Monday, July 21, 2008

Deputy Dawg

Leon County Sheriff's officers conducting school -safety
training exercise, Tallahassee Democrat (7/17/08)

Gosh, you've... really got some nice toys here.
--Blade Runner (1982)


Training is a great thing, if the training is realistic, relevant and correct.

Why are these Leon Sheriff's Special Reaction Team members bunched up like old ladies at a game of mah jongg? Have they never heard of RPG's, hand grenades and rapid fire, big bore sniper rifles? Since their body armor is above the waist, the bad guys would only need take their legs out with grazing fire. This is just not a correct assault tactic or even a movement to contact formation.

With inexperienced troops and police the tendency is to bunch up to create a false sense of security. This is a really bad thing to do. All those automatic rifles, submachine guns and semi auto pistols are the real security.

A team uses overwatch techniques and if necessary, moves with fire and movement. These are solid military tactics. If these teams are dressing up to look like soldiers, then let them train like soldiers.

This photo indicates poor training and tactical ability. It is obvious the money is spent for goodies rather than experience.

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Blogger BadTux said...

It is also obvious that they are training to intimidate civilians, not to take out trained riflemen armed with automatic weapons and RPG's. Civilians are intimidated by a large number of black-clad men swarming at them and are likely to either panic and drop his or her weapon and run, or surrender. Either way the job of the paramilitary policeman is done.

It is much the same problem as George Washington with the militias during the American Revolution, when the untrainted militiamen would take off running as soon as the redcoats' bayonets started glistening closer than a dozen yards away -- they could have maybe got off another volley then put the redcoats back with their own bayonets, but civilians simply do not think that way. That was why, in disgust, George Washington resorted to training a professional army rather than relying upon untrained (or at least poorly trained) civilian militias. Professionals are not intimidated by having a swarm of men coming at them, and service their weapons accordingly to make the oncoming swarm pay. But when you are a force intended to intimidate civilians, rather than intended to take out professionals... then these deputies' tactics make perfect sense.

- Badtux the Civilian Penguin

Monday, July 21, 2008 at 11:24:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

are you talking Ruby Ridge or Waco?
I'll never accept black clad kiddy cops in our midst. jim

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 7:37:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger BadTux said...

Ranger, yes, I believe you get the gist. Our black clad kiddy cops are intended to intimidate our civilian population, not take out professionals. The days of Officer Bob, your friendly neighborhood cop, are at an end. It is now all about how much you can intimidate the civilians, because with the continued economic rape of the American public, intimidation shall shortly be the only way that our true leaders (the multi-national wealthy elites) can retain power through their bought-and-paid-for politicians.

Sadly, as I pointed out with my example of the Revolutionary War militias, intimidation does work against civilians, even civilians with the best of motivations. Yet another reason why 2nd Amendment fanatics who claim that an armed populace will prevent tyranny are half baked. A typical civilian with a weapon faced with oncoming black-clad kiddy cops tends to make the ARVN ("want a rifle? Never fired, only dropped once!") look courageous, that's just how the civilian mind works. It takes training and discipline to face oncoming armed men and service your weapon, and in today's United States, only a small percentage of the population has such training and discipline. Maybe enough. Maybe not. And we are going to a place that makes the French Revolution look like nursery school blood-wise once we stop talking and start finding out.

- Badtux the Somber Penguin

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 10:51:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

when i was driving up to palm springs on thursday i had to pass through a border patrol roadblock. it's a lot like moving from a shia to sunni neighborhood in bagdhad. every car is stopped, the occupants questioned, the vehicles sniffed by a couple of dogs (probably one for humans, one for drugs).

in the greyhound bus just ahead of me they took off a mother with two small children, and a skinny kid on crutches. they were pulled off the bus and escorted to a cinderblock "holding" area under the watchful eyes of six m16 wielding gorillas in dark green BDUs.

i watched that all. when it was my turn to be questioned i was polite, but maybe a little curt. the officer was looking at me with something like growing suspicion. i had plenty of lee time on my trip, i was traveling with three obviously native born people so i figured, what the fuck, they can only cost me a few hours that i can easily spare. . .i said:

a mom with little children and a skinny kid on crutches don't scare me in the least. you motherfuckers do. you do not make me feel any safer nor protected. you make me feel less free. are we quite done here?

he looked at me hard and long, then waved his hand for me to go on.

dano'ah selwigoh doo iis dah do'o iindii eedihii nanah daagon'iillka'ad

(all the free men are dead or still fighting)

golah kah yeh (the yawner)

ya'll called him geronimo. he was my uncle by marriage.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 12:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

In my experience there's nobody as badass as a cop-wannabe-GI. I mean, think about the sort of cop that WANTS to be on one of the SWAT/SERT teams. Even if the default attitude on the local PD is "Offiver Friendly", that particular cop isn't going to be in this group.

So you get a bunch of hooah numbnuts who get some kind of nut kicking civilian ass. And this is regardless of the relative malignancy of the civilian. Many of these guys have never been shot over in earnest; the closest to actual combat may have been a one-on-one shootout or the Hue scenes of "Full Metal Jacket". So they probably don't see anything wrong with their tactics here.

And, honestly? I'm OK with that. I don't want my cops - even the SWAT cops - thinking like an infantry squad. Their job is very different, and they need to think and act differently to do it.

Badtux, I'd argue with you re: GW. One of the Father of our Country's (few) faults, IMNSHO, was that he was a Virginia aristo who thought like a professional soldier. That wasn't a fault in general, just in his relationship with the militia. He couldn't figure out how to use them and just gave them up as a bad job. But Nat Greene, not quite the man but fully as much the general, figured out that you COULD use the militia as long as you didn't expect them to stand in the firing line with British professionals. Let 'em fire their volley or three and run away: the hardcore Continental Line could then go bayonet-to-bayonet with the remaining redcoats. His Battle of Guilford Courthouse was the Kursk of its day, with successive lines of militia bleeding the Brits until the Continentals in the third line hammered their ass.

So you could think of these cops as the first line of militia. They do fine against a couple of gangbangers or a solitary psycho. They're not trained - and shouldn't be trained, IMO - to go up against a professional terror/hit team. If they attrit those kinds of bad guys, taking losses in the process and fixing them for the ARNG/USAR reaction force to arrive, then, well and good.

As for the implications of the militarization of our society...well, that dog jumped the fence a long time ago. The American sheeple have been long since hectored into accepting this sort of militarized policing/border enforcement as the status quo. And so long as we have a volunteer military we will also have a critical shortage of the sort of military-experienced people like ourselves who can recognize and push back against this sort of crap.

Welcome to Late Republican Rome, American style...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 12:53:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From another point of view:

I have no problem with the SWAT pic on a general level. True, intimidation is the goal as badtux says, but SWAT teams are normally trying to intimidate one or two armed criminals, not civilians.

On the other hand if this is a school-safety exercise as said in the article, then the tactics truly suck. I would think a school shooter (probably a kid himself) would start killing kids the minute he thought SWAT was coming in???

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 1:36:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding militias, I concur with FDChief. They did very well in our rebellion against the redcoats. Nathaniel Greene was not the only general to get good results from them.

Like any asset, when used correctly they did great things. Check out Bunker Hill, Bennington, Kings Mountain, et al.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 1:46:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger BadTux said...

My example of the militias was to show the difference between how a civilian reacts to a mass of armed men coming at him and how a military man reacts to a mass of armed men coming at him, not as the start of a discussion over the usefulness of militia. That said, without a well-trained core of Continental Army regular soldiers, our national anthem would be "God Save The Queen" -- militia did not, and could not, do the job by themselves. The tactics needed to win given the smoothbore muskets and hard-to-load rifles of the era simply did not lend themselves to victory via militia.

Mike, the vast majority of criminals *are* civilians. They have no military training and react to an oncoming mass of armed men in much the same way as any other civilian -- i.e., throw down their weapon and surrender, or throw down their weapon and run like little girls. And school shooters, BTW, tend to react that same way, unless they're suicidal, at which point they generally choose to put the gun to their own head and pull the trigger at that point.

FD, you and I agree that the cops in question are not trained in infantry tactics and that this is fine given their general purpose. I believe our only disagreement is on what their general purpose is :-). My assertion is that while they are used primarily to take down petty criminals, their purpose as such is not to take down petty criminals, but to create a force capable of intimidation of civilians. Taking down petty criminals is simply something they do to pass their time while not intimidating civilians :-).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 2:22:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Bravo for your statement to the border guards.

Chief and Mike,

Thank you for the explanation of how militias could be best employed.

This SRT doesn't seem the best approach for a deranged school shooter who comes from within the population.

This assessment sounds credible: "Late Republican Rome, American style"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 2:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Badtux: OK, gotcha covered on the whole militia thing...although I'd say that there's a whole 'nother interesting question out there re: the relative value of the militia vs. the Continentals...

Getting to the issue of intimidation, when you get right down to it all "law enforcement" comes down to intimidation. If I didn't fear the traffic cop lurking in Milwaukie I'd be zipping up McLoughlin at 65 every morning and night. I'm a good enough driver to get away with it. I don't not because I'm a good citizen but because I'm plain and simply intimidated by the fear of the citation and loss of cash.

So in that sense, intimidation is good. But are you intimidating the citizens to control them politically? That's the real crux of the biscuit. If the SWAT guys are doin this to make you and me feel less cocky, less inclined to question things that the SWAT team may support politically, say, the "War on Drugs". THAT's a problem.

What this makes me think of was the last time Dubya came to Portland. He had a megabuck fundraiser at the University of Portland near our place and the whole neighborhood was flooded with cops in their riot gear, including the battlewagons with cops hanging from the sides, the whole nine yards.

Frankly, they looked like what they were, a bunch of foot cops wearing too much gear; tired, hot, bored, a little pissed off. I can't say they really intimidated me much.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 3:57:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Bad Tux &FDC,
The problem is defining the mission of these super heroes- when you dress them as storm troopers and train them as special reaction teams you are invariably enabling a team of professional killers and calling them cops. There presence ups the ante and the level of violence in any given scenario.
The old standard was to protect and serve- even the criminals life was sacred. is this true anymore- witness Waco and Ruby Ridge in which federal agents acted like punk ass thugs AND got away with it.This set the stage- look at the actual footage at Waco and the feds are actually hosing the house down with a heavy volumn of fire- how are they protecting the women and kids inside when they fire so wildly and unaimed.?
The hostage negotiators also acted wantonly and in violation of federal guidelines but again - so what.
so i'll continue to point out these teams when the opportunity arises.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 5:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

FDC and Badtux, let's not forget that GW was not a professional soldier- all of his experience was as an irregular/militia type.Then he took over the Continentals. jim

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 5:11:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

with your lineage you had to be Airborne.!
I'm up in Ohio and just realized i don't have my passport IF i wanted to cross into Canada.Need to adjust my headspace and timing.Times have changed. jim

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 5:37:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i have my first post up on Group News Blog.

Check it out.

it is a more thorough retelling of the border patrol story.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 5:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger BadTux said...

I would not count being an aide to several British generals as being a "militia or partisan". Indeed, nothing in his pre-war military experience had anything "partisan" about it. All of his experience in the French and Indian Wars was as part of organized military expeditions, not as a "partisan", and he took a professional attitude towards his duties. His favorite book, for example, was Bland's "Military Discipline", which is directly relevant to the discussion of the difference between a military mindset and a civilian mindset and directly related to his experience as aide-de-camp to General Braddock in the first failed expedition of the French and Indian War where he saw just how disasterous lack of military discipline really was.

It is true that his military experience prior to the War of American Secession was limited. But he did have actual combat experience with large bodies of trained professionals and his library, which had dozens of military tracts and tomes in it, clearly showed that he took a professional view towards his work. George Washington may not have been a full-time professional soldier for more than a year or so prior to the War of American Secession, but he had a professional's attitude towards the job, not a civilian's attitude. Washington was one of the men who, faced with an oncoming crowd armed with automatic weapons, would service his weapon and do his best to bring them down. That is the difference between a professional and a civilian, attitude-wise.

In any event, this is neither here nor there regarding the original message, except to clarify that George Washington was, indeed, a professional soldier, and while his own skills were limited due to his lack of formal training in the area (indeed it is sometimes said that the most important order that George Washington ever uttered was "Retreat!", for he uttered it often rather than attempt tactical movements that he was not comfortable with), he certainly knew the difference between professionalism and the sort of rabble that got Braddock butchered and was happy to hire it on to train his army for him when he found it in von Steuben, Lafayette, and others. Without the professionalism of the Continental Army, we'd be singing "God Save the Queen" as our national anthem. Military technology of the day simply didn't support using militia or partisan warfare as a method of achieving any significant military victory. (See the fiasco of Long Island, where the New York militia made the ARVN look brave). Professionalism when facing fire from an oncoming group of uniformed armed men was as necessary then as it is today in order to achieve any significant military victory. Otherwise you get the Afghan Army, which throws its weapons down and surrenders the moment a couple hundred Taliban show up and start shooting, even though eighty soldiers with automatic weapons in a prepared position defending over an adequate kill zone should have no problem taking out 200 attackers armed with nothing but AK-47's.

- Badtux the MilHistory Penguin

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 5:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

oh yeah, jim, we went through the same jump training as ya'll, but we were also swimmers, first and foremost.

the sea is our mother, it is our safe haven and home. from the sea we strike at will and without warning. to the sea we return, usually victorious.

only a fool would follow us into the sea.

master chief boatswain's mate norr

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 5:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

oh yeah, jim, we went through the same jump training as ya'll, but we were also swimmers, first and foremost.

the sea is our mother, it is our safe haven and home. from the sea we strike at will and without warning. to the sea we return, usually victorious.

only a fool would follow us into the sea.

master chief boatswain's mate norr

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 5:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Just realized i don't have my passport IF i wanted to cross into Canada." You'd be most welcome and appreciated. God save the Queen!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 5:19:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And lucky for you Colonel de Salaberry was a professional who knew how to use militia and Indians, or else this place wouldn't be here for you to consider coming to.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 5:32:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

As a kid i grew up in Cleveland Ohio and i'm no stranger to Canada. I used to trade guns in Hamilton and Toronto but those days are gone as custom rules have changed post 9-11.As a Boy Scout we used to go on canoe trips in the area south of Hudson Bay.Your country is lovely . jim

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 9:08:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

We're probably saying the same thing with different words.GW and Sam Houston were the same type of generals- both would not commit unless reasonably sure of a victory.It was simple as i've said before about the US continental Army- NO ARMY NO COUNTRY.
As a child i often visited Fort Necessity near Uniontown Pa.It's quite beautiful- there's even a plaque on the road showing where Braddock was killed. jim

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 9:19:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Fremont said...

Amen to the point raised. Setting aside the political aspects of militarizing police, both jobs should be trained for the best results within their repspective milieu.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 7:11:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think one aspect that is severely overlooked from this picture is the repeated wastefulness of our tax dollars. Ranger you are correct in saying the "toys" not the experience is what the money was spent on. This is where the outrage should be. These ignorant politicians want you and I to believe they are doing something for us. When all they are doing is pissing money that isn't theirs away. For what? To scare the suburbanites! This is nothing more than another step to a controlled society.

Friday, July 25, 2008 at 4:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Roger, welcome aboard.it was nice talking to you and hope to hear from you again. /your cmts are on the mark. jim

Sunday, July 27, 2008 at 7:56:00 AM GMT-5  

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