An Attack On Boston And On Due Process
There is a systemic problem in the US that not many want to talk about and most of those who do make excuses for and sweep it under the rug, and it keeps getting worse, as the dirt is piling up. The police in this country and especially in large metropolitan cities are out of control. They are, as they say, armed and dangerous and a serious threat to public safety.
Many of those who join the force are war veterans who returned in one piece and didn’t take their own lives, as so many do, and didn’t suffer from the kind of mental problems that prevent many of them from living a normal life, if being in police force can be called normal life, that is. Most police officers are violent individuals who find their calling in the military that gives them an opportunity to kill with impunity. To them, joining the police is the next best thing – an opportunity to carry a gun, feel powerful and untouchable and kill with impunity, when given a chance, as they did overseas. Ironically, what saves these individuals from taking their own lives or falling into severe depression is their psychopathic nature.
It’s been known by scientists that many of us are born with the genetic predisposition to be violent, but are influenced by environmental factors which keep that natural tendency in check and inert. For the vast majority of people, killing their own kind doesn’t come naturally, and that’s when military as well as police training comes in. Despite all the training, though, which can really be classified as brainwashing given the techniques that are used, most soldiers have a hard time pointing a gun at someone and pulling the trigger. Military trainers know this, as well as the fact that many of their soldiers will deliberately miss their human targets, and therefore pick who will be stationed at what post or given what function, accordingly. In any case, military training does the best it can to bring out the violent in the trainees. It also tries to use hatred which can be a good tool to overcome the resistance to kill people who have done nothing to them. That hatred is most easily provoked and aroused through racism.
Racism has been on full display in most wars the US has been involved in: all the wars against American Indians, the war with Mexico in 1848, the war in the Philippines in 1898, both world wars and most pointedly WWII directed against the Japanese, the Korean War of 1950, the Viet Nam war of 1960’s, both wars on Iraq – 1991 and 2003 – the war in Afghanistan, and the many smaller scale military interventions and bombings the US has been involved with from Central America to Middle Easy and Africa. Racism has been a factor and has been exploited by military brass in all these and other cases.
Those who return from wars to join the police literally bring their cultivated and sharpened violence and racism to the urban population and especially to the working class which is viewed by the corporate government with as much disdain and sense of threat as any overseas whom they call “the enemy”.
The police love an opportunity to lock down a city, roll down their personnel carriers with a dozen riding on top with guns drawn and others in the hundreds marching in military formation with machine guns and order people to stay inside and do house to house and vehicle to vehicle searches and violate the constitutional rights of the people, as they did before they killed one of the two Boston Marathon bombers and wounding and capturing the other. It gives them a sense of power and invincibility and an opportunity to intimidate and own the streets. The “anti-globalization” and neoliberal protesters of a decade ago caught on to this when they chanted: “whose streets? Our streets”.
Upon capturing the younger brother, the police announced he was not going to be read his Miranda rights which means he will not be told he has the right to remain silent and will not have the right to consult an attorney or have him or her present during questioning, based on a Supreme Court ruling that says a limited amount of questioning conducted before reading the Miranda Rights is admissible as evidence when public safety is at stake. But, to announce in advance that they don’t intend to read him his rights is new and breaks new ground in undoing the rule of law and due process.
I believe, I owe the reader a warning at this point: If you are one of those who felt proud of the police and how they conducted themselves and proudly cheered them when they took him into custody, you may want to stop reading now because you’re not going to like what I have to say about it.
While I strongly condemn the criminal act of planting bombs in public areas causing death and injury to innocent people, I also condemn the actions of the police, the FBI and the military-corporate government of the US as a whole. You see, I hate hypocrisy and lies. I’d rather be told this is a police state, that they don’t give a damn about the Constitution, due process and rule of law and that they reserve the right to shoot us if we fail to obey their orders or stop our cars when ordered and that they reserve the right to stop and search us without a warrant. At least, we’d know what we’re dealing with and what to expect. At least, our intelligence wouldn’t be insulted and we wouldn’t be taken for gullible fools. But, I know that’d be too much to ask for from the government of the 1%.
The fact is, laws are there primarily for working people and for crowd control, not for those who do the controlling. For them, there is some “protocols” which can be defined and interpreted as they please. When I complained about a police officer to his supervisor about a month ago, I was told “that’s within the protocol”.
The fact is, they will do as they please and they care not what the law says. Police are not supposed to shoot and kill people for no cause. Running from police is not reason to shoot them in the back or at a vehicle because its driver fails to stop. They’re also not supposed to do searches without a reasonable cause or warrant or plant a gun or drugs on black or Hispanic youth. They’re also not supposed to close streets and declare a protest illegal as I’ve personally witnessed on many occasions, or raid homes of protesters and confiscate their signs and banners or spy on political or environmental activists or keep a black list on citizens without a cause, etc., but they do these and other violations, all the time.
During the lockdown in Watertown, a man was seen outside on his bicycle and even though he looked nothing like the two brothers they were looking for, his backpack was searched. This is nothing but intimidation and disregard for law. A few months ago, Los Angeles and Big Bear, California, police went on a frenzied manhunt for Christopher Dorner who was wanted for murder whom in the end they burned alive by setting the cabin he took refuge in on fire. In that case, too, they went house to house and conducted extra-judicious searches of vehicles and homes. Some officers even opened fire on vehicles they thought belonged to Dorner, including a newspaper delivery van, injuring its occupants. When an armed bank robber was confronted by the police on the streets of North Hollywood, California, some years ago, the suspect got hit by several police bullets and went down. When an ambulance arrived, the police prevented it from approaching the suspect who had been on the ground motionless and was not shooting his guns anymore. The police stood around and waited until he bled to death. I’m not even mentioning all the killings and beatings they’ve done which have got some news coverage.
The massive manhunt of the other day was an opportunity to give the residents of Watertown a glimpse of what it’s like to face US occupation forces, though, on a much smaller and less hostile level, if they cared to see through all the hype about catching Muslim terrorists, with emphasis on Muslim, even though there are far more attacks and killings by white Christians than Muslim Poole. What happened in Boston was sad on more than one level, notwithstanding the cheering and flag waving crowd. TV news channels showed, non-stop, the crowd celebrating, jumping up and down and waving flags and some chanting USA USA. Five people were dead, including one of the perpetrators and lives were destroyed, including those who were badly injured, as well as that of a 19 year old, and people jump up and down in elation.
The rolling of military vehicles with machine gun carrying officers riding on it and locking down a city may seem innocuous and even benevolent when trying to apprehend bombing suspects. Even tossing aside due process may seem harmless and even reasonable when you want justice for the perpetrators of a bombing attack. But, the casualties of this tragic incident, which included both human lives and due process, are no cause for celebration. When such attacks occur, lives aren’t the only things lost; we also lose some more of our rights and civil liberties to the government which is always eager and pushing the envelope on erasing due process. Those officers you cheer and applaud have attacked and will again attack workers and their defenders demanding social and economic justice. In fact, I dare say that’s the main task of the police who have perfected the “art” of crowd control. This was a lockdown of a city to find a killer. It won’t always be for that reason.