‘War on Terror’ Blowback Hits Dallas

The blowback from America’s “war on terror” swept into Dallas last Friday when an Afghan War veteran allegedly killed five police officers and was killed in turn by a remote-controlled robot deploying a bomb, writes retired Col. Ann Wright.

By Ann Wright

In response to the killing of five police officers and wounding of seven more in Dallas, Texas, Police Chief David O. Brown became the first city or state official to order a remote-controlled execution of a suspected killer with whom hours of negotiation had not resulted in surrender.

The decision of the local city police chief to remotely assassinate the cornered suspect rather than make an attempt to incapacitate him is a stark continuation of what appears to be a U.S. military and police tactic of kill rather than capture. Brown has 30 years of law enforcement experience with training at many police schools including the National Counter-Terrorism Seminar in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Micah Johnson, the Afghan War veteran accused of murdering five Dallas police officers on July 8, 2016. After being cornered, he was killed by a bomb delivered by a police remote-controlled robot.

Micah Johnson, the Afghan War veteran accused of murdering five Dallas police officers on July 8, 2016. After being cornered, he was killed by a bomb delivered by a police remote-controlled robot.

Due to the past 15 years of U.S. ground and drones wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya and Somalia, many veterans of U.S. military and CIA paramilitary units are now on local, state and federal police forces. These officers have served under wartime rules of engagement which should be much different from civilian law enforcement.

However, with the militarization of U.S. police forces, it appears that the Dallas police chief used the military tactic of assassination by a remote-controlled weapon system to protect the lives of the police and sacrifice the rights of an accused to trial.

No doubt the police chief will argue that he could have ordered snipers to shoot to kill the suspect and that the method of death didn’t matter once the decision was made to kill Afghan war veteran Micah Johnson, the alleged shooter, rather than to incapacitate him.

In that sense, the Dallas Chief of Police and the President of the United States use the same rationale to execute without trial someone suspected of a crime. There are also parallels between Chief Brown’s choice of a robot to deliver the lethal explosives and President Obama’s extensive use of missile-firing drones.

Do U.S. government officers at all levels – national, state and local – now believe that remote-control killing of a target is safer and cheaper than detaining the accused (whether a suspected international terrorist or a domestic suspect) than arresting the person, holding a trial and imprisoning him or her after a conviction for a crime.

It appears that shooting to kill is easier in all aspects whether it’s unmanned aerial drones killing people outside the United States or unmanned ground robots with bombs inside the United States. The next step down this the slippery slope may be the use of small aerial weaponized drones by local police departments to kill suspects, just as this ground drone robot bombed a suspect to death. Already some U.S. law enforcement agencies have deployed aerial drones for surveillance purposes, including border patrol.

It’s now time for community activists to ask their city council members what rules of engagement their police officers use when a suspect is cornered. I suspect that in many cities the rules say shoot to kill rather than shoot to incapacitate/capture/detain, certainly the statistics on police shootings seem to indicate that the national tactic for police departments is to shoot to kill.

Ann Wright served 29 years in the US Army/Army Reserves and retired as a Colonel.  She was in the US diplomatic corps for 16 years and served in US Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia.  She resigned from the US government in March 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq.  She has been arrested several times protesting US military assassin drones.  She is the co-author of Dissent: Voices of Conscience.

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18 comments for “‘War on Terror’ Blowback Hits Dallas

  1. Dennis Merwood
    July 11, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Ann Wright for President, 2016.

  2. Hillary
    July 11, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Thank you Ann Wright for setting the record straight.
    It was the Iraq ” WAR” ….the U.S.war crime that our controlled public were eager for as revenge for 9/11.
    The Blow Back of the U.S.military returning as heroes to be welcomed into our society after treating the Arabs as sub humans.
    In the war on terrorism we brought terrorism into Iraq

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/FC31Aa01.html

    • elmerfudzie
      July 12, 2016 at 2:12 am

      Hillary, It wasn’t the Iraq WAR, originally it was the Vietnam WAR. For example, JFK made political decisions to thwart the rise of the Military Industrial Congressional Complex and our “second government” the so called “hidden hand” (CIA). The crime of the century, a presidential assassination, went unpunished, thus LBJ, nicknamed, “the senator from the Pentagon” was raised by rifle-fire, in order to preserve the whole machinery of death, left over from a WW II command and control economy. The very foundation and support of this old machinery was at bottom, currency control. JFK refused to be dominated by the Federal Reserve and their fiat money, and he took steps to initiate the return of the silver certificate and re-instate a money supply through decision making by the United States Treasury Department. The Federal Reserve system of Banks, would have been be tossed out by JFK, these fiat-financiers forgot about war bonds, war taxes and public approval, they proceeded to put everything on a credit card…five wars so far, and trillions in debt and nothing but limitless public dismay over endless wars…The REAL BLOW-BACK(s) finally begun to surface; assuming the shape of fiscal bankruptcy (city, state and federal), collapsing infrastructure, ever increasing PTSD numbers found in our returning vets, ever widening economic and racial divides, and to no surprise, escalating levels of violence. Keep in mind, guns don’t kill people, people kill people…Oh!, and there are oh! so.many ways to kill!

  3. Guest
    July 11, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    This police overuse of force has a precedent: in 1985, Philadelphia police demolished an entire city block to root out an Afro-American liberation group.

  4. July 11, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Ever since I returned from Viet Nam in 1968, I have increasingly believed that our national government’s practice of disregarding diplomacy and running off to war quickly serves as a poor example to citizens in general on how to resolve problems or disputes. It has only become worse as time has gone on – now we have the President of the United States possessing a kill list, where he is in effect judge, jury and chief executioner. At the same time he overlooks crimes perpetrated by his predecessors, masking his support of lawlessness with the mantra of “I prefer to look forward rather than dwell on the past”.

    Justice Brandeis summed up what happens when our government itself becomes a law breaker: “Decency, security and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law, it invites every man to become a law unto himself. It invites anarchy.” ~ opinion in United States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438 (1928).

  5. Bill
    July 11, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Beware the eventuality of the deployment of self driving police cars pulling over citizens, when out comes a robot-cop to assess the situation and act according to police policy.

    As greater, and more creative firepower comes into the hands of the common citizenry, the more dangerous a place for human life America becomes. Here’s one area to ponder: The “3D printer” will produce untraceable, fully automatic weapons, easily concealed small arms, and even customized, difficult to purchase features like silencers.

    The 2nd amendment, and the free wheeling interpretations of it foreshadow doom for thousands of innocent people.

    Got Kevlar?

  6. Bobby
    July 11, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    In a winner take all election system, at some point we need to unite behind an existing candidate instead of spawning candidates that only divide our vote.

    We’ve got a perfectly good candidate for President named Jill Stein of the Green Party who would almost certainly agree with what’s in this article and who’s been outspoken in opposition to the drone wars.

    They appeared together in an event in NYC, but it might be something where they were both on the same stage. http://www.jill2016.com/the_campaign_trail

    Support Jill2016.com!!!!

  7. F. G. Sanford
    July 11, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Arrogation of process is tyranny’s tool, a practical ploy masquerading as fairness.
    Enforcement imposes an undefined rule, abolishing recourse to sentence and verdict,
    Truncation to imminence supersedes doubt, guilt by presumption endorses the edict,
    Expedient justice, a conjurer’s trick, leaves the public bereft of the means to redress.

    A legal deception, the law’s sleight of hand, the audience grateful for quick resolution,
    Justice is served as the people demand, the case is then closed and the pundits concur.
    But justice is blind and the law still contends that to murder a murderer, charges incur.
    The Founders endorsed no juridical means to eradicate juries from state prosecution.

    Activist shooters extol civil rights, insisting that guns preclude captive repression
    Liberty’s advocates focus their sights on the least of the guaranteed clauses at stake,
    When enforcement legitimates bombing as process, nothing opposes the power to take.
    Hours or days might have purchased a trial, a far wiser outcome than martial aggression.

    This scene has become an accepted occurrence, bludgeoning justice no longer a crime-
    Boston’s transgression induced no deterrence, the huddling citizens welcomed the choice.
    No one intones a demand for a reason. Did vice intercede just to silence the voice?
    One wonders what Ratner or Spence might conclude…had their paths crossed this juncture in time.

  8. Bill Bodden
    July 11, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    I suspect that in many cities the rules say shoot to kill rather than shoot to incapacitate/capture/detain, …

    And in the minds of many citizens the rules say shoot to kill rather than shoot to incapacitate/capture/detain, George Zimmerman could more easily have shot Trayvon Martin in a leg to reduce whatever threat Trayvon posed, but Zimmerman was probably programmed to kill. This should not be surprising when most American citizens get a considerable part of their education watching this policy acted out night after night on television and in the movies.

    Talking of movies, after the Dallas shooting the movie “Network” with Peter Finch came to mind with its line of “I’m not going to take it anymore.” Micah Johnson was very much in the wrong in shooting those police officers, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he said to himself before setting out on his mission, “I’m not going to take it anymore.”

  9. Bagwis
    July 12, 2016 at 1:37 am

    cowboy justice…!!

  10. J'hon Doe II
    July 12, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    “Arrogation of process is tyranny’s tool” -F.G. Sanford

    BLM now deemed a terrorist organization. Is this a threat by right wing zealots to abrogate the First Amendment ? Is it a threat to re-establish the 3/5th person rule? – or has that measure Ever Actually been retracted???

    “When enforcement legitimates bombing as process, nothing opposes the power to take.” – F.G. Sanford

    Militarization of police departments is upon us and the “Law and Order” presidential candidate will passionately propagate increased lethality in law enforcement.

    • Eliz77
      July 13, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      And posse comitatus is no longer the law of the land.

  11. J'hon Doe II
    July 12, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    The GREATER tragedy of Independence Day Week, outside of the televised mayhem and death, is the very disturbing fact that it PAVES THE ROAD TO AN ASSURED TRUMP PRESIDENCY.

    The fundamentalists among us will most definitely arise en masse in support of “Law and Order.”
    The Conservatives will win in a landslide and the nation will fall back to the good ole daze when white supremacy went unchallenged.

    The whispers of FEMA Camps will become the reality.

    :
    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (shown) made headlines nationwide this week after bluntly telling law students at the University of Hawaii that internment camps to detain Americans would eventually return. Acknowledging that the infamous Supreme Court-approved internment of Japanese-Americans in wretched camps during World War II was wrong, the conservative-leaning justice followed up by adding that “you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again.” In “times of war,” Scalia said, citing a Latin expression attributed to Cicero, “the laws fall silent.”
    ::

    However, despite efforts to downplay the clear statements made by Scalia, countless Americans believe there is good cause to be concerned — and not just because history conclusively proves that the U.S. government is capable of lawlessly interning citizens. In 2012, for example, a leaked military document dubbed “Army Field Manual 3-39.40: Internment and Resettlement Operations” provides guidance on interning Americans on U.S. soil. It even teaches how to identify “malcontents, trained agitators, and political leaders” and how “to reduce or remove antagonistic attitudes.”

    http://www.truthandaction.org/justice-scalia-americans-could-be-detained-fema-camps/2/

  12. Steve Naidamast
    July 12, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    If it were only possible….

  13. Steve Naidamast
    July 12, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    One of the underlying factors in all of this is technology itself. Combine with a definitive rise in sociopathology in government leadership and psychopathology in business leadership, evolving technologies have been increasingly used as substitutes for the arts of soldiering in the field and the training of police officers in our nations towns and cities.

    Everyday we see some new technology that threatens to displace thoughtful consideration with knee-jerk reactions. With the military it is drone warfare in the air while on land, soldiers are being exposed to increasing technical assistance that over time undermines their abilities to work independently by themselves or within their own groups. Police officers are getting the runoff from all of this as the US government allows police departments to acquire deadly equipment that brings with it a new form of thinking in terms of it;s deployment all based on the sick and twisted thinking of government bureaucrats who want to make war easy while perverse business leaders see only more profits to be made.

    The US citizenry has been complicit in this new orientation as they calmly accept such technologies into their own daily lives that countless documents have shown over the years only makes people less intelligent and less reliant on their own perceptions of common-sense. As they have become less aware of these dangers in general, only those who are aware of them have been fighting back but they are not enough to fight the tide that is continuing to come.

    FIGHT THE FUTURE !!!

  14. July 17, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Ann Wright is a woman who sticks to her moral principles of honesty and courage. I think she is absolutely right. Our Law enforcement officials have been trained in Israel and they learned how to subdue and kill innocent people without the slightest remorse as they do on a daily basis with the Palestinian people.
    Does any one knows that 97% of the US jails are ran by the Jews, the Israelis???

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