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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer: Remove Charlie Rangel as Chairman of Ways and Means now

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer:
On September 15th, you and your fellow House Democrat leaders decided to punish Rep. Joe Wilson (RSC)for having called President Obama a liar during the President’s most recent address to a joint session. The vote was 240-179.
While many of us believe your decision is both unwise and unwarranted, it’s your House, so how you intend to remain the master of it is certainly within your purview.
Might I suggest, however, that you extend your new-found vigilance to include the egregious transgressions of one of your most notoriously malfeasant colleagues of all, one Charles Rangel (D-NY)by name?
(More specifically, click here

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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database


Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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