their vehicles.
Mark asked her to get him his sweatshirt and rosaries, but after she returned, they already had loaded him into a vehicle. They provided Ryan-Marie with the first page of the warrant and said they were taking Mark to "the federal building in downtown Philadelphia."
So what was Mark's crime that merited an emergency raid and arrest by armed FBI agents?
Was he plotting a terror attack or assassination on U.S. soil later that day?
Was he preparing to flee to a country that doesn't have an extradition treaty with the U.S. after committing a heinous crime?
Was he a serial killer who was on the prowl for his next potential victim?
Was he in possession of weapons of mass destruction?
As the Iron Lady Thatcher once said: "No. No. No."
Federal court documents revealed that Mark was arrested on the charge that on two occasions, he assaulted a 72-year-old volunteer at the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Philadelphia. The incident occurred on Oct. 13, 2021, almost a year ago. If the matter was of such urgency and importance, why did they not act sooner?
Ryan-Marie said the district court in Philadelphia investigated and dismissed the charge earlier this year.
Ryan-Marie says Mark often spoke outside abortion clinics and occasionally took their 12-year-old son along. On one occasion, a man "came into [the son's] personal space," prompting Mark, in a bid to protect his son, to have "shoved him away." She said the man suffered no injuries, yet he tried to sue Mark. His case was thrown out, according to Houck's lawyer, because he repeatedly failed to show up in court.
After his Friday arrest, Mark appeared before the U.S. Eastern District Court in Pennsylvania. The Eastern District of Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney's Office wrote in its Friday press release that Mark was indicted for violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which "makes it a federal crime to use force with the intent to injure, intimidate, and interfere with anyone because that person is a provider of reproductive health care."
Authorities released Houck later that day, but he now faces felony charges. If convicted, Houck could have up to an 11-year prison sentence and fines of up to $350,000.
A GiveSendGo campaign for the Houck family has raised over $128,000.
Since Joe Biden was inaugurated as president, his Department of Justice and the FBI have targeted Trump-supporters, conservatives, and pro-lifers.
- The DOJ charged social media influencer Douglass Mackey with interference during the 2016 presidential election.
- The FBI seized the cell phones and computers belonging to Trump's former lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, despite not charging them.
- Parents who opposed the Critical Race Theory being taught in school were labeled domestic terrorists.
- The FBI raided the homes of personnel associated with Project Veritas, including the organization's founder, James O'Keefe. Veritas had reported on a diary written by Joe Biden's daughter, Ashley, in which she revealed that Biden behaved inappropriately with her.
- The DOJ arrested former Trump adviser and Democrat critic Steve Bannon for refusing to cooperate with the January 6 probe.
- Trump trade aide Peter Navarro was arrested at Washington's Reagan National Airport and placed in leg irons.
- The FBI also arrested a leading Republican candidate for governor of Michigan, Ryan Kelley, for participating in the January 6 protests.
- The FBI seized the phone of former Trump attorney John Eastman in a parking lot. Eastman wasn't even presented with a warrant.
- The FBI searched the home of former Trump DOJ official Jeff Clark, claiming that Clark had a role in the "insurrection."
- The Biden administration has also targeted the January 6 protesters. Some were placed in solitary confinement for prolonged periods of time. One was tormented to the extent that he was driven to suicide.
- Finally, the FBI conducted an unprecedented raid on President Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.
In contrast, BLM rioters who caused considerable damage to property and lives across cities in 2020 faced little or no legal ramifications. The same is true for thugs who vandalized churches and pregnancy centers and hoodlums who tossed a Molotov cocktail into pro-life offices. The FBI doesn't seem concerned about the Supreme Court leaker who compromised the integrity of the highest court in the nation.
The FBI is functioning like secret police in a totalitarian state.
It is customary for such secret police to target dissenters with surveillance and unannounced raids. Prolonged detention without a reason is common with habeas corpus rights violated. The media function as stenographers for the state. The law is enforced selectively — dissenters are punished for the pettiest of infractions, while serious crimes of loyalists are ignored. There are classified dossiers on persons of importance. Those who dare to challenge the status quo are reminded of their past indiscretions or secrets or crimes.
Effectively, political opposition is outlawed. This is exactly what FBI is doing.
The secret police have no place in one of the world's leading democracies.
It is therefore essential that the GOP lead an initiative to reform the FBI. This begins by dismantling the leadership and the bureaucratic organizational structure within these agencies. Rogue agents, irrespective of their position, must be summarily dismissed. All security clearances must be reviewed and access of rogue agents revoked. All their cases, particularly recent ones, must be probed, and perhaps a special counsel should be appointed. Transfers must be mandatory after a specific number of years in a department. An audit of all their finances should be conducted. Stronger laws must be passed to protect whistleblowers.
The swamp won't go quietly, obviously.
Dissenters will be threatened with secret dossiers and targeted with raids, confiscations, and arrests. The media will peddle paranoia and cheer this resistance to reform.
Reform will take a herculean and persistent effort.
But it will be worth it.
The FBI is America's foremost law enforcement agency that protects citizens from criminals and terrorists. In a democracy, the FBI is obliged to operate while guarding and respecting the rights of citizens.
It has to be remembered that liberty and security are not mutually exclusive.
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