The Authorities Sure Love Goatse!

You know, there are some stories that are so obviously messed up that it feels redundant to write about them. I mean, who exactly is going to come to the defense of agents who are way too thorough with their cavity searches? But when we get two such stories in a week? That’s too weird not to mention.

First, we get the guy who “clenched his buttocks”, causing the police to suspect that he was carrying narcotics. A bit weird, but ok…until they subject him to  “14 hours of medical procedures, including anal exams, x-rays, enemas and a forced colonoscopy”…and find nothing.

And then there’s the woman coming across the border in El Paso. The police said that they “drug-sniffing dogs” found her suspicious. Of course, there’s no such thing as a drug-sniffing dog, but whatever. So they strip searched her….and probed her internally…and found nothing. That’s the end, right? Nah, they drove her to the hospital and subjected her to a similar battery of tests and again, found nothing.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that absolutely no one thinks the authorities acted properly here, so let’s just call bullshit, fire everyone involved and….then what? I suspect we’re not going to do the right thing and just end the futile and racist war on drugs. That would make too much sense. But what’s the right answer? Drugs are smuggled internally. What we really need are guidelines for what constitutes suspicion and, here’s the obvious bit, real freakin’ procedures for investigations.

I don’t get the impression we’re dealing with a few rogue idiots who get off of probing people’s butts. This is a failure of leadership. Until we get real leadership and real responsibility, we’re going to see more of this crap.

Of course, I can’t let this go without stating the obvious: People who abuse the authority they have been given need to be punished much, much more harshly than people who do the same things but aren’t charged with enforcing the law. I’m not holding my breath, but I live in hope. I’m such an optimist.

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