First off, the deputy chief of the Blaine sector — which covers Alaska, western Washington and Oregon — has been charged with the child rape of a 14-year-old Bellingham girl he had in his home as a foster child.
Secondly, Paul Richmond, a Port Townsend attorney (who once ran against Congressman Norm Dicks, who I’ll mention shortly) has filed a public disclosure request for a video he claims was taken by government agents at a protest of the checkpoints in Port Angeles Sept. 20. He says the border patrol’s activity on the Olympic Peninsula is part of a government build up. Here’s more from a press release:
“The sort of activity we are seeing from the Border Patrol has a tremendously chilling effect on the First Amendment. These law enforcement agencies share data among themselves and with private agencies. Groups engaged in lawful protest are now subjected to surveillance and infiltrated. The Justice Department has already identified environmentalists as the leading domestic terrorist threat. There’s very little that keeps any of these agencies from viewing any of us as terrorists.”
And even Norm Dicks has weighed in on the checkpoints, asking officers not to be gruff.
The border patrol has transfered Henry Rolon from the San Diego sector to Blaine to take over Guiliano’s duties. But their welcoming parties in the communities they’ve joined with bolstered staffs — Port Angeles (which went from 4 agents to 24) included — are over.
Let’s be honest: coming to the Olympic Peninsula with checkpoints (in a state that doesn’t allow them) wasn’t an easy undertaking to begin with. But now they seem to have other problems that aren’t, shall we say, helping to improve public confidence. These next few months look to be crucial.