What do you call it when the authorities suspend or deny common rights, like travel, and subject people to random roadblocks and unwarranted searches? When that is done in the name of security and safety, it sure looks like martial law.
It's what they are doing in Pennsylvania, looking for Eric Frein, the "survivalist" who allegedly shot two PA state troopers, killing one.
Areas are condoned off. Residents' lives are disrupted. They can't get home and have to sleep in their cars. This has been going on for most of the past two weeks.
How long are they going to keep it up? As I recall, another FBI most-wanted fugitive, also named Eric -- Eric Robert Rudolph, the Olympic Park Bomber, evaded capture for four or five years. He was apprehended more or less by chance by a local police officer. The PA state police have broken out their big expensive, high-tech toys, advised citizens to "shelter in place", and it has done no good.
One of my dad's hunting buddies, Wilbur, bought or traded for a coyote hound one time. He was a good-looking dog, but he wasn't really interested in hunting. Wilbur observed that his dog had never had a tick on him, "Because he won't get out of the road."
I don't know what evidence they have this Frein is guilty, other than he abandoned his vehicle in a pond, along with, very conveniently, all of his identification.
What if this guy isn't your average psychopathic killer with a grudge against the cops? I think it is remotely possible that he had something of a plan in place. If he abandoned his vehicle, it's even conceivable that he had another mode of transportation available, that he had a stocked hideout somewhere outside of the area. If this was not an impulsive act, it's unlikely that he did not plan some sort of escape route.
Understand that I do not condone the shooting of these officers or in any way view the perpetrator as any sort of hero. I'm sure, too, that police are following leads and investigating all possibilities. My point is that this kind of brute force stuff with roadblocks and tanks and ninjas is almost certainly a waste of time. Like the show the cops put on in Boston looking for the Muslim bomber, it is optics, conditioning, and propaganda. It's the same kind of BS the ATF was trying to pull when they raided the Branch Davidians' church in Waco.
It looks good on video. It helps funding. It also intimidates the law-abiding citizen, cows them to accepting that they must obey the authorities.
I have commented on cases where the police have acted with
unjustifiable force and haste in order to "protect" themselves. I object to a police state and to many current law enforcement practices. But, I respect the many good police officers who do their jobs honestly, lawfully and to the best of their abilities. I don't
want police officers killed by thugs or psychopaths. They are out on
the streets to apprehend criminals and defend the lives and property of
citizens. It's a tough job. It's not the most dangerous job in the
country, but it is dangerous.
One of the spokesman, early on, called the shooter a "coward" for ambushing the officers. I would ask the people who say that a question. What do you call those hiding in tanks while hunting for this coward? I'm not suggesting the police take unnecessary risks, but a six-and-a-half ton armored vehicle is not going to "sneak up" on anybody, nor is it likely to actually find the perpetrator if he is foolish enough to still be in the immediate area. It is theater. It is absurd.
A few cops at bridges and intersections being shifted out every couple of hours to stay fresh and alert would do just as much if not more good than all this SWAT-ism. Like the Boston bomber, it will likely be a citizen that spots Frein. The key is having units in the area able to respond rapidly to any sightings.