By Max Bitterklinger, June 21, 2015 •
If there were any doubts remaining, you can now be sure that Barack Obama is going out the same way he came in: with both barrels of his ‘fundamental transformation’ blazing. Indeed, this is the 44th president’s last best shot to dish out some more Marxist comeuppance to the evil capitalist, colonialist, and racist United States.
After all, Obama now has absolutely nothing to lose. He long ago squandered the good will and trust of the American People, the singular, exceptional society for whom he reserves his greatest contempt. Nothing in his waning White House tenure would bring him greater pleasure than to deliver the coup de grace to our Republic’s foundational ethos of individual liberty and self-determination.
“Punish your enemies,” the president is fond of telling minorities and progressive toadies. What he means is punish my political enemies, namely successful, hard-working, middle class folks who have played by the rules and chosen to cling to their prosperity, religion, and guns.
Which brings us to Obama’s longstanding desire for a civilian national security force, most recently echoed by carpet-bagging con man, Al Sharpton, who called for federalizing the nation’s local police departments during his latest outburst. Right on cue, the Reverend Al commenced parroting White House talking points, proposing that the Department of Justice (DOJ) “should step in and take over policing in this country.”
To begin, the sorry truth is that we already have a federal police force. It’s called the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the 9/11-inspired intelligence agency hub, courtesy of George W. Bush and company. The intention, we were assured, was to help the nation’s countless other federal law enforcement agencies better share information, and thereby more effectively “connect the dots” on terror planning and activities within and against the United States, hence the ‘homeland’ moniker.
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
— Benjamin Franklin, 1755
The idea made some sense given the history of petty U.S. interagency rivalries. But it also made Liberty sheepdogs nervous that the federal government was adding yet another layer to an already unwieldy security-spy-investigative-enforcement bureaucracy. Still, if it meant exposing and catching jihadist bad guys, we had reasoned, we’re all in.
And yes, Congress, please blindly ram through that warrantless, unconstitutional Patriot Act, too, because, by God, we are all American Patriots and these foreign terrorist scumbags aren’t deserving of due process on American soil. This is war, dammit!
It was an emotional time and the spirit of the moment seemed to call for security (and vengeance) at any price—even at the sacrificial expense of our freedoms and Liberty. Besides, there’s no way that the Patriot Act (nor the absurdly named new Freedom Act) would ever be used against law-abiding American citizens, or so we managed to convince ourselves.
THE NEW NORMAL
As a personal observation, post-9/11 New York City residents have long since been desensitized to the high profile presence of security and law enforcement personnel deployed in our midst. After nearly fifteen years, armor-clad National Guardsmen and M16-toting NYPD counter-terror squads have become a common (albeit still somewhat jarring) everyday sight in public spaces. This is the new normal.
And then there’s the federal DHS field teams, who were, once upon a time, considerably low profile, these sort of mute observers stationed at major transportation hubs, usually in pairs. They stood around, fairly innocuous, outfitted in corporate casual-Friday golf shirts, tan khaki pants, and the mandatory dark glasses.
Then about a year or so ago, they started showing up with the word POLICE emblazoned across their bulletproof vests and jackets, trusty Glocks strapped to their thighs. In addition to the new look, DHS gave them a cool new name: Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR). Obviously the dangerous sounding “viper” acronym was meant to intimidate. Call them what you will, they are exactly what the highly visible name on their vests suggests: a federal police force.
Nowadays they usually hang out in gangs of five (as many as eight of late), often accompanied by crude box contraptions aimed at throngs of people disembarking ferries or heading for suburban bound trains. We can only assume these are prototype radiation detection devices. The VIPR teams dutifully refuse to divulge their true purpose to the civilians they’re charged with protecting. “That’s classified,” we’re told.
Classified? One might be tempted to classify that response as bullshit. But hey, it must be for our own good and in the best interests of the Country. Nothing to see here, folks. Shut up and move along—or not, as it happened one sunshiney Big Apple day.
“So, when did you guys become the police?” I asked one of these silent, stoic types with the sidearm and sunglasses. No answer. I politely pointed to the big block letters on his chest that spelled POLICE and asked again: “Since when does the federal government have a standing police force?”
“I don’t have to talk to you,” snarled the wannabe badass from behind his Ray Bans. Body language said it all: the guy instantly turtled up, reflexively crossing his legs, arms abruptly folding against his chest, neck receding into his shirt collar.
It was a rhetorical question, of course. We know damn well who gave the Brown Pants their marching orders. We also know why, if only because humans have this nasty habit of allowing history to repeat itself.
And therein lies the moral of this testy encounter: People are people, fallible and full of flaws. If human beings were perfect, there would be no need for police whatsoever—or government for that matter.
I politely pointed to the big block letters on his chest that spelled POLICE and asked again: “Since when does the federal government have a standing police force?”
To be fair, we can all be affected at times by emotional weaknesses that cloud our better judgment and behavior. Perhaps the demeanor displayed by this DHS “cop” was just an isolated incident. Maybe he just broke up with his girlfriend, or ate some bad sushi, or both on a very bad dinner date. Maybe.
But then Mankind is also well known to be at times self-serving, sociopathic, and yes, on rare occasion, evil pricks. It is an undeniable fact of life called human nature. No amount of environmental nurturing, social engineering, or sensitivity training is going to change that or keep it in check.
Nor does it matter if the badge one wears is that of a local police officer or federal authority. Swearing a Constitutional Oath, apparently, is a mere formality for many; Honor is a lost concept. How many times have we witnessed oath-takers occupying the highest offices in the land succumb to human weakness, be it greed, sex, or simply a lust for power?
If we’re being honest (and we are), there is a notorious sense of entitlement among many federal authorities, which all too often manifests as unconstitutional overreach. They know full well no higher power exists to independently hold them accountable—that authority conveniently rests with their political cronies. ‘We the People’ are a joke to them. Our legal petitions for redress and remedy (First Amendment) are invariably declared by courts to have “no standing.”
So how can a government possibly run a national police force when it can’t regulate itself? There is only one inevitable outcome: With an iron fist.
Keep in mind that the DHS is the same federal bureaucracy that gave us groping TSA agents, humiliating nudie airport body scanners, and proven anti-terror tactics such as frisking frightened toddlers and patting down elderly dementia patients pushing walkers. Because that’s the kind of politically correct nation we are: fair and random. Or is that randomly fair?
Further, it was just revealed that these ace security experts couldn’t locate 95% of the “dummy bombs” smuggled through airports during a readiness drill. Then news came just last week that the Transportation Security Administration’s workplace screening protocol failed to identify 73 airline and airport-related employees with ties to terrorism. How’s that for connecting the dots?
As ridiculous as all this sounds, that’s exactly what we got—plus a whole lot more in the bargain. But it’s no laughing matter. While incompetence is tragic enough, intentionally compromising our Constitutional Bill of Rights is a betrayal no American should tolerate.
For anyone who has followed the blitzkrieg-like buildup of our nation’s domestic security industrial complex, the overnight transformation of DHS to federal police force represented a sea change in We the People’s protection from government tyranny.
By allowing Congress to pass and fund a multitude of draconian security and surveillance measures, we have effectively furnished the DHS with extraordinary and dangerous powers. Worse, this federal police force is accountable to but a single person, the president. As a bonus, an unelected political colleague administers the entire shooting match.
The amazing irony is that today’s DHS, whose very existence is owed to identifying and disrupting Islamic terrorism in America, forbids the profiling of Muslims, but now profiles Obama’s political enemies instead. You are likely familiar with the long list of domestic terrorist threats compiled by a number of federal security agencies that place Christians, constitutionalists, libertarians, military veterans, and other patriots in the top slots. Welcome to Bizarro World.
“If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
— James Madison
Obama’s Marxist ‘one-world’ ambitions aside, both Democrats and Republicans (and the multinational corporate banking cartel to whom they are beholden) have become so blatantly unlawful that they seem to feel a genuine reason to fear the American People. And they may have a point.
We got a glimpse of that fear during the rise of the Taxed Enough Already (TEA Party) movement. In the wake of the 2008 economic crisis and subsequent corporate and bank bailouts, the very vocal dissent of these angry grassrooters stunned the political establishment.
Apparently the politicians had become so accustomed to voter apathy that they forgot dissent is a core tenet of our nation’s founding—one so important that the Founding Fathers added an amendment to the Constitution to underscore this essential right (freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and the right to petition for redress of grievances).
To be sure, the fast rise and universal support of the TEA movement was unprecedented. According to various mainstream polls at the time, an overwhelming number of Americans (70% – 85%) identified with the cause. It became a national rage against the machine—a frightening prospect for career politicians of any stripe. And it hasn’t gone away.
Since the advent of those town hall dustups, it seems the objective of the national security apparatus is not so much to protect our shores from the likes of al Qaeda and its successor, Islamic State, but to protect the politicos and their federal leviathan from us. (Can it be any surprise that they want Americans’ private arms?)
DE FACTO STANDING ARMY
While the DHS was busy morphing into a federal police force, it seems no coincidence that local law enforcement was itself undergoing a radical transformation due to its ever-increasing militarization. In recent years, many of our nation’s local police departments have been the benefactors of discounted U.S. military surplus arms, armor, and other equipment.
While traditional police SWAT teams certainly have their place, more and more “special forces” styled units are hitting the streets with regularity. Watching them in action, you’d think they were patrolling Sadr City. It’s gotten totally out of hand, as have the aggressive tactics currently being used against citizens.
Paramilitary style knock-and-kick home invasions are at an all-time high: 40,000 on average per year. Nearly 80% of these SWAT deployments are for the purpose of executing simple search warrants. Private homeowners and family pets are being gunned down left and right during these gatecrashing Gestapo maneuvers. An alarming number of these cases were actually mistaken identities or wrong addresses.
In an incident last fall, a SWAT unit tossed a flash-bang grenade into a playpen, burning the baby’s face, torso, and collapsing his left lung. Oopsie. The child survived, but is now probably scarred for life, as are his parents.
In Gainesville Florida, a young Navy veteran was just recently pulled over by the Sheriff’s Department in a behemoth armored vehicle. His crime? Flipping the bird in protest of police militarization, an act of which is protected by the First Amendment. He was ultimately accused of receiving felatio while driving, apparently a moving violation in Gainesville.
All of this considered, doesn’t Al Sharpton have a point? Haven’t 500 American citizens, including 100 unarmed persons, been shot and killed so far this year by police? Shouldn’t local departments have some federal supervision? To hear him tell it, urban minority youths are under siege by roaming bands of white racist cops.
The truth is that there already exists a competent system of oversight. Every time an officer so much as draws his weapon, there is an “after action” review, plus an internal investigation or grand jury hearing in the event of a fatality. This has long been standard operating procedure in our justice system.
Considering the brazen belligerence, rampant thuggery, and plain stupidity that so many “unarmed” citizens have shown in attacking armed police officers, it’s a wonder that more people haven’t been shot. In a nation of 320,000,000, of which 800,000 are sworn law enforcement professionals, it’s actually a pretty remarkable record of restraint.
For the record, the overwhelming majority of deaths at the hands of police were justified homicides. In those cases that were not “good shoots,” officers were swiftly brought to justice. It should also be noted that 126 police officers were killed in the line of duty in 2014, an increase of 24% from 2013. The number of officers killed by firearms rose 56% in the same year.
Jason L. Riley of the Wall Street Journal rightly points out that 98% of black shooting deaths do not involve police. While homicide is the leading cause of death for young black men in America, 90% of the perpetrators are also black. Your average beat cops have it pretty tough in black neighborhoods, regardless of their own skin color.
It’s important to understand that today’s grotesque and illegal militarization of local law enforcement is the direct result of Obama.
Just to clarify: Al Sharpton is not demanding the recall of federal military surplus from municipal and state police departments; he is in fact demanding that more federal muscle be brought to bear on our daily lives and local communities. It’s a classic bait-and-switch. Sharpton’s only interest is in helping to solidify Obama’s stranglehold on federal force.
And don’t be misled by the disgraceful riots in Ferguson and Baltimore, either. Sure, cops in riot gear make for great TV ratings, but this is a smoke screen. Obama’s far left comrades—experienced Marxist agitators and professional anarchists funded in part by George Soros—fueled the turmoil that tore apart those communities.
It’s the same “99%” crowd that turned Lower Manhattan and other cities into hellholes during the leftist organized Occupy Wall Street protests. The results were riots, rape, murder, assault, arson, public defecation, and shoving old ladies down steps. If that’s their idea of ‘power to the people,’ I’ll take my chances with the 1%.
Ferguson civic and community leaders publicly called out numerous “outsiders” for instigating and escalating the violence. New York’s local Communist Party was identified as one of the interlopers on scene handing out flyers and cheering on the mayhem. Viva la Revolución, motherfuckers!
I happened to find myself on a shuttle bus ride back to the St. Louis airport with about ten Chicago agitators who had clearly been flown in to help fan the flames of unrest. They seemed pleased with themselves; some bragged on cell phones about “fuckin’ this place up good.” As the world has learned all too well, manufacturing victims and provoking crises are favorite ploys from the communist handbook. Obama and Sharpton both know it well.
It’s important to understand that today’s grotesque and illegal militarization of local law enforcement is the direct result of the Obama administration. Public pressure recently forced Obama to announce that he will start curtailing the practice, but let’s be real: this is political posturing. None of these departments are going to return their military toys—nor should the American People surrender their own weapons.
There is no question that there are problems with some local departments. Bad beat cops are out there, the same as bad politicians. Yet the greatest danger this country has ever seen is coming from Obama’s corrupt federal administration policies and his disregard for what he terms a “flawed” United States Constitution (the Marxist manifesto it ain’t).
Mix it all together and you’ve got a recipe for disaster, the kind of societal destruction not seen since the Civil War. And it’s coming to a neighborhood near you.
“When government fears the people, there is Liberty. When the people fear the government, there is Tyranny.”
— Thomas Jefferson
What we are facing, in case it went unnoticed, is a federal police force (DHS) controlling what is effectively a standing domestic army (militarized local law enforcement). And you can bet your last continental that Obama is going to preserve it by any means necessary. Posse Comitatus is at death’s door, another twisted chapter from Bizarro World.
WATCHING THE WATCHERS
For sake of argument: Exactly who, pray tell, would be capable of committing serious, constitutional oversight to this federal police force and standing domestic army? As Sharpton suggests, that responsibility might rightfully fall within the purview of the Justice Department. Oh wait, Justice turned a blind eye and rubber-stamped this power grab in the first place.
As for newly appointed U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, she’s carrying on in the proud progressive tradition of Eric Holder. Like her predecessor, Ms. Lynch also claims (under oath) to see a potential situation wherein the American government would be justified in whacking its own citizens, due process be damned.
What about the National Security Agency? They’re great at keeping tabs on people. On second thought, the NSA would be put to better use monitoring the phone calls, emails, and Web site visits of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, members of Congress, and other public servants, including their own employees.
Why not the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court—the mystery group that allegedly oversees NSA spying on Americans? It’s a secret court with secret judges locked away in a secret room somewhere (ironically) on Constitution Avenue. FISA has given the green light to every unconstitutional request they’ve ever been handed. What could go wrong?
How about the venerable Federal Bureau of Investigation? In addition to its storied history of politically motivated spying, the FBI is currently taking heat for an unauthorized secret air force of small private planes that it cobbled together for the purpose of mass surveillance. The bureau is also under investigation for providing improper testimony and bogus forensic evidence dating as far back as the 1970s.
It was recently discovered that hundreds of innocent people (so far) were wrongly convicted as a result. That number includes 32 who were sentenced to death, 14 of whom have already been executed or died in prison. One guy did 28 years for a murder rap, the evidentiary basis for which was a single strand of hair. Turned out that hair belonged to a dog.
The American People did not elect these bureaucrats and yet they wield enormous power over our property, Liberty, and daily freedoms—even life and death.
Maybe we should give the Secret Service a shot at supervising a federal police force and standing army. Of course they can’t keep nut jobs off the presidential front lawn. And then there’s that little Columbian hotel incident involving Obama’s advance team and hookers provided by a local drug cartel.
Perhaps the Drug Enforcement Agency is a better choice. Nope, more hookers—not to mention DEA agents on the hook for money laundering, wire fraud, bribery, kickbacks, influence peddling, drug smuggling, and human trafficking. On second thought, the hookers would be the more honorable choice.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would be up for it. Oh right, that ATF “Fast and Furious” gun-walking fiasco that resulted in hundreds of people wounded and killed on both sides of the southern border, including U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Couldn’t the Central Intelligence Agency do it? The CIA is a street-smart bunch, although they’ve got their hands full with arming ‘moderate’ Middle East terrorists and toppling foreign governments for the State Department.
Certainly the Department of Defense knows how to responsibly run an army. Never mind the trillions of missing tax dollars they can’t account for. And pay no attention to that NDAA thingy (National Defense Authorization Act) that gives the military power to indefinitely detain American citizens without warrant or due process. And forget that Jade Helm 15 Special Forces operation taking place right now, or the Internment and Reeducation camp protocol. They’re on our side, right?
Here’s an idea: Let the Internal Revenue Service run the show. This agency is so expert at enforcing laws that it’s been tasked with coercing millions of people to buy health insurance. Unfortunately, the IRS also has a notorious legacy of using federal power to intimidate and settle scores with political enemies. (TEA anyone?)
RULE OF LAW VS. RULE OF MEN
You get the point. It should be evident by now that no one in America is above the law except those ultimately responsible for enforcing it. Presidents are no exception. Zero accountability. Zilch, nada, none.
In fact, federal abuse of power is most often rewarded with internal departmental promotions, lobbying contracts, well paid NGO and private sector gigs, plus big-bucks speaking engagements. Just ask Bill Clinton. And if somebody gets really jammed up, there’s always a presidential pardon awaiting the most loyal of sycophants. (Again, ask Bill Clinton.) Worst-case scenario? 18 months at a minimum-security country club. Or is that 18 holes?
What’s truly astonishing is that the supervisors for all of the aforementioned federal law enforcement agencies are politically appointed, as are most joint chiefs of the military. The American People did not elect these bureaucrats and yet they wield enormous power over our property, independence, and daily freedoms—even life and death. That’s a hell of a thing for a Constitutional Republic (a.k.a. representative government).
Perhaps the best place to consider the activities of a federal police force and standing domestic army is before the Supreme Court of the United States. For the real question is their Constitutionality in the first place.
Despite the nomination/confirmation process, Supreme Court justices are also, in effect, political appointees (and for life, no less). It’s also no secret they are prone at times to engage in judicial activism. However, any one of them would be hard pressed to rule in favor of these powers when viewed through the Constitutional lens of original intent.
Even though White House and DOJ lawyers would undoubtedly argue for the ‘general welfare,’ it’s a tough case to make when weighing dubious security tactics versus the permanent subversion of Liberty. It’s not a stretch to say that the Supreme Court stands as our critical, final remnant of the federal checks-and-balances left to us by the Founders; one last remaining legal bulwark against the self-serving tyranny of the executive and legislative branches, as well as politicized federal agencies.
What we are facing is a federal police force controlling what is effectively a standing domestic army.
Further federalization of law enforcement is not the solution; it’s been the problem. More political overlording will not save us. The centralized, one-size-fits-all policy guidelines of social justice demagogues and racialist academicians are merely subterfuge to advance unconstitutional political agendas.
And that’s exactly where this is all leading. Not unlike the backdoor implementation of Common Core, the White House with bipartisan congressional allies will continue doling out tax dollars to state and local governments in return for their cooperation in carrying out federal “community policing” mandates. It’s already happening. Read the report by the Task Force on 21st Century Policing. It was created by an Obama executive order, of course.
You say you want a revolution? Be careful what you wish for, Mr. Obama. A federal DHS police force and an army of militarized local cops under their jurisdiction is a sure way to help bring it about. But it won’t be your Progressive Marxist revolution, but rather the latest chapter in the ancient struggle between the forces of Liberty and powers of Tyranny. And it won’t be pretty. Many feel that’s exactly what Obama is hoping.
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