Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The new snitch society

By Libby

I've always believed one of the big reasons the Bush regime got away with callously stripping us of our civil rights in the name of terror prevention was because the public was already inured by the atrocities of the war on some drugs where abridgement of civil rights of 'druggies' has been codified by the courts. One of the latest ploys in that war on the citizens, is to enlist service techs to snitch to the police if they see something 'suspicious' while they're in people's homes. Well, we can see well that's working out. You can expect a lot more erroneous SWAT raids like this one.
Police were executing a search warrant signed by Hennepin County Judge Ivy Bernhardson, who believed there was probable cause the Adams's home was a meth lab.

Berhardson, who was appointed to the bench less than a year ago, did not return KARE 11's phone calls.

"Ohmigod," Adams said as she recalled police breaking down her door and flashing the search warrant. "I just kept saying to them, 'you've got the wrong house.' "

Police soon realized that themselves.

"From a cursory view, it doesn't look like our officers did anything wrong," said Capt. Greg Roehl.

Roehl said the drug task force was acting on a tip from a subcontractor for CenterPoint Energy, who had been in the home Friday to install a hot water heater.

"He got hit with a chemical smell that he said made him light headed, feel kind of nauseous," Roehl said.

The smell was vinegar, and maybe pickling lime, which were clearly marked in a bathroom Mr. Adams uses to mix chemicals for his salt water fish tank.
And here's the real problem with this new program.
Police say there was no extended investigation, just an interview with the subcontractor.

"Everything this person told us turned out to be true, with the exception of what the purpose of the lab was," Roehl said.
Excuse me, but isn't the purpose of the lab the whole justification for breaking the door down and yanking these people out of bed and treating them like criminals? They issue a warrant based on a single conversation with a repair man who is not trained in drug detection? This is almost worse than the similar botched raids that were conducted solely on the word of drug snitches who are looking for a break for themselves when busted and have a clear reason to lie.

At the very least, we need to revise the rules of engagement in this stupid war to require some kind of verifying corroboration of 'tipsters.' These botched raids are all too common already and it seems unlikely their numbers are going to diminish unless we have better guidelines for warrants.

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Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

The Police State Conservatives have had the upper hand through my part of the 20th Century and it's true, they've been gaining ground since the Bush Autocracy took over. All that has changes is that the tin "support your local police" buttons have been replaced by more sophisticated sophistry.

I remember all kinds of wrong-address atrocities from the 60's onwards and innocent people have been shot trying to defend their homes against government goons and justice has never been done. We've long been cringing creeps who don't care if someone is shot 50 times for no discernible reason as long as it's not us.

Just as a "drug free America" is the stated and unreachable goal, ridding the country of all possibility of risk continues the process as I have been reminded while traveling lately. During the Nixon years a fortune was spent convincing us that our basic principles of justice and liberty were making it difficult for the police to protect us against hippies and commies and black people. They were successful in selling it.

Among the basic American principles we have forgotten in our mad rush toward Fascism is that it's supposed to be difficult for the police because the degree of safety we've been tricked into wanting requires a loss of liberty and privacy.

Of course the shoe is on the other hoof when it comes to protecting Cheney's privacy and Blackwater's privacy against due process and from the oversight of the body elected for that purpose, but to understand this you have to be saner, more honest and vastly less stupid than is the American public.

I have to admit I don't care any more. Perhaps there are more things worthy of my concern and affection than this miserable nation of miserable fools and dangerous cowards. Maybe I'm tired of having my patriotism betrayed and I'm definitely tired of a society that elevates crooks, liars, sleazy shamans and idiots at the expense of my birthright of freedom.

One day nature will relieve the planet of our presence. It's a small consolation, but my only refuge.

12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Well said Fogg. You should rescue this out of comments and just post it.

5:15:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Aw shucks. I think I'll just wait for an asteroid.

5:44:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

LOL Fogg. You're always too modest. Me, I'm thinking I need to buy that houseboat and park it somewhere in the tropics and just wait peacefully for the end times.

6:18:00 PM  
Blogger JonBoy said...

Actually, what really strikes me is that the city went ahead and fixed the damage they did executing the warrant. Maybe I'm wrong, but I believe that is pretty unusual.

7:43:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

You're right Jon. That is really unusual. Especially since the police chief says they didn't do anything wrong.

6:30:00 AM  

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