Day 25 - Do you know where your kids are? 
JoAnn McGuckin doesn't

by Edgar J. Steele

June 22, 2001

First, the fund report.  It now stands at $24,487.86.  That does not include an additional $605.00 we are holding in checks and money orders payable to JoAnn, personally, which we have not deposited.  My wife accidentally included $300 of checks payable to JoAnn and to Benjamin in the first deposit we made, all without endorsements, which is where we will leave them if they do not come back unpaid. 
We also have $30 in "American Liberty Currency Silver Certificates" (not sure what these are, but we are dutifully holding them for JoAnn, of course).  We have gotten a number of envelopes bearing cash, usually in smaller denominations, but several $100 bills, as well.  The other day, we opened one envelope with five $100 bills in it, which had no name on or in it, and no return address, postmarked New York.  It is always risky to send cash in the mail like this, folks, but bless you for opening your hearts and your pocketbooks for these neighbors of ours. 
My wife, who opens the mail from the PO Box and prepares the deposits, remarked, "A lot seems to be coming out of New York."  This clearly belies the Empire State's liberal, pro-big-government image and clearly shows that this assault upon an American family cuts across all of society's dividing lines.  Notice that it is the local Bonner County government which perpetrated this outrage in the first place and which has done its best to vilify those of us who have protested.  
The local government and its leftist, running-dog local media lackeys continue their campaign to dismiss JoAnn and all of us as "paranoid crackpots," "rabble-rousers," "right-wing loonies" and "conservative extremists."  One of this list's members said, concerning their description of those of us who rallied for JoAnn on June 11:  "The rally participants have been characterized as everything negative under the sun--militia, anti-semitic, aryan nations, anti-government...everything EXCEPT what they were--American families who are fed up with the state's intrusions into traditional family affairs."  Okay, all you liberals and democrats on this list, and there are a great many, how does it feel now to be a part of the "vast right-wing conspiracy?"  This case highlights how there are some things that we all do agree upon, after all (hint:  rhymes with Pyrenee and, almost, "yerenemy").
The new address for the fund:  JoAnn McGuckin Benefit Trust Account, c/o Panhandle State Bank, PO Box 967, Sandpoint, Idaho 83864.  The bank opens the mail, holds the enclosures for us to collect for eventual delivery to JoAnn, and directly deposits checks and cash.  Please publicize this address in place of the PO Box we previously gave you, though rest assured that every penny that comes into that box for the McGuckins will go to them, eventually.
We have now received copies of two "certified mail, restricted delivery" receipts from people who sent something directly to JoAnn at the Bonner County Jail, both of which were clearly signed for by Bryce Powell, the county-paid lawyer appointed for her.  Keep in mind that all her mail is going to him, unopened, per his directive to jail personnel. 
Also keep in mind that Powell is the same guy that wanted me to pay him some money out of the fund, originally established to pay her bail, to supplement his stipend for defending JoAnn, saying, “How about getting paid some of the money in the fund?  As you know, they don’t pay us much to handle these cases and I could sure use the money this month.” 
Yep, Powell is the same guy that established his own "McGuckin Family Trust Fund," at his own office address in Sandpoint on Second Avenue.
And, yes, Powell is the same guy that still hasn't moved to (1) get the conditions of her release modified, or (2) set bail without conditions (that he knew I was standing ready to post from the first day he met with her, or (3) get her out on a habeas writ.
Day 25:  "Peace is at hand."
Remember that famous line, uttered by Henry Kissinger as Richard Nixon's reelection campaign was sputtering due to the fiasco then taking place in Viet Nam?  Many believe that bit of deception is what got him reelected.  Of course, peace never was "at hand," and Nixon went on to argue about the shape of the negotiating table, invade Cambodia and suffer the deaths of thousands more American boys, including many friends of mine, thereby setting the stage for the acrimonious class division in this country existing today and which erupted during the recent Presidential campaign.
For 25 days, JoAnn has been in jail.
For 25 days, Kathryn, Ben, Mary, Tom, Fred and Ellen have been without their mother.
25 days.  Because they were poor.  Because they had too many dogs.  Because they were home schooled.  Because they didn't "fit in."  Because they didn't live on McNuggets and curly fries.  Because they lived as my great-grandparents did just 100 years ago.  Because they wanted to be left alone.  Because their land was prime and located in a prime area.
I couldn't help but think of Kissinger's now-infamous proclamation when reading local newspaper accounts of Powell hoping for dismissal of all criminal charges and reunification of the family.  Of course, those same stories refer to Prosecuting Attorney Phil Robinson demanding a psych eval of JoAnn and making his "it's for the children" face-saving statements. 
Yeah, Phil, it's "for the children" that Bonner County took their family home for $8,000 in back taxes and then quickly sold it for $50,000. 
And tell us again, Phil, how it's "for the children" that Bonner County put that $42,000 easy profit in its own pockets. 
And, Phil, remind us again about how it's "for the children" than their dogs have all been taken away. 
And, don't forget, Phil, how it's "for the children" that, shortly after they saw their father lowered into his grave, you swore out a warrant which took their mother away, too, and keeps her in jail to this day, despite it coming out that so many things you swore to were false.
And, of course, it's "for the children," isn't it, Phil, that the authorities keep dieseling them from one foster home to the next?  ( The kids have been shuffled several times now - poorly kept secret - foster homes are objecting and insisting they be placed elsewhere, either because the kids are unruly or because they are afraid Mom will come calling with a gun when she gets out.)
Know what I think?  I think it's over for this family.  I think the authorities are waiting for the public furor to die down, so they can then do what they intended from the beginning.  I think these kids will end up split apart and adopted out.  I think JoAnn will get that psych eval and be shipped off to Orofino (the local mental health "facility").  I think the land will go on to its intended grand and glorious future.  I think Bonner County will continue to plunder its poorer residents, taking their land for back taxes, then selling it and keeping the profit.  That's what I think.  It's my opinion, and I'm entitled to it.  So there.  Take your "it's for the children" blather and stuff it, Phil.  I, for one, am sick and tired of hearing it from you.
Grand Jury
There has been a lot of local speculation about the convening of a Bonner County grand jury two nights ago at the call of a local prosecutor.  Everybody seems to want to link it up to the McGuckin case.  I doubt it.
While I have no idea what the grand jury is for, I suspect it is being convened to be forcefed and then whitewash Boundary County's Prosecuting Attorney Bruce Benton for his dismissing the Ruby Ridge murder/manslaughter charges against Horiuchi.  Bonner and Boundary counties have long had an arrangement whereby each provides the other "independent" prosecutor "investigations" into alleged misconduct involving prosecutors or their staff.  The investigations always seem to come up empty, of course.
There sure is a lot of stuff that smells in North Idaho, isn't there?  Do you ever wonder why?


"I didn't say it would be easy.  I just said it would be the truth."
            - Morpheus

Copyright © Edgar J. Steele, 2002

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