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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Obama Did It, All By Himself » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Prominent figures on the Left are breaking ranks in bigger numbers, for now... Levine here champions the rule of law, both domestically and internationally, even while impugning Obama for not reversing the 'deregulation' of the Bush era... So we aren't of the same political views, but we concur on this: "Still, it must be said that Obama did bring change – for the worse. He didn’t just continue Bush’s lost wars, rebranding one and escalating the other; he also added much of Asia and Africa, and even parts of Latin America, to the empire’s anything goes free fire zones. Drone technology makes it easier now than it was for his predecessor to practice “low intensity” warfare; but, to borrow a slogan from another nefarious lobby, “drones don’t kill, presidents do” — insofar as they really do control the means of violence. To the extent that Obama is not owned by the national security state, he is culpable each and every time its agencies spread murder and mayhem."
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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

Key

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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