posted on Nov, 11 2008 @ 01:07 AM
As soon as a newbie (me) makes his first post on ATS, someone appeals to the mods to shut the thread down because the action on it simmered down
before I got here? I'm not trolling, just arriving to the party late, with something to contribute I hope.
I actually visit the area 2-3x/yr on average (from the East Coast), and have previously read other things written by the OP. I have mutual
acquaintances both online and in person, which give him some credibility with me. I decided to spend some time to see if he was being wrongly bashed.
I found it interesting enough to read the entire 11 pages of posts and a lot of the stuff it pointed to, then write a detailed post of my own.
To me, the main weakness in the story was putting a fairly expensive camera at risk of theft, in return for a small chance of getting anything useful
on video. Now that the OP has answered that the value of the camera is not significant to him, I think that his story becomes 10x more credible
unless someone can show that he is a liar about that or something else significant.
His campsite was almost certainly bugged. Maybe "bugged" is not as correct as "under audio surveillance", but functionally it is the same to me
whether his conversations were monitored by a planted bug nearby, or by the capabilities of the sensors sprinkled around the area, or by devices in
the camo dudes' trucks, or an infrared laser aimed at his car window or tent-covering tarp. So arguments like "How did they know you shot video of
them, or where you put the camera?" don't hold much weight with me. Talking with a girlfriend easily creates plenty of audio evidence about things
In defense of the camos, but also adding to the credibility of the story, some camos are deputized in Lincoln Co, so investigating outside the border
may not be improper or against their rules of engagement. Even undeputized, searching an empty tent on public land near the military border is
arguably legal for them. The car breakin would be illegal in most places. But they haven't exactly lost any "illegal search and seizure" cases
that I know of at this place! The local court seemingly always finds in their favor, and there may well also be executive orders or standing
"national security" warrants covering them even if push comes to shove in a higher court.
I still see one double-edged issue. Namely, I think Ben probably enjoys pushing the envelope with the camos (headlight flashing contests, talking to
border crossers, leaving the camera on to trap them, and who knows what else...) and probing them a bit. Maybe the camos had been looking for an
excuse to push back. Or maybe posting what he did is just an attempt to probe them, though I don't think he'd give up his reputation just for that.
Only those who were there know for certain, so you can either believe him or not. I think the objections to his story were all out there before I got
here, so my own analysis has just leveled the playing field a bit by showing how the objections are not as certain as some people think.
IMHO the story itself, and the OP's presentation and defense of it, do not contain any contradictions or impossibilities.
I wonder what the rules are for handling confiscated items out there. They must have procedures. Maybe the camera will turn up at a government
auction or something?
I still give the OP the benefit of the doubt. Hang in there Ben, maybe we'll play "cowboy darts" at the Inn sometime and discuss this one over a
Conclusions about camo country seem unchanged over the years. They can see and hear you, so act accordingly. Locking a car door won't stop them from
confiscating cameras or arresting you on public land (ask Glenn Campbell). Constitutional rights are worthless if you cross them. Courts back them
up. They are doing their job, not setting national policy. Show respect. Bring water. Enjoy.