Sunday, February 17, 2013

Maybe, Maybe Not

Trey Smith

In our own country, we don't allow the government to torture criminal suspects and/or kill people without trial – because it's wrong. If it's wrong here, it's wrong in Yemen or Iraq or Afghanistan; if it's wrong to do it to an American citizen, it's wrong to do it to a Pakistani. Our failure to recognize that and our increasingly desperate attempts to rationalize or legitimize this hideous program gives the entire world an automatic show of proof of American bigotry and stupidity.

And cowardice, by the way. What kind of a people kills children by remote control? If you're going to assassinate someone, you'd better be able to look him in the eye first – and not hide behind some rubber-stamp secret court that tells you it's okay.
~ from At Least We're Not Measles: Rationalizing Drone Attacks Hits New Low by Matt Taibbi ~
While I certainly agree with the point Taibbi makes above, I don't know if it is as accurate as it used to be. It seems there are scads of reports of people who have been arrested by various police departments who wind up tortured and brutalized. Much of the time these reports are based on nothing more than he said she said, but many of them each year are recorded on cell phones or are videotaped. More often than not, regardless of the level of brutality, the police officers involved are exonerated.

In general terms, we don't kill suspects without a trial...unless the person is suspected of killing one or more police officers. When that happens, it is not uncommon at all for the suspect to never reach trial because the police have seen to it that he is deader than a doornail. Chris Dorner never had handcuffs placed on his wrists. The fellow who gunned down 4 officers in Washington a year or two ago was not arrested either -- he was gunned down before his rights were ever read.

I was thinking the other day about how serial killers are treated versus cop killers. Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy and Gary Ridgway killed at least 100 people between them and yet all three men were apprehended and stood trial. No effort was made to harm or kill them. In their cases, the police did what the police are supposed to do: they arrested them and handed them over to the judicial system.

But if an assailant happens to kill one cop, all bets are off. It would seem that the death of a police officer merits an altogether different kind of justice!

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