Waco Reprise

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How many rounds of ammunition, tear-gas canisters, battering rams, thugs in uniforms, and hours does it take the government to pry one 70-year-old man from his home?

Remember we’re talking Leviathan here, a raging reptile drunk on the blood of its victims, who looks on us as grapes to be crushed. So while you’re pondering the riddle above, consider what crimes justify this outsized response. Did Grandpa start a war overseas, killing thousands of innocent people while torturing others la the guy in the White House? Did he force folks from their homes, steal their weapons, imprison them without trial or sentence and starve them, as did Louisiana’s poltroons in the wake of Hurricane Katrina?

No. The elderly gentleman failed to show up for a court date.

Russell L. Diamond lives in a rural area of Pennsylvania. He’s one of the old breed, a man who minds his own business and expects everyone else to mind theirs. That doesn’t sit well with the new breed, busybodies all, who have long flourished in small towns but who now come armed with Leviathan’s power. They’ve harassed Mr. Diamond for years, most notably over the hopeless horses he adopts. These animals are often one neigh away from the glue factory; Mr. Diamond’s care brings some of them back from the brink. Others are too far gone for even his TLC to resurrect. That gives the local animal nuts all the excuse they need to charge him with cruelty.

The cops are gunning for Mr. Diamond, too. They’ve arrested him three times this year for drunk driving. Or so they would have us believe. Actually, what seems to have twisted their knickers is Mr. Diamond’s driving with a suspended license. Good serfs ask Our Rulers’ permission before we drive cars we’ve bought on roads we’ve paid for. Also upsetting the officers was the expiration of Mr. Diamond’s registration, inspection sticker, and insurance. Out-of-date paperwork like this, let alone three such examples on one car, endangers the public’s safety. Kudos to the eagle-eyed cops who spotted that lapsed sticker and got Desperado Diamond off the streets.

Mr. Diamond was scheduled to appear in court to explain himself. When he didn’t, Leviathan sent an escort for him. Two state troopers showed up at his home about half past one of a summer’s afternoon.

Like many folks who live alone in isolated areas, Mr. Diamond did not answer his door until he’d fetched his gun. Ever notice how nervous cops get when we arm ourselves? Yet we’re supposed to think nothing of their stalking holstered and hostile among us.

Even in the boonies of Pennsylvania, cops issue press releases full of spin. The one about their abuse of Mr. Diamond claimed, “Said firearm was pointed in the general direction of the uniformed troopers.” The Lebanon Daily News reported that this dreaded “firearm” was likely an old shotgun Mr. Diamond has owned for decades. Let’s suppose our trepidatious troopers carried the standard brace of revolvers: they still outgunned their victim by four to one. Yet they considered themselves overmatched and hollered for help.

That cry produced 30 troopers in “military garb, wearing body armor and carrying assault weapons,” who “positioned themselves near the house,” according to The Patriot-News. We now have 32 of Leviathan’s lackeys, boasting enough firepower to start a small war, intent on subduing an old man who skipped his court date. So over-gunned were they that they evacuated two homes “near Diamond’s small farm,” as The Patriot-News put it. Figure those houses weren’t smack up against Mr. Diamond’s, but the cops intended to wreak such destruction these distant neighbors were ordered out anyway.

Next to arrive was a Special Emergency Response Team (SERT). That boosted to around 40 the number of cowards judged necessary to overcome one senior. Talk about sportsmanship.

The thugs sought to “negotiate” with Mr. Diamond before trying to murder him. Hard to understand how 40 bullies arrayed against a lone man can possibly “negotiate,” but Leviathan’s lexicon differs vastly from ours. The Patriot-News reported the text of this “negotiation”: “Pick up the phone. We’re concerned about your safety. We want to know if you’re all right.”

Touching, isn’t it? Goons who’ve been trespassing on a man’s property for four hours, armed with “assault weapons” and obviously out for the kill, nonetheless profess themselves “concerned” for his safety.

Our hero took that hypocrisy with the shaker of salt it deserved and stayed quiet. In fact, the only comment he offered during the entire episode came when the thugs added vandalism to their crimes by breaking down a door of his house. (At a preliminary hearing last week, the cops suddenly remembered all sorts of remarks Mr. Diamond uttered. Turns out that for a man who doesn’t answer his phone, Mr. Diamond is startlingly loquacious. His assailants claim he repeatedly dared them to storm his home and outlined the dire consequences should they do so.) As they broke into his castle, Mr. Diamond allegedly fired his shotgun. The cops backed off. Of course, they’re painting this as attempted murder rather than a man’s defense of his property. “If [one of the cops who broke down the door] had entered, he would have been shot,” state police Cpl. Andrew Wenger breathlessly told the News.

Our Rulers took their revenge on Mr. Diamond by firing over two-dozen gas canisters into the house. The News calls these “pepper spray”; an unnamed source told Diamond’s son they were CS-14 gas. Tear gas comes in varying formulations, the mildest of which produces only burning eyes. The strongest causes “immediate vomiting and prostration,” according to Wikipedia. In 1993, the FBI bombed the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, with CS gas.

The variety used against Mr. Diamond was so virulent that when Russ Junior went to the house two days after the assault on his father, he found “the effects were [still] severe enough, even in a well-ventilated house, to burn the skin off my lips after very limited exposure…. Even outside the house was horrendous.” The News reported without apparent irony that after this dousing, “Diamond didn’t move.”

Non-resistance often signals Leviathan to have more fun, so the cops lobbed another fifty — that’s right, 50 — tear-gas canisters into the house. This was made easier after an “armored HumVee with a large battering ram” demolished the building’s entire front wall. That’ll teach Mr. Diamond and everyone else not to cut court.

The cops continued to “plead” for his surrender, though this time they apparently limited themselves to words. Perhaps they’d exhausted their ammunition: a neighbor told Russ Junior that during the 8-hour siege, he counted 136 shots. “If so,” Russ says, “that’s one from Dad, 135 from the troops, if Dad actually shot.” Cpl. “Genius” Wenger told The News that at about 10 PM, they “concluded that Diamond was not going to leave the house voluntarily.” Ya think? The thugs went in after him. If there’s any justice in this world, they choked and vomited from the Waco’s-worth of tear-gas they inflicted on this poor old man.

Mr. Diamond was arraigned the next day on “charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, making terroristic threats, recklessly endangering another person, simple assault and resisting arrest,” according to the Lebanon Daily News. His 40 attackers face no charges. Not for attempted homicide, aggravated assault, making terroristic threats, recklessly endangering another person as well as innocent neighbors, simple assault, trespassing, breaking and entering, vandalism, destruction of property, or kidnapping. The local Environmental Protection Agency hasn’t even cited them for turning a farm and horse haven into a toxic biohazard with 80 canisters of tear gas.

By sheer coincidence, Russ Diamond Jr. heads an organization called “Operation Clean Sweep.” He’s been making trouble for Pennsylvania’s state representatives because they voted themselves an unconstitutional pay raise. And, in another odd coincidence, his father’s case has attracted the attention of former congressthingie, Susan Molinari. She now runs The Century Council, one of those horrific “collaborations” between government and private concerns through which bumbling Leviathan steals our freedom more efficiently than it could by itself. Her Council squawks that it “involves all sectors of the community including beverage alcohol wholesalers and retailers, law enforcement, public officials, educators, insurers, health care professionals and private citizen organizations in the fight against alcohol misuse.” Whatever. From her perch in Washington, Susie wrote a letter last week to the Lebanon Daily News. She has no qualms about kicking a man when he’s down and self-righteously inveighed against “hardcore drunk drivers.” Hopefully, that tars the victim of this mini-Waco as an old sot whose rights don’t matter. I await with interest any concern Susie may express about hardcore thugs who attack citizens with CS gas and bulldoze their homes.

Meanwhile, Mr. Diamond languishes in jail, where he’s been since August, awaiting trial. His bail is set at $1 million. For sure he can’t use his house as collateral.

And we all hoped Waco was an aberration…

Becky Akers [send her mail] writes primarily about the American Revolution.

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