DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION  11:54 am June 8, 2011

Dept. Of Education Now Using SWAT Teams To Terrorize Student Loan Defaulters

by Wonkette Jr.

Who are those creepy masked guys with guns kicking holes in your door before dawn? Here in America, giant corporations don’t pay taxes, but the Department of Education now sends in SWAT teams to beat up student loan defaulters and their families. If you haven’t made your minimum loan payment lately, make sure to sleep with your clothes on. Aren’t you glad you took that 8am stats summer course that cost you $800 per credit?

Acting on orders from the U.S. Department of Education, a S.W.A.T. team broke into a California home Tuesday at 6 a.m. and reportedly roughed up a man — all because of his estranged wife’s defaulted student loans. She wasn’t there.

Yet, Kenneth Wright of the city of Stockton was grabbed by the neck by handcuffed before he and his three young children were put in a police car as the officers search his house, he told ABC News10. He said he was in his underwear the whole time.

We smell a new COPS spin-off. [RawStory]

Related video

Hola wonkerados.

To improve site performance, we did a thing. It could be up to three minutes before your comment appears. DON'T KEEP RETRYING, OKAY?

Also, if you are a new commenter, your comment may never appear. This is probably because we hate you.


nounverb911 June 8, 2011 at 11:57 am

"He said he was in his underwear the whole time."
Good thing he wasn't in the shower when he was arrested.

user-of-owls June 8, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Not so fast. The SWAT team tweeted pix of him to young girls and cc'ed Breitbart.

GuyClinch June 8, 2011 at 11:57 am

Well, that sounds reasonable.

GhostBuggy June 8, 2011 at 11:57 am

Jesus Christ, this awful country.

user-of-owls June 8, 2011 at 11:59 am

This is so going into my intro syllabus. What a great motivator when those snarling sophomores start sassing.

GhostBuggy June 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm

user-of-owls, are you actually Dr. Smith from "Lost in Space"? Because you sound like it, and that would be pretty awesome.

user-of-owls June 8, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Not quite. My sneer is pretty good, but I still have to work on my mincing.

GhostBuggy June 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Ah yes. The mincing.

Lionel[redacted]Esq June 8, 2011 at 4:16 pm

You got to have the mincing.

nounverb911 June 8, 2011 at 11:59 am

None of Palin's kids will ever have to worry about this.

Chillwaver June 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm

But they'd probably quit after their sophomore year anyway…

Lionel[redacted]Esq June 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Turns out that Fat, Drunk and Stupid (and Knocked Up) is the way to go through life.

Oblios_Cap June 8, 2011 at 11:59 am

Bring back debtors prisons!

It's morning in America. The thousand points of light you're seeing is because you got whacked in the head by a police baton.

nounverb911 June 8, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Aren't they already part of Koch Industries?

not that Dewey June 9, 2011 at 9:21 am
baconzgood June 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Bad Boys Bad Boys
Whacha ya gonna do
when you don't pay for NYU.

guangho June 9, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Don't cry for me SUNY
I shall not leave you
All through the gang rapes
And my sad existence
I'm…SUNY…and always will be

bumfug June 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Good thing they didn't find the little Jewgirl living in the attic.

memzilla June 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Hell, let's let the banks hire Blackwater/Xe and go after the credit card and mortgage defaulters!

FlownOver June 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Don't think B of A hasn't thought about it. They're just waiting until they've neutralized that Warren woman.

horsedreamer_1 June 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Vivan los bancarios!

(That's what Ernie said, right?)

Banelm June 8, 2011 at 8:01 pm

This is, of course, more a matter of time than anything else. The thin facade of legal protections is all but gone, especially in states with teaparty governors.

CapeClod June 8, 2011 at 12:03 pm

He shouldn't have used that guerilla airduct repair man.

baconzgood June 8, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Do you have a 27B-6?

CapeClod June 8, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Upfist to fans of "Brazil."

GuyClinch June 8, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Suddenly I feel an urgent need to return the overdue copy of Dignity to the library. SWAT teams evidently have time on their hands and need shit to do.

DaRooster June 8, 2011 at 12:05 pm

See. If the damn student loans were not from the Gubmint… the non-Gubmint loan folk would have had to hire someone to go in, choke the guy and scare the shit out of his kids… T-Paw's strategy WOULD work. Job creation!

Beowoof June 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm

And with it that already being a FAMILY business I see a win win here.

hagajim June 8, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Good thing he didn't illegally download porn or something….they'd have probably executed him in front of his kids for that.

HistoriCat June 8, 2011 at 1:47 pm
SayItWithWookies June 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm

I think it says in Leviticus that if any woman shall pay Phoenix University $20,000 to end up with qualifications to be a dental assistant's assistant, her husband and children shall endure unforseeable suckage (and not the good kind) unto the seventh generation. Alas, our current pre-college education system doesn't teach kids the really important lessons in life — i.e., the difference between what's actually a college and what's just magic beans whose purchase you'll be regretting for the rest of your life.

GuyClinch June 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Hey, baconzgood, I think somebody's at your door.

Goonemeritus June 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Wouldn’t it more efficient to carpet bomb areas that are primarily populated with hipster types?

elviouslyqueer June 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is going to be so fucked.

DahBoner June 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Somerville, MA is target #2…

Chillwaver June 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm

You know who else was a "Student Load Defaulter"?

FlownOver June 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Harry Potter?

flamingpdog June 8, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Van Wilder?

Boredw/Gravitas June 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm

John Belushi?

Lionel[redacted]Esq June 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm


fartknocker June 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Ferris Bueller?

jqheywood June 8, 2011 at 5:13 pm


horsedreamer_1 June 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm


zhubajie June 17, 2011 at 9:37 pm

GW Bush?

freakishlywrong June 8, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Holy fuck. I bet they don't do that shit to people who are late on their LAW school loans.

elviouslyqueer June 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm
Lionel[redacted]Esq June 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm

The University of Phoenix has a law school?

BlueStateLibel June 8, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Next: Swat Teams will be kicking your door in for overdue library books. But seriously, the civilized countries probably aren't even laughing at us anymore, just crying.

finallyhappy June 8, 2011 at 12:27 pm

well, hell yeah- how long do I have to wait to get that new Nicole Krauss book from my library???

user-of-owls June 8, 2011 at 1:40 pm

In a generation or less, we've transformed ourselves into something akin to a Zdeno Chara-sized retard. On meth. With a rocket launcher.

They're neither laughing nor crying. They're cowering.

m_supercomputer June 8, 2011 at 2:24 pm

True story: A few years ago, Canada did some kind of drama series or miniseries about its government. It included the characters discussing management of various natural resources, like timber & oil etc. A big part of the response to the series, as I remember it, was people basically going "ssshhh, we don't mention that. The Americans might hear you!"

GhostBuggy June 8, 2011 at 12:18 pm

It's a good thing we've got President Obama and not some commie pinko, negro-loving liberal in the White House who probably would be aghast at the D of E using goon squads to terrorize American children. A damn good thing.

snoopyfan2010 June 8, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I think that stopped after he had the beer summit.

problemwithcaring June 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Well look on the bright side: now good white liberals like you get to use the word negro in polite company and make pissy "non-jokes" about a mis-reported story. So there's that.

GhostBuggy June 10, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Yes, I'm pretty certain that's what "good white liberals" are clamoring for, is to use the word "negro" more. They also, I guess, want to call people commies and pinkos? Or maybe they just want to use it to mock what some in this country might think upon hearing this news, if the President was a white person himself, as some of them wish was the case.

Also, you're convinced of the color of my skin because…?

problemwithcaring June 11, 2011 at 1:06 pm

I read your comment and said "like you" because you do a fair job of mimicking their lines. White liberal purists, white liberal purists apologist: it's all the same.

Also, ew. I don't care about your skin color. I comment on wonkette and the av club, qed, I don't see race.

GhostBuggy June 11, 2011 at 1:38 pm

I don't know what you mean by white liberal purist, so maybe I'm missing a big point here.

Look, my pissy non-joke had two points. 1. There are plenty of people out there who would delight in seeing a black guy get his door knocked in by feds, whatever the reason, and would then drop all that non-interference bullshit they spout b/c this time a black guy is the victim. 2. It would be nice if, as Obama's term continues, he didn't seem to be less and less the liberal that would be pissed off at the federal government doing such a thing and more of a guy who got us involved in even more wars, compromises far too much with the crybaby clementine, and so on.

Now, if this news turns out to be wrong, then great! But you joke with the news you have, not the news you wish you had. And maybe it's the Obama criticism you don't care for, I don't know, but "lesser of two evils" is not an acceptable situation.

GhostBuggy June 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Forgot to add: I also comment once in a great while at the AV Club. I've always wondered if there's much crossover between here and there. I'm probably going to take a break from them, though; I was recently involved in too-long discussion where I brought up the fantastical notion that perhaps, just maybe, Bigfoot is not, you know, real. I was informed that this cannot be the case in many long posts.

natoslug June 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm

If only his wife had become a forklift driver instead, she wouldn't have those expensive loans to repay.

(if you're impatient with the Germans, and the slow buildup in their jokes, jump ahead to 2:48 or 3:40 and start from there. Yes, Germans have a sense of humour, dammit!)

Giveusabob June 8, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Aha! My favorite forklift training video! (Y'know, of the many I've watched on Youtube.)

Cheers to you sir for somehow fabricating relevance to that video. Emphasis on the "somehow."

natoslug June 9, 2011 at 11:30 am

On the Internet, EVERYTHING is relevant.

tihond June 8, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Sorry… I made a misspelling… I meant to put "Gubbamint."

widestanceroman June 8, 2011 at 12:23 pm

What kind of nanny state does this without first shooting the dog?

Oh, no dog? Fine, then shoot the dog at a wrong address or the kids at the right address. Justice must be served or the terrorists have won.

finallyhappy June 8, 2011 at 12:29 pm

PG county doesn't care about school loans-I assume you are referring to PG??

HistoriCat June 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Did they at least make the kids cry? Cause you're not doing it right if you don't leave the little ones bawling their eyes out.

widestanceroman June 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Hey, they're still alive, and with kidneys intact, right?

jus_wonderin June 8, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Do we get to see his weiner?

Peace in our time June 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm

It's been gold-plated and will be handed down from Above.

Callyson June 8, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Next up: parking ticket scofflaws. Then overdue library books. And don't forget to register your pet!
What? You want us to go after wealthy tax cheats? What do you think this is, a police state? Get out of my face, commie pinko bastard…

Tundra Grifter June 8, 2011 at 12:24 pm

I don't think the head of the Department of Education should have read the recent book by Ann Coulter.

Papa_Uniform June 8, 2011 at 12:52 pm

The head of the Dept. of Education can read? Come on.

ManchuCandidate June 8, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Special Weapons And Terrorism.

JustPixelz June 8, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Turns out the young woman was in the house the whole time. The skills she learned at Jedi University let her wave off the SWAT team with a simple "This isn't the deadbeat you're looking for."

BZ1 June 8, 2011 at 12:30 pm

showing up on "COPS" anytime now, "He said he was in his underwear the whole time…" that's primetime…

DashboardBuddha June 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm

What fucking country did I wake up in today!?

Serolf_Divad June 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm

President Assad… Is that you?

Trollina Dumbass June 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm

This nation brought to you by…the Republic of David H. and Charles G. Kochistan

horsedreamer_1 June 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Republic in what respect? Florentine/Medici sense?

Trollina Dumbass June 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm

It's their Republic, we're just living in it. For now anyway. So, yes.

flamingpdog June 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm

That was one hell of a non-credit learning experience.

Gopherit June 8, 2011 at 12:39 pm

YAY! I have been waiting for debtor prisons! Free food and a bed. Way better than welfare.

edgydrifter June 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Someday soon, the government will send in its brute squad to harvest your indebted ass and then pay handsomely to have it chained to a workbench in a for-profit prison, thereby spending 100x the original debt so that lobbyists can continue throwing hooker parties for senators.
No, that doesn't sound fascist much.

SorosBot June 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm

At least we have low taxes on the rich and corporations, though; high taxes are fascism, this is the government properly using force against citizens on behalf of the corporations, a doctrine which is good old conservative freedom.

gullywompr June 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm

I'm rendered snarkless. Time to just rename the Department of Education to the Ministry of Love

DahBoner June 8, 2011 at 1:12 pm

"TIme to just rename the Department of Education to the Ministry of Love"

And it's gettin' close to "harvest time", Comrade…

zhubajie June 17, 2011 at 9:39 pm

I've been calling Homeland Security The Ministry of Fear for a long time!

Sharkey June 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Check this out.
"Why are we treating our fledgling students like criminals?"
"LOL! Because it's obscenely profitable of course."

OneYieldRegular June 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm

That's a fabulous graphic, thanks. One thing it largely omits is the incredible market for trading in student loans, which investors buy up by the busload for speculative purposes. So while you, the poor student just out of 4 years of joblessness training, is sitting there in a panic wondering how you're going to start paying back your thousands in loans starting a mere six months from graduation, rich investors are out playing with what you thought was your own investment in your future.

Pres[EXTERMINATE!!] June 8, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Shoot first, ask no questions later.

weejee June 8, 2011 at 12:51 pm

So this means defaulting on student loans is not Palin-approved grifting?

prommie June 8, 2011 at 12:59 pm

We are edging closer to debtor's prisons every day. If not for the fact that bankruptcy is in the Constitution, we'd probably be there, but, its not in the REAL part of the Constitution that was written by Jesus, so who knows.

simplyblue7 June 8, 2011 at 1:06 pm

HAHAHAHAHA…that was funny…wait, when is my payment due date? OH CRAP!

gullywompr June 8, 2011 at 1:19 pm

That was my first response too. I read your list, but are there any news organizations reporting this?

James Michael Curley June 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm

The last time I did a count (around 1998) – there were 22 federal agencies with full 'police powers' and, of course, the entire US and territories as jurisdiction. But hey! if you don't owe the DoE that money, why you worryin' when the door caves?

DahBoner June 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm

You're right.

There are no "federal police" but the Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General, which just bought 27 shotguns, is the law enforcement arm of the department.

And although they usually investigate educational fraud worth millions of dollars, they did bust a Quincy Man for Lying on Student Loan Application.

How much did his wife scam University of Phoenix for?

James Michael Curley June 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I think she shoplifted a few packs of Oreo's Double Stuff from the Trump University Cafeteria.

finallyhappy June 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm

I used to work for Dept of Ed and like most IG offices- they shouldn't have sharpened pencils much less guns

Lionel[redacted]Esq June 8, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Great, now what is going to happen to me for that time I put on an old postage stamp, and yet the letter still got delivered?

snoopyfan2010 June 8, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Is this on Faux News yet? I want to hear their take on this.

Beowoof June 8, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Warrant they don't need no stinkin warrant.

ThankYouJeebus June 8, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Because the cops could hear him destroying evidence from outside the door.

pinkocommi June 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm

It is a War on the Poor and Middle Class. There are more of us, but the Rich have all the wealth and political power. The question is, when will our side start with the suicide bombs?

James Michael Curley June 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Five to one, baby
One in five
No one here gets out alive, now
You get yours, baby
I'll get mine
Gonna make it, baby
If we try

The old get old
And the young get stronger
May take a week
And it may take longer
They got the guns
But we got the numbers
Gonna win, yeah
We're takin' over
Come on!

HistoriCat June 8, 2011 at 1:44 pm

The same way we're in 3 wars – once you pay for all that neato equipment you have to use it. You don't want your SWAT teams sitting around doing nothing.

horsedreamer_1 June 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Nice to Shane's World diversifying its operation.

horsedreamer_1 June 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I have student-loan defaulters in my family, one generation removed — so, my parents's generation — but the principal individual is white, lives & votes Republican in Waukesha County, & is old enough not to have Paul Ryan abscond with her Medicare, so she's alright.

HobbesEvilTwin June 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Aunt Sallie sure is a bitch these days.

mavenmaven June 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm

When Pawlenty privatizes SWAT teams and puts them in the hands of the corporations, then we'll really have some fun every morning!

proudgrampa June 8, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Yeah, this sounds mighty suspicious…

MissusBarry June 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Wow, and I thought that dude who's citizenship got held up in a security check for a couple years because of a student loan default got boned.

tymberwolf817 June 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm

First they came for the student-loan defaulters . . .

MiniMencken June 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm

What the SWAT team was doing in his underwear, he'll never know.

Tommmcattt June 8, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Kenneth Wright of the city of Stockton

That says it all, really. Poor bastard.

Sue4466 June 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Not to get in the way of some really great rants. But the story's been updated. It wasn't a SWAT team and it wasn't about student loan debt.

But otherwise, that's some pretty damn accurate reporting!

jus_wonderin June 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm

It was a Terminator from the future, looking for Sarah Connor who was willing to spoil our leisure time after we give over total control to the robots.

finallyhappy June 8, 2011 at 5:42 pm

So the update says Dept of Ed did issue the warrant and it was for "criminal behavior"- but what kind of behavior connected to Dept of Ed warrants a kicked in door and arresting a guy and putting his kids in a police car?? I know about fraud investigations related to finances and to research at Fed agencies but we never had the people arrested like this.

Sue4466 June 8, 2011 at 6:06 pm

I don't know! But maybe we can follow cable news' lead and just speculate the shit out of this story!

LetUsBray June 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Agreed. This doesn't leave things a whole lot better, even if it didn't look like hasty PR backside-covering.

Doktor Zoom June 8, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Considering the accuracy of the original report, we'll probably find out that two guys in suits knocked on the guy's door and asked his some questions, but they used a very unkind tone of voice.

lochnessmonster June 8, 2011 at 5:19 pm

The Navy Seals would have gotten the deadbeat right.

LetUsBray June 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm

I got my cardboard box already picked out.

MinAgain June 8, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Hey, SWAT team members need jobs too, you know.

emmelemm June 8, 2011 at 8:13 pm

You know, internet anonymity ain't what it used to be. I'd be careful with my a) true stories of possible malfeasance and b) dick pix.

alaninthecastro June 8, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Moral of the story, always wear clean underpants in case someone in your household has defaulted on a student loan.

Also, rooming with a student loan defaulter still not quite as dangerous as being wrongly suspected of drug possession.

fuflans June 8, 2011 at 9:22 pm

when i was first introduced to the clash, they were a fab punk band ten years past their heyday and it was artistic hipster cool (though 'hipster' hadn't been invented yet) to be a clash fan.

now, they are entirely necessary.

how did we come to this?

not that Dewey June 9, 2011 at 9:23 am

She looked at me like I just slapped her baby.

Well? Did you?

Chet Kincaid June 9, 2011 at 9:48 am

I don't have time to slog through all your day-old snark, but did Jr. or any of you notice that the story Wonkette linked was amended?

"UPDATE: The Department of Education emailed Raw Story with a comment from spokesman Justin Hamilton to say the search warrant and raid were related to a criminal investigation, not a student loan default. The ABC affiliate has yanked its story that made the now seemingly false claim.

“While it was reported in local media that the search was related to a defaulted student loan, that is incorrect. This is related to a criminal investigation. The Inspector General’s Office does not execute search warrants for late loan payments,” Hamilton said. “Because this is an ongoing criminal investigation, we can’t comment on the specifics of the case.”"

problemwithcaring June 10, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Damn you, Chet! With Ken gone, there are less and less bones for the "morally-weak negro just like bush" crowd. And you had to spoil this one.

SarcasticNymph June 11, 2011 at 1:23 am

And, social security can be confiscated to pay student loans. So you can starve and live in your car with your chronic diseases and poor health as an Old. Unless you are lucky and get thrown into debtor's prison – with hard bed and awful food.

SarcasticNymph June 11, 2011 at 1:24 am

Yeah, but it is near impossible to emigrate to those countries. Know of any marriage brokers, who can find me a Swedish or Frenchie who wants to marry an American?

zhubajie June 17, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Yes, it'll take that long for the fat poor to become the skinny poor!

zhubajie June 17, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Debt bondage is common in Pakistan and India; expect something like that to become common in the USA, too.

zhubajie June 17, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Maybe the next development in Green power generating will be Victorian style treadmills!

user-of-owls June 8, 2011 at 4:21 pm

AND those fabulous turtlenecks!

problemwithcaring June 12, 2011 at 12:08 pm

You are a fucking idiot. 1) The story was updated and corrected. Read it.

2) Keep the pissy non-jokes on AV club, and you won't get pissy responses on wonkette.

GhostBuggy June 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Jesus fuck, you are stupid. So I'm supposed to delete any post I made after a story's been updated? I know the story's changed. Maybe we should all just give each story a two-day grace period before we make jokes.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: