Cowards, from a Federal Standpoint

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Can't see that it hurts to add yet another glimpse of how deranged the national security state has become. A University of Georgia student leaving a campus "pirates vs. ninjas" event was tackled and detained by ATF agents. Sophomore Jeremiah Ransom says intends to file a complaint, but he is lucky he was not seriously injured or even killed by the federal goons:

After being held in investigative detention, [Ransom] was found to have violated no criminal laws and was not arrested.

"It was surreal," Ransom said. "I was jogging from Wesley to Snelling when I heard someone yell 'freeze.'"

Ransom said he thought a friend was playing a joke before he realized officers had guns drawn and pointed at him.

ATF agents had noticed Ransom's suspicious behavior and clothing and gave chase, apprehending him, Williamson said.

"Agents noticed someone wearing a bandanna across the face and acting in a somewhat suspicious manner, peeping around the corner," said ATF special agent in charge Vanessa McLemore.

Ransom was wearing black sweatpants and an athletic T-shirt with one red bandanna covering the bottom half of his face and another covering the top of his head, Williamson said.

"Seeing someone with something across the face, from a federal standpoint—that's not right," McLemore said, explaining why agents believed something to be amiss.

You see, only federal undercover agents ever have any reason to ever obscure their features, they do it when they're play-acting too. From a federal standpoint. Just think if Ransom had been carrying a book bag. A black one.

NEXT: Put Me Out At The Ballgame

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  1. “what you see is what you get
    you made your bed, you’d better lie in it
    you choose your leaders and place your trust
    as their lies wash you down and the promises rust”

    Paul Weller thought of the day. 🙂

    not surprising, tho. it’s like the “Brickbats” section in the recent print version – interpretations of unwritten laws will become defacto laws. “well, why were yuh aktin’ suspischous?”

  2. This is clearly the result of the war and on terror and most certainly Bush’s fault and probably Chaney as well. Before Bush, the ATF was a perfectly functioning organization that respected people’s rights and never engaged in abuses like oh say burning a bunch of crazy but generally harmless religous nuts and their children to death.

  3. pirates vs. ninjas

    citizens vs. public servants

    What’s the diff?

  4. I RTFA and am still not clear what the ATFers were doing on a college campus–something to do with “Operation Safe Neighborhoods”? Sounds pretty bogus to me. Everybody knows there’s no alcohol or tobacco on college campuses these days.

  5. Yes, it is an overreaction, and I hate to be put into a situation defending the ATF, but don’t overreact to the overreaction. If you were in your local 7-11, and somebody walked in with a stocking mask on, might you feel just a twinge of apprehension? If not, you’ve never visited the neighborhoods I’ve found myself in from time to time. Unless it is Halloween, a known masquerade party, or thirty below, a young male walking around in public with cloth obscuring his face is not suprisingly seen by many a a precursor to robbery or worse. This isn’t like the ATF using an informer over several weeks to pester Randy Weaver into taking a hacksaw to a shotgun barrel.

  6. Yes, it is an overreaction, and I hate to be put into a situation defending the ATF, but don’t overreact to the overreaction. If you were in your local 7-11, and somebody walked in with a stocking mask on, might you feel just a twinge of apprehension? If not, you’ve never visited the neighborhoods I’ve found myself in from time to time. Unless it is Halloween, a known masquerade party, or thirty below, a young male walking around in public with cloth obscuring his face is not suprisingly seen by many a a precursor to robbery or worse. This isn’t like the ATF using an informer over several weeks to pester Randy Weaver into taking a hacksaw to a shotgun barrel.

  7. I’m gonna make a killing.

    I’ve got the rights to “Security Mom” and “Cringing Citizen” and “Innocuous Middle Class Man”.

    This is going to be the best Halloween ever!

  8. As a UGA grad I was a bit shocked to read this because, as far as cops go, the Athens and UGA police aren’t all that bad (considering it’s a college town and all). I’m much more wary of these jackboots we got up here in Fairfax, Va. Of course, then I noticed the ATF was involved…..

    That first line was priceless by the way: “ATF agents are always on alert for anything suspicious–including ninjas.”

  9. pirates vs. ninjas

    citizens vs. public servants

    What’s the diff?

    Pirates vs. ninjas is a fair fight.

  10. Maybe everyone else is way ahead of me on this, but what exactly is a pirates vs. ninjas event?

  11. Will Allen – I can understand the cops being suspicious of a masked man, but what’s up with drawing guns on him? Also, the whole “Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm agents, on campus Tuesday for Project Safe Neighborhoods training” thing is just a sad sign of where we are. These guys are from the Treasury Department of the Federal government. They’re not supposed to have anything to do with safe neighborhoods. And “[a]fter chasing Ransom and identifying themselves” sort of implies that the chasing started before the identifying, although I trust the newspapers about as much as I trust the BATF. All the guys in the photo are in plainclothes, so it might not have been obvious they were cops. I always figured cops should dress like cops if they want to be treated that way.

  12. better question: just how many times do you have to be raped by your uncle before you join the atf?

    more or less than people who join the dea?

  13. Linked here, along with a far more serious violation of citizen’s rights by federal authorities (CIFA/TALON).

  14. Linked here, along with a far more serious violation of citizen’s rights by federal authorities (CIFA/TALON).

  15. Like I said, JD, it was an overreaction, and I’m no fan of the BATF. I’m just sayin’ that in a lot of urban enviornments I’ve spent time in (I can’t speak to the particular environment in this matter), it would have been pretty dumb for me to walk around with cloth obscuring my face. If you set the keys to your car on the hood when you go into you local saloon for a few beers, the people who subsequently steal your car are no-good thieves, but that doesn’t mean you’ve acted with any common sense, either.

  16. “ATF:1, Ninjas:0, Pirates: 0”

    And meanwhile, “Terroists Win!”

  17. “These guys are from the Treasury Department of the Federal government.”

    Not any more. BATFE was moved into the Dept. of Justice during all of the re-shuffling that took place after 9|11.

  18. You think that’s bad? I was at that same event, and was fired upon by a Navy Destroyer. I guess they mistook my pirate costume for one of those Somali pirates off the northwestern coast of Africa.

    Luckily, they missed, and the collateral damage was limited to a small class of kindergartners. Thank goodness!

  19. Eeep, that’s “Terrorists”

    BTW a “Pirates Vs. Ninjas” event is basically exactly what it implies. Some people dress as pirates, others dress as ninjas.

  20. nice to see some with the “well if you’re acting in a [lawful] way that the cop doesn’t like, you should get screwed”.

    hey – go screw an onion. and may you meet up with a traffic cop that’s just as much an internet tough guy as you are, there, willie.

    being suspicious of gov’t “enforcers”, especially now, is important. the WoD, Wo”T”, etc. have served to limit our civil liberty and to expand government to unacceptable levels. Instead of RFTA, we should say RFTC (C for Constitution).

  21. better question: just how many times do you have to be raped by your uncle before you join the atf?

    more or less than people who join the dea?

  22. Image of the takedown HERE.

    Cell Phone Camera: 1
    BATFE Thug: 0

  23. “BTW a “Pirates Vs. Ninjas” event is basically exactly what it implies. Some people dress as pirates, others dress as ninjas.”

    Ok- BUT THEN WHAT HAPPENS?

    Fighting stars vs cutlasses? Races up the mizzenmast? What?

  24. Maybe everyone else is way ahead of me on this, but what exactly is a pirates vs. ninjas event?

    Comment by: Matthew at April 12, 2006 12:04 PM

    If you want to learn more about pirates v. ninjas go to http://www.realultimatepower.net. One of the funniest sites on the entire internet.

    BTW, can you imagine what the story would have been if that kid had not caught the takedown on his cell phone? That ninja would be at GITMO by now getting waterboarded.

  25. Linked here, along with a far more serious violation of citizen’s rights by federal authorities (CIFA/TALON).

  26. The BATFE’s been busy lately. They’ve gone from protecting us from the scary Ninja hordes to trying to charge gunsmiths for failure to pay a tax for selling a gun they manufactured, even if all they did was install a scope or new barrel.

    More info at The Outdoor Wire. (I don’t have the mad skillz needed to link directly to it, so scroll down to the headline H.R. 5092: BATFE MODERNIZATION – OR REFORM?)

  27. Whoa, sorry about the multiple posts; never seemed to go through. Please delete all but one!

  28. BUT THEN WHAT HAPPENS?

    I dunno either, but I bet it involves a LOT of alcohol.

  29. “better question: just how many times do you have to be raped by your uncle before you join the atf?

    more or less than people who join the dea?”

    OK, Dhex, I will bite. What the heck are you talking about?

  30. http://www.realultimatepower.net IS very funny and worth a look.

  31. mediageek – D’oh. Doesn’t that kind of mess with the ATF’s revenue-collection function? Or do they not even pretend to do that anymore? And doesn’t it make them kind of superfluous, what with the FBI being in Justice? My head hurts.

  32. The ATF has done enough stupid shit at this point that it really needs to be broken up. Even G. Gordon Liddy hates them, for god’s sake.

  33. “OK, Dhex, I will bite. What the heck are you talking about?”

    I believe Dhex is referring to the thought that the only way one could possibly be damaged enough to want to join an inherently abusive organization like the ATF or the DEA would be as a result of horrible trauma suffered as a child.

    “Doesn’t that kind of mess with the ATF’s revenue-collection function?”

    I’m not totally clear on the details of it, I just remember that the ATF was shifted from being a tax org to a law-enforcement one.

    “Or do they not even pretend to do that anymore? And doesn’t it make them kind of superfluous, what with the FBI being in Justice?”

    Well, the FBI has to have somebody to look down on, right?

    “My head hurts.”

    Yeah. Mine too.

  34. BTW, here’s the campus newspaper’s followup from yesterday:

    Campus Ninja Strikes Back

    From the article:
    One of the guys yelled I had a gun, tackled me and asked where my gun was,? Ransom said.

    After telling agents he only had his keys, wallet and cell phone on him, Ransom said the agent pinning him to the ground responded that, being trained officers, they would not mistake any of those items for a gun.

    The dialogue between Ransom and the agent went back and forth, with the agent insisting Ransom had a gun, and Ransom insisting he was unarmed.

    Seriously, this reads like the setup for a joke. I keep expecting a punchline.

  35. I keep expecting a punchline.

    No need for punching – he had him pinned down by the neck.

  36. And I think that if you want to disagree with the policy of the government, disagree with it. If there is a single federal official — there’s nobody, including me, who has never felt that they were mistreated by somebody working for the government. So if somebody believes someone who is working for the government has mistreated them, take it to the appropriate authority, make it public if you want to, but be specific. But do not condemn people who work for the government. That’s the kind of mentality that produced Oklahoma City.

  37. Just to explain the event, as someone asked above-

    The Wesley Foundation, the United Methodist Campus Ministry at UGA, had Holy “Spirit” Week, where each day you could dress up (Monday was 80s, Tues was Pirates v. Ninjas, etc) and go to Wesley and get your picture taken, then they would vote on the best each day. So, Jeremy went to get his pic taken at Wesley, then was jogging to the dining hall past the GA center where ATF was holding a conference for local law enforcement…you know the rest

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