Friday, December 21, 2007

Well, if You Don't Have Anything to Hide...

We're all used to that argument by now. "Well, if you've got nothing to hide then you won't mind peeing in this cup, or letting us search your car or house." Its a foolish argument that ignores the right to privacy and security, suggesting that anyone who wishes to protect such rights is guilty of something.

But here is an interesting twist on things. Usually its police officers spouting this line, but in Los Angeles, CA, the Gang and Narcotics units of LAPD are having this line used on them. The Los Angeles Police Commission has unanimously approved that officers must reveal their personal finances including everything from overdue credit-card statements, checking accounts, properties, to stocks and bonds. The Los Angeles Police Protective League has already filed a suit citing invasion of privacy and violating union member's rights.

Why is this happening? Its an effort to crack down on police corruption since the Rampart Scandal in the late 1990's implicated over 70 members of the LAPD's CRASH unit in corruption that included selling and planting drugs, beatings and shootings, and even bank robbery. However, my question, and that of over 500 LAPD officers who are threatening to leave, is how will looking through financial records reduce corruption and misconduct?

Forcing people to disclose this amount of financial information is not the right way to go about stopping police corruption and we all know this corruption is real and that it needs to stop. Lets look at the big picture here. The units being targeted are Gang and Narcotics. Why? Because these are the units that deal with and proliferate the mess created by the War on Drugs. This corruption is related to the illegal drug market. Police can steal from and work with drug dealers because there is not proper regulation and all the money involved is cash!

I suggest going to the root of the problem. End the War on Drugs. In fact, I think if LEAP starts contacting some of these officers and suggests that it is the War on Drugs causing this violation of privacy we can expect some new anti-prohibition police officers in an area where they are needed most.

Think about it. Get rid of the black market for drugs and you get rid of drug dealers and the profit they bring to gangs. Therefore the need for a Gang unit is drastically decreased as is gang or prohibition related violence. The need for a narcotics unit will also decrease once we start dealing with drug addiction as a health issue and not a criminal justice issue. Because treatment cost less and is more effective than incarceration, we will see a decrease in addiction and the freeing up of tax dollars that could be used for effective drug abuse prevention education programs for youth (not DARE).

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

better idea: shut the fuck up you pothead nobody

Maybe you're content working at mcdonalds and spouting off on a free blog, obviously too stupid or poor to set up an actual site for your 10$ dot-com. My money is on both, but you would probably just waste mine the same way you waste yours: ignoring the social crisis drugs and alcohol have brought.

No, I don't give a shit about health issues, but I do give a shit that modern american can't even cope when they break up with their boy/girl friend without getting shitfaced, stoned, or both.

So what the hell. I'll check back here in a bit for a reply, but I hardly expect one, and simply don't leave my email because you're just the kind of juvinile asshole who would think its a riot to sign it up for some sort spam mailing list.

Jeff said...

What an assclown. Very brave to show up Anonymous. The only people who need anonymity are cowards, criminals and child molesters. Which one are you little man?

Rebecca Ogle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca Ogle said...

Haha! I don't know which comment is funnier:

1. The anonymous one describing you as a stupid and poor McDonald's employee and pothead when you are in fact a member of a highly respected student group on, as they say, Capitol Hill, whose non-profit organization has a website that I'm pretty sure isn't free, not that it matters or

2. The one from Jeff that ironically suggests that anyone who wants privacy has something to hide, which is exactly the justification for invasiveness that you're opposing here. I don't know if that was intentional but well done, sir!

or 3. The comment I deleted because I mistakenly thought the author of this was Tom, since he posted it on Facebook. Actually that's not funny but I wanted to explain the deleted comment.

So as I said, I read this on Facebook, and I think you draw a good connection here between the interests of "Us and Them", a dichotomy that LEAP and allies such as ourselves defy. Of course we care about public safety, criminal justice, and police corruption as much as any good law enforcement officer should, and then some because we also care about (insert long list of drug-related issues here).

Jonathan Perri said...

I've got nothing against McDonalds or the people that work there. Leave Ronald out of this.

I love it. I have never seen an SSDPer make an argument in the way that these ANONYMOUS anti-reform individuals consistently spout. Our MISSION is to "promote an open, honest, and rational discussion of alternative solutions to the war on drugs". People like you can't understand that because you are neither open or honest and OBVIOUSLY not rational.

In all your swearing and ranting do even address one thing I wrote in the post? You claim that I am ignoring the social crisis drugs and alcohol have brought ON A BLOG CREATED TO DISCUSS SOLUTIONS TO THE HARMS ASSOCIATED WITH DRUG ABUSE.

This is great:
"No, I don't give a shit about health issues, but I do give a shit that modern american can't even cope when they break up with their boy/girl friend without getting shitfaced, stoned, or both."

Ok. So drug abuse and alcoholism is not a health issue? Did your girlfriend recently break up with you or something?

Its really difficult to make out what your saying here. Seems like your just ranting off some emotions . You sound like your one of those Sweet 16 chicks on MTV throwing a tantrum because you got the 06 Mercedes and not the 07.

"I can't believe your blog is free... thats soooo not in right now."

So are you trying to say that your in favor of the police department giving up there financial information? Are you happy that this is what the war on drugs has brought the respect of law enforcement to? That because our own police officers, the ones our taxes pay, are so involved in the illegal drug trade that we have to pry into their financial records and credit card statements is the CORRECT WAY TO ADDRESS THE SOCIAL CRISIS DRUGS AND ALCOHOL HAVE BROUGHT????

you make no sense.

Mari said...

this is cool, but i couldn't. believe. it was on tv. i just saw it on their cable network (started by al gore a few years ago). http://current.com/items/88805694_run_mitt_run

they've been doing some good work on medical marijuana issues, but this is way beyond that. I'm shocked, I wonder if al knows/approves of what they're promoting on his channel--i doubt it. mari r

Meghan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jonathan Perri said...

I know Clayon Holton. He is awesome. I would hope Al Gore approves of an ad that makes fun of the hypocrisy and ignorance of a man like Mitt Romney. Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana.

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worldpeace said...

I never work in McDonald, but I love to eat it. It's like addicted..