When Local Authorities Drop The Ball

You may remember the August 5th news story about the eleven children and five grown-ups living in squalor in a New Mexican compound where the children were allegedly being trained to commit terrorist acts. On August 29th, District Judge Emilio Chavez dismissed charges against three of the adults arrested at the compound. Townhall reported, “Charges dismissed against all five defendants due to 10-day rule regarding presenting evidence during preliminary hearings. Judge torched the district attorneys office for their incompetence, wonders if the office is overworked.” Well, it’s not over yet.

Yesterday Fox News reported that all five New Mexico compound suspects were indicted by a federal grand jury on Tuesday on firearms and conspiracy charges.

The article reports:

The indictment charged the suspects –- Jany Leveille, 35, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, Hujrah Wahhaj, 37, Subhanah Wahhaj, 35, and Lucas Morton, 40 – “with conspiring knowingly to provide an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States, possession of firearms and ammunition,” a news release from the District of New Mexico’s U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Leveille, a Haitian national who was in the U.S. illegally, was also accused of possession of firearms and ammunition, the news release said.

The defendants are accused of conspiring to get Leveille firearms and ammunition from at least November 2017 through August, the news release said, in addition to moving firearms and ammunition in December 2017 from across Georgia to New Mexico.

“The indictment further alleges that, between December 2017 and August 2018, the defendants established a training camp and firing range in Taos County, where they stored firearms and ammunition and engaged in firearms and tactical training as part of their common plan to prepare for violent attacks on government, military, educational, and financial institutions,” the news release said.

That is good news. The article reports that all five suspects are due back in court in New Mexico on Wednesday afternoon. Let’s hope they show up.

We Need To Know Who Made The Decision To Bulldoze The Compound

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the investigation into the Muslim compound in New Mexico where children were being trained as jihadists. The judge involved in the trial of the adults in the case let them out on signature bond. They have ankle bracelets and supposedly will be monitored, but their bail was essentially a signature. Would an American charged with multiple counts of child abuse have gotten off so easily? But then things got even stranger…

The article reports:

The story of the jihadist training compound in New Mexico takes yet another weird turn today, as federal authorities removed the partially buried trailer, bulldozed a portion of the compound in the process, and yet left key evidence including: ammunition, a bullet proof vest, birth certificates and notebooks, laying around.

…The property owner and even local media covering the story are perplexed by the sketchy and haphazard investigative activity of federal authorities charged with investigating the events.  This follows earlier local reports of the feds clearing the compound, only to have the property owner discover tunnels, weapons and ammunition overlooked by the FBI.

…Local media are struggling to present an appropriate context for ongoing events, as the local courts have released the terrorist suspects without bail.

In releasing the suspects: where does the judge think they are going to live considering their previous residence was the illegal terrorist training compound?

The entire story is beyond sketchy, and unfortunately when things get this sketchy in the investigative process we are reminded of the fingerprints of the DOJ-CRS (Dept. of Justice, Community Relations Service).  The CRS is a secret institution within the DOJ Civil Rights Division consisting of very-far-left activists who are allowed to reach into the judiciary and justice system and essentially take over.

Stay tuned. I suspect there will be more on this story when the defendants disappear.

Our Justice System Is Skewed

The New York Post posted an article today about the trial of the suspects who were running the compound in New Mexico where neglected children were found. I posted an article detailing the discovery of the compound on August 9 (story here).

This is today’s update on the story:

A New Mexico judge granted bail Monday to five suspects — one the son of a controversial Brooklyn imam — who were accused of keeping kids in a filthy, heavily fortified compound.

Three women and two men, ages 35 to 40, will wear ankle monitors and be under house arrest if they can post $20,000 bond each, the judge ruled in Taos.

Deputy District Attorney Timothy Hasson told the court that the suspects were up to no good, saying, “This was not a camping trip and this was not a simple homestead of the kind that many people do in New Mexico.”

One of the suspects, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, is the son of Brooklyn cleric Siraj Wahhaj, who has been linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

We let these people out on bail and we put Paul Manafort in solitary confinement because of tax evasion??? I think we have a problem in our justice system.

The Major Media Did Tell You Part Of The Story

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about a story that has recently been in the news.The media has been reporting that Siraj Ibn Wahhaj was training children to commit school shootings at a compound in New Mexico. The compound housed eleven hungry children in deplorable conditions.

The article includes the Associated Press report:

The father of a missing Georgia boy was training children at a New Mexico compound to commit school shootings, prosecutors said in court documents obtained Wednesday.

The documents say Siraj Ibn Wahhaj was conducting weapons training with assault rifles at the compound near the Colorado border where 11 hungry children were found in filthy conditions.

The article also includes The Daily Caller report which actually tells the readers what is going on:

The son of a prominent Brooklyn-based imam was training children at a New Mexico compound to commit schools shootings, prosecutors said in court documents released Wednesday.

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 39, was training 11 children at a compound north of Taos, New Mexico, according to The Associated Press. Authorities raided the compound Friday and arrested Wahhaj, two of his siblings and two other men during a search for Wahhaj’s son, who had been abducted from Georgia late in 2017.
***
Residents in Amalia, New Mexico, near the Colorado border, had complained for months about the squalid conditions of the makeshift compound before Friday’s raid, according to news reports. Authorities recovered multiple firearms as well as an AR-15.
***
Wahhaj’s father, also named Siraj, is a controversial cleric with close ties to Muslim rights groups like the Islamic Circle of North American, the Muslim American Society and the Center for American Islamic Relations. The elder Wahhaj was also an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing case. He was a character witness for Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called “Blind Sheikh.”

I suspect at least some members of the major media have children in school. Shouldn’t they at least be concerned for the safety of their own children? Keeping Americans in ignorance of the threat of Islamic supremacists does not help keep Americans safe.

Reining In An Out Of Control Government

Civil asset forfeiture has become a problem in America in recent years. I have written about a number of cases of forfeiture in recent years. Two of these stories are here and hereHot Air posted an article today citing what Florida has decided to do about this government abuse of power.

The article at Hot Air reports:

Some great news in asset forfeiture reform is coming out of Florida. S.B. 1044, approved by the legislature earlier in the month, was signed into law today by Gov. Rick Scott.

The big deal with this particular reform is that, in most cases, Florida police will actually have to arrest and charge a person with a crime before attempting to seize and keep their money and property under the state’s asset forfeiture laws. One of the major ways asset forfeiture gets abused is that it is frequently a “civil”, not criminal, process where police and prosecutors are able to take property without even charging somebody with a crime, let alone convicting them. This is how police are, for example, able to snatch cash from cars they’ve pulled over and claim they suspect the money was going to be used for drug trafficking without actually finding any drugs.

The civil asset forfeiture law was put into effect to allow municipalities to sell off the assets of criminals and use the money for municipal purposes. In order to trace drug money, a law was passed that any cash deposit of $10,000 or more had to be documented by the bank involved. This law was abused and used against small businesses that generally made cash deposits of less than $10,000. They were accused of making the small deposits to avoid the law, and their bank accounts were seized. A number of small businesses were forced out of business by these actions. Aside from the fact that that this is simply government overreach, it is also a violation of the Sixth Amendment.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Montana and New Mexico have already passed laws to curb the abuse of civil asset forfeiture laws. We need this trend to continue.

I Never Thought Of Toxic Waste Spills As Ironic, But…

Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line today about the massive spill of toxic mine tailings into the Animas River in Colorado. The EPA estimates over 1 million gallons of mining waste was dumped into the river. This sounds like an obvious example of a careless big corporation only interested in profits–only it isn’t.

The article reports:

The wastewater released contains heavy metals including lead, arsenic, cadmium, and aluminum, Ostrander said. The EPA is preparing a plan to sample private water wells along the Animas River valley to test for contamination, including mercury contamination, he said. . .

By Friday morning, the plume of orange had made its way downstream and was eight miles from the northern border of New Mexico, the EPA said in an emailed statement.

I’m sure the EPA will be very quick to fine the guilty party, or will they?

The article reports:

The EPA says it was using heavy machinery to investigate pollutants at the Gold King Mine on Wednesday morning when it accidentally released an estimated 1 million gallons of mining waste into a creek.

Whoops.

Civil Forfeiture Has Met Its Match (At Least In Montana And New Mexico)

I have written a number of articles citing cases of civil forfeiture in various states. Generally speaking these are situations where property was taken from Americans without regard to their Constitutional rights. If you type civil forfeiture into the search engine on this site, you can read the various articles. One example was posted in November of last year.

Some states have decided that they are going to protect the property rights of their citizens. Montana and New Mexico have recently passed laws doing that.

Forbes Magazine posted an article on its website today stating:

Earlier this year, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock signed a law that requires the government to first obtain a criminal conviction before taking and keeping someone’s property through civil forfeiture.  This legislation also shifts the burden of proof onto the government—where it belongs—when spouses, neighbors and other innocent owners try to get back property used by a suspect without their knowledge. Montana’s civil forfeiture reforms are vital to restore due process and protect the property rights of the innocent.

New Mexico went even further and abolished civil forfeiture outright. As in Montana, law enforcement can only forfeit property after a criminal conviction. Crucially, this new law requires that all forfeiture money be deposited in the general fund, preventing it from becoming a police slush fund. Without a single vote cast against it, Gov. Susana Martinez (and a former prosecutor) signed this landmark reform on April 10.

The increase in civil forfeiture cases in recent years is related to the fact that money and property seized can be kept by the police and prosecutors in the civil forfeiture cases.

The article reports:

Speaking at a forfeiture conference, Pete Connelly, then the city attorney for Las Cruces, New Mexico, called civil forfeiture “a gold mine,” and told attendees, “We could be czars. We could own the city.”

…First, lawmakers must remove the profit incentive behind civil forfeiture. Allowing police and prosecutors to keep what they seize has enriched law enforcement at the cost of Americans’ constitutional rights. Since 1985, the Justice Department’s Asset Forfeiture Fund has grown from $27 million to over $2 billion in 2013. Nationwide, more than 500 police departments and task forces have seized the equivalent of 20 percent or more of their yearly budgets. To end this appalling incentive to police for profit, legislators should direct all forfeiture proceeds either to the general fund or to a specified neutral fund, like education.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It shows what can happen when the Constitution is not followed and the average citizen is not paying enough attention to realize what is happening.

Thank you, Montana and New Mexico, for taking the lead on this.

Sometimes Facts Are Simply Inconvenient

Yesterday the Washington Post published the following chart:

Obamatons

The graph was also posted at Power Line by Scott Johnson. So what is the value of this graph?

The article at Power Line reports:

On two occasions this campaign season, against all the odds, President Obama has said something useful and, even more improbably, something true. On those occasions he advertised the fact that the Democratic Senate candidates running for election or reelection in states such as Colorado, New Hampshire, Louisiana, Alaska, North Carolina, and Arkansas are in the bag for him. When their vote is needed, Obama can count on it, and when they tell the voters of their states they wake up every day thinking how best they can protect their interests, as Jeanne Shaheen did last night in her debate with Scott Brown, they are playing the voters for chumps. 

The article at Power Line also includes the following footnote:

FOOTNOTE: The layers of fact checkers and editors at the Post apparently failed to observe that the Colorado Senator’s first name is Mark, not Tom (who is Mark’s first cousin and the Senator from New Mexico). Tom Udall is not to be confused with Mark Udall. Tom Udall only votes with Obama 94 percent of the time.

The current Democrat party does not allow for voting independence on the part of its elected officials–they are required to follow the party line. If we want a Congress that represents the people it is supposed to represent, we need to change our voting habits.

Hollywood Gets Rewarded For Its Support Of President Obama

Money talks. I hate to be cynical, but money talks. Breitbart.com reported yesterday that the production tax incentives favorable to the domestic entertainment industry enacted by Congress in 2004, extended in 2008 and scheduled to expire in 2011, have been extended through 2013. The bill passed to avoid the fiscal cliff increases taxes on 77 percent of Americans, but Hollywood gets a tax break.

The article reports:

The original tax incentive applied to productions costing less than $15 million to make ($20 million in low-income areas). The 2008 extension applies to all films, up to a deduction of $15 million (or $20 million in low-income areas). The incentive is especially generous to television series; it applies to each TV episode.

Hollywood players routinely beg the government to raise their taxes so they can pay their “fair share.” 

Yet the industry moves new productions to places where existing tax breaks help its bottom line. That means plenty of shows and films are shot in states like New Mexico, which feature highly favorable tax rates, as well as destinations north of the border with similar perks.

It really is time to find some honest legislators to redo the tax code. I believe that there are a few men of principle in our government; unfortunately there are too few of them to accomplish what needs to be done.