What is happening to America? This is so shocking, I’m still shaking my head.
Oath Keepers (OK) is a voluntary, non-partisan, and non-violent association of currently serving military, reserves, National Guard, veterans, Peace Officers, and Fire Fighters. OK members have sworn an Oath to the United States Constitution — “to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help us God.” Oath Keepers is NOT a militia, and even if it were, there’s nothing wrong with it. On the contrary, free Americans forming voluntary militia groups is our Constitutional right.
In this video, a young couple claims that their newborn baby girl was taken from the hospital by New Hampshire’s Family Child Services because of the couple’s “association with the militia group, Oath Keepers.”
Here’s an account by Colonel Sixx for Before It’s News, October 8, 2010:
A newborn baby was ripped from its mother’s arms by officials from the New Hampshire Division of Family Child Services accompanied by police last night after authorities cited the parents’ association with the Oath Keepers organization as one of the primary reasons for the snatch, heralding a shocking new level of persecution where Americans’ political beliefs are now being used by the state to kidnap children.
What was supposed to be one of the most joyous occasions of their lives turned into a nightmare for John Irish and Stephanie Janvrin, after they were told by The Director of Security and the Head Nurse at Concord Hospital that their baby would be taken to be checked by the hospital pediatrician.
“They lied to us – they got us to allow them to take our daughter under false pretenses, we didn’t even have a choice,” said Irish.
When Irish tried to stop his daughter being taken, the baby was immediately wheeled out in a bassinet, after which Irish saw three men in suits accompanied by uniformed police officers as well as detectives and social workers. who proceeded to try to search Irish.
“They forced me to stand up, held my hands behind my back and patted me down,” said Irish, before police told him they were taking the baby. “My fiancé didn’t even get any time to bond with the baby – they came in and stole our child,” said Irish. The parents were given a couple of minutes with their daughter before being forced by police to leave the hospital. Irish was subsequently told that a “security officer” would follow his every move.
The affidavit in support of the decision to take the child, which has been verified by Oath Keepers, states, “The Division became aware and confirmed that Mr. Irish associated with a militia known as the Oath Keepers,” confirming that political beliefs were, amongst other reasons, one of the primary factors behind the snatching of the baby.
Even if the additional reasons cited in the affidavit, which are unproven at this time, could be considered sufficient reason for the state to take the baby, the fact that political affiliations were even mentioned is a frightening indictment of how far the government’s war on Americans who dissent against authority has advanced.
“Regardless of the other allegations, it is utterly unconstitutional for government agencies to list Mr. Irish’s association with Oath Keepers in an affidavit in support of a child abuse order to remove his daughter from his custody.” writes Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes. “Talk about chilling speech! If this is allowed to continue, it will chill the speech of not just Mr. Irish, but all Oath Keepers and it will serve as the camel under the tent for other associations being considered too risky for parents to dare. Thus, it serves to chill the speech of all of us, in any group we belong to that ‘officials’ may not approve of. Don’t you dare associate with such and such group, or you could be on ‘the list’ and then child protective services might come take your kids.”
The parents were not even full members of the Oath Keepers organization, they were merely on a discussion list related to the group. This makes the case even more shocking – you don’t even have to be directly associated with a group that the government deems to be a “militia” to have your baby stolen – you merely have to be involved in online discussions of issues relating to the constitution and freedom in America.
Irish’s own web page clearly states that he supports a “NON-violent, law abiding gathering of like minded Patriots,” and that he is “AGAINST ANY acts of violence or illegal activity.” “The Sons of Liberty Riders does not endorse or tolerate radical, extreme, violent or racial postings,” states the website.
The Oath Keepers organization is not a “militia,” as the affidavit claims, it is merely a loose network of current and former military and law enforcement professionals who have sworn not to obey unconstitutional orders such as gun confiscation, warrantless searches and mass internment of Americans. The group is committed to non-violence.
If this case is allowed to stand it opens up a hellish future for free speech and political discourse in America. If parents live in fear of having their children stolen by the state because they criticize the government, the United States can rank itself amongst the worst dictatorships in history who invoked the threat of taking people’s children if they spoke out against tyranny.
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes has announced that a legal defense fund will be created to help Irish, and that the organization, “will actively pursue aggressive legal remedy and redress.”
“We will assist in locating competent local legal counsel in New Hampshire and additional expert legal counsel from around the country in First Amendment and child custody law,” wrote Stewart on the Oath Keepers website.
“There can be no freedom of speech, no freedom of association, no freedom to even open your mouth and “speak truth to power,” no freedom AT ALL, if your children can be black bagged and stolen from you because of your political speech and associations — because you simply dare to express your love of country, and dare to express your solidarity and fellowship with other citizens and with active duty and retired military and police who simply pledge to honor their oath and obey the Constitution. It was to prevent just such outrageous content based persecution of political dissidents that our First Amendment was written.”
Here’s a statement by Stewart Rhodes, the founder and director of Oath Keepers. Rhodes has seen the affidavit:
UPDATE : 10/07/2010 10.53PM PST — We have confirmed that the affidavit in support of the order to take the child from her parents states, along with a long list of other assertions against both parents, that “The Division became aware and confirmed that Mr. Irish associated with a militia known as the Oath Keepers.” Yes, there are other, very serious allegations. Out of respect for the privacy of the parents, we will not publish the affidavit. We will leave that to Mr. Irish. But please do remember that allegations do not equal facts — they are merely allegations (and in my experience as a criminal defense lawyer in small town Montana I saw many allegations that proved to be false).
But an even more fundamental point is that regardless of the other allegations, it is utterly unconstitutional for government agencies to list Mr. Irish’s association with Oath Keepers in an affidavit in support of a child abuse order to remove his daughter from his custody. Talk about chilling speech! If this is allowed to continue, it will chill the speech of not just Mr. Irish, but all Oath Keepers and it will serve as the camel under the tent for other associations being considered too risky for parents to dare. Thus, it serves to chill the speech of all of us, in any group we belong to that “officials” may not approve of. Don’t you dare associate with such and such group, or you could be on “the list” and then child protective services might come take your kids.
Note that there is no allegation that Oath Keepers is a criminal organization or that Mr. Irish, in the context of his association with Oath Keepers, is committing any crime. We are not advocating or planning imminent violence, which is the established line where free speech ends and criminal behavior begins (See Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969), which, as Wikipedia notes, “held that government cannot punish inflammatory speech unless it is directed to inciting and likely to incite imminent lawless action. In particular, it overruled Ohio’s criminal syndicalism statute, because that statute broadly prohibited the mere advocacy of violence.” We don’t even advocate that the current serving use violence of any kind, let alone imminent violence. We ask them to merely stand down.
Neither is Oath Keepers a militia, for that matter. However, EVEN IF WE WERE, that also would not be a valid reason to take someone’s child away. PRIVATE MILITIAS, JUST LIKE OTHER VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATIONS, ARE NOT ILLEGAL, and it is not a crime to associate with them. To the contrary, we have an absolute right, won by the blood of patriots, and protected by our First Amendment, to freely associate with each other as we damn well please so long as we are not advocating or planning imminent violence or directly harming our children (and no, teaching them “thought crime” like “All men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” or that those who swear an oath should keep it, does not count — at least not yet). A parent associating with a militia is not engaged in child endangerment and is not evidence of child endangerment (despite the shrill screeching of people such as Mark Potock of the SPLC, who desperately wants it to be so). Just recently a Time Magazine article described how the reporter visited the happy home of a militia member and his family — and those kids are still at home, where they belong, as is the case with many th0usands of children across this country who have parents who “associate” with private militias and all manner of other non-criminal groups. You had damn well better defend the rights of those parents to freely associate in their militias and keep their kids while doing so. You can bet that if you let such an association be listed as grounds for taking children from their parents that it won’t only be militia folks who have their rights violated. Homeschoolers, evangelical Christians, gun owners, etc. will also be on the hit list. Just wait.
Here’s an excerpt from the affidavit (h/t Infowars):
Contact info for New Hampshire Dept of Health and Human Services:
Telephone (603) 271-4711
Toll Free Number (800) 852-3345
Fax Number (603) 271-4729
Email: Click here to email.
Contact info for Concord Hospital:
Telephone (603) 225-2711
Toll Free Instate: (800) 327-0464
Email: Click here to email.
I hope the baby’s parents sue New Hampshire’s Family Child Services until they cry bankruptcy.
H/t beloved fellows May, FS, and Barb.