Ever since the so-called War On Drugs (WOD) and, now, the War On Terror (WOT) — actually more like the War On The Bill of Rights) — began, our civilian cops have been undergoing MILITARY training. The authorities gentle it down with the prefix Para but those dynamic entry teams would be more at home in Baghdad than Boston. (Well, unless they hit John Kerrys front door at 3 am, Boston might not be a good example.) Watch Dallas SWAT for a dose of how it works.
I have long thought that that sort of activity within the ranks of otherwise civilian law enforcement was a push by those with an agenda to bypass posse comitatus for purposes BEYOND the WOD/WOT and other currently criminal behavior.
That the mass of that shrinking minority the American citizen (thank you Mr. Open Borders Bush and Total Amnesty Obama) has NOT objected to this erosion of personal liberty does NOT bode well for the future of freedom here.
I wonder what sort of body count of innocent grandmothers and others it will take before folks begin to grasp that they might be more at risk from the cops than the criminals and bring the situation back under control?
My Uncle Bob (R.I.P.) would be horrified.
My Uncle Bob was a 30-year veteran of a police force in suburban Cleveland. He was best man at my wedding in 1962. He served in an era when MOST cops embodied the now frequently hollow motto emblazoned on police units all over this country: TO PROTECT AND SERVE.
The last 10 years of his career were spent as the chief Juvenile Detective in his department. When he died, a number of the young men whose lives he had touched years before came forward to tell how his timely and sometimes tough-love intervention turned them around.
I know that many officers STILL try to live that creed today. I also know that there are officers out there who, despite the rulings by the Supremes that they have no obligation to specific, individual citizens (see Warren v. DC for some fascinating and frightening reading on that), would stand between one of us and a bullet and have.
Having said that, I must also lament that SOME cops are cowboys. Too many are simply power driven megalomaniacs who would have dropped on the OTHER side of the law had their lives drifted a degree or two off the course they did take.
I believe this to be especially true of far too many federal law enforcement types who have allowed their egos and hubris to become as bloated as the bureaucratic federal behemoth they serve. (See footnote below). Their mandate is no longer to protect and serve the citizens who pay their salaries: It is to crush any meaningful resistance to a growing body of procedures, regulations and policies too frequently enforced under severely tortured interpretations of the underlying legislative enactments (if any) and often put in place by executive fiat. The massively abused SEIZURE statutes laws the author of which now seeks to RESCIND! — spring to mind.
And one cannot but help to wonder how the clear to anyone with half a brain criminality of the Clintons and now Obama and their subsequent avoidance of any penalty has played into the problem? There now seems to be a bright line between the easy, highly flexible, slap-on-the-wrist law for the rich and powerful and the rigidly enforced law against even the tiniest victimless crimes committed by those of us further down the food chain. Does anyone in his right mind believe THAT will NOT engender added disrespect for ALL law?
Could those things be a large part of the problem in some of the highly disturbing and DEADLY (on BOTH sides) confrontations we have witnessed over the past decade or so? Gordon Kahl, Ruby Ridge, OK City, Waco, Beck This list WILL lengthen and wed all better pray that WE will be spared.
Roman historian Tacitus warned that one could tell the level of corruption in a society by the NUMBER of its laws. Anyone doubt the level of corruption here?
Am I the only one who thinks were long overdue a serious review of the NUMBERS of laws under which we are now forced to exist and which are increasingly used not to assure our safety or well-being, but to COMMAND AND CONTROL us and KEEP US IN LINE.
Only the most tyrannical and power-crazed members of law enforcement could possibly object to that.
The modern counterparts of my uncle would not object.
It is THEY, after all, who are most likely to catch that bullet probably fired by someone who has symbolically screamed to himself IM MAD AS HELL AND IM NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANY MORE — referred to earlier when they sally forth to serve that flimsy warrant or make that bogus arrest.
Dick Bachert (1999) Updated 12/2010
At a cocktail party back in the late 80’s, I struck up a chat with a fellow — his name was Joe M. — whom I’d met on one or two previous events. After my first encounter, Joe’s neighbor and my boss at the time told me that Joe was an alcoholic who had just retired from 25 years with the IRS. Needless to say, I was guarded in expressing my political views to Joe as the IRS had helped my dad into an early grave in 1977 — at age 59 over an estate matter. Joe was pretty deep into his cups at the function in question and began telling IRS “war stories.” Most had to do with clear cases of criminal conduct by not very nice people. Joe — who was a few years short of 60 — sounded to me like someone who enjoyed helping getting really bad people off the street and I asked why he’d retired early. He told me that what he called “the service” had changed for the worse. Then I asked him about the new people coming in. He shook his head, actually teared up and said that many of them were “really bad.” I pressed. “Really bad” meant incompetent? “No — DANGEROUS,” he responded “they like to hurt people.”
It was then that I think I understood why Joe drank.
So true. In our reality-TV driven society, we get a glimpse. COPS being filmed (on their best behavior), it's shocking how any tiny infraction is met with the maximum force. I don't blame the officers as much as I blame the system.
The system decided that metrics is somehow beneficial to keeping the peace, so the officers justify their paycheck and promotion opportunities with tickets and arrests, not stopping to think how much it costs society to respond (in finance - we have to look at the fully burdened cost of products and services... that means from idea to service in the field). Those with the least resources are slapped the hardest because they can't fight the system. They in turn become more desperate. It's like hospitals who charge the uninsured significantly more then the insured because the uninsured do not have advocates with scores of lawyers who negotiate down the cost for their members.