Friday, April 15, 2005

'Operation FALCON' Raises Disturbing Questions

You can't have missed this story: it's been all over the news all day long. What do you think it means?
Dragnet nabs 10,000 fugitives

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- More than 10,000 fugitives from justice have been captured in a nationwide, weeklong dragnet involving federal, state and local authorities, said the U.S. Marshals Service, which led the effort.

Operation FALCON lasted from April 4 - 10 and marks the largest number of arrests ever recorded during a single operation.
Does it strike you as just a little bit strange to hold a nationwide, week-long, multi-level police operation aimed at arresting fugitives? Why did they want all these people, anyway?
The operation captured 10,340 people, of whom 162 were wanted for murder, 638 had outstanding arrest warrants for armed robbery and 553 were wanted for rape or sexual assault.

Also captured were 106 unregistered sex offenders and 154 gang members.
OK! Let's do the math. 162 wanted for murder plus 638 wanted for armed robbery makes 800. Add another 553 for rape or sexual assault and that makes 1353. Now throw in 106 unregistered sex offenders, bringing the total to 1459, and 154 gang members, which makes our total 1613.

But that's less than a sixth of the 10,340 people who were arrested. Why do you think they picked up the other 8727 people? I don't know and the article from CNN doesn't say. So I'm curious.
And some were considered especially dangerous. In one case, an armed man was found in a cave under a trap door in his kitchen floor, Gonzales said.
Who was it? Saddam Hussein?
Officials acknowledge the decision to provide such a massive show of force at one time was expected to prompt publicity and help highlight the mission.
It's working. Media all over the country seem to be cooperating nicely. At the moment, Google News reports nearly 600 stories on "operation falcon", and none of them appear to be more than 15 hours old. Many of these stories appear to be virtually identical, almost as if government press releases had been published verbatim. And none of the articles I have read are asking any questions. Even considering what we know about the lack of diversity in the major media, it looks like a massive propaganda barrage to me. So of course nobody has been asking me what I think about it. But I'll tell you anyway.
[officials] insist the operation was strictly designed to carry out law enforcement objectives.
Oh yes, of course it was. Wink wink, nudge nudge. Know what I mean? Know what I mean? Say No More!
The dragnet coincided with Crime Victims Rights Week.
Ah yes, of course it did. What better reason to get out in the streets and round up 1593 dangerous criminals and more than 8700 other people too?

I can't quite put my finger on it but something tells me there's more to this story than meets the eye. Is it the first step in a larger plan? Is the idea to get Americans accustomed to the idea of a nationwide police operation arresting several thousand people in a short period of time? Is it meant as a warning sign to people who are considering careers in jaywalking or shoplifting? Who's next? Librarians who shred their records? Citizens who want to make sure their votes are counted properly?

What happened to arresting fugitives because they had outstanding warrants? Doesn't that still occur on a regular basis? Why shouldn't it? Stuff like this should go on every week, no? What difference does [or should] it make whether it's Crime Victims Rights Week?

And what's it gonna be next time? Prosecuting Attorney Week? And when that happens, will we see another propaganda campaign? Will it be yet another attempt "to prompt publicity and help highlight the mission"? And will it involve the arrests of another ten thousand people? Or will they pick up twenty [or thirty] [or fifty] thousand this time?

I am tempted to make a prediction. I am tempted to predict that we will soon become accustomed to nationwide police operations involving the arrests of thousands of people.

I am sorely tempted to make that prediction, but I won't. However, I will say this: if such a thing happens, I will not be surprised.

Horrified, yes. Surprised, no.

Watch and see what happens. I hope I'm wrong. But I doubt it.