Do you ever picket abortion mills? Does a hostile clinic owner ever get aggressive or make frivolous or fraudulent complaints against you? Well, it might behoove you to know that Big Brother, the Obama DOJ, may be watching you and may also try to get the names of your pro-life friends whom they can harass. Not that that should stop you.
Having eradicated all federal crimes and brought in a utopia of Peace and Justice, with extra time lying heavy on their hands, the agents of the FBI have decided to go on fishing expeditions against pro-lifers, just in case they might have violated the (arguably unconstitutional) FACE act.
Jill Stanek reports on one of these (emphasis added):
On July 13 FBI agents Conrad Rodriguez and William Sivley paid a visit to my son-in-law, Andy Moore, at his home.
Per Andy and my daughter, who was home at the time, here were questions the agents asked:
What affiliations do you have including church groups?
How long have you known your wife?
What belief system makes you believe in your cause?
What is your goal in protesting?
Do you know why people would make complaints against you?
Are there friends of yours or people you’re connected with that you could confidentially tell us are aggressive or abrasive? “Don’t be afraid to tell us.”
They were REALLY interested in the connection to Jill Stanek – details of internship, New Zealand speaking tour visit, did you get your activist and pro-life ideas from her? Did she train or teach you? Did you meet Jill before or after you became involved in the movement? Was it Jill who “fired you up” to become so active in the movement?
They were overly nice saying he wasn’t in trouble and feel free to tell us anything. Encouraged him to keep going back out there, that they represent both sides. ++they are protecting his freedom of speech++ is what they kept saying.
They said their task force that deals with these abortion cases also handles Hate Crimes and White Supremacy. Odd grouping with pro-lifers.
And here's my favorite:
They knew he was an immigrant. They said a felony on his record could/would get him deported. “You wouldn’t want to be apart from your wife and newborn.”
"Nice little life you got there, Andy. It would be a shame if anything were to happen to mess up that life." All of you who have had an elementary logic class will recognize this as an example of innuendo used to convey a threat.
Andy, apparently, is not alone:
Life Legal Defense Fund, one of the pro-life legal firms that has successfully defended pro-lifers against prosecution by Obama’s Department of Justice, has now taken Andy under its wing. Senior Staff Counsel, Allison Aranda, shared her insights in an email:The Obama administration is essentially engaging in a witch hunt. From the moment the new administration took office, the DOJ has been targeting peaceful pro-life sidewalk counselors. They have come out guns blazing on several occasions often bringing allegations that could later not be substantiated or in some cases clearly proven to be false. Their weapon of choice – the FACE act. The DOJ is using tactics that amount to legal extortion. They have filed these frivolous claims against innocent people who don’t have the finances to hire big shot attorneys. The DOJ then kindly offers to settle the case if the counselor simply agrees to stay so many yards away and pay a couple thousand dollar fine.
Pro-bono legal foundations like LLDF, Alliance Defending Freedom, and Liberty Counsel have taken a stand to defend these innocent pro-lifers. Thankfully the sidewalk counselors have either had witnesses or video evidence to defend their actions. The DOJ has outright dismissed charges in two cases, walking away with egg on their face. In one case, a federal court judge issued a scathing opinion questioning the motives of the DOJ for bringing such unsubstantiated charges in the first place. The judge suggested that there might have been a conspiracy between the government and the abortion clinic to violate the free speech rights of the pro-life advocates.
It now seems that the unscrupulous Eric Holder is at it again. This time when the government determined that the evidence wasn’t quite what they thought it would be to proceed on a FACE claim against Andy, they turned their intimidating interrogation into a fishing expedition about the personal life of Jill Stanek. Targeted bullying by our government because of an individual’s viewpoint and willingness to share that message in the public square is intolerable. LLDF is committed to aggressively defending the rights of pro-life advocates. We will not back down, and we will not be threatened. We will continue to fight so that the freedoms of all are protected and preserved.
This is just one example of how the power of the executive branch can be used ideologically to target politically disfavored groups. It shouldn't happen. America is supposed to be a country of the rule of law and equality before the law. But it does happen.
Andy has now been advised not to speak to the FBI fisherman again without counsel present. Darn tootin'. I wonder if one would be allowed to record such interviews. Could be interesting.
What I want to know is this: Is there a way, a realistic way, to hold the FBI responsible for such speech-chilling persecutions? Probably not. But there should be.
I have read that in Canada one virtually never sees picketers outside of abortion clinics. It is at least perceived to be illegal to picket or offer counseling outside abortion clinics. So far it hasn't come to that here in America, though FACE was intended to make it harder to get the truth to abortion-minded women. The Obama administration is showing us just how that works.