Best Article / Best Headline on our Rape-Happy Police State

Scott Greenfield wins the award for the best article on the latest incident in our rape-happy police state: A New Low: Vaginal Probes At The Border.

…but Reason magazine wins not just the award for best headline for this particular outrage, but the lifetime award for best headline ever mocking the police state:

Drug Warriors Kidnap and Sexually Assault a Woman After Getting Permission From a Dog. Jacob Sullivan Sullum [ typo! ] wrote the article. I'm not sure if he also wrote the headline, or if that was done by some unnamed Reason intern. If the latter: dude (or dudette): you rock.

Last 5 posts by Clark


  1. ZarroTsu says

    The events taking place in this article are eerily familiar…

    Considering these such things are forced in place to make the public "feel safer", I think it's pretty safe to say that I, as a member of public, don't feel safer with it in place.

    Maybe we should get rid of the Mexican butt-police. A sentence I didn't think I'd ever have to type.

  2. says


    these such things are forced in place to make the public "feel safer",

    Correction: we are told by our betters that the reason these things take place is "to make the public feel safer".

    That may or may not be why they really take place.

    I say this without positing a conspiracy theory; I merely suggest that all systems have incentives in them, and the 20th century American political / economic structure has incentives to (a) employ more and more police stepping on more and more faces, (b) have the police and the political elites explain that this is "to make us safer".

  3. says

    Minor correction: The Reason article was written by Jacob Sullum, not Sullivan. Maybe Jacob Sullivan is the intern who wrote the awesome headline…

    ETA: Yeah I know, the people of Popehat have no tradition of proofreading, but my people have a long and storied tradition of pedantry and nitpicking.

  4. Ann says

    What freaks me out even more is that recent studies suggest that drug dogs aren't trained to alert to the smell of drugs, they're trained to alert when their handlers want them to.

    However, our courts treat dog alerts as magic. Okay, the technical term is sui generis, but the analysis comes out as 'probably right because dogs have magical noses'.

    Unfortunately, completely outrageous false positives are the only way those cases are going to be re-examined with any scientific rigor.

  5. Kristof Provost says

    "The employee also told Ms. Doe that what happened to her was not invasive."

    I hesitate the ask what this person would consider to be invasive.

  6. Matthew Cline says

    Is there any sort of bizarre law or legal precedent that would actually require the Jane Doe to pay the hospital bill?

  7. ULTRAGOTHA says

    The hospital can now turn her over to a debt collection agency and ruin her credit on top of raping her.

  8. Matthew Cline says


    "After the CT scan," the complaint says, "a CBP [Customs and Border Patrol] agent presented Ms. Doe with a choice: she could either sign a medical consent form, despite the fact that she had not consented, in which case CBP would pay for the cost of the searches; or if she refused to sign the consent form, she would be billed for the cost of the searches."

    Is there any law against the government coercing (via the threat of a $5,000 hospital bill) someone into retroactively granting consent? I mean, I hope that's a law against that, but I have the sinking feeling there isn't.

  9. scotts13 says

    I'm sorry to say, if I were Jane Doe, I'd have spent the entire time at the hospital kicking and screaming "rape!" that the top of my lungs. Probably wouldn't have ended well, but at that point you're in the hands of animals and for all you know they'll dissect you next. At least it would (hopefully) give the medical personnel pause for thought.

  10. Robert Q says

    Many kudos and "internets" to the authors of those titles. Nearly lost my morning coffee at the second one :).

    On a tangentially related note, I thought Clark/Ken might be interested in this latest decision from the Supreme Court of Canada:

    Essentially, police are no longer allowed to speak with a lawyer before writing their notes about an incident. The SCC determined allowing that to happen improperly put the private interests of the officer (to justify the action taken) ahead of the officer's public duty.

    While obviously a great step against the "thin blue line" (and a little shocked it was allowed in the first place), the police's objection (taken with as many grains of salt as needed) was framed around the problem of denying the officer his right to counsel.

    If there are two common positions taken on this blog re: LEO's, its that (1) LEO's will (often) do anything to avoid liability for their actions, and (2) people being investigated should not do anything (or have to do anything) without access to counsel. Interestingly, here these two positions were set against each other.


  11. C. S. P. Schofield says

    "I hesitate the ask what this person would consider to be invasive."

    Oh, that's easy! He would consider somebody touching HIS body invasive. HE is a person, SHE is a patient.

    My Lady and I were on and about the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus for five years. In that time we met two pre-meds we would allow to touch us under any circumstances. Two.

    If you have a Doctor who isn't convinced that he is a Naturally Superior Being, treasure him.

  12. Grifter says


    Probably would have just gotten her also a stint in psych–Medical professionals get pretty adept at ignoring the shouting/screaminig people.

  13. Waldo says

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Despicable alleged conduct by the police and doctors. If the allegations are true, I'd want firings and criminal proceedings against the perps.

  14. Tom says

    A bleak running joke in the movie Brazil is that the state charges people for the cost of being tortured. But having just checked the script it's clear that it wasn't bleak enough:

    That is why we always insist on the principle of Information Retrieval Charges. These terrorists are not pulling their weight, and it's absolutely right and fair that those found guilty should pay for their periods of detention and the Information Retrieval Procedures used in their interrogation.

    since in this case those found innocent (a.k.a. "not yet proven guilty") are also required to pay.

  15. AlphaCentauri says

    @Kristof: It's a collision of medical jargon and ordinary English. A procedure is considered "invasive" relative to how it may compromise the body's barriers that protect sterile internal spaces. In medical jargon, surgery is invasive; a physical examination isn't. But a competent doctor should remain attuned to how normal people may misinterpret their jargon and not do things like say, "I feel a thrill" when putting a hand on a woman's left breast during teaching rounds.

  16. says

    Rectal and vaginal exams are considered minimally invasive, but still invasive.

    From Science Daily : "A minimally invasive medical procedure is defined as one that is carried out by entering the body through the skin or through a body cavity or anatomical opening, but with the smallest damage possible to these structures." (

    I'd say that covers the average vaginal exam – remember how the NOW/PP folks were screaming about the requirements for ultrasounds before an abortion because they were invasive and the equivalent of rape?

  17. OrderoftheQuaff says

    If I were a doctor, I'd be afraid to do that on account of retaliation. Sure, I'm pretty safe inside the hospital, but what about my wife and kids? Who knows what this woman, or her husband or other relatives, are capable of?

  18. Junior says

    This is kidnapping and rape, no question. The cops and doctors and nurses and technicials should be indicted for at a minimum rape. Before that they should be fired for cause, as I can't imagine any medical center approves of rape under cover of official business.

    And hell yes they should be thinking of retaliation. I can't imagine a jury that would convict a victim of this behavior if they caught a perpetrator and forced them to have sex with a corn cob.

    This happens all along the southern border, now that I have a vacation place as far south as I could get. I have to worry about getting police raped, now, traveling to and from my winter vacation home. Wonderful! Congratulations!

    Also Too – Good luck monetizing that investment, Junior! Good luck! There's a six digit amount of investment money down the shi–er, where it can never exit from!

  19. Marlene L. says

    Hasn't anyone ever noticed that people who have dogs can usually evoke the same response even from "trained" dogs? I am constantly being approached by dogs who are dying to meet me – dragging their reluctant masters in tow – apparently I have the magic touch. I attribute my popularity to the fact that I own two dogs and they liberally leave their scent and bits of fur all over my clothes – something other dogs can sense even if humans don't know it is there. Does this mean that I should never travel again for fear of this kind of police abuse?