Police Are A Threat to Liberty

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I agree that Police are killing Black people in high numbers. However, they aren’t only killing Black people. However, Black people do themselves a disservice by making this a “Black Issue.” Black people are a minority. You need a majority for change to happen.

Stopping shooting yourselves in the face.

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Let us think about this.

Britain didn’t start yelling; “Stop Killing Brits” in World War II and then attack Russia. They made common cause with Russia and America to defeat the Germans.

What have Black people done. Police are killing them in inordinate numbers. Black people start attacking White people on the streets of our cities and at protests. Black people push White people to the side and use strange terms such as “Allies.” I’m not just an ally. As a White American, this is my fight as well. It’s not like I’m against Police Brutality for the sole reason that Police seem to be irrationally frightened of Black people or because Police kill Black people in inflated numbers as compared to all others excepting Native Americans. I’m against Police Brutality because it is a threat to American Liberty. I’m not as concerned with who they target out of proportion or who they fear irrationally. I’m concerned that Police feel that they can murder Americans with impunity by stating that they “feared for their lives” or that they “felt threatened.”

Stop targeting White people at protests. Just stop. It wastes your energy and allows those who are racists and bigots to demean and dehumanize Black people. White people aren’t killing Black people in record numbers. Police are doing that. EVEN BLACK POLICE seem to be strangely and irrationally afraid of Black people on the streets of America.

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Stop attacking those who should be standing beside you. Protesting beside you. Stop and think. What White American feels safe joining in a protest by Black people against the Police when the reality is that they may be attacked merely for the color of their skin. This is self defeating. Oh and stop using Michael Brown as an example of Police Brutality and wrongful deaths. Michael Brown attacked a Cop. Period. I believe that the Cop whom Brown attacked was an undisciplined, ill trained thug. Even so, Brown clearly attacked the Police. He precipitated his own death with his own stupidity.

There are better examples. Tamir Rice and Jamal Crawford are clear example of Police Brutality, Police fear of Black people and the oppression that Police bring to the Black community and to America. The Pastor, Terence Crutcher, who was killed recently is another excellent example.

STOP USING MICHAEL BROWN. He did not deserve to die. Neither did the Cop. Both were wrong. That should not have been a death sentence. However, Brown defeats your purpose in the eyes of a majority of Americans. Even Black people to whom I have spoken believe Brown was an idiot.

Some folks such as Shaun King want to pass legislation to make the Police report their murders and killings to the FBI or in a National Database. We can pass thousands of pages of legislation and nothing will change. We can make the Death in Custody Act a reality. We can make a thousand acts a reality. None of that will matter as long as Police have Qualified Immunity.

The Police know that they can murder anyone and get away with it because of #QualifiedImmunity. No Life Matters to the State and the Police are OF THE STATE.

End Qualified Immunity.

There needs to be top to bottom reform of our Police Departments. Starting with who can join the Police Force. There are too many criminals who are Cops.

US-Flag-Prison72End the murderous, oppression and lie that is “I feared for my life.” It’s a well worn crutch of the Policing Community. Police should be disciplined. End the excuse of “I didn’t know the law” for Police. Citizens can’t use that excuse. Why can Police? End the lies of Police. Police can lie to a Citizen and use statements made because of those lies against even the innocent.

Most importantly, make the Police pay for their mistakes. No more taxpayer dollars should go to fund Police legal fees, fines and rulings. If a Cop is found to have committed a crime, let all fees and fines come from the Police themselves and not the Taxpayer.

Hurt their bottom line.

Finally, disassociate Police Unions from Politics and from City Hall. Police Unions are nothing more than extortion and criminal protection rackets. That #ThinBlueLine needs to be destroyed. It is a criminal organization.

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A Special Class of Citizen Above and Beyond the Law

<> on December 1, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.

CHICAGO, IL – DECEMBER 01: A Chicago police badge hangs in front of the City of Chicago Public Safety Headquarters on December 1, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Following public outcry over the way police handled the shooting death of Laquan McDonald by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced he had fired Chicago Police Superintendant Garry McCarthy. McCarthy, Emanuel and Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez have been accused of trying to cover up the shooting. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

What of immoral laws and legislated criminality?

Does it matter that our Politicians use Police Forces to enforce laws that are based on laws and our Citizens are thereby falsely made criminal?

It is said that every Citizen in the United States unknowingly violates up to three laws per day. Simply because the Representatives whom we have elected have been corrupted by Corporations.

We care not for this.

A woman goes to prison for saving the life of her child. You find this moral.

We have no sympathy for the plight of this woman and other Citizens like her.

We care not that Law Enforcers have qualified immunity and have used it to get away with murder in incidents involving your fellow Citizens. We care not that Law Enforcers have used Civil Asset Forfeiture to unjustly and extra-Constitutionally pillaged and plundered your fellow Citizens.

We care not that marijuana was used deceptively to outlaw hemp in order that Corporations such as Dupont Chemicals can maximize profits whilst the State imprisons shiny-badges-dontmillions and uses them as slave labor for other Corporations such as UniCorp?

We care not that Richard Nixon used the “Justice” system to target his enemies whom he labeled hippies, spics and niggers in order to quell dissent against the evil that was the war in Vietnam?

These immoral acts that have resulted in the criminalizing of mine and your fellow Citizens give you no pause?

Truly?

Are we simply in denial of these realities?

One can research all of these issues easily on the World Wide Web.

One can read about the militarization of our Police forces that began under Bush and was furthered by Clinton, Bush Jr and Obama that has resulted in a completely negated purpose of the Posse Comitatus Act.

Many of those whom we would call criminal are simply victims of a corrupt and immoral Justice system that has been perverted by our Politicians and the behest and to the benefit of Corporations.

It has been known for decades that marijuana can heal those who are afflicted with epilepsy. It has been known for decades that marijuana can help with brain trauma. It has been known for decades that marijuana has properties that can help to and in some cases aid in the actual curing of cancer.

Yet, there is no profit in a plant that grows in nature.

We now have synthetic marijuana. For the first time in the history of human use of marijuana, we have had overdoses.

Why? Because of the immoral, deceptive drug war. That selfsame drug war that has resulted in the incarceration of millions of non-violent Citizens for victimless crimes conjured by the State at the behest of Corporations.

At what point do we stop and think.

In Ferguson, arrest warrants were issued for simple misdemeanors. These arrest warrants resulted in loss of life, destruction of property and much damage in the relationship between the Law Enforcers and the Community. These activities resulted directly in the protests and violence after the shooting of Michael Brown.

I care not that Brown attacked the Cop. I care that a Police shot a Citizen and killed him. That is tantamount to extra-judicial punishment. It was a death sentence for the simple crime of jaywalking and daring to stand up to injustice within a community.

At what point do we question the activities of our Law Enforcers and our Politicians?

Do we never question the State? If it is not right to question the State, how, then, are we a free people.

Police are enforces of law. Police are tools of the State. They are not honorable heroes who are acting selflessly. Especially not in this age wherein we have Police treated as a Special Class of Citizen who are above the law. Qualified immunity gives Police a license to kill. Police are taught in special seminars to shoot first and ask questions later. Police are told to state “I was in fear for my life” any time they are involved in a shooting.

Others may worship these Special Citizens. I do not. I see that they are The State and the State should never be worshiped but always questioned.

One must wake up…before it is too late.

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An Open Letter to the American Police

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The Police are an arm of the State.

They are enforcers of Law.

As such, the People should always have the benefit of the doubt. This is part of the reason that we broke off from England.

What you seem to want is for the Police to be beyond reproach. You want obedience. Immediate acquiescence to Police Authority.

Is that the America which you really want?

A people who obey without thought. A people who are so cowed by authority that they think not at all and simply obey commands from perceived authority.

That sounds a lot like the Soviet Union or Saudi Arabia. That does not sound like America.

When the Police can do as they please and violate the Constitution with impunity, we are all slaves.

Already, the Fourth Amendment is all but meaningless.

Police enforce laws that are immoral and based on proven lies and propaganda.

If being anti-Police means that I question their word over that of the People of the United States, then, by all means, call me anti-Police. I will always be thus.

I am for Liberty.

Liberty is impossible without hard restraints on the State Police Forces.

Police already have Qualified Immunity. Police have Civil Asset Forfeiture. Police have Unions which make them unaccountable to the People.

This is not Liberty.

Police should always be accountable to the People. They should not be above the law.

I can’t believe that these beliefs are being espoused in America.

Ben Franklin said that it is better that 100 guilty men go free than One Innocent be imprisoned. American Police today seem to believe the opposite.

In America today, we have innocents in prison because our Justice system is stacked against the Citizen. We have hundreds of thousands of Citizens in prison for nothing more than smoking a plant.

This is not Liberty. This is tyranny.

Police should always be questioned for they are an arm of the State. Traditionally, they are one of the first organizations of the State to be used AGAINST the people.

And do not say that you would not allow this to happen because it has and is occurring as I type this.

The War On Drugs is nothing more than a War on Liberty. It was conceived as such and it will always be so. When Nixon put the American Drug Policy and created the forerunner to the DEA, he did so to target his enemies on the Left whom he characterized as “hippies, niggers and spics.”

That is the origin of drug prohibition. The marijuana policy of the Federal Government was created on a foundation of lies. Lies that have been exposed to the light of day and still the Police want to prosecute this lunatic war on a plant that grows wild in nature.

This is one of the few areas on which I can agree with Obama. The American Police are out of control. Most enforcement of law is centered on revenue raising. Police aren’t out there protecting and serving the people. They are raising revenue for the State. They are raising revenue to pay their salaries and to fund all of the cool toys of war that they now use against the People of the United States of America.

Murders go unsolved so that Police can waste millions of dollars burning marijuana plants and arrest 16 year olds for possession of a few ounces of weed.

Police in America should be ashamed of themselves.

Benjamin Franklin (1706–90)
QUOTATION: That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved.
ATTRIBUTION: BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, letter to Benjamin Vaughan, March 14, 1785.—The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Albert H. Smyth, vol. 9, p. 293 (1906).

He was echoing Voltaire, “that generous Maxim, that ’tis much more Prudence to acquit two Persons, tho’ actually guilty, than to pass Sentence of Condemnation on one that is virtuous and innocent.—Zadig, chapter 6, p. 53 (1749, reprinted 1974).

Sir William Blackstone, in his Commentaries on the Laws of England, 9th ed., book 4, chapter 27, p. 358 (1783, reprinted 1978), says, “For the law holds, that it is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.”

 

Cops are only Human

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It is dangerous to view Police or, as they like to call themselves, Law Enforcement as “humans.” Certainly, they are humans. However, they are much more than that. They are of the State. They are the means through which the State projects power and authority.

They are not merely humans who are good or bad. They have authority and power vested in them by the State which can be used for good or bad.
Their incompetence can adversely affect us. Their negligence can adversely affect us. Their willful malfeasance can adversely affect us. Any action that they take that is not wholly competent, lawful, moral and with good intent can adversely affect us. Any action that they take which they believe is lawful, moral and with good intent can adversely affect us.

These are not mere humans. They are not mere Citizens. They are instruments of the State. Thinking of them as merely fellow humans or even fellow Citizens is a mistake.

Every action a Law Enforcement Officer takes whether it be good or bad has consequences. Many of the actions that LEO take in the performance of their duties will adversely affect Citizens of the various States and of the United States of America. This must always be uppermost in their minds and it should be the same for Citizens who wish to remain free.

Cops are not mere humans. They are Officers of the State vested with authority and the power over Life and Death. They cannot be imbeciles. They cannot be incompetent. They cannot rely on mere muscle memory. They must be disciplined, knowledgeable of the law, morally reliable, competent and they must be held to a higher standard than every other Citizen of the United States of America.

Why Do American Accept these Murders?

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Police willfully placed this young girl in danger along with her father. These murders of young American due to Police Aggression and Incompetence happen far too often.

Penn Township, Pa — 12-year-old Ciara Meyer was shot and killed by a police officer this Monday morning as her family was being evicted from their home. According to police, her father, 57-year-old Donald B. Meyer, pointed a gun at Pennsylvania State Constable Clarke Steele during the eviction. The police say that Steele shot at Meyer when he had the gun pulled on him, and grazed the man’s arm. However, the bullet went on to fatally strike young Ciara Meyer after it went through her father.

Donald Meyer was taken to the hospital but was also charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats, and reckless endangerment.

An unidentified neighbor told local reporters that Ciara was a “Very kind, sweet kid.”

“Here’s a little girl that doesn’t even have a chance to grow up and live her life, and all because of this senseless act. It’s horrible, absolutely heartbreaking,” the neighbor said.

Meyer’s aunt, Hope Cordas Rohde, wrote on Facebook that, “We are so broken as she was just a little girl and we loved her so much. My heart hurts so very much. Such a sad world this is when an innocent child is shot and killed. May God give us peace.”

According to PennLive.com, the family owed $1,780.85 in rent, which was roughly 3 months behind for them.

Essentially, the Police murdered this girl over less than 2,000USD. That is what your life is worth America. The State does not care about you. It’s not that Black lives do not matter. It is not all lives that matter. It is that NO LIFE MATTERS to the State.

The Average American Citizen holds only the value of his or her worth in taxable income, goods and property. Beyond that, your life does not matter.

When will Americans come to comprehend this basic fact about the State. All States. Yes, even the American State.

We are so broken as she was just a little girl and we loved her so much. My heart hurts so very much. Such a sad world this is when an innocent child is shot and killed. May God give us peace.”

There will be no such peace from God or any source until the State is brought to heel and made to respect the lives of human beings as more than a simple funding source.

Ciara is the 21st person and the first child to be killed by law enforcement in 2016.

America’s “New” Tyranny

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Honestly, I see no difference between the American Police and Thai, Cambodian, Afghan or Egyptian Police.

They are all Corrupt.

In America, they’re simply in denial.

American Police spend most of their time doing anything and everything except Law Enforcement.

American Police generate revenue 90% of the time.

Speeding Tickets, Parking Tickets, Civil Asset Forfeiture and anything else to make a buck or, as I like to call it, pilfer the Citizen.

American Prosecutors use lies, corruption, intimidation, bullying and harassment to persecute citizens and gain a plea deal. Many, if not most, citizens who plea do so, not because they are guilty of anything but because they cannot afford competent legal representation and/or are ignorant of the system.

Judges and Prosecutors will believe obvious Police lies over obvious Citizens truths in order to find guilt and sentence Citizens to prison or fine them.

Setting up speed traps is not law enforcement. It is a rigged system of revenue generation.

A Police Officer will endanger everyone else on the road to catch a speeding driver. How is that Public Safety.

The last time that I was in America, a Police Officer ran a red light to get to an accident that had zero fatalities and was no danger to any citizen. He was rushing over there to produce a traffic report. In doing so, he caused a five car collision that included me. I was able to stop in time. I barely bumped the car who had slammed on their brakes in front of me. However, a large oil truck slammed into the back of me spun off of my truck and hit two other cars causing me to ram the car in front of me and damage and injury to two citizens in two other vehicles.

It is my considered opinion that American Police are a menace to society.

I know many Police in America. I’ve heard the worst stories from them. I’ve heard grotesque racism. I’ve heard obvious violations of the law from them. I’ve witnessed them violate the law.

American Police are granted magical “qualified immunity.” This causes a situation wherein Police are above the law. That coupled with every Prosecutor and Judge in America being either afraid of prosecuting or outright sympathetic to Police regardless of their guilt or innocence in any given situation has created a huge imbalance of justice in America.

In reality, it is rare for a citizen to obtain justice when the Police, Prosecutor and Judiciary of America all act in concert to thwart the basic rights as represented by the guarantees in the US Constitution.

American Police feel that they are entitled to respect. They demand respect of their authority despite the fact that they are supposed to be public servants.

In America, Justice is nearly impossible.

At least, the “uncivilized” nations offer a path to justice in the form of small bribes for small crimes. In America, a small crime can land you in prison for 10 to 20 years simply because the Cop needs to fill his quota and the Prosecutor needs a win for his rating.

That is not justice.

That is tyranny.

CONFIRMED: AMERICAN POLICE ARE STUPID

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WASHINGTON, DC — Police departments in the US will not hire prospective applicants as officers unless those applicants lack the ability to think logically and compassionately, a former CIA contractor has confirmed.

“There is a policy here in the United States that people of a relatively high IQ are not allowed to become police officers,” said former CIA contractor Steven Kelley in an interview with Press TV.

Evidently if an applicant shows signs of relatively high IQ — with excellent logical analytic abilities and a sense of compassion — that applicant will be weeded out of the hiring process.

The way that the applicants are weeded out is apparently by means of initial testing.

“There is actually a test given to applicants and if they score too high they are not eligible to join law enforcement,” Kelley said.

“They require people that are incapable of logical compassionate thinking.”

I’ve long suspected this.

I’ve never met a terribly bright Cop.

A man whose bid to become a police officer was rejected after he scored too high on an intelligence test has lost an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the city.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower court’s decision that the city did not discriminate against Robert Jordan because the same standards were applied to everyone who took the test.

 

Do Not Support Your Local Police

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The American Police have always been a tool of the affluent. The creation and proliferation of Police Forces have always been at the behest of those with Economic Power.

American Police have never been charged with serving and protecting the Citizen. They have always been a tool of oppression. They serve the interest of the State. The State serves the interests of the Corporate Elite.

Support of the police by the Citizen is a direct contradiction of the Citizen’s own interests. It is tantamount to the slaves of the antebellum South proclaiming support for the Slave Patrols and the Fugitive Slave Act.

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The modern police force not only provided an organized, centralized body of men (and they were all male) legally authorized to use force to maintain order, it also provided the illusion that this order was being maintained under the rule of law, not at the whim of those with economic power.

In the Southern states the development of American policing followed a different path. The genesis of the modern police organization in the South is the “Slave Patrol” (Platt 1982).

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“Just don’t break the law.”

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Statists, Republicans, Democrats and, especially, Cop apologists give real insight as to how Hitler and Stalin were able to co-opt whole peoples into National Madness.

Every time a person says; Just don’t break the law” I remember the Holocaust and wonder how many people told the Jews to “just don’t break the law.” I wonder how many political dissidents in the Soviet Union were told “just don’t break the law.”

How man Khmer were told by Pol Pot apologists; “Just don’t break the law.”

How many politicians have used folks like your average Cop Apologist to murder and plunder whole nations?

I imagine many of the folks who justify every action by Police as necessary to “uphold the law” are the exact same people who rationalize concentration camps, re-education camps, genocide, mass murder and every other evil ever committed by the State.

It always starts with these folks. Those who see the evils of the State as necessary and good.

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I AM PART OF THE PROBLEM!

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That Citizens should be treated with respect and that the Police are not overlords but servants who should respect the very law which they are charged with enforcing.

That the LEO should know and respect the Constitution.

That Police should be held to a standard that is, at the very least, equal to that of the American Citizenry.

That Police should be non-abusive and knowledgeable of the law.

That America is a land of Liberty.

Yeah, that is some fucked up shit. I can see how you would think that I am part of the problem.

Sheep mindlessly follow the safety of the proximity to their shepherd as they sense that they are being protected from predators such as wolves when in reality they are being led to the slaughter.

But, yes, you are correct. I am the problem.

That I believe that a State Agent should have no right to detain me, abuse me or to even bother me so long as I am abiding by the law and trespassing upon the rights or property of no other.

I can see that I am the problem.

I should be more like the State Thugs and murder and commit mayhem.

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American Police Are Wrong. The Mike Brown Incident is a tale of Police Incompetence and complete loss of the Public Trust


Brown’s blood found in Darren Wilson’s car, evidence doesn’t support civil rights charges, so NOW WHAT?

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I have maintained since the beginning of this lunacy that this whole incident was caused by poor training.

1. “Get the fuck out of the street” is not a proper way for a “Public Servant” to speak to citizens.

2. How does an interaction between a Police Officer and a Citizen escalate from a request for a teenager to vacate a low traffic street to a shooting?

3. How does a Police Officer become the victim of a car attack from an 18 year old citizen?

4. Why do so many incidents between Police Officers and younger citizens escalate to shootings?

5. Why are Police trained to shoot to kill? Why is shoot to kill a first option for any Police Officer?

6. There are so many incidents of corrupt Police Officers across the US that it is inevitable that the Police are distrusted and that Citizens on the margin will react to the Police as if they will either be shot or treated in an unjust manner.

There are so many issues with today’s Police that it is a wonder that Citizens aren’t shooting first when Police come upon the scene of an incident.

SWAT teams are only 33% successful in finding any criminality. The rate of failure should make America’s Leaders re-think their options and actions. However, it seems that the Police and the Leaders of American Cities and other localities only re-trench and continue to treat Americans as if the Citizenry is the enemy.

As long as the Police view the populace as the enemy and America as a Warzone, as evidenced by SWAT teams, tactical gear and attitudes of Police, these escalated incidents of violence will continue to increase.

This needs to be halted. The American police and other civil leaders and politicians need to re-evaluate their attitudes and tactics in dealing with crime and the American citizenry.

The Media needs to highlight these actions and work to resolve this challenge to American Liberty.

It should not matter if a Citizen is shot or otherwise injured. Injustice is injustice. When Police restrict or completely ignore the Law and the Constitution and these actions are upheld by the Courts, America has lost LIberty. All of us lose. This isn’t merely a case of criminals or thugs losing Liberty. The is a loss of liberty for the whole of the American citizenry.

We must put a stop to injustice for all Americans.

Bottom line:  Mike Brown may well have been a thug. That matters not. The Police, in general, and Darren Wilson, specifically, are acting no better than Statist Thugs constantly. We cannot trust the American Police to do the right thing. As long as this is the case, Police will be distrusted and will not be deserving of the Public Trust.

After all, Kanye West is a complete buffoon. That doesn’t mean that he deserves to be executed by State Thugs.

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Random Thoughts on the Destruction of American Liberty

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The DNC and GOP are evil.

Neither are good for the country.

Both are good for their respective Lobbyists and Special Interests.

Both target key demographics and lie to them to get elected.

Unions represent the interests of their respective organizations. Police Unions represent the interests of Police. They lobby for legislation that will benefit the Police. Laws such as COPS and 1033, qualified immunity, confiscation, etc.

The Wars on Poverty, Crime and Drugs were initiated by Democrats. All of these so-called wars benefit the Police, empower the police and destroy the rights of the Citizens.

The War on Terror was initiated by Republican Bush 2. However, Obama has taken that war and run with it. He’s made it his own. The NDAA, NSA spying, police militarization, assassination, rendition, invasions and occupations…all of these things were started by someone other than Obama, the Democrat. Yet, Obama has taken them and injected elephant steroids into these programs and gone about the business of destroying the Constitution.

Any Political Party that centers on the corruption that are American cities is bound to be corrupt.

Police have, historically, been Democratic run organizations. Not Republican.

Military members joining the police forces enmasse is a recent phenomenon. This is happening recently as a result of the terrible economy and programs put in place by respective Clinton, Bush 2 and Obama DOJs.

Our current volunteer military is only 30 years old. Prior to the “All Volunteer” military, our nations military services were made up of careerists who retired after they left service and draftees who were mostly poor. These draftees left the service and went into all career fields and some into none as most were from the poor or lower middle class.

This preposterous idea that the Police forces in the military are made up of mostly ex-military is patently false. I looked it up and it can’t be proven or disproven because no one (not even the DOJ) keeps statistics.

I have been researching American police forces for some time now because of Obama’s continuation of Bush’s War on Liberty. Police come from predominantly working class familes. They enter the police force between the ages of 21 and 24. That does not give the majority of them time to enter the Military, ETS and then join the police as a goodly majority of Police have at least 2 years of college. This is a prerequisite for some, if not most, Police forces.

Police Brutality, of late, is a direct result of the Bush/Obama war on Liberty and the Constitution.

Both the Military and the Police are tools of the State.

Police forces have been given qualified immunity. This means that they are not accountable to the citizenry and not held to the same law as the rest of the citizenry. They are, in fact, above the law. Bush and Obama have brought this about via legislation, “Wars on…,” and court appointments.

This must change or America will no longer be a free nation but, instead, little better than Maoist China.

The Democrats are no better than the Republicans. They are the same. This is an age old tactic. Divide and conquer.

By choosing D or R, you are defeating yourselves and destroying America.

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Corruption, The Extraordinary and the American Police

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In the linked article, Mr Vargas states, in part, the following:

“There is a ceaseless campaign to vilify law enforcement these days.

The amplification of these voices through social media has resonated throughout mainstream media and generated a false narrative about the professionalism of police officers.”

The author tells us to judge police not as a group but as individuals.

First of all, I would hope that people treat individual Police Officers as human beings and respect them as such WHILE keeping a steady and watchful eye on these human beings in their official capacity as Police Officers and servants of the public.

Second, it is impossible to judge the police as an entity except by what we see as the result of their work. The body of work of the American police does not induce a feeling a pride nor do I see professionalism in the American Police Forces.

I have read numerous articles, research papers and books on our American Police Forces. What I have come to see is a pattern of failure. Thousands of SWAT raids per year produce results a mere 30% of the time. SWAT teams raid the wrong locations constantly. They get the wrong address from their CRIMINAL informants or, even worse, they raid, in error, a different house than that which is listed on their arrest/search warrants.

Yes, that is correct. The address on their search warrant might say 201 Westboro Ave and the Police mistakenly raid 207 Westboro Ave.

When they make these mistakes, they destroy property. They injure people in these mistaken raids. They’ve even been known to kill people in these raids. And it’s almost a given that if there is a pet such as a poodle or cockerspaniel in these homes, that pet is as good as murdered.

Mr. Vargas goes ends his opinion piece with this study in hagiography:

Police officers are not collectively a bunch of racist, boot-jacketed thugs and mindless drones. They are a group of extraordinary individuals who have willingly taken on the challenge of policing a society that has serious issues.

 

Officers didn’t create the socioeconomic environment that gives rise to violence and crime. Rather they are willingly choose to go out everyday and deal with a public that seems to believe they are the bad guys.

While I have no doubt that there exist extraordinary individuals in the police forces across this Nation, I also know that the history of American police forces is rife with corruption, brutality and inhumanity.  The examples are legion.  From the New York City scandals of the NYPD in the ’70s to the LAPD Rampart scandals of the ’90s.  Those are simply two of the most heinous examples.  Actually, it seems that the NYPD has, at least, one major scandal per decade.  Police were hired by the largest corporations in America in the early 20th Century not to protect and serve the community but to oppress and suppress the American worker.  These police forces were union busters.  They weren’t serving and protecting the community.  They were actively oppressing the community.  The Police were active partners of Gangsters such as Al Capone in the Prohibition Era.  In the South, the Police were on the front lines of the Jim Crow era oppression of minorities.  In our day, we have police raiding barber shops with Machine Guns and Military Gear simply to check licenses.  We have constant and consistent examples of police brutality and disregard for basic human rights.  Not only that but the Police constantly violate rights guaranteed to Citizens by the United States Constitution.  

Speaking to professionalism.  The police are trained to actively violate the rights of US Citizens.  They are trained to trick us into surrendering our rights voluntarily without our being aware of such.  This is police professionalism.  

Certainly, policing is a dangerous profession.  However, my answer to that is that if one is not willing to take on these risks, one should not become a police officer.  Find a profession that doesn’t produce fear so great in you that you feel the need to shoot to kill your fellow citizens.  The age of summary justice is ended.  The priority of the police should be the safety of the public.  How can the police serve the public in this manner if they are a) considered a menace to society by a large and growing portion of the citizenry and b) if they are in actuality a growing menace to society.

The Police do seem willing to go out and “deal with the public” on a daily basis.  This is, after all, their job.  However, they also seem all too willing to shoot that public in any circumstance whether there exists a genuine threat to their safety or not.  And if that threat is shown later to have not existed in reality but only in the mind of the Police Officer, they Police are also extraordinarily willing to engage in public propaganda and character assassination in order to actively obstruct justice for their victims.  

This must change.  If a Police Officer is found to be guilty of negligence, error, malfeasance or criminality, that officer must immediately be taken off the streets and that officer must be vigorously prosecuted.

Police must stop assuming guilt all around them.  This assumption of guilt has proven to cause over-zealousness in the prosecution of victims of the criminal justice system.  All too often, we are finding that citizens who have been imprisoned for crimes are innocent of the crimes for which they were prosecuted.  In many cases, the police and/or prosecution knew of the existence of evidence that exonerated these innocent citizens.  Yet, the police held back the evidence in order to gain a conviction.  Any police officer who is guilty of these heinous crimes should be tried and imprisoned.  The prosecution should serve sentence right alongside the guilty police officer.

Too often, the Police are guilty of greater criminality than the public at large.  Yet, this goes largely unpunished.  

It is time for this to change.  

Along with the War on Drugs, the Justice System in America serves oftentimes not to ensure the rights of America’s citizens but to deny rights to American citizens.  The Police are integral to each of these injustices.  

Is it any wonder in this age of instant information that the police are being thrust into the spotlight.  Heretofore, they could not be held accountable for their actions.  With the ubiquitous cell phone camera and video recorder, the police can no longer hide their actions.  This, in my opinion, is a good thing.

I hear apologists for the police state that is becoming America say that if you’ve nothing to hide, you’ve nothing to worry about.

This goes for the America Police as well.  If you are innocent, the recording of your actions is nothing to worry about.

Is this the reason that so many Police become so irate when Citizens record their actions? 

Graduation — First Class of 2008

I wrote this up in Feb 2008.  Made it Private for the Military.  Now, I’m putting it out here.  Most of these folks are moved on.  So it’s safe.

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We graduated our first class of 2008. The Big Man–MG Ak– wasn’t around so BG Ali Khan was our Master of Ceremonies. The ceremony usually consists of the General giving a few “encouraging” remarks to the class. Then I stand up and announce the names.  I may make a few remarks first.  Sometimes, I don’t.   The students walk up as I call their names off and a ranking officer and I and a guest or two congratulate the student and hand them their course certificate. The students walk up. Salute the General. Sometimes, I get a little confused. Because I feel like they are saluting me as well. So one in a while, I’ll return an awkward salute. The student is then handed their certificate and whomever the presenter is shakes their hand and congratulates them.

Everyone involved seems to really enjoy these ceremonies. The Generals get to show up and wax poetic or harass the loggie students. The students get recognition. I get a buy in to my classes and my job security. haha Our guests and other attendees get some nice cakes and cookies and some of that good old Afghan (Indian) chai. And, of course, I enjoy talking to the Generals and other Officers. I thoroughly enjoy this job. In case, anyone hasn’t caught that.

After the certificates are presented and a few more remarks by the Regional Press Officer COL Arkuni (I think), BG Ali Khan invites me to sit beside him. He offers me a cookie from the desert tray. Once I take one, that is the signal for everyone else to eat as well. It’s all so formal that it makes me laugh at times. Then we sit and chat for a bit. I didn’t realize it at the time but everyone was watching and listening to us talk. I get fairly animated in conversation as you can see in the video. Sometimes, I don’t pay attention to anything or anyone else. I tell the General that this class was our best. My favorite so far. The Officers were engaged. They actively participated. Even got heated a few times . I enjoyed the exchange even as the students attitudes towards one another sometimes confused me.
Once the General and I conclude our conversation. BG Ali Khan gives a nod and his assistant barks the room to attention and he exits.

That concludes the festivities.

This class was exceptional on many scores. At one point, LTC Khoda Daad was talking too much for one of two of our other students. Sayeed Mohammad stood up and told him that if he knows so much, he should teach the class. At first, I thought he was telling me that I was a poor teacher and that he’d rather hear LTC Daad. I finally realized that he was telling LTC Daad that I was the teacher and he should listen more and talk less. I laughed. It seems that in every class we have what I call the “question man.” This is a guy who will ask a question or two every hour. Sometimes more. When Afghans ask a question, it is extremely formal. They stand up and very respectfully state their question and it seems that it goes on and on. Usually, the question is loosely based on the class. Often, they will be asking something to the effect of how should they enact a certain policy if their commander will not enforce it or actively opposes it. This is a large and loaded question. In Afghanistan, policy quarrels can result in death. Often times, the issue is money. Active property management may keep a corrupt official from earning his extra-occupational funding for the month. An active logistician will keep money out of a corrupt officials pockets. In Afghanistan, these things are often settled in violence. It’s a hard line to follow. If the Logistics Officer is hard line, it could well result in violence against him. Is it worth the risk to life to call out your Commandhan over a policy matter. You may be staking your life, your families health or your career. I have to present the course and answer question with that in mind.

On breaks, we sat and talked politics, religion and culture. We even watched Jennifer Lopez, Shakira and Katherine McPhee videos. We talked much of Pakistan and the eastern frontier. This is the area bordering Waziristan. The no man’s land of Pakistan’s western frontier. The home of the Taliban. They asked me why the US did not declare war on Pakistan. I often times wonder tha same thing. Politics plays heavily there. War on Pakistan and destabilize a country with nuclear capabilities. Dangers. The unknown. Who knows what becomes of the region in that instance. Could be better. Could become much, much worse.

After the ceremony, the students invite us to visit them in their respective districts. Abdul Qhayooum tells me that if I visit Bala Baluk that I should be his guest in his house. I have to tell him that this is impossible as the military and my company requires that I stay on a FOB or PRT. He understands. But that doesn’t stop other students from extending the same invitation.

Afghanis are a hospitable people. It’s part of their national characteristic. This country was famous for it’s hospitality prior to the Soviet Invasion. That is why it was a primary stop on the hippy trail of the 60s and 70s. Afghanistan is a fascinating country. It has much to offer. If the insurgents and bandits would step down and accept law and order, Afghanistan could have a thriving tourism industry. Trekking in the mountains. The history of this country extends from pre-Alexandrian Bactria to the time and conquests of Alexander to the Genghis Khan to the Moghul Empire of India. Buddhism once thrived in the North. Zoroastrians once traveled across these lands. The whirling dervishes of Sufist Islam and the poetry of Jami, Rumi and Ansari. Herat once was a major center of culture and literacy. These lands and this people trace their history back to antiquity and beyond. Such incredible adventures that could be played out in the dramatic landscapes of this country.

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The Taliban Song and a day in Class

Another old post that I’d made private due to the Military

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These are some clips from the Taliban video that I placed on here earlier. I thought it would be fun to piece it together with Toby Keith’s The Taliban Song.

I teach a logistics class here in Herat. For each class, we take a group picture. At graduation, we present the students with a certificate and this picture in a folder. The certificate gives them credentials as a “trained” logistician. This is an MoI ANP requirement. The picture is a memento of the class from our group of instructors.

While taking the pictures, my fellow instructor asked one of our students if he was nervous about having his picture taken with Americans. The taliban catches him with the pic, he’s liable to find himself in a bit of a pickle. The guy in question is from Bale Baluk which is down south in Farah Province. Farah is “Indian country.” It’s a hot area with a high level of bandit/taliban activity. Bale Baluk’s immediate reply; “f*ck the taliban.”

We all had a good laugh at this comment.

Earlier in the week, Bale Baluk told me that he was Muslim because his parents were Muslim. But that it wasn’t important. He and another student went on to tell me that Islam is the religion of the Arabs. They brought it here and left it. But it has caused many problems for the Afghan people. They stated that “Afghanistan would be better off without it.” A profound statement. An unexpected statement.

I am not real fond of Islam as a religion or as an institution of any kind. Because of this, a friend of mine recently asked me why I would come to a Muslim country in support of a program that would modernize Muslims. This endeavor could very well serve to elevate them into a more serious threat in the future.

I see his point. That said, there are days like today and guys like our Bale Baluk student who make it seem a worthy endeavor. 40 is probably the median age of our students. We’ve had a couple of guys who were in their mid to late 20s. A few guys who were pushing 60. Most are around 38 to 45. Senior guys who were around for the Russians, the taliban and the War of the Warlords in Kabul. Now, they are on board with America and our attempt to modernize their country.

I try to engage our students in each class period. Sometimes, they are willing to talk when pushed a bit. Some of them don’t really say a lot to us. They listen. They might ask a question or two. Mostly they sit and learn a bit to take back to their districts. About half of them will engage us in conversation.

Our current class is a little different. There are three guys in the class who have come back for reinforcement training. A second go round. They felt like they could learn more by coming back. These guys are extremely open. At the end of each class, thus far, they have taken to engaging ME in conversation. Asking my opinion on world affairs. Asking me what I think about Karzai and Bush. Asking why I think Bush has not attacked Pakistan.

Something that some of you might find surprising is that Afghanis have no love for Pakistan. They (rightfully) blame Pakistan for the rise of the taliban. These guys have no love for Iran. But they absolutely abhor and completely distrust Pakistan. They think that we (the US) should turn our guns on Pakistan as that is the origin of much of the trouble in this country. The taliban is trained in Waziristan. Peshawar is a hot bed for insurgents. Hekmatyar Guilbuldin is in hiding somewhere in the neighborhood of Peshawar.

Guilbuldin is one of the worst of the warlords from the time of Civil War in and around Kabul. He fought against Massoud for control of Kabul after the Russians retreated across the Amu Darya.

Massoud is another surprisingly complex conversation. Not all Afghanis consider Shah Ahmed Massoud a National Hero. He is not universally loved as some of the international press would have the world believe. Massoud launched many a rocket into the civilian population of Kabul. He, also, is said to have treated often with the Soviets during the 80s. This allowed the Northern Alliance to lick it’s wounds. But it came at the expense of the rest of the country.

Afghanistan is a complex country. There are no easy answers here.

Some of these guys are pretty intense. Some of them are extremely reserved and dignified. You have to be careful. They can’t lose face in this society.

These guys. This class. They are extremely laid back. One of the older guys asked me to play him some sexy videos because he hadn’t seen his wife in a month. He’s from Farah and has been waiting for our class in Herat for a couple of weeks. Travel here is difficult and time consuming. Earlier in the week, I had been playing my Ipod and they all wanted to listen to it. I promised them that I would bring my personal laptop to class the next day. I have 100 gigs of Itunes music and videos on my laptop. They all wanted to hear and see the music videos. And, of course, they wanted to see “sexy videos.”

I connected my laptop to our Sony video projector and a set of speakers that I had one of our Terps purchase downtown when I first arrived in Herat. They wanted sexy, so I played Jennifer Lopez. They loved her. I played a few others like Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood and Katherine McPhee. Katherine McPhee would be a Superstar in Afghanistan. They seem to love her. One of my terps told me that I “can not compare anyone to Katherine.” “She is the best.” I could only laugh.

The funniest part of the day came when Bale Baluk jumped up on the table and started to dance. I never thought I would see any of these guys do such a thing.

It was a good day. A day I am not likely to forget.

Enough of my ramblings…

Below is a video of one of our classes and a few pictures of our students and us cutting up.

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Above is Bale Baluk. He was our table dancer. Now tell me you could predict that one. lol

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One thing that is humbling for me is the respect that these guys show me as their mentor. I don’t feel “worthy” of such respect. When I chance upon one of my students on a visit to the Regional Headquarters, they address me as “Teacher” and place their hand over their hearts as they greet me. I get the full hand shake/hug and double cheek kiss as well. Most of these men are older than me by ten years or more. They’ve been through war and terrifying experiences. Some of them risk their lives just to attend these classes. I’m always humbled by their greeting and by their sacrifice. These men have a quiet dignity with which they carry themselves. I feel greatly honored when they feel comfortable enough with us to let down their guard and to allow us a glimpse of themselves on such an informal level. This does not occur so often in my experience. It’s an awesome feeling to sit on an equal step of humanity with these men.

Police Harassment

Recently, the Chula Vista, California Police Department ran an e-mail forum (a question and answer exchange) with the topic being, “Community Policing.” One of the civilian email participants posed the following question, “I would like to know how it is possible for police officers to continually harass people and get away with it?”

From the “other side” (the law enforcement side) Sgt. Bennett, obviously a cop with a sense of humor replied:

“First of all, let me tell you this…it’s not easy. In Chula Vista, we average one cop for every 600 people. Only about 60% of those cops are on general duty (or what you might refer to as “patrol”) where we do most of our harassing.  The rest are in non-harassing departments that do not allow them contact with the day to day innocents. And at any given moment, only one-fifth of the 60% patrollers are on duty and available for harassing people while the rest are off duty. So roughly, one cop is responsible for harassing about 5,000 residents. When you toss in the commercial business, and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 10,000 or more people a day.

Now, your average ten-hour shift runs 36,000 seconds long. This gives a cop one second to harass a person, and then only three-fourths of a second to eat a donut AND then find a new person to harass. This is not an easy task.  To be honest, most cops are not up to this challenge day in and day out. It is just too tiring. What we do is utilize some tools to help us narrow down those people which we can realistically harass.

The tools available to us are as follows:

PHONE: People will call us up and point out things that cause us to focus on a person for special harassment. “My neighbor is beating his wife” is a code phrase used often. This means we’ll come out and give somebody some special harassment. Another popular one is, “There’s a guy breaking into a house.” The harassment team is then put into action.

CARS: We have special cops assigned to harass people who drive. They like to harass the drivers of fast cars, cars with no insurance or no driver’s licenses and the like. It’s lots of fun when you pick them out of traffic for nothing more obvious than running a red light. Sometimes you get to really heap the harassment on when you find they have drugs in the car, they are drunk, or have an outstanding warrant on file.

RUNNERS: Some people take off running just at the sight of a police officer. Nothing is quite as satisfying as running after them like a beagle on the scent of a bunny. When you catch them you can harass them for hours.

STATUTES: When we don’t have PHONES or CARS and have nothing better to do, there are actually books that give us ideas for reasons to harass folks. They are called “Statutes”; Criminal Codes, Motor Vehicle Codes, etc…They all spell out all sorts of things for which you can really mess with people. After you read the statute, you can just drive around for awhile until you find someone violating one of these listed offenses and harass them. Just last week I saw a guy trying to steal a car. Well, there’s this book we have that says that’s not allowed. That meant I got permission to harass this guy.  It is a really cool system that we have set up, and it works pretty well.

We seem to have a never-ending supply of folks to harass. And we get away with it. Why? Because for the good citizens who pay the tab, we try to keep the streets safe for them, and they pay us to “harass” some people.  Next time you are in my town, give me the old “single finger wave.” That’s another one of those codes. It means, “You can’t harass me.” It’s one of our favorites.”

The “civilian email participant” and any who thins like him or her should be excluded from Police assistance for life.  People who think like this person are usually fairly pathetic individuals.

As a matter of fact, they should be exiled to Afghanistan where Police Harassment is a real and persistent problem.

Violating the Constitution — The Case of Professor Gates

Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano defends Gates and American civil liberties. Napolitano is one of the few conservatives allowed on Fox who actually believes that individuals should be protected from the power of the police state.

The law says, unless [a police officer] witnesses a felony…or unless he has a piece of paper from a judge—a search warrant or an arrest warrant—saying “you can go in that house,” he can’t go in the house. So when Professor Gates said “no you can’t come in,” and the police went in anyway [the police] violated the federal Constitution.

The police violated this guys constitutional rights.

The police didn’t merely act “stupidly” as Obama stated.  Apparently, they acted unconstitutionally.  Regardless of what kind of ass this guy may or may not have made of himself.  I haven’t seen the incident myself.

This is the kind of garbage that is turning this country more and more towards being an “un-American” police state.

The Po Po aren’t all powerful.  Citizens have rights.  Bush and Obama be damned.

Doha, Qatar 18 May 2007

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I arrived at the American Air Base at Doha, Qatar at about 8 AM. I proceeded to the Air Force customs counter. Because I was travelling on to Bangkok via commercial air, I had to go through Qatari customs and then off the base to the Doha International Airport. Therefore, I had to “enter” the country through Qatari customs. Qatari customs, when I have gone through it, consists of one Arab sitting at a counter mostly waving you through. He checks nothing. At times, no one sits at the counter and there is the entry stamp just sitting there. The first time I went through this customs stations I had to go and find the customs agent for a friend, Jamaal, who was travelling back to the States. I had already passed through and had my passport stamped. Jamaal had lagged behind and been detained by the Air Force because of something in his baggage. He was always slow so it was no surprise to me when after 15 or 20 minutes Jamaal had not come through the customs stations. I left my bags sitting on the other side of the customs trailer and went to find Jamaal. When I finally got him through, there was no customs agent in the trailer. He had gone off to drink chai or to pray or God only knows. I went out to find him. When I found him, he entered the trailer and looked at the stamp as if to say why did you not stamp it yourself. I just laughed which brought a smile to his face. He stamped Jamaal’s passport and we proceeded through the metal detector which to my knowledge is always switched off.

On rare occasions, there are two or more people in the customs trailer. When this is the case, they will usually run your bags through the dusty x-ray machines while talking to each other. Then wave you through no matter what is in your bags. (I once carried a lighter in my carry on baggage from Afghanistan through several countries–Cambodia, Thailand, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. No one raised an eyebrow. It was not until I arrived in Atlanta and was exiting the airport to fly no more that a security guard discovered it and confiscated it. I questioned the guard fairly harshly. Asking why he would take the lighter when I was exiting the Airport and would not be boarding an airplane. He told me that he was just doing his job. I replied; “Then you have a stupid job with stupid fucking rules.” And walked on. America is a pain. I don’t fully agree with the paranoia that has become the norm in the American government. We are becoming truly byzantine in our rules, regulations and laws. Bottled water?)
By about 9:30, I was at the Airport. I had a ticket to Bangkok. The problem. My flight departed from Kuwait and I was in Doha. I had to get my ticket changed. I proceeded to the counter of a local Travel Agent and attempted to get my Gulf Air ticket changed from a Kuwait departure to a Doha departure. No success. I was told that I would have to go to the Gulf Air office in downtown Doha to get it changed. I asked if there was not a Gulf Air agent in the Airport. There was but it was in the back area. I went off to find it. I had to go back into the administrative offices of the airport. I found the office and walk inside. A woman and a man are sitting in the office. Neither of whom speak much English. The man goes off to find the manager. The manager walks in. Offers me chai and asks how he can help me. I explain my situation and he tells me that I would have to go to the main office in Doha. I ask him if it is possible to help me from here as I have two bags and a back pack with me and I don’t want to drag these bags with me all over the city. He attempts to help but cannot seem to get the system to work.

I decide to blow off the Kuwait flight altogether and to purchase a new flight from Doha to Bangkok. It costs me about $500. The flight doesn’t depart until around 2000 hours that night. So I have about 10 hours until departure and about 8 hours before I can go into the gate departure area.

I feel sticky and disgusting from sleeping in the air terminal at Bagram for two days. I decide to try to get a shower somewhere in Doha. There are airport hotels and shower rooms in Dubai, Amsterdam, Bangkok and several other places through which I have traveled over the years. Nothing of the sort exists in Doha. Qatar is a surprisingly backwards country for being so affluent. I hire a taxi to take me to a hotel. I grab all of my bags and throw them in the cab. And off we drive. After several tries, I could not find a hotel that rented by the hour so that I could take a shower. For some reason, I had no problem writing off a $500 ticket from Kuwait to Bangkok, but, I would not pay 80 bucks for a shower. $80 for a shower seemed offensive. Another scam in another Arab country. And I was tired of Arab stupidity and rigidity.

I abandon hope of taking a shower. But it’s only 11 AM. I still have 8 hours to kill before I can get to my gate for my flight. I tell the taxi driver to take me around and show me the major sights around the city. Apparently, my taxi driver is an idiot. He doesn’t know a thing and doesn’t know how to play it up for a tourist minded person like me. I ask him to take me to see Al Jazeera. I want to get a picture of the evil purveyor of Islamic propaganda and the protectors of terrorism worldwide. It’s a curiosity. He drives on.

We drive for about 15 minutes and I’m getting impatient. I’m thinking about just heading back for the airport when the drivers pulls up outside a place that he calls Al Jazeera. I stand outside of the cab to take 4 or 5 pictures. The idiot then proceeds through to the gate of what I am thinking is Al Jazeera. There are these security guard looking guys at the gate. They stop us. They ask us to pull over and exit the vehicle. Then they detain us. I try to tell the taxi driver to leave. He won’t budge. I get fairly irate. I ask why I am being detained. They tell me because they saw me taking pictures.

There are no signs prohibiting photography. “Photography not allowed” signs are no where to be seen. But to show that I have no problem and want no trouble I delete the pictures and show the guard. I just erase the whole memory stick in my camera. Now I have no pictures on my camera.

The taxi driver and I are told to sit inside the guard booth and wait. The taxi driver enters the booth and sits down. I sit down across from him and scowl at him. I ask him why he went through the gate. Tell him that he is an idiot and stare off into the distance. Every few minutes, taxi guy looks at me and I glare back. I think that I would like to smack the hell out of him and tell him this. I wonder how I picked the dumbest taxi driver in the Middle East. Every other taxi driver I had met before had been crafty and out to make a buck. This guy seemed to have a singular ability to drive and no imagination. IDIOT!

I keep asking the guards why I am being detained. The guards give me the same answer over and over. “No problem.” Mostly because none of them speak English. I’m told that they must talk to their Sergeant. A half hour passes and a Sergeant stops by and tells me the same thing. “No Problem.” I keep asking. “If there is “no problem,” why am I being detained?” All I get in reply is the same; “No problem.” But now it’s “We must wait for Captain.”

After waiting another half hour, a Sergeant and an Officer arrive. The Corporal and Sergeant who were there confer with the new arrivals as they whisper and point in my direction. The Officer steps over to me and asks to see my camera. Asks me to show him the pictures that I had taken. I tell him that I deleted them. He asks me why. I tell him that I was told to do so. Not completely accurate. It seems to satisfy him with me. Conversely, it seems to make him angry at the police officer who I singled out as the originator of the order.

I am told to get into a Toyota Landcruiser. I tell the Police Sergeant that my bags are in the taxi. He tells me to take my bags out of the taxi and place them into the Toyota. They are taking me to the local police station. I’m getting pretty nervous. I’m still not sure that these are real police. I’m thinking to myself that I’m in danger of being an Al Jazeera Friday Night Special. My head is in danger of being separated from my shoulders in an Al Qaeda Allahu Ahkbar saw fest.

They tell my taxi driver to leave. Before he leaves, he tells them that I owe him the fare. I curse at him and tell him to go to hell and refuse to pay the idiot. The police Sergeant tells me that I must pay. I’m feeling threatened enough over the whole picture debacle. Who knows what they might charge me with for refusal to pay this moron. I pay. I let them know that I feel cheated as I throw half of the fare on the ground. I spin around and get into the Toyota and slam the door shut.

I think the Police find it humorous. When they get in the vehicle they are motioning toward the taxi driver and laughing. I smile a bit. Feeling the tension ease a bit. I start to talk to the Police Sergeant in the front seat. I assume he is a Sergeant. His stripes look like those of our Police Sergeants in the U.S. I tell him that I am nervous. Frightened. I’m still a bit nervous that these jackasses are going to cart me off to some damn non-descript room and start hacking my head off and screaming Allahu Akbar at the top of their lungs. I’ll be posted 2 hours later on the Al Jazeera website. The Sergeant tells me that there is no reason to be nervous. I am safe. This comforts me little.

They take me to the police station. It’s a simple, yet, officious looking building. That eases my mental discomfort. I still keep getting the “no problem” comments. I still keep asking; “If no problem, why detain me?”

The building to which I am taken reminds me of the scene in which Peter O’Toole is taken to in the city of Aqaba in the movie Lawrence of Arabia. In the scene, Lawrence is tortured by a sadistic Police Captain. I’m hoping that no similar character arrives on the scene to beat me with a whip and pinch my nipples. This thought makes me laugh a bit. Later in the movie, Lawrence helps the Arabs of the Arabian Desert capture Aqaba.

I sense that I am ok. But still not sure.

They place me in a room with two desks and a bench. I sit on the bench for a while. The cops bring in a thief with a bag full of cell phones. They start to ask him questions. At one point, he must have given them a wrong answer. It sounded like he was being a smart ass to me. The Sergeant in the room reaches over and smacks the hell out of the guy. The guys head bounces off the wall behind us.

At about this point, one of the other Sergeants take me to another room in the back of the station. It’s hot as hell back there because the air conditioner is broken. I sit back there sweating and falling asleep. After about an hour of sweating and dozing, I walk to the front ant tell them that I am hot. Is there another room I can sit in and wait? They take me to a third room which seems to be a business office. Business men keep coming in and out paying the Officer inside money and kissing his hand. I have no idea what kind of service they were purchasing. I just witnessed a lot of kissing and money changing hands.

I’m now sitting in a plush chair and I keep dozing off. At one point I cross my right leg over my left leg this points the bottom of my foot at one of the Officers in the desks. I look at him in a daze. The sergeant walks over and tells me to put my foot down. Explaining to me that it is bad manners and disrespectful to point the bottom of your feet at another person in Arab custom. I think about saying that it’s bad manners and disrespectful to arrest someone and detain them for no reason in my country but think better of it. He gets no argument out of me. I lower my foot.
Eventually, the Captain of the Station walks in and asks questions about me. He then questions me. Why was I taking pictures? What was I taking pictures of? Why am I in Doha? For whom do I work? When do I leave Doha? When is my flight? How long have I been in Doha? I tell him that I was taking pictures because I thought Al Jazeera would be a good story to tell friends back in the States. I answer all of his questions and act as patient as I can. Then I ask him if I am being charged with anything and if not when I could go. He tells me to wait.

More waiting. I’m going insane with all of this waiting and no information.

Finally, I am taken to the Captains office. He lectures me on taking pictures of sensitive sites. Telling me that there is “NO PURPOSE! NO SENSE!” in taking pictures of Al Jazeera. I tell him that I’m a tourist and it was a curiosity to me. I keep repeating that there were no signs. How is one to know that one cannot take pictures if there are no signs prohibiting the act?

They keep asking me why I was taking pictures. I keep telling them the same thing. They ask me if I am a U.S. soldier. I tell them that I am not but that I work for the U.S. Army. Then they ask if I work on the base outside of the city. I answer no and that I am passing through Doha because I have finished a contract in Afghanistan and that I am going home via Thailand.

They start asking me where I was when I took the pictures. I describe the place. It turns out that I was taking pictures not of Al Jazeera but of the Qatar National TV Station. This is why they are upset. It is against the law to take pictures of this place. There are no signs prohibiting photography. In English or Arabic. Hhow would I know this? I realize that retard taxi driver took me to the wrong side of the compound to take the pictures and that is why I am being held.

Finally a CID Inspector shows up. Ahmed. He is of Pakistani descent. Ahmed talks to the police Captain about me. The Captain and he discuss me for 15 minutes or so. Ahmed tells him that there are no signs. Since there are no signs there is no crime. He tells them that I was doing no wrong. Since there are no signs, the guards should not have detained me.

The Captain can’t believe that there are no signs around the TV Station. So he tells the Ahmed the CID Investigator to take me to the TV Station so that I can show him where I was when I was taking the pictures and the route that I travelled to get to the TV Station. We travel the course of my earlier journey with the idiot taxi driver. As I had said all along there were no signs prohibiting photography. Ahmad takes me back to the station. We go inside the station to the Captains office and Ahmad re-affirms that there were no signs. The Captain tells him that I will be released.

I’m getting nervous. By this time, it’s 6 PM. My flight leaves at 830 PM. It’s getting close to my departure time. I should be at the Airport already sitting at the gate. I’m thinking. “Yeah, I’ll get released and miss my flight.”

Ahmad takes me outside and buys me tea at a local vender outside the station. He offers me a cigarette. I laugh and think of all the movies where those soon to be executed are offered a cigarette. After another hour and a half of signing statements and going back to the scene of the “crime,” I am released. Ahmed volunteers to take me to the Airport. I chat with him the whole time and he apologizes for the overzealousness of the guards and for my troubles. He gives me his email address and tells me that he will show me around if I ever return to Doha. I laugh. He understands my reluctance to return.

At one point, I thought to myself; “Dave, you’ve finally done it. Stepped on that landmine. These Jihadi bastards are going to take you to some white room and saw your goddamned head off.” Thankfully, that didn’t happen. Eventually, I loosened up and realized that they were real Qatari police and merely incompetent in the “inshallah” mode of the Arab world. In the end, I made my flight by about 45 minutes and slipped out of the country without causing an international incident. It had taken the Qatari police 8 hours to figure out that I was guilty of no crime and release me. Typical of the Arab World and their “inshallah” philosophy.

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I should have gone to the Gulf Air office in Doha City and worked out my ticket problem. I probably would have avoided all of the excitement. In the end it all worked out. Just another story to tell around the campfire.