North Charleston, South Carolina, is dear to my heart, close to where in more youthful and nostalgic times I attended medical school. The recent shooting incident there in which a white police officer shot in the back and killed an unarmed, fleeing black man (who might have thought the arrest was related to being delinquent in his child support payments) is an atrocity related to the new law enforcement paradigm militating for the militarization of the police.
This latest brutality is just as infamous as the racial motive claimed by Al Sharpton and an affront to all decent, freedom-loving citizens of all races. But from the outset, it should be stated this trend is not the fault of the courageous men and women serving in the police force but instead the fault of the authoritarian leaders at the very top of power in Washington, D.C. It is this leadership, usually in Democratic administrations, but not always (e.g., Ruby Ridge took place under George H.W. Bush), that has been clamoring for the militarization of the police for a long time, ignoring the relentless progression toward the dystopian Orwellian future I discussed in The Telegraph years ago.
You may say that given my more recent articles on the Ferguson riots that I’m looking at the other side of the equation. Indeed, I am. We need to staunch the increase in violence in our society. This latest incident took place under the watchful eye of a video camera that does not lie and provides an illustrative example of what we can expect with further militarization of the police. For many years now, many of us have argued against the war on drugs, the ATF’s forceful “dynamic entries,” asset forfeitures, etc., policies advancing the power of the state at the expense of the lives and freedom of American citizens.
In 2009, many of us argued against the police state prerogatives assumed by the federal government with the National Defense Authorization Act. It seems that we complained but very few listened. The responsive mentality has been: “If you don’t have anything to hide, you don’t have anything to fear!”
Accelerated by the powers given to the state in the NDAA, many police forces throughout the country are being trained to act as soldiers at war, trained to kill enemy combatants — not to serve and protect their fellow citizens. So what can you expect when the “enemy” refuses to surrender and runs? Look up the document, “U.S. Army — Interment Resettlement Operations” of February 2010 — 326 pages of what the Army is to do with recalcitrant American citizens — i.e., interment and resettlement. These are veritable blueprints for an incipient police state.
This military document shows the imprints of inchoate tyranny rapidly accelerating with the institutionalization of the NDAA. Section 1031 allows the military to perform law enforcement functions, capture and indefinitely detain American citizens on U.S. soil — effectively repealing the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which protected liberty and was as American as apple pie. But no longer. Even earlier, as far back as the Clinton administration, the military was asking soldiers that if given the order, would they fire on American civilians? I don’t know the results. When the infamy was found out, the lapdog media gave the Clinton administration cover by attributing the questionnaire to a conspiratorial joke, just as the elusive circling “black helicopters,” and then forgotten. It seems under the Obama administration militarization has accelerated behind closed doors.
The chickens of increasing authoritarianism have come home to roost. Listen to gun prohibitionist, millionaire political mogul and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a speech at MIT in 2011 when he bragged: “I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh biggest army in the world.”
Turning our police forces who are sworn “to protect and serve” into a standing army, a concept our Founding Fathers abhorred, is not only dangerous to liberty but also a travesty to victimized Americans, who are not the enemy, and to the courageous men and women who valiantly serve.
Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D. is the author of “Cuba in Revolution — Escape from a Lost Paradise.” His website is: www.haciendapub.com.