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Unsurprisingly, the elites in our society are always the last ones to figure out why the teeming masses are teeming, and boiling, and for what reasons.
As a former big city mayor of a racially diverse city, Cleveland, Ohio, I can understand the cross currents sweeping through Ferguson, Missouri.
We are at a moment of national crisis in the way our domestic law enforcement is being conducted. The killing of an unarmed civilian by a law enforcement officer is, sadly, not unique. But the police response to the protests has provided a powerful cautionary moment for America. The militarization of local police has led to the arrival today in Ferguson of the actual military, the National Guard.
This crisis comes from:
1) The erosion of a principle in federal law, Posse Comitatus, meant to restrict the use of the military in civilian law enforcement; 2) The Pentagon's dispersal of military equipment to domestic police units, which has increased since 9/11;3) Military-style police training reliant upon weaponry, as opposed to peace keeping, including skills development for de-escalation of violent tensions.
An unarmed, African-American teenager was shot and killed by a policeman. As people protested, the Ferguson police response evoked images of an occupying army come home.
The show of military-style force in an American city has created a huge backlash because the underlying concerns for justice have not been addressed. Moreover, Americans don't want armies patrolling their streets, attempting to stifle public dissent.
Dennis J. Kucinich
Former 16-year member of the U.S. Congress and two-time U.S. presidential candidatehttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/dennis-j-kucinich/police-militarization_b_5687598.html
Welcome to the real world Congressman -- a day late and a dollar short albeit -- but it's the world that the rest of us plebes have been watching and discoursing about for more than just the past week as a result of the Ferguson, Missouri incident -- that said, welcome nonetheless.
Believe The Gadfly when he tells you dear readers, that it does not bring him any satisfaction in noting that The Gadfly and many other more prominent social bloggers and journalists have been talking about the creeping militarization of the civilian police corp in this country for the better part of a couple of years now.
In fact - author and journalist Radley Balko even wrote a prominent book about it called "Rise of the Warrior Cop" and was even given space on the pages of the conservative Wall Street Journal Online to discuss the disturbing trend a year ago.
There truly is something sinister about transferring this nation's deadly war toys - toys left over from our failed international military ventures - to small town civilian police organizations across the country. There is no sensible explanation for these podunk civilian law enforcement agencies to have armored tank vehicles and military style assault weaponry - this is of course - unless the explanation is being mouthed by someone who is an embedded propagandist for the military industrial complex themselves, and has a vested interest in it all.
Somebody is making some money on this nefarious trend, no doubt - because that is always the driving force behind shit like this.
What is becoming increasingly clear is that the military industrial complex apparently isn't satisfied with the revenues they have ill gotten from the failed Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, and the Obama administration is doing it's best to keep the military at bay from getting actively involved in the Syrian, Ukrainian and Libyan clusterfucks, and so in order to keep their cash flow flowing until they can pay some new politicians to gin up the next manufactured overseas war, they came up with the brilliant idea of selling their surplus war toys, at fantastic discount of course, to the federal government with the stipulation that they dole it out to the civilian policing authorities across the nation.
And was it too far-fetched of a prognostication to predict that eventually those war toys would be used on the very people that these civilian, tax payer funded police agencies are charged with "protecting and serving?"
This shit needs to stop -- no debate, no compromise. Our civilian police officers are not ad hoc war draftees who report to the Department of Defense. They report to us, We The People. The Sooner our politicians get that very unambiguous concept through their thick, bought and paid for skulls, the sooner this nation's civilian police forces can get back to the job of implementing their original charter which is the serving and protecting ALL of the human beings of their communities.