(LifeSiteNews) — The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently defended the agency’s dramatic raid of pro-life advocate Mark Houck.
During an interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier on Tuesday, FBI director Christopher Wray backed his agency’s actions on September 23, 2022, when numerous armed agents swarmed Houck’s Pennsylvania home early in the morning and arrested him in front of his seven children.
After an incident occurred with an “escort” outside an abortion center, Houck was accused of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. He was acquitted of all charges on January 30, but the nature of his arrest has remained a highly controversial issue across the country.
“The show of force for that arrest, that decision to use that force, was that by the book?” Baier asked, referring to the early morning raid consisting of nearly 30 SWAT agents with rifles drawn and pointed at the man whose case had already been thrown out of court.
“Those decisions are made—as they should be—by the commanders on the ground, in the field office, who have the expertise about when to conduct operations safely and securely, for the safety of everybody involved,” Wray answered. “To my knowledge, those processes were all followed in this case.”
FBI Director Chris Wray defends the FBI sending 30 agents to arrest pro-life activist Mark Houck in front of his family but doing nothing about BLM activists who torch federal buildings:
“We have one standard which is irrespective of ideology or politics.” pic.twitter.com/b8CDcfmMK1
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 1, 2023
READ: FBI whistleblower: Memo smearing Latin Mass Catholics still on gov’t servers despite public retraction
Baier then addressed the frustration of many Americans that such force was used on a peaceful protestor while the FBI fails to address actual violence with the same intensity. He cited the agency’s protocol that “a defendant—if he has no criminal history, is not believed to be violent or pose a threat to public safety—that he or she is permitted to self-surrender rather than subject dynamic execution of an arrest warrant.”
The news anchor referred to the lack of consistency as “the dual system.”
“There’s that for a pro-life activist but not that for a Black Lives Matter protestor who maybe torches a federal building over the summer,” Baier said. “So that disparity, that dichotomy, is what sticks in people’s minds.”
“I understand that people have their opinions,” Wray replied. “All I can tell you is that we have one standard—one standard—which is irrespective ideology or politics. In this country, it doesn’t matter what you’re upset about, or who you’re upset with. You don’t get to express that upset with violence. And so, we are agnostic as the ideology, and focus on the violence.”
Wray added that “there’s a whole lot of things that goes into the judgment about what is the way to conduct arrests safely and securely.” He expressed confidence in the “career agents on the ground” who make these decisions “appropriately.”
READ: Anti-Trump FBI agents trashed pro-lifers, wanted to cancel 2016 March for Life
The director also argued that the agency’s “long history of conducting those operations with a far better track record of safety” than other organizations is due to the individuals who “take it so seriously and so meticulously.”
Following the raid on Houck’s home, the Biden administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) continued to track down pro-lifers, dealing out charges of FACE Act violations. Paul Vaughn, another pro-life activist and father, was arrested in a raid similar to the one conducted against Houck. Days before Houck’s acquittal, Fr. Fidelis Moscinski was found <guilty of violating the FACE Act for his actions during a peaceful Red Rose Rescue in 2022.
However, the FBI has not addressed widespread pro-abortion terrorism against crisis pregnancy centers with the same fervor. In January, two protestors were indicted by a grand jury for vandalizing pregnancy centers in Florida. Despite far more violence being directed towards pro-life groups than pro-abortion groups, these charges have been the only ones given to abortion activists.
The FBI is planning to intensify its “assessment” and “mitigation” of “Radical Traditionalist Catholics” over the next 12 to 24 months according to an explosive document from a former agent turned whistleblower.
SIGN & SHARE: Tell the FBI to stop its surviellance of faithful Catholics and focus on the real criminals.
The bombshell 8-page memo was released by former FBI agent Kyle Serpahin on his website UncoveredDC Wednesday. The report, written by an FBI analyst in Richmond, Virginia, was published for internal agency use only on January 23, is titled, “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities.”
Seraphin describes the briefing as an “intelligence product” that, though not being exhaustive, can be used as an initial reference point for the agency to “prop up” future investigations on the subject. He says he obtained the document from an anonymous Baptist employee for the agency.
“This is the first FBI Richmond domain product to focus on the interest of racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists in the Radical Traditional Catholic movement,” the document states. “A search of FBI databases indicates this is also the first FBI finished intelligence product to specifically address this environmental variable.”
SIGN: Politically-motivated witch-hunts of faithful Catholics cannot be allowed in a civilized society
Among the most controversial aspects of the memo is that it directly cites a defamatory study conducted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on the subject “Radical Traditional Catholicism.” The SPLC has long been rejected as a legitimate resource for the FBI, Seraphin says, but in this instance, it is being relied on as a primary source to justify its efforts. The memo also references three anti-Catholic smear articles (here, here, and here) published by leftwing websites Salon and The Atlantic to defend its monitoring.
The report alleges that its real motivation is a concern that “Radical Traditionalist Catholic Ideology” possesses an “anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, and white supremacy” outlook, and that this presents a threat to the US’s domestic well-being. The report further claims that adherents to RTC ideology “frequently share language and symbolism, such as crusader references or anti-Semitic discourses” online that pro-life white nationalists also support.
SIGN: The FBI's smear campaign against Catholics cannot be allowed to stand
Please send this petition to as many concerned Americans as possible - we cannot allow the continued politicization of the FBI.
FBI whistleblower releases docs showing agents are surveilling "Radical" Traditional Catholics in Virginia
READ: Pro-life pregnancy centers face arson, smoke bomb attacks after Roe v. Wade reversal
Data from October shows that 135 attacks on pro-life organizations and individuals took place between the leak of the Supreme Court Dobbs opinion and September 24, 2022. Pro-abortion activists were subjects of violence in only six cases. The same data found that violence was targeted at pro-lifers more than 22 times more than violence was directed against abortion supporters.
Weeks after these numbers were released, Wray <admitted during a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing that nearly 70% of abortion-related violence after Roe’s reversal was targeted against pro-life centers.
Mark Houck says he ‘most definitely’ will press charges for FBI raid that ‘terrorized’ his children
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