March 28, 2010

FBI Arrests Seven in Bomb-Making Raids

The media and blogosphere have been all over the map on this one. Last night federal agents conducted raids in three states, apparently targeting a small end-times religious cult called the Hutaree. According to Fox News, the raids were carried out to arrest those suspected of manufacturing and selling pipe bombs. If true, then yeah, arresting those involved was a good idea.

I'm just glad the raids were executed without anyone targeted being killed.

Federal law enforcement has a rather dismal record (to put it mildly) of botching raids on armed religious cults, and timing the raid during the current political crisis means that any gunplay could have caused the militia-saturated region to quickly escalate into bloody skirmishing between militiamen and federal authorities. It was a bad tactical decision, that could have ended badly for everyone.

I question the wisdom of using such heavy forces (including armored vehicles and helicopters according to witness reports), when light, fast and quiet raids would have been at least as effective.

More than the timing, I question the leadership.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at March 28, 2010 04:50 PM

So, to heck with Posse Comitas????

Posted by: TimothyJ at March 28, 2010 05:19 PM

Maybe the timing was intentional.

Posted by: Brad at March 28, 2010 10:21 PM

You know, I've often kind of reconsidered Posse Comitatus. As it is I think the fed SWAT teams that have sprouted like mushrooms are more about people who want to play war then anything else. For cases where a hard core violent group who's actually hurting people in a direct fashion is holed up in some compound, I'm much more comfortable with calling in Delta with rubber bullets or a SEAL team operating with TASERs then I am calling a bunch of feddies who joined the SWAT team because it lets them play with cool toys instead of doing actual police work. They often seem to have military grade hardware without the code of military discipline and training. Look at Waco...they gave feds who could barely qualify on the pistol range SMGs and helicopter gunships and tanks. I'm much more comfortable sending in military forces with less then lethal weaponry then I am giving poorly trained "LEOs" military grade hardware.

From the civil liberties standpoint, I think I trust the Marines to enforce a warrant without evidence tampering or excessive force, or at least I trust them a lot more then ATF. I don't know, at this point it seems that fear of military forces being used in a paramilitary role being a gateway to abuse and excess is kind of dated. The solution was much, much worse then the problem.

Posted by: Britt at March 28, 2010 10:56 PM

You almost get the feeling that "law enforcement" or at least their leaders were hoping for more resistance.

Posted by: Neo at March 28, 2010 11:04 PM

CY - Are you sure the raids were for selling pipe bombs and not for banging into cars with Obama bumper stickers?

Posted by: daleyrocks at March 29, 2010 01:02 AM

This administration wants to provoke the right. Some of my friends think this is how O will justify Martial Law.

Posted by: Kitty at March 29, 2010 07:27 AM