Our Growing Police State

American Thinker

Last  week, the FBI released its preliminary crime statistics for the first half of  2011, and across the nation violent crimes dropped 6.7% while property crimes  dropped 3.7%. This continues a downward trend that dates  back to the 1970’s.

Many  of the violent crimes reported this year have been sensational.   Representative Gabrielle Giffords and Federal Judge John Roll were  targeted by a lone, crazed gunman and there were a number of other gruesome  crimes. The Giffords/Roll shooting was brought to an end by a bystander. The Ft.  Hood massacre on November 5, 2009, which killed 13 American soldiers and wounded  29 others was brought to an end by two base police officers using conventional  sidearms and procedures. The warning  signs for this terrorist attack, the first on American soil since 9/11,  were ignored and yet it was the local cops on the beat who faced and dealt with  a terrible crime.

Every  case one can think of was resolved by conventional methods.  And yet the  police powers of government on a local and national level have been growing at  an alarming rate.  And despite a dissonant data base there is a growing  trend towards militarization of police forces and of an invasive state security  apparatus.

The  concept of militarization of police forces in this country began with the  Special Weapons & Tactics (SWAT) teams in Los Angeles in 1967 -68.    Its formation was a response to  events including the Watts riots of  1965, and the emergence of snipers such as Charles Whitman, who killed 13 people  on the campus of the University of Texas in 1966; the rise of armed  revolutionary groups such as the Weathermen and, later, the Symbionese  Liberation Army. Eventually SWAT returned to a more traditional police role of  hostage/barricade incidents and suicide intervention.

Prior  to and concurrent with this, the FBI in its battle with communism regularly  investigated American citizens and the Hoover Files became famous.  Today  they are known primarily for salacious tidbits in the files on celebrities such  as John Lennon and Marilyn Monroe.  It was a time with different mores and  the democratic principles of the country were in a cold war with a real and  formidable enemy.  Such was Hoover’s justification.

With  the fall of the Soviet Empire, instead of the “end of history”, the world was  fragmented into dysfunctional states and many of the same pawns used during the  Cold War turned their hands towards criminal operations.  The drug wars  became the new front for  law enforcement. Sometimes the gangs were as well  or better equipped than the police.


Today,  Afghanistan provides 90+% of the world’s heroin while the largest military  action in the 21st Century takes place in that country; the opium poppies in  many cases grow right up to the razor wire of American bases.  A de facto  civil war is taking place between the government and the narcotraficantes in  Mexico that has cost 36,000 lives.  Today the street prices of cocaine and  heroin are at historic lows.  It would seem that the War on Drugs is truly  lost and that our government simply doesn’t care.  And yet over $20  Billion/year is spent on the War on Drugs; most of it on law enforcement. This  seems to be a very poor return on the investment.

On  September 11, 2001 the jihad being waged against the West since the mid 90’s  struck at the heart of the infidel empire and 3,000 civilians were murdered.  Everything changed that day. The West invaded Afghanistan and then Iraq with the  goal of defeating the jihadists.  Over 10 years later there has not been a  single successful attack on the United States.  Attacks in the UK, Spain,  and Indonesia were successful, but there has been a steady decline caused by  greater global cooperation and information sharing as the primary  differentiators.

Along  the way a massive security infrastructure and bureaucracy was created. The  Patriot Act authorized the broad use of enhanced surveillance techniques and  intelligence gathering while including domestic terrorism under the scope of the  intelligence services. To date the only truly domestic terror prosecution seems  to have been a few retired white supremacists in Georgia. The Ft. Hood massacre  was officially classified by the White House recently as a workplace related  shooting.

A  key provision of the Patriot Act was the expansion of the authority of the  Department of the Treasury to investigate money laundering, and yet the  narcotics trade has risen from $321 Billion in 2003 according to the United  Nations to an estimate of $500 Billion this year by the Center for Strategic & International Studies.  In Afghanistan, hundreds of millions of  dollars in cash are shipped out to banks in Dubai openly and with the  government’s approval with no questions asked. The opium/heroin trade alone is  estimated at $4 Billion/year which funds both the warlords on our side and the  Taliban warlords. So Afghanistan is not only bleeding our military, but also our  civilian population.

And   we now have a Department of Homeland Security that employs over 216,000. The  Transportation Security Agency consists of over 58,000 of those employees.   The Border Patrol is of equivalent size, while ICE employs approximately  20,500.  In an address delivered by retired General Barry McCaffrey, he  emphasized the real dangers of the War on Drugs and an out of control border.  The criminal networks have become ever more sophisticated and now act as  paramilitaries, destabilizing one of our most important allies. And yet the  inward directed nature of much of our security establishment does nothing to  address real and present dangers.


The Wall Street Journal in an article entitled “Federal Offenses: law enforcement teams  grow at government agencies” wrote on Saturday of the proliferation of  heretofore nonexistent police forces in federal agencies including the  Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Commerce, Labor Department,  National Oceanic & Atmospheric Agency, and many others who have the power to  conduct investigations, seek indictments, or simply raid violators of even  regulatory violations.  Cases where armed agents have raided homes and  workplaces have included the infamous Gibson Guitar raid for illegal wood;  documentation errors on otherwise legal imports, and even the recent batch of a  881 lb. Bluefin Tuna by a New Bedford trawler. “Put the tuna on the ground and  raise your hands”.

The  Internal Revenue Service has been strong arming countries around the world to  open their bank records not to trace narcotics cash or Russian mobsters, but  income tax evaders. The “Stop On Line Piracy Act” (SOPA) and the recent NDAA  Act, which is now law, have broadened the policing authority of the Federal  government to a never before greater degree at a time when ordinary crime is  decreasing. The SOPA  Act, in the words of one IT manager, would make our  internet similar to China’s. The NDAA allows for the President to indefinitely  detain terrorism suspects, including American citizens. The law then becomes a  matter of semantics to the unprincipled.

In  the meantime, corruption and cronyism have risen to a level not seen since the  1870’s.

Nat  Hentoff has written extensively on the assault on civil liberties and on due  process starting with many of the measures of the Bush Administration.   This accelerated, according to Mr. Hentoff, under President Obama, who has  concentrated power in the White House to an extraordinary degree. By avoiding  Congressional approval and his own Executive Branch through the appointment of  “czars” ranging from the auto industry to  regulation to ethics to climate  to consumer affairs, the president has subverted the separation of powers  repeatedly in an imperial presidency that is unparalleled.

Crime  rates have been dropping for 20 years and yet today there is more danger to  civil liberties posed by government than ever before. Our government continues  to expand the definition of crime while approving special powers usually found  in police states.

When  Members of Congress urged the President to ignore their own branch of government  during the recent Congressional debt ceiling debate and act by fiat or the  insistence of some of those same Members of Congress on the recusal of Justice  Thomas in the health care case before the Supreme Court, one can easily  understand the danger of even a well intentioned government to its own  people.

As  the terrorism threat used to rationalize many of these powers has receded,  government power has never been greater or more at odds with the Constitution.   In the meantime the narcoterrorism network which funds many those  terrorist organizations, is on the sidelines.  The law is at odds with  itself.

Our  government has built an anti-Constitutional framework that can and will  eventually be turned against our citizens. On one side we have our  civil/criminal system, and the other the growing power of  Orwellian  dysfunction. Think about it.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/12/our_growing_police_state.html#ixzz1i3pgORT4

6 thoughts on “Our Growing Police State

  1. It takes a lot of control to keep the welfare state livestock under control. We see the public response in European countries, when austerity measures are announced. If 46 million people are notified that the food stamps are not in the mail, it could get ugly. But wait a minute! Didn’t government create this problem when politicians bought vote with promised handouts?


    • The government creates the problem and blames everyone else then uses a band-aid tatic to temporaly fix the problem.

      • Deer are funneled into the killing fields by the same method. They are confronted by pursuit to contain them into a narrowing trail, ending in an ambush. The same methods work on people, sheep driven to the slaughter.

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  3. There is usually a Shepherd protecting the sheep.

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