The Paramilitarization of the Department of Paperwork

by Mark Steyn

Deroy’s excellent column on American government’s “gun culture” is well worth your time, and not just for the mountain of corpses of non-threatening domestic dogs:

A U.S. Department of Education SWAT force burst into Kenneth Wright’s Stockton, Calif., home in June 2011. “I look out of my window, and I see 15 police officers,” Wright told KXTV. Wright said one officer forced him by the neck onto the front lawn. “He had his knee on my back, and I had no idea why they were there.” While officers searched his house, Wright said, “They put me in handcuffs in a hot patrol car for six hours, traumatizing my kids,” then ages 3, 7, and 11.

The feds sought Wright’s estranged wife, apparently for suspected financial-aid fraud. However, she had moved away a year earlier.

I wrote about the unfortunate Mr. Wright at the time, observing that “the federal Department of Education doesn’t employ a single teacher but it does have a SWAT team”:

“We can confirm that we executed a search warrant,” said Department of Education spokesperson Gina Burress.

The Department of Education issues search warrants? Who knew? The Brokest Nation in History is the only country in the developed world whose education secretary has his own Delta Force. And, in a land with over a trillion dollars in college debt, I’ll bet it’s got no plans to downsize.

Why should the education secretary have his own private police force? Ah, well, these days what self-respecting American bureaucrat doesn’t? You’re not a serious time-serving pen-pusher unless you can dispatch a bunch of guys in the full Robocop to take on groups known for their notorious penchant for violence, like, er, Gibson guitar makers.

Meanwhile, when it comes to actual police-type policing, we’re getting worse. The odds are that, by the time the blundering flatfeet of the LAPD catch up with their ex-employee and Piers Morgan fan Christopher Dorner, they’ll have matched his body count. They’ve already seriously wounded a 71-year-old innocent woman, shot her daughter, and turned a third bystander’s car into Swiss cheese. Good thing it’s not a major crime like unpasteurized dairying.