Friday, February 17, 2012

We are the business

Boing Boing has a post on one of those police undercover operations. You know, the ones that go on so long that the people they are socializing with fall in love with them. In this case, it didn't go so far as the policemen fathering the women's babies. Good thing too, since the people being spied upon were high school kids.

The original is a sound broadcast, at This American Life, and I don't know about you, but I don't have time to listen to something unfold at playback speed, so I'm going to crib from Boing Boing, who got it from Alternet.
The undercover cops went to classes, became Facebook friends and flirted with the other students. One 18-year-old honor student named Justin fell in love with an attractive 25-year-old undercover cop after spending weeks sharing stories about their lives, texting and flirting with each other. 
One day she asked Justin if he smoked pot. Even though he didn't smoke marijuana, the love-struck teen promised to help find some for her. Every couple of days she would text him asking if he had the marijuana. Finally, Justin was able to get it to her. She tried to give him $25 for the marijuana and he said he didn't want the money -- he got it for her as a present. 
She insisted on paying him for it.

That's his side of the story, anyway. He is now facing felony charges for selling pot.  So this is where some of those billions of dollars go in the War on Some Drugs - paying pretty young policethings to hang out with students for weeks, begging for dope until the students give in, at which point the youths go to jail, lose pretty much any chance of getting a decent career and lose the right to vote?

That's not money well spent. But.

I think it's more sinister than that. I don't think this is about the kid at all. The police run operations like this so they show up on news sites (and boing boing). Every other kid reading these articles learns it might not be a good idea to trust their peers. And as their mutual trust erodes, their society fragments. "Divide and conquer" is the oldest trick in the book. Well, apart from the "sending round a beautiful person of favored gender to tempt someone" trick, so I guess this operation had both the oldest tricks in the book...

"Why," you may ask, "do cops want society in pieces when they have to live in that society?" The simple answer is they don't live in our society. To their gang, our society is merely a criminal-generating device. Ideally, it should be strong enough to produce sufficient criminals to justify their funding but weak enough not to be able to produce winning criminals. Cops live in their own society. As Bryant said in Blade Runner, " You know the score, pal! You're not cop, you're 'little people.'" Anything that undermines the cohesiveness of society weakens us and provides great benefits to those who live off us - cops and the rich elites alike.

I would have left this as a comment on Boing Boing, but oh man, Disqus. I just can't use you...

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