Skip to comments.Boat owners say they were fearful during Coast Guard search
Posted on 09/22/2005 2:42:37 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Two of the Moss Landing Harbor residents who were the subjects of random boat searches during Labor Day Weekend say their experiences were closer to armed invasions than the friendly "safety inspections" characterized by U.S. Coast Guard officials.
Both residents said search crews entered the harbor in inflatable boats with machine guns mounted on their bows. Then, carrying M-16 rifles, they approached residents and boarded and searched their boats in the name of safety and "homeland security."
One resident, who asked not to be identified for fear or retribution, said his experience was "very intimidating, very frightening."
"To me it reeks of Nazi Germany and the death squads in Argentina," he said. "I don't want my name on their list."
Scott Jones, a live-aboard resident who was searched, said there has been talk in the harbor about contacting the American Civil Liberties Union, but he first wants to hear further from the Coast Guard about its future intentions.
Lt. Mark Warren of the Monterey Coast Guard Station said he has heard mostly positive response to the operation, but may rethink future actions given current criticisms.
"We take lessons and learn from these types of operations. If the public is genuinely distasteful of it, we might not do it," he said. "I'm not saying we won't, but I'm not saying we will."
In addition to trying to ensure the safety of boats on the bay during the holiday weekend, Warren said, the operation was part of an effort to increase the public's awareness of the Coast Guard's role as a law enforcement agency under the Department of Homeland Security. He said the public might have been surprised to see weaponry that is now standard issue to all Homeland Security forces.
"I, as a U.S. citizen, am highly offended by that," said Jones, who is accustomed to Coast Guard boardings when he sails. "When a sheriff's deputy drives down the road or a CHP officer drives down the road and I see them, I'm aware of his job, and not because he's pulled me over and put a gun to my head.
"The Coast Guard's needs would be better served by an advertising campaign," he said, "rather than bullying people in their bedrooms at 10:30 at night."
Jones said he and his wife were sleeping when they were awakened by knocking on the side of the boat.
He went to the deck and was confronted by two armed officers asking if they could come aboard. Thinking something had happened in the harbor that the officers needed to talk to him about, Jones acquiesced.
"It seemed a little unreasonable at 10:30 at night," he said, "but it was the middle of the night and I was half asleep, so I said 'OK.' At this point, I looked out and saw six to eight officers (on the dock) and all appeared armed."
The officers boarded his boat and quickly spread out beyond the immediate deck without invitation, saying they were conducting a safety inspection.
"I can say with all certainly that what they did was not a safety inspection or in any way related to a safety inspection," he said. The officers demanded access to the bilge, saying they wanted to make sure the boat wasn't taking on water.
"This was highly suspect," Jones said. "If you're on board, you'd know if you were taking on water."
When Jones showed them the bilge, the officers repeatedly, and with increasing forcefulness, demanded to know if there were other accesses to the bilge. They also "demanded" the driver's licenses of everyone on board.
Increasingly upset by the nature of the search, Jones asked for the officers' authority and justification. One officer read to him from a federal code authorizing the search.
"It was either the Patriot Act or homeland security,"Jones said.
Warren said the officers would not have cited the Patriot Act because it affords the Coast Guard no additional authority.
Jones conceded he may have heard "homeland security" and registered "Patriot Act," but still feels the search was unwarranted and in a gray area of the law at best.
"I wouldn't question their professionalism, but I do question their motive and their authority," he said. "To me, it sounds like something that an ACLU lawyer would just tear apart."
Coast Guard officials say they are authorized by maritime law to board and search vessels on U.S. waters, including waters that lead to U.S. waters, to enforce federal laws.
Warren said the officers were attempting to ensure the safety and compliance of docked boats by checking for oily water in their bilges and that their sanitation devices were in locked position. Some searches were conducted at night in an effort to catch boats before they went onto the bay for the weekend.
The second boat owner who spoke to The Herald said his boat was searched after he challenged officers who were searching other boats, at 10:30 p.m. Sept. 2, and during the morning on following days. Told they were acting as Homeland Security officers, he asked what they were protecting the harbor from.
"Terrorists," he said he was told by the officers, who exhorted him to "remember the Cole," referring to the October 2000 attack by terrorists on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors.
"The only terrorists down here are you guys," he told them. "You're scaring the hell out of me with that machine gun."
While Warren was noncommittal about future searches, he said it is important for the public to know the Coast Guard's presence will be increased.
"The Coast Guard's focus on homeland security has increased our presence on the water and will continue to increase our presence simply because that's what Congress is wanting us to do right now," he said. "The concern at the congressional level about the security of ports is pretty high."
There is also video of the California Highway patrol, Cali State Troopers, DEA etc taking part. It was a total meltdown of our Law enforcement and some of our military. The illegal orders came and they were followed. The NRA reports that some officers were "working with them" and I am sure many did not follow through in the field but many did. They pissed on the Constitution and broke their oaths readily and without any duress. Many appeared to be enjoying themselves.
It painted a bleak picture of our Country's future.
take a powder!
Give me a link to em. I want to see it.
Or Freepmail me at firstname.lastname@example.org where I can find it.
"Screw the Coast Guard, National Guard, NOPD etc. They proved what they were all about when they got an Unconstitutional Order to seize citizens guns and followed it."
Mighty broad statement there.
Funny, I don't recall any NY National Guard or Coast Guard units doing that.
You might want to either be more specific or be less broad in your smears.
The press is unable to handle him because he calls a spade a spade. He managed to keep himself and the men under his command out of some serious $#!T that others were stirring up.
I couldn't believe the way he flooded NO with troops in less than 18 hours after Blanco cried and wrang her hands for 4 days.
I don't know if it was because he was honorable or smart (I believe it was both) but he brought order without any jackboot tactics. Had force been needed I am sure he would have applied it ruthlessly to those who deserved it - not the law abiding citizens.
I was a coastie, and I don't take offense to the statement.
The coasties involved sound like they were merely following orders. We call cops JBT's etc when we feel it's deserved, and there are many cops and families of cops.
If FR is reduced to only those that follow a strictly defined script, it would really suck. FR is a news 7 information discussion forum first and foremost. All the great threads like the Canteen are bred from the original news& information discussion fomat.
Don't take what I say as agreement with Nov3, though.
There is video of the Oklahoma NG taking part and the Coast Guard statement is in reference to the aggresive property seizures under the WOD.
that was friendly.
gun grabbing and confiscations over petty dope crap or even big dope crap prior to conviction aggravate me too.
leos and govt forces coming for our guns...is scary to be blunt
and it can happen.
Best I could find on short notice. Read the gun seizure threads. There is at least one other with video of the OKNG standing over some people with cable tied hands discussing gun seizures and forced evacuations.
It did happen.
Aw, poor babies, good thing they did not have any drugs.
FR would not be much of a discussion forum if everybody had to agree.
I did many boardings and we were supposed to have a zero tolerance policy, but I saw several pot pipes chucked over the side and weighted baggies tossed in the water. It depended on the coxswain and more importantly the attitude of the people we were boarding.
Working with the DEA dudes was another story. They took coasties with them and they loved to screw with fishermen, because in Gloucester, there were an awful lot of fishermen with heroin prolems. Those were scary, because it was always at night, whereas the boardings were almost exclusively at night.
People we boarded were usually nervous, because my job was to stand there with a shotgun ready to go if necesary. It wasn't fun to scare people, but it was necessary to protect the boarding party. I wonder how the lady in the article would feel about awalking through logan airport in boston where the troopers often carry m-16's.
Drink the koolaid.
If the yachters had 4 pot seeds, they were in violation of the law. Who gets to chose which laws should be enforced. If someone raped your mom, would you just call it recreational sex for the rapist and let him go? How about if a drunk killed my daughters. So, he just had a dozen recreational beers, let him go, no prob.
I do not agree with the wholesale confiscation of law-abidingcitizens guns, though. It is an ugly precedent.
The Constitution is quite clear that people are not to be deprived of property without due process.
I do not agree with the wholesale confiscation of law-abidingcitizens guns, though. It is an ugly precedent.
The principles of the Bill of Rights is a package deal. You are free or not. You have the right to own property or not.
The Coast Guard has broad powers granted to it. It is the only military Branch granted those powers since Posse Comitas. The right to safety inspections is being abused and what in fact is taking place is not "safety inspections" wink wink. That is a travesty.
The fact that private Americans vessels were seized as part of an organized campaign through the early and mid 80's under zero tolerance and not a single senior Coast Guard official raised a peep, disgusts me in the extreme.
People here raise a hue and cry over the Kelo decision where a judge is involved and yet here are hundreds of Americans being deprived of their property without so much as a trial. Later when people were granted hearings after years of outcry the presumption of guilt was placed on the individual who's property was seized.
It is theft under the color of authority plain and simple. Many who had their fishing boats, yatchs etc seized were not drug smugglers.
If you don't take offense when somebody tells you "screw you," what do you take offense at? He wasn't saying "screw those rare individuals who don't measure up to the standard." He was saying "Screw the Coast Guard, National Guard, NOPD etc." In other words, "screw you." He was referring to some of my family and friends, and I take offense at that. I'm not sure who he meant by "etc," but that probably includes some more of my family and friends.
you want to check your facts...the ones serving overseas are the sameones serving here. Your commentary on the NG CG and NOPD are rash. I personally resent that fact that you say that the NG soldiers are traitors. are you just basing it on this instance in New Orleans. What a shallow thought process then. to judge on one event. Have you heard of the concept of disarming to maintian order till it can be restored. Yeah the citizens will get their guns back and the NG might I stress might have oversteped their bound (but I doubt it.. they did what they had to do to maintain the safety of the public overall) It is a learning incident.
If you hate any soldiers on this soil you hate them all.. and from Myself as a Navy Veteran... IF you don't appricate what we do and what has been done to keep this country safe.. I hear canada is looking for citizens... I advise that you think before you critize any branch of the military for their actions based on information deseminated to us by the media. you have shown your lack of understanding of the constituion and how a democratic society works
You know that statement unmasks you for what you are. I won't even comment on that. It is unnecessary. It speaks for itself.
If you hate any soldiers on this soil you hate them all.. and from Myself as a Navy Veteran
Funny I was in the Navy as was my father. Also the logic that I cannot condemn one person or unit without condemning every is ludicrous. Are you drunk?
I advise that you think before you critize any branch of the military for their actions based on information deseminated to us by the media. you have shown your lack of understanding of the constituion and how a democratic society works
After your first statement this one appears even more idiotic.
Yep, when I read a 10:30 PM safety inspection...I just started laughing. Its obvious that these Coast Guard guys were up to something else. And it wouldn't surprise me if they on a robbery and surveillance advance trip. Check out the vessel and know how they would react when you come to rob them in a week or two. This is like having the sheriff come out to your house and want to do a safety inspection of your car in the garage...at midnight.
...and just when you think.......
So now the Coasties were casing the boat for a return trip to steal stuff?
"You will fit in well here now that the site has been taken over by neocons and the talibornagains. This site used to be dedicated to the Constitution - you wouldn't have been able to understand what people were talking about then."
That's a good clip, but your tagline sort of defeats the purpose this time.
and what post got Nov3 banned or suspended?
Maritime law applies...JFK
nevermind - he caught the Odin Zot, I see.
I havent changed it in over a month. Back to the 'ol standby.
Dang! Too Late! LOL
Those birthday presents are still rolling in!
I tend to agree with the article a bit unusual for me. We have a fairly large Coast Guard presence in this area a major school at Yorktown, search and rescue, buoy tenders and port security. For some strange reason the port security branch has drawn the type of people who gravitate to SWAT teams. I know they have to be aggressive. I know they have to be alert. I also know some would think it a great idea to expand their normally boring duty with a few safety inspections and late night is always a great time to roust people.
I am not too sad to see him go, but we all know he'll be back.
Port Security types are only reservists, weekend warriors. They tend to be more agressive on boardings, etc because they are only coasties a couple days a month. Regular coasties, in general, do what they have to do with a smile and the safety on.
FReerepublic can attract some real nutbars.
THANK YOU SIR!!
Nov3 felt peoples liberties were violated. He made a quackery of an argumt though. I was a boston commuter for nearly a decade and I work in construction. If I took offense to every "screw you" i would be perpetually offended.
What really offends me are the anti war protestors now and the ones in the 60-70's, especially the maggots who spit on my uncle upon his return from Viet Nam.
He'll be back, reincarnated and real pissed off.
I hope he comes after me, I got something for him too :)
That could explain it - but these are on full time duty.
Well, times are different than when I was in.
Ive been retired (Army) for close to 20 years now time does fly, and things do change. I talk to a soldier today and I am nearly lost.
I once had a crew member who brought some pot aboard, without bothering to tell me about it. After he was caught, fired and beached, I found that the guy had tried pouring the pot down a sink which drained overboard. I don't doubt that there was a seed or two lodged somewhere in the drain hose. Which would have made me in "violation of the law." Guilty only of the fact that a "crime" took place on my boat.
The point being that under a zero tolerance law, my boat could have been confiscated for something that took place without my knowledge or consent, that I did my best to rectify as soon as I found out about it.
I will say that shrimpers hire some pretty questionable characters, you'd think that under zero tolerance, most of the shrimp boats could be mothballed for good.
Yes, the USCG is a fine organization, the zero tolerance policy wasn't. I think it probably wasn't their idea, though.
And? Coasties are just doing their job. I bet this boat owner is a liberal... quick to use the ACLU and the spector of the Patriot Act......
Everybody loves the Coasties no piece of crap liberal with a boat is going to change that.