At the moment, I am in Boone, North Carolina on a labor day week-end sitting in a flea bag hotel during a bikers rally. Felt lucky to get this room because every one was full and not even the KOA had a primitive camp site available. Tomorrow, everything changes as the lemmings move back to their caves in the cities called apartments and condominiums.
I could not get the question out of my mind of what was the single biggest impression in almost 10,000 traveled across the highways and byways of this great nation. Make no mistakes that I have been to the four corners and through the heartland.
There used to be forest fire prevention clip on TV of a proud old Indian over looking the land and tears coming down his cheeks. That is how I feel now. The sadness comes from not seeing the end of the journey but from what I saw.
As is my habit, I like to pick up local papers from the places I stop to see what is the driving news of interests. The single biggest and most notable thread is the corruption that exists among the legal, police and politics of the nation.
I have traveled the US a good number of times in what is almost 7 decades of being on this planet. Where as in the past, themes would vary from one geographic area to another. But in the last 60 days of 10,000 miles and I don’t know how many papers there was one theme, trend and pattern that stood out and that was our forces of law and order are no more about law and order but about power and revenge.
This ranges from the highest echelons of government down to the local sheriff and immigration officer. This analysis may be subjective but it is based on objective facts reported in the newspapers of our land.
At the highest level of government, we have the expose of rendition by the CIA and operation Fast and Furious by Homeland Security.If you will this was a joint operation between Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. Upon, discovery a few were required to retire, a few were transferred and maybe a couple were demoted. However, my sense is that there are a lot of cowboy operations of this type and we just don’t know about them.
(A note from the news of 10/9/11-Fast and Furious weapons were found in Mexico cartel enforcer’s home )
The rendition efforts of the CIA in the name of counter terrorism certainly have put us in league and partnerships with some rather despicable dictatorships. If we were to be known by the company we keep the likes of Gaddafi most certainly not something history will judge us by kindly.
Where as these operations are questionable at best what is worst is that they set a tenor for lesser law enforcement agencies at the state, county, and community levels. You only have to look at the history of civil forfeitures to see the ripple down effect. An effect that is creeping into those that have no regard for the guilt or innocence of the person concerned. In a couple of conversations I have had with those in the criminal justice community they look at that money as their right.
Why should we care. We should care because it is impacting on our everyday lives through higher tax’s associated with higher crime rates that are predicated on exploiting crime rather than diminishing it. If you think not, look at the number of new laws in the criminal justice system that did not exist 20 years and and ask yourself “are we better served by such laws.”
In the end, the only ones that benefit from these laws are the politicians that write who receive the political gold of campaign contributions and special interests votes and support as well as those in the criminal justice industrial complex and those that are affiliated with them.
(This is a problem not unlike the issue of contaminated blood supply Bad Blood: a cautionary tale (documentary) where over 10,000 hemophiliacs were infected with HIV and 15,000 with hepatitis around the 70s and 80s. In real life, it was another version of the story about the emperor without any clothes.)