Friday, May 14, 2010

Police as a Paramilitary Force.

Another followup from Radley Balko on the Dog killing Cops.

Read the whole thing but pay attention to this paragraph:
I’ve heard similar accounts from other members of the military. A couple of years ago after I’d given a speech on this issue, a retired military officer and former instructor at West Point specifically asked me to stop using the term "militarization," because he thought comparing SWAT teams to the military reflected poorly on the military.
I heard the same from some veterans. They tell me that many of the tactics used by SWAT teams would be a quick ticket to a Courts Martial. Even in Viet Nam -- despite what you may have seen in the movies -- a certain level of civilized behavior was expected from the ordinary ground pounder.

I cannot but wonder if it the difference in the mission. Ostensibly the US military is in Iraq to fight terrorists without alienating the rest of the population. Here in the States the cops just don't seem to care how much damage they do to their own reputation with the locals.

The difference is that between a soldier and a thug.

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