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Bob Livingston Is A ‘Liberal Jackhole’

by Bob Livingston on Monday, August 25th, 2014

This is article 566 of 566 in the topic Media
Bob Livingston Is A ‘Liberal Jackhole’

THINKSTOCK

Liberal jackhole and many other more colorful pejoratives greeted me last week as I browsed comments both here on the Personal Liberty Digest™ page and on our Personal Liberty Facebook page. In fact, no single subject has led to more insults and more dropped subscribers and lost Facebook followers than our coverage of the Ferguson, Missouri, “crisis,” even though I believe our coverage has been quite fair.

However, the numerous charges that Bob Livingston is or has become a liberal (and they don’t mean liberal in the classical sense, which would be closer to the truth) indicate it’s time once again to explain my philosophy to the new readers and also answer some of the most common questions we get. I hope longtime readers aren’t put off by this, which they will likely find is a repeat of things I’ve written before. I ask that you view it as a “refresher” that helps you to remember all you’ve read here to date.

I also hope new readers will appreciate that the philosophy and questions are condensed so that they can receive it on one dose rather than either having to wade through previous articles posted here since the inception of Personal Liberty Digest™ in mid-2008.

Since we have a great many readers who come for a time and then disappear, writing this column from time to time is necessary. As we are one of the top libertarian sites on the Web, many libertarians join us but then become critical because we are not all libertarians (or all libertarian). Since we are linked to many conservative sites, many conservatives and Republicans join us and then become angry when we don’t toe the party line, when we are critical Republican politicians or when we advocate for a noninterventionist foreign policy. And since we write articles on natural health and nutrition and the dangers of genetically modified foods, we get many people here interested in those topics — many of them political leftists — who like our articles on those subjects, but vehemently oppose our other political views.

So who is Bob Livingston? Firstly, I am not the adulterous former congressman from Louisiana. I am an octogenarian Christian American patriot. In the 1960s, I became alarmed at the direction our nation was headed. I became frustrated with the lies, deceit, misinformation and deliberate disinformation being spread as “truth” by the government, the manipulated media and the controlling elite. I believed the lies needed be exposed, so I began to seek an outlet to do that. In 1969, I began publishing my subscription newsletter, The Bob Livingston Letter (subscription required). My goal is to find the truth and spread it far and wide. My favorite subjects are alternative health issues, privacy, wealth protection, the preservation of freedom and the history of man.

Do you consider yourself a Republican, Democrat or Libertarian? I belong to no political party. I am beholden to none. I consider myself an ultra-conservative and a Constitutionalist. Some read what I write and call me a conservative, some a liberal, some a libertarian.

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Police Shoot First And Cover Up The Questions Later

by Bob Livingston on Friday, August 22nd, 2014

This is article 50 of 51 in the topic Police/Fire
Police Shoot First And Cover Up The Questions Later

SCREENSHOT
A police officer shot and killed Dillon Taylor outside this 7-Eleven in Salt Lake City on Aug. 11.

On Aug. 11, Dillon Taylor, a 20-year-old white man, exited a Salt Lake City 7-Eleven with two friends. The three were confronted by a black police officer barking orders. Taylor was almost immediately shot dead.

According to the Salt Lake Police Department, the officer was responding to a report of a man waving a gun in the area of the store and Taylor matched the description of the reported suspect. Taylor’s friends say he (Taylor) was wearing headphones and likely didn’t hear the officer’s commands. Police say the officer thought Taylor was reaching for a gun. Taylor’s friends say he was likely either hitching up his pants or reaching for his phone. Regardless, Taylor — and his friends — were all unarmed, or at least that’s what his friends say. The SLPD won’t say one way or the other.

Two days before Taylor was murdered by a police officer, 18-year-old Michael Brown, a young black man, was shot down by a white police officer. He, too, was unarmed.

Brown’s shooting resulted in protests and riots and recognition — by some people (finally) — that American has morphed into a police state. This is something I have been telling you for some time, and it’s why we created our Power of the State section.

But most so-called “law and order” conservatives still fail to get it. After the Ferguson Police Department released a video that purported to show Brown committing a strong-armed robbery just prior to his police encounter, many of the so-called “law and order” conservatives immediately determined (if they had not already done so on the basis that Brown was a large black man) that he was simply a thug and “got what he deserved.” This very comment was made many times in our articles on the subject and on our Personal Liberty Facebook page. In fact, no single subject causes us to lose as many subscribers and Facebook followers as our “liberal” articles on the police abuses.

Although the SLPD won’t say whether Taylor was armed and won’t release video from the officer’s camera, it did manage to leak this tidbit to the media: Taylor had a $25,000 bench warrant for a probation violation in connection with a felony robber and obstruction of justice conviction.

Note the commonality in the aftermath of both the Taylor and Brown shooting. Police leaked information that called into the question the character of the victims after they had been shot. This is a common propaganda ploy employed by the LEOs (legally entitled to oppress) in order to provide justification for their latest shooting. Lost is the fact that neither Taylor’s shooter nor Brown’s shooter knew anything about the prior “criminal” history of their targets, so this history played no role in the shooting.

There are about 500 people killed by police in America each year. Granted, some of the killings are justified.

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The Regime Uses Words And Phrases Designed To Bamboozle Us All

by Bob Livingston on Monday, August 11th, 2014

This is article 452 of 453 in the topic Government Corruption
The Regime Uses Words And Phrases Designed To Bamboozle Us All

THINKSTOCK

 

Most longtime readers know that I have often warned that our government has evolved into benevolent totalitarianism.

This is a gentle term for fascism. No, we don’t have the jack boots and the swastika. Our system is far advanced from that. Our fascism today is so advanced over Nazi Germany and fascist Italy of World War II that our system actually appears benevolent.

How could this happen? The answer is: reverse semantics. Every writer and every talking head in America refer to the U.S. as a democracy of free market capitalism and individual privacy and property rights. This is a big laugh to any sober, thinking person.

Well, the system and its paid politicians still repeat those high-sounding terms. They use the terms like “privacy” and “free market” as sedatives to the crowd. The terms “private” and “freedom” no longer mean what they once did. They are cruel deceptions that fool the mind yearning for human freedom.

The fact is that in America we have massive regulation and regimentation. But, of course, it’s “in the public interest.” It all spews forth out of “democracy” as if a biblical word and a holy sanction.

We live in a fiction of freedom perpetuated with semantic corruption that has evolved us into economic fascism and tyranny. Language and words that support a free society have been turned inside out.

With this propaganda of reverse semantics, opposition has been neutralized. True words, true meanings of patriotism and freedom have become the farce and illusion of fascism.

A “Patriot Act” is the cover for treason. “Free healthcare” is the cover for collectivism and forced medication. “Gay rights” is a cover for stolen liberty, increased State control and the creation of thought crimes. We have bought organized crime with a pretty face and twisted language.

And I say to you, millions of “educated” and vain intelligentsia, you bought the scam of American fascism too, the same as the millions of illiterates — if you weren’t busy perpetrating it.

Here are more examples of reverse semantics at work:

  • Free press: Six mega-corporations control 90 percent of all that you read, watch or hear. This is down from more than 50 companies 30 years ago. The so-called “journalists” from those organizations operate in an echo chamber founded by a left-wing activist, Billy Wimsatt.  More than 1,000 of these front-line “journalists” and editorialists from such organizations as CNN, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, Al Jazeera America, U.S. News & World Report, among others, along with members of progressive (i.e., socialist) think tanks and activist organizations like Center for Media and Democracy and the American Legislative, Issue Campaign Exchange and American Sustainable Business Council, are members of a secretive and closed Google group called Gamechanger Salon in which they meet online to exchange information, ideas and strategy to promote progressive ideas, policies and candidates.
  • Immigration reform: Along the southern border an invasion is taking place perpetrated by Barack Obama policies and pronouncements and intentional lack of border security.

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The Most Deceptive Word In The English Language

by Bob Livingston on Monday, August 4th, 2014

This is article 29 of 29 in the topic Forms of Government
The Most Deceptive Word In The English Language

THINKSTOCK

This is a political and subversive word created and promoted by the establishment as a major key to formulate and channel the public mind. It has more than saturated the public conscience. Very “intellectual” people spout this word assuming that it means human freedom and liberty.

The truth and purpose of this word is for a cover and disguise for fascism and socialism. This word is the workhorse of the American propaganda ministry. Every person is taught this word, from politicians to school children. The government indoctrination centers (also known as schools) and the corporate media use it religiously. Politicians love its sound. It is one of President Barack Obama’s favorite words.

It was an important word to Hitler and Joseph Goebbels.

What is this word? It’s “Democracy.”

Let’s play a little game. See how many times you hear this word in a day from the elites, from the media and from your friends. Six; a dozen, 20 or more?

The U.S. was founded as a Republic. When asked what type of government they had created, Benjamin Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” We could not. Our republic has been transformed into a democracy.

Democracy is an esoteric belief system that manipulates the people in such a way that all power flows to the state. As with pure dictatorships, power flows from the top down.

Democracy implies freedom in the public’s mind while power and wealth is constantly channeled to the Federal government. Human liberty is regressively crushed under the one simple word, “democracy.”

Democracy is a political word that is embraced by all political parties and all politicians under many labels in every country of the modern world. It is a cover and a facade for communism, socialism, fascism, for class warfare, for the exploitation and manipulation of minorities against stability, cultural heritage and private property. (By the way; communism, socialism and fascism are all equal. Don’t be fooled by claims that one is a right wing and another is a left wing philosophy. They all transfer power to the state. The difference is simply semantics.)

When politicians utter the word democracy, they are using a code word that signifies their total allegiance to the state. They are using mass hypnosis to manipulate the people against human liberty.

Democracy is that universal mystery that is loved by all and opposed by none. It implies everything good to everyone and every religion. It is the mantle (mantra) of the New World Order. It is the apex of adoration for the state, universalism, One Worldism and materialism. It is Satanism posing as an angel of light.

Anyone seeking human liberty, privacy and private property under the mental deception of democracy is under the greatest illusion. Let us purge our minds of this seductive appeal, this spiritual despotism. It has stolen our conscience, our soul and our honor. It is our legacy to future generations to whom we are passing on our slavery. Shame could have no greater victory.

Democracy is a faith, a state religion, a state of mind. It is the progressive destruction of the person — the individual. It is covered and masked with benevolence, philanthropy and brotherhood.

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The Ebola Scaremongers

by Bob Livingston on Monday, August 4th, 2014

This is article 451 of 453 in the topic Government Corruption
The Ebola Scaremongers

THINKSTOCK

Fear is one of the strongest of human emotions. It’s the go-to emotion when the elites want to exert more control or simply to distract your attention.

America is experiencing a mass invasion across the southern border. More than two-thirds of Americans recognize it for what it is: A deliberate attack on the American system orchestrated by President Barack Obama at the behest of the global elite. The globalists have set the world on fire. Gaza, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Iraq are in flames. A lawless President mocks the American people as he “fundamentally transforms” the country. A lawless Congress provides him cover.

Americans are finally showing signs of an awakening. More are coming out of their slumber. Obama’s approval numbers are negative 13.5, according to Real Clear Politics. Congress’ is much worse.

The people recognize their “elected politicians” don’t have their best interests at heart. They serve the money gods and nothing else – the people be damned.

The system is collapsing. The Internet has provided a forum for the truth. The people see past the lies of the elites and their propaganda machine. Pockets of resistance are growing. The Bundy Ranch standoff was a flashpoint.

Ebola! Watch the left hand. Ignore the right.

Alan Grayson, the Marxist Congressman from Florida, has taken on the role of the illusionist. Close the borders, he says. But not the U.S. borders, where all manner of third world diseases, criminals, violent gang members and socialist indoctrinated people are entering the country to be spread far and wide by the criminal President and his criminal regime who are working to transform America into a Third-World backwater.

No. Leave the U.S. borders open. Never mind the people’s wishes. It’s the borders of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone that should be closed.

Ebola! Its only method of human-to-human transmission is direct exposure (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, or contact with environments contaminated with such fluids.

In the entire recorded history of the world there have been 841 confirmed cases and 456 confirmed deaths from Ebola, according to the World Health Organization. To put that in context, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims (falsely) that the flu kills 36,000 Americans annually. WHO claims seasonal flu kills 250,000-500,000 worldwide each year.

Who (or WHO?) has called for a border to be closed for the flu?

By exploiting people’s fear over the mysterious Ebola virus, the elites are seeking to regain control and distract your attention. Crisis governing leads to more control. It’s an old play from an old book. Don’t fall for it.

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Beware GMOs; They Set You Up For Cancer, Other Diseases

by Bob Livingston on Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

This is article 69 of 71 in the topic Food/Natural Remedies
Beware GMOs; They Set You Up For Cancer, Other Diseases

THINKSTOCK

If you were to write a movie about evil scientists plotting to insert secret ingredients into the food supply in order to make humans sick, you’d have a hard time coming up with something more inventive and potentially more dangerous than genetically modified (GMO) food.

Even though GMO ingredients are not listed on food labels, they have already infiltrated our dinner plates. And this technological change to our food has the potential for sabotaging the world’s food supply. Sadly, most Americans don’t even realize they eat GMO food at just about every meal. In particular, the soy and corn ingredients of our favorite dishes almost always contain GMO ingredients.

U.S. farmers and farmers around the world plant vast amounts of these laboratory-created crops. In particular, soy, corn and cotton (processed food frequently has cottonseed oil added to it) have been genetically engineered to contain toxic pesticides and to withstand massive amounts of herbicides that are applied to farm fields. This allows GMO crops to survive and be harvested while weeds in the fields are supposed to wither and die.

Of course, other beneficial living things like honeybees, other pollinators and a wide collection of wildlife also perish from massive pesticide exposure. And the pesticides often persist long enough to poison our water and air.

According to estimates by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, since GMO crops were introduced in the 1990s, 1 billion acres worldwide have been planted with these plants. That’s an area larger than the continental United States.

GMO proponents argue that the technology is safe, but recent discoveries about what happens in the genetic material of altered organisms are not reassuring. Understand that we are not talking about hybridization, which is the process of cross breeding similar plants in order to create a superior variety or achieve a specific characteristic. Creating GMO plants is much different and can involve replacing, swapping or splicing genes or inserting viruses into the genes themselves in order to alter their very nature.

In theory, altering an organism’s genetic material seems simple and precise. The process is supposed to consist of extracting a desirable gene from one plant or animal and inserting it into another.

Suppose, for example, one wants to create tomatoes that can withstand cold weather. In theory, genes that allow a frost-resistant plant to survive freezing temperatures are extracted and put it into the tomato plant. When seeds of the new tomato plant grow, the presence of this genetic material stimulates activity in the new plants that keep them alive as the temperature drops.

In practice, however, this leads to unforeseen consequences. Only recently have scientists discovered that the genes scientists insert into plants are often contaminated with unintended material, including viruses.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has discovered that when lab scientists altered genes in GMO food, they were also feeding in parts of a virus gene. No one had ever noticed that before.

This virus gene, however, is now in the food we eat. Is it safe? Will it lead to some type of new illness among the millions of people who consume it? Experts can’t say.

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War Machine Goes On The Attack

by Bob Livingston on Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

This is article 86 of 89 in the topic Wars
War Machine Goes On The Attack

FILE

Seeking to head off a potential Rand Paul Presidency and fearing that such might mean an end to perpetual war, the war machine has gone into full attack mode.

It started over the weekend with Texas Governor (and previously Bilderberg-approved) Rick Perry’s op-ed in The Washington Post, in which he warned about the dangers of “isolationism.” He described Paul as “curiously blind” to the growing threats in Iraq.

The use of the term “isolationism” is an old and tired canard the warmongers recycle whenever the American people grow weary of perpetual war and a politician sensing the mood of the electorate comes out and threatens to disengage the U.S. from its constant meddling. Paul has certainly not advocated “isolationism.”

Senator John McCain, who would have the U.S. military engaged in every Mideast country plus half the former Soviet Union if he had his way, piled on, accusing Paul of wanting a “withdrawal to fortress America.” Not to be outdone, former Vice President and longtime Trilateral Commission member Dick Cheney told a luncheon crowd on Monday that “isolationism is crazy.” His daughter, Liz Cheney, declared that Paul “leaves something to be desired in terms of national security policy.”

“I think the general fear on the part of a lot of leaders in the Republican Party is that there’s an isolationist temptation after two big wars, an isolationist temptation in the American electorate,” Elliott Abrams, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who was a deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush Administration, told Politico. “And I think people are genuinely concerned about it and desirous of trying to stop it before it spreads further.”

It’s not the American people but the neocon establishment that’s “desirous of trying to stop it before it spreads further.” What the American people are “genuinely concerned about” is a desire to end the incoherent foreign policy — advocated by the previously mentioned warmongers as well by the current usurper currently despoiling the people’s house — of arming in one country the very terrorists we are fighting in another. What the American people are “genuinely concerned about” is a foreign policy that considers the interests of Saudi Arabia, Israel and international banksters over the best interests of the United States. What the American people are “genuinely concerned about” is a foreign policy which, in Iraq, pits the U.S. against a supposed ally (Saudi Arabia, which supports and is arming ISIS) and alongside a supposed enemy (Iran, which supports the U.S. puppet regime in Iraq). What the American people are “genuinely concerned about” is a regime that drone strikes innocent civilians around the globe under the guise of fighting a “war on terror” that the current President won’t even acknowledge.

The American people, by and large, have grown sick of war. That’s understandable considering the U.S. has been in a constant state of war since George H.W. Bush double-crossed Saddam Hussein and opened the door to an Iraq invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. It’s been stirring the pot in the region since the CIA dispatched Kermit Roosevelt to orchestrate an Iranian coup on behalf of British oil interests in 1951.

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Obama’s Fundamental Transformation

by Bob Livingston on Friday, July 11th, 2014

This is article 987 of 1001 in the topic Obama
Obama’s Fundamental Transformation

OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY PETE SOUZA

“Five days. After decades of broken politics in Washington… we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America. In five days, you can turn the page on policies that put greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of folks on Main Street. In five days, you can choose policies that invest in our middle class, and create new jobs, and grow this economy, so that everyone has a chance to succeed, not just the CEO, but the secretary and janitor, not just the factory owner, but the men and women on the factory floor.” — Barack Obama, October 2008

Has he succeeded? Let’s see.

His campaign to fundamentally transform the U.S. is in full operation on the border, where his extra-Constitutional action to grant amnesty to young illegals — called Dreamers — has drawn tens of thousands of illegals across the border… along with their Third World diseases. These illegals are now being shipped across America, where they are dumped out to spread their diseases and become drains on society that scarf up what few low-wage jobs there are, and consume social services. Even some of his most ardent supporters now get it.

Obama continues his push for amnesty, which would benefit the large corporations, the unions and the Democrat voter base. His economic policies of profligate Federal Reserve money printing and government spending prop up Wall Street, create bubbles and stifle economic growth. Those same policies, combined with his signature achievement (Obamacare), kill jobs that would be held by the secretary, the janitor and the men and women on the factory floor. America is becoming a society of part-time jobs.

There are more Americans than ever on the public dole. Millions would be starving if not for government welfare programs, which have done nothing but replace the soup lines of the first Great Depression. Money printing continues; and it is nothing more than a great transfer of wealth to the elites and a tax on the poor and middle class, who see their savings gaining nothing and the prices of the things they buy skyrocketing.

This second Great Depression is showing no signs of letting up and looks to run longer and deeper than the first. There is no economic growth, and there has not been for nearly seven years.

This woman wonders why she alone is shouting into the wind.

“Am I the only one in this community that’s out here, that watches the news… I feel alone in this, and I’m very saddened by it,” she said.

Many of us feel the same way.

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There’s More Than Just ‘Progressivism’ Behind Leftist Commenters

by Bob Livingston on Monday, June 30th, 2014

This is article 192 of 194 in the topic Liberalism
There’s More Than Just ‘Progressivism’ Behind Leftist Commenters

THINKSTOCK

I am not a psychiatrist, but it is evident that a certain psychosis is prevalent in the minds of progressives/statists — or those who are sycophants of the regime or the state or its “leaders,” however you choose to describe it.

We make no bones about the fact that Personal Liberty Digest™ is a site that promotes and espouses the true conservative ideals of small government as prescribed by the Constitution, liberty, personal responsibility, laissez-faire capitalism and non-aggression. These are subjects I have been writing about since 1969 in my printed newsletter, The Bob Livingston Letter™ (www.boblivingstonletter.com, subscription required), and here at Personal Liberty since 2008.

These things — small, Constitutional government; liberty; personal responsibility; laissez-faire capitalism; and non-aggression — are apparently anathema to progressives who worship the state and the regime. Yet we have a large number of them commenting on articles each day (though by the nature of many of their comments, it is unclear whether they bothered to read the articles beforehand). Their comments, when they are anything more than a string of invectives or expletives, are generally contumelious and seem to focus on how irrelevant, kooky, out of the main or downright ignorant they think are conservative ideas and Constitutionalism. From there they typically degenerate to simply trying to shout down or shut up either the author or another commenter.

When queried on why they frequent a site that holds views they find so distasteful and populated by commenters they believe are so “moronic” (their words, see below) the response is usually that 1) they are trying to “educate” conservatives or 2) they find the views and comments “entertaining.”

Doubtless, some of them may be serious about their desire to “educate” conservatives. But as conservatism is a philosophy based on logic and reason and progressivism/statism/collectivism is a philosophy based on emotion and control, the likelihood of a conservative to progressive conversion taking place is less than slim.

Besides, for purposes of educating the readers, progressive commenters offer mind-bending and enlightening commentary like:

  • Rx7pjWhat a moron
  • Rx7pjGarbage
  • Rx7pjTalking about yourself “simpleton”?
  • Rx7pjGarbage
  • Rx7pjNo, you’re the idiot.
  • Rx7pjWhat does this have to do with liberty??

    Just sounds like right winged garbage.

  • Rx7pjHorsesh*&
  • Rx7pjAs I said , YOU are a complete moron. Get a life

And finally:

  • Rx7pjGarbage

These are just a small sampling of many similar comments from this commenter and are not repeats. And should anyone believe that one commenter has been taken out of context and I have made a mountain from a molehill, there’s this:

  • Bob Blanstonoffstfu boy!
  • Bob BlanstonoffIf we wanted any crap out of you we’d pull off your head and dip it out of your neck!
  • Bob BlanstonoffPgkyswcghap
  • Bob BlanstonoffStfu
  • Bob BlanstonoffPlease do everyone a favor and go get embalmed.
  • Bob BlanstonoffPlease butt the hell out, Biotch!

And

  • Ron rGo play idiot.
  • Ron rGive specifics , not talking points. Hell I domes ignor my grown a– children. Does that make me a bad parent ?
  • Ron rIdiots!!!
  • Ron rGo rob a church
  • Ron rDid you have something of importance to add to the discussion ? If not stop jocking !

And then there’s this, from a “guy” who has claimed on multiple occasions to be more enlightened and more educated than anyone here:

  • Paul DorseyBlah Blah Blah Blah Blah!!!

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Local Law Enforcement More Dangerous, Thanks To Trickle Down Of Military Equipment, Militarized Mindset

by Bob Livingston on Monday, June 30th, 2014

This is article 48 of 51 in the topic Police/Fire
Local Law Enforcement More Dangerous, Thanks To Trickle Down Of Military Equipment, Militarized Mindset

SPECIAL

For a mere $2,500, the Walton County, Fla., Sheriff’s Department purchased a military surplus mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle — that cost more than $500,000 to build — to help with its law enforcement activities. This is the same vehicle that the U.S. military deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq to use against insurgents.

The Florida county is just one in a long line of communities using Federal programs designed to militarize local law enforcement by providing them with military equipment and military training. Studies estimate as many as 500 communities have acquired MRAPs. The result has helped to turn local police and sheriff’s departments — originally tasked to protect and serve their public — into violent, shoot-first quasi-military organizations terrorizing and abusing the public. This is not hyperbole, as we show regularly in our Power Of The State section.

Walton County is so idyllic and peaceful that residents feel no need to lock their doors, and its peaceful nature is so over-the-top unusual that one of its communities was chosen as the location for filming “The Truman Show.” Yet Sheriff Mike Adkinson said the MRAP was needed as an “insurance policy” to keep deputies safe in dangerous situations.

The problem with police departments acquiring new military “toys” comes in the fact that, when toys are acquired, they are wont to be used. And therein lies the rub. Police use flimsy evidence to suggest “threats” exist, and the military tactics escalate encounters and create more violence.

The American Civil Liberties Union recently completed a study of 800 deployments by heavily armed Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams from 20 law enforcement agencies over the period 2011-2012. It found that more than three-fourths of the deployments were executed — often using MRAPs — to search a person’s home, and more than 60 percent of the time the searches were for drugs. But in at least 36 percent of the SWAT raids studied, no drugs were found. And because police reports were often incomplete, the ACLU notes that the actual figure could be as high as 65 percent.

SWAT teams were originally created to respond to hostage, barricade or active shooter scenarios. But only 7 percent of deployments in the ACLU study were employed for SWAT teams’ original intent.

Records provided the ACLU by 63 responding law enforcement agencies showed they received “a total of 15,054 items of battle uniforms or personal protective equipment” in 2011-2012.

In addition to battle uniforms and gear, officers are increasingly trained in military tactics and they increasingly come from the ranks of military units previously deployed in war zones. Their training “encourages them to adopt a ‘warrior’ mentality and think of people they are supposed to serve as enemies.” And the equipment they use includes battering rams, flashbang grenades and the aforementioned MRAPS or other armored personnel carriers.

It’s not unusual for the raids to be carried out late at night to increase the confusion among the occupants who are startled from sleep. But it also increases the likelihood innocents are in the house, which increases the danger to them.

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