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I'm shocked, shocked

By Michael J. Smith on Friday March 18, 2011 01:20 PM

Alternet is deeply concerned:

The Shocking Way US Cops Are Trained to Hate Muslims

On a bright January morning in 2010, at Broward College in Davie, Florida, about sixty police officers and other frontline law enforcement officials gathered in a lecture hall for a course on combating terrorism in the Sunshine State.... The instructor, Sam Kharoba, an olive-skinned man wearing rimless glasses and an ill-fitting white dress shirt, stood apart at the front of the hall reviewing PowerPoint slides on his laptop.

As he got under way, Kharoba described how, over the next three days, he would teach his audience the fundamentals of Islam. “We constantly hear statements,” Kharoba began, “that Islam is a religion of peace, and we constantly hear of jihadists who are trying to kill as many non-Muslims as they can.”

.... Kharoba strode forward to the front of the room, his voice slower now, more measured. “Islam is a highly violent radical religion that mandates that all of the earth must be Muslim."

And so on and so on, for a staggering 6600 words. A few excerpts:
People at the highest level of law enforcement and intelligence—to say nothing of civil liberties groups—have concerns about the strategy.... one danger is that the system will be flooded with bad leads. An increase in [such] incidents ... would only degrade police work, obscure real threats, and spoil relations between America’s cops and America’s Muslims—who have thus far volunteered some of the most fruitful leads in preventing domestic terror attacks.

It might be theoretically possible to ward off such an outcome if police could be provided with impeccable training. But one of the central problems is that the demand for training far exceeds the supply of qualified instructors. Even the CIA and FBI have had trouble finding people with the key skills to fill their ranks. For state and local law enforcement departments, the scarcity is even more acute. Into the void, self-styled experts have rushed in [sic].

I have a hard time understanding what the problem is here. "Flooding the system with bad leads" sounds like a swell idea to me -- I just got off the phone, dropping an anonymous dime on my landlord and a couple of obnoxious colleagues. See something? Say something. Or, hell, say something anyway.

Apparently Alternet wants impeccably-trained, effective cops, possessed of excellent and accurate "intelligence". Alternet, it seems, wants nothing more than to help the cops do their jobs better.

Not for the first time, I marvel at the liberal mentality. I don't understand how anybody couldn't want to subvert the cops as much as possible; to keep them as stupid and ridiculous as possible; to send them off, as much as possible, chasing their own tails and as many ignes-fatui as we can gin up.

Is it not obvious that under present circumstances, cops are a much bigger menace to the ordinary citizen that "terrorists"?

Is there even any difference between the two?

Comments (10)

Paul Alexander:

Bravo! I love this line:
"Alternet, it seems, wants nothing more than to help the cops do their jobs better." Better training means cops only use tasers AFTER they have had the proper training to teach them how to use the fuckers better.

In a similar vein, jurors found that it's okay for a jailed man to have his face shoved in water from a backed up sewage drain as long as the cops say he was uncooperative and had a prior record. I would really like Alternet to investigate this.

Inspiring, Mr. Smith. My brain is flooded with ways and means by which to give the cops more work.

Peter Ward:

It's also quite amusing to hear the same liberals rail against "political violence" re: some chimera such as the Koch Brothers'/Sarah Palin's mind control of Tea Partiers, while the real political violence--virtually all of it anyway--comes from our gendarmerie.

And when police violence is occasionally admitted, the political role of the police is carefully obscured--the violent actions being "isolated"; not part a global strategy seeking to achieve specific objectives.


I'd rather the cops busy themselves searching for signs of extraterrestrial invasions or demonic possession than rummaging through Muslims' underwear drawers or whatever the fuck else they do to find tenants for Guantanamo.


Sorry for the interruption but this is just in from the LA Times:


From the end of the piece:
"Nearly 1 million homes remained without electricity in the quake zone, and rolling blackouts have been taking place elsewhere. As the threat of blackouts has intensified, one activist called on Japan to unplug millions of vending machines that dispense everything from hot corn soup to bouquets of flowers.

Japan has 5.5 million vending machines, each using as much power as an average household, said Canadian speechwriter and publicist John Harris, who is based in Japan's Chiba prefecture. Add that up, and it requires as much power as the entire capacity of the troubled Fukushima nuclear plant at a time when Japanese are being asked to conserve electricity, he said.

The nearly 1 million machines operated by Coca-Cola, which because they use both refrigeration and heating are the "biggest power hogs," are still running even as train service is curtailed, he said."

"Is there even any difference between the two? "

Only in they sense that they are complementary to each other.

MJS, you seem to think that if the cops are pursuing fake criminals that they won't have time or energy to oppress. This is totally off-base:

1. The fact that the leads against Muslims are false or specious isn't going to stop the police from harassing Muslims. Once you create a social climate where it's okay to harass Muslims, the police are going to do it whether or not it leads to actual crimes. For which see, blacks.

2. Sending the police on wild goose chases does nothing to diminish their power, or the state's power. You seem to think that if the police are shown to be corrupt, nasty, incompetent, etc., that the public will turn on them. But America is so comically pro-police that the police will have to turn openly and callously brutal before the country turns. And even then, it may not. For which see, the war on drugs.


I dunno, JP. The rule seems to be that people take it for a long time and then suddenly stop taking it.

Of course I agree that false leads and so on aren't going to stop the cops from doing anything they want to do; nothing short of turning on them, and making police work into a bad career choice, is going to *improve* the situation.

What I was marvelling at was Alternet's apparent desire to make them more effective -- as if better "training" would somehow make them more benign.

If there's anything training can be counted on to do, it's to make people less benign.

Most liberals and progressives I know personally, they like the po-po. Why?

Because the po-po protect libs and pwogs from people like me, people who seek a different kind of America. Libs and pwogs love controlling others. One might say it's their defining quality and biggest motivation. And of course the hypocrisy they embody, in believing that only they know best what should be controlled or permitted, that's exempt from critical review.

JP tells the truth: Kent State was the bellwether for militarization (i.e. SWAT teams) of the po-po and now Americans are too frightened of their all-military'd-up local po-po. Thus nobody complains when someone's killed with a lethal administration of a shock from a non-lethal TASER, or when a "drug raid" murders an innocent grandmother or butchers innocent dogs.

Americans won't rise up against a bullyboy po-po until a mass slaughter happens. And a mass slaughter won't happen until there's a mass protest with some indicia of eagerness to force a change... and that won't happen as long as most Americans are hiding in their coccoons, glued to their TeeVees, having their gut-level angst directed toward The Enemy of the Moment by what's shown on that TeeVee.


Not sure where I saw it, but I recall someone referring to these folks as "Law an' order liberals." It has such a nice ring to it. So much better than "law an' order conservatives."

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