"Mom, was my dad a bad guy?" four-year-old Joel Guerena plaintively asked his mother Vanessa after her husband, 26-year-old Jose, was killed in a withering barrage of gunfire during a SWAT invasion of their home. "They killed my dad! Police killed my dad! Why? What did my dad do?"
To the extent the question posed by that traumatized child dealt with a moral justification for the killing, a good and sufficient answer would be: "Nothing." Jose Guerena was killed because he had the temerity to defend his family from a criminal assault carried out by armed strangers.
When the stormtroopers arrived shortly after 9:00 a.m. on May 5, Jose had just surrendered to well-earned slumber after working the graveyard shift at the nearby Asarco Mine. Jose, a former Marine who served two combat tours abroad, had taken that job to provide for his young family after mustering out of the Corps. Jose had devoted the last hours of his life to producing wealth. Meanwhile, his killers were planning to lay siege to several homes in the neighborhood as part of the Regime's Narcotics Price Support Program, the murderous charade sometimes called the "War on Drugs."
Jose was able to get just a tiny amount of sleep before being startled awake by the terrified screams of his wife, who had seen a large party of armed men approaching them. One of them pointed a rifle at her; another shattered a window. None of them, she insists, identified himself as a police officer – not that this would make a substantive difference in moral or even legal terms.
According to his wife, Jose's last words were: “Vani, go into the closet with the kid. Go!” He then grabbed his AR-15 and went to confront the people who threatened his family. Seven seconds later, he was dead. His killers unleashed a fusillade of 71 shots.
Given that the marksmanship of the typical tax-feeder is on a par with that of the Imperial Stormtroopers from Star Wars, it’s likely that only a handful of the gunshots hit their marks, but that was enough. Jose was killed before he could pull the trigger. That doesn't alter the fact that he died on his feet, with his face to the enemy as he shielded his family against criminal aggression.
In the immediate aftermath of the murder, Jose’s killers -- in keeping with established custom -- began to traduce the victim's reputation, claiming that the slain husband and father was a violent suspect who had fired the first shot, and that a ballistic shield had probably saved the life of one of the assailants. This version of events was dutifully regurgitated by an initially uncritical local media.
Jose’s reputation was allowed to steep in that falsehood for several days before the PCSO grudgingly admitted the truth. “A deputy’s bullet struck the side of the doorway, causing chips of wood to fall on his shield,” recounted the Arizona Daily Star, paraphrasing an account provided by PCSO functionary Michael O’Connor. “That prompted some members of the team to think the deputy had been shot.”
The PCSO wasn’t through bemerding the memory of Jose Geurena, however.
In the new version peddled by the department, Guerena supposedly used his final seconds this side of eternity to channel Tony Montana, crouching down and growling: “I have something for you!”
The people who gunned Jose down – who are hardly disinterested witnesses – claim that he knew that he was drawing bead on law enforcement personnel. This is not what happened, even though Jose had every moral and legal right to use lethal force to defend his home from an unlawful invasion.
Why was a SWAT team used to serve search warrants -- apart, that is, from the fact that this would give the mirror-abusing, rifle-fondling poseurs something to do? “Tucson is notorious for home invasions and we didn’t want it to look like that,” insisted PCSO spokesman O’Connor, exhibiting the dull-witted refusal to acknowledge the obvious that typifies tax-feeders of his station. SWAT raids of this kind are nothing other than government-licensed home invasions. The only difference is that when a State-chartered gang meets armed resistance, it won't relent until it -- and whatever allies it can recruit -- has annihilated the target.
Between 2005 and 2008, seven counties in Texas were terrorized by a gang that carried out a series of home invasion robberies while dressed in SWAT attire and packing high-performance weaponry.
The robbers would burst into a targeted home shouting "Search warrant!" The victims would be beaten and zip-cuffed at gunpoint, and then the raiders would help themselves to anything of value they could find. On some occasions, when an initial search would turn up empty, the gang would employ what Dick Cheney and his groupies call "enhanced interrogation techniques," such as attacking vulnerable anatomy with pliers, or waterboarding a victim to break down his resistance. All of those tactics were directly inspired by the exploits of those who serve in the Regime's apparatus of armed repression -- both here and abroad.
“I never imagined I would lose him like that, he was badly injured but I never thought he could be killed by police after he served his country,” lamented Vanessa Guerena. The grim fact is that we shouldn't be surprised that a Regime capable of sending Americans abroad to terrorize Iraqis in their homes would employ the same state terrorism against Americans here at home. Jose, who had left the Regime's employ in favor of an honest life of productive labor, was murdered in his own home by an Empire he had served abroad.
As Vanessa observes, Jose was badly wounded -- but his injuries may have been survivable, if they had been treated in a timely fashion. The SWAT team's behavior immediately after the shooting eliminates any doubt that this was, at very least, a case of criminal homicide through depraved indifference.
During the assault on her home, Vanessa called 911, and a team of paramedics was dispatched by the nearby Drexel Heights Fire/Rescue department. Medical personnel arrived within two minutes of that call. After emerging from her hiding place, the terrorized woman pleaded with the SWAT team to allow the rescue workers to treat her husband. Rather than doing so, they held help at bay for over an hour -- until their victim was dead -- supposedly in the interest of “security.”
Several days after the killing, Tucson ABC affiliate KGUN obtained the emergency call records for Drexel Heights Fire Rescue. They disclosed that the agency received a 911 call at 9:43 a.m.; a unit arrived two minutes later. However, “deputies told rescue workers to stay put. That’s standard to be sure they won’t walk into danger. But they waited until 10:59. Then heard the radio call `Code 900′; that means they were no longer needed because the person was dead. One hour and 14 minutes went by. Drexel Heights indicates they were never allowed to even examine Jose Guerena.”
Then again, the PCSO SWAT team, which was co-created by future Surgeon General Richard Carmona, has long boasted that its members include highly trained field medics who can render life-saving medical assistance on the scene of a shootout. Carmona told KGUN that "the care is not [rendered] according to good guy or bad guy or suspect. Whoever needs the care, gets the care as quickly and safely as possible."
Jose Guerena received no care of any kind for over an hour. Those who share my cynical cast of mind might suspect that the goons who murdered Jose may have been more interested in devising a suitable cover story than in saving the victim's life.
Owing to its proximity to the border with Mexico, Tucson is considered a high-activity "corridor" for smuggling drugs and unauthorized immigrants. During the past five years, nearly 40,000 people have been killed in Mexico on account of the proxy narcotics war being waged in that country by Washington. This ever-growing body count has provoked concern about the possibility that Mexico's drug-related violence might overflow the border.
This is exactly what happened to Jose Guerena and his family.
In recent weeks, tens of thousands of Mexicans have joined peaceful protests to demand an end to the demented "war on drugs" that is tearing their country apart. The skimpy U.S. media coverage of those protests has largely focused on speeches and slogans condemning the depredations of Mexican narcotics kingpins, who are typical of the criminal scum that rises to the top whenever government-imposed prohibition is inflicted on a society. But this is just one aspect of the multi-faceted ugliness on display in Mexico.
Since the administration of Felipe Calderon began its U.S.-abetted drug war in 2006, observes Louis Hernandez Navarro of Mexico's La Jornada, "Tens of thousands of people have been murdered. Many of them were unarmed, and had not picked a fight. They were not killed as part of the all-out war between rival drug cartels or during clashes between the military and/or the police and organised crime gangs. Their deaths were crimes committed in a country where vast areas are under a non-declared state of siege, patrolled day and night by thousands of police and military."
What Navarro describes are scenes from the southern front of the Regime's longest war -- the one waged against its own citizens in the name of drug prohibition. He is also offering a preview of what life will soon become on this side of the border, as well.
The murder of Jose Guerena by a federally subsidized death squad would fit very nicely into that bloody Mexican milieu -- and it's a harbinger of the kind of state terrorism that will become increasingly commonplace until the Regime is put out of our misery.
William Norman Grigg [send him mail] publishes the Pro Libertate blog and hosts the Pro Libertate radio program.
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