Friday, August 15, 2014

Rand Paul: Demilitarize the Police


In writing a piece  published by Time magazine, Senator Rand Paul once again despite the nearly insurmountable odds that he faces shows why he represents the best opportunity for change in America. A large part of the change that is needed to save the republic from fascism is a rollback of the militarized police state and the surveillance colossus that underlies it. The menace of the government showering surplus battlefield equipment from the endless wars on local law enforcement is the most important story of the last decade yet has been largely ignored. That is until this week’s over the top response to the protesters in Ferguson, Missouri brought the imagery of weaponized police thugs and their Gestapo tactics against the citizenry out into daylight.

There is a reason why the entrenched occupiers of the U.S. government and in particular the Democratic party is terrified of Rand Paul and it is that he and he alone is speaking to these issues. Paul’s piece in Time is drawing good reviews and justifiably so. It is entitled “We Must Demilitarize the Police” and I excerpt the following:

The shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown is an awful tragedy that continues to send shockwaves through the community of Ferguson, Missouri and across the nation.
If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager, there would have been a distinct possibility that I might have smarted off. But, I wouldn’t have expected to be shot.
The outrage in Ferguson is understandable—though there is never an excuse for rioting or looting. There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response.

The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action.

AND

When you couple this militarization of law enforcement with an erosion of civil liberties and due process that allows the police to become judge and jury—national security letters, no-knock searches, broad general warrants, pre-conviction forfeiture—we begin to have a very serious problem on our hands.

AND

The militarization of our law enforcement is due to an unprecedented expansion of government power in this realm. It is one thing for federal officials to work in conjunction with local authorities to reduce or solve crime. It is quite another for them to subsidize it.

Americans must never sacrifice their liberty for an illusive and dangerous, or false, security. This has been a cause I have championed for years, and one that is at a near-crisis point in our country.

September 11, 2001 - the day that changed everything - opened a Pandora's box in this country that is going to need a titanic mass effort to close. The nation's police have been radically transformed from a force that operates under the longtime American tradition of "to protect and serve" into "to search and destroy". The brutal invasion of armored goons in Ferguson, Missouri provides a wake up call that all Americans could be subject to police run amok when a certain substance hits the whirring fan blades and that day is coming. There are a number of percolating problems that could trigger the imposition of martial law in America: economic collapse, a terrorist attack, an Ebola outbreak or just some phony crisis ginned-up by the establishment as an excuse to eliminate potential dissenters and to lock down their ill-gotten gains. It is of the utmost urgency that Americans act to disarm the militarized police before that day inevitably arrives.

Rand Paul may never be president, the current system is too corrupt for a real maverick (unlike that old phony John McCain) to rise to that level. However, Senator Paul can do his country an enormous service by getting existential issues like the rise of the militarized police, unconstitutional NSA surveillance and data-mining as well as  the proliferation of flying drones into the national debate. There is also that matter that under Obama, the chief executive has now been granted the power to extra-judicially order the killing of American citizens which Paul has also denounced.

2016 may be the last opportunity to reverse this very dangerous path that America has been dragged down since 9/11 and the unprecedented expansion of the police state that the attacks were used to justify for political gain and profits. The ability to shift the debate to the real issues is what Rand Paul brings to the table and he continues to do exactly that with his call for an end to the militarizing of the police. This is not a partisan political issue but one that affects all Americans and any attempts to paint it otherwise are a disservice to the country.