If the tin-foil hat fits…
We all know the game in this country: there are two kinds of people--they disagree with each other and nothing ever gets done.
But there is something happening that both sides could agree is evil if only they could see past the ideological junk clouding their minds. Actually, that is starting to happen. The reason I know it’s happening is because conspiracy theory, formerly the exclusive province of some on the left, has come full circle and embraced some of those on the right. And it is growing.
But here in our beautiful state of Vermont, we don’t wear tin-foil hats much. We wear wool. Over our eyes.
What the heck am I talking about?
I am talking about the militarization of police across America. I am talking about the fallacy of “freedom.” I’m talking about the transformation of a once-free nation into a police state.
Take it easy, you say. What’s one armored vehicle? The boys down at the station deserve it.
But this is only the tip of a colossal, toxic iceberg. Note that 165 other police departments each got one, including a college campus in Ohio. And there’s a waiting list 750 towns long for the next dispersal of military “surplus.” The half-million dollar MRAPs, paid for by you and me, are given to police in Podunk towns who don’t need them.
Why? The left and right wonder together. The leftist with his “liberty” and the republican with his “freedom” both look at this hideous machine with its machine-gun turret and know in their hearts that something ain’t right.
Vermont now has two armored vehicles, one in riotous Waterbury, and one in the unstable area outside Burlington. Vermonters can now feel more secure knowing that their boys in blue are protected from IEDs, mine blasts, and 50 caliber hits to bullet-proof glass, right? That makes sense, right?
Actually, it makes more sense when considered as part of a long line of actions taken by government that collectively are making our liberty-loving forefathers spin in their graves. Consider just a sampling:
In Bush’s 2006 Military Commissions Act, prisoners taken by the U.S. no longer have the right to an attorney or trial;
The NDAA, signed by Obama in 2013, allows indefinite detention of Americans. It also enshrines into law the use of the US Military in domestic law enforcement—something the early lawmakers strove to prevent with their Posse Comitatus Act of 1878;
In 2011 Obama kills an American citizen and his 16-year-old son with drone strikes;
In 2013 DHS issues purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition, some of it for hollow-point rounds, forbidden by international law for use in war, along with a frightening amount specialized for snipers. At the height of the Iraq War, the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month. Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years. In America;
And, in 2012, drone surveillance was unleashed domestically.
The MRAPs might seem out of place in placid Vermont. But did you know that between 2000 and 2011, Vermont businesses brought in over $7.5 billion in federal defense funding? We are so steeped in war we can’t even see it.
The military-industrial complex has proved itself to be a host-killing parasite. It thrives in a bipartisan environment as long as both sides continually stoke the fires of fear. It must eat, and when it moves, people are crushed. Usually it’s people in other countries.
The MRAP being lovingly painted “civilian black” in its hangar is an ugly chicken come home to roost. The question that resonates in my tin-hat wearing head is this: How long before the disgruntled masses are disgruntled enough for the controlling elite minority to decide to really wield all this military might against us?