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Transcript of the Legislative Update

Transcript of the Legislative Update

By: Ron Paul

For the Week of April 24, 2000

There are those who would have us believe that the Elian Gonzales affair is all about the rule of law and a father's right of custody. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Custody cases are properly handled in a family court, with contesting sides present. After hearing the case a judge rules with the loser having the right to appeal. When one sides refuses to show up in court this in itself tells us a lot about the circumstances and can't be ignored.

If, in this case, the father had lived in California he would have been expected to come to Florida and state his case. No one would have expected the child to be placed on an airplane and delivered to someone at the other end without a hearing and decision by a judge. As important as it is that parents have custody of their children, there are times when a distant single parent poses a danger to the child. Family courts exists to examine the circumstances of such controversial custody battles.

But the Elian Gonzales case is not about "custody" and "the rule of law" as Janet Reno professes. The rule of law, and the Constitution has been completely ignored and a police-state mentality dictated the actions by the Administration and carried out by Janet Reno.

Family custody fights should be settled in local family courts, not by Justice Department storm troopers in the middle of the night. Reno did not have a court order to invade the private home in Little Havana. She had no authority to snatch away Elian and even if by the furthest stretch of the law Reno had jurisdiction, a court order is required by the Constitution. Common decency and morality would require knocking on the door, not breaking in with a battering ram. This case is about much more than what Janet Reno claims. And it's very important.

The administration is not driven, as it says, to enforce the rule of law. That's a joke. And it's not a concern for family values and a father's right to custody. Janet Reno's express concern for Elian is no more believable than her love expressed for the children that burned to death at Waco. The administration and the media, except for Fox News Network, have a passionate hatred for the Cuban-American community and a love affair with Fidel Castro. Liberals profess to champion the right of all minority groups--except for Cuban-Americans who do not play the role of victim. The best way to understand this antagonism is to look at the way the liberal left treats Clarence Thomas. The fact that Thomas made it all the way to the Supreme Court should please those looking for successful members of minority groups. Instead, the left passionately despise Supreme Court Justice Thomas because he rejects the welfare state, the tool used by them to maintain political control over large minority groups willing to be victimized.

Cuban-Americans are conservative, mostly Republican, believe in the work ethic, are patriotic, family oriented, right to life, and above all else, despise Castro's communism. These beliefs liberals find offensive and therefore the Cuban-American community must be discredited. The Elian Gonzales case has provided an opportunity for Castro's sympathizers to emerge enmasse.

Can one only imagine how the left would have responded if this case had involved a Haitian child? Would anyone have ever considered sending a Jewish child back to Nazi Germany? Would they have been chanted "Rule of Law" and "father's rights" under those circumstances?

But the overriding issue is the police state mentality that exists in this country. And this is not a problem that just started with the Clinton administration, although it delights in firmly using the illegal powers that Congress has carelessly allowed the Executive Branch to usurp. One irony of this current tragic episode in modern-day American justice is that many conservative critics of Reno's policies have promoted legislation that federalizes much of our police powers, especially in their efforts to fight the War on Drugs. Police powers granted to the Executive Branch over decades have been used by this administration and others to trample the rights of citizens at places like Ruby Ridge, Waco, and now in Little Havana. Unfortunately, many unpublicized episodes of ruthless tactics by the DEA, BATF, the FBI, IRS and many other federal agencies go unnoticed. If the flag amendment had been passed, hundreds more would have been arrested in Little Havana. In their frustration, the distraught Cuban-Americans flew the flag upside down and tied a black ribbon around it-acts that, if the amendment had passed, could easily have been outlawed by federal law as acts of desecration.

We must someday develop a consistent opposition to all federal laws nationalizing police powers. Most of these laws are well intended but when individuals bent on exerting power, like Janet Reno and Bill Clinton are in charge, these powers are abused. The founders never intended for the federal government to send armed thugs into a private home, without a court order to settle a custody case just because it was not going the administration's way.

An armed federal police state is what this case is all about. Let there be no doubt about it. Law enforcement must once again be made a local responsibility. Reassuring us that the INS agent's "finger was not on the trigger" and "the gun was not directly pointed at someone's head" is the most ludicrous justification for illegal armed might one can conceive of.

It always amazes me that the anti-gun forces, who would take all the guns from all the people and trash the 2nd Amendment are the first to champion the illegal and dangerous use of federal bureaucrats to break into our houses without warrants, armed to the teeth, to enforce what they call the "Rule of Law." What bunk!

Where do the champions of father's rights now have Elian Gonzales? He is hidden away on a military base with custody turned over to Castro with the US Military carrying out his demands. Some believe this is a response to direct threats from Castro for Clinton to do his bidding.

Even a few cannot be allowed to threaten a police state. A police state is too easily undermined if not firmly entrenched. Our police state is young and small but growing rapidly. The true believers in a police state though, get nearly hysterical if its powers are challenged and they do not hesitate to have a show of force.

Even if the challenge is by a single family, desiring only to be left alone, as was the case with the Randy Weaver family, it must be made clear that the Rule of Might must prevail.

If it's a non-militant group, but non-conventional such as the Branch Davidians, the same is true even if all must die, including the children.

This is what Janet Reno is reaffirming in Little Havana. "Do not defy me; do no defy my power. The Constitution has no place in this matter. Government agents must control all the guns so do not challenge state authority even if it's unconstitutionally obtained."

Americans must answer back to all the Janet Reno's and the Bill Clinton's now infiltrating our government. Only with a firm belief in the principles of the Separation of Powers, and federalism as mandated by the Constitution can we hope to reverse the rapid movement toward a police state and preserve the American Republic.

Congressman Ron Paul



Note: Please help save our liberty and our nation's sovereignty by joining our electronic march on Washington and by making a contribution to keep the fight going. To join our electronic march. Go to the Contribute page to make a contribution. Also, please ask a friend to join the fight.

Thank you,

Kent Snyder
Liberty Study Committee

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