A new book on paramilitary police tactics underscore ongoing assaults on American civil liberties. So does a video about a sexual attack in a Nevada courthouse by a court marshal, who arrested the victim while the judge failed to intervene.
Rise of the Warrior Cop is the title of a book published in July by Radley Balko, left, a columnist for the Huffington Post. He amplified the book’s themes with two recent columns on “Police Militarization” and “America's Misbehaving Prosecutors.”
A graphic example of the arrogance that some law enforcers possess even in court is a video that went viral this spring after CBS-affiliate KLAS-TV in Las Vegas exposed the treatment of a young mother who was groped and arrested. Much of the abuse occurred in front of a judge and the victim's daughter, age 2, who tried to intervene to protect her mother against a Clark County security officer, James Kenyon, at center in the photo at right.
“Horrifying Video Of Alleged Sexual Assault While Family Court Judge Literally Looks The Other Way” was the headline of one column about the 2011 scandal, portrayed on a nearly five-minute video.
Authorities withheld the evidence until this spring as part of their cover up of abuses in Nevada’s largest local court system.
Balko's overviews and the dramatic video from Clark County complement revelations from the Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning national security trials. The scandals illustrate how authorities are implementing a harsh new model of police state repression against the domestic population — not simply against faraway terrorists and alleged sympathizers in the United States. Update: The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee wants to limit media shieild protections to “salaried” staff: “Senators Trying To 'Narrow' Definition Of Journalist In Media Shield Law.”
The enemy appears to be “us” as Michael Collins and Paul Craig Roberts wrote this week in columns excerpted below. Both of those writers suggest that foreign war costs, jobs off-shoring, and similar policies have led to worsening austerity in the United States — and a fear by authorities that they must prepare to restrict civil rights to prevent protests if conditions worsen.
In general, I concur with that scenario while recognizing that it contains several hypotheticals open to debate. But there is no doubt that economic hardship and 9/11 have too often been used by authorities to inflict abuses upon the public with scant fear of sanction.