By Craig McKee
The sight of police in camouflage uniforms with assault rifles, grenade launchers, and mine-resistant armored vehicles advancing on protesters in Ferguson, Missouri has shocked a lot of people.
But it shouldn’t have.
Those paying attention know that law enforcement across America has been undergoing a transformation over the past two decades with the process accelerating noticeably since 9/11. This is thanks to the Pentagon and its “1033 program” (section 1033 of the National Defense Authorization Act), which allows it to transfer surplus military equipment to law enforcement agencies across the country.
The result is police forces being turned into small armies, officers into soldiers, and citizens into potential enemy combatants. The emphasis is no longer on protecting and serving – it’s now about controlling and intimidating. Meanwhile, dozens of movies and television shows in recent years have depicted this new style of law enforcement as being absolutely normal. Viewers, as a result, are coming to see it that way, too. And they see the continuing of this trend as being inevitable.
With the shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by police in Ferguson on August 9, the mainstream debate over the transfer of greater and greater firepower to police has finally begun. Is the outrage enough to make people demand a rollback of the advancing police state, or is this conflict just another step in the ongoing process?
With the continuing protests in Ferguson, the militarization of police has become so obvious that even the mainstream media are catching on. The New York Times, Newsweek, CNN, and many other major media are now openly covering the question of whether there is any justification for turning police services – often in small towns – into paramilitary units that possess mine-resistant armored vehicles, helicopters, grenade launchers, assault rifles, bulletproof vests, night vision equipment, and various other sorts of battle gear.
According to the New York Times: “The increase in military-style equipment has coincided with a significant rise in the number of police SWAT teams, which are increasingly being used for routine duties such as conducting liquor inspections and serving warrants.”
Newsweek adds: “By providing law enforcement agencies with surplus military equipment free of charge, the NDAA encourages police to employ military weapons and military tactics.”
In this video, a 68-year-old grandmother and her 18-year-old adopted daughter are traumatized by a raid that had to do with pirating of their wi-fi signal by someone else to make threatening statements. Police smashed the front door glass of their home, fired in a flash grenade and proceeded to handcuff and terrorize the two innocent people.
The media coverage of the events in Ferguson has looked at whether the equipment transfer policy should be “reviewed,” if not halted, but it has not looked deeper. It has not looked at why these transfers are taking place in the first place. Why would the Pentagon want police forces to become just like armies? Is it that they want us to see law enforcement power differently? Is it that they want us to see ourselves differently – no longer the people who employ police to protect them but now the people who are to be ruled by those police? Or is it even more practical and sinister – that militarized police can be enlisted to help impose a wider martial law?
The raid against the woman and her daughter isn’t an isolated incident. It’s happening every day across the country. And it isn’t happening in a vacuum. It’s part of a long-term plan to control the population through disinformation, deception, fear, and force. In the bigger picture, this plan incorporates government-backed false flag operations like the Oklahoma City bombing, the 9/11 “attacks,” and the Boston Marathon bombing.
These “terror” events, and numerous others like them, were designed to create a false threat that would encourage people to accept the tightening fist of the police state. The elites who really run things are constructing this police state in ways that include the militarization of police as well as the increasing use of technology for surveillance and data gathering. The media occasionally raise mild “concerns” about this but do little else.
What is hard to understand is why people are alarmed to see the “military” police presence in Ferguson when they didn’t appear concerned 16 months ago when complete martial law was imposed in the Boston area. In that case, a city was shut down, businesses were forced to close, people were restricted to their homes, and police were allowed to go door to door, forcing the residents outside at gunpoint and searching their homes without warrants.
And all this was done as part of a search for 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who has been accused of planting and detonating two bombs near the finish line of the Marathon. But the case made by authorities that he and his brother (now dead) were behind the bombings is paper thin and flatly contradicted by significant evidence.
This example of martial law in Boston was greeted with patriotic enthusiasm by many across the country who wanted to feel “Boston strong.” This happened at the very time when Constitutional rights were being suspended in response to what was clearly a staged, false flag operation designed to put us all more at ease with the coming police state. The young Dzhokhar was caught, of course, while the question of whether martial law was justified was ignored by most.
The notion of “home-grown terrorism” was brought into the spotlight with the bombing of Oklahoma City City’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995. While CIA operative Timothy McVeigh and his friend Terry Nichols got the blame, we know that the destruction of the building did not result from the explosives in the truck that McVeigh parked outside. Instead, it resulted from explosives planted inside the building. It was taken for granted that McVeigh and Nichols had carried out the bombing alone and that they did so because they had an anti-government agenda (certain government pronouncements in the years since have equated those who challenge the government with “terrorists”).
And, of course, the climate of fear that has accelerated the country’s transformation into a police state was magnified many times by the biggest false flag operation in U.S. history – 9/11. This event was falsely portrayed as a terrorist attack by Muslim extremists under the command of Osama bin Laden (a CIA asset). But thanks to thousands of independent researchers and citizen activists, the lies of the official story of 9/11 are becoming better known each year. No thanks are due to the authorities or the mainstream media.
The evidence that the twin towers and Building 7 were brought down with explosives is conclusive. It is also clear that both the Pentagon and Shanksville, PA were the scenes of faked plane crashes and that no actual hijackings ever took place.
This massive psy-op, which I believe was many years in the planning, was very effective in raising the threat level, justifying any number of repressive measures that were essential for the advancement of the police state. The induced fear of terrorism that resulted from 9/11 has been the “accelerant” in this process of manipulating the population into surrendering its civil liberties.
9/11 led to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the passage of the Patriot Act, and the intensification of a massive program of domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency. It also made possible the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the drone bombing of civilians in Pakistan and Yemen, the full-scale bombing of Libya and ensuing regime change, and the arming of rebels in Syria.
Police and their new toys
The process of remaking law enforcement has been ongoing for more than 20 years now. The National Defense Authorization Act was passed in 1990, and section 1208 of the law allowed the Department of Defense to transfer material to federal and state police forces – supposedly to help them fight the “war on drugs.” In 1996, this section of the law was replaced with Section 1033 and the scope of the program was broadened.
We are told that this program is intended to transfer “excess” or “surplus” equipment from the military to police forces. It’s just extra stuff that would be going to waste if police forces didn’t take it off the military’s hands, we’re told. The cost so far: $4.3 billion. (“Oops, we goofed! Once again, we ordered too many anti-mine armored tanks, night vision goggles, and grenade launchers! But our incompetence means great savings for you!”)
The result has been the absurd spectacle of towns with just a few thousand residents having tanks at their disposal. Police in Bloomingon, Georgia, for example, picked up four grenade launchers thanks to the 1033 program. They have a population of 2,713. And in Watertown, Connecticut, with a population 22,514, police recently acquired a mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle with a price tag of $733,000.
In fact, the New York Times published a map of the U.S. showing which counties had received military equipment since 1994. A quick glance shows that the vast majority of the country has received some of this “surplus” equipment.
All over America, we’re seeing that when you treat and equip police like they’re part of an invading army, then they’ll act accordingly. In the days following the Michael Brown shooting we have seen this equipment put to very enthusiastic use. Verbal threats have been made against residents and journalists, tear gas and rubber bullets fired at people in their own yards, a midnight curfew imposed, and restrictions enacted on the rights of assembly and free speech.
We saw police firing tear gas at an al-Jazeera TV crew. When the journalists backed off to escape the gas, police moved in and began dismantling their lighting set up and taking down their camera. Apparently in police state America it is now a privilege to film on public streets – in fact a privilege to be on those streets at all.
We also saw the arrest of journalists from the Washington Post and the Huffington Post in a McDonald’s. Apparently they did not clear out quickly enough. Another journalist was threatened by an officer with being shot if he didn’t turn his camera off while another walked down the street pointing his rifle at unarmed individuals, including one cameraman who was told, “I’m going to fucking kill you!” Now that cop was probably scared himself, but in that case he should not be carrying a rifle at all. Then there’s the Tuesday night arrest of Canadian journalist Tom Walters of CTV. Walters approached Capt. Ron Johnson and asked a question only to be wrestled to the ground and arrested. He was held overnight and released without charge.
But it’s not the behavior of individual cops that is central to why all of this is happening. What is important is that a police state infrastructure is being built and deployed, with the process seeming to advance more quickly with each passing year. It appears that people are being asked to accept that they now live under an increasingly “military” type of occupation and that an iron fist can come crashing down on them at any time whether they’ve done anything wrong or not.