Monday, August 6, 2012

Cows a Threat to Homeland Security

I knew cows were a threat to our very existence. Well, at least according to the fringe Greens their flatulence is, but I never knew they would require the department of Homeland Security to track some down.

Here is one of those stories that just has to be blogged about; if you are a certain type of blogger.

I'm not sure what type of coverage this has been getting in the media; but my guess is none.

The Basics: An Individual Sovereignest owns 3000 acres near Lakota, North Dakota. some cows wander onto his property, and he refuses to return them, and allegedly runs the cops off at gun point. So they call in the nearest SWAT Team- from Grand Forks, some 60 miles away- who, with a warrant, asks the Department of Homeland Security to spy on the farm with a drone. They locate our hero/villain with the drone and bust in and arrest him. 

There is so much going on here that is not explained in the stories I have read. First; whose cows were they? Why did Rodney Brossart think he should be able to keep the cows? These two points alone would put a whole different spin on the case. Was this the first time or the fortieth that these cows have wandered on to his place? Did these cows possibly damage some crops or fencing that their owner was refusing to pay for? How many times were the cows owners warned to fix their fence and keep their livestock at home?

Or, did the law just show up one day, looking for some missing cows, and invited themselves, without a warrant, to look around Brossart's farm for them, and our hero/villain then had to resort to firearms to run the cops off his land? Do you see how this situation, well within the given fact pattern, makes the outcome look completely different? And we haven't even gotten to the drone use yet.

There is a whole lot more than going on here than is being talked about.

6 missing cows. Worth, what? $1,000-$1,500 each on the hoof? Say all 6 are worth $10,000. So this brings in the law. I can see it; for 10 grand. But again; what is the back story? Assume this is the first time they have wandered, assume the neighbor has asked for them to be returned, politely, and has been rebuffed with undue force. So he calls the law. So far in this scenario, our hero is a villain.

But, does anybody see a need for a SWAT Team and a Homeland Security drone? Let's say there was enough firepower on the farm to outgun the local police department. Back up, reinforcements maybe. But a SWAT Team? From outside the county?

Okay; lets assume the SWAT Team was necessary. Our villain has a history of attacks on police, or of just not playing well with others. Why is Homeland Security involved? Against an American Citizen, on his own land?

I'm sorry, this does not pass the smell test for me. There is more going on than is being reported on.

I also cannot condone the use of a Federal asset for enforcement of, at best, a very local issue. According to the article:

The SWAT team stormed in and arrested Brossart on charges of terrorizing a sheriff, theft, criminal mischief, and other charges, according to documents.

Which of these crimes is even a Federal crime, much less one Homeland Security should be involved in?

Personally, I believe like the expert quoted in the article:

While there's no precedent for the use of unmanned drones by law enforcement, John Villasenor, an expert on information gathering and drone use with the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution, says he'd be "floored" if the court throws the case out. Using a drone is no different than using a helicopter, he says.

I agree; the use of a drone is no different that the use of a helicopter. And if they had used a Homeland Security helicopter, instead of one owned by a local police force, I would still be concerned. It's not the equipment that is the problem; it's who owns the equipment that is twisting my knickers.

The drone did not - according to the article- find any evidence or help in the development of the charges against Mr. Brossart. All it did was locate him for a quick arrest, on local charges.

Explain to me how these 6 missing cows were a threat to the existence and safety of the country, and I'll change my mind. But for now, I think we have a NoDak hero, not a villain.

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