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Battlefield America: The Ongoing War on the American People

From Boston to Ferguson to Charlottesville: The Evolution of a Police State Lockdown

“A government which will turn its tanks upon its people, for any reason, is a government with a taste of blood and a thirst for power and must either be smartly rebuked, or blindly obeyed in deadly fear.”—John Salter

Police in a small Georgia city tasered a 5-foot-2, 87-year-old lady who was utilizing a kitchen knife to chop dandelions to be used in a recipe. Police declare that they had no selection however to taser the previous lady, who doesn’t converse English however was smiling at police to point she was pleasant, as a result of she did not adjust to orders to place down the knife.

Police in California are being sued for utilizing extreme drive towards a deaf 76-year-old lady who was allegedly jaywalking and did not halt when police yelled at her. In accordance with the lawsuit, police searched the lady and her grocery luggage. She was then slammed to the floor, had a foot or knee positioned behind her neck or again, handcuffed, arrested and cited for jaywalking and resisting arrest.

In Alabama, police first tasered then shot and killed an unarmed man who refused to point out his driver’s license after trying to show in a stray canine he’d discovered to the native canine shelter. The man’s girlfriend and their three youngsters, all underneath the age of 10, witnessed the capturing.

In New York, Customs and Border Safety officers have come underneath hearth for subjecting feminine vacationers (together with minors) to random physique searches that embrace strip searches whereas menstruating, genital probing, and compelled pelvic exams, X-rays and intravenous medicine at space hospitals.

At a California fuel station, ICE brokers surrounded a person who was taking his pregnant spouse to the hospital to ship their child, demanding that he present identification. Having forgotten his paperwork at residence in the rush to get to the hospital, the husband provided to go get them. Refusing to permit him to take action, ICE brokers handcuffed and arrested the man for not having an ID with him, leaving his spouse to seek out her means alone to the hospital. The father of 5, together with the new child, has lived and labored in the U.S. for 12 years together with his spouse.

These are usually not remoted incidents.

These instances are legion.

That is what a state of undeclared martial regulation seems like, whenever you could be arrested, tasered, shot, brutalized and in some instances killed merely for not complying with a authorities agent’s order or not complying quick sufficient.

This isn’t simply occurring in crime-ridden inside cities.

It’s occurring all throughout the nation.

America has been locked down.

That is what it’s wish to be a citizen of the American police state.

That is what it’s wish to be an enemy combatant in your personal nation.

That is what it feels wish to be a conquered individuals.

That is what it feels wish to be an occupied nation.

That is what it feels wish to reside in worry of armed males crashing via your door in the center of the night time, or to be accused of doing one thing you by no means even knew was a criminal offense, or to be watched all the time, your actions tracked, your motives questioned.

That is what it feels wish to have your homeland reworked right into a battlefield.

Thoughts you, in a struggle zone, there are not any police—solely troopers. Thus, there isn’t any extra Posse Comitatus prohibiting the authorities from utilizing the army in a regulation enforcement capability. Not when the native police have, for all intents and functions, already turn out to be the army.

In a conflict zone, the troopers shoot to kill, as American police have now been educated to do. Whether or not the perceived “threat” is armed or unarmed not issues when police are approved to shoot first and ask questions later.

In a warfare zone, even the youngest members of the group study at an early age to simply accept and worry the soldier of their midst. Because of funding from the authorities, extra faculties are hiring armed cops—some outfitted with semi-automatic AR-15 rifles—to “secure” their campuses.

In a conflict zone, you haven’t any rights. If you find yourself staring down the finish of a police rifle, there may be no free speech. Whenever you’re being held at bay by a militarized, weaponized mine-resistant tank, there might be no freedom of meeting. If you’re being surveilled with thermal imaging units, facial recognition software program and full-body scanners and the like, there might be no privateness. Once you’re charged with disorderly conduct merely for daring to query or photograph or doc the injustices you see, with the blessing of the courts no much less, there could be no freedom to petition the authorities for a redress of grievances.

And whenever you’re a prisoner in your personal city, unable to maneuver freely, stored off the streets, issued a curfew at night time, there may be no mistaking the jail partitions closing in.

That is occurring and can occur anyplace and all over the place else on this nation the place regulation enforcement officers are given carte blanche to do what they like, once they like, how they like, with immunity from their superiors, the legislatures, and the courts.

You see, what People have failed to grasp, dwelling as they do in a TV-induced, drug-like haze of fabricated realities, narcissistic denial, and partisan politics, is that we’ve not solely introduced the army gear utilized in Iraq and Afghanistan residence for use towards the American individuals.

We’ve additionally introduced the very spirit of the struggle house.

“We the people” have now come full circle, from being held captive by the British police state to being held captive by the American police state.

In between, we’ve charted a course from revolutionaries preventing for our independence and a free individuals establishing a brand new nation to pioneers and explorers, braving the wilderness and increasing into new territories.

The place we went fallacious, nevertheless, was in permitting ourselves to turn into enthralled with after which held hostage by a army empire in bondage to a company state (the very definition of fascism).

Not does America maintain the ethical excessive floor as a champion of freedom and human rights. As an alternative, in the pursuit of revenue, our overlords have reworked the American panorama right into a battlefield, full with army personnel, techniques and weaponry.

To our dismay, we now discover ourselves scrambling for a foothold as our as soon as rock-solid constitutional basis crumbles beneath us. And not can we rely on the president, Congress, the courts, or the police to guard us from wrongdoing.

Certainly, the president, Congress, the courts, and the police have come to embody all that’s mistaken with America.

As an example, how does a person who is comparatively wholesome when taken into custody by police lapse right into a coma and die whereas underneath their supervision?

What sort of twisted logic permits a police officer to use a police automotive to run down an American citizen and justifies it in the identify of permissible lethal drive?

And what nation are we dwelling in the place the police can beat, shoot, choke, taser and deal with American residents, all with the safety of the courts?

Definitely, the Structure’s safeguards towards police abuse means nothing when authorities brokers can crash by means of your door, terrorize your youngsters, shoot your canine, and jail you on any variety of trumped of fees, and you’ve got little say in the matter. As an example, San Diego police, responding to a home disturbance name on a Sunday morning, confirmed up at the flawed tackle, solely to shoot the home-owner’s 6-year-old service canine in the head.

Rubbing salt in the wound, it’s typically the unfortunate sufferer of extreme police pressure who finally ends up being charged with wrongdoing. Though 16-year-old Thai Gurule was charged with resisting arrest and strangling and assaulting cops, a circuit decide discovered that it was truly the three officers who unlawfully stopped, tackled, punched, kneed, tasered and yanked his hair who have been at fault. Fortunately, bystander cellular phone movies undermined police accounts, which have been described as “works of fiction.”

Not even our youngsters are being spared the blowback from a rising police presence.

As one juvenile courtroom decide famous in testimony to Congress, though having police on public faculty campuses didn’t make the faculties any safer, it did end in giant numbers of scholars being arrested for misdemeanors reminiscent of faculty fights and disorderly conduct. One 11-year-old autistic Virginia scholar was charged with disorderly conduct and felony assault after kicking a garbage can and resisting a police officer’s try and handcuff him. A 14-year-old scholar was tasered by police, suspended and charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and trespassing after he did not obey a instructor’s order to be the final scholar to exit the classroom.

There isn’t any finish to the authorities’s unmitigated gall in driving roughshod over the rights of the citizenry, whether or not in issues of extreme police powers, militarized police, home coaching drills, SWAT staff raids, surveillance, property rights, overcriminalization, roadside strip searches, profit-driven fines and jail sentences, and so forth.

The president can now direct the army to detain, arrest and secretly execute American residents. These are the powers of an imperial dictator, not an elected official sure by the rule of regulation. This mantle is worn by whomever occupies the Oval Workplace now and in the future.

A consultant authorities means nothing when the common citizen has little to no entry to their elected officers, whereas company lobbyists take pleasure in a revolving door relationship with everybody from the President on down. Certainly, whereas members of Congress hardly work for the taxpayer, they work arduous at being wooed by firms, which spend extra to foyer our elected representatives than we spend on their collective salaries. For that matter, getting elected is not the excessive level it was. As one congressman famous, for a lot of elected officers, “Congress is no longer a destination but a journey… [to a] more lucrative job as a K Street lobbyist… It’s become routine to see members of Congress drop their seat in Congress like a hot rock when a particularly lush vacancy opens up.”

As for the courts, they’ve lengthy since ceased being courts of justice. As an alternative, they’ve develop into courts of order, largely marching in lockstep with the authorities’s dictates, all the whereas serving to to extend the largesse of presidency coffers. It’s referred to as for-profit justice, and it runs the gamut of all method of monetary incentives by which the courts turn into money cows for communities trying to make an additional buck. As journalist Chris Albin-Lackey particulars, “They deploy a crushing array of fines, court costs, and other fees to harvest revenues from minor offenders that these communities cannot or do not want to raise through taxation.” On this approach, says Albin-Lackey, “A resident of Montgomery, Alabama who commits a simple noise violation faces only a $20 fine—but also a whopping $257 in court costs and user fees should they seek to have their day in court.”

As for the relaxation—the faculties, the church buildings, personal companies, service suppliers, nonprofits and your fellow residents—many are additionally marching in lockstep with the police state.

That is what is usually known as group policing.

In any case, the police can’t be in all places. So how do you police a nation when your inhabitants outnumbers your military of troopers? How do you perform surveillance on a nation when there aren’t sufficient cameras, not to mention viewers, to watch each sq. inch of the nation 24/7? How do you not solely monitor however analyze the transactions, interactions and actions of each individual inside the United States?

The reply is easier than it appears: You persuade the citizenry to be your eyes and ears.

It’s an excellent ploy, with the added bonus that whereas the citizenry stays targeted on and distrustful of one another, they’re incapable of focusing on extra definable threats that fall nearer to house—specifically, the authorities and its militarized police.

On this method, we’re seeing an increase in the incidence of People being reported for rising greens of their entrance yard, preserving chickens of their again yard, letting their youngsters stroll to the playground alone, and voicing anti-government sentiments. For instance, after Shona Banda’s son defended the use of medical marijuana throughout a presentation at college, faculty officers alerted the police and social providers, and the 11-year-old was interrogated, taken into custody by social staff, had his residence raided by police and his mom arrested.

Now it might be that we have now nothing to fret about.

Maybe the authorities actually does have our greatest pursuits at coronary heart.

Maybe covert home army coaching drills actually are simply benign workouts to ensure our army is ready for any contingency.

Then once more, whereas I don’t consider in worrying over nothing, it’s protected to say that the authorities has not precisely proven itself to be pleasant in recent times, nor have its brokers proven themselves to be cognizant of the proven fact that they’re civilians who reply to the citizenry, slightly than the different approach round.

As Aldous Huxley warned in Courageous New World Revisited, “Liberty cannot flourish in a country that is permanently on a war footing, or even a near-war footing. Permanent crisis justifies permanent control of everybody and everything by the agencies of the central government.”

Whether or not or not the authorities plans to impose some extra overt type of martial regulation in the future stays to be seen, however there could be no denying that we’re being accustomed to life in a army state.

The malls could also be open for enterprise, the baseball stadiums could also be packed, and the information anchors could also be twittering nonsense about the newest superstar foofa, however these are simply distractions from what is actually happening: the transformation of America right into a struggle zone.

As I doc in my e-book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if it seems like a battlefield (armored tanks on the streets, militarized police in metro stations, surveillance cameras in all places), seems like a battlefield (SWAT group raids nightly, sound cannons to interrupt up giant assemblies of residents), and acts like a battlefield (police capturing first and asking questions later, intimidation techniques, and involuntary detentions), it’s a battlefield.

Certainly, what occurred in Ocala, Florida, is an effective metaphor for what’s occurring throughout the nation: Sheriff’s deputies, wearing particular ops uniforms and driving in an armored tank on a public street, pulled a 23-year-old man over and issued a warning violation to him after he gave them the finger. The man, Lucas Jewell, defended his actions as a free speech expression of his distaste for militarized police.

Translation: “We the people” are being hijacked on the freeway by authorities brokers with little information of or regard for the Structure, who’re overvalued on the energy of their badge, outfitted for conflict, looking forward to fight, and taking a pleasure experience—on taxpayer money and time—in a army tank that has no enterprise being on American soil.

Relaxation assured, until we slam on the brakes, this runaway tank will quickly be charting a brand new course by way of terrain that bears no resemblance to land of our forefathers, the place freedom meant extra than simply the freedom to exist and eat what the company powers dish out.

Rod Serling, one among my longtime heroes and the creator of The Twilight Zone, understood all too nicely the hazard of turning a blind eye to evil in our midst, the “things that scream for a response.” As Serling warned, “if we don’t listen to that scream – and if we don’t respond to it – we may well wind up sitting amidst our own rubble, looking for the truck that hit us – or the bomb that pulverized us. Get the license number of whatever it was that destroyed the dream. And I think we will find that the vehicle was registered in our own name.”

Should you haven’t managed to learn the writing on the wall but, the struggle has begun.

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Contributed by John W. Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute.

Since 1996, John W. Whitehead has taken on the whole lot from human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, safety of spiritual freedom, and baby pornography, to household autonomy points, cross burning, the sanctity of human life, and the warfare on terrorism in his weekly opinion column. A self-proclaimed civil libertarian, Whitehead is taken into account by many to be a authorized, political and cultural watchdog—sounding the name for integrity, accountability and an adherence to the democratic rules on which this nation was based.

Again and again, Whitehead hits the bull’s eye with commentaries which might be insightful, related and provocative. And all too typically, he finds himself underneath hearth for his frank and unadulterated viewpoint. However as he regularly remarks, “Anytime people find themselves under fire from both the liberal left and the conservative right, it means that that person is probably right on target.”

Mr. Whitehead’s commentaries have appeared in the Los Angeles Occasions, New York Occasions, Washington Submit, Washington Occasions and USA At the moment.