More Militarized Than the Military

A reader who asks his name not be used writes about the drug raid video from Columbia, Missouri:

I am a US Army officer, currently serving in Afghanistan.  My first thought on reading this story is this:  Most American police SWAT teams probably have fewer restrictions on conducting forced entry raids than do US forces in Afghanistan.

For our troops over here to conduct any kind of forced entry, day or night, they have to meet one of two conditions:  have a bad guy (or guys) inside actively shooting at them; or obtain permission from a 2-star general, who must be convinced by available intelligence (evidence) that the person or persons they're after is present at the location, and that it's too dangerous to try less coercive methods.  The general can be pretty tough to convince, too.  (I'm a staff liason, and one of my jobs is to present these briefings to obtain the required permission.)

Generally, our troops, including the special ops guys, use what we call "cordon and knock":  they set up a perimeter around the target location to keep people from moving in or out,and then announce their presence and give the target an opportunity to surrender.  In the majority of cases, even if the perimeter is established at night, the call out or knock on the gate doesn't happen until after the sun comes up.

Oh, and all of the bad guys we're going after are closely tied to killing and maiming people.

What might be amazing to American cops is that the vast majority of our targets surrender when called out.

I don't have a clear picture of the resources available to most police departments, but even so, I don't see any reason why they can't use similar methods.

I've heard similar accounts from other members of the military. A couple of years ago after I'd given a speech on this issue, a retired military officer and former instructor at West Point specifically asked me to stop using the term "militarization," because he thought comparing SWAT teams to the military reflected poorly on the military.

Back in 2007 I wrote a bit more on this:

There's a telling scene related to all of this in Evan Wright's terrific book Generation Kill. Wright was embedded with an elite U.S. Marine unit in Iraq. Throughout his time with the unit, Wright documents the extraordinary precautions the unit takes to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties, and the real heartbreak the soldiers feel when they do inadvertently kill a civilian. About 3/4 through the book, Wright explains how the full-time Marines were getting increasingly irritated with a reserve unit traveling with them. The reserve unit was mostly made up people who in their civilians lives were law enforcement, "from LAPD cops to DEA agents to air marshalls," and were acting like idiot renegades. Wright quotes a gunnery sargeant who traveled with the reserve unit:

"Some of the cops in Delta started doing this cowboy stuff. They put cattle horns on their Humvees. They'd roll into these hamlets, doing shows of force—kicking down doors, doing sweeps—just for the fuck of it. There was this little clique of them. Their ringleader was this beat cop...He's like five feet tall, talks like Joe Friday and everybody calls him 'Napoleon.'"

The unit ends up firebombing a village of Iraqis who'd been helping the Marines with intelligence about insurgents and Iraqi troops. Yes, it's just an anecdote. But it's a telling one. It suggests that to say some of our domestic police units are getting increasing militaristic probably does a disservice to the military.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • AJs||

    But then would you get to shoot the dog?

  • Astrid||

    Or scare to death little old ladies when you get the wrong house?

  • SWAT||

    Those are fringe benefits to the job! You should see what we REALLY get away with! Like we are really accountable to anyone, get real!

  • AJs||

    Damn internet - holdin you guys back!

  • ||

    If you're referring to Kathryn Johnston, they didn't simply "scare" her to death. They shot her and left her to bleed to death while they planted drugs in her house.

  • AJs||

    c'mon, that was just an isolated incident.

  • jj||

    It's only an "isolated" incident until it happens to you. The JFK assasination, 9/11, or even the holocaust could be construed isolated incidents. One old lady dying and her lying muderers getting off easy is never an isolated incident you callous basterd.

  • kinnath||

    You don't come here very often do you?

  • ||

    jj:

    Irony, n.

    the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

    Happy to help.

  • ||

    jj:

    Irony, n.

    the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

    Happy to help.

  • Zeb||

    There was another old woman recently who was nearly scared to death by police in GA.

  • ||

    or a seven year old girl.

  • ||

    he thought comparing SWAT teams to the military reflected poorly on the military.

    Then quit selling/giving them your surplus gear, Einstein!

  • ||

    Uh, in their defense, you jerk, it's the Pentagon/DoD that gives the gear, not the soldiers themselves.

    I have to wonder what's going to happen as all the battle-experienced soldiers come back and settle into civilian life...or become cops. Will they be professional, like the Marines described here? Or will they be the reserve shitheads who just want to knock down doors?

  • ||

    And they do it at congress's bidding.

  • ||

    Or will they be the reserve shitheads who just want to knock down doors?

    Just the ones that want to work SWAT, I'm guessing.

  • ||

    Well, exactly. My father is an ex-Marine (though one is always a Marine, as I understand it), and the last thing in the fucking world he would have ever wanted to be was a cop.

    The job is staffed by the worst people you could ever want in job. Like Catholic priests. The exactly wrong people gravitate to it. Which means there is something fundamentally wrong with the job.

  • ||

    Taking a vow of celibacy is a good sign that a person is a liar or has no clue about what it means to be human.

  • ||

    or they are gay and don't want to have sex with women and think priesthood is a good way to hide that, but then they end up giving in to their desires by doing boys.

    If churches required priest to prove they weren't gay by screwing nuns then we'd have a lot fewer molested boys in churches, but then we wouldn't know where to find all the pedophiles...everything is a tradeoff I guess.

  • ||

    Homo does not equal pedophile, asshole. People need to get that through their thick skulls. It's one of the worst, and most insulting, assumptions people make about homos.

  • ||

    homo does not equal pedophile and I am against slavery too.

    But priest-gay-pedophiles are a subset of homos just as incestual rapers are a subset of heteros.

    some priest truly are just low-libido straight people and some are even high libido straight people who have very very strong willpower...or perhaps god helps them overcome their urges...but I still don't trust anybody who takes a vow of celibacy...it is a filter that skews the numbers of the subset into too high a pedophile category to be trusted with my children.

  • ||

    No, pedos are not a subset of homos. They are pedophiles. Big difference. And rapists are power-tripping scum, whatever sex they choose to go after.

  • ||

    I said "priest-gay-pedophiles" are a subset of homos ....

    sorry Episiarch...gay pedophiles are a subset of homos...I am not making any moral juedgement on eiher gays, pedophiles, or straight pedophiles...nor am I making assumption about gays being MORE LIKELY to be pedophiles thatn straights...simply stating that gay pedophiles are gay....just like red apple are red.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    I didn't know you were gay Episiarch. NTTIAWWT

  • ||

    I'm not. Does defending homos make one gay now? I guess that makes me really gay, then. At least I'm not a fag who rides a Harley.

  • ||

    If you identify with the dude on sunny in philadelphia that likes to teabag people then you are gay. That is why sunny is funny, because those dudes are gay and pretend not to be.

  • ||

    You are not defending gays...I'd argue that you are attacking Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory.

  • ||

    At least I'm not a fag who rides a Harley.

    But you repeat yourself...

  • Matunos||

    Actually, most pedophiles (even the men that molest boys) are heterosexual. They are not attracted to post-pubescent males.

    That being said, most of the scandals in the Catholic church involve pubescent and older children. In that case, I think it's fair to call the ones molesting boys homosexual- though there is plenty of misconduct among heterosexual priests too (just wait for the African church scandals to break).

  • lukas||

    And priests that boink 15 year olds aren't pedophiles.

  • ||

    or they are gay and don't want to have sex with women

    Yeah lets hate gays and prudes. they are not like 70% of the population so they must be fucked up.

  • TMLutas||

    Gabe - The Church has lots of religious orders. Some are celibate, some are not. I'm Eastern Catholic which has non-celibate priestly orders. Yeah, married Catholic priests exist and if the US Catholic laity wanted that, they could have it in a generation. It really is as simple as filing some paperwork and poof, you belong to one of the sections that has married priests. That the laity does not choose this should tell you something.

  • Brian E||

    Or has a lower than average libido? Human sexuality is not one-dimensional. Assuming that everyone in the world has an average or higher sex drive is no less offensive than assuming everyone in the world is straight.

  • homo||

    Sorry, I got here late.

    So, what's everybody been talking about?

  • ||

    Episiarch is misunderstanding a logic argument as being some kind of attack on gays.

  • ||

    We should force Gabe to do a duet with Elton John during one of the gay award shows to prove that he likes gays.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    So proper use of Set Theory is offensive to Gays. And failure to understand "average" is just as offensive too, although the offended party has yet to be specified.

    Some kind of ultra-PC-meta-mathematical theory of offensiveness is being developed here. We should keep working on it. Might make an interesting white paper.

  • ||

    perhaps this research would help us in developing perpetual motion machines.

  • ||

    The same people who can't stick with basic set theory without getting all emotional about its implications will tell us that the science is settled and we must trust the experts regarding carbon taxes.

  • Joe Dirt||

    What? You wanna see homos naked?

  • TMLutas||

    Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean that it's dehumanizing. Why do so many self-described libertarians actively fight against what is, in this country, a voluntary institution that's done some pretty amazing good work.

  • ||

    yep...some percentage of them really enjoy killing people...they will look for ways to do it the rest of their lives. The rest will find other jobs, where they will do a good job of following orders and killing people as long as they don't have to personally do it up close.

  • PabloKoh||

    Barry Cooper the pro-weed ex-cop would lie to suspects to get them to flee, just so he could be in a chase. Check out his website. Spoke out against the cops and they took his kid.

  • deet13||

    "I have to wonder what's going to happen as all the battle-experienced soldiers come back and settle into civilian life...or become cops. Will they be professional, like the Marines described here? Or will they be the reserve shitheads who just want to knock down doors?"

    Most of my former platoon members and I went to college and got regular jobs after we ETSed.

    For most of us, kicking in the doors of American citizens in the hopes of busting someone for holding a couple of grams of weed tends to be pretty fucking low on our to-do list.

    In fact for many of us combat veterans, the very idea of doing something like that to American citizens is troubling at best.

    As for the attitudes of the combat vets who choose to become cops; it all depends on the individual in question.

  • ||

    all the new torturing, killing and violations of civl rights that are being argued for use against terrorist are going to be used on tax payers...that in fact is the reason this whole charade has been taking place. We are the true enemy.

  • His Eminency||

    I don't see any reason why they can't use similar methods.

    Because any local council member that suggested LEOs reform their tactics would be viewed as soft on crime and against public safety by all the idiot voters.

  • ||

    And the irony is that thuggish tactics do nothing to actually decrease crime. (My hunch is that such tactics actually increase the number of violent crimes, but that is opinion.)

  • Thom||

    Also because these SWAT raids are not so much about neutralizing violent or irrational people as they are using the element of surprise to stop a drug dealer from flushing his stash. These units were formed to deal with volatile and dangerous situations but instead are now being used to gather routine evidence.

  • Nipplemancer||

    Oh noes! the flusht teh drugs! we'll never bild a cases now! We cudda busted down some doors and shooted some dogz, but noooo. you had to knock. Dick.

  • matt||

    The stupidest part of all of this is that flushing drugs to destroy all evidence is A MYTH. If you're served by a sewer, and the local raiding LEA has good intel and common sense, they'll have a guy down the manhole to watch the buchan trap on your downpipe, waiting to drug-test any fluids to be flushed out of your house.
    Of course if you have a septic tank, not even the most hardened drug-warrior is going to send a uniformed person on a shit-dive for your dimebag. It's much easier on everybody if you just run the typical knock-breakin-gunfire raid.

  • CatoTheElder||

    I've wondered about this myself. Why not just cut off the water to the premises being served the search warrant.

  • ||

    They'd still have water in the tank, enough for one flush.

  • skr||

    A buddy of mine, who was a ranger in Somalia and is now in the guard, said, "I had a guy in my last squad who was a Sheriff and part time SWAT. Total fucking douchebag. My experience is cops kill cuz they can get away with it. The only guys I have ever worried about doing something stupid overseas were cops because they want to kill people and are looking for opportunities that allow them to legally do it."

  • Ragin Cajun||

    The unit ends up firebombing a village of Iraqis who'd been helping the Marines

    Was this another pot bust? I think these must be cops from Montana.

  • ||

    Sounds more like Philly's finest work.

  • Brian Moore||

    So just to to recap:

    Dude smokes pot: cops knock down the door late at night with guns blazing, next to children.

    Guy blows up Iraqi civilians: Army guys cordon off his house, knock on the door, and he surrenders.

    That about right?

  • AJs||

    But we are fighting this war on drugs to protect our children!

  • ||

    You missed the part about shooting the dog.

  • ||

    Anybody shoots my dog, they're in big trouble.

  • kinnath||

    I understand the US officer wishes to remain anonymous for good reason. But he is one of the few people with the integrity and the clout to make a public condemnation of police tactics stick.

    We need people like him, individually or as a group, to start speaking out loudly against this insanity.

  • ||

    idealistically that sounds good, but maybe it is better the good guys keep their mouth shut so they aren't fired and will be aroudn to shoot generals if they get ordered to drop nerve gas on US cities to put down civil disobedience.

  • His Eminency||

    Good point.

  • SPLC||

    Racist! Neo-Nazi!

  • ||

    I am also an Army Officer, and I agree about the "militarization" of police departments; it is very disturbing. But equally disturbing are the rules of engagement, and vietnam style tactics that US forces are made to fight under in the middle east.

    So if you want people like us to start speaking loudly against this kind of crap, then I would ask you and other civilians to start speaking loudly against the insane ROE that are killing our people in the middle east. Either fight a total war, or get the fuck out.

  • ||

    without a revolution, airport rules in 2010 will become sidewalk rules by 2020...no jokes, no inappropriate comments, your pregnant wife needs to be patted down sir, step aside. You justy stepped into the path of an "authority" that is assault on a public servant....you want to go to jail buddy?!

  • ||

    Not disagreeing with you, but at the rate our cities are going bankrupt, we may be able to dodge this particular bullet. Cops WILL NOT work for free.

  • ||

    I deal with both military and law enforcement from time to time in my job. Generally when we need to tell them some variation of "No, we can't do what you want."

    There is absolutely no comparison - I'd much rather deal with the military. They are smarter, more civil, better trained, and just all around better to deal with.

  • ||

    Agreed. Whenever I do ER duty, I usually loath dealing with police officers that bring in a suspect; they tend to be unprofessional and have bad habit of trying influence DX, particularly when there are visible contusions and lacerations on the suspect/patient. It's eerily similar to a suspect domestic abuse case where conclusive proof is not readily apparent.

  • ||

    While not surprising, your analogy is still stomach-turning. I used to work in Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn at a research lab. We were across the street from Kings County Hospital, the biggest hospital in Brooklyn. It was where they took all the criminal suspects who were both under arrest yet needed medical care. The stories out of there were horrifying. Joe Arpaio level stories of badly beaten people chained to their beds with handcuffs, etc. And the cops would just hassle the medical personnel as they did their job. Wonderful.

  • Brian E||

    That kind of thing is more common than most people want to know about. Stuff goes on in our jails that makes the "enhanced interrogation techniques" used at Gitmo look like a stay at the Four Seasons. Some of the stuff that came out of Cook County a few years ago was like Abu Ghraib without the pictures. Of course you won't see the same kind of political outrage about this when it's a prison in a Dem city in a Dem state that's doing the torturing.

  • ||

    The media protected the good republicans like Cheney and Rumsfeld.

    The outrage was all skillfully directed at Community College flunky rednecks from West Virginia.

  • Fuck Losertardians||

    The media protected the good republicans like Cheney and Rumsfeld.

    In the very same way it loudly denounced all calls for violence against George W. Bush as treason and sedition for weeks on end. Remember that?

    Yeah, me neither.

  • ||

    What might be amazing to American cops is that the vast majority of our targets surrender when called out.

    Yeah, but in the meantime he's flushed all his dope down the toilet. That's why we can't use that approach here.

  • ||

    Yep, totally justifies property damages and deceased pets.

    Of course, my sarcasmometer is due for calibration...could it be out of spec?

  • yadyn||

    Probably just all the wear and tear it gets coming here all the time (or browsing the web in general).

  • AJs||

    True - I mean, it is much better to shoot the dog, permanently tramatize the kids and destroy someones house frequently getting the wrong house in an effort to keep a possible criminal from being able to flush down whatever small amount of drugs they might be able fit down a toilet.

    Think about it - if the total amount of drugs they have in the house can be flushed down the toilet, within a minute or two, perhaps it is not an amount large enough to justify sending in a small army to violently capture?

  • Kroneborge||

    nah, any amount of drugs no matter HOW small.

    I mean obivously, kids possibly smoking dope is worse for them, than watching their dog (parent) get shot

  • BeavisAndButthead||

    Or get their own hand blown off, don't forget that one...

  • AJs||

    OOoh - good one. Officer blindly firing in to a room - Toddler Hand shot and mutilated, mother shot to death while holding the toddler who's had was shot in front of the five children and the dog killed... that was a hat trick!

    Oh and officer cleared of all wrongdoing and is back on the job.

  • ||

    Now there you go, using common sense! LOL

  • ||

    An observation specifically relevant to marijuana raids: if the guy you're raiding has a small enough pot stash that he can flush it down the toilet in 5 minutes, why is a SWAT team raiding his house again?

  • matt||

    I can see the argument if the targeted household has a septic tank - I'd rather scuba dive through putrefied shit for a roach than shoot at dogs and children, but I doubt that many police brass share my concern.

    But the fact is, most Amerioans are served by a sewer system. Many people have been tried and convicted due to the presence of drug residue in their buchan traps, particularly in jurisdictions with more of a "work-smarter-not-harder" ethos in conducting anti-drug operations.

  • skr||

    yeah i mean heaven forbid they actually do some fucking police work and build a case with evidence that doesn't come from a raid based on a bs anonymous tip.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Sadly enough, I really don't see these raids going away.

    Pretty soon, this is going to be used when evicting people due to foreclosure.

  • skr||

    no way. The banks are barely foreclosing bc the govt is keeping them flush with cash so they don't care about crap assets.

  • ¢||

    I don't see any reason why they can't use similar methods.

    The military's job is fighting, almost always against opponents who are somewhere in the same part of the armed-and-dangerous spectrum they are. Cops' job is bullying. There's very little methodological overlap in those occupations. Fighting is formal, rational, ritualized. Bullying is impulsive, psychotic, terroristic.

    What's odd is that so many cops are ex-military. The "ex-" is the significant part of that, I guess.

  • ||

    Perhaps they joined the military when they got out of high school so they could shoot stuff (people?) but then when they were the dumbest ones who could not get promoted, they did their 4 years and became cops. They could keep carrying weapons and would get promotions and benefits as part of a union without having to be all that bright, civil, or sane.

  • skr||

    sounds about right

  • ||

    I have been saying this on this comment boards for years. The military could never get away with this crazy shit. And they are dealing with no shit crazy homicidal fanatics sometimes rather than some guy who might be running a meth lab. Yet, shockingly, they find that cordoning off and trying to get the guy to surrender is the best way.

    This letter also puts lie to the whole claim that these raids are for the officers' safety. The military doesn't cordon off and try to get the guy to surrender just because they don't want to end up on CNN over a bad kill. They also do it because busting down a door and charging in a house that may contain someone armed and intent on doing you harm is a very quick way to get someone killed.

    If the police gave a shit about officer safety, they would cordon off and give the guy a chance to surrender like the military does.

  • In Time Of War||

    Actually, that is the point. The military is dealing with folks who will probably shoot back. The cops bust into houses because, generally, nobody is going to shoot back. They do it because they can.
    Notice that when they're looking for a known cop killer, they usually wait outside his apartment and bust him when he leaves for more smokes. The exact opposite of what they claim they should do to "be safe."

  • ||

    That is a good point. They claim that they have to do it because "drug dealers have guns". Yet, as you point out, in situations were they know the person inside is armed an dangerous, cop killers and mass shootings and the like, those fuckers won't go in at gun point.

    If they actually thought the people they were serving the warrants on were dangerous, they would never act like they do.

  • In Time Of War||

    I've never understood the logic. They claim the guy is armed and dangerous, so the safest thing to do is violently bust into the one place they know he has access to weapons

  • Adonisus||

    Let's also not forget that your average soldier has at least SOME sense of human decency left and is always open to the possiblity that...you know....they COULD have the wrong house. They do NOT want to come off as imperialist tyrants to these people, and they're at least trying to apply American principles of freedom and liberty to Iraqis and Afghanis. They're human beings to, after all.

  • Atanarjuat||

    I'd bet the military gets the right house more often, too.

  • ||

    The pimply faced high school dropout pizza guy get's the right house more often.

    And the pizza guy doesn't conduct survellance for weeks/months beforehand.

  • Brett L||

    Neither do the cops.

  • skr||

    Now that i think about it, i think it is unlikely that they even went through the guys trash to find pot residue. I mean how hard is it for a cop to put a little flake of pot in a bag and tell a judge they found it in his trash?

  • Bingo||

    +lol

  • ||

    You really can't compare the two. The military is fighting a war (or should be). Cordon and knock's make no sense, and are these are terrible, counter-productive tactics in a war.
    Domestic police on the other hand, are in a completely different context; for them to be busting down doors and shooting people over marijuana is absolutely asinine. What we have here is a total reversal - the military is being required to pussy-foot, and the police do whatever they want, as if they are hunting down bin laden.

  • ||

    Hey cops! When the combat veterans of the US Army and Marine Corps think you act like authoritarian assholes, imagine what inner city residents think about you.

    If your aim is to make the streets safer and lock up the bad guys, the false bravado and ham handed interactions with citizens doesn't help a goddam bit.

    OTOH, if your aim is to be billy badasses who nobody likes and everybody avoids, you're on the right track.

  • Steff||

    And for those who DO conduct themselves without the false bravado, and who tend to treat the citizens with respect, having people condemn every single person wearing a badge with wishes of suffering or pain encompasses them, too.

  • ||

    Then cops need to end the blue wall of silence, and stop protecting the bully cops who beat up people when off duty, and deal drugs, as well as push around citizens.

    Until they start standing up for law and order, where everyone - including them - is equal under the law, they will continue to get painted by the same brush.

    I know plenty of cops having had a prosecutor for a father, but the blue wall of silence is disgusting us vs them and anti what cops should stand for.

  • Thom||

    Exactly. Every time somebody tells me that 95% of cops are good cops, I respond that those good cops are the ones covering for the 5% that are bad. I know in my job if I knew about illegal and/or unethical behavior by co-workers and helped cover it up that would be perfectly justifiable cause to fire me.

  • Zeb||

    Until such cops stand up against the bad ones and do everything they can to stop this sort of thing, they are complicit. Just quietly doing the job is not good enough.

  • Mark Atwood||

    It may be that not all cops are assholes who give cops their bad name. However, you "good cops" know who the "bad cops" are, and you do nothing about them, and silently let them do what they do. This makes you just as bad as them.

  • ||

    Bit of a thread jack. But if the SWAT teams don't make you hate the government, this certainly will.

    "Indeed, as with other vital signs and risk factors, measuring body mass index (BMI) provides a quick and easy means of identifying an important threat to health (obesity). BMI should be treated like any other vital sign by patients, physicians and other health care providers. It should be measured and monitored frequently, including at each patient encounter, to help prevent the development of obesity or stop it from getting worse. And Representative Kind's legislation takes it a step further, providing for tracking and monitoring of BMI in public health coverage, public school-based clinics and maternal and child health services. It would also require BMI information to be provided in electronic health records for adults and children and in vaccination records for school-age children."

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....72225.html

    I read this twice because I couldn't believe what it was saying. But it seems to be saying that the bill wants to let the government track everyone's BMI.

  • Steff||

    I'm starting to want to fucking kill over the names of these acts. Choices? That sure comes up a lot. Affordable. American. They name every fucking act like they're directly out of communist China's PR office.

    Nevermind the skeeziness that is the government mandating yet another thing they have no business mandating.

  • Government Official||

    Sir,

    I need to inform you that you are violating the I Love Kittens and Puppy Dogs Act of 2015.

    Thank you for your compliance

  • ||

    This will be useful when we go ahead with variable food taxes and chip implants...people with high BMI could then be charged the appropriate tax for whatever food they are eating...people with very low BMI could eat the fattier foods with no fee, because hey actually need the calories...surely you can't be arguing that this would be less fair than just charging the same $2 Freedom Fry tax to everybody?

    We have to work ont hese problems if we are going to get our health care costs under control.

  • ||

    And in ten years we will have roving gangs of fatties, very slowly chasing down skinny people to steal their snacks. Illegal sweets smuggled across the border from Mexico. People talking about the evils of Cane (sugar, that is). And no-knock raids to stop people from flushing illegal twinkies down the toilet.

    Where's Susan Powter when you need her? STOP THE INSANITY!

  • Kroneborge||

    Actually, I really don't think kicking down doors and killing dogs is ANYWHERE in near keeping track of BMI.

    As long as tax dollars are getting used to provide for healthcare, it's only natural (reasonable even) that the government have a hand in how you take care of yourself.

    Obesisity is a huge driver of healthcare costs. Those costs are born by taxpayers, thus the you'd better stay skinny.

    In fact, IMO, I think they should be going much further right now. If you are on Medicare/Medicaid. You'd better be skinny, a non smoker, and work out on a regular basis (if your health permits of course).

  • ||

    "If you are on Medicare/Medicaid."

    If you are over 65 you by law have to be on Medicare. And soon thanks to Obamacare most people will be in government run insurance pools. Basically, you are advocating for government control of everyone's diet and exercise choices.

    You right. This is no where near cops busting down doors. It is much worse.

  • Kroneborge||

    "Basically, you are advocating for government control of everyone's diet and exercise choices."

    If government is paying for healthcare (the idea of which should be debated of course) then yes, the next step is for government to interfere with your lifestyle choices. Or to at least make you pay more for them.

    I did not think you had to particpate in Medicare if you didn't want too, but I have no problem with people opting out.

    In fact, I think a national opt-out is probably the best way to deal with the healthcare situation. After the age of 18, if you want you can sign a sworn statement before a judge that you will NEVER accept any medical treatment that hasn't beeen paid for in full in advance. If you don't sign this statement then of yes, if the goverment is paying for your healthcare then it's the goverment business how you are living.

    There is really no other way for the pieces to go together. By accepting government healthcare, by default you are accepting meddling in your life, because someone else if paying for your care.

    Think of it this way, there is a poor family on welfare/Medicaid shouldn't they be doing EVERYTHING in their power to reduce their costs to the tax payer?

    And as we move more and more towards single payer, the government will stick their nose in your business more and more.

  • ||

    That is just nonsense. Just because the government pays doesn't mean that it is a good idea to control people's lives. First, these types of things never work. So all of your controls are going to be for nothing. Second, where do you draw the line? There isn't any behavior that doesn't in some way affect your health. You are essentially advocating for a nightmare totalitarian state as the only alternative to the government doing nothing to help anyone.

  • ||

    I want everyone to be fucked in every possible way. I want BMI monitoring, smoking/drinking/drug monitoring, every invasive govt creation that wakes people up, and the sooner the better. November will be here before you know it.

  • Kroneborge||

    If I'm paying for YOUR healthcare, then I get a say in your healthcare decisions. That's of course the problem with statism, and socialsim. They basically require a reducation in freedom.

    As for the line, I think it would be pretty easy. For example, when you go in for your yearly checkup, your premiums would be based on how fit you are (in relation to age etc).

    Probably the most likely way to do this (and probably the most efficient as well) would be through a prebate single payer system.

    IE, you would pay people to stay healthy, and then make up those payments through taxes. The payments could be easily figured out based on medical cost savings.

  • Kroneborge||

    (here is a longer version of the argument)

    I believe, there are two components to managing costs. The first is to reduce the cost of services provided , and the second is to reduce the amount of services demanded (supplied). Long term solution’s must control the growing costs of healthcare and keep it to a manageable percentage of GDP

    Currently there are several promising avenues for reducing the cost of the services provided. One great example is clinics where a nurse/physicians assistant diagnoses and treats most of the everyday stuff for which people commonly seek treatment. Of course a physician is on staff for consultation, and to handle conditions that actually need a doctor’s treatment. Another example is letting pharmacists write prescriptions. In most cases it’s simply not necessary to pay for another doctor visit to take care of routine treatment. Steps like these can let doctors concentrate on the types of conditions that require their medical expertise, and let the routine cases be handled by others. This will reduce the overall costs of medical care, and also result in speedier service. Finally, we need to induce more incentives for cost reduction into the profession, but more on that in a moment.

    The second challenge to reduce costs is to reduce the amount of healthcare services demanded without reducing the quality of health. The keys to this are healthier lifestyles and better preventative care. The old maxim that an “ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” is doubly apt for the healthcare system. The healthcare system should provide a direct link between the costs of unhealthy living, and lifestyle choices. While still giving people the freedom to make unhealthful decisions if they so want. The best way to do this would be to return the savings from choosing a healthy lifestyle to those that do it, while letting the people that choose not to pay for their own decisions.

    When designing such a system we should acknowledge some facts about how healthcare is provided. The first is that we already have universal healthcare we just provide it in an extremely inefficient manner. We make those without insurance go to the emergency room when younger (which is very expensive), and then after not providing adequate preventive care for years, we put everyone on Medicare and pay for everything. Thus missing many years of opportunities to provide cheaper preventive care, and promote healthier living in return for much higher bills later. Thus the proposition that we can keep healthcare costs down in the short term by having uninsured just leads to higher long term costs and financial ruin.

    Therefore, I propose a single payer system to provide health insurance for all (insurance not actual medical services). The system would collect enough in taxes to provide for healthcare to all, but then provide a monthly rebate system to reimburse those people who were living a healthy lifestyle and thus reducing system costs. For example, if it costs $2400 a year to insure a person living a healthy lifestyle, and $4800 to insure a person who is unhealthy, then if a person “chose” to be “fit” and live a healthy lifestyle they would get a $200 check each month. If they chose not to, then that would be ok too. Individuals would be examined once or twice a year to see if they were healthy, and living up to their part of the bargain. Criteria for being fit could be determined by a panel of medical experts and could include criteria like being a healthy weight, being a non smoker, evidence of regular exercise etc. People would not be required to be a health nut, but would have to be living a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular exercise. Basically all the things that doctors always tell you to do, but that so few actually do.

    For some the extra money would not be worth it. They could continue to live their lives as they see fit, without placing the burden of their unhealthy choices on the rest of us. I do think many families though would take advantage of this program thus lowering overall healthcare costs and freeing up income for savings, investing, or other consumers items. And because we are currently spending so much on healthcare even a 10% reduction in costs due to healthier living would save the nation over $200 billion a year now, and much more in the future when Medicare etc will be trying to bankrupt our country.

    In addition a single payer system would provide cost savings by simplified billing and reduced overhead. Doctor’s offices and hospitals would only have 1 payer to deal with and would no longer need to maintain large collections and billings departments. Thus allowing providers to focus on care. Costs could be further reduced by calculating a median price for services (cost + a certain percent for profit). Providers that could meet or beat that price would make extra profit. Those that could not would go out of business. Over time as efficiencies increased the median would naturally lower thus continually encouraging cost savings.

    Other side benefits to a single payer system would include more entrepreneurialism because people would no longer have to worry about health insurance when starting their own business. And employers could focus on providing goods and services instead of trying to manage their healthcare costs.

    Once again we are not talking about socialized medicine, but socialized insurance. Which is basically the case now but it’s just run very inefficiently. This new system would preserve people’s choices while lowering the overall healthcare costs to the economy. It would put long term solutions in place that would prevent our nation’s unfunded healthcare liabilities from bankrupting us, and also result in a higher quality of life for us currently. The economics of the matter are clear. Our current system is massively inefficient. It deals with healthcare issues in the most expensive way, and does not reward good decision making on individuals. It’s time for a change.

  • Kroneborge||

    Probably the only thing I would add to this now, would be stopping heroic end of life care (unless privatly funded of course).

  • ||

    And what are you going to do when someone claims it's genetic? like, say, homosexuality? no evidence needed, after all.

  • ||

    It is like the star trek episode where the gravitational pull is going to make the ship collide with a object if they simply align vectors with the gravitational pull in cancelling directions...instead they have to accelerate almost straight toward the object...the slingshot effect is the only chance we have to escape a collision with totalitarianism.

  • ||

    I'd like to point out that the government doesn't pay for anything - they simply funnel money from taxpayer to taxpayer (or, often, non-taxpayer).

  • Kroneborge||

    agreed.

  • ||

    except BMI sucks as an indicator, and the legislation will be written by industry insiders, not using the latest science. And it won't actually help people get skinny.

    That is one of the problems with all regulation - it assumes the elites know more than the regular person does.

    People think we should eliminate saturated fat, the Center for Science in the public interest sure does, but almost every experiment done in the past 10 years proves that it's the omega 6 from vegetable oil and the high sugar intake that is dangerous. And yet, politicians, journlists, continue to repeat the same old false advice.

    If the government starts telling people what to eat, it will do what it does now: advise no saturated fat, low total fat, more vegetable oil, and more wheat and corn. Completely ignoring the obesity epidemic started when we started eating this way.

  • Kroneborge||

    national PT at 5:00am sounds like the only remidy, lol

  • Zeb||

    Exactly my thought on the value of BMI as in indicator. BMI is useless as an indicator applied to individuals. It might have some statistical usefulness, but that number by itself says almost nothing useful about a person's health.

    And please don't ever use the phrase "obesity epidemic" again.

  • ||

    We shouldn't waste money by having them work out in fancy clubs either...we should have them live in self-sustaining preventive health care facilities where the exercise actually produces something of value...like a granite quarry or a gravel pit somewhere...this will be green too! We can have the beneficiaries of our free healthcare manually doing all the work that was polluting the atmosphere with Carbon before we got serious about having good healthcare in this country!

  • Chicken George||

    I read this twice because I couldn't believe what it was saying. But it seems to be saying that the bill wants to let the government track everyone's BMI.

    The government has been tracking this information for years in children in the form of height/weight tables, which are just BMI by another name. This was to fight undernutrition. They're just shifting the emphasis to obesity.

    Medical records already contain this information as well. Height and weight are part of a standard physical.

  • ||

    BMI is horribly variable as an indication of obesity.

    However it is easy to determine, and makes neat little boxes to put people in for legislative purposes. This is exactly the type of shit that I tried telling some of the people I know that liked the healtcare reform bill, was coming. As soon as it is government money (my money!) being spent, the controls, rationing, and general invasiveness goes into overdrive.

  • Rich||

    Please, contact Ron demanding that his Act require citizens have shaved heads to facilitate accurate BMI calculation. Also, recommend he drop Rep. Marcia Fudge(D-OH) as a co-sponsor so that people take this legislation seriously.

  • PeeDub||

    "THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal."

  • ||

    "Bit of a thread jack. But if the SWAT teams don't make you hate the government, this certainly will."

    Really? The system-wide rape of the constitution, horrible laws and policies based on drug hysteria, and overzealous, power tripping authorities going wild resulting in innocent children, old ladies, and pets being gunned down in their own homes, and I'm supposed to jump on your lunatic "all government is bad government" bandwagon over tracking obesity? Really? That's not "a bit of a thread jack", it's not even apples and oranges...it's just plain silly.

    Sure, it's government meddling where not absolutely necessary...but there are no government sponsored fat farms coming, nobody is going to be jailed or shot for giving a fat kid a twinkie, and the legislation seems to be encouraging school health and lunch programs to do what they could and should be doing already, and what good doctors and health insurance providers do already...track obesity, make it a bigger focus of one's medical records, and encourage healthy eating and exercise. Then again, I suppose that to folks here, public education and school lunches are probably already seen as horrible heresies against the One True Church of the Invisible Hand.

    I suppose you got all bent out of shape and were ready to revolt when conservatives Reagan and later Schwarzenegger used the school system to force their top-down, authoritarian exercise goals and presidential standards on all those poor students, didn't you? Is it okay to meddle in personal health choices if you put a nice veneer of bootstraps over it? Or is it only none of the government's business when there are Dems in power, or when realistic measures are encouraged?

    You want to be an anti-government champion of liberty, fine! Why not stick to issues that actually matter, and maybe we can achieve something other than pointless whining over inconsequential B.S.

  • JOhnny MAckson||

    Reservists . . . LOL. Kneel before Bot, boondoggling shitbags.

    Jess
    www.anon-posting.tk

  • ||

    Cool, a bot-spoofer.

  • Zeb||

    Not so cool. He has been here before and gets old very fast.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Let me start with a full disclosure. My father was the probation/parole officer for a huge amount of rural MN. We lived in a town of about 5K and it was the biggest thing around for at least 50 miles. So yeah, it was officially the sticks.

    I think a couple of things have happened. One is the Drug War and forfeiture laws, the other is the TV show COPS.

    The drug war and the subsequent loot from forfeitures has really incentified a lot of bad behavior. I know that my dad hated having to do random drug tests because it ended up in him having to violate his clients' parole even if they were doing well in all other aspects.

    I remember when Cops was first on TV, my dad commented on how every one of the LEO's drew their pistol anytime they approached a perp. My dad said that he had only seen a gun drawn by a LEO twice in his 15+ years in corrections. If you talk to him today, he will tell you that the local cops are way more likely to draw or put their hand on their weapon now. He is convinced that the rubes saw the big city cops doing that and thought it looked cool.

    I fully admit that my view of cops is colored by my association with the local ones where I grew up. It also helped that they all knew my father and would usually let me off with a warning and a followup call to my dad. It was way more like Mayberry than anything else.

    I also think that some folks on this board lose sight of the fact that guys like cops and my dad have to deal with a lot of people who are truly horrible.

    I agree that a lot of shit the cops you read about on this board are doing is completely unacceptable. I wish the good cops would turn on the shit heels in their midst.

    I'm just saying that I think a blanket condemnation is a bit much. I think there are some good cops (especially in rural areas where they tend to know everyone).

    Go ahead and flame away.

  • Zeb||

    What you say is quite reasonable. But many of us do not accept that one can be a good cop while tolerating the existence of bad cops and bad policies. It is a difficult situation to resolve, because you don't want all of the good ones to quit or be forced out because they don't stand with their brothers in blue. It's rough having principles.

  • hmm||

    When your job is to protect and serve a blanket condemnation is in order anytime the public trust is violated and you don't scream like banshee. If you are willing to capitulate and not protect the public from the actions of those within your ranks to protect your comfortable career you are just as guilty as those who violate the public trust. Just like when one link in a squad fails the whole squad fails, not just the link.

    They are all guilty, everyone of them that doesn't consistently, openly, and adamantly denounce the actions of their brethren. The thin blue line is bullshit and they protect their own before they protect you and I.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Let me start with a full disclosure. My father was the probation/parole officer for a huge amount of rural MN. We lived in a town of about 5K and it was the biggest thing around for at least 50 miles. So yeah, it was officially the sticks.

    I think a couple of things have happened. One is the Drug War and forfeiture laws, the other is the TV show COPS.

    The drug war and the subsequent loot from forfeitures has really incentified a lot of bad behavior. I know that my dad hated having to do random drug tests because it ended up in him having to violate his clients' parole even if they were doing well in all other aspects.

    I remember when Cops was first on TV, my dad commented on how every one of the LEO's drew their pistol anytime they approached a perp. My dad said that he had only seen a gun drawn by a LEO twice in his 15+ years in corrections. If you talk to him today, he will tell you that the local cops are way more likely to draw or put their hand on their weapon now. He is convinced that the rubes saw the big city cops doing that and thought it looked cool.

    I fully admit that my view of cops is colored by my association with the local ones where I grew up. It also helped that they all knew my father and would usually let me off with a warning and a followup call to my dad. It was way more like Mayberry than anything else.

    I also think that some folks on this board lose sight of the fact that guys like cops and my dad have to deal with a lot of people who are truly horrible.

    I agree that a lot of shit the cops you read about on this board are doing is completely unacceptable. I wish the good cops would turn on the shit heels in their midst.

    I'm just saying that I think a blanket condemnation is a bit much. I think there are some good cops (especially in rural areas where they tend to know everyone).

    Go ahead and flame away.

  • matt||

    I'll support that.
    My state does not have decrim, or even a visible decrim agenda. But out of all the times friends or myself were busted with pot, repercussions have ranged from arrest (with booking and no jail) and court costs, to having the pot confiscated and receiving a warning. My buddy that was let go was caught by a cop in an area that's stereotyped for having asshole cops, which goes to show you for every stereotype there's always at least one exception, and maybe several exceptions.

  • ||

    And for those who DO conduct themselves without the false bravado, and who tend to treat the citizens with respect, having people condemn every single person wearing a badge with wishes of suffering or pain encompasses them, too.

    Boo fucking hoo

  • ||

    As long as tax dollars are getting used to provide for healthcare, it's only natural (reasonable even) that the government have a hand in how you take care of yourself.

    fap

    fap

    fap

  • ||

    While there is obviously a lot of abuse of SWATs in this country, it's not really enlightening to compare it to the military's superficially similar work. They have a much more restricted mission -- neutralize guys who are shooting at them or others. They don't have to enforce every single law on the books like cops do.

    Also, the standard of proof is much lower in military courts. You don't have to worry about having no case if the guy flushes his shit down the toilet before giving up.

  • ||

    So what if you lose some evidence once in a while? If the guy is a serious dealer, there will be too much evidence to destroy in a short time. If your whole case depends on a few ounces of dope, I would say you have a pretty shitty case.

  • ||

    A lot of houses have multiple toilets. I'd expect serious dealers would have a room full of them for quick disposal just in case.

    Also, it doesn't take much weight to enter felony drug possession territory.

  • ||

    Then maybe there is something wrong with the law. Also, there are plenty of other ways to make a case like undercover buys. And you can arrest the guy outside of his house and then serve the warrant when the house is empty. I am sorry but I don't buy that getting rid of these things makes LE impossible. A little harder maybe. But, that is a price we should be willing to pay in order to avoid terrorizing people.

  • Zeb||

    Then don't try to make cases based solely on possession. It is not worth the tradeoff. There are lots of laws that are mostly unenforced because there is no reasonable way to enforce them. Rightly so I would say (though in most such cases repeal would be even better).

  • skr||

    a serious dealer doesn't keep the drugs in his house.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Noticed how they have almost completely done away with "controlled buys"? SLD re: WoD, but this would provide pretty clear evidence that the person was in fact, a drug dealer. Now, they just kick in doors, guns blazing, and hope to nab enough dope so that they can use the amount seized as evidence of dealing, regardless of whether the person was actually providing drugs to anyone else.

  • T||

    You know what? You don't have to worry about a guy flushing his stash down the toilet if you pick him up at the 7-11, either. Or, hey, serve the search warrant when the house is empty! I realize the concept of doing a job well is beyond a lot of cops, but you really can separate the arrest warrant and the search warrant.

    And don't make me laugh about cops enforcing every single law on the books. Selective enforcement has been the name of the game since forever.

  • ||

    Just playing the devil's avocado here.

  • ||

    Watch out with that.

    You may invoke Organic Girl.

  • ||

    not true, I have a cop friend that spends three hours a day walking through the pillow and mattress isles at Sears and other stores making sure all the tags are attached.

  • Zeb||

    That is a good point. If they have a warrant and feel like breaking some doors, why not search the house when no one is there?

  • Brett L||

    Why not just conduct surveillance and make arrests and serve the warrant as the suspects leave/enter the property?

  • Brett L||

    Crap. Read all comments in thread first, genius.

  • ||

    I think the bottom line here is that the approval for forced entry ought to be much more strict. And while there is risk of losing evidence, in the vast majority of appropriate situations for forced entry, I think they should still announce, and ask for surrender before breech. As it is now, there are entirely too many instances of trauma, and property destruction inflicted on innocents (even if only under the idea of innocent until proven guilty).

  • ||

    Maybe we should re-do sewer systems so everything flushed down the toilet goes to the nearest police station for inspection before we dump it in the ocean or whatever.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Why should we re-route sewer systems to the police stations? Considering the people they're hiring, they're getting enough of it already.

  • ||

    Very practical. Here's an idea. End the drug war, legalize consumption of things that are no one's fucking business but your own. Then, cops can concentrate on catching murderers, rapists, child molesters, and kidnappers. Have you ever tried flushing a toddler down the toilet?

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Excellent ideas all around, Nick, although someone would incriminate themselves if they answered "yes" to the last question.

  • Joel||

    Have you ever tried flushing a toddler down the toilet?

    I've never actually tried it. I won't say the thought has never crossed my mind.

  • ||

    If your real goal is "keeping drugs off the street" it doesn't really matter if the dope gets flushed.

    If you're trying to further your political career by collecting scalps, or if you're planning to pilfer it from the evidence locker to sell, or just for personal use, that's a different story.

  • ||

    The idea is, for every ounce you are unable to apprehend there is going to be a pound that gets dealt.

    By your logic, we shouldn't prosecute attempted murder if our goal is to make sure people don't get killed.

  • Zeb||

    The idea is, of course, false. The same amount is going to get dealt no matter what the cops do. And since there seems to be no shortage of little turds who want to be small time dealers, isn't flushing as good as the cops getting hold of it?

    "By your logic, we shouldn't prosecute attempted murder if our goal is to make sure people don't get killed."

    And that doesn't make any sense. Murder is usually directed toward a particular person. Drug dealing is just commerce. Any dealer will do, any buyer will do.

  • Robert||

    Damn, we need to repeal the Posse Comitatus Act and have military units do the policing, they have better discipline!

    Or would their characteristics simply be reversed if we had the police do military action and the armed forces do policing? Is it the nature of the job, or the organiz'n?

  • ||

    If the war on drugs ended, we could lower the number of police, only need SWAT for hostage situations (where saving lives is the primary goal), and end a huge proportion of the temptation to corruption.

    But in order to have enough to fight drugs, we have to lower the bar very low.

    The same thing happened during Prohibition.

  • ||

    It could be gradual. End the drug war but redirect most to go after the rampant fraud cases that are raising everyone's insurance rates and ID theft assholes. Then, if you find you don't need them all, say bring it to 80% of current, then you can handle that with attrition. Let's be realistic. We have to understand most voters want lots of cops. Understanding voters is key to any change in a well known policy as the drug war.

  • ||

    And that doesn't make any sense.

    It's Tulpa.

    On a thread about police.

  • ||

    The problem is not cops acting like soldiers.

    It is cops acting like gangsters.

  • ||

    +zillion

  • ||

    You can't flush or "destroy" any significant amount of drugs. Also, it isn't hard to monitor a house until everyone is outside, then arrest the suspect while he walks to his car one day. Then, once you have the guy outside, you reveal a search warrant and start searching the premises. Preferably while the kids are at school.

  • IceTrey||

    I hate cops and the war on drugs but equating the two raid situations really isn't right. The military is out to capture a person so they can cordon and wait. The cops, as wrong as it is, are trying to prevent the destruction of the drugs. Not the same thing.

  • ||

    Yes, killing people to prevent destruction of drugs is totally justified.

    Killing a known terrorist, on the other hand, calls for diplomacy and compassion.

  • Katie||

    See, that's precisely the problem. The cops are trying to preserve the drugs, not the people.

    You can kill children, dogs, mothers, old ladies, whatever, as long as you save the drugs.

  • jtuf||

    I'm still committed to non-violence, but is depressingly clear why the Afghans get soldiers with gloves on while the pot smokers get SWAT team with guns blasting. Our leaders are scared that the Afghans will start lobbing IEDs at their bases. They have no such worry about pot smokers.

  • AJs||

    Well to be fair - Afghans are hardly getting soft treatment. In the words of General McChrystal, “We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat,”.

    But I agree completely with your larger point that there is more than a little over-reaction to drug possession charges resulting in violent SWAT raids.

  • ||

    Yes, people pointing AKs at you are not provably threats to Mr McChrystal.

    McChrystal's the same douchenozzle who wants a medal for avoiding casualties.

    Gee, that would be the Commentation Medals, Lifesaving Medals and Bronze Stars we already have. Just write them up appropriately.

  • ||

    Apologies for typos.

  • ||

    I am also committed to non-violence.

    Especially among my enemies.

  • Joe the mole||

    I worked in law enforcement for a few years and I believe one of the major problems is that they almost always operate in a "pack" mentality. From day one at the academy there is a constant sparring to see who is the alpha of the group. In this battle none wish to appear weak, and showing consideration or restraint is equated to weakness and is grounds for scorn by other officers. Violence and callousness on the other hand are seen as dominant and manly. I've seen it many times: So and so questioned whether it was necessary to hit that suspect...f**king pussy. So and so says he's against the war in Iraq...queer. So and so wondered why we outlaw marijuana...fag. Therefore the ones who tend to decide the overall culture are those most willing to be violent and a little psychotic. The rest just follow. I believe most officers would not do these things on their own, but given the group pressure they go along. I don't know if this makes any sense or if I am completely off base, just a little of what I saw when I served.

  • Marian Kechlibar||

    "I believe most officers would not do these things on their own, but given the group pressure they go along."

    Hm, sounds like a page from Hannah Arendt.

  • ||

    a retired military officer and former instructor at West Point specifically asked me to stop using the term "militarization," because he thought comparing SWAT teams to the military reflected poorly on the military.

    Likewise, please stop calling them "idiotic".

  • Untermensch||

    Here's a new one where a little girl was killed.

  • ||

    The military is dealing with Muslims, the SWAT teams merely American citizens. Big Difference.

  • Lark||

    It's of a piece with MSM Tea Party coverage. We don't have to guess which group our ruling class hates and fears more.

  • Lark||

    1.) Isn't most of the abuse in the military by former domestic law enforcement? Abu Ghraib, for example, was former corrections officers and Army bureaucrats going off the rails.
    2.) Where they come from, violence and humiliation are just what gangs do to each other, and patriotism is just being part of the government's gang.

  • ||

    Each little community has a platoon or more of men used to kicking down doors in the middle of the night. Put them all together and you have an Army with in our borders, don't you think this is a little dangerous to our Constitution and us? Why do these large and small towns need this kind of firepower.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement