July 31, 2014
Is Hamas Actually Forcing Civilians In Gaza To Be Human Shields?

Via Rania Khalek:

Both houses of the US Congress are considering passing a resolution that condemns Hamas for using human shields despite not having any evidence to prove Hamas is employing this tactic. 

Over the last 22 days, the Israeli army has deliberately bombed family homes, UN shelters, schools, places of worship, hospitals, water infrastructure and more, killing more than 1,300 Palestinians, 80 percent of whom have been civilians, including nearly 300 children. 

In propaganda echoed by the US State Department, the Israeli government has repeatedly claimed that Hamas is using women and children as human shields to protect its weapons and rocket launchers, forcing Israel to massacre innocent Palestinians. 

The only evidence Israel has provided for this unsubstantiated accusation is cartoon sketches.

But even The New York Times has conceded that “There is no evidence that Hamas and other militants force civilians to stay in areas that are under attack.” 

The BBC’s Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, similarly declared, “I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields.” 

But Israel’s pathetic drawings are all the evidence US elected officials need to absolve Israel of responsiblity for war crimes. 

The New York Times article referred to by Rania Khalek does elaborate, however:

There is no evidence that Hamas and other militants force civilians to stay in areas that are under attack — the legal definition of a human shield under international law. But it is indisputable that Gaza militants operate in civilian areas, draw return fire to civilian structures, and on some level benefit in the diplomatic arena from the rising casualties. They also have at times encouraged residents not to flee their homes when alerted by Israel to a pending strike and, having prepared extensively for war, did not build civilian bomb shelters.

So there is no evidence that Palestinians are actually being physically forced to stay in the path of Israeli air strikes.  There is evidence, however, that Hamas militants operate in civilian areas, which would partially explain why the Israeli military fires on civilian infrastructure in Gaza.  

That being said, this doesn’t really absolve the Israeli military of responsibility for civilian deaths in Gaza.  First, it is demonstrably untrue that every civilian death in Gaza is the result of Gaza militants firing on the Israeli military from civilian buildings.  Last week, a Palestinian resident uploaded a video of an Israeli sniper murdering an unarmed man as he was searching for surviving relatives.  The Israeli military has bombed Gaza’s only power plant, effectively shutting off electricity to all of Gaza.  This not only has obvious negative effects on the quality of life for Gaza’s residents, but also affects access to clean water:

Nearly all Gaza’s water is brackish and is filtered with electric pumps to make it drinkable. The U.N. Relief and Works Agency is distributing bottled water to more than 200,000 Gazans displaced by the fighting, and Mercy Corps is trying to rent water delivery trucks to assist.

Such a tactic suggests a desire to collectively punish the residents of Gaza, as opposed to merely confining military targets to Hamas militant infrastructure.  

Second, the Israeli military is the one pulling the trigger here.  Official IDF policy on the question of avoiding civilian deaths is internally inconsistent, and states that saving IDF soldiers and resources is more important than avoiding civilian deaths:

"There is both a strong and formal "when possible, try to avoid killing civilians" order, but also a message of "show them we mean business" and, of course, "protect the troops at all cost" (which can mean you bring down the building rather than try to clear it room by room to avoid civilians). So I think Israel often tries to do both proportionality and deterrence, and as a result both suffer.

Third, even if we accept the argument that Hamas’s tactics allegedly force the Israeli government to choose between civilian deaths in Gaza and passively accepting rocket attacks into Israel, the Israeli military would still not be absolved of moral responsibility, as Max Fisher ably summarizes:

The argument over moral responsibility for civilian Palestinians often makes a fundamental mistake by assuming that culpability is zero-sum: that either Israel is responsible because it uses unnecessarily overwhelming force in civilian areas or Hamas is responsible because it attacks Israel from within civilian communities.

This fundamentally misses the point; both sides independently bear responsibility for the degree to which their tactics lead to civilian deaths. If one side abdicates that responsibility then this does not absolve the other. Both sides, by treating moral responsibility as zero-sum, are giving themselves permission to overlook their own role in driving up the civilian casualty rate, and thus continuing the killing.

More symbolically, treating moral responsibility as zero-sum — Hamas is free of blame because Israel bombs too much; Israel is free of blame because Hamas embeds itself among civilians — assumes that Palestinian civilian deaths only matter for the degree to which they make one side look better or worse. And that lack of regard for the hundreds of Palestinian civilians killed, the apparent sense that their lives only matter at the moment of their death so that it can be blamed on one side or another, is perhaps the most fundamental truth of the Israel-Gaza war.

Fourth, it seems evident to me that the Israeli military would probably show a lot more restraint in Gaza if the civilians who were in the path of their bombs in Gaza happened to be Israeli citizens (particularly if they happened to be non-Arab Jewish citizens).  Israel once released 1,027 prisoners in exchange for a single IDF soldier.  So they clearly regard the lives of Israelis as worth a great deal of sacrifice.  

Lastly, even if we assumed that the Israeli government’s “human shields” argument was true, it’s not really all that compelling.  It’s comparable to a situation where police responding to a hostage situation try to justify shooting through a hostage victim because it’s necessary to kill the evil hostage taker standing behind them.  I think most people would agree that shooting through hostages to take out the hostage taker is the wrong way to resolve the situation.  That’s effectively what the Israeli military does when it drops bombs in highly populated civilian areas to take out Hamas targets.  But I guess killing hostages doesn’t matter quite as much when you really don’t give a damn about the hostages.

July 30, 2014
Federal review stalled after finding forensic errors by FBI lab unit spanned two decades

This is pretty astounding:

Nearly every criminal case reviewed by the FBI and the Justice Department as part of a massive investigationstarted in 2012 of problems at the FBI lab has included flawed forensic testimony from the agency, government officials said.

The findings troubled the bureau, and it stopped the review of convictions last August. Case reviews resumed this month at the order of the Justice Department, the officials said.

U.S. officials began the inquiry afterThe Washington Post reportedtwo years ago that flawed forensic evidence involving microscopic hair matches might have led to the convictions of hundreds of potentially innocent people. Most of those defendants never were told of the problems in their cases.

The inquiry includes 2,600 convictions and 45 death-row cases from the 1980s and 1990s in which the FBI’s hair and fiber unit reported a match to a crime-scene sample before DNA testing of hair became common. The FBI had reviewed about 160 cases before it stopped, officials said.

Unreal.  This is what criminal defense attorneys deal with on a regular basis.  The government calls expert witnesses to testify about the results of forensic lab work, and then the defendant is stuck trying to undermine the testimony.  And if you don’t have the budget or the time to find an independent expert, you’re usually boned.  Later, it often comes to light that someone screwed up.  Then you’re stuck filing a post-conviction motion for a new trial, which is rarely granted.  Then you file an appeal and hope that you’re one of the lucky ducklings that doesn’t get slapped with a “harmless error” decision.

July 29, 2014
David Frum Accuses New York Times of Staging Photos of Palestinian Victims

So this is pretty awful.  David Frum, alongside a blogger named Thomas Wictor, are accusing the press of publishing fake photos that purport to showcase injured or traumatized Palestinians.  In particular, Frum points to a photo of two young men in which one of them has blood on his arms.  In a second photo appearing elsewhere, however, the same man no longer has blood on his arms.  Q.E.D. conspiracy, amirite?

Except there’s a very easy explanation for why the young man has blood on his arms in one photo, and no blood in another:

Photographers had gathered at the building, according to The New York Times’ Sergey Ponomarev. Photos appear to have been captured and used by some of the world’s top news gatherers, including The Associated Press, Reuters and The New York Times.

So the two photos look different because—wait for it—they were taken at different points in time.  The second photo was taken after one of the brothers had an opportunity to wash his father’s blood off his hands and face, which I’m sure he was anxious to get off his body.

One of the most useful skills for a public intellectual to develop is to exercise a greater degree of care when investigating stories that confirm your biases vs. those that don’t.  We are already naturally predisposed to exercise additional scrutiny to stories that don’t support our political beliefs.  But when we see stories that seem to confirm our beliefs, we’re more likely to accept them at face value because they feel correct.

That’s why Frum’s claim is shockingly unreflective for someone who pretends to be a public intellectual.  Is it really fair to jump to the conclusion that a photo was staged because the two individuals pictured look different in each photo?  Particularly when a legitimate explanation is easily arrived at?  Of course not.  

On another note, Frum is not the only person looking for an excuse to minimize Palestinian suffering or pretend it doesn’t exist.  I wrote this morning about an article written by Avi Issacharoff, who wrote that the Israeli government’s siege in Gaza was ”nonexistent,” which is pure fantasy.  I personally have a law school friend who used to jokingly refer to Gaza as “beachfront property,” suggesting that life there was not nearly as bad as Palestinian activists claim it was.

It would be one thing if this was propaganda being handed down by a tyrannical government.  But it’s not.  These are journalists and opinion leaders whose words have a lot of purchase in the public sphere.  This is why, as I mentioned this morning, many people choose to focus on the Israeli government over more oppressive regimes in the Middle East.  Nobody is pretending that the those regimes don’t oppress people, but a lot of people pretend that Israel doesn’t.  And there’s no better way to erase the suffering of a people than to convince the international community that it doesn’t exist.

July 29, 2014
kohenari:


Yarmouk was home to the largest Palestinian refugee community before the conflict began. 180,000 Palestinian civilians called it home. Now only 20,000 remain. Food and medical supplies are routinely denied entry, and starvation is one of the three main causes of death. Recently, in the Jarabulus area, 22 people were killed and thrown into the streets to instill fear in the population. Some of them were children.
Amnesty International has called for the immediate lifting of the siege, the cessation of shelling and other indiscriminate attacks, and for humanitarian agencies to have unfettered access to the area. The disproportional attacks on civilians must end.
Down with Israel? Not quite. Yarmouk and Jarabulus are in Syria.

This seems worth discussing.
At the very least, it’s interesting to see how little discussion the mass murder of Palestinians in Syria generates when compared to the discussion of Israel’s on-going operation in Gaza.
It’s easy to understand why it looks to many people like the real problem is with Israel rather than with the deaths of innocent Palestinians.

LTMC: The difference between these two cases is that everybody is in general agreement that the Assad government in Syria is an oppressive regime, and they properly view oppressed people within its borders as victims.  Syria is also still in the throws of an ongoing Civil War, which appears to be an isolated cause of the suffering of Palestinian refugees there.  It was not until Hamas began actively fighting on behalf of rebels in Syria that Assad moved against the refugees.  From the Times of Israel article linked above:

Nevertheless, it was hard not to be moved this week by a report published by Amnesty International on the situation in Yarmouk near Damascus. Until the start of the civil war, Yarmouk was the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Syria. Close to 150,000 people lived there in crowded conditions. But since the summer, the regime has carried out a cruel siege on the camp’s residents after Hamas members there took an active part in fighting the Syrian army. Now there are only 20,000 residents left in the camp.

Furthermore, the link states that the 22 people mentioned above were not killed by Assad, but by ISIS—a non-state actor who once again, virtually everybody in the international community agrees is an oppressive organization.
On the other hand, everybody is not in general agreement that the Israeli government oppresses Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.  Educated people of diverse political dispositions regularly support the Israeli Government’s conduct in the Occupied Territories, minimizing its mistakes and denying the existence of atrocities.  Even the author of the article above refers to the “nonexistent siege around the Gaza Strip,” which is one of the biggest jokes I’ve read in a long time.
Flipping back to the other side of the coin for a moment, the Syrian government does not have boosters in virtually every country in the Western world attempting to minimize the violence it is inflicting on Palestinians within its borders.  In fact, Israeli officials often ask the international community to support the Israeli Government while it engages in the same activity it condemns in other countries.  There is a perfect example in the Times of Israel article above where it discusses the siege of the Syrian refugee camp:

The [Assad] regime, Amnesty [International] said, prevented food and military supplies from reaching the camp, arrested and tortured medical staff there, bombed schools and hospitals, caused severe malnutrition (60% of the camp is malnourished), and more.

Amnesty International cites these same deprivations (lack of food, access to education, medical care) in its criticism of the Israeli government’s ”nonexistent siege” of Gaza.  The author writes as if these deprivations don’t exist—and he genuinely appears to believe that.  And many, many people both in Israel and abroad will believe him.
So the difference between these two cases is that very few people are trying to justify the Syrian government’s conduct towards Palestinian refugees in Damascus.  But a lot of people are trying to justify the Israeli government’s conduct towards Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories.  I think this explains the reason why so many people choose to highlight the Israeli government’s conduct rather than the Assad regime.  Nearly everybody in the Western world agrees that Assad’s conduct towards the resident of Syria is bad and very few people are trying to defend him.  Not everybody thinks the Israeli government’s conduct in the Occupied Territories is bad, and many people in the Western world are actively trying to convince others that what happens to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories is either justified or non-existent, as the Times of Israel article above demonstrates.

kohenari:

Yarmouk was home to the largest Palestinian refugee community before the conflict began. 180,000 Palestinian civilians called it home. Now only 20,000 remain. Food and medical supplies are routinely denied entry, and starvation is one of the three main causes of death. Recently, in the Jarabulus area, 22 people were killed and thrown into the streets to instill fear in the population. Some of them were children.

Amnesty International has called for the immediate lifting of the siege, the cessation of shelling and other indiscriminate attacks, and for humanitarian agencies to have unfettered access to the area. The disproportional attacks on civilians must end.

Down with Israel? Not quite. Yarmouk and Jarabulus are in Syria.

This seems worth discussing.

At the very least, it’s interesting to see how little discussion the mass murder of Palestinians in Syria generates when compared to the discussion of Israel’s on-going operation in Gaza.

It’s easy to understand why it looks to many people like the real problem is with Israel rather than with the deaths of innocent Palestinians.

LTMC: The difference between these two cases is that everybody is in general agreement that the Assad government in Syria is an oppressive regime, and they properly view oppressed people within its borders as victims.  Syria is also still in the throws of an ongoing Civil War, which appears to be an isolated cause of the suffering of Palestinian refugees there.  It was not until Hamas began actively fighting on behalf of rebels in Syria that Assad moved against the refugees.  From the Times of Israel article linked above:

Nevertheless, it was hard not to be moved this week by a report published by Amnesty International on the situation in Yarmouk near Damascus. Until the start of the civil war, Yarmouk was the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Syria. Close to 150,000 people lived there in crowded conditions. But since the summer, the regime has carried out a cruel siege on the camp’s residents after Hamas members there took an active part in fighting the Syrian army. Now there are only 20,000 residents left in the camp.

Furthermore, the link states that the 22 people mentioned above were not killed by Assad, but by ISIS—a non-state actor who once again, virtually everybody in the international community agrees is an oppressive organization.

On the other hand, everybody is not in general agreement that the Israeli government oppresses Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.  Educated people of diverse political dispositions regularly support the Israeli Government’s conduct in the Occupied Territories, minimizing its mistakes and denying the existence of atrocities.  Even the author of the article above refers to the “nonexistent siege around the Gaza Strip,” which is one of the biggest jokes I’ve read in a long time.

Flipping back to the other side of the coin for a moment, the Syrian government does not have boosters in virtually every country in the Western world attempting to minimize the violence it is inflicting on Palestinians within its borders.  In fact, Israeli officials often ask the international community to support the Israeli Government while it engages in the same activity it condemns in other countries.  There is a perfect example in the Times of Israel article above where it discusses the siege of the Syrian refugee camp:

The [Assad] regime, Amnesty [International] said, prevented food and military supplies from reaching the camp, arrested and tortured medical staff there, bombed schools and hospitals, caused severe malnutrition (60% of the camp is malnourished), and more.

Amnesty International cites these same deprivations (lack of food, access to education, medical care) in its criticism of the Israeli government’s ”nonexistent siege” of Gaza.  The author writes as if these deprivations don’t exist—and he genuinely appears to believe that.  And many, many people both in Israel and abroad will believe him.

So the difference between these two cases is that very few people are trying to justify the Syrian government’s conduct towards Palestinian refugees in Damascus.  But a lot of people are trying to justify the Israeli government’s conduct towards Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories.  I think this explains the reason why so many people choose to highlight the Israeli government’s conduct rather than the Assad regime.  Nearly everybody in the Western world agrees that Assad’s conduct towards the resident of Syria is bad and very few people are trying to defend him.  Not everybody thinks the Israeli government’s conduct in the Occupied Territories is bad, and many people in the Western world are actively trying to convince others that what happens to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories is either justified or non-existent, as the Times of Israel article above demonstrates.

(Source: algemeiner.com)

July 29, 2014
Palestinian children tortured, used as shields by Israel: U.N.

This report is a year old, but given the constant refrain from defenders of the Israeli government’s policies in the Occupied Territories that civilian casualties in Gaza are due to Hamas forcing people to act as human shields, it seems relevant to the discussion:

(Reuters) - A United Nations human rights body accused Israeli forces on Thursday of mistreating Palestinian children, including by torturing those in custody and using others as human shields.

[…]

Most Palestinian children arrested are accused of having thrown stones, an offence which can carry a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, the committee said. Israeli soldiers had testified to the often arbitrary nature of the arrests, it said.

[…]

It voiced deep concern at the “continuous use of Palestinian children as human shields and informants”, saying 14 such cases had been reported between January 2010 and March 2013 alone.

Israeli soldiers had used Palestinian children to enter potentially dangerous buildings before them and to stand in front of military vehicles to deter stone-throwing, it said.

"Almost all those using children as human shields and informants have remained unpunished and the soldiers convicted for having forced at gunpoint a nine-year-old child to search bags suspected of containing explosives only received a suspended sentence of three months and were demoted,” it said.

Just so we’re clear, IDF soldiers have, in the past, conscripted Palestinian kids and forced them at gunpoint to enter potentially dangerous buildings, search containers suspected of containing explosives, and stand in front of IDF vehicles to prevent other Palestinians from throwing stones at the vehicles.  I wonder if this is what the Israeli ambassador to the United States had in mind when he said that the IDF deserved the Nobel Peace Prize for its behavior in the Occupied Territories.

July 29, 2014
Via youngma@news.com.au

Via youngma@news.com.au

July 28, 2014
Does The IDF Target Civilians In Gaza?

Some insight via Eran Efrati, who claims to have sources in the IDF that have given him some info regarding recent operation in Shuja’iyya:

In recent weeks I was on the border of Gaza and getting reports from soldiers in the Gaza Strip who leak information out to me. I am in the process of publication of two big stories in major U.S. newspapers, but there are some things I can share with you right now: Soldiers in two different units inside Gaza leaked information about the murdering of Palestinians by sniper fire in Shuja’iyya neighborhood as punishment for the death of soldiers in their units. After the shooting on the Israeli armored personnel carriers, which killed seven soldiers of the Golani Brigade, the Israeli army carried out a massacre in Shuja’iyya neighborhood. A day after the massacre, many Palestinians came to search for their relatives and their families in the rubble. In one of the videos uploaded to YouTube, a young Palestinian man Salem Shammaly calls the names of his family and looking for them between the ruins when he is suddenly shot at in his chest and falls down. A few seconds after that, there are two additional shootings from snipers into his body, killing him instantly. Since the video was released, there was no official response from the IDF spokesperson. Today I can report that the official command that was handed down to the soldiers in Shujaiyya was to capture Palestinian homes as outposts. From these posts, the soldiers drew an imaginary red line, and amongst themselves decided to shoot to death anyone who crosses it. Anyone crossing the line was defined as a threat to their outposts, and was thus deemed a legitimate target. This was the official reasoning inside the units. I was told that the unofficial reason was to enable the soldiers to take out their frustrations and pain at losing their fellow soldiers (something that for years the IDF has not faced during its operations in Gaza and the West Bank), out on the Palestinian refugees in the neighborhood. Under the pretext of the so-called “security threat” soldiers were directed to carry out a pre-planned attack of revenge on Palestinian civilians. These stories join many other similar ones that Amira Hass and I investigated in Operation Cast Lead. The death toll that continues to rise is steadily reaching the numbers of the massacre of 2009.
More than 1,100 have been killed in Gaza, at least 80 percent of them civilians. Today it is cleared for publication that at least 4 soldiers were killed by a rocket in a gathering area outside of Gaza, and another soldier was killed in Gaza. They join 43 soldiers that have already been killed. We know that more acts of revenge will come soon and it is important that we not stay silent. This is the time to take to the streets and to social media. Demand from your representative wherever you are to stop supporting this massacre and to immediately boycott the state of Israel until the occupation ends, the blockade is lifted and Palestinians will be free. We all want to be in the right place at the right time when history knocks on our door, and history is knocking in Gaza right now. You need to decide on which side you want to go down in history.

July 28, 2014
From Gaza: I Would Rather Die in Dignity Than Agree to Living in an Open-Air Prison

From the article:

We’re tired of war. I, for one, have had enough of bloodshed, death and destruction. But I also can no longer tolerate the return to a deeply unjust status quo. I can no longer agree to live in this open-air prison. We can no longer tolerate to be treated as sub-humans, deprived of our most basic human rights. We are trapped here, trapped between two deaths: death by Israeli bombs and missiles, and death by Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

We want to be able to get in and out of Gaza freely, whenever we choose. Why should our students not be granted their right to study at universities of their own choice? Why should our patients be left for their own death as Israel deprives them of receiving medical treatment in hospitals outside of Gaza? Our fishermen want to fish in our sea waters without the prospect of being shot at and killed. We deserve the right to access clean water, electricity and our most basic needs. And yet we can’t because Israel occupies. It occupies not only our land but our bodies and our destinies. No people can tolerate this injustice. We, too, are humans.

Read More

July 28, 2014
Anarchy in Libya: Tripoli Fuel Depot Ablaze After Rocket Attack - NBC News

From the article:

TRIPOLI, Libya - A rocket hit a fuel storage tank containing 1.5 million gallons of gasoline, triggering a major blaze as rival brigades of former rebels fought for control of Tripoli’s main airport. A huge cloud of black smoke billowed across the capital’s skyline on Monday and Libya’s government asked for international help to try to contain the disaster. A spokesman for the National Oil Company said the blaze was burning “out of control,” adding that firefighters had withdrawn from the area.

Foreign governments have looked on powerless as anarchy sweeps across the North African oil producer, three years after NATO bombardment helped topple dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The U.S., United Nations and Turkish embassies have already shut operations after the worst violence since the 2011 uprising. Two weeks of clashes among rival factions killed nearly 160 people in Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi. Since Gadhafi’s demise, Libya has struggled to keep its transition to democracy on track, with its parliament deadlocked by infighting among factions and militias often using threats of force against political rivals. Many heavily armed former anti-Gadhafi fighters refuse to hand over weapons and continue to rule the streets.

Libya is the foreign policy gift that just keeps on giving.

July 28, 2014
The Words Of A Former Cop

From Reddit (h/t Cop Block)

Yeah, we have “quotas”. They are ‘unoffical’ but you get shit duties if you dont pull in so much money for the department per month. So, what that means is, say it’s the 30th of the month and you havent met your quota.. That means you pull over someone (preferably black, since they are less likely to fight it or sue) who is ‘doing 55 in a 54’ and give them a ticket.

Also, I’m lucky enough to work in a ‘shall arrest’ DV state. Which basically means that, if we get a domestic violence call against you for any reason what so ever, we are required to arrest SOMEONE. It doesn’t matter if a neighbor who hates you calls, and when we show up you are the only person home, we are still supposed to arrest you. I’ve literally been yelled at by a superior because some asshole called in a DV against his neighbor who he had a land dispute with, and I refused to arrest the guy because his wife wasn’t even in town when we got there (she had been out of town on business for a week…). It doesn’t matter to the higher up’s, because once you are arrested for even a bullshit reason, it’s money getting pumped into the system. You are GOING to pay bail if you can (which doesn’t get refunded under any circumstances), you are going to spend 12 hours in jail minimum, and unless you luck up and get a decent public defender (which happens occasionally if they aren’t already over worked), you are going to pay for a lawyer. Even a bullshit arrest can easily turn into multiple thousands of dollars. Oh, let’s not forget the expungment paper work you have to file (which is another 5-600 bucks), just to get the arrest removed from your record (the arrest will stay there even if you are found innocent or the DA refuses to press charges). Let’s not forget the money being pumped into parole officers, probation officers, etc.

Oh, and in my county in particular, ‘evidence’ that is confiscated, gets auctioned off, and the money goes back into the PD. So, if you are arrested for spotlighting or hunting out of season (or even some BS charge as mentioned above), we are going to take your car, your firearms, and possibly any other firearms you own that we ‘suspect’ you may have used for other illicit activity….and unless you can afford a good lawyer to get them back, we are going to auction all that off and the money is going to go back into buying us new squad cars and laptops to look at facebook while we sit in those squad cars.

So yeah, don’t think the police are here to protect you. We are here to put money back into the system. When I started out I was a starry eyed kid, thinking I was going to be helping out people and ‘protecting and serving’…..after a few months, I realized that it was all bullshit, and we are here to use anything you say against you, and twist any facts we can against you. It was so bad (at least where I live) that I had to quit, I didn’t have the moral ‘ambiguity’ to keep on. I know not all PD’s are like this, and my hat’s off to the people who could keep on trying to change the system from the inside, but yeah, at least around here, and as far as I’m concerned for the most part, ‘justice’ is a racket.

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