Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Obedient have Little to Fear

This past week, the blog had several posts commenting on the news that their writer Michael Kreca had been shot and killed by police. It brought to mind the fate of poor mentally ill Rigoberto Alpizar who was shot and killed by the TSA in Miami in December, 2005. The only witnesses were the shooters themselves, and their story is that their victims made suspicious movements or gestures.

Against this backdrop, we have the latest news of spying by the government on its citizens -- the NSA is tracking the phone contacts of everyone in the nation. Of course, there's no shortage of apologists for the state flooding into call-in shows and posting their comments in blogs. They repeat a tedious refrain: "I don't care -- the innocent have nothing to fear."

I think a more honest mantra would be "the obedient have little to fear." The two unfortunate souls of my example may have died because they didn't realize they were about to receive the death penalty for not being immediately and completely submissive to the authorities. Of course, being innocent and submissive won't necessarily save you either. Joseph Schultz found that out when he was shot in the face by an FBI agent as he was trying to obey. The FBI had detained them in search of some robbery suspects. Schultz 16-year-old girlfriend was witness to that assault. Otherwise, one is left wondering whether Schultz would have been reported "to have made a threatening gesture" before he was nearly killed.


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