Wednesday, June 08, 2011

A pretty good reason to stay away from government loans

A man in Stockton, California recently had a SWAT team visit (corrected link thanks to the Muckraker) his home (H/T Say Anything) because his estranged wife (who of course was not even there) was delinquent on her student loans.  It appears that neither the man nor his wife had any criminal record, nor was there any indication that either the wife or the husband posed any risk to investigating police.

At the risk of presuming the Northern Muckraker's right to anoint officers as "Jack Booted Thugs of the Week," I think these guys are at least strong contenders.  The really sad, or hilarious, thing about this is that the cost of sending a SWAT team probably exceeds the amount of debt that the Department of Education was hoping to recover from the man's estranged wife, and the total damage inflicted means that you, the taxpayer, will suffer a net loss from this operation no matter what happens.  If the Gestapo Department of Education does not come clean on what happened quickly, I'm guessing that the gentleman will be asking for far more than just a new door, and rightly so.  You, the taxpayer, will of course take it in the shorts while the bureaucrats responsible will get a promotion.

So if you've got any doubt on the consequences of taking government loans to go to school, or for other purposes, there you go.

Update: apparently the DoEd is claiming that it's for an unspecified investigation, not for delinquent student loans, but does not specify for what it would be.  Since the 4th Amendment requires a "reasonable" justification, they're still violating basic rules of search and seizure.  However, they do specify that it could be for "bribery, embezzlement, or embezzlement of federal student aid funds."

I'm not quite sure that this justifies a no-knock SWAT raid, though.  Wasn't this tactic supposed to be for cases where (a) the evidence could be easily flushed down the toilet and (b) there is reasonable suspicion that the lives of police officers would be endangered with a standard way of serving the warrant?

Here is another link from the UK, where the Obama Geheime-Zeitungs-Polizei does not seem to have its proper authority yet. 


Terry @ Breathing Grace said...

You know, Bubba, my husbnad and I were just discussing this story on the phone about an hour ago.

When both of us went online looking for it (me here and him at work), we suddenly found it impossible to find in detail anywhere. I don't even the link you have here will take me to the story.

Big Brother?

Douglas Hester said...

Your link is dead. Here's one that works:

Bike Bubba said...

I'm calling it the Geheime-Zeitungs-Polizei, as what DC is doing seems to "work better in the original German." Thanks for the notes, and updated.