Were 401 children seized on a fake phone call?
There is an intriguing feature of the raid on the FLDS in Texas that I have not yet seen discussed. The local sheriff, by his account, had left the group alone on the reasonable enough grounds that, whatever might be believed about their marital practices, there had been no actual evidence they were doing anything illegal. As he put it: "But there again, this is the United States," he said. "We are going to respect them. We're not going to violate their civil rights until we get an outcry."
There was then a phone call to a "family violence center" by a caller who said she was a sixteen year old who had been forced into marriage at fifteen to a fifty year old man who had raped and abused her. She gave her name and the name of the man. Law enforcement authorities moved in, searched the property, and seized 401 children and turned them over to Child Protective Services.So far, however, they seem to have been unable to identify the girl who made the phone call. They did identify the man she accused--who turned out to be in Arizona, said he hadn't been in Texas since 1977, and has not been arrested, which I assume means that the evidence supports his claim.
Which suggests an obvious conjecture—that the phone call was a fake, possibly by someone in law enforcement who wanted an excuse to raid the ranch, possibly by someone else in the area who disapproved of the FLDS and wanted to set off such a raid. I find it surprising that none of the news stories, at least that I have seen, have even mentioned that possibility.
It is also interesting that of the two people who have actually been arrested so far, one was arrested for "tampering with physical evidence" and the other for "interfering with duties of a public servant." Pretty clearly, both arrests had to do with what happened during the raid, not with any evidence that anyone had been doing anything illegal before the raid.