Submitted by November Yankee
The manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects offered the nation a window into the stunning military-style capabilities of local law enforcement agencies. For the past 30 years, police departments in the United States have benefited from the government’s largess in the form of military weaponry and training, and incentives offered in the ongoing “War on Drugs.” For the average citizen watching events such as the intense pursuit of the Tsarnaev brothers on television, it is difficult to discern between fully outfitted police SWAT teams and the military.
The North Hollywood Shootout of 1997 is often touted by police as the reason behind the militarization of their forces. In that incident police engaged two bank robbers heavily armed with military-grade machine guns, and armored from head to toe in military-grade bullet-resistant Kevlar. The robbers were eventually killed, and though several officers were injured, there were no other deaths. Nonetheless, this became a rallying point to arm not only SWAT teams and regular patrol officers with military-grade weaponry.
The militarization of police has not been limited to pistols and rifles. Some of this has been more subtle and psychological, such as new uniforms. Police have traditionally worn a blue uniform, usually with a tie, shined shoes, conveying a respectable and formal appearance. Today that trend has been broken, and police have donned military-style tactical apparel, in an intimidating black color. While one may not see this shift in styling as a major concern per se, it reflects the shift in the mindset of police, from public servant, to militant occupier. This is a shift wherein the police now no longer see a public to be served, but a public to be controlled.
This mindset of an undeclared guerrilla war being played out on the streets of America has led to extravagant spending by police departments on military-grade hardware. This is particularly true in the post-9/11 era, where the public has been duped out of freedoms and tax dollars under the guise of “protecting the homeland” from Muslim fanatics. This is despite the fact that an American citizen is 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist.
In one instance, a man armed only with a golf-club was shot dead by police executing a search warrant targeting a woman they knew had already moved out of the home. They went ahead with the no-knock raid anyway, and shot this man dead in the process. (See video – Dead Bang: Man Shot Dead By Home Invaders).
While some view these types of situations as isolated incidents, incidents like this will happen more frequently as police try to justify their budgets for increased spending on everything from new cruisers every year to military-grade tanks and armored vehicles. In another instance, police stormed a neighborhood with snipers and a tank to evict old lady. It is not uncommon that police now frequently apply military-grade force is applied for mundane and run-of-the-mill police situations.
The Results of the SWAT Transparency Bill have been disturbing. The problem also goes beyond local police departments. Since 9/11, we now have the Department of Homeland Security, reminiscent of the Gestapo national police force. DHS is both a domestic spying apparatus, and a showcase for military hardware in civilian dress. It’s not just new agencies, or regular police departments that are getting paramilitary upgrades. Government agencies that should have nothing to do with law enforcement are increasingly armed. (More here – Why does the Department of Education need a SWAT team?)
In Boston, we saw our first widely publicized instance of martial law in the United States. Not only were the police and Federal agents fully-equipped with heavy military-grade equipment, they were acting in direct violation of the 4th Amendment. (More here – Families Ripped From Homes By Police In Watertown).
Some Americans were shocked by this vulgar display of paramilitary might. Sadly, there were many Americans who cheered the triumph of martial law, even in its failure to locate the suspect who purportedly justified this violent invasion. Thanks to propaganda and the lobotomy of social consciousness, all too many Americans would echo a, “If You’re Not a Terrorist…Prove It” type sentiment.
The lines blurred even further Monday as a new dynamic was introduced to the militarization of domestic law enforcement. By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled “Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies,” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.
The most objectionable aspect of the regulatory change is the inclusion of vague language that permits military intervention in the event of “civil disturbances.” The rule provides that federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances.
Bruce Afran, a civil liberties attorney and constitutional law professor at Rutgers University, calls the rule, “a wanton power grab by the military,” and says, “It’s quite shocking actually because it violates the long-standing presumption that the military is under civilian control.”
A defense official who declined to be named takes a different view of the rule, claiming, “The authorization has been around over 100 years; it’s not a new authority. It’s been there but it hasn’t been exercised. This is a carryover of domestic policy.” Moreover, he insists the Pentagon doesn’t “want to get involved in civilian law enforcement. It’s one of those red lines that the military hasn’t signed up for.” Nevertheless, he says, “every person in the military swears an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States to defend that Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.”
Sadly enough, the “presumption” of the constitutional law professor is false, and the unnamed defense official is correct. The military is not under civilian control, and has not been for roughly 150 years. Specifically, the authorization is called General Orders No. 100: The Lieber Code,
…which reads in part…
“1. A place, district, or country occupied by an enemy stands, in consequence of the occupation, under the martial law of the invading or occupying army, whether any proclamation declaring martial law, or any public warning to the inhabitants, has been issued or not. Martial law is the immediate and direct effect and consequence of occupation or conquest.
The presence of a hostile army proclaims its martial law.
2. Martial law does not cease during the hostile occupation, except by special proclamation, ordered by the commander-in-chief, or by special mention in the treaty of peace concluding the war, when the occupation of a place or territory continues beyond the conclusion of peace as one of the conditions of the same.
3. Martial law in a hostile country consists in the suspension by the occupying military authority of the criminal and civil law, and of the domestic administration and government in the occupied place or territory, and in the substitution of military rule and force for the same, as well as in the dictation of general laws, as far as military necessity requires this suspension, substitution, or dictation.
The commander of the forces may proclaim that the administration of all civil and penal law shall continue either wholly or in part, as in times of peace, unless otherwise ordered by the military authority.”
The military is already prepared to start rounding up American citizens. (More here – New Military Transport Raises Concerns).The militarization of our local police forces is not simply a by-product of the times we live in. When you understand the real laws, when you understand history, you see that the local police are acting under the authority of the military, as a proxy.
Through revisionist history taught to us in classrooms and school books, the Civil War has been idealized as some great volcanic movement of freedom against racial oppressors. Even though it took another century after that for black folk to actually get civil rights, we are taught that the Civil War was all about liberating slaves.
They say that history is written by the victor, and the Civil War is no exception. The Civil War had nothing to do with freeing the slaves. The Emancipation Proclamation was a tactic of economic warfare against the rebellious Confederacy, it had nothing to do with equality for blacks.
“I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.” -Abraham Lincoln, 1858
“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it.” -Abraham Lincoln, 1862
So what was the Civil War really about then? The same thing that most rebellions are born of – a rejection of tyranny and oppression. In that instance, it was a confederation of states who rejected Federal authority over the sovereignty of independent states.
And from those days to this, the United States has existed, not as a Constitutional Republic, but under a declared state of martial law.
The preceding compilation contains excerpts from an article from Before It’s News.
|Military Troops Patrol Grand Central Terminal After 9/11|