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by Peter Moskos

March 3, 2011

How We Train Our Cops to Fear Islam

Here's an interesting article by Meg Stalcup and Joshua Craze in The Washington Monthly. The subtitle is: "There aren’t nearly enough counterterrorism experts to instruct all of America’s police--So we got these guys instead."
Despite their different backgrounds, the counterterrorism trainers we interviewed have a remarkably similar worldview. It is one of total, civilizational war--a conflict against Islam that involves everyone, without distinction between combatant and noncombatant, law enforcement and military. “Being politically correct inhibits you,” Hughbank said. “I know Islam better than my own religion. Some things need to be called a spade.”
On one occasion, we asked a student whether gangs--a more conventional subject of police attention--weren’t a more pressing issue for cops than terrorists.

“Yeah, the gangs are a threat,” answered the officer. “But they don’t have 1.5 billion members.”
Many of these classes are paid for by tax dollars, taught by people without law enforcement background, exaggerated military backgrounds (John Giduck, author of Terror at Beslan), and are "accredited" by people such as Keith Flannigan (the certification chairman of the scammy "Anti-Terrorism Accreditation Board") who seems to make up his own college degrees.

Of course a couple people faking their C.V. isn't a big deal. What is a big deal is that this bigoted war-like approach to fighting terrorism in dangerous. Real, effective, anti-terrorists efforts are not helped by cops learning B.S. profiling to spot the "terrorists among us" by, say, looking "at the owners of convenience stores."

Plots get foiled because people talk to cops:
In counterterrorism, as in most areas of intelligence and law enforcement, vital information often comes from those closest to the suspected perpetrators--from neighbors, friends, even family members. It was an anonymous handwritten note from an Arab American in Lackawanna, New York, a small city outside Buffalo, that led the FBI to arrest six men.
Same with the foiled plot described in Jennifer Hunt's excellent Seven Shots. Teaching cops that 1.5 billion Muslims are potentially terrorists is not the answer.


SabotageGigante said...

The worst thing about this old school pseudo-military Us vs. Them approach to counter-terrorism is that it's failing to learn what our own military experts are learning overseas. At the same time you are reacting to these "every muzlem is an enemy" idiots. Others are advocating for more police training overseas as opposed to military training. See this Ink Spots post about the need to train up the police in Egypt

PCM said...

Good point and good link.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with you in principle, Peter, about your assertion that faking all or part of a C.V. isn't that big of a deal.

The reason that folks like Giduck get away with all of this is precisely because they've passed themselves off as something they aren't. In Giduck's case, he's made several claims of being a former S.F officer, which he wasn't and which has caused an uproar on at least on Special Operations discussion board. google his name, that thread will pop right up.

I wouldn't be surprised if most of his creds are bogus, which makes him bogus. Hardly a small detail that should be ignored in the context of him passing himself off as some sort of "expert".

PCM said...

Very good point.

But just to clear things up, I do think faking a CV is a big deal on a personal level (and I vouch for the truthfulness of mine). I simply meant that a fake CV is not a big deal or cause for me to write about... in comparison with the dangerousness of what they claim to teach.

I'm less interesting is besmirching these people's character than fighting their message.

But indeed, as you say, the fake CV is a red flag. Maybe somebody could have and should have called them out much earlier.