Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Provocative question of the day: Is our government “at war” with us? This question is ambiguous and this post can go a lot of different ways, so let me be clear in what context I am using “government,” “war” and “us”:
- Government = government power and authority by whomever is permitted to employ it without pushback and limits by persons ostensibly holding power over those persons.
- War = an overwhelming level of physical coercion and threat consistent with subjugation either temporarily or permanently.
- Us = citizens who may or may not be completely compliant with the complex set of laws in our country but who do not represent a reasonable threat of violent response to a government demand for compliance.
The question is stimulated by the circumstances of Roger Stone’s arrest yesterday under the authority of the Special Counsel. Like the Manafort arrest that preceded it, there was no obvious reason to send in a SWAT team conducting a pre-dawn raid. Both men had been cooperating with the Special Counsel through attorneys. Both men assert that they would have been happy to surrender peaceably with their attorneys. In the case of Stone, a judge released him immediately on a personal bond, something that would never be done with a violent criminal and flight risk.
Sadly, these instances are not isolated. Recall the “rescue” of Elian Gonzales by the Clinton administration directed SWAT team. In that instance there is no doubt there would have been resistance by the people where he lived, but would it have been violent? Could not beefy US Marshals with ordinary side-arms not been sufficient?
Ruby Ridge seems like a similar tragedy, but at least there was an arguable potential for violence against lightly-armed officers.
And then there are instances of mistaken raids and “swattings” that have resulted in injury or death. These incidents underscore how dangerous military tactics can be. Not just to the targets of the raid but to the raiders as well.
So why are these tactics employed in circumstances where the same objective could have been achieved through lesser means? Is it simply an intimidation tactic; an important reminder that each an every citizen is subject to the power of their government? (Note the presence of CNN to broadcast the power of the government.)
Does that thought give you a feeling of security? It shouldn’t. These tactics are not suppressing violence in Chicago. In the case of Stone, they are a response to alleged “process crimes” impacting the task of the Special Counsel to discover….what exactly?