America is more police state than democracy. George
Bush institutionalized it. Obama hardened his abusive practices.
Pervasive at federal, state and local levels. Ferguson, MO symbolizes
what's wrong. Obama's solution:
Downplay Michael Brown's murder. Ignore militarized police repression.
Arm state and local departments nationwide with more weapons than already
supplied. Types used in war theaters.
Militarized America threatens freedom. Turning city streets into battlegrounds.
Washington provides police nationwide with enormous amounts of combat
weapons, related equipment and supplies.
Last June, The New York Times headlined "War Gear Flows to Police Departments,"
"(T)ools of combat (flow freely to) local police departments, often with
little public notice." Since 2006:
• 93,763 machine guns;
• 180,718 magazine cartridges;
• hundreds of silencers;
• an unknown number of grenade launchers;
• at least 533 planes and helicopters;
• hundreds of 432 MRAPs (9-foot high, 30-ton mine-resistant/ ambush-protected
armored vehicles with gun turrets;
• 5,235 Humvees; and
• 44,900 pieces of night vision equipment.
According to The Times, US police departments "already look and act like
Current policy "obscure(s) the lines between soldier and police officer."
In the early 1990s, Congress authorized what's ongoing. Militarizing police.
Giving them more firepower than ever. Turning them into combat units.
For waging war on city streets.
An ACLU report headlined "War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization
of American Police," saying:
"All across the country, heavily armed SWAT teams are raiding people's
homes in the middle of the night, often just to search for drugs."
"It should enrage us that people have needlessly died during these raids,
that pets have been shot, and that homes have been ravaged."
"Our neighborhoods are not war zones, and police officers should not be
treating us like wartime enemies."
"Any yet, every year, billions of dollars worth of military equipment
flows from the federal government to state and local police departments."
"Departments use these wartime weapons in everyday policing, especially
to fight the wasteful and failed drug war, which has unfairly targeted
people of color."
Cops don't serve and protect. They harass, threaten and terrorize ordinary
people. Especially America's most disadvantaged.
Blacks and Latinos. Muslims. Immigrants. Unfairly targeted. At home or
"It's not uncommon for SWAT teams to brutalize bystanders in their search
for a suspect," said the ACLU.
"One family in Atlanta was woken up in the middle of the night when officers
burst into their home and threw a flashbang grenade into the playpen where
a toddler was sleeping."
Things go on commonly seen in ruthlessness dictatorships. Police state
America replicates them. For millions of law-abiding people.
"(W)artime weapons and counter-terrorism strategies mark a shift in the
very nature of policing strategies," said the ACLU.
"If anecdotal (and hard) evidence is any indication, tanks and counter-terrorism
strategies encourage overly aggressive policing."
"SWAT teams have become a key part of increasingly militarized policing
"While only a fraction of SWAT-style raids result in actual charges of
any kind, they often provoke fear, hurt individuals and families, and
result in damages to personal property."
The ACLU estimates from 70,000 to 80,000 so-called "no-knock" raids annually.
An astonishing 192 - 219 times daily across America. Up from around 50,000
2005 raids. About 3,000 in 1981.
Bursting into homes lawlessly. Unaccountably. Unannounced. Often at night.
Terrorizing residents. Including women, children, the elderly and infirm.
The vast majority of US police departments in cities of 50,000 or more
have Police Paramilitary Units (PPUs). Around double the mid-1980s figure.
Growth in smaller communities equally dramatic. Up fourfold since the
Militarizing police has nothing to do with ensuring public safety. Everything
to do with targeting public anger.
Preventing justifiable social upheavals. Crushing them when they erupt.
Licensing police to kill.
Thirdworldizing America. Maintaining inequality. The world's largest gulag
Incarcerating thousands unjustly. Protecting America's ruling class from
beneficial social change.
Locking down greater Boston after the April 2013 Marathon mass casualty
event is an example of harshness to come. Ordinary people went along instead
Benjamin Franklin said "(t)hose who would give up essential liberty to
purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
State-sponsored terrorism defines US policy. Doublespeak duplicity conceals
it. Doublethink manipulates public opinion to ignore inconvenient truths.
Martin Luther King called America "the greatest purveyor of violence in
the world today." Now more than ever. Threatening fundamental freedoms.
Fear-mongering proliferates. Big Lies are weapons of mass deception. Suppressing
People are manipulated to support what harms therm. Nonbelievers targeted
On December 1, Obama appointed Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles
Ramsey and former Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson to co-chair
his Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
Partnership for Civil Justice executive director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard
expressed outrage, saying:
"We were just dumbfounded when we heard they had chosen Chief Ramsey."
A thug by any standard. A serial civil rights violator.
"You'd be hard-pressed to find a more inappropriate choice," she stressed.
Philadelphia's gain is America's loss.
Obama intends instituting his announced policy by executive order. Unilateral
diktat authority. "(T)o promote effective crime reduction while building
public trust," he claimed.
"(D)irecting relevant agencies to work together and with law enforcement
and civil rights and civil liberties organizations to develop specific
recommendations within 120 days."
Bypassing Congress. Militarizing America more than ever. Mocking fundamental
The 1997 fiscal year National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorized
supplying excess military weapons and equipment to state and local police.
The so-called 1033 program.
At least 8,000 law enforcement agencies participate. Receiving billions
of dollars of military hardware since 1997.
As part of Washington's Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services
(DLA) transfer program.
According to DLA, $449 million in 2013 alone. Ferguson unrest drew nationwide
attention to what little was known publicly before.
Including tanks on Ferguson streets. Heavily armed police threatening
Police brutality. Mass arrests. No-fly zone implementation to block helicopter
news coverage. Suspension of First Amendment rights.
MSM malpractice. Misreporting. Censorship. Oversimplifying. Whitewashing
the worst of police violence. Misinformation spread through social media.
Obama's announced multi-agency review is farcical. Intending cosmetic
changes at most.
Saying "I do not want a militarized police culture in America." While
continuing Washington's 1033 program. Militarization writ large.
Turning city streets into battlegrounds. Making America unsafe to live
Obama's way of "fortify(ing) the trust that must exist between law enforcement
officers and the communities they serve."
Trampling on fundamental civil and human rights. Pretense claiming otherwise.
Suppressing police brutality reports.
Obama acknowledged widespread skepticism. Previous discussions and task
forces accomplishished nothing.
"Why is this time different," he asked? "Because the president of the
US is deeply invested," he said.
The same one mocking democratic values. Enforcing police state harshness.
The most secretive administration in US history.
Most repressive. Ruthless. Lawless. Waging war on freedom. Whistleblowers
exposing government wrongdoing.
Journalists doing their job. Immigrants. People of color. Muslims. America's
most disadvantaged. Ordinary people. Terrorizing them.
While waging multiple direct and proxy wars of aggression. Ousting democratically
elected governments. Preventing democracy at home and abroad.
Challenging Russia and China irresponsibly. Recklessly. Risking global
war. Humanity's survival. Madness defines US policy.
As head of state, Obama bears full responsibility. Big Lies conceal his
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine:
US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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