Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell...Virginia style

This is from Radley Balko at Reason:

In April I wrote a column about the secretive habits of three large police departments in Virginia's Washington, D.C., suburbs: Fairfax County, Alexandria, and Arlington. As Connection Newspapers reporter Michael Pope showed in a series of reports that began in March, they are among the least transparent departments in the country, having interpreted Virginia's Freedom of Information Act in a way that allows them to turn down nearly all requests for information.
Michael Pope's initial attempts to obtain information, even about mundane cases or arrests the department itself was highlighting in press releases, met with astonishing disdain. Police were not only stingy with information; they were smug and arrogant about it.

There is no way to explain to the outside world that this is how it has been done in Virginia since my granddaddy. Virginia invented "The good ole boy" system of regulation and control. I'm sure everyone is familiar with its various manifestations; The U.S Senate, the U.S. Military, CIA, ICE, Big Oil, Wall Street. All are examples of organizations which monitor their own behavior through secretive mechanisms, like shaman type shit. If Virginia were a little southwest of here, it would be called Arizona.

(HT) The Agitator

No comments:

Post a Comment