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no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie…

July 6th, 2012

Since the Obama administration has twisted the definition of “enemy combatant” to include “anyone who’s close enough to get exploded by a US missile”, I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see a video like this one, where some “heroes” from the 101st Airborne fire a missile at two people walking across the street. And then laugh about it while singing “American Pie”.

And then open fire machine guns on the first responders, which I’m pretty sure is a war crime.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=652_1341423015

Propaganda is often created to portray soldiers as doing a duty, and that they do not want or like to kill. That is probably true for many, even most soldiers, despite the desensitizing and dehumanizing training that is designed to encourage them otherwise.

“It’s almost impossible to act on your morality. . . . You remove the humanity from them — beat them — and in doing so you remove humanity from yourself.” — Carlos Mejia

It is pretty clear to me that these guys get off on killing. And anyone who gets off on killing is a sociopath, exactly the sort of person who should not be allowed anywhere near a sharp objects, let alone allowed to pilot or gun a fully armed Apache helicopter.

Is there another side to this story? Some secret that might otherwise justify stealth firing a missile at two men walking across the street? Maybe. Even if they’re justified in engaging actual enemy combatants isn’t it disturbing to see someone so callous about taking another life that they would laugh about it?

Just like the “good cop” meme, people will write this off as the uncontrollable actions of “a few bad apples”.  Well, this raises a host of questions about how the bad apples keep making their way in to the system in the first place, and why we only find out about their actions from “leak” sites (don’t the “good” guys want to get these cancers out of their ranks?). No. The fact of the matter is that are probably more bad apples who didn’t get caught and this isn’t an isolated incident.

The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.

Even if the bad apples are a small minority, that makes it worse, because that means there is a large majority of “good” soldiers who look the other way when things like this, or Abu Ghraib, or the trophy killings, or the gang rapes, or the massacres, go down.

That makes them just as bad.

Where Are All the “Good” Cops?

June 6th, 2012

Carl D. Johnson suffered a diabetic attack when driving home from Bible study on May 27, 2010, causing him to crash his truck in to a guardrail. State Trooper Davon Parker responded to the scene, proceeded to pepper spray Johnson through the car’s open window.

At the hands of such fine public servants as Trooper Davon Parker, Carl D. Johnson was beaten, pepper-sprayed multiple times, punched in the face, thrown over a railing, and tasered at least 5 times by at least 6 police officers before losing consciousness, and ultimately dying from cardiac arrest.  But it would not be hyperbole to say that the agents of the Maryland State Police and Baltimore County Police murdered Carl D. Johnson that evening.

A common refrain among police apologists, in the wake of misconduct in the news, is that it was just a few “bad apples” and that most cops are “good cops”.  According to a complaint filed by Johnson’s widow, there were at least fourteen police officers among as many as fifty-two respondents to the accident scene.

Where were the good cops when Carl D. Johnson was being murdered? There were 14 representatives from at least two departments there, so, you do the math.

 

Note: the official version of the story has Johnson, a 48-year old architect with no criminal record, “resisting arrest“. I’ll believe it when I can see the dashcam footage that corroborates that version of the events, because “stop resisting!” is boilerplate language for “Imma beat the fuck outta you and it’ll be your word against mine” (Digby also notes, this “is obviously something  [cops] are taught to do for the dashboard camera so that it appears that they have reason to do what they’re doing”).

 

The question as it pertains to this event – as it pertains to other events where I have been critical of law enforcement – is this:

If these are allegedly the acts of “bad apples” then what about the other cops in that department? Do they know about the bad apples in their department? If not, why not? If so, why aren’t they doing anything about it? Are they afraid? Powerless? Strangled by bureaucracy? What about the good cops who occasionally witness these events and turn a blind eye to them?

 

Monsters on Patrol: Prince George County Maryland

September 24th, 2010

It seems the heroes of Prince George County are back to their old routine. That routine, of course, being systematically abusing the people they are supposed to protect and serve, and also murdering their dogs.  Via InformationLiberation.com

Family Gets Robbed, Calls Cops For Help – Cops “Help” By Beating Them Up and Killing Their Dog

As he was being assaulted by his armed and dangerous protectors, he begged the officers not to shoot his four-year-old dog, Mercedes.

“While this was going on I said ‘please, don’t point a gun at my dog.’ I begged her. She didn’t need to be involved in this. She was in the yard.”

Police then dutifully proceeded to murder his dog, who as his Neighbor Barbara Wells said, “…did not attack anyone. He never approached anyone. Even as the officers grabbed Sterling the dog didn’t do anything.”

This of course seems to be par for the course in Prince George County. If you think I’m blowing this out of proportion, take a look at Radley’s archives detailing the very colorful history of this department.

  • They killed their own mayor’s dog during a botched “drug raid”. How they didn’t know it was they mayor’s house is beyond me. Those officers involved in the raid were eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.
  • This is the department which continues to harass and threaten to imprison people for “recording” cops in public.
  • This is the department which keeps on its active rosters an officer who shot two furniture movers, killing one of them.
  • This is the department which routinely “loses” dash cam footage or other surveillance footage when it differs from the official (i.e., officer-reported) version of events.
  • The very same department which has on its roster an officer who has been arrested for drunk driving four-time within 12 months — at least once while in his patrol car. Still on duty.
  • And if that’s not enough, yet another officer of PG was drunk-driving his squad car when he hit and killed a 20-year old college student.

These monsters don’t suddenly appear, they grow and are nurtured in an environment and culture which protects its own at almost all costs, almost always. They learn to abuse because they learn they can get away with abuse. For every bad, abusive, dangerous, sociopath cop in the world, there’s at least one “good” cop that doesn’t do a goddamn thing about it. It’s this refusal to bring justice that enables the worst, and they are every bit as guilty as accomplices to these crimes.

I’m not militant. I’m not violent. I would consider myself a borderline pacifist.  I don’t advocate violence as a means to any ends.

That said, the world would be a noticeably better place if that department burned to the ground with everyone inside it.

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics