Hey, remember Matt Shea? He’s the Republican politician who proposed splitting Washington state in two, and further, wanted to name the new state “Liberty”. He’s a caricature of a far right conservative.
Also, he dropped out when the more rational people of Washington noticed that he was nothing but a provocateur who kept getting tangled up with armed insurrectionists, so he’s no longer in office, fortunately.
Shea was a longtime far-right legislator in the Washington House of Representatives until 2020, when he opted not to run for reelection after a report concluded that he’d engaged in domestic terrorism — the result of his involvement in the standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife refuge.
Shea, who the report found had been involved in several armed stand-offs, is also known for his support of a separatist 51st state movement, and for authoring a document, “Biblical Basis for War,” that included steps for killing non-believers (Shea is Christian).
You might be wondering what he’s up to now. He’s in Poland, where he seems to have kidnapped 62 Ukrainian children.
Former Washington state Rep. Matt Shea, the far-right Republican who was found by a House-commissioned investigation to have planned and participated in domestic terrorism, is in a small town in Poland with more than 60 Ukrainian children, trying to facilitate their adoption in America.
Shea has said his group helped rescue 62 children and their two adult caregivers from an orphanage in Mariupol, the city in southeastern Ukraine that has been bombarded by Russian forces.
No one is actually calling it kidnapping yet — they’re accepting, more or less, Shea’s claim that he “rescued” them. Somehow I doubt that.
But international agencies say, with the chaos and confusion of war, now is not an appropriate time for international adoptions from Ukraine. And Shea’s presence, and the lack of information surrounding the American group he’s with, has raised concerns among some residents of Kazimierz Dolny, the small Polish town where the children are staying at a hotel-guesthouse.
“I asked him many times, ‘What are you going to do with these children?’ and he told me that it’s not my business,’” Weronika Ziarnicka, an aide to the mayor of Kazimierz Dolny, said of Shea. “I got the feeling in my gut that something’s wrong with this guy; he didn’t want to tell me his last name.”
Shea claims he’s doing this on behalf of a Texas adoption agency. It’s a bit dodgy.
Loving Families and Homes for Orphans appears to have a website, but it is nonfunctional.
The group, based in Fort Worth, registered with the Texas secretary of state in 2018. No such group is registered as an adoption agency with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. The group is also not registered with the Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity, the group that oversees American agencies involved in international adoption.
I imagine there are many Ukrainian families who have sent their children out of the country to avoid the terrors of war. Imagine doing that for your kids and then discovering that they’d been scooped up by some fanatical ideologue and shipped off to Texas to be stolen by Western conservative Christians — we don’t even know that these are orphans at this point.
Artur Pomianowski, the mayor of Kazimierz Dolny, said in a post on Facebook that he’d visited the children and they are safe and being well cared-for. He also said the “case is being investigated and clarified by the relevant authorities” and that the kids would not leave Kazimierz Dolny without consent of the authorities.
“I do not know what Matt Shea and his friends are doing here around children,” Pomianowski said in an email. “Mr. Shea and his friends have given us some contradictory information and, for that reason, it is difficult for us to trust them.”
That’s putting it mildly.
In related news, Matt Shea’s old buddy, Ammon Bundy, is also in the news, and it’s about a child. Bundy is making terrorist threats against a hospital in Idaho, which has responded by going into lockdown and rerouting patients. He is trying to get a baby out of the hospital.
The baby was temporarily removed from from family custody last Friday after officials determined the 10-month-old was “suffering from severe malnourishment” and at risk of injury or death, according to a statement from police in the city of Meridian near Boise.
The baby’s parents had refused to let officers check on the child’s welfare after the family canceled a medical appointment, the police statement said.
I don’t think either Matt Shea or Ammon Bundy ought to ever be trusted with the welfare of any children anywhere, yet there they are. I don’t even understand why these horrible people are still running free, let alone why they have the privilege of claiming they’re working in the interests of children.