portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

Homeland security - a Thanksgiving Story

On Thanksgiving day my newphew was on his way to our home for dinner. He was stooped at a roadblock and searched along with other travelors. The people doing the search were federal marshalls...read on.

Unwarranted

My Nephew's Thanksgiving (by Ron)

We spent the Thanksgiving holiday with my sister and her son. After arriving at their house, her son told us that he had just been stopped by the police. He said that it appeared that they had set up a random roadblock and then pulled over "about ten" vehicles. The police were not pulling people over for speeding or sobriety tests. They were pulling them over for searches.

When it was time for his search, he asked the officer: "What's this all about?".

The officer replied in a very threatening tone, "We will ask the questions. Now open your trunk."

My nephew responded: "But what if I don't want to be searched?".

The officer replied: "Then you go to jail.". The officer then explained that they were "Federal Marshals". There was a strong implication that their authority superseded that of the state or local police-indeed, their authority seem to even exceed that of the Constitution. They seemed to have the power to create laws at the spur of the moment based on their own whims and prejudices. No one and no process could defy this power-these guys were above due process, beyond the need for probable cause and quite capable of ensuring that there would be no chance of appeal. These marshals were wielding more power than Saddam Hussein's palace guards.

Nonetheless, my nephew still felt that things did not smell right. So, he asked: "Don't you need a search warrant or something? I mean, is it legal for you to just flag down a car and tell the driver that he's going to be searched and that if he refuses he will go to jail?".

The officer replied: "Under Homeland Security, no search warrant is necessary.".

So, my nephew opened his trunk and emptied his pockets and watched a process which was illegal in the United States just 15 months ago (and which is still illegal in many countries). Of course, these Federal Marshals found nothing because there was nothing to find. After a very long delay, the officers finally waved him through the roadblock. Nonetheless, instead of feeling relieved after being released, my nephew was feeling a little less safe and a lot less secure in the land of the free and home of the Federal Marshals.

what state and highway ? 30.Nov.2002 13:00

?

Would it be possible to let us know what state and highway they they had the road block in? Thanks.

smells fishy 30.Nov.2002 17:15

Jennifer Garnish

This post smells fishy to me; my nephew, some unnamed road in some unnamed state in some... what the fuck; this is here to incite fear... and I never trust people who can't spell. This is The Man threatening what he will do to you, and telling you that there's nothing you can do about it... don't buy this turkey.

LA

OREGON SECEDE! 30.Nov.2002 17:33

Oregonian

You give your location as LA.

How are we supposed to trust you when you come from California? Your people have overrun our state, taken over our law enforcement (our police cheif), disrupted our tax structure (good 'ol Bill Sizemore), tried to make homosexuality a crime (Lon Mabon), disrespected our wilderness and beaches(Countless tourists, developers, and condo owners), and raised property values to the point where there is no affordable housing.

I never trust Californians

It happened in Washington State 30.Nov.2002 21:13

A friend of Ron's

I am a friend of Ron's. I got his message about this event off of an activist list and i emailed him about where it happened. He says it happened near Deming, Washington just outside Bellingham. I have received many messages from Ron over the last couple of years. I believe that this did happen to his nephew.

Today a fellow resident where I live, a Native American who often travels to British Columbia told me he was stopped this last week near the Canadian border and harrassed also. This incident near Bellingham may be the stepped up efforts of the state police and feds near the Canadian border. Whatever their reasons they are denying peoples rights (whatever rights we have left that is.)

Hope this helps.

What road, I wonder... 30.Nov.2002 21:27

Mt. Baker Highway?

I wander what road it was on. The highways near Deming, Washington are the Mt. Baker Highway, I-5,and the Valley Highway. But I-5 is closer to Bellingham than it is to Deming. It would mean different things if the checkpoint where on an interstate highway or if it was a different kind of road.

Thanks for finding out

"Homeland security" 30.Nov.2002 22:07

K.C.Roberts

Now for something to REALLY make you feel
"safe",Read the post,"Why government and medicine
should'nt mix",and check out the website!!!
We really must have a bunch of Morons in office
to pass a bunch of B.S. like this!

near the borders 01.Dec.2002 11:35

they can set up checkpoints

the story came out last week in Michigan
within so many miles of the U.S. border
(somewhere around 100 to 150) the government
can set up military checkpoints at whim

it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Additonal Info You Requested 01.Dec.2002 13:59

Uncle Ron

The state was Washington.

It was near Deming.

I did not ask my nephew which road he was stopped. I could if you want...not sure what difference it makes, though.

Best, Ron

Comments from Uncle Ron about "Unwarranted" 01.Dec.2002 14:13

Ron

One minor point: I did not post this message here on Indymedia. I posted it on another board the day after Thanksgiving and someone apparently copied it and added that first paragraph:

"On Thanksgiving day my newphew was on his way to our home for dinner. He was stooped at a roadblock and searched along with other travelors. The people doing the search were federal marshalls...read on. "

Just as a polite suggestion: if you copy someone's work, don't change it and attribute those changes to them. That can add some confusion and is just not very nice! For example, my nephew was NOT on his way to our home, he was on the way to his Mom's (my sister) and my family was headed north to Deming in Washington state to have Thanksgiving with his Mom and him.

Anyway, does add a lot of confusion if you try to change someone else's material...might have been best just to just post from "Unwarranted" forward (I did write all of that and everything from there on is accurate).

Hope that everyone here had a happier Thanksgiving than we did!

Uncle Ron