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  1. #1

    The War on Terror - What Are We Doing Here?



    Point of admission:

    Immediately after 9/11, I was a staunch anti-terror advocate. Basically agreeing that enemies of the United States should be hunted down at all costs.

    Sometime over the last 5 years that view modified to one of still strongly for securing the United States against terror, but also one of beginning to question at what cost (both in human terms, in dollar terms, as well as to our own liberties) and to what end? When do we say we are safer? Or just safe?

    Then came last week. 4 people in Boston were murdered (and hundreds injured), and the authorities basically declared martial law on a city of 5 million:



    By the way, that is a gun, aimed at a US citizen, in his house, who is taking a picture out of his window.

    And here is a video of a random, warrentless by-the-way, search of a house in Watertown, MA: http://youtu.be/2LrbsUVSVl8

    Ever had those points in a relationship, personal or working, where you look at the person and say, "What are we doing here?" With this picture and this video, I am at that point with regards to my government and the so-called War on Terror.

    Yes, what happened in Boston was bad, very bad, I am not trying to minimize it any shape or form. But, unfortunately, it is also not new...there have always been these types of attacks on innocent people in America. Attacks that have killed far, far more victims, by the way.

    And yes, security is very important, but at what point does the overall cost of securing society end up destroying that which we are trying to preserve. Our way of life and our rights as outlined in the Constitution...are we really that much safer for the liberties we have given up and those that we will surely be asked to give up in the future?

    And the ironic thing, we say, "We will not be initimidated by terrorists." Really?



    The above is Boston at mid-day on Friday. The result of 2 "rogue" terrorists (as identified by the FBI), one of which was already dead when the city was put on lock-down and this picture taken. Can you imagine the effect of the next, true big attack?

    So that is what is happening with the war on terror at home. This is what is happening abroad: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...rorism-victims

    How many future terrorists are we now creating that will want to avenge the death of a parent, a child, a relative, a friend, etc? It is worth noting, there are 1.6 billion of "them" compared to 300 million of "us", so the basic math is not in our favor.

    I am not sure where I am going with this...this is not a Republican vs. Democratic issue, because the War on Terror started under the former and, if anything, has intensified under the latter...but I just want to ask someone, anyone, WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE? Because I am not sure...not sure at all anymore.

    Was wondering if anyone else felt the same.
    Last edited by JohnBKistler; 04-23-2013 at 12:56 PM.




  2. #2
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    Re: The War on Terror - What Are We Doing Here?

    I'm in the same boat as you. I mean the FBI, SWAT teams etc beat on peoples doors and ordered them out of their houses at gun point. Would I have complied if I were those people, more than likely, but at what point is it going to far?
    We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. - Benjamin Franklin




  3. #3
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    Re: The War on Terror - What Are We Doing Here?

    Oh and this part right here: "I am not sure where I am going with this...this is not a Republican vs. Democratic issue, because the War on Terror started under the former and, if anything, has intensified under the latter...but I just want to ask someone, anyone, WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE? Because I am not sure...not sure at all anymore."

    Is where I am with you the most, I don't even know where I am going with my thoughts on this, other than I am very uncomfortable with what happened in Boston.
    We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. - Benjamin Franklin




  4. #4
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    I am somewhere in the middle on this.

    I saw those pictures as well, but I cannot imagine that happened in every house during every search. I am not forgiving the actions of those that raided people's homes. Far from it. I just don't think it was as pervasive as it's being alleged.

    These types of incident, I believe, are going to be far more common in states that rely on the police as their primary source of protection versus states that rely on citizens to defend themselves and their homes. I don't think you would have seen this type of police action in Texas. In Texas and many other states, the scenario of the terrorist hiding in the boat would have most likely ended with the homeowner putting 2 in his dome THEN calling the police, thanks to liberal gun laws and concepts such as The Castle Doctrine.

    I have long been a critic of the PATRIOT Act vis a vie the warrantless searches the FBI can conduct in the name of terrorism. I am also critical of the police not issuing the suspect his Miranda warnings. I have also felt Miranda to be a joke but SCOTUS did make it a Constitutional issue. Why risk a successful appeal?

    And this is a reason I am still very glad Obama's gun legislation failed. It's all a part of the same slippery slope we're heading down by sacrificing liberty for security, all in the name of "safety" or "for the kids".
    WARNING: This post may contain material offensive to those who lack wit, humor, common sense and/or supporting factual or anecdotal evidence. All statements and assertions contained herein may be subject to literary devices not limited to: irony, metaphor, allusion and dripping sarcasm.




  5. #5
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    And I hope this thread wasn't spawned by Alex Jones and his nonsense.

    He has so much egg on his conspiracy ridden face after calling the bombings a false flag operation, he now seems to have taken to overhyping the police actions as a diversion.

    I am all for honest debate based in something I like to call reality. But his nonsense is only making a paranoid country even worse.
    WARNING: This post may contain material offensive to those who lack wit, humor, common sense and/or supporting factual or anecdotal evidence. All statements and assertions contained herein may be subject to literary devices not limited to: irony, metaphor, allusion and dripping sarcasm.




  6. #6
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    Re: The War on Terror - What Are We Doing Here?

    Alex Jones is a total douche. He is just making money of conspiracy theory's, that's and and that's all. I doubt he believes even a1/4 of what comes out of his mouth.
    We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. - Benjamin Franklin




  7. #7

    Re: The War on Terror - What Are We Doing Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonRaven View Post
    And I hope this thread wasn't spawned by Alex Jones and his nonsense.
    I don't know who he is...this thread was spawned for the reasons I said it was. Namely, I am not sure where we are going with "The War on Terror."




  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBKistler View Post
    I don't know who he is...this thread was spawned for the reasons I said it was. Namely, I am not sure where we are going with "The War on Terror."
    Glad that you've cleared that up. Like NC said, he's a total douche.

    Great topic for discussion!
    WARNING: This post may contain material offensive to those who lack wit, humor, common sense and/or supporting factual or anecdotal evidence. All statements and assertions contained herein may be subject to literary devices not limited to: irony, metaphor, allusion and dripping sarcasm.




  9. #9
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    Back on topic ...

    I don't have an issue with the picture of the cop pointing the gun at the person in the open window.

    When I was a Military Policemen, we had to go through MOUT Training. MOUT stands for Military Operations in Urban Terrain and domestic law enforcement use the same tactics as well. It's a methodical system of clearing a city / urban environment, recognizing that every open window, every casual citizen, every car you pass by, etc can be a target. Keep in mind, in the military and with police "Urban" is anything other than an open field. If it has buildings, it's considered an urban environment, so the suburbs are considered urban.

    So if I put myself in the shoes of that particular cop, he's doing exactly what he's taught to do. First, you always turn your body / head with your rifle. You look at everything around you through your rifle scope. The rifle is never in a different direction than your head. Meaning, what you see your rifle also sees. I am sure at some point the person at the other end of his camera came into view and the cop, doing what he's trained to do, "looked" at the guy to assess him / her as a possible target. Again, what the cop sees, the rifle also sees.

    I would also not be shocked if the cop kept his rifle on the person with the camera until all the other officers behind him cleared the scene to his front. The cops at that point knew they were dealing with terrorists, one of which may have had formal training. It's trade craft to these terrorists to blend in. It makes perfect sense to assume a target may act like they are simply snapping photo and then can raise up a weapon once the cop feels secure.
    WARNING: This post may contain material offensive to those who lack wit, humor, common sense and/or supporting factual or anecdotal evidence. All statements and assertions contained herein may be subject to literary devices not limited to: irony, metaphor, allusion and dripping sarcasm.




  10. #10
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    Not to mention that a camera lens and a rifle lens both just look like a lens until you've assessed the target. Pointing a weapon and firing a weapon are two very very different acts and I'm not going to shit on a cop for protecting himself from a possible threat just because it looks bad when taken out of context.
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  11. #11

    Re: The War on Terror - What Are We Doing Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonRaven View Post
    Back on topic ...

    I don't have an issue with the picture of the cop pointing the gun at the person in the open window.

    When I was a Military Policemen, we had to go through MOUT Training. MOUT stands for Military Operations in Urban Terrain and domestic law enforcement use the same tactics as well. It's a methodical system of clearing a city / urban environment, recognizing that every open window, every casual citizen, every car you pass by, etc can be a target. Keep in mind, in the military and with police "Urban" is anything other than an open field. If it has buildings, it's considered an urban environment, so the suburbs are considered urban.

    So if I put myself in the shoes of that particular cop, he's doing exactly what he's taught to do. First, you always turn your body / head with your rifle. You look at everything around you through your rifle scope. The rifle is never in a different direction than your head. Meaning, what you see your rifle also sees. I am sure at some point the person at the other end of his camera came into view and the cop, doing what he's trained to do, "looked" at the guy to assess him / her as a possible target. Again, what the cop sees, the rifle also sees.

    I would also not be shocked if the cop kept his rifle on the person with the camera until all the other officers behind him cleared the scene to his front. The cops at that point knew they were dealing with terrorists, one of which may have had formal training. It's trade craft to these terrorists to blend in. It makes perfect sense to assume a target may act like they are simply snapping photo and then can raise up a weapon once the cop feels secure.
    I don't question the tactics of this particular officer/soldier, which I take at your word were probably executed properly according to training.

    I question the policy by which a decision to invoke martial law was enforced and an entire city was shut down.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Do you think the person taking the picture felt secure in their person? Or that the people taken out of the house in the video felt secure of their persons or house? I assume that the pertinent legal question is, were these actions "reasonable"? I guess I am of the mind that I don't think they were. Or if the authorities that ordered these actions even considered the rights they were about violate.




  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBKistler View Post
    I don't question the tactics of this particular officer/soldier, which I take at your word were probably executed properly according to training.

    I question the policy by which a decision to invoke martial law was enforced and an entire city was shut down.
    One has nothing to do with the other. A cop clearing an urban area can happen as it happened in Boston, or happen tonight in Houston because someone violent is on the loose.

    The fact Boston was on lock down was not the sole reason this occurred. It could have happened at any time for a number of reasons.

    I did not hear that Boston declared Martial Law, but if they had, this entire discussion it moot since martial law gives their police broad powers. It's almost a suspension of Constitutional rights and something SCOTUS has upheld on numerous occasions, assuming the courts were not in order at the time martial law declared. IIRC, the entire city court apparatus was indeed shut down.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBKistler View Post
    Do you think the person taking the picture felt secure in their person?
    I do know if I am in my home and there are armed cops out in the street, prudence tells me I ought not do anything that's going to bring attention to myself. I do not believe the act of standing in the window and taking pictures of a terrorist manhunt is protected under 4A in a manner that should limit the actions of the police.

    The way you seem to be debating makes it sound like a warrant is needed before an officer of the law, acting lawfully, can draw their weapon. If that were the case, every armed traffic stop in the country is unconstitutional. Within the context of what was happening that day, I'd say it's 100% reasonable for the cop to do what he did.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBKistler View Post
    Or that the people taken out of the house in the video felt secure of their persons or house? I assume that the pertinent legal question is, were these actions "reasonable"? I guess I am of the mind that I don't think they were. Or if the authorities that ordered these actions even considered the rights they were about violate.
    If these were indeed warrantless searches, you get no argument from me on that point. Totally unacceptable.
    WARNING: This post may contain material offensive to those who lack wit, humor, common sense and/or supporting factual or anecdotal evidence. All statements and assertions contained herein may be subject to literary devices not limited to: irony, metaphor, allusion and dripping sarcasm.




  13. #13
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    Re: The War on Terror - What Are We Doing Here?

    But how do we know that they didn't knock on the doors, ask the owners (if they were home) if they had noticed anything out of the ordinary, and then ask permission to look around the property?

    My wife's cousin lives right outside of Boston and they had FBI and Massachusetts PD combing the area. An FBI agent knocked on their door, they answered, he asked if they knew what went on that afternoon (which they had and acknowledged they had). Then he asked if they had noticed anything suspicious or out of the ordinary in the neighborhood. They said they hadn't, but if they did they would call the Mass PD. The FBI agent said thank you and left.

    I'm sure not every person involved in the man-hunt was as professional, but I do think that some of this stuff is overblown.
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  14. #14

    Re: The War on Terror - What Are We Doing Here?

    I like to think there was a lot more involved than what were seeing in the video/pictures. Im not sure how it all went down, but I dont think it was as bad as it seems from our perspective. To wickeds point, there could be plenty of scenarios where that was justified. Seems when the guy comes to the door hes pointing at something. For all we know he called them to come to his house or a neighbor saw something suspicious and called them in.

    To HRs point about this happening in a gun strict state vs a pro gun state. Im not sure it doesnt happen exactly like you proclaim it would, but i dont think police action would have differed much. This War on Terror that JB is talking about is just that. We didnt know what these guys were about or if they were affiliated with any group so they reacted accordingly.

    As far as a pro gun state where the homeowner takes things into his own hands to "protect" himself, thats exactly the vigilante justice that i disagree with, and there is a faction of people that want and seek that opportunity. A guy hiding in your boat is not imminent danger to your life worthy of killing him on the spot. I know he was injured pretty severely and im not sure he still had his gun or not, but hiding is not a dangerous action. Knowing that we were still unsure about things, taking him alive was the best scenario and something i was actually worried about happening. now well get some better answers before he faces the same death penalty. you shoot him in the head on your own will, we dont get those questions answered. If the police were forced to, or a civilian that was actually threatened, so be it but i dont think that would have been proper course of action for anybody to do considering the circumstances.
    Last edited by JAB1985; 04-24-2013 at 07:55 AM.
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  15. #15
    Different POV, and I don't know how Joe/Jane Photographer felt about it at the time, but when shit is going down, bullets are flying/have flown and law enforcement and those otherwise deputized are in the process of executing their duties, do try to keep your happy ass away from the doors and windows.

    Leave the live documentation to the credentialed and well-identified professionals. Be a free citizen, but be a smart citizen too.
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