Befehl ist Befehl: Why Cops Are Morally Wrong by Bill Buppert

“The police cannot protect the citizen at this stage of our development, and they cannot even protect themselves in many cases. It is up to the private citizen to protect himself and his family, and this is not only acceptable, but mandatory.”

– COL Jeff Cooper

Befehl ist befehl means orders are orders which is the usual explanation given for barbaric behavior by Nazis on trial after WWII. The malefactors were hanged who attempted this defense yet this quaint notion is the bedrock of all US police behavior and explanation for its excess.

Officer safety is part of the evil trifecta that enables much of the police violence and I have taken all these things to task in past essays, so I won’t bore you with the details. The remaining legs in this are police unions and qualified immunity, which many in the commentariat have handled with alacrity.

It bears repeating, absent police forces, no political bad actor can deny one freedom or erase any liberty from any individual or group. The police exist to serve and protect their political rulers no matter how much they naysay to the contrary. The aforementioned trifecta is the deal with the devil to ensure that the police have a license to kill and guarantee all investigations are conducted by themselves on themselves. Imagine how the economically illiterate bedwetters on the left would scream if corporations were left to investigate their own supposed transgressions. This is why police, robed government employees and their sycophants in the entire legal system are immune to justice, a moral compass and restitution to victims of the wretched system in place in the USSA.

National Socialism died in Germany in 1946 at the Nuremberg trials but the key components of the trials that enraged so many humans planet-wide at the conclusion of the War to Save Josef Stalin was the insistence of both low and high ranking Nazis alike that they bore no responsibility for their actions because they were merely following orders. The original trials started in 1946 but were followed by other trials:

All of these Allied legal trials very specifically targeted the barbaric behavior of the Nazis while excusing any such behavior of the Allies such as the gruesome and murderous strategic bombing campaigns world wide by the Allies. The duplicity and wink and nod to Soviet crimes was especially nauseating but at least the Germans were held to account in spite of the double standard imposed by the West.

The crimes were grouped in three categories in international law: crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The superior orders defense so beloved to the criminals on trial was ruled as inadmissible and this was further complicated by the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which did give some interesting escape clauses to governments which sought to skirt the meaning and isolate the indefensible superior orders defense to genocide and crimes against humanity. This may be the international get out of jail free card for governments that need to provide legal coverage for the ravages and immoral behavior of their constabulary.

I happen to think the superior orders defense is ludicrous and merely excuses willing barbarians in the conduct of their mayhem. But this very notion of superior orders is the standard defense for the police brutality, malpractice and savagery that is everyday business for the US law enforcement apparatus.

What does this brief history lesson in power politics and the hanging of the deserved have to do with American policing? Officer safety. This notion means that any ”officer” who feels threatened or in danger may kill whoever they perceive to be doing so and get away with it with the fully faith and backing of the Federal government and its puppet regimes in the states. This murder and mayhem has easily ramped up and accelerated to unprecedented levels since the ironic War on Terrorism began after 911. That unfortunate event has Bin Laden and his entire crew of misfits cackling at the incredible success they have foisted on the American people and the West by making the West strangle itself and extinguish its individual liberties by its own hand.

Nuremberg Principle IV states quite clearly:

“The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”

Police behavior in the US in concert with the American legal system has embraced this to protect its agents and praetorians in the conduct of their everyday duties. Again, the impossible moral equation is supposing that immoral ends can midwife moral ends but this is the wickedly evil calculus that animates most government activity in the US.

Those Germans dangling at the end of a rope after WWII died. If they had been dressed in the absurd garb of modern American cops, they would have not only have gotten away with their crimes but would have had the full support and entire legal system to defend their indefensible behavior against all comers. They probably would have been adorned with medals and applauded for their barbarism.

Terrorism is politically motivated violence against non-combatants and innocents and that is the very definition by which all governments maintain and expand their power. There is no mean coincidence that police in America behave like an occupying force enforcing laws that have no place in a free society whether the illegal vegetation laws or ordinances against consensual behavior that ensure America has the highest per capita prison population on Earth. Much like the military industrial complex for which overseas martial adventures are sophisticated money-laundering operations, the same applies to the government-legal complex that gums up the US economy, ensnares innocents in a host of malum prohibitum laws and justifies the mass surveillance activities of a government that seeks total control over its tax cattle.

The entire rotten American judicial system and its badged janissaries derive their disproportionate power from a number of sources but the most important is the absurd notion that the bodies stacked up like cord-wood in the US gulag system or the room temperature corpses littering the roadside as frightened cops use deadly force are excused because some are more equal than others. In this case, the cops who initiate violence for a living are given carte blanche to maim or extinguish anyone who dares to make them feel unsafe. When one looks at the mortality rate of this policing profession, the numbers speak to an extraordinarily safe profession despite the mewling of the presstitutes fellating the state fawning admiration over their protectors. They are excused because the poor overweight and cognitively challenged “thin black and black line” is merely following orders. They are merely enforcing the law. They don’t make the law, they simply administer it good and hard.

These worthies don’t interpret the law nor establish a moral compass to test its virtue, they do what they are told. Whether one agrees with the tremendous moral indignation that animated the Nuremberg trials or not, the forum asked a very keen question: “Can the agents of the state be excused from the conduct of morally indefensible behavior because they were following orders?”

The answer then was a resounding no and remains a resounding negative to anyone who looks at the trail of tears known as American policing across the fetid plain as armed government employees fine, kidnap, cage, maim and kill depending on the level of resistance. Nearly seven million humans in the US are on probation, in cages or on parole. Those unfortunates have families that number in the tens of millions and they are getting mighty tired of watching the news every night or the thousands of videos on the internet that portray a police who maim and kill with abandon. Rarely are they held accountable and the predictable response of the killers investigating themselves and justifying the mayhem is Exhibit A in why the American legal system has no moral authority whatsoever anymore.

What’s the answer?

In the best of worlds, the total abolition of state police mechanisms period but until humanity can wrap its arms around the problem and wean itself from the collectivist fever dream, this is merely the ideal. Since there are no good cops, this would be the optimal solution. Modern society is simply yielding to the worse people in charge to protect the frightened from a few bad people.

Several things can be done now:

  • Immediate requirement for all police to be wearing functioning video cameras during the conduct of duties.
  • Immediate surrender in the drug war and the instant demolition of all Federal drug laws.
  • The revocation of all malum probihitum laws at the Federal level. As a matter of fact, no Federal enforcement power over the states whatsoever.
  • The immediate disarmament of all statist law enforcement officer indefinitely.
  • Elimination of all government unions and the abolition of all police unions.
  • Bonding and ensuring of all individual officers on their own dime so taxpayers no longer foot the bill for the absurd lawsuit payload of most large departments. No more qualified immunity.
  • Officer safety is no longer an excuse for maiming and killing the citizen.

That would be a good start and I am sure plenty of other suggestions can be offered to diminish and eventually eliminate the existential threat to human liberty – the cop.

If any un-badged citizen were to conduct themselves as cops do on a daily basis, there is not enough cell space to house the miscreants. It’s time to hold them to the same standards as the Nuremberg lawyers did in 1945-47. Following orders is no excuse for bad and lethal behavior.

Bad laws were meant to be broken.

“After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.”

– William S. Burroughs

34 thoughts on “Befehl ist Befehl: Why Cops Are Morally Wrong by Bill Buppert”

  1. Immediate requirement for all police to be wearing functioning video cameras during the conduct of duties.” With the addition that a camera that doesn’t function during a “contact” is taken as an automatic admission of wrongdoing. As is the wearing of any face-hiding “gear” during any police action.

  2. The beauty is, Bill… If all those things could actually be done… the police state would implode. There would be no applicants for the job…

    Sounds like a plan.

  3. SemperFi, 0321

    Thanks, wonderful and eye opening article, especially for those who think only Nazis could commit evil.
    One day the US will be held accountable to the same standards that they used to try Nazi and Japanese war criminals, interesting to see how many scream and cry on their way to the scaffolds.

    1. Thanks SF, you are very kind and I have had to invest thousands of hours to deprogram myself from the bad history drilled into my skull during my government education.


  4. Some of these ideas are good, others sound like they came from the ACLU. If police officers have limited immunity, why should any public servant be different? What protection is there against the usual malfactors who always charge the police with unnecessary force and what action will be taken against those who abuse such charges?

    Nuremburg was victor’s justice, but if the only obeying orders defense is unlawful just about every member of the military would be a war criminal wouldn’t he? The entire idea of war crimes is a bad joke, I suggest the author read about the Laconia affair to see exactly what and who war criminals were and how difficult it is to use such a charge. I find it absurd that the American people can accept the use of an atomic weapon to destroy a city but find the idea od a sniper or assasin revolting. We can see just how two faced public opinion is with the recent Oklahoma execution-it wasn’t about the execution of this animal but the feelings of the non combatants.

    So please spare me the lectures about morality in war.

    1. Veritas,

      The lectures can be spared if you simply don’t read them and move on to something else that appeals to your confirmation bias.

      You and I certainly don’t see eye to eye on cops because I consider them a threat as long as they exist.

      Per the War to Save Josef Stalin, we may be in agreement that ALL sides participated in malicious and loathsome political motivated atrocities. Like you said, the victors determined who becomes a defendant for their actions.

      I am hard-pressed to justify any military action by the US since 1893 and what bifurcates professional military officers from serial killers is an internal moral compass that uses the Geneva, Hague Convention, International Laws of Land Warfare to determine proper conduct.

      Thanks for mentioneing the Laconia incident and there is a reason that German arms until 1945 when matched man for man would overwhelmingly win the contest in war but the political incompetence of Hitler and his cult of police-state idolators wrecked the strategic vision that could have made the case for conditional surrender with the Allies. FDR’s love affair with Stalin and Churchill’s mendacity, duplicity and sheer martial incompetence prolonged the conflict to make the world safe for Communism with his confrere, FDR.

      I would also urge you to look at German gallantry in naval affairs here in WWI: And examine the excellent books on the winning of the Iron Cross by the Soldat of the Wermacht such as

      Look at the Keelhaul incident and the revisionist accounts of the savagery of the Allied occupation after the war to see just how bad it was.

      My ENTIRE point is that following orders is never an excuse for bad behavior even among the over-fed but intellectually-stunted and morally bankrupt police ranks in Amerika.

      1. “My ENTIRE point is that following orders is never an excuse for bad behavior even among the over fed but intellectually stunted police ranks in Amerika.”

        EXACTLY!!! Soldiers have to abide by the UCMJ, Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement!!!

        Punks with Badges!!!

        Not ALL! But MOST!!!

        1. P.S.

          Although – I would disagree about not needing Police…

          What’s needed is Not to do away with them – but ACCOUNTABILITY!!!

          A “Code of Conduct”, “Rules of Engagement” and JAIL/PRISON SENTENCES!!!!

          They ARE NOT ABOVE THE LAW!!!!

          Good news is that GOD HIMSELF will make them (Along with Judges, Lawyers and Politicians) know that in the end!!!

          1. JS,

            My ideal is the total elimination of state funded constabulary but as I said on my appearance on Kokesh on this very same subject, the recommendations I make are a good beginning but in the hands of the incompetent booboisie at the levers of power, any remedy will be distorted to ends none of us would like.

            I have no hope of government policing itself and not doing it to benefit and expand its power and it will be at the expense of the tax cattle they administer.

      2. There were many military who were charged with following unlawful orders in Vietnam for on, but also in almost any “war” we have been in.

        Military members who fail to obey the LAWFUL orders of their superiors risk serious consequences. Article 90 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) makes it a crime for a military member to WILLFULLY disobey a superior commissioned officer. Article 91 makes it a crime to WILLFULLY disobey a superior Noncommissioned or Warrant Officer. Article 92 makes it a crime to disobey any lawful order (the disobedience does not have to be “willful” under this article).

        Under Article 90, during times of war, a military member who willfully disobeys a superior commissioned officer can be sentenced to death.

        An order which is unlawful not only does not need to be obeyed, but obeying such an order can result in criminal prosecution of the one who obeys it. Military courts have long held that military members are accountable for their actions even while following orders — if the order was illegal.

        “I was only following orders,” has been unsuccessfully used as a legal defense in hundreds of cases (probably most notably by Nazi leaders at the Nuremberg tribunals following World War II). The defense didn’t work for them, nor has it worked in hundreds of cases since.

        In 1799 first recorded case (that I could find) of an officer in the US Military using the “I was only following orders” defense.
        In the War with France, Congress had passed a law to seize ships bound to any French Port. President John Adams wrote an order authorizing the U.S. Navy that authorized to them to seize any vessel bound for a French port, or traveling from a French port. Following the US President’s instructions, a U.S. Navy captain seized a the Flying Fish, a Danish Ship which was en route from a French Port. The owners of the ship sued the Navy captain in U.S. maritime court for trespass. They won, and the United States Supreme Court upheld the decision. The U.S. Supreme Court held that Navy commanders “act at their own peril” when obeying presidential orders when such orders are illegal.

        The Vietnam War; the US military courts had more cases of the “I was only following orders” defense than any previous US conflict. The decisions during these cases reaffirmed that following manifestly illegal orders is not a viable defense from criminal prosecution.

        It is NEVER okay in the USA to “just follow orders” or “just do your job” when you are committing a crime against another if you are in a position that requires your personal oath. That legally required Oath is a persons personal guarantee that they will either “support and defend the US Constitution” before the orders of a US president or officers or superiors above them; or they will “preserve, protect, and defend” the US Constitution – required of all US presidents.

        It actually goes beyond the person who carried out the order.

        As Dr Edwin Vieira states in his book “Constitutional “Homeland Security” Volume 1: the Nation in Arms”: “That means “that NONE of those tasks are assigned to the Army, to a Navy, to a (constitutionally unknown) National Guard, or least of all to any unnamed professional police, security, or intelligence agencies of the General Government or of any state or locality. Rather, the Constitution’s explicit emphasis on the Militia as the preeminent forces by politicians of a garrison, “national-security”, or police state…
        So those bound by Oath who “knowingly, with willful blindness, or in reckless disregard of the consequences of his/her action” votes for an unconstitutional act, bill, etc; when a “President or state governor refuses to veto it and instead executes it; or when a Judge, either of the supreme and inferior courts of the general government, or of any state knowingly declares such a statute valid and enforceable – each and every one of them violates his oath of office….
        A remedy MUST exist for every individual harmed by each and every violation. That remedy MUST impose some personal liability on the violator – it being his own Oath or Affirmation he himself forswore. And that personal liability cannot be evaded by his or his cronies’ assertion of some ersatz official immunity”. Dr Edwin Vieira

        Remember that the US Constitution allows for ONLY one official immunity, ONE. Using an “”implied power to create “official immunities” for themselves would allow them to negate the express requirement that “they shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution”… “for any public official to create or assert a purported “official immunity’ for himself or any other official” is itself a violation of his Oath or Affirmation”. Dr. Edwin Vieira.

        There is no statute of limitations on any act that breaks the Oath or Affirmation, or goes against the US Constitution, more importantly every unlawful deed that continues to remain on the books and is not destroyed by those reps who are later elected make them equally guilty of those crimes. As long as harm continues to those who are having those crimes enforced against them makes those reps, etc who let them continue guilty of every act committed.

        1. However, no one needs to follow UN-lawful orders!

          Most of the massacres could have been avoided if the troops just said No when necessary.

  5. I believe every regular duty cop needs to be tased once a week, just so they know and remember what it is like when they decide to tase some 90 year old woman, or a child selling lemonade. f**kem

  6. I should like to point out that the Japanese and Germans both bombed innocent civilians in many countries during the WW2. One of the penalties of leading your country into war against others, provoked or not, is that you place your own people at risk of injury and death. That the Japanese and Germans suffered terrible civilian casualties at the hands of the Allies in bombing raids is a matter of them getting exactly, and more, of what they decided to dish out to their neighbors. Anguish over it, is contrary to what history tells us what happened, and the point that they had it coming. Perhaps you suffer at the realization of all those injuries and deaths, but I do not. Yes, Joe Stalin was an even worse leftist than Hitler, and we helped him win that war. But in time, he and his buds went the way of all flesh, and a lot of the leftists migrated here, or sprang here. If I had my druthers, I would want at least one of these monsters out of the picture, in WW2, for the sake of humanity. In a war to the death like that one, it is much better for your own people to be a winner, than a loser. 6 million Jews, and 20 million Russians would probably agree with me.

    1. Sean,

      Off point but I will address it anyway. I think that strategic bombing was a tremendous mistake for the same reason the French paid for their atrocities and use of torture in Indochina and Algeria. It warps the moral sensibilities of the nations much like the pivotal approval of torture by the USSA at the turn of this century. Once you savage the most innocent and vulnerable in a society and make that policy, the path forward will always ravage any individual liberty and freedom that is left. I disagree with the US entry into WWII or the War to Save Josef Stalin for a variety of reasons and would much rather have seen Stalin and Hitler duke it out until they were both mauled and bloodied where their own respective nations would collapse and not make the world safe for collectivism by backing the Red Horse like FDR did. FDR did that b/c his administration was riven by Communist sympathizers and active agents. Don’t believe it? Check out the Venona transcripts.

      Stalin’s “way of all flesh” took mountains of humans like cordwood with him and helped to rationalize the emergent American national security state that all of us are inmates of now.

      Thanks for the comment.

      (Love the hezekiah homage).

    2. “That the Japanese and Germans suffered terrible civilian casualties at the hands of the Allies in bombing raids is a matter of them getting exactly, and more, of what they decided to dish out to their neighbors.”

      This is very collectivist thinking. The rulers of those countries may have deserved this fate, but most people are so far from being able to influence what the rulers do, that it is strange to say they deserved it. Even those who voted Hitler into power probably had no idea what they were buying; politicians lie, after all.

      Wars happen because the ruling class finds it in their interest to have them.

  7. THIS is unfixable,YOU have very few families with a DAD,and the ones you do have are either peterpans,queers or straight out women in a mans body,EZECHIEL 51:30,go to any college or university and you won’t find a man there,THEIR ALL TRAINED little government monkeys,AMERICA HAS BEEN LOST,you need to be getting your friends and family ready for WAR,the ANTI-CHRIST and his personal little whores are going to attack,DANIEL 8:11/8:12, THERE IS A “RED DAWN” coming and the whole country will be caught with their pants around their ankles,ALL THE WARNING BELLS are ringing,YET no one hears them,its going to be a bloodbath,PUTIN will turn most of America’s cities to radioactive ash,AND THE TRAITORS in the US MILITARY won’t lift a finger to stop it,WE’VE BEEN SOLD OUT,the entire government is ROTTEN to the core,top to bottom,inside and out……….ITS UNFIXABLE……………..

    1. Spell it out, AZ!!!!

      Only, understand this concerning Babylon—

      Jeremiah 50:18
      18 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:
      “I will punish the king of Babylon and his land
          as I punished the king of Assyria.

      Jeremiah 50:27
      Kill all her young bulls; (Her Soldiers/Young Men/Unruley COPS)
          let them go down to the slaughter!
      Woe to them! For their day has come,
          the time for them to be punished.

      Jeremiah 50:30

      Therefore, her young men will fall in the streets; all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,”
      declares the Lord.

      Jeremiah 50:43
      The king of Babylon has heard reports about them, and his hands hang limp. Anguish has gripped him, pain like that of a woman in labor.

      Jeremiah 51:3

      Let not the archer string his bow,
          nor let him put on his armor.
      Do not spare her young men;
          completely destroy her army.

      Jeremiah 51:30

      Babylon’s warriors have stopped fighting;
          they remain in their strongholds.
      Their strength is exhausted;
          they have become WOMEN.

      1. Babylon! Cont’d

        Jeremiah 51:31

        One courier follows another
            and messenger follows messenger
        to announce to the king of Babylon
            that his entire city is captured,

        It is clear from all these Verses that “Babylon” is Caught and Destroyed in a “SURPRISE” Attack. The King of Babylon himself “Pisses in his Pants” (Jer 50:43). And her soldiers Fight to exhaustion – but are cut down.

        I agree completely with your “Red Dawn” assessment. But unerstand that scripture makes clear that there is no Conspiracy amoung the King of Babylon and her Soldiers with the Enemy in the Attack. The King of Babylon and Babylons Soldiers are all taken Completely and Totally by Surprise.
        There ARROGANCE – and not knowing, believing and/or understanding G-ds Word – is causing them to poke the BEAR. The IDIOTS don’t even know that BIBLICALY SPEAKING, the BEAR brings their DEATH/DESTRUCTION!!!
        OBAMA – I believe – is The King of Babylon!!! And now they’ve Pissed Off the Bear, will Piss Himself (Like the Women they are) when hit!

  8. daniel lee morgan

    How does that saying go: crime doesn’t pay, because the government doesn’t like the competition!

    And it must let its subjects know who is in charge! Police are the street soldiers of the state, they look for the easy take down, right or wrong!

    Hey a dead victim can’t fight back, and if you beat him senseless there will always a good reason for it. Like a bad attitude! And there is always a whole bunch more Hyenas to cover his back. Basically gang bangers with state backing!

    1. The police are the standing army the Founding Lawyers warned us about (at least the Anit-Federalists among them).

  9. The basis of the “nanny state” is that people are incompetent to take care of themselves and must be forced if necessary to avoid doing things that might cause them to harm themselves. This is the basis of “The War on Drugs” that has lead to the creation of a police force that is increasingly more like an “army of occupation”. The ideology of this goes back over a century in time, and was a “creation” of the “Progressive Movement” of the early years of the 20th Century. This sort of thinking led to our first drug laws, lead to the idea of “Prohibition”, increasing restrictions on drugs. The creation of prescription laws upon the basis that only physicians were competent to prescribe medicine. Prior to the passage of these laws in 1938, people were free to purchase medical drugs on their own. Or with the assistance of the druggist if necessary. The major benefit of these laws went to physicians, who now had a legal monopoly over access to medical drugs. Currently no prescription can be legally written for more than one year, apparently because the medical profession desires the power to force people to make unnecessary yearly office visits just to get their yearly renewal of their prescription for chronic conditions which are likely to be “lifetime”.

    It is interesting that in some other countries (Mexico is one) the government allows people to buy “over the counter” medications that are “prescription” here in the US. In effect, we here in the US have “less” medical freedom than do people in Mexico!

    Are we still the land of the free? I’d say “NO!” Nor is either of our two major political parties willing to change things…

    1. Jerome,

      Thanks for a great pocket history lesson and this is one of the reasons my bride and I are looking to expat.


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