Bill Barr Excises 'Attorney' From His Title As He Leads Our Nation's Police Soldiers Into The War At Home
from the looking-for-a-fist-to-put-his-face-in dept
It seems the only reason Attorney General Bill Barr opens his mouth is to apply more tongue-polish to the nearest policeman’s boot.
Echoing the pro-law enforcement rhetoric of his boss, Barr has expounded frequently on the rule of law, even as the administration he serves does everything it can to subvert it. It’s not really a high-wire act. No one expects anything less from Bill Barr. And certainly no one expects anything more from him either.
Barr has gone on the warpath against encryption, something that seemingly only stymies the Federal Bureau of Going Darkness and a few very confused law enforcement officials. He’s also gone on the warpath against the public in general, demoting them to servants of public employees, rather than recognizing it’s actually the other way around.
He has decided to amplify the divisiveness that already plagues police departments and the constituents they’re supposed to serve. He has done this by elevating cops to freedom fighters — soldiers in the war-torn country we call the US of A. As is befitting a public industry that has already decided to clad itself in camo and deliver warrants in repurposed military vehicles, Barr summons up heroic imagery that presents everyday cops as protectors of rights and freedoms, even though law enforcement officers rarely respect rights on their way to depriving people of their freedom.
Last year, Barr turned the United States into Iraq during a speech to a gathering of police union reps:
[W]hen police officers leave their precincts every morning, there are no crowds on the highway cheering you. And when you come home at the end of the day after a job well done, there are no ticker tape parades.
One reason for this is that law enforcement is fighting a different type of war. We are fighting an unrelenting, never-ending fight against criminal predators in our society. While there are battles won and lost each day, there is never a final resolution – a final victory is never in sight.
It takes a very special kind of courage to wage this kind of fight – a special kind of commitment; a special kind of self-sacrifice.
He may be right about the last part, but he’s wrong about everything else. You can’t serve a community well when you view its residents as enemy combatants and your police force as a conquering army. And, unlike the soldiers Barr idealizes them as, cops are far less likely to sacrifice themselves when the option to “sacrifice” a civilian is still on the table. Real soldiers aren’t nearly as self-absorbed. But our nation’s cops are and it has been drilled into their heads that every person presents a threat and their only obligation is to make it home alive.
Barr followed that up with another hyping of the War at Home during his speech at a law enforcement awards ceremony:
“I think today, American people have to focus on something else, which is the sacrifice and the service that is given by our law enforcement officers,” Barr told the crowd. “And they have to start showing, more than they do, the respect and support that law enforcement deserves?and if communities don’t give that support and respect, they might find themselves without the police protection they need.”
Barr believes police officers do not need to earn respect. He believes it’s owed to them. And if it isn’t given, the police will abdicate their obligations to the public. This is a man who apparently would rather see citizens killed or injured than see cops go without their unearned respect.
The Attorney General’s outlook remains unchanged in 2020. In his speech to a law enforcement “wellness” symposium, the AG once again pretended to be leading an army, rather than a group of narrowly-tasked public servants.
There were times in the past when we did not show enough respect for men and women who served in our armed forces. I remember those times, particularly during and after the Vietnam War. Today, thankfully, veterans and members of the military receive the respect they deserve for their sacrifice and heroism in defense of our nation.
We should be showing our police officers the same gratitude we show our soldiers. Soldiers protect our people by fighting our enemies abroad, while the police protect our people by guarding them here at home. Foreign wars usually come to an end, but the battle that law enforcement fights never comes to an end. There is never a final victory, it is constant. That takes a special kind of courage and a special kind of sacrifice.
While policing is demanding, it is also uniquely rewarding. It is one of our country’s highest callings, and we are blessed that there are men and women of character willing to serve selflessly so that their fellow citizens can live securely. We owe our officers the support and services they need to work their way through problems.
Everytown, USA is once again Vietnam. Except we can’t bring our boys back because they’re already here. If we can’t give these heroes a ticker tape parade every time they punch out then that’s on us. We don’t deserve them, says Barr, not if we don’t pay them the respect they’re “owed.”
What a crock of shit. What an asinine assertion. At least soldiers in foreign wars are tasked with winning hearts and minds as well as battles. Law enforcement can’t even be bothered to do that. They’ve done all they can to place themselves away and above those they serve for years. And just when it seemed like the public had had enough, an AG is sworn in who thinks this chasm the police have dug is more worthy of protection than the citizens who stand on the other side of it.