ACLU, Alexander Hamilton, America, Anti-Federalists, Britain, Caesar, Congress, Federalist Papers, freedom, law, Natural Law, NDAA, police, Posse Comitatus, Robert Yates, Second Amendment, standing army, Thomas Jefferson
Sunday I re-posted a popular column on the Posse Comitatus Act, enacted in 1878 to deter a standing army. It did not work, as I noted in that article. That piece briefly examined the use of the actual, federal military to combat drugs, terror, churches, etc. Here, I want to delve into a growing trend, the development of a psuedo-military, based entirely within our society. I’m writing about the militarization of our domestic police force.
This trend has resulted in a paramilitary police as well-trained and equipped as our national army. Barney Fife has been replaced by an armored, machine gun wielding storm-trooper.
Barney was a goofy, good-natured fellow with one bullet (in his pocket):
(Then. Google Images.)
The new masked face of law enforcement more resembles Darth Vader than a peace officer:
(Now. Google Images.)
William Grigg is far and away the best chronicler of modern, martial law enforcement. Just pick any one of his humorous and shocking articles on police state abuse: Article Archive at lewrockwell.com. Be forewarned, like a Pringles, just one won’t be enough.
I too have written short news notes on this phenomenon, none as good as Will’s.
Here’s a picture of a platoon of “officers” on the hunt for Boston Bombing patsy Dzhokhar Tsarnaev:
French police in similar fashion:
(Google, DailyMail, UK.)
The Pose Comitatus Act (“PCA”) reads, in its entirety: “Whoever, except in cases and circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.” 18 U.S.C. § 1385.
There has never been a prosecution under the PCA. Considering the constant creation of exceptions to the Act and the fact that the police are not a direct portion of the Army nor the Air Force, the militarization trend will not run afoul of the watered-down letter of the law. However, it violates the spirit of the law in horrific fashion.
At the end of the Roman Republic, more than twenty centuries ago, Gauis Curio attempted to disarm Caesar’s returning army in order to preserve domestic tranquility. See: Caesar, The Gallic War, Loeb Classical Library, 587 (Harvard U. Press, 2000). As you know, Caesar “crossed the Rubicon” and the Empire shortly thereafter commenced.
In early America the fear of armed military forces present in everyday life was of grave concern to our Founding Fathers. Beginning the Declaration of Independence with a nod to Natural Law, Thomas Jefferson listed the first grievance against the King that “He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature. … He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power.” Dec. Independence, para. 13 – 14 (1776).
In The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton, himself not the greatest proponent of freedom, railed against the standing army as “unsupported by any precise or intelligible designations of reasons.” The Federalist, No. 27 (Hamilton). “Their existence, however, from the very terms of the proposition, is, at most, problematical and uncertain. ” The Federalist, No. 8 (Hamilton).
A more concise explanation was set forth by Robert Yates: “The liberties of a people are in danger from a large standing army, not only because the rulers may employ them for the purposes of supporting themselves in any usurpations of power, which they may see proper to exercise, but there is great hazard, that an army will subvert the forms of the government, under whose authority, they are raised, and establish one, according to the pleasure of their leader.” The Anti-Federalist, No. 10 (Brutus [Yates]).
“Brutus” described the plight of both Rome and Britain under the rule of a standing army. “Julius Cesar … changed [Rome] from a free republic, whose fame had sounded, and is still celebrated by all the world, into that of the most absolute despotism. A standing army effected this change, and a standing army supported it through a succession of ages, which are marked in the annals of history, with the most horrid cruelties, bloodshed, and carnage; — The most devilish, beastly, and unnatural vices, that ever punished or disgraced human nature.” Anti-Federalist, No. 10 (Yates).
“The same army, that in Britain, vindicated the liberties of that people from the encroachments and despotism of a tyrant king, assisted Cromwell, their General, in wresting from the people, that liberty they had so dearly earned.” Id.
The Forty-Fifth Congress considered several issues in developing the PCA: a standing army versus a militia; limited central government; and, the proper (if any) uses for an army within the confines of the territory of the Republic. Rep. Abram S. Hewitt of New York commented on the subject: “If you want to fan communism, increase your standing army and you will have enough of it.” 7 Cong. Rec. H. 3538 (1878).
Numerous examples of Constitutional violations by federal troops aiding tax agents, governors, sheriffs, and district attorneys in Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, and New York were cited to Congress. Other related troubles occurred all across the country. The problem was national in scope.
Senator Benjamin Hill of Georgia remarked, “A posse comitatus is a wholly different thing from an army; it is different in every respect from an army…” 7 Cong. Rec. 4246. He continued, “it never was lawful, it never shall be lawful, to employ the army as a posse comitatus until you destroy the distinction between civil power and the military power in this country.” Id.
Today we see the destruction of that distinction. The police appear one and the same with the military – same tactics, same equipment.
The military equipment utilized by our police largely comes from the The Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) under the 1033 program (National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 1997 (“NDAA”) (FY 1997)). “This law allows transfer of excess Department of Defense property that might otherwise be destroyed to law enforcement agencies across the United States and its territories.”
Since 1997 the program has transferred over $5 BILLION worth of military equipment to the police agencies of America – $450 million in 2013 alone. Again, the various, yearly NDAA provide Congressional cover which allows potential PCA violations to occur unabated.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently released a report which examined program 1033 and several examples of police militarization in the news. Kara Dansky, An MRAP Is Not a Blanket, ACLU, (12/02/2014).
Ms. Dansky recounted the police responses in Ferguson, MO and the horrific maiming of baby Bou Bou Phonesavanh in rural Georgia. The then 18 month old had “his chest ripped open and his face torn off by a flashbang grenade that police officers … threw into his crib during a paramilitary raid.” Id. The attack was part of a drug raid based on an erroneous tip from an informant – Bou Bou was not a suspect.
The Phonesavanh family faces over $1 Million in medical expenses as a result of this unnecessary, indefensible terror attack. ABC News. Look at the picture below (unpleasant).
(The fears of the Founding Fathers realized. ABC News.)
Baby Bou Bou’s ordeal blows apart the oft-repeated idiot’s argument that “if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.” These SS-style atrocities are oft-repeated as well – in every corner of America.
Echoing the Founding Fathers, the ACLU piece ends: “Militarized policing is dangerous, and American communities deserve better.” We’re not likely to get better any time soon. In 1980 there were approximately 3,000 paramilitary SWAT team raids in America; now there are more than 80,000 per year. Michael Synder, 10 Facts About The Growing SWAT Team Raids In America…. Over one-third of those raids are erroneous. Id. Will Grigg has an endless supply of horror stories about the needless, often deadly attacks on innocent Americans.
Yes, there are circumstances which warrant overwhelming police force, but they are few and far between. Anymore, SWAT teams are deployed for anything and everything – from traffic offenses to searches for teenagers.
The worst part of this is the near complete acceptance of these tactics by the American public. In the immediate wake of the Boston False Flag Bombing the entire city of Bay Area dutifully sheltered in place while a veritable army combed the streets looking for one man. Travel was restricted, homes were searched without warrants, businesses closed, and millions willingly surrendered their freedoms.
It is my theory that the bombing was conducted as part of a test – designed to gauge the public’s willingness to accept a police state. If I am correct, the experiment was a total success. This scenario could likely be played out anywhere. Your local police department (certainly your State) likely has the resources – the tanks, guns, training – to carry out a similar invasion. The odds are you will shelter and comply as told too.
As I have written previously, the Second Amendment was crafted to ensure the people’s ability to resist, with arms, martial tyranny. In addition to our lack of adequate arms and lack of resolve, we now have in our midst a formidable adversary. This mixture is very dangerous indeed.