Pubdate: Mon, 10 Sep 2001
Source: Greensboro News & Record (NC)
Copyright: 2001 Greensboro News & Record, Inc.
Author: Richard A. Stimson


We keep seeing examples that remind us of the government depicted in George 
Orwell's satire "1984."

Two sentences caught my eye in a report in the Sept. 1 High Point edition 
about child pornography. "Just because there was an arrest, it does not 
mean that something illegal took place." Yet, "Haynes is being held in the 
Forsyth County Detention Center."

Not knowing the accused or the circumstances, I have to assume the postal 
inspectors must have opened his mail, with or without his permission, 
because they suspected child exploitation. That is terrible, but why aren't 
the producers and sellers of child pornography the ones in jail?

The answer is that they are harder to catch -- or, perhaps, have better 
political connections.

The same thing happens with drugs. Our prisons are overcrowded and more are 
being built to accommodate people caught with small amounts of controlled 
substances (like those Clinton admitted and Bush hinted at having used), 
while the drug kings get away.

The drug war has provided the excuse for creating SWAT teams that casually 
violate the freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. More than once they 
have gone to the wrong address and brutalized innocent people in the middle 
of the night. Even guilty ones should be punished in court, not by police.

Furthermore, these military-type police operations have been used to 
prevent peaceful protest demonstrations against corporate globalization, 
while the perpetrators of actual vandalism and violence have generally escaped.

Richard A. Stimson, High Point
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