Oregon Dept. Transportation
Captains Journal || Counterinsurgency Cops (hat tip Instapundit)
This is grim reading, not because the ‘news’ is new but because it puts it in an a societal-political context that says its most likely an accelerating trend. Though perhaps self limiting since the abuses such as Swatting, stupid mistakes, and utterly inappropriate response will eventually cause a backlash, but that could take decades.
Look at the utterly predictable results of the of get tough on crime cycle ( ‘three strikes,’ ‘mandatory minimum sentences,’ ‘federalization ,’ ‘punitive confiscation,’and ‘layering,’) has had; unsustainable prison population, increasing numbers of utterly harmless pseudo criminals behind bars for years, turning rowdy youths into hardened criminals or near non persons, etc.
Now decades of a ‘war on drugs,’ war on this, war on that, failed progressive policies, knee jerk conservative reactions, increasing control of policy by the actors with fingers in the game (public service unions, prosecutors, activists, local politicos, etc) etc, has left us with a crushing burden of law, regulation, tax, and in general government infrastructure…
We saw this happen with the original prohibition, then people were smart and aware enough to realize the ‘cure’ was a feel good bandaid that drove the rot deeper.
This sort of crap: no tolerance, prohibition, cover your ass, take no chances (and that is what this sort of behavior is, in a POLICE force for crying out loud!) degrades the very society it is purporting to support, eroding the penumbra of trust and lawful-ness that our society has depended on to be the most productive and dynamic in the world.
The above is even more worrying when taken in the appropriate context of the surveillance state + anti terrorism infrastructure post 9/11. The original impetus was understandable, the respons well intentioned, sometimes noble, but out of proportion (the American habit of overwhelming firepower) to the original problem which was misdiagnosed, misunderstood, and/or fearfully/willfully overblown. Now we have huge infrastructure in place that is apparently doing nothing…and folks, usually with some level of good intention, want to make use of all that ‘stuff.’