On June 14th I received an email for a Department of Education representative with the following message,
I'd like to note, in particular, that the search was not carried out by a SWAT team, nor does the Department own or operate a SWAT team. The use of this term is incorrect and carries embellished connotations. Your comments ("The US Department of Education sent a SWAT Team," and "Federally directed SWAT troopers") convey a violent and police-like image of the Department. Not only is this untrue, it severely undermines the work we actually do here; the work that was so readily pushed aside in favor of a fabricated story from a local news team. We would appreciate it if you updated your post, as it is factually incorrect, and misleading to your readers.
plus a link to this statement from the Dept. of Education:
OIG Statement on Execution of Search Warrant in Stockton, California On June 7, 2011
On June 7, U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General (OIG) special agents executed a search warrant at a Stockton, California residence. The warrant was authorized by a Federal Magistrate Judge.
Reports by the media that the search was related to a defaulted student loan are wrong. The OIG does not engage in the collection of late student loan payments. The OIG conducts criminal investigations of fraud, bribery, embezzlement, and other criminal activity involving the Department of Education.
Before we execute a search warrant, OIG always assesses the risk involved so that we can ensure the safety of the officers involved, the occupants of the property, and the general public. We look at a number of factors, such as the persons known to occupy or frequent the location and whether they have any criminal or violent histories.
The reasons for our search warrant are currently under seal by the court and cannot be discussed publicly. Also, to protect the integrity of the investigatory process and the privacy of any individuals associated with an investigation, OIG does not discuss details of its ongoing criminal investigations.
Additional Information on OIG
OIG is the law enforcement arm of the Department of Education and is responsible for the detection and prevention of waste, fraud, abuse, and criminal activity involving Department funds, programs, and operations. We conduct independent audits, investigations, inspections, and other reviews. We make recommendations to the Department to address systemic weaknesses and take administrative action. We also make refer criminal matters to the U.S. Department of Justice for prosecution. Our staff includes auditors, financial analysts, information technology professionals, special agents, inspectors, management and budget analysts, and attorneys. OIG operates with full statutory law enforcement authority, which includes conducting search warrants and making arrests. We carry out our activities in accordance with Federal policies and procedures.
For more information on OIG investigative operations, including our statutory law enforcement authority, press releases and summaries of our investigative work, please visit our Web site at: http://www.ed.gov/oig
See update below.
It not only CAN happen here, it IS HAPPENING here.
The US Department of Education sent a SWAT team which roughed up and arrested a man, holding him prisoner for six hours. Why? His estranged wife had defaulted on her student loans.
Federally directed SWAT troopers kicked down Kenneth Wright's door, grabbed him in his underwear, dragged him to a car and held him there, along with his three children, for six hours.
"The grabbed me by the neck and dragged me out of the house..." he reported.
Wright points to the door that was smashed.
"They say, 'you owe a student loan and you gotta pay it.' I just had my door kicked in over this." he said.
Watch the video from ABC10 News, the local Stockton affiliate, which confirmed that it was the federal government-- the Department of Education-- not local police, that performed the raid.
Victim of the police state Wright advised, "People who have student loans, pay your bills...This could be you at six o'clock in the morning one morning.
update: Raw Story, which also reported on this story, reports:
"The Department of Education emailed Raw Story with a comment from spokesman Justin Hamilton to say the search warrant and raid were related to a criminal investigation, not a student loan default. The ABC affiliate has yanked its story that made the now seemingly false claim.
'While it was reported in local media that the search was related to a defaulted student loan, that is incorrect. This is related to a criminal investigation. The Inspector General's Office does not execute search warrants for late loan payments," Hamilton said. "Because this is an ongoing criminal investigation, we can't comment on the specifics of the case.'"
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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, (more...)