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Glen Greenwald-The Militarization of U.S. Police: Finally Dragged Into the Light

The Militarization of U.S. Police: Finally Dragged Into the Light by the Horrors of Ferguson

“There is no vital trend in American society more overlooked than the militarization of our domestic police forces.” Glen Greenwald

The intensive militarization of America’s police forces is a serious menace about which a small number of people have been loudly warning for years, with little attention or traction. In a 2007 paper on “the blurring distinctions between the police and military institutions and between war and law enforcement,” the criminal justice professor Peter Kraska defined “police militarization” as “the process whereby civilian police increasingly draw from, and pattern themselves around, the tenets of militarism and the military model.”

The harrowing events of the last week in Ferguson, Missouri – the fatal police shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager, Mike Brown, and the blatantly excessive and thuggish response to ensuing community protests from a police force that resembles an occupying army – have shocked the U.S. media class and millions of Americans. But none of this is aberrational.

It is the destructive by-product of several decades of deliberate militarization of American policing, a trend that received a sustained (and ongoing) steroid injection in the form of a still-flowing, post-9/11 federal funding bonanza, all justified in the name of “homeland security.” This has resulted in a domestic police force that looks, thinks, and acts more like an invading and occupying military than a community-based force to protect the public.

continue: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/08/14/militarization...

Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces

also see: Gaza, Ukraine and US Preparations for Urban Warfare

The REAL ISSUE Behind the Ferguson, Missouri Police Response
Protest Is Treated As Terrorism In America Today

U.S. and Israeli Military Tactics Used Against American Citizens … Gazans Tweet Tips to Help AMERICANS On How to Handle Tear Gas

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Cop should never equal killer.

Once a Law Enforcement Officer Kills someone, they should no longer be allowed to serve in the role of Law Enforcement Officer.

They should absolutely protect themselves in the line of duty, as should all citizens at all times. But once you have ended life, you should no longer professionally protect and serve life.

If the killing turns out to be justified, get the former officer all the mental help and professional/vocational help they require, but they are done being a cop. If the killing turns out to not be justified, the former officer gets tried for murder.

Killing someone may be justified, understandable and not provoke criminal repercussions. But just like you can loose a job for not passing the drug test, even where said drug is legal, you should loose an enforcement job for not passing the "don't kill people" test.

It's not a punishment. No killing should just be one of the minimum standards for the job. Just like any other standard, once you fail to meet it you can no longer perform in that role.

At a minimum, the officer should no longer be allowed to police the community the shooting took place in.

Double tap

A few decades ago the police were trained to use a double tap (bang, bang) on a citizen that was a fleeing felon or a threat.
What happened to the double tap?
Why did this cop have to shoot 6 times?
Most people would stop advancing after being hit twice.
Why are police unloading on dogs, cattle, people, etc. even still shooting after there is no threat.
Who decided to change policy to "shoot to kill" and why?
Man...6 shots...Geez.

Clinton`s 1994 COPS program.

That was the start of federalizing local police departments and it has been compounded many times since then.

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people that pay no price for being wrong.
Thomas Sowell

scawarren's picture

Or was it the Military

Or was it the Military Cooperation With Law Enforcement Act passed by Congress and Reagan in 1981?

It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. – Mark Twain

LittleWing's picture

Gov't Labels 72 Types of Americans as Potential Terrorists

Are you a conservative, a libertarian, a Christian or a gun owner? Are you opposed to abortion, globalism, Communism, illegal immigration, the United Nations or the New World Order? Do you believe in conspiracy theories, do you believe that we are living in the "end times" or do you ever visit alternative news websites (such as this one)? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are a "potential terrorist" according to official U.S. government documents.


also see:

Gaza, Ukraine and US Preparations for Urban Warfare
The closest attention to the events in Gaza and Ukraine, however, is being paid by the Pentagon, which is up to its elbows in blood in both of these wars. The US military has the closest relations with the Israel Defense Forces, which Washington funds to the tune of $3 billion annually.

The Pentagon recently asked Congress for another $19 million—on top of $23 million already allocated—to train and equip Ukrainian National Guard units. In the midst of the “anti-terror” offensive in the east of the country, the US military last month rushed a team of specialists in “strategy and policy” to Kiev to evaluate this bloody campaign.

Both of these conflicts provide real-life laboratories for what is increasingly a top priority of the Pentagon—the preparation of US forces for urban warfare.

Describing the conditions that it anticipates will require US military intervention, the report warns, “As inequality between rich and poor increases … Stagnation will coexist with unprecedented development, as slums and shanty towns rapidly expand alongside modern high-rises. This is the urban future.”

“Radical income disparity,” is further described as the foremost “driver of instability” in these far-flung urban areas.

In other words, the Pentagon brass is seeking to prepare the US military for directly counterrevolutionary interventions aimed at quelling popular revolts that it sees as the inevitable consequence of the unprecedented social inequality created by world capitalism in crisis.

The inclusion of New York City in its “case studies” serves to make explicit that these preparations are directed at revolutionary developments not only in Africa, Asia, the Middle East or Latin America, but most critically within the United States itself.



If Wars Can Be Started by Lies, They Can Be Stopped By Truth.

It's the Drug War


Leges sine moribus vanae

Doesn't he have Snowden documents to go through?

I'm not saying militarization of the police isn't a very important story. However, he's the only one who has access to the Snowden documents. Shouldn't those be his primary concern? It's not like he's been cranking out stories on those either btw. He mentioned he had gotten through about 1% of the documents a while back and I don't think he's release much since.

Don't you have work

to do? Here you are wasting your time on an internet forum.

If his tme is so much more important than yours, why would you assert that your judgement about what he writes is superior? What astonishing arrogance. Are you Glenn's dad? Mr. Greenwald, is that you?

What if he decided to take a couple of years off to write a book

On the militarization of police. During that time he ignored the Snowden stuff. Would you be cool w that?

Obviously he's entitled to do whatever he wants. However, again, he is in a *unique* position in that he holds all the Snowden docs so the public is almost at his mercy. And also again, he's been releasing them extremely slowly. Personally I don't trust the guy and I question his credibility. But for those who do trust him, these are the kinds of are things I think should be of concern. Why is he focusing on "something else". He has other writers at The Intercept. Let them write articles on the militarization of police. Let GG focus on Snowden. Again he said he was 1% through the documents and we're over a year into this.

That's just bizarre

How can you place obligations on someone because you believe they're in some "position"? He's a freelance journalist.

If I'm working on something, and take a break, and work on something else, I come back with fresh eyes.

He works with editorial boards, and probably Snowden, on what to release and how. How do you know what goes on in those conversations? How is it your business? Don't you know enough by now to fiercely oppose the NSA? Nobody's at Greenwald's mercy. We're suddenly all at the NSA's mercy.

If you want to write a book, or your Congressman, on whatever you want, how could that possibly be my business?

How does writing an article about militarized police detract in any way from NSA revelations?

It sounds like you have a beef with Greenwald, and that drives your thinking. It's not a substitute for good thinking, and it's negative. Recognize that it's negative, and blow it off. You'll feel better! And think more clearly. Glenn Greenwald doesn't owe you anything.

Here's my point

GG is in a unique position and he clearly understands that. He has been way too slow on reporting on Snowden revelations (1% after ~1 year). How can he defend covering other stories when he had barely covered the Snowden revelations, which he has unique info about.

I got your point

in the first comment.

Courts as a revenue stream

You really want to address out of control govt authority, then include cities that harass cops who don't write enough tickets to feed the court's revenue stream.

When the court systems become vultures and parasites, poor law enforcement is guaranteed.

We must push not just on the militarization

but on the general attack on civil rights just to make arrests.

LittleWing's picture

Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police

by Radley Balko

The last days of colonialism taught America’s revolutionaries that soldiers in the streets bring conflict and tyranny. As a result, our country has generally worked to keep the military out of law enforcement. But according to investigative reporter Radley Balko, over the last several decades, America’s cops have increasingly come to resemble ground troops. The consequences have been dire: the home is no longer a place of sanctuary, the Fourth Amendment has been gutted, and police today have been conditioned to see the citizens they serve as an other—an enemy.

Today’s armored-up policemen are a far cry from the constables of early America. The unrest of the 1960s brought about the invention of the SWAT unit—which in turn led to the debut of military tactics in the ranks of police officers. Nixon’s War on Drugs, Reagan’s War on Poverty, Clinton’s COPS program, the post–9/11 security state under Bush and Obama: by degrees, each of these innovations expanded and empowered police forces, always at the expense of civil liberties. And these are just four among a slew of reckless programs.

In Rise of the Warrior Cop, Balko shows how politicians’ ill-considered policies and relentless declarations of war against vague enemies like crime, drugs, and terror have blurred the distinction between cop and soldier. His fascinating, frightening narrative shows how over a generation, a creeping battlefield mentality has isolated and alienated American police officers and put them on a collision course with the values of a free society.


If Wars Can Be Started by Lies, They Can Be Stopped By Truth.