The Joe Blow Report 2

Everything Is About Something Different

“Eureka” Slaughter NOT an Aberration Either

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This is the head line: Iraq slaughter not an aberration by Glenn Greenwald on the video just released yesterday of the “business as usual” murder of innocent people in Iraq by an American helicopter gun crew.

You can see the video in all its gory details here.

Compare that to:

“’The officer took his gun, put it at the base of Sequoia’s head, and fired a round into Sequoia’s head,’ he said, adding that the second shot ended the struggle and likely killed Sequoia instantly.” This is a quote from Eureka Police Chief Garr Nielsen reported in the Times-Standard March 21, 2010.

Business as usual.

What is most disturbing is the commentary of the helicopter gunship crew. And that was what was most disturbing in the account of the police use of deadly force on David Sequoia who just happened to be the innocent victim here too. The police identifying Sequoia in those moments as the aggressor was no “aberration” either. Those officers shot Sequoia like a mongrel dog just like those people in Iraq. The conversation during the encounter compares to the conversation by Chief Garr Nielsen in the calloused manner such deadly force is applied and justified.

The “slaughter,” however, is of more than just subhuman things. It is the complicity of the news media to cover up, to skew and bias the facts. This is a classic example by Thadeus Greenson in his March 21, 2010, newspaper report where he repeats the “official” account of what happened as if it is the god’s-gosple truth: Two officers fired weapons in fatal Eureka shooting; chief says there was no alternative to deadly force.

Two Eureka police officers fired their weapons in the exchange Thursday that left 25-year-old David Sequoia dead Thursday morning, Eureka Police Chief Garr Nielsen said Saturday.

On the face of what Greenson wrote, i.e., “no alternative to deadly force” and “fired their weapons in the exchange” you’d logically think they had a gunfight with Seqouia, and NOT a summary execution.

This Report has spoken extensively on this issue. Here are the links in sequence:

1) Who Really Killed David Sequoia

2) Basic Freedom: No Right To Tough

3) Personal Safety In Eureka Is An Illusion

4) Stacking The Deck

Notice how, since the initial reporting, there’s been no followup? Based upon the local non-reaction – since the general consensus sentiment is that Sequoia was obviously a “scum-bag” and the police did the community a favor, who cares? Who cares whether or not the police officers are back on the streets? Who cares if the DA is looking into Kris Coon’s conduct in this matter? Who cares?

Well, the The Atlantic’s James Fallows offers the following. Ask yourself why this is not the same situation right here in Eureka, California?

I can’t pretend to know the full truth or circumstances of this. But at face value it is the most damaging documentation of abuse since the Abu Ghraib prison-torture photos. As you watch, imagine the reaction in the US if the people on the ground had been Americans and the people on the machine guns had been Iraqi, Russian, Chinese, or any other nationality. As with Abu Ghraib, and again assuming this is what it seems to be, the temptation will be to blame the operations-level people who were, in this case, chuckling as they mowed people down. That’s not where the real responsibility lies.

Now tell me if this is not the same moral justification for everyone’s reprehensible and morally indefensible conduct:

And, of course, imagining what Fallows asks us to imagine — that this was all being done to us, rather than by us — is exactly the exercise which is most steadfastly avoided. Besides, even if it were to be engaged, it would be dismissed as an exercise in “moral relativism.” When we do X, it is right; when others do X to us, it is wrong. That’s the benefit of being so Exceptional.

When the truth becomes the enemy, it’s time to ask yourself, “what makes you think this couldn’t be you?”

[Picture source]

–Joe

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