Militarization of U.S. police?Police across the country are using military-grade arms and equipment left over from U.S. wars. CNN's Brian Todd reports.youtube.com 2:28 1 year ago
I showed a video not long ago with an angry protester simply walking up to police shouting 'arrest me' with the officer unloading so much pepper spray onto this protester's face that it was streaming down like a faucet. Everyone knows that much pepper spray in the face can kill---AS DID THAT OFFICER----that officer did not care------he felt impunity ------and this is how we get ordinary people dying from a police encounter. THIS IS NOT CONSTITUTIONAL---IT IS THIRD WORLD.
I shared the article of a community in Baltimore alarmed by a tear gas drill by Baltimore County police where gas simply diffused into the air and blew over a community. People could feel the effects blocks away----now, imagine if you are a protester having tear gas thrown right in front of you----how harmful that is.
SWAT teams have always had a place in US policing when hostages were involved or bombs were involved====never against people exercising constitutional rights and or simple criminal activity.
THESE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS ARE ALREADY WELL ON THEIR WAY TO BEING GLOBAL SECURITY CONTRACTORS.
The American people need to look at the post from yesterday that listed the International Economic Zones around the nation and understand what Trans Pacific Trade Pact seeks to allow happen in those 'economic zones'-----all US Constitutional rights and laws ignored by global corporations operating in the US. That is just what happened through Bush/Obama with this massive fraud of the US Treasury and people's pockets----they were playing by International Economic Zone-----TPP rules. From the SMART CITY technology where every movement can be tracked----to the American people being told THEY NEED TO BE CAREFUL AROUND POLICE OFFICERS AND DO WHAT THEY ARE TOLD EVEN IF IT IS ILLEGAL.
The Militarization of U.S. Police: Finally Dragged Into the Light by the Horrors of Ferguson
Aug. 14 2014, 8:40 a.m. The Intercept
The intensive militarization of America’s police forces is a serious menace about which a small number of people have been loudly warning for years, with little attention or traction. In a 2007 paper on “the blurring distinctions between the police and military institutions and between war and law enforcement,” the criminal justice professor Peter Kraska defined “police militarization” as “the process whereby civilian police increasingly draw from, and pattern themselves around, the tenets of militarism and the military model.”
The harrowing events of the last week in Ferguson, Missouri – the fatal police shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager, Mike Brown, and the blatantly excessive and thuggish response to ensuing community protests from a police force that resembles an occupying army – have shocked the U.S. media class and millions of Americans. But none of this is aberrational.
It is the destructive by-product of several decades of deliberate militarization of American policing, a trend that received a sustained (and ongoing) steroid injection in the form of a still-flowing, post-9/11 federal funding bonanza, all justified in the name of “homeland security.” This has resulted in a domestic police force that looks, thinks, and acts more like an invading and occupying military than a community-based force to protect the public.
As is true for most issues of excessive and abusive policing, police militarization is overwhelmingly and disproportionately directed at minorities and poor communities, ensuring that the problem largely festers in the dark. Americans are now so accustomed to seeing police officers decked in camouflage and Robocop-style costumes, riding in armored vehicles and carrying automatic weapons first introduced during the U.S. occupation of Baghdad, that it has become normalized. But those who bear the brunt of this transformation are those who lack loud megaphones; their complaints of the inevitable and severe abuse that results have largely been met with indifference.
If anything positive can come from the Ferguson travesties, it is that the completely out-of-control orgy of domestic police militarization receives long-overdue attention and reining in.
Photo credit: Jeff Roberson/AP
Last night, two reporters, The Washington Post‘s Wesley Lowery and The Huffington Post‘s Ryan Reilly, were arrested and assaulted while working from a McDonald’s in Ferguson. The arrests were arbitrary and abusive, and received substantial attention — only because of their prominent platforms, not, as they both quickly pointed out upon being released, because there was anything unusual about this police behavior.
Reilly, on Facebook, recounted how he was arrested by “a Saint Louis County police officer in full riot gear, who refused to identify himself despite my repeated requests, purposefully banged my head against the window on the way out and sarcastically apologized.” He wrote: “I’m fine. But if this is the way these officers treat a white reporter working on a laptop who moved a little too slowly for their liking, I can’t imagine how horribly they treat others.” He added: “And if anyone thinks that the militarization of our police force isn’t a huge issue in this country, I’ve got a story to tell you.”
Lowery, who is African-American, tweeted a summary of an interview he gave on MSNBC: “If I didn’t work for the Washington Post and were just another Black man in Ferguson, I’d still be in a cell now.” He added: “I knew I was going to be fine. But the thing is, so many people here in Ferguson don’t have as many Twitter followers as I have and don’t have Jeff Bezos or whoever to call and bail them out of jail.”
The best and most comprehensive account of the dangers of police militarization is the 2013 book by the libertarian Washington Post journalist Radley Balko, entitled “Rise of the Warrior Cops: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces.” Balko, who has devoted his career to documenting and battling the worst abuses of the U.S. criminal justice system, traces the history and underlying mentality that has given rise to all of this: the “law-and-order” obsessions that grew out of the social instability of the 1960s, the War on Drugs that has made law enforcement agencies view Americans as an enemy population, the Reagan-era “War on Poverty” (which was more aptly described as a war on America’s poor), the aggressive Clinton-era expansions of domestic policing, all topped off by the massively funded, rights-destroying, post-9/11 security state of the Bush and Obama years. All of this, he documents, has infused America’s police forces with “a creeping battlefield mentality.”
I read Balko’s book prior to publication in order to blurb it, and after I was done, immediately wrote what struck me most about it: “There is no vital trend in American society more overlooked than the militarization of our domestic police forces.” The Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim, in the outlet’s official statement about Reilly’s arrest, made the same point: “Police militarization has been among the most consequential and unnoticed developments of our time.”
In June, the ACLU published a crucial 96-page report on this problem, entitled “War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing.” Its central point: “the United States today has become excessively militarized, mainly through federal programs that create incentives for state and local police to use unnecessarily aggressive weapons and tactics designed for the battlefield.”
The report documents how the Drug War and (Clinton/Biden) 1990s crime bills laid the groundwork for police militarization, but the virtually unlimited flow of “homeland security” money after 9/11 all but forced police departments to purchase battlefield equipment and other military paraphernalia whether they wanted them or not. Unsurprisingly, like the War on Drugs and police abuse generally, “the use of paramilitary weapons and tactics primarily impacted people of color.”
Some police departments eagerly militarize, but many recognize the dangers. Salt Lake City police chief Chris Burbank is quoted in the ACLU report: “We’re not the military. Nor should we look like an invading force coming in.” A 2011 Los Angeles Times article, noting that “federal and state governments are spending about $75 billion a year on domestic security,” described how local police departments receive so much homeland security money from the U.S. government that they end up forced to buy battlefield equipment they know they do not need: from armored vehicles to Zodiac boats with side-scan sonar.
The trend long pre-dates 9/11, as this 1997 Christian Science Monitor article by Jonathan Landay about growing police militarization and its resulting abuses (“Police Tap High-Tech Tools of Military to Fight Crime”) makes clear. Landay, in that 17-year-old article, described “an infrared scanner mounted on [a police officer’s] car [that] is the same one used by US troops to hunt Iraqi forces in the Gulf war,” and wrote: “it is symbolic of an increasing use by police of some of the advanced technologies that make the US military the world’s mightiest.”
But the security-über-alles fixation of the 9/11 era is now the driving force. A June article in the New York Times by Matt Apuzzo (“War Gear Flows to Police Departments”) reported that “during the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.” He added: “The equipment has been added to the armories of police departments that already look and act like military units.”
All of this has become such big business, and is grounded in such politically entrenched bureaucratic power, that it is difficult to imagine how it can be uprooted. As the LA Times explained:
An entire industry has sprung up to sell an array of products, including high-tech motion sensors and fully outfitted emergency operations trailers. The market is expected to grow to $31 billion by 2014.
Like the military-industrial complex that became a permanent and powerful part of the American landscape during the Cold War, the vast network of Homeland Security spyware, concrete barricades and high-tech identity screening is here to stay. The Department of Homeland Security, a collection of agencies ranging from border control to airport security sewn quickly together after Sept. 11, is the third-largest Cabinet department and — with almost no lawmaker willing to render the U.S. less prepared for a terrorist attack — one of those least to fall victim to budget cuts.The dangers of domestic militarization are both numerous and manifest. To begin with, as the nation is seeing in Ferguson, it degrades the mentality of police forces in virtually every negative way and subjects their targeted communities to rampant brutality and unaccountable abuse. The ACLU report summarized: “excessive militarism in policing, particularly through the use of paramilitary policing teams, escalates the risk of violence, threatens individual liberties, and unfairly impacts people of color.”
Police militarization also poses grave and direct dangers to basic political liberties, including rights of free speech, press and assembly. The first time I wrote about this issue was back in 2008 when I covered the protests outside the GOP national convention in St. Paul for Salon, and was truly amazed by the war-zone atmosphere deliberately created by the police:
St. Paul was the most militarized I have ever seen an American city be, even more so than Manhattan in the week of 9/11 — with troops of federal, state and local law enforcement agents marching around with riot gear, machine guns, and tear gas cannisters, shouting military chants and marching in military formations. Humvees and law enforcement officers with rifles were posted on various buildings and balconies. Numerous protesters and observers were tear gassed and injured.
The same thing happened during the Occupy Wall Street protests of 2011: the police response was so excessive, and so clearly modeled after battlefield tactics, that there was no doubt that deterring domestic dissent is one of the primary aims of police militarization. About that police response, I wrote at the time:
Law enforcement officials and policy-makers in America know full well that serious protests — and more — are inevitable given the economic tumult and suffering the U.S. has seen over the last three years (and will continue to see for the foreseeable future). . . .
The reason the U.S. has para-militarized its police forces is precisely to control this type of domestic unrest, and it’s simply impossible to imagine its not being deployed in full against a growing protest movement aimed at grossly and corruptly unequal resource distribution. As Madeleine Albright said when arguing for U.S. military intervention in the Balkans: “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” That’s obviously how governors, big-city Mayors and Police Chiefs feel about the stockpiles of assault rifles, SWAT gear, hi-tech helicopters, and the coming-soon drone technology lavished on them in the wake of the post/9-11 Security State explosion, to say nothing of the enormous federal law enforcement apparatus that, more than anything else, resembles a standing army which is increasingly directed inward.
Most of this militarization has been justified by invoking Scary Foreign Threats — primarily the Terrorist — but its prime purpose is domestic.
Police militarization is increasingly aimed at stifling journalism as well. Like the arrests of Lowery and Reilly last night, Democracy Now‘s Amy Goodman and two of her colleagues were arrested while covering the 2008 St. Paul protests. As Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation (on whose board I sit) explained yesterday, militarization tactics “don’t just affect protesters, but also affect those who cover the protest. It creates an environment where police think they can disregard the law and tell reporters to stop filming, despite their legal right to do so, or fire tear gas directly at them to prevent them from doing their job. And if the rights of journalists are being trampled on, you can almost guarantee it’s even worse for those who don’t have such a platform to protect themselves.”
Ultimately, police militarization is part of a broader and truly dangerous trend: the importation of War on Terror tactics from foreign war zones onto American soil. American surveillance drones went from Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia into American cities, and it’s impossible to imagine that they won’t be followed by weaponized ones. The inhumane and oppressive conditions that prevailed at Guantanamo are matched, or exceeded, by the super-max hellholes and “Communications Management Units” now in the American prison system. And the “collect-it-all” mentality that drives NSA domestic surveillance was pioneered by Gen. Keith Alexander in Baghdad and by other generals in Afghanistan, aimed at enemy war populations.
Indeed, much of the war-like weaponry now seen in Ferguson comes from American laws, such as the so-called “Program 1033,” specifically designed to re-direct excessive Pentagon property – no longer needed as foreign wars wind down – into American cities. As the Missouri Department of Public Safety proudly explains on its website, “the 1033 Program provides surplus DoD military equipment to state and local civilian law enforcement agencies for use in counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism operations, and to enhance officer safety.”
One government newsletter – from “the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO), a little known federal agency that equips police departments with surplus military gear” – boasted that “Fiscal Year 2011 was a record year in property transfers from the US military’s stockpiles to police departments around the nation.” The ACLU report notes: “the Department of Defense operates the 1033 Program through the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA) Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO), whose motto is ‘from warfighter to crimefighter.'” The Justice Department has an entire program devoted to “supporting military veterans and the law enforcement agencies that hire them as our veterans seek to transition into careers as law enforcement officers.”
As part of America’s posture of Endless War, Americans have been trained to believe that everything is justified on the “battlefield” (now defined to mean “the whole world”): imprisonment without charges, kidnapping, torture, even assassination of U.S. citizens without trials. It is not hard to predict the results of importing this battlefield mentality onto American soil, aimed at American citizens: “From Warfighter to Crimefighter.” The results have been clear for those who have looked – or those who have been subject to this – for years. The events in Ferguson are, finally, forcing all Americans to watch the outcome of this process.
We need to step back from individual US cities like Baltimore for a second to see the roll global US military and security corporations have been playing around these international economic zones in Asia and Eastern Europe to understand what these global leaders are now bringing back to the US. There was a movie made a few decades ago that addressed this and it was made very public that Hillary's State Department was ignoring what it knew was happening with the global military/security contracting corporations partnered with US military and State Department. Besides being caught breaking every International law surrounding military engagement----employees of global military corporations were known to be involved in human trafficing-----drug trafficing----tied very closely to global organized crime. It soared under Bush and now Obama-----with Hillary joining the privatization Bill Clinton placed on steroids.
THESE GLOBAL CORPORATE MILITARY AND SECURITY CONTRACTORS HAVE ACTED WITH IMPUNITY OF INTERNATIONAL AND US LAW FOR DECADES AND NOW THEY ARE BRINGING THEM TO OUR COMMUNITIES.
This is why we are encountering people that have absolutely no connection to Rule of Law or being community civil servants. THEY WORK FOR GLOBAL CORPORATE TRIBUNALS.
Not every police officer or fire fighter falls into this category----the process is simply soaring with this as the goal.
Below you see human trafficing can mean female prostitution or sex slaves----it can mean drug trafficing-----or it can be a global corporation that pays these contractors to abduct people from developing nations to forcibly work in a FOXCONN factory somewhere in the world.
These global corporation were made rich through defense industry and overseas development funding fraud----and they do not care.
The list of nations using slave labor and human trafficing are of course the neo-liberal Asian nations with US global corporate FOXCONN sweat shops-----and militarized police and security goes right with this.
THESE ARE THE GLOBAL CORPORATIONS THEY WANT TO BRING BACK TO THE US TO OPERATE AS THEY DID OVERSEAS AND BALTIMORE IS GROUND ZERO.
'The Risk of Forced Labor To Business
U.K. risk analysis firm Maplecroft, now highlights the risk to business in its annual reports: in 2011 countries “vital” to the supply chains of multinationals – China, India, Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Bangladesh, and the Philippines -- were named “extreme risks” to business for their high incidence of forced labor'.
Call me crazy but Obama's task force to fight all this human trafficing and slave labor abuse by US global corporations overseas is the same group of executives enriched from all this slave labor. This is all kabuki theater AND AN INSULT. When California leads the nation in loading its state with these global corporations and then pretends it is going to hold them accountable----WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT FOR ONE SECOND!
Modern-Day Slavery and Human Trafficking: Is Business Ready to Face Up to It?
Recent government actions in the United States on human rights appear to be finally changing the climate for business action.
Submitted by: Joanne Bauer
Posted: Jan 14, 2013 – 08:05 AM EST
By Joanne Bauer
For far too long businesses have ignored the risk of forced labor in corporate supply chains -- a situation that reflects the failure not just of business, but of society at large to confront the inconvenient truth of modern day slavery. But at last we may be beginning to see a change.
The facts are knowable: courageous groups like Anti-Slavery International have sounded the alarm since the organization’s founding nearly 175 years ago, its history of activities punctuated by the campaign to lay bare the atrocities of slavery in Belgium King Leopold’s brutal regime in the “Congo Free State.”
Modern Corporations Implicated in SlaveryIn the late 20th century, truth seekers began pulling back the curtain on the involvement of some of today’s most highly respected auto makers – Volkswagen [XETRA: VOW.DE], Ford [NYSE: F] and GM [NYSE: GM]- in the Third Reich’s enslavement of millions of Jews and Polish people forced to produce in its munitions factories.
The first corporate-defended lawsuit under the US Alien Tort Statute, Doe v Unocal, ended in a settlement for the victims: among the alleged crimes was forced labor of villagers in the construction of the Yadana gas pipeline by the Burmese military junta in providing security for the oil giants, Unocal and Total.
In 2006 it was discovered that slave labor in Brazil was being used to make the pig iron that ends up in Ford, Nissan [NYSE: NISSAN.NS], GM and Toyota [NYSE: TM] cars as well as Whirlpool [NYSE: WHR] and Kohler products. Most recently, Ikea made a public apology after it was discovered that in the mid-1980s, the Swedish furniture maker relied upon East German prison labor to “keep its prices low.”
The ILO Sets The StandardThe International Labor Organization officially recognized the problem back in 1930 with the enactment of the Forced Labor Convention (No 29) and again in 1957 with the Abolition of Forced Labor Convention (No. 105). Despite the gravity of the issue, the ILO remained alone among international institutions in calling attention to it.
In 1998, with the passage of the ILO Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the prohibition on forced labor was made one of the four core labor standards. In 2001, the ILO issued its first Global Report [PDF] on the problem, drawing attention to not only its extent, but a newly understood dimension: the crime of human trafficking.
Forced labor is defined as any work or service that a person is forced to do against his or her will under threat of punishment. The ILO estimates that today as many as 21 million people are victims of forced labor.
The Risk of Forced Labor To BusinessU.K. risk analysis firm Maplecroft, now highlights the risk to business in its annual reports: in 2011 countries “vital” to the supply chains of multinationals – China, India, Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Bangladesh, and the Philippines -- were named “extreme risks” to business for their high incidence of forced labor.
Then why has business paid so little attention?
One answer is that supply chain audits rarely turn up the problem: auditors tend to identify and address specific violations – delayed payment of wages, long hours, etc. – without seeing forced labor. Moreover, audits – merely a snapshot of the situation at a point of time -- and standard geographic risk management tools are inadequate to address the global, cross-border nature of human trafficking that accompanies modern day slavery. And then there’s the hidden nature of forced labor, which often takes place several steps down the value chain.
Forced Labor: Government InitiativesThese problems could be addressed with better monitoring tools. Yet, better monitoring brings increased chances of finding forced labor, a finding possibly too repugnant for the public to forgive. The delay in creating and using those tools is no doubt in part linked with business fears of reputational damage stemming from what better monitoring might turn up.
Recent government actions in the United States on the issue appear to be finally changing the climate for business action. Exactly a year ago the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act went into effect, mandating that companies that do business in California post on their websites what policies and practices they have in place to address human trafficking in their supply chains. Following on the heels of the passage of the Dodd-Frank provisions for reporting on conflict minerals, the Act represented a rare victory for human rights group in gaining a means to hold companies accountable.
And last September President Obama announced steps the government would take to “redouble” its efforts to combat forced labor and human trafficking, including an executive order that strengthens prohibitions against human-trafficking related activities in federal contracts. Notably, the speech, in which Obama referred to human trafficking as “an outrage” and nothing more than “modern slavery,” was made before business executives attending the Clinton Global Initiative Summit.
While neither initiative goes far enough, each demonstrates the critical importance of government action in not only setting out mandatory requirements for socially responsible business, but in shining a spotlight on morally repugnant issues like forced labor and defining them as a problem to be reckoned with.
Investor, NGO and Business Initiatives Against Forced LaborAccording to the Institute for Human Rights and Business, combating forced labor and human trafficking is one of top ten business and human rights issues for 2013. And we’ve seen it coming. In 2010, feature film The Whistleblower debuted about sex trafficking during the Bosnia peacekeeping mission, a devastating portrayal of institutionalized atrocities within the very body that is supposed to protect human rights. (It is said that this film was the spark that ignited the Obama Administration’s resolve to eradicate forced labor in connection with government contracts.)
For the past several years faith-based investors Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS) and Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, have used the opportunities of the World Cup and other large sporting events to encourage the hotel sector to take steps to prevent human trafficking, including pledging to follow a code of conduct developed by the anti-trafficking group, ECPAT.
In 2011 the organization, Verite, which has made forced labor and human trafficking a key focus of its work with companies, launched its “fair hiring” website and toolkit, “to help direct the many stakeholder groups with the questions needed to ask and steps needed to take in order to eradicate forced labor and slavery in supply chains.”
CNN launched its Freedom Project to shed light on the problem. That same year the International Labor Rights Forum launched its Free2Work app, which helps consumers evaluate the efforts of brands to address forced labor and child labor. That complemented the work of another newly launched initiative, the Slavery Footprint.
And this past November, the newly elected president of the American Bar Association, Laurel Bellows, announced that human trafficking will be a major focus. She has created a task force on human trafficking, which among other activities will develop best practices for companies to eradicate human trafficking.
Now we’re beginning to see the evidence in the business sector.
Alongside his executive order, Obama announced four business initiatives: the Global Business Coalition Against Trafficking; the US Travel Association’s anti-trafficking toolkit; the Goldman Sachs Foundation-sponsored research partnership with Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Advisory Council on Child Trafficking, focused on prevention of child sex trafficking and treatment of survivors; and the Made in a Free World initiative, to help buyers and suppliers eliminate human trafficking in their supply chains.
And just before the close of 2012, Virgin Group’s Richard Branson and Australia-based Fortescue Metals’ Andrew Forrest launched a campaign in Yangon, Burma to urge leading global companies to join a voluntary initiative to eradicate forced labor.
At last, business – and society – appears ready to face the issue. Let’s hope for the sake of vulnerable workers around the world that 2013 brings results.
I cannot shout loud enough that Blackwater is Bush/Cheney and is now partnered with Clinton and Bill Gates through a merger with Monsanto-----so this global corporation did not disappear---it simply became different military/security contractors that are now being given Federal and state contracts to be these community policing and security corporations. They are known to still be bad characters and acting with impunity. As you see no legal actions held against what are horrific crimes.
THESE ARE THE MILITARY TRAINERS----THE CORPORATIONS PROVIDING EMPLOYEES TO PRIVATE POLICING CONTRACTORS HERE IN THE US AND IN OUR CITIES.
There is no intent by Obama or any Clinton neo-liberal pol to hold these corporations accountable as they bring them to the US-----
the accountability would be not to ALLOW THEM INTO THE US.
Obama has super-sized the privatization of US military to these global military corporations----he has made the US military almost all mercenary and added no oversight and accountability. The Federal government IS CONTRACTING TO THESE GLOBAL MILITARY CORPORATIONS TO COME TO THE US -----and women are feeling a soaring of sexual abuse with the neo-liberal ignoring by Federalism Act of Equal Rights and Equal Protection laws.
HOW DO YOU BRING THESE GLOBAL MILITARY AND SECURITY CORPORATIONS INTO OUR COMMUNITIES AND THEN SAY YOU ARE GOING TO HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE WHEN YOUR WHOLE ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN ABOUT DISMANTLING ALL FEDERAL AGENCIES AND OVERSIGHT ESPECIALLY IN THE US JUSTICE DEPARTMENT?
Johns Hopkins in Baltimore is ground zero for international human trafficing and Obama is tied to Hopkins and its neo-conservative policies like a fly on rice! Obama's team for research on trafficing-----Goldman Sachs and Johns Hopkins.....the FOXCONN twins driving human trafficing.
Blackwater informants reveal sex trafficking and more
- published: 09 Aug 2009 You Tube
When I see Clinton neo-liberal social media outlets making fun of Republican Tea Party voters shouting loudly against what we all know are more than simply US military training as they are training our community police officers.....I see neo-liberals as the source of all this militarized policing along with neo-cons. Republicans are mad as heck with loss of Constitutional enforcement and accountability in their communities as Democrats are silent about who is behind all the police brutality. This article was written for a Republican media outlet fighting the attack on our US Constitution by Obama and Clinton neo-liberals....and they out Bush neo-cons for the same.
CLINTON/OBAMA NEO-LIBERALS DOING THE SAME THING AS BUSH NEO-CONS LIKE JOHNS HOPKINS.
I shared a list of military contractors and the cities tying their police force with them-----Philadelphia and Baltimore are two. When I hear a Baltimore City pol----BRANDON SCOTT----respond to the police van rough ride as part of the coverup of Freddie Gray's death say the solution is handing our police training to private corporations-----AS WE KNOW THEY ALREADY DO-----and then have leaders in the city calling Brandon Scott a pol working for the communities----
THIS IS WHERE INFORMATION AND EDUCATION BREAK DOWN. YES, ALL BALTIMORE CITY COUNCIL POLS ARE TIED TO PRIVATIZING THE POLICE FORCE AND THESE MILITARY CONTRACTORS NO MATTER HOW GOOD COP THEY ACT.
This didn't just start in Baltimore-----
Friday, 24 January 2014 Secret Military Training Blurs Line Between Police and Soldiers Written by Joe Wolverton, II, J.D. The New American
As the military transitions into a tech-heavy force, increasingly reliant on robots and drones, local police forces are looking less like law enforcement and more like heavily armored combat units. Now, it seems they are starting to train like them, as well.
A story published by The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, reported on recent secret joint training missions between U.S. Army special forces and the Richland County (South Carolina) Sheriff’s Department.
The article describes training exercises being conducted by “unidentified units” from Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. Ft. Bragg is the home of the elite U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) and the super-secret, super-deadly Delta Force.
A spokesman for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department refused to identify who was participating in the exercise or why it was being carried out. The department did, however, issue a press release, warning that the war games could get loud. "Citizens may see military and departmental vehicles traveling in and around rural and metropolitan areas and may hear ordnance being set off or fired which will be simulated/blanks and controlled by trained personnel," it declared.
As for why such combat simulations were necessary, the statement explained that they were a result of “Sheriff Leon Lott's longstanding commitment to making sure that deputies are trained and prepared for every event and potential threat and his desire to assist the military to ensure their preparations.”
This synthesis of police and military is a threat to both civil liberty and a clear distinction between the purposes of the two organizations. The integration has progressed so far, though, that even the mainstream press is taking notice.
In an essay published in the Wall Street Journal last August, Radley Balko, author of the Rise of the Warrior Cop, presented chilling and convincing evidence of the blurring of the line between cop and soldier:
Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment — from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers — American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop — armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.
Balko rightly connects the menace of the martial police with the decline in liberty and a disintegration of legal boundaries between sheriffs and generals:
Americans have long been wary of using the military for domestic policing. Concerns about potential abuse date back to the creation of the Constitution, when the founders worried about standing armies and the intimidation of the people at large by an overzealous executive, who might choose to follow the unhappy precedents set by Europe's emperors and monarchs.
Given the critical role played by sheriffs in the protection of constitutionally guaranteed liberty, it is dismaying to read story after story describing the anxious acceptance — and occasionally the full-time petitioning — of military materiel by county lawmen.
It’s not just the conversion from cop to “warfighter” that is changing the landscape of law enforcement in America, however.
As The New American has chronicled, the Department of Homeland Security has their hooks in the precinct and sheriff’s department, as well.
Even the Richland County Sheriff’s Department’s own website helps explain to citizens its “critical role” in preventing terrorist attacks:
As we are often reminded by events across America and around the world, disaster can strike at any time. Terrorism in its many forms, weather and other natural disasters, and accidental emergencies are regularly highlighted in the news. Public safety and emergency response agencies on the local, state, and federal levels are working to prevent and prepare for all types of catastrophes, but there is more that can be done.
Citizens have a critical role in partnering with public officials to help families, neighborhoods, and entire communities be better prepared.
There is little debate that the “Knowledge is power” adage is true. Also, we know that panic is caused primarily by fear. If citizens remain informed and educated about the dangers we face in today’s world, this knowledge can translate into a powerful means of reducing panic in the face of tragedy.
The tragedy, it seems, is not the threat of a terrorist attack, but the nearly constant assault by police on the fundamental rights of citizens, an attack made more deadly by the use of military-grade weapons, vehicles, and tactics.
Maybe all the money and materiel flowing from the feds to local police is to prepare the latter to quell popular uprisings that result from the continued eradication by the former of freedom and individual liberty. One expert thinks that may be the case.
Jim Fitzgerald worked for eight years as a vice and narcotics squad detective in Newark, New Jersey, before joining the staff of The John Birch Society. He is point man for the conservative organization’s “Support Your Local Police” initiative.
In an interview with The New American, Fitzgerald said there is “virtually no use” for the military-grade equipment being bought by local law enforcement with DHS grant money. “The only reason to have this equipment is to use it,” he said, and it is likely it would be used against local citizens who have risen up and created some sort of civil disorder.
DHS, Fitzgerald believes, may be anticipating these riots and looks to them as a justification for the militarization of the police. “They [DHS grants] are not good, not healthy, and not constitutional,” Fitzgerald added.
Balko agrees. In his Wall Street Journal piece he reports:
In my own research, I have collected over 50 examples in which innocent people were killed in raids to enforce warrants for crimes that are either nonviolent or consensual (that is, crimes such as drug use or gambling, in which all parties participate voluntarily). These victims were bystanders, or the police later found no evidence of the crime for which the victim was being investigated. They include Katherine Johnston, a 92-year-old woman killed by an Atlanta narcotics team acting on a bad tip from an informant in 2006; Alberto Sepulveda, an 11-year-old accidentally shot by a California SWAT officer during a 2000 drug raid; and Eurie Stamps, killed in a 2011 raid on his home in Framingham, Mass., when an officer says his gun mistakenly discharged. Mr. Stamps wasn't a suspect in the investigation.
What would it take to dial back such excessive police measures? The obvious place to start would be ending the federal grants that encourage police forces to acquire gear that is more appropriate for the battlefield. Beyond that, it is crucial to change the culture of militarization in American law enforcement.
One organization is working to bring about that change and to help local law enforcement return to their traditional role as guardians of constitutional liberty.
The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) recognizes the invaluable role of sheriffs in preserving, protecting, and defending the Constitution in the counties. Their mission statement establishes the group's noble goals:
This is our plan, our goal and our quest. We are forming the Constitutional Peace Officers Association which will unite all public servants and sheriffs, to keep their word to uphold, defend, protect, preserve, and obey the Constitutions of the United States of America. We already have hundreds of police, sheriffs, and other officials who have expressed a desire to be a part of this Holy Cause of Liberty.
We are going to train and vet them all, state by state, to understand and enforce the constitutionally protected Rights of the people they serve, with an emphasis on State Sovereignty and local autonomy. Then these local governments will issue our new Declaration to the Federal Government regarding the abuses that we will no longer tolerate or accept. Said declaration will be enforced by our Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers. In short, the CSPOA will be the army to set our nation free. This will guarantee this movement remains both peaceful and effective.
If the military and law enforcement continue conducting secret (no media were allowed to participate in or observe the training in Richland County) combat simulations in towns and counties, if police and sheriffs continue devoting time and resources in requesting millions of dollars in grants from the DHS, then the separation between the roles of these organizations will disappear and so will constitutionally protected liberty.
Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels frequently nationwide speaking on topics of nullification, the NDAA, the Second Amendment, and the surveillance state. He is the co-founder of Liberty Rising, an educational endeavor aimed at promoting and preserving the Constitution. Follow him on Twitter @TNAJoeWolverton and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conditions for human trafficing and enslavement soared under Obama as he made his terms in office about expanding US corporations overseas moving them to Africa and Latin America where they can act there as they have in Asia.
Trans Pacific Trade Pact pushed by Obama seeks to allow global corporations to act as they do in developing nations in any nation tied to these TPP policies. It is naked capitalism-----complete deregulation with global corporations controlling all laws and making sure there is NO OVERSIGHT----so this is an insult to the American people. They are simply trying to sell this clean up act because they are bringing these bad characters back to the US.
For Immediate Release
September 25, 2012Fact Sheet: the Obama Administration Announces Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking at Home and Abroad“It ought to concern every person, because it’s a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at the social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name—modern slavery.”
“Our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time, and the United States will continue to lead it…”
--President Barack Obama, September 25, 2012
In March 2012, President Obama directed his Cabinet to redouble the Administration’s efforts to eliminate human trafficking, which afflicts more than 20 million people around the world, including in communities here at home. Today, building on the strong record of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and its member agencies, the President is announcing several initiatives:
• Executive Order Strengthening Protections in Federal Contracts: To strengthen the U.S. Government’s existing zero-tolerance policy on human trafficking in government contracting, the President has issued an Executive Order that outlines prohibitions on trafficking-related activities that will apply to all federal contractors and subcontractors, requires compliance measures for large overseas contracts and subcontracts, and provides federal agencies with additional tools to foster compliance.
• Tools and Training to Identify and Assist Trafficking Victims: The Administration is providing human trafficking training and guidance to federal prosecutors, law enforcement officials, and immigration judges; to commercial transportation officials; to state and local law enforcement partners; and to state workforce agencies and educators. Through this training, these professionals will be better equipped to detect trafficking wherever it exists, and to help ensure that victims are always treated as victims and not criminals.
• Increased Resources for Victims of Human Trafficking: The Administration is announcing initiatives to expand services and legal assistance to victims of trafficking, and will partner with Humanity United, with support from the Goldman Sachs Foundation, to launch $6 million in Partnership for Freedom Innovation Awards to challenge local communities to develop collaborative and comprehensive solutions to help trafficking victims. The Administration also will work to streamline current procedures for the existing T-visa process, which allows victims to remain in the United States and aid the prosecution of their traffickers. In addition, the President is announcing his intent to establish a new Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons, which will be awarded annually to incentivize and recognize exceptional contributions in the field.
• Comprehensive Plan for Future Action: The President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Human Trafficking in Persons will develop the first-ever federal strategic action plan to strengthen services for trafficking victims. In a related effort, the interagency Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center (HSTC) will develop its first-ever domestic human trafficking assessment to track trends within the United States, enabling both law enforcement and service providers to deploy resources more effectively. These efforts will be assisted by the intelligence community, which is increasing its focus on human trafficking internationally, and working more closely with the HSTC here at home.
The Administration’s efforts augment the work of business, non-profits, educational institutions and foundations to combat trafficking. Key announcements that will help to advance this shared work include:
• The creation of the Global Business Coalition Against Trafficking, a business-to-business network that will mobilize its members to fight trafficking, including through the identification and development of best practices;
• The U.S. Travel Association’s compilation of an anti-trafficking “toolkit” to drive awareness within the travel and tourism industry;
• The Administration’s launch of the Counter-Trafficking in Persons Campus Challenge to raise awareness and inspire activism among college students and to develop innovative technology approaches to combatting human trafficking;
• The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health’s cross-disciplinary research partnership with the Goldman Sachs Foundation and the Advisory Council on Child Trafficking, which will focus on the prevention of child sex trafficking and treatment for survivors; and
• The launch of the Made in a Free World initiative to help buyers and suppliers identify and eliminate supply chain vulnerabilities, and demonstrate their commitment to combatting human trafficking.
In addition, the faith-based community has been a leader in combatting human trafficking at home and around the world, raising awareness and providing services. The President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships will focus its efforts on the issue of trafficking and identify opportunities to expand partnerships with faith and community-based groups.
Finally, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Council on Women and Girls are convening advocates, law enforcement leaders, technology companies and researchers to brainstorm ways to share information more effectively with law enforcement; harness the power of the Internet to reach victims; and explore other innovative approaches to provide victims of child sex trafficking with the help they need.