Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The ingratitude of peasants

Over at Rad Geek's People's Daily, Charles Johnson relates this quote from a police officer concerning the death of Sean Bell at the hands of police, and in so doing ignites a pet peeve of mine:

I love all you monday morning quarterbacks. You really don’t have a clue. I sometimes wonder why law enforcement officers offer there lives for the likes of you, your not worth it. But, hey, as you go through everyday lives don’t worry we will continue to DIE to protect you so you can make more money and get more things. Because it is our mission to “Serve and Protect”, even you.

I haven't taken a close interest in the Sean Bell case (I'm usually all outraged out after I read Radley Balko in the morning), but this set me off. This is the classic defense whenever armed agents of the state misbehave: if we ever do anything worthwhile, ever, this excuses any and every mistake, outrage, and atrocity we may also happen to commit, no matter how awful. Thus, the state’s agents become completely immune to criticism.

The police killed an innocent man or tortured a suspect? Soldiers willfully murdered noncombatants? Who cares, you ungrateful bastard? Very convenient.

Pity this sort of excuse doesn't work in the private sector. It would certainly make my job easier.

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