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Posted by on Feb 7, 2011 in Law, Society | 0 comments

The American Police State

Here in the US we have been quick to be critical of the police in Egypt and other nations.  But do we have any authority to be critical?  Conservative and former editor of the Wall Street Journal, Paul Craig Roberts says no.

Police in the US now rival criminals, and exceed terrorists, as the greatest threat to the American public. Rogelio Serrato is the latest case to be in the news of an innocent person murdered by the police. Serrato was the wrong man, but the Monterey County, California, SWAT team killed the 31-year old father of four and left the family home a charred ruin.

The fact that SWAT teams often go to the wrong door shows the carelessness with which excessive force is used. In one instance the police even confused the town’s mayor with a drug dealer, broke into his home, shot dead the family’s pet dogs, and held the mayor and his wife and children at gun point. But most cases of police brutality never make the news.

Roberts wonders why the police are so aggressive and has some answers.

In part because their ranks attract bullies, sociopaths and psychopaths. Even normal cops are proud of their authority and expect deference. Even cops who are not primed to be set off can turn nasty in a heartbeat.

In part because police are not accountable. The effort decades ago to have civilian police review boards was beat back by “law and order” conservatives.

And then is the TSA:

In part because the Bush/Cheney/Obama regimes have made every American a suspect. The only civil liberty that has any force in the U.S. today is the law against racial discrimination. This law requires that every American citizen be treated as if he were a Muslim terrorist. The Transportation Security Administration rigorously enforces the refusal to discriminate between terrorist and citizen at airports and is now taking its gestapo violations of privacy into every form of travel and congregation: trucking, bus and train travel, sports events, and, without doubt, shopping centers and automobile traffic.

This despite the fact that there have been no terrorist incidents that could be used to justify such an expansive intrusion into privacy and freedom of movement.

The TSA has not caught a single terrorist. However, it has abused and inconvenienced several hundred thousand innocent American citizens.

So, how different is the US from Egypt, China, etc.?

Submission is what the government and the police want. Anyone who argues with TSA or the police will be abused. An American who stands up for his rights is likely to be beaten to a pulp. TSA has announced that such Americans are “suspects” and will be held in indefinite detention.

And “our” government assures us that we have “freedom and democracy.” We have a police state, and everyone who forgets it is in deep trouble.

And about that Democracy happy talk:

The Amerikan police state is closely allied with police states all over the world–Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel in the Middle East and former constituent parts of the Soviet Empire in Central Asia. The U.S. government never lifts a finger in behalf of democracy anywhere. In fact, the U.S. government quickly moves to overthrow democracy wherever it rears its head, as the U.S. recently did in Honduras. Before Honduras it was Palestine where the U.S. overturned the election that brought Hamas to power. Now Washington is targeting Lebanon where Hisbollah has gained.

Everywhere on earth the U.S.government prefers an autocracy that it can purchase to free elections that bring to power candidates unwilling to serve as American puppets.

The U.S. government is the most determined foe of democracy in the world. Yet, Washington lectures China, which has more civil liberties than Bush/Cheney/Obama permit Americans.

And Roberts doesn’t even mention one of the most astounding statistics – the United States has more of it’s citizens imprisoned than any other country in the world, including China, in large part because of the failed war on drugs and the profitable private prison industry.

Cross posted at Newshoggers

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