The Obtuse Americans:

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Obtuse according to the Merriam Webster dictionary means:: “stupid or unintelligent : not able to think clearly or to understand what is obvious or simple.”

Where I suggest Americans are clearly coming up short is their failure to see the continuing obsequiousness of those in official positions to the many police forces operating in our land. These police forces not only operate without normal scrutiny, in secrecy, and behind opaque curtains but their most questionable actions are praised and justified by those officials who do this in a knee jerk fashion ignorant of the facts behind them.

Evidence of this is the recent statement of the Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin who justified the killing of Miriam Carey by stating the decision to kill her was “understandable” because Capitol Hill is a target for those who hate the United States, and someone in a car is a threat.” That seems to encompass a broad range of people.

Durbin’s statement was made without any idea of the facts that gave rise to the killing. Decency would demand he withhold judgment until we know what happened. But in this home of the free and the land of the brave, perhaps Durbin knows he can say anything he wants because we will never truly find out the background of the tragedy.

I’d like to know one simple thing: what happened at the White House that caused the chase to begin? Do you know? The New York Times is content to tell us: “Ms. Carey tried to barrel through a checkpoint outside the White House at 2:12 p.m. She hit an officer who tried to stop her and who rolled over the hood of her car.”  That seems to be contradicted by a civilian witness (see Friday’s post) who said Miriam Carey “looked scared or lost” and the Secret Service police officer who was struck by her car was attempting to put a barrier in front of her car at the time of the occurrence.

Here’s the problem, we don’t know what happened and until we do we cannot make any judgments. Despite this our elected officials in Congress have already given the police a standing ovation. Having had their actions approved what is there to prevent the cops from going on their merry gun shooting ways.

It seems strange that the killing of a young woman is handled in such a cavalier manner. There seems no outcry anymore over police killings. Is it because we know it does no good since in this new era the American people have no right to know what prompted police killings but only preserve the right to cheer them?

I’ve been asking about the FBI’s relationship with Mark Rossetti the top-level informant. As for Rossetti, the FBI has told us it is investigating his relationship with it for over 24 months. The FBI refuses to answer a simple question: why was he a top echelon informant when he was a known felon suspected of several murders. How in Zeus’s name does it take over two years to investigate what happened in a local FBI office?

There are other matters such as whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev was an informant and why was it the FBI bungled the search for him after the Marathon Terrorist Attack. But worse of all when it comes to law enforcement is we live in a country where a person can be killed by the cops and we can learn nothing about it. Not only that, people who may furnish some information about it are forced to keep silent.

Have the American people forgotten about the killing of Ibragim Todashev on May 22, 2013 (was it that long ago?) by the FBI that is still being investigated even though he was gunned down by FBI agents in a room in front of other cops?

Speaking of Todashev, his girlfriend has been arrested “for speaking to members of the news media, . . . ” about him. She was in custody of immigration when his homicide occurred and was scheduled to be deported. Apparently she was released on the condition she keep her mouth shut. Yes, I know, this is the underside of America we shouldn’t be concerned with since it relates to foreigners but what can be done to them can be done to us.

I suggest it is obvious it in not in the interest of a free people to allow their police departments to kill people and not to have their actions subject to close scrutiny. Yet in present day America there is little demand that the reasons behind the killings be explained. Nor are their any public inquests into them.

The cops kill someone, the politicians cheers, and the public remains mute. Maybe you don’t think it is strange. But in my many years I’ve never seen anything like it. I suggest that when the people fail to recognize the need to exercise control and supervision of their police forces they have become quite obtuse.

 

 

10 thoughts on “The Obtuse Americans:

  1. It’s almost as if no one sees the need to move beyond the blogging, Tweeting and FBing about the police injustices and actually do something else about it. What would that “something else” be? I suppose it might take many forms: lawsuits, in-the-flesh protests, civil disobedience,…

    But maybe most everyone else is like me, with such pressing concerns as family, job, college savings, family health issues, ill-behaved teenagers, etc., etc.

    I really have no idea who those of us who agree with Matt here should bring pressure to bear on. Which authority would listen to us at all?

    1. GOK:

      Good post. You hit upon my dilemma: what to do about these things? There is the great need, as you point out, to go on with the daily requirements of living that limits one’s ability to be active. One must first take care of the home front and not be like that woman in one of Dickens novels who was worried to death about the children in Africa while her own kids were starving at home. But assuming we satify that responsibility, what then do we do.

      Lawsuits – you need standing, that is personally to be affected by the event and the police secrecy is not something that would give rise to that although the Carey family and Todashev’s could sue. As for what we need to know like the relations of the FBI to the Marthon Terrorist Attack it would be difficult to go into that because the courts would back off as soon as the FBI said it was under investigation and as we’ve seen it can keep things under investigation forever.

      Civil disobedience – one kind you see in DC where the Congess people protest are gently arrested and released; the other kind we saw with Occupy Wall Street and saw how little that accomplished other than a few people getting smashed head. It takes a rare person to want to willingly end up defying police authority especially since we see how quick the cops use their guns.

      I can go on and tell of the many reasons why there seems to be little we can do, especially since these issues are known to those in power yet they seem to be unwilling to do anything about them. Consider how ridiculous it is that a group of Congressman had to go to Russia to find out something about an event in Boston because they could not get it from the FBI. Also think how Congressman Lynch from South Boston along with what he said were congressional leaders asked the FBI to explain why it was using Rossetti as an informant and have yet to get an answer two years down the road.

      But we should not say there is nothing more we can do about the matter than just sit here and do nothing except involve ourselves in blogging matters. I’m thinking that perhaps if ten of us would write a letter to one specific person asking for an answer perhaps something might come of it. We could keep a record of what we are doing and the answers we receive. That may be a start. If we start with ten people pressing an issue then who knows where it will end. Think about it and see if you’re willing to join the letter group. I’ll do the same thing.

  2. Matt, wise words. Zeus would roll over in his grave at America’s plummet into the Orwellian Abyss: the Secret-Police-Spy-State, an Imperialistic-Militaristic-State tyranny.
    I. The U.S. citizens are like lemmings: and like the “bread and circuses” silent masses: Let them eat cakes! Let them eat drugs! Shut up or the FEDs will investigate, intimidate and silence you!
    II. Here’s my advice: Write to and talk to every person, every cop, FBI agent, DOJ lawyer, Federal judge, media wonk, and politician you know and tell them (1) Read and study Matt’s Blog; (2) We, American citizens, demand Answers!!!! (A) We demand a full disclosure and a Congressional Investigation into FBI/Cops killings, especially the killings of the Checknyans; (i)(what contacts did they have with the FBI/DOJ? (ii) Who incited, aided or abetted them here and in Russia? etc. (B) We demand a full investigation of the FBI/DOJ’s TEI program; (D) We demand a full investigation of the DOJ’s and Fred Wyshak’s use of known perjurers, known serial killers, whose incredible stories morphed wildly over the years. (E) we demand a full investigation of Howie Carr and Boston’s lying press and the Boston media’s serial mudslingers!! They misuse our Federally licensed airways to push their books, boost their profiles and sell their malicious malignant trash.
    Have faith, keep punching, roll with the punches and laugh!!!! Scorn the media-governmental-madness!!! Throw all the bums out of political office and press rooms. Clean house!!!
    Remember, Thomas Paine’s 1776 Pamphlets! A single pamphlet writer changed history. Spread the word. Light the fire.

  3. The chief culprit in this sad state of affairs are the prosecutors, State ,Federal and local. When an unarmed civilian is shot by the Police a prompt public Inquest should be held. A judge should preside over this public inquiry and the transcript should be available to the Grand Jury to determine if laws were violated. It seems both Todashev and Carey were victims of excessive force. The shoot first mentality has to stop. Something short of deadly force is needed. An unarmed mentally ill motorist was shot dead in Milton by the State Police. Yet there seems to be no investigation 2. Remember the President denounced the Cambridge Police for acting ” stupidly” because they arrested his loud mouth professor friend. Yet not one critical word about Todashev or Carey. It’s an outrage to arrest a mountebank for disorderly conduct but gunning down the unarmed is acceptable police conduct. When one looks at the lies about Benghazi and the Boston Marathon one shouldn’t expect much from the Administration. 3. A slight bit of credit has to go to Geraldo for airing one piece on Todashev and for Kelly for having on Carey’s impressive family. All the Carey’s want is full disclosure. Good luck. The fish rots from the head down and the FBI didn’t perform their duty during the Marathon bombing.4. Don’t forget Dickinson’s poem of 1862. ” Much madness is Divinest sense. To a discerning eye. Much sense the starkest madness to the majority. In this the All prevail. Assent and you are sane. Demur you’re straightaway dangerous and handled with a chain”

    1. N:

      1. The chief culprits are we the people. We allow the prosecutors and others to get away with allowing homocides to occur without any public examination. How come we outlaw the death penalty but let the cops kill at will? Where are all the people who consider life so sacred? I agree that every killing where no person will be charged must have some type of public inquiry before a fact finder. No agency can investigate itself. I read yesterday of some person in Georgia being shot in his own house by the cops who said he came at them in a threatening manner and the people in the house said the guy didn’t do anything. I suggest in any other civilized country that would be the case where police kill a person. Why not in the home of the brave?

      2. Your analogy to the Cambridge incident where the professor was stopped at his home is good. How much less significant is that than the killing of a person. I don’t think this is an administration problem but it crosses both parties. No one in either party is demanding an inquiry into the deaths of Todashe or Carey – in fact, they are all doing the exact opposite, The Republican chairman of the Homeland Security Committee said Carey’s killing was absolutely justified. It is a total, across the board, abdication of responsibility. But I do agree that it is the president who should not be part of the gang of blind people when it comes to cop killings.

      By the way I know you’ve heard the term “suicide by cop.” That’s the clever way the cops have of shifting the blame from them onto the person they killed.

      3. It is good some people are taking up the cause of killed. It has no staying power. Full disclosure. You must be kidding. The Carey family will only get that if they bring suit, and then only if some federal judge doesn’t dismiss it as being subject to the national secrecy act.

      4. I’m not much for poetry but Emily seemed to hit the nail on the head: “Much sense the starkest madness to the majority. In this the All prevail. Assent and you are sane. Demur you’re straightaway dangerous and handled with a chain.”

  4. Matt et al.,

    I think letting Bill Moyers speak for me is sublime:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/let-s-call-the-shutdown-what-it-is-secession-by-another-means

    I think this is all related. It’s wonderful that the Tea Party can and has shut down the US government. I hope they are enjoying their moments of fame. I’m sure this is important to them.

    Our country has been hijacked by a number of forces. They are using each other to force the majority into submission.

    Perfect.

    Keep doing it.

    Just wait until we’ve had enough.

    1. Firefly:

      Moyers engages in a bit of hyperbole in his article. He notes how the Democrats have won the Senate and the Presidency, but semms to leave out that the Republicans have won the House.

      There is enough blame in this so-called shut down to go around but as I see it this is just a reflection of the state of the United States at the present time where as I’ve noted before we have become a nation of obtuse Americans which I point out is clearly shown by the inability to hold the police forces accountable for any of their actions even the killing of people.

      The interesting thing about the shut down is the absurdity of it. If people were not playing games there would be no furloughs. Doesn’t anyone see the absurdity of shutting down national parks and federal museums by sending the employees home but then telling the employess that even though they are not working they will still be paid. Can’t the American people understand that if they are going to be paid anyway they should be working. Why is the president furloughing people who will be be paid for doing nothing?

      The government is divided and many are playing games trying to get their way. But that is the way our country has always worked. People with significant influence (remember all those lobbyists) control the agenda. Take a gander at the tax code with its thousands of exceptions which shows our country was hijacked by the few many decades ago. Or, consider an article I read a day or two ago that tells how a guy became a billionaire feeding our troops in Afghanistan. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-06/supreme-owner-made-a-billionaire-feeding-u-s-war-machine.html

      The fight over Obamacare just brings the problems to the surface. Under that surface you’ll find that much of the country has already gone into the pockets of powerful minorities. So too shall this problem go away once the real powers decide it is in their interest to have it happen.

  5. 99% of the members of the TEA Party are ordinary conservative Americans who simply want less taxes and a smaller government. But the Big Government Liberals paint them as “radicals” to be hated, and like the mob hated and booed Goldstein in Orwell’s 1984, the lemming masses in American today buy into the propaganda and hate their fellow Americans simply because they dare to think and act differently, simply because they’re liberal or conservative. Don’t fall for the hate. Stop being manipulated by the Mass Media and propagandistic Politicos, by the Race-Baters on the left and the Neo-Cons on the right, who stay in business by dividing us. Don’t fall for the boogymen, strawmen and horror stories, the mob mentality, the bullyboys. Throw all the pols out of office. Elect idealistic young people who don’t cater to our basest instincts. Don’t fall for the agit-prop and psy-ops. See through the propaganda and b.s.

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