Wednesday, April 23, 2008

CONFIRMED: She's an Obama delegate!

UPDATED & BUMPED (again): The same MSM that leaped to a conclusion of guilt in the Duke lacrosse rape hoax now seems strangely reluctant to connect the dots regarding Obama delegate Rozita Swinton and her hoax calls that caused the Texas polygamy raid. CNN:
Authorities have not clearly said that they think Swinton made the March phone calls that prompted the raid. But the affidavit says she is "known to make false reports of sexual abuse to the police and other agencies."
Calls were made to a Texas family shelter March 29 and 30 from a female identifying herself as Sarah Barlow, the affidavit says. The caller said she was 16, had a baby about 8 months old and was pregnant again. She said that her 49-year-old husband was physically and sexually abusive toward her and that they were living at the YFZ Ranch.
The phone calls were made from a prepaid cell phone with no available records, according to the affidavit. However, it has been used in other cases linked to Swinton, the document says.
Do you guys in the MSM need somebody to draw you a picture? Texas officials are, understandably, reluctant to admit that the April 4 raid -- in which authorities seized 416 children from their parents -- was the result of a phony call from a hoaxer in Colorado.

Under the law, a raid based on a fake call may nonetheless result in criminal prosecutions or custodial intervention, but lawyers for any innocent parents at the FLDS El Dorado ranch are looking at a tort lawyer's dream case. So if reporters are waiting for Texas officials to state unequivocally that Swinton's bogus calls were the sole cause of that raid, they're going to be waiting a damned long time.

Whatever happened to the fearsome "watchdog" press that's supposedly always on guard against officials abusing their authority? Bet the cops in the Rodney King case wish the media had been this reluctant to jump to conclusions.

Special shout-out to Andrew Sullivan: Is everything just politics, man? When I began blogging about the Texas FLDS raid, it was just because I'd seen a headline and thought it was interesting in a freakish sort way.

But "from the git-go," as he says, Rusty Shackleford thought the story sounded fishy, and he was ultimately proven right. And as the bogusness of the case became more and more evident, one thought keep recurring: Texas took custody of all 416 children from the families at the Yearning For Zion (YFZ) Ranch.

They didn't just take pregnant teenagers, or pubescent girls at risk of being forced into "spiritual marriages." No, they took all 416 children -- babies in diapers, toddlers, 6-year-old boys, whatever.

To me, the entire Mormon belief system is bogus crackpot stuff, and this polygamous FLDS splinter sect has a documented history of illegal abuses. But ... all 416 children? I just can't get over the draconian quality of this. I know my 7-year-old gets homesick after spending two days at a friend's sleepover party. What a horrible thing for Texas to inflict an indefinite and painful separation on these children -- including even unweaned infants! -- whose parents' only malfeasance is to have resided at the FLDS compound.

That's my angle on the story, and the fact that the hoaxer whose bogus calls evidently caused the Texas raid is also a pledged Obama delegate is merely an amazing (and, I admit, amusing) coincidence. I'm sure you find this coincidence somewhat less amusing, Andrew, but when you start slamming Rusty as part of the "Clinton-Rove axis" (!) engaging in "McTruthiness" (?) your childish sub-DKos jibes only make you seem like a demented partisan hack.

Damn, Andrew -- you used to be an important journalist. It's disturbing to see you spiral downhill like this. Get hold of yourself.

An affidavit now definitely links Rozita Swinton to the call that caused the raid on the Texas sect.
* * * * *
In case you doubted that Rozita Swinton -- the Colorado woman accused of making the hoax calls that may have triggered raids on the Texas polygamist cult -- is actually an Obama delegate, now the Colorado Springs Gazette confirms it:

A 33-year-old woman with a reasonably clean criminal history, Swinton has been active in politics and once sold insurance. . . .
After the El Paso County Democratic caucuses and convention, she was named one of the 360 delegates to the state convention at the World Arena on May 17, chosen to support Barack Obama. El Paso County Democratic Chairman John Morris said he and other party organizers did not know Swinton. . . .
An accomplished liar "with a reasonably clean criminal history"? Well, of course she's a Democrat! And of course her fellow Democrats deny even knowing her. Kind of like Obama and Bill Ayers.

UPDATE: Rusty links and remarks:
Most of those in the comments still defending the raid seem to focus on the allegation that "girls as young as 13 are married and pregnant". One of the FLDS lawyers I keep seeing on TV says that this is patently false, and the claims made by the state is not that there are "13 year olds" but a single allegation that one 13 year old was pregnant 10 years ago.
If that is true would it change your perception that there is some justification for tearing hundreds of kids away from their families based on a search warrant executed on false grounds?
Good point. A kind of Manichean mindset appears to be affecting perceptions of this case. Some people seem to think it's an either-or proposition, and that we must choose to believe one of two things:

  • The FLDS are harmless and innocent religious eccentrics whose practices are beyond criticism.
... or ...
  • The FLDS are vicious and dangerous abusers whose practices justify even the most extreme measures by law enforcement.
In other words, this Manichean approach means that our judgment on the actions of Texas officials is made contingent on our opinions of the FLDS. If we think the FLDS are good, then raiding them is bad, and vice-versa.

I reject that approach. Regardless of whether the FLDS are good or evil, they are human beings who have -- what was Jefferson's phrase? -- "certain unalienable rights." Our rights are not dependent on our popularity; the fat geek has the same rights as the homecoming queen. And freaky religious cultists have the same rights as boring Methodists.

Furthermore, the fact that Swinton is an Obama delegate is certainly newsworthy, but it's hardly fodder for GOP attack ads. The fact that this one woman just happens to be both (a) an Obama delegate and (b) evidently deranged -- that's just a coincidence.

The area around Colorado Springs is a Republican stronghold (67% for Bush in 2004) and I'm sure that Team Obama had to cast a wide net to find enough delegates to file a state-convention slate. That this one kook happened to turn up in that delegation is a function of the Law of Large Numbers. Surely, somewhere among all the John McCain delegates to state GOP conventions, there is at least one Swinton-style kook. And let's don't even start with the Ron Paul delegates . . .


  1. Blah, blah, blah...zzzzzzzzz but do you have anything on Obama? You talk about other people but you guys have nothing bad from Obama. You search and search to find things but all you fins are things about others. What a##holes...

  2. I'm really disappointed in both the Republican and Democratic parties in the matter. The Democrats say that Bush violates the Constitution with wire taps, invalid arrests, etc in order to fight the "war on terror", yet Democrats seem to think that violating the Constitution is OK if it is "for the children". I just might have to check out the Libertarian Party.

    Also, it is interesting that 13 year old females could legally get married (and I assume get pregnant) with parental consent in Texas up to 9/1/2005 when the law was changed to move the age up to 15(?).