Monday, February 07, 2005

The Biggest Cover Up of All

Lots of folks are covering the media cover up of Eason Jordan and his remarks made at Davos about American troops supposedly targeting journalists in Iraq.

Here ** Here ** Here ** Here ** Here ** Here ** Here

However that is not the biggest coverup going on in the media.

The biggest cover up is the nature of the drug war in America.

Take this story. A sick man grows medical pot in compliance with California law. In response to that the Federal Government is taking his house and land. Any outrage in the major media? Left/right/bloggers? Silence.

Well all is not completely quiet on the American front. Here is a report on a National Review article published in July of 2004:

It's National Review, the small but revered and still influential conservative journal of political ideas that made the Reagan Revolution possible.

Don't worry, Grandpap. National Review — founded 49 years ago by William F. Buckley Jr. to do intellectual battle with New Deal liberals and soft-on-communism types — has not had its offices taken over by a bunch of pot-headed hippies.

But its cover story, written by drug policy reformer Ethan Nadelmann, makes a strong case to National Review's faithful that our $15-billion-a-year federal war against marijuana is "costly, foolish and destructive" to society.

Calling for the decriminalization of loco weed will shock and annoy many conservatives and Republicans, especially among the anti-drug-crazed warriors in the Bush White House. But it is nothing new.
The article is very important says Rich Lowry despite its author being funded by the current bete noir of the right George Soros:
To prove how important Lowry thinks it was to publish "An End to Marijuana Prohibition," he was not afraid to use Nadelmann, whose Drug Policy Alliance is heavily funded by George Soros, the conservative-bashing billionaire.
You can read the article here.

The difficulty with a piece like this is that it never rises to the level of a concerted effort. Eason Jordan slanders the troops? An outrage. The government is stealing a sick mans house. Business as usual. No big deal. Happens all the time.

Well that is just it, isn't it. It happens all the time. It may be cruel. It is not unusual. So many people have wondered how the Germans could not know of the death camps and the mass murder being done by the German Government. All you have to do is look at what our pot police are doing to America right out in the open.

At its heart is a culture war. Say was't the German destruction of the Eurpean Jews a culture war? I have a bit to say about that here.But don't take my word for it. Let us see what Washington State Lt Governor Brad Owen said to the Washington State Narcotics Investigators Association in their magazine The Educator. He is discussing Dennis Peron who helped pass the California Proposition 215 making medical marijuana legal in California:
If you think Dennis Peron has smoked too much medical marijuana and will never make sense again; hold on. He went on to say, “This is not about marijuana as medicine. This is a cultural war.”

Oddly enough, I couldn’t agree with him more.
So there it is in black and white. It is not about violence, theft, or fraud. It is not about punishing harm to orthers. It is about punishing a culture.

Every one by now knows this. It is well understood. Why the silence? For the same reason there was silence about the Jews. It is not my culture. And if I speak out I could get branded. Oh the brave do speak out. Once or twice a year. But is there a concerted effort? Why no. That might attract unwanted attentiion. Besides who wants people with the power to take your property on suspicion looking in to your affairs. Once or twice a year. The moral duty is done. We spoke out. Our concience is clear. We are good Germans.

You don't believe they can take your property on suspicion? It is done all the time. In fact some police from Tennessee have turned it into a racket:
Officers worked out a deal for Witt to contribute $9,649.25 to the sheriff's office drug fund in exchange for keeping his vehicle and the remaining $10,000. The Department of Safety has no record of the Witt seizure, spokeswoman Beth Denton said.

"That's nothing out of the ordinary," Jones said. "It's done every day." Ordinary or not, the practice doesn't conform to state law, a Tennessee Department of Safety lawyer said.
See this is no big deal. It is done every day. Every day. Every day. It may be cruel but it is not unusual. Not unusual at all.

And no record? Of what the police are up to? Paperwork is just such a bother. Plus it can cause problems down the road. Eliminate the paper work, eliminate the problems. I guess this is all part of some paper work reduction act to make government more efficient. The Germans were very efficient. To prove it they kept records. In America we have a better idea. Evidently it is working except in a few isolated cases. Which will be cleared up shortly.

Wel why stop at robbery on the highway? Why indeed. You think torture in Iraq is a big deal? Well it is no big deal in America. It is standard operating procedure in drug cases.

As long as it is done to the torturable class. Who is in the torturable class? It never changes. Here is what Graham Greene has to say about it in his novel of the cold war "Our Man In Havana":
"The poor in my own country, in any Latin American country. The poor of Central Europe and the Orient. Of course in your welfare states you have no poor, so you are untorturable. In Cuba the police can deal as harshly as they like with emigres from Latin America and the Baltic States, but not with visitors from your country or Scandinavia. It is an instinctive matter on both sides. Catholics are more torturable than Protestants, just as they are more criminal.
Well that is not quite true in America. You see Mr. Greene had not yet heard of the drug war when he wrote the novel. Let us look at a poor man tortured by the police in the state of Tennessee:
In those documents, Atchley details a plot by the former lawmen to force Siler to put his signature on a form they could use in court as proof the convicted drug dealer agreed to let them search his home in the White Oak community in search of drugs and money.
You see he was guilty. All they needed was a confession. Signed and sealed. Saves so much trouble and eliminates the cost of a trial in most cases making justice more efficient. How German.
Atchley lists in the documents disturbing examples of the lengths he alleges these former lawmen were willing to go: threats to electrocute Siler, drown him and break his fingers, beatings and gunplay.

But as shocking as those allegations are, they pale in comparison to the bone-chilling account of Siler's ordeal captured on a secret recording and laid out in a 59-page FBI transcript.

On these pages, it is the ex-officers' own words that tell the tale of a drug war where the rules of engagement are written in Siler's blood.

"We're going to take every dime you have today and if we don't walk out of here with every piece of dope you got and every dime you got, you're (expletive) ass is not going to make it to the jail," Webber warned in the transcript.
Such nice police we have. Protecting America. From the evils of drugs.
"Eugene, let me tell you how this is gonna work, OK?" Webber said in the transcript. "We got here and guess what you did? You ran out the back door. We chased you, OK? You fought with us, OK? We end up fighting with you. You 'bout whupped all our asses, so we had to fight back, OK?"

But neither Siler nor these deputies knew that Siler's wife had a secret weapon that would produce evidence against the five lawmen so strong that McClellan would fire them, a state grand jury would indict four of them and the FBI would come after all of them.
Beaten while resisting arrest. How cliched. How ordinary. It may be cruel but it is not unusual. Every day. In America. While we Americans like good Germans sleep. Not our kind after all. Now you might wonder why Siler's wife was prepared with a tape recorder? Is it possible it had happened this way before. Of course not. It can't happen here.
The lawmen demand information from Siler, why he hasn't been in touch with them, who supplies him drugs and where he has stashed his cash. Webber reminds Siler that he is alone and outnumbered.

"There's nobody knows we're ( expletive ) here," Webber says. "We're doing this on our own."

The transcript indicates that Webber produces a form that, once signed, will state that Siler gave his consent for the officers to search his home. Siler apparently refuses to sign it. The beating resumes.

Moaning, Siler apparently tries to say something to the lawmen, but Webber is not in the mood for conversation.

"You're not ( expletive ) listening," Webber says. "You hear what I told you? I told you not to be talking. ? This ( expletive ) right here, he loves seeing blood. He loves it. He loves seeing blood. You're talking too much. ? He loves ( expletive ) seeing blood. He'll beat your ass and lick it off of you."

Franklin orders another officer to remove Siler's handcuffs so he can sign. Siler, who cannot read or write, asks one of them to read it to him.

Monday refuses.

"Just sign it," Monday orders Siler.

Siler refuses.

"Git ( sic ) up," Monday responds. "Git ( sic ) up. I said get the ( expletive ) up."

Beating sounds follow.
Who writes these scripts? This is straight out of a B grade movie. This isn't Germany it is America. It can't happen here. It can't happen here.
Slaps and blows are again documented on the transcript, with Monday continuing to order Siler to sign.

By now, Siler is crying.

Threats come next. The lawmen tell Siler they will jail his wife and have his children taken away from him. The transcript details more beating sounds, more moaning from Siler, who repeatedly asks to talk to Webber.

"You ain't talking to nobody," Green responds. "You're gonna sign this ( expletive ) paper."

Siler screams. More blows are heard. The lawmen continue to order Siler to sign. He responds with moans and more screams. But there would be no reprieve.
Well it may be cruel. It is not unusual. Anything to get those damn druggies. Anything. Hadn't you heard? There is a war on.

Well why stop at torture? Why indeed. How 'bout a little murder to enliven the mix. Nothing like a murder to improve a story:
In October, a federal jury awarded $2.85 million to the family of Robinson, a 41-year-old gravedigger and caretaker at Baron Hirsch Cemetery.

Testimony convinced jurors that three officers -- Lucas, Bonner and Simcox -- wrongly killed Robinson and tried to cover it up. Jurors found that Berryhill wasn't at fault.

Meanwhile, City Atty. Sara Hall said the city has tentatively reached a $1.1 million settlement with Robinson's son, Jarvis Robinson, who filed the wrongful death lawsuit.

In the 21/2 years since the shooting, the officers were never disciplined and remained on the force even after the jury found the three officers personally liable.
You see it is just like O.J. liability is no proof of a crime. But you know how it is. Some one famous gets away with murder it is the crime of the century. The police get away with one and it may be cruel but it is not unusual. Why? Well drugs were involved don't you know.
Two-and-a-half years after a botched drug raid that led to a deadly shooting, eight Memphis police officers have been suspended.

Narcotics officers Mark Lucas, Albert Bonner, Jeffrey Simcox, Felipe Boyce, Veronica Crutchfield, Juan Gonzalez, Dariet Wallace and Lt. Anthony Berryhill were put on paid leave Friday, police said.
Paid leave? Why that is an even better deal than O.J. got. Why? Well drugs were involved don't you know. These botched drug raids may be cruel. They are hardly unususal. Let us look at the typical tactics of the drug gestapo in America. Gestapo too harsh? Well you read it and decide. Remember this is happening in America. Not Nazi Germany.
"It sounded like a bomb," said Jennifer Dunphy, who lives down the block. "We heard them say, 'If you don't let us in, we will use force,' but we didn't hear any gunshots."

Dunphy said that police officers went door to door about 9 a.m. to tell residents what had happened, Dunphy said.

Dunphy, who has lived on Del Haven Road for the past year, said she was surprised by the raid, as was her mother, Deborah Lupton, a Baltimore resident who hurried over to her daughter's home after hearing about the shooting on the news.

"This stuff doesn't happen here," Lupton said.
The bomb was a flash bang grenade used to stun the people inside a room to make entry easier for police. They typically arrive at 5 am when every one is sleeping. It reduces resistance. Then they smash the doors down throw in the grenade and rush in with guns drawn. Rush indeed. In this case the woman killed pulled a gun from her bedside because she thought her home was under attack. It happens all the time in America in the neighborhoods of those "other people". It doesn't happen here. Why no. And is this kind of raid illegal in America? This is not Nazi Germany after all. Why yes. The Supreme Court says your home is your castle. Except if the police are looking for drugs. And aren't they always looking for drugs to make us safe? It is all for our own good after all.

Here is what a citizen of Baltimore had to say about the raid in a letter published in the Baltimore Sun:
This weekend's police killing of Cheryl Lynn Noel is yet another tragic death attributable to the police decision to clamp down on the drug trade ("Baltimore Co. officer fatally shoots woman during narcotics raid," Jan. 22).

While I am neither a gun owner nor an advocate for the gun lobby, I certainly understand Ms. Noel's decision to own a handgun for personal protection.

Who can blame her for grabbing her handgun when undercover police bombed her home and broke down her bedroom door at 5 a.m.? How many of us would have responded otherwise?

Ms. Noel was a loving wife and mother and a hard-working member of the community, not a drug dealer.
Where is the national outrage? No need to wonder why the good Germans didn't know. In America the news is in the paper every day. We don't want to know.
"Find out just what the people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." Frederick Douglas (1857)
Any one with me on a campaign to end this crap? Any one at all?


Update: 01 June '06 1032z

You can listen to the Siler tape here(mp3) or you can read the transcript here(pdf).

Hat tip: Hammer of Truth.

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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Damn good post M. Simon, and I do not disagree with a word of it. And yet... I am guilty of being one of the silent ones, who sadly, will probably remain that way. 'They' figured the nut of it years ago, economics. And fear. Fear of the bastards breaking in at 5 in the morning and planting the 'evidence' (there would be none otherwise) and watching my life disappear in front of my eyes. Fear of losing the right to practice my profession, of which I have spent 35 years perfecting. Economics.

Just an aside, I happen to work nearby to a building which houses a regional headquarters of various law enforcement types dedicated to the 'drug war'. There is no evidence of any urgency to their task, they roll into the parking lot at 8 and roll out at 5. No weekends, no holidays, its just a job. A way to make a decent living with a 20 year retirement and feel as if you are saving the world from an insidious evil. You are entirely correct, it is a culture war.

I really don't like posting anonymously but the fear I speak of above is there, to be honest I worry about a trackback on my IP address. Am I being absurd?

2Slick said...

I'm with you, M. Simon. I wrote about this very topic at length while at West Point. I got really good grades (because my arguments made perfect sense), but my professors didn't like me very much (because of the nature of my arguments).

The damage was done many years ago when the "powers that were" successfully branded Mary Jane as a hysteria-inducing narcotic. It will take a long long time to fix the damage, but it will happen eventually. Great post.

Anonymous said...

M Simon - I saw your posts on this topic at Michael Totten's and at Belmont. Just popped by to say "I hear you man". I think the war on drugs is ludicrous. And now that we're fighting the WOT we need to redirect all that money and resources to the WOT and empty out the prisons (I'd be in favor right now of giving non-violent drug offenders the option of joining the military, in order to commute their sentences.) I am not all that informed re the real reasons for the war on drugs. I doubt it is really about "concern" for people's health - otherwise we would make cigarettes and alcohol illegal. There is some other reason for it. I recall hearing once that marijuana was made illegal because hemp has too many other uses (like paper) and corporate interests are being protected. I also wonder how much the pharmaceutical industry is implicated. What would happen to their profits if people were able to grow their own medicine? I would like to see who is lobbying the hardest against drug legalization. That would explain a great deal no doubt. But I confess my ignorance in these matters.

Caroline

Unknown Pundit said...

Excellent post M. Simon. To me it should be self-evident that the drug laws are much more dangerous than the drugs themselves.

Why are so many of our fellow citizens silent on this issue, or worse, support the drug war? I can think of two main reasons.

First, many think that the violence surrounding drugs is caused by the drugs themselves. Of course, they have the cause and effect exactly backwards. The prohibition is responsible for the violence as drugs are forced onto the black market, making drugs insanely profitable.

Second is that when something about drugs is reported in the media, it is usually involving some tragic event. An overdose, a gang shooting, an arrest of someone prominent, etc. So for the drug abstainers, they think this is typical of all users and all drugs. The fact that most users never become addicts, most users never commit violent crimes or property crimes, and most users are employed never enters their minds.

Reinforcing these misconeptions are decades of books, TV shows, and movies that rely on drug tradjedies or prohibition induced violence as plot devices. We can all recall scenes from movies or TV cop shows where the drug deal goes bad and everyone starts shooting up the place, or when some teenager dies of an overdose. These scenes are played over and over again in countless movies, cop shows, TV dramas (think ER), and novels. The message is that drugs are bad and that is the end of the story.

Sadly, the drug warriors are holding all the cards. I think it is beginning to change, but there is a long way to go.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget where the marijuana ban came from to start with: Hearst invested heavily in making paper from trees with the sulfuric acid process. By denigrating the hemp competitors and then lobbying for a ban on all hemp through 'morality', he made millions when every one of his competitors had to buy the new papermaking process.

As for being Good Germans: why, exactly, did we attack Iraq?

The latest Executive order by the 'president' has extended the property taking to anyone remotely connected to remotely connected terrorism.
My wife thought of the scary version: If you give money to a church that helps Palestinians, your farm can be confiscated.
Don't piss them off. It's the German way.

M. Simon said...

Why are we in Iraq?

Location, location, location.

It is in the heart of a highly dysfunctional area. We are doing a "colonial" job in the way the Brits did. Trying to bring civilization to barbarians. I give it a 50/50 chance. About the same record as the Brits - see India vs. Zimbabwe.

If your church is collecting for the terrorist don't give. Get a new church. It is the honorable thing to do.