“…overview of the Posse Comitatus Act, which restricts the participation of the (US) military in domestic law enforcement activities under many circumstances.”
Overview of the Posse Comitatu Act, by RAND, pdf
“…restricts the participation of the (US) military in domestic law enforcement activities under many circumstances.” As in ALL circumstances, possibly excepting a foreign military invasion, as in circumstances especially restricted to misuse the US Military in a presidential election stunt. Honestly, I’m starting to wonder if America can recover from this presidency. And, no, that’s not an invitation for a military coup, please, we’ve been very lucky, if not blessed, for a very long time. Let’s try very much to keep it that way, thanks.
“‘We must reject any thinking of our cities as a “battlespace” that our uniformed military is called upon to “dominate.” At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.'” General James N. Mattis, USCM (Ret.)
James Mattis Denounces President Trump, Describes Him as a Threat to the Constitution, by Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic, 3 June, 2020
“It is an attack on civil society and democratic accountability.”
The Police Are Rioting. We Need to Talk About It., by Jamele Bouie, NYT, 5 June 2020
Norman Mailer had things to say about police riots in “Miami and the Siege of Chicago (NYT on the reissue). Mailer’s book is worth reading if only to understand some of the reasons why we’re where we are today, alas.
Also, cities and whatnot, really need to teach their law enforcement to police themselves. In my city, the majority of the LAPD are decent people like you and me; let’s find a way for them to safely and effectively stop the few sociopaths in their own ranks. This is the police’s job in society, and now it must be their job in their job, alas.
“One might imagine that there were appropriate checks and balances in place to establish guidelines and guardrails for this militarizing of US law enforcement. Yet the culture at the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, which for years were impossible to audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), appears antagonistic to oversight. It’s hard to keep a publicly-funded program like 1033 accountable to the public if citizens are unaware of the program—and the Pentagon has largely succeeded at fending off auditing: there have only been two, in 2018 and 2019, and the agency failed both of them on compliance, inventory accuracy, and accounting issues. According to a survey by the Pentagon-affiliated think tank, the RAND Corporation, roughly half of respondents, or 48 percent, are unaware of programs that provide law enforcement agencies with surplus military equipment. In an effort to keep the 1033 program accountable, the GAO went so far as to initiate in 2017 an undercover sting operation, creating a fake law enforcement agency that was able to acquire more than a million dollars’ worth of military equipment. Aside from the waste, fraud, and abuse this exposed, the episode showed how low the barriers are and how serious the lack of accountability is with the Pentagon program’s supply of matériel to the thousands of law enforcement agencies across America.”
How Police Became Paramilitaries, by Michael Shank, NY Review of Books, 3 June 2020
“…fake law enforcement agency that was able to acquire more than a million dollars’ worth of military equipment.” And if the GAO can do that, what clever criminal organizations might be doing that, too? Perhaps the US Military should get out of the arms business, y’know, as a vendor, completely OUT OF IT, thanks. I wonder how long the US Military has been an arms dealer; the North Hollywood Shoot-Out was in 1997.
Mike Davis explains why the LAPD is militarized, only partly due to the war on drugs, but mostly due to Parker and Gates deforming it because they were sentimental about their Marine days, well, Parker at least and Gates was at his feet for his entire career. Also David Graeber discusses the NYPD’s militarization after 9/11 in “The Democracy Project,” his book on Occupy Wall Street. Anyone remember Occupy Wall Street?
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