**The following post was written by Dick Bachert and submitted via the CopBlock.org submission tab.**
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 Kerry’s front door at 3 am, Boston might not be a good example.)
A study cited by John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute (which deals with these liberty related cases) found that in 1985, there were around only 3,000 SWAT actions in the US. In 2015 there was OVER 80,000!!! John contends – and is borne out by the statistics – that we are now a POLICE STATE.
John, whom I’ve met, went on to offer that when governments put cops into tactical/combat gear, a very dangerous – deady – mindset develops in the minds of most of these officers to deal with EVERYONE they encounter NOT as fellow citizens, but as THE ENEMY. Despite the decrease in crime rates and the drop in police deaths by REAL criminals, that is probably WHY we are seeing an increase in the deaths of often blameless and unarmed citizens at the hands of those sworn to “Protect and Serve” them.
(For those interested in the process by which our liberties have been eroded to this point, I suspect you would find John’s recent book “Battlefield America: The War on the American People” highly informative – and infuriating.)
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 final years of his career were spent as a 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.
That said, 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. It is these cowboys who give credence to the wry bit of “humor” that there is no situation than cannot be made worse by the presence of the cops.
I would urge you good cops, who KNOW who the dangerous power-trippers in your department are, do what you need to to get them OUT of the uniform. They not only are a threat to any non-criminal fellow citizen they encounter but are putting YOU in danger as they exacerbate the now festering anti-cop attitude their unacceptable over-the-top behavior creates in the community. And just getting these “cowboys” out of YOUR department is not enough: Their employment records should follow them so they cannot ever again carry a badge and a gun in another jurisdiction! At best, they might handle a desk job.
I believe the “cowboy” mentality 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 we’d all better pray that it does NOT include one of OUR loved ones.
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 we’re 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 “I’M MAD AS HELL AND I’M 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 & Revised 12/23/2015
At a cocktail party back in the late 80’s, I struck up a conversation 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.
It also caused me to wonder how many of those folks bypassed the IRS and wound up in OTHER law enforcement organizations?
Something to think about as the civilian body count grows.
Police Comics #2 Nm 9.4