Balko: More Militarized Than The Military
Read Radley's latest, which begins:
A reader who asks his name not be used writes about the drug raid video from Columbia, Missouri:
I am a US Army officer, currently serving in Afghanistan. My first thought on reading this story is this: Most American police SWAT teams probably have fewer restrictions on conducting forced entry raids than do US forces in Afghanistan.
For our troops over here to conduct any kind of forced entry, day or night, they have to meet one of two conditions: have a bad guy (or guys) inside actively shooting at them; or obtain permission from a 2-star general, who must be convinced by available intelligence (evidence) that the person or persons they’re after is present at the location, and that it’s too dangerous to try less coercive methods. The general can be pretty tough to convince, too. (I’m a staff liason, and one of my jobs is to present these briefings to obtain the required permission.)
Generally, our troops, including the special ops guys, use what we call “cordon and knock”: they set up a perimeter around the target location to keep people from moving in or out,and then announce their presence and give the target an opportunity to surrender. In the majority of cases, even if the perimeter is established at night, the call out or knock on the gate doesn’t happen until after the sun comes up...
Read the rest, along with this recap of the review board meeting.