Now, plenty of people are blasting the psychotic fascists for their behavior, and rightly so. I'm guessing you don't need me to tell you that what happened to the woman was bad. (Duh.) However, one thing about the story jumped out at me, and it may be something that most people won't consider.
The woman's horrible sin of taking a picture of a retired helicopter was, as the story says, so she could use the image on her "support the troops" web page. Of course, plenty of people will notice the irony of her patriotism leading to her being treated as a criminal and a terrorist. But I have a slightly different take.
Here we have an American, going about her life in America, not harming or threatening anyone, or even breaking any "law." And the unthinking American jackboots, who pretend to be acting on behalf of the American "government," assault, detain and torment this American. In America.
I don't mean to kick her while she's down, but I wonder if the thought has yet occurred to this woman that had she been a foreigner, in a foreign land, being accosted by American troops--those troops she so proudly supports (or at least used to)--she would probably have fared a lot worse than she did. Or does she imagine that when American mercenaries are accosting foreigners, in foreign lands, the agents of "authority" are nicer, and show more respect for individual rights, and are more courtesy and reasonable? Does she still assume, as so many Americans are determined to assume, that American soldiers only accost and assault bad people?
To be fair, allow me to add a confession. Many years ago I used to have F.O.P. and Sheriff's Department stickers on my car, as a big supporter of "law enforcement." I imagined, based upon my nationalistic, authoritarian indoctrination, that cops were the good guys. Oh, and I "supported the troops," too. Because I was still laboring under the delusion that soldiers and police are there to serve the people, protect the innocent, and stop the nasty people. (Don't laugh too loud, because I bet you once thought that, too!)
Now that she has survived her ordeal, and apparently all the idiotic charges against her have been dismissed, I wonder if the woman will rethink her view of those who carry out the will of the American "government." Or will she continue to imagine that supporting unthinking, authoritarian, control-freak mercenaries--I mean "supporting the troops"--is still a good thing to do?
(P.P.S. Come to think of it, if anyone has an address where I could send a free copy of the book to the woman who was accosted by fascists for taking a picture of a dead helicopter, I'd be happy to do that, too. It seems that coming face to face with authoritarian thuggery does help some people to reconsider their belief systems.)