Over the last two years, WTMJ AM talk show host Charlie Sykes has been covering a story that, if it had occurred twenty years earlier, would have been written off as conspiracy theory material. However, with the release of “evidence” seized during the debunked John Doe investigation of then-Milwaukee County Executive, and now-Governor Scott Walker a few months ago by Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisolm, and a recent column in National Review detailing the aftermath that continues to haunt the political targets of this investigation, the blatant abuse of citizens’ constitutional rights via a law that screams “I’m unconstitutional,” has set a precedent for future abuses.
In its simplest form, Wisconsin’s John Doe law allows prosecutors to obtain warrants to search and seize personal property from citizens, without telling them the nature of the investigation, or allowing that person to talk about the raid with an attorney. In other words, citizens who are targeted by such an investigation are not allowed to defend themselves.
As a victim of a “John Doe” type law, how is it possible to question the constitutionality/ legitimacy of that law, when, according to that law, you cannot acknowledge its existence?
After reading the victims’ stories that are in the National Review column, try to imagine yourself in their shoes, especially if you have children.
Imagine telling your children that if they are in trouble, look for a police officer, since the police are there to protect everyone. And your children believe you.
Now, imagine hearing pounding on your front door, followed by the sound of that door being forced open. Your house is not only surrounded by law enforcement personnel, but they are inside your home. While trying to comprehend what is going on, you are ordered to sit down in a chair, or on a couch; you are unable to comfort your children, who are frightened as a result of the “good guys” invading your home, and violating your family’s privacy.
You have to worry about the possibility of your dog being shot. Although inconsequential at the moment, your neighbors cannot avoid what is happening at your home.
As your personal belongings are being ransacked – some being removed from your home – you are not allowed to know why you and your family have to endure this humiliation. As computers and cell phones are being confiscated, possibly containing homework, personal pictures and letters, and even information that is necessary for your job, your paycheck, you are told not to call a lawyer, or the press, or even family. You are also told that you have no legal recourse.
All of this happened because you either gave money to the “wrong” politician’s campaign fund, or you are a member of, or support an organization that did.
Once this is over, and you have a broken-down door and ransacked house, how do you help your children overcome a potential lifetime of fear? Fear of no right to privacy, and fear of police officers.
As someone who had grown up around many officers who felt a sincere need to not only help others, but to also uphold and defend the Constitution, there is no way that my experiences could help victims of such abuse overcome their new distrust of law enforcement personnel. And given the brutal nature of such an intrusive interaction with police officers, it is impossible to blame them.
Members of the Armed Forces are told that if they are given an order that violates the U.S. Constitution, or the Geneva Convention, they have an obligation to not obey that order. Police officers who uphold the law are bound to uphold and defend the Constitution as well.
When ordered to conduct such raids, are law enforcement officers informed about the nature of what they are told to do? Or, are they given generic marching orders?
Such a horrific abuse of power leaves a lifetime of psychological scars behind. From the children who may spend the rest of their lives living in distrust and insecurity, to the parents who may never again stand up for their political, or even religious beliefs out of fear for the safety of their children and spouses, to the humiliation of being transformed into a public spectacle, every future decision is subject to repeated second-guessing.
As for the politician(s) and bureaucrat(s) who is/are responsible for this legal reign of terror, he or she would not engage in such tactics without a belief that the end justifies the means; the damage to the children, and the reputation of law enforcement was necessary in the name of a greater good.
Despite enduring public humiliation and psychological damage, the victims of this abuse of power have disproved a false stereotype that the left has been trying to project onto conservatives.
Did any of the targets of this pseudo-investigation respond to the violation of their homes by using weapons, such as knives or firearms, against the law enforcement personnel who had used force to enter their homes? After all, progressives claim that conservatives will use deadly force against government officials, either with or without provocation; such people “cling to their God and guns.”
And if any act of government-sponsored provocation would elicit a violent response from a conservative, the abusive actions of John Chisolm’s office, according to progressives, should have resulted in a violent and potentially-deadly response.
Instead, there were no acts of violent retaliation. No slashed tires on government vehicles, no Molotov cocktails thrown into government buildings, and no police cars rigged to explode when an officer tried to press the brake pedal. Instead, these courses of action, plus others, were exercised by sixties-era American leftists; radicals who are now revered in a kind of socialist sainthood by many of the most high-profile Democrats in every level of American government and education.
Now, compare the mentality of people who believe in such ruthless tactics to the passive mentality of Republican; not conservative politicians/candidates.
All of the post-Ronald Reagan presidential candidates talked about running “civilized” campaigns. From the kinder, gentler George H.W. Bush, to Mitt Romney, the guy who didn’t want to challenge Barack Obama on several important issues, the passive nature of those people did not influence their challengers to return their sappy courtesy. In fact, such ignorance and denial of the aggressive nature of progressives only perpetuates the abuse of the rights of Americans at the hands of the left.
In the sixties, progressive radicals engaged in violence against authority to advance their cause. Today, those same people, plus their younger followers, have found that perversion and abuse of the law, administered by the authority figures that they hold in contempt, is a tidier way to advance that cause; with the damage being confined to the reputation of legitimate law enforcement, and the minds of the children of parents who dare vote for the “wrong” candidate.