Have Americans Been Trained to be “Good Germans” ?

Not too long ago, being “good Germans” meant showing compliance to the will of government agents when they had no warrant. It was considered un-American.

Firestarter

I notice I got mixed responses from my post about the cop assaulting a girl (which has resulted, once the video appeared and not until then, with a warrant issued charging the girl and her sister with assault). I pointed out a couple of times that a non-cop has committed crimes by pretending to be a law enforcement officer, but that didn’t seem to make much difference to some. When a big man is assaulting a young girl and yelling that he’s a cop that should make the girl… do what? Comply with the beating and not worry about what might happen? Trust her assailant completely?

(Yes, the girl may have tried to get away with a hit-and-run. If so, that doesn’t obligate her to allow herself to submit to a man she doesn’t know and whose intentions are unknown.)

One of my readers pointed out this story and gave me reason to look for other versions on the web. It is about an abducted and murdered couple. I think the way the killers got away with such a bold crime is something we conservatives should all take ime to reflect upon.

I remember the movie Firestarter, though somewhat too gross and violent for my tastes, had a pretty amazing scene. Government agents show up to take away a father and daughter who have been guests in the house of an elderly couple, Irv and Norma. The agents aren’t dressed in body armor and SWAT gear. (I never thought at the time that I would eventually find the scene unrealistic for that reason!) They look like civilized men with badges and side-arms who merely want to take away the two people for questioning. (They actually plan to kill the father, but Irv and Norma don’t know that for sure).

So Irv brings out a rifle to defend his guests from being abducted by government agents.

Here is an excerpt from the book (I’ve edited out one crudity). The wife questions her husband’s willingness to take up arms to protect his guests.

“Those men came with no warrants nor blue-back paper of any kind and tried to take them off our land,” he said. “People I’d invited in like it’s done in a civilized country with decent laws… What do you want me to do, Norma? Sit here and turn them over to the secret police if they […] come back? Be a good German?

Be a good German. That’s how Stephen King portrayed the practice of complying to whatever government agents demanded on their own authority. It may not be fair to all Germans now, but it refers back to the Nazi era and the compliance given to the state.

As you can see from this other scene, when the man was told to stand down by the government agents, he replied that, since they had no warrant, they were simply trespassers.

“We’re government agents, sir,” Al Steinowitz said to Irv in a low, courteous voice. “These two folks are wanted for questioning. Nothing more.” “I don’t care if they’re wanted for assassinating the President,” Irv said. His voice was high, cracking. “Show me your warrant or get the Christ off my property.” “We don’t need a warrant,” Al said. His voice was edged with steel now. “You do unless I woke up in Russia this morning,” Irv said. “I’m telling you to get off, and you better get high-steppin, mister. That’s my last word on it.”

 You can see the movie’s version of that exchange below.

[Note, I advise stopping the video before the girl’s supernatural powers break out.]

So that is the scene from a bestselling American author and the movie based on his book.

What happened to that?

Now, if you wanted to get away with abducting a couple at gun point, ensuring that possible bystanders would not interfere and even gaining the cooperation of the victims themselves, it would be easy. You would merely get a fake badge or perhaps merely a T-shirt with special lettering.

Which brings us back to that abduction and double homicide I mentioned above. That’s how it went down according to WBS-TV 2:

Police say the gunmen posed as FBI agents, handcuffed the couple and then kidnapped them from their Decatur home on Coleen Court. Police say the gunmen took Jeronta Brown, 24, and Briana Brooks, 21, to Ridge Avenue in northwest Atlanta and shot them execution-style.

Maybe the criminals would have managed to get away with their crime even if they hadn’t posed as the FBI. But we live in a country now where impersonating an officer means you can practice kidnapping and be confident no one will stop you. No one expects to get real scrutiny or resistance. No one expects to be accused of trespassing or told to come back with a warrant.

So, yes, video can be misleading. Yes, police can seem guilty but not be just like might happen to any other American. But the habit of looking away and assuming that the government agents are always right is toxic. It can lead nowhere good.

It is un-American.

I don’t want to be a good German and I don’t want to wake up in Russia.