I never imagined I would read something like this in the news. Let me say this… I dare you people to show up at my door.
When the two plainclothes Loudoun County sheriff’s investigators showed up on her Leesburg doorstep, Pamela Albaugh got nervous. But when they told her why they were there, she got angry: A complaint had been filed alleging that her 11-year old son had made “anti-American and violent” statements in school.
She was aware of an incident at Belmont Ridge Middle School in which her son, Yishai Asido, was assigned to write a letter to U.S. Marines and responded, according to his teacher, by saying, “I wish all Americans were dead and that American soldiers should die.” Yishai and Albaugh deny that the boy wished his countrymen dead….
Albaugh described her son as a rambunctious student who has long opposed armies of any kind. He refused the Veterans Day assignment and told his teacher that the Marines “might as well die, as much as I care.” Whatever was said, the words had been the source of anguished conferences, phone calls and, ultimately, a day of in-school suspension.
Albaugh thought the whole thing was resolved in school until Investigators Robert LeBlanc and Kelly Poland showed up last week. What followed, she said, was two hours of polite but intense and personal questioning.
They asked how she felt about 9/11 and the military. They asked whether she knows any foreigners who have trouble with American policy. They mentioned a German friend who had been staying with the family and asked whether the friend sympathized with the Taliban. They also inquired whether she might be teaching her children “anti-American values,” she said.
Toward the end of the conversation, Albaugh’s husband, Alon Asido, arrived home. Asido said the pair then spent another hour talking to him, mostly about his life in Israel and his more than four years in an elite combat unit there.
Before the investigators left, one deputy said their “concerns had been put to rest,” Albaugh said.
“It was intimidating,” she said. “I told them it’s like a George Orwell novel, that it felt like they were the thought police. If someone would have asked me five years ago if this was something my government would do, I would have said never.”