By John W. Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute |
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”—Benjamin Franklin
The ease with which People are ready to welcome boots on the bottom, regional lockdowns, routine invasions of their privateness, and the dismantling of each constitutional proper meant to function a bulwark towards authorities abuses is past unnerving.
I’m referring at this specific second in time to President Trump’s choice to deploy army forces to the border in a supposed bid to shield the nation from invading bands of unlawful immigrants.
This newest try to bamboozle the citizenry into relinquishing much more of their rights is usually referred to as letting the wolves guard the henhouse.
By no means thoughts that utilizing the U.S. army as a police pressure constitutes a direct violation of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. By no means thoughts that America’s police have already been reworked into a standing military. By no means thoughts that the borders have all the time been porous—a incontrovertible fact that the federal government and its company companions revenue from tremendously when handy. By no means thoughts that Trump’s infatuation with heavy-handed army and police energy might pave the best way for much larger threats to our liberties than a few underfed, unemployed migrants getting into the nation.
We’re gone the stage the place the federal government—at any degree—abides by restrictions on its powers.
What we’re coping with is a run-away authorities puffed up by itself energy, whose insurance policies are dictated extra by paranoia than want.
Watching the state of our nation unravel, I can’t assist however consider Nazi Area Marshal Hermann Goering’s remarks in the course of the Nuremberg trials. As Goering famous:
It’s all the time a easy matter to drag individuals alongside whether or not it’s a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the individuals can all the time be introduced to the bidding of the leaders. That is straightforward. All you will have to do is inform them they’re being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the nation to hazard. It really works the identical in each nation.
It really works the identical in each nation.
The similar propaganda and police state techniques that labored for Adolf Hitler 80 years in the past proceed to be employed with nice success in a post-9/11 America.
We holding returning to the identical sticking level, pressured to make the identical selection again and again: important liberty or short-term security.
Again and again, we hold sacrificing our liberties for phantom guarantees of security.
Regardless of the menace to so-called safety—whether or not it’s rumored weapons of mass destruction, faculty shootings, or alleged acts of terrorism—it doesn’t take a lot for the American individuals to march in lockstep with the federal government’s dictates, even when it means submitting to martial regulation, having their houses searched, and being stripped of 1’s constitutional rights at a second’s discover.
Furthermore, it doesn’t actually matter whether or not it’s a Democrat or a Republican is on the helm, as a result of the bureaucratic mindset on each side of the aisle now appears to embody the identical philosophy of authoritarian authorities.
The lesson is that this: as soon as a free individuals permits the federal government to make inroads into their freedoms or makes use of those self same freedoms as bargaining chips for safety, it shortly turns into a slippery slope to outright tyranny.
That is quick turning into a authorities that has no respect for the liberty or lives of its citizenry.
But there are warning indicators we can’t afford to ignore.
First off, there isn’t a such factor as a “border” within the eyes of those army patrols. The complete United States of America has grow to be a Structure-free zone.
In accordance to journalist Todd Miller, the “once thin borderline of the American past” is “an ever-thickening band, now extending 100 miles inland around the United States—along the 2,000-mile southern border, the 4,000-mile northern border and both coasts… This ‘border’ region now covers places where two-thirds of the US population (197.4 million people) live… The ‘border’ has by now devoured the full states of Maine and Florida and much of Michigan.”
As a part of its so-called efforts to maintain the nation protected from a host of threats, the U.S. authorities has declared that ever-expanding border area a Structure-free zone.
“In these vast domains, Homeland Security authorities can institute roving patrols with broad, extra-constitutional powers backed by national security, immigration enforcement and drug interdiction mandates. There, the Border Patrol can set up traffic checkpoints and fly surveillance drones overhead with high-powered cameras and radar that can track your movements. Within twenty-five miles of the international boundary, CBP agents can enter a person’s private property without a warrant.”
To recap: 66% of People (2/three of the U.S. inhabitants, 197.four million individuals) now stay inside this 100-mile-deep, Structure-free zone.
That’s a lot of floor to declare off limits to the Structure.
The outcome, as Miller notes, “is a permanent, low-intensity state of exception that makes the expanding borderlands a ripe place to experiment with tearing apart the Constitution, a place where not just undocumented border-crossers, but millions of borderland residents have become the targets of continual surveillance.”
Be warned: authorities brokers proceed to roam additional afield of the so-called border as a part of their so-called crackdown on unlawful immigration, medicine and trafficking. Consequently, larger numbers of People are being topic to warrantless searches, ID checkpoints, transportation checks, and even surveillance on personal property.
Second, this de facto standing military that has been imposed on the American individuals is in clear violation of the spirit—if not the letter of the regulation—of the Posse Comitatus Act, which restricts the federal government’s capacity to use the U.S. army as a police pressure.
America’s police forces—which seem like, gown like, and act just like the army—have undeniably turn out to be a “standing” or everlasting military, one composed of full-time skilled troopers who don’t disband, which is strictly what the Founders feared. With the police more and more posing as pseudo-military forces—full with weapons, uniforms, assault automobiles, and so forth.—a good case might be made for the truth that SWAT group raids, which break down the barrier between private and non-private property, have carried out away with this crucial safeguard.
Sadly, the growing militarization of the police, using refined weaponry towards People and the federal government’s growing tendency to make use of army personnel domestically have all however eviscerated historic prohibitions such because the Posse Comitatus Act.
Certainly, there are a rising variety of exceptions to which Posse Comitatus doesn’t apply. These exceptions serve to additional acclimate the nation to the sight and sounds of army personnel on American soil and the imposition of martial regulation.
This begs the query: if the borders represent a Structure-free zone, who will police these policing our borders and maintain them accountable for misconduct and wrongdoing?
We’ve seen what occurs to home police charged with wrongdoing: they get little greater than a slap on the wrist. Only recently, in truth, the U.S. Supreme Courtroom shielded a police officer who shot a lady 4 occasions in her driveway as she stood speaking to a pal whereas holding a kitchen knife. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor acknowledged in her dissent in Kisela v. Hughes, “It tells officers that they can shoot first and think later, and it tells the public that palpably unreasonable conduct will go unpunished.”
Third, there’s the Customs and Border Safety (CBP) company, an arm of the Division of Homeland Safety made up of greater than 60,000 Customs and Border Safety staff, and supplemented by the Nationwide Guard and the U.S. army.
A nationwide police drive imbued with all of the brutality, ineptitude and corruption such a position implies, the DHS—aptly described as a “wasteful, growing, fear-mongering beast”—has been ruthlessly environment friendly when it comes to establishing what the Founders feared most: a standing military on American soil.
The third largest federal company behind the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Protection, the DHS—with its 240,000 full-time staff, $40 billion price range and sub-agencies that embrace the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Safety, Secret Service, Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) and the Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA)—extends its tentacles into each facet of American life.
The truth is, nearly each nefarious deed, tactic or thuggish coverage superior by the federal government in the present day might be traced again to the DHS, its police state mindset, and the billions of dollars it distributes to police businesses within the type of grants to rework them into extensions of the army: militarizing police, incentivizing SWAT groups, spying on protesters, stockpiling ammunition, distributing license plate readers to police businesses, contracting to construct detention camps, monitoring cell-phones with Stingray units, finishing up army drills and lockdowns in American cities, utilizing the TSA to perform tender goal checkpoints, directing authorities staff to spy on People, conducting widespread spying networks utilizing fusion facilities, using drones and different spybots, funding city-wide surveillance cameras, and finishing up Structure-free border management searches.
Lastly, there’s this entire query of martial regulation.
Technically, a good case might be made that the Structure-free border areas inside the USA are already underneath martial regulation carried out by a standing military comprised of militarized police and the U.S. army.
Then once more, for all intents and maybe, the American police state is already ruled by martial regulation, is it not? Battlefield techniques. Militarized police. Riot and camouflage gear. Armored automobiles. Mass arrests. Pepper spray. Tear fuel. Batons. Strip searches. Drones. Much less-than-lethal weapons unleashed with lethal drive. Rubber bullets. Water cannons. Concussion grenades. Intimidation techniques. Brute drive. Legal guidelines conveniently discarded when it fits the federal government’s objective.
That is what martial regulation seems like, when a authorities disregards constitutional freedoms and imposes its will via army drive, solely that is martial regulation with none authorities physique having to declare it. That is martial regulation packaged as regulation and order and bought to the general public as vital for retaining the peace.
It doesn’t matter whether or not the so-called threats to nationwide safety posed by terrorists, extremists or immigrant armies ever turned a actuality. As soon as the federal government acquires—and makes use of—further powers, it doesn’t voluntarily relinquish them.
The injury has been accomplished.
For many who can learn the writing on the wall, it’s all beginning to make sense: the army drills carried out in main American cities, the VIPR inspections at practice depots and bus stations, the SWAT workforce raids on unsuspecting householders, the Black Hawk helicopters patrolling American skies, the huge ammunition purchases by numerous federal businesses such because the Division of Homeland Safety, the Division of Schooling, the IRS and the Social Safety Administration.
Seen at the side of the federal government’s growing use of involuntary dedication legal guidelines to declare people mentally ailing and lock them up in psychiatric wards for prolonged durations of time, the NDAA’s provision permitting the army to arrest and indefinitely detain anybody, together with Americans, solely codifies this unraveling of our constitutional framework.
Throw within the profit-driven company incentive to jail People in personal prisons, in addition to the criminalizing of such comparatively harmless actions as holding Bible research in a single’s residence or sharing unpasteurized goat cheese with members of 1’s group, and it turns into clear that “we the people” are the actual enemies of the state.
We’re those within the authorities’s crosshairs.
That wall being constructed on the border gained’t be only for holding unlawful immigrants out—it’s to hold us trapped inside the punishing confines of the American police state.
Our freedoms—willingly relinquished in response to infinite scare techniques—have been breached, undermined, and eroded time and time once more. We’re being conditioned to this life in a police state.
As for this newest maneuver, it’s simply one other technique of poking a gap within the already-tattered material of the Structure.
In different phrases, it’s a check to see how arduous we’ll struggle to maintain onto what stays of our freedoms.
If that is a check, we’re failing abysmally.
Face it: we’re sliding quick down a slippery slope to a Structure-free America.
We’ve been heading on this course for a while now, however this downward trajectory has picked up velocity since Donald Trump turned president.
This state of near-lockdown has been helped alongside by authorities insurance policies and courtroom rulings which have made it simpler for the police to shoot unarmed residents, for regulation enforcement businesses to seize money and different useful personal property beneath the guise of asset forfeiture, for army weapons and techniques to be deployed on American soil, for presidency businesses to perform round the clock surveillance, for profit-driven personal prisons to lock up higher numbers of People, for houses to be raided and searched underneath the pretext of nationwide safety, for Americans to be labeled terrorists and stripped of their rights merely on the say-so of a authorities bureaucrat, and for pre-crime techniques to be adopted nationwide that strip People of the proper to be assumed harmless till confirmed responsible and creates a suspect society through which we’re all responsible till confirmed in any other case.
All of those assaults on the constitutional framework of the nation have been bought to the general public as crucial for nationwide safety.
Again and again, the general public has fallen for the ploy hook, line and sinker.
We’re being reeled in, people, and you realize what occurs once we get to the top of that line? We’ll be cleaned, gutted and strung up.
Extremely, regardless of what number of occasions People are lied to, cheated, swindled, robbed, manipulated, and doublecrossed, they nonetheless maintain falling for the federal government’s drained, thinly disguised ploys to amass extra energy on the expense of the citizenry.
Keep in mind when George W. Bush claimed the nation was being invaded by terrorists post-9/11 and insisted the one means to maintain America protected was to give the federal government and its gun-toting brokers higher powers to spy, search, detain and arrest?
The terrorist invasion by no means actually occurred, however the authorities stored its newly acquired police powers made attainable by the USA Patriot Act.
Keep in mind when Barack Obama claimed the nation was being invaded by home terrorists and insisted the one approach to hold America protected was to give the army the facility to strip People of their constitutional rights, label them extremists, and detain them indefinitely with out trial?
The invasion by no means actually occurred, however the authorities stored its newly acquired detention powers made potential by the Nationwide Protection Authorization Act (NDAA).
Now you’ve gotten Donald Trump claiming the nation is being invaded by immigrants and insisting that the one approach to maintain America protected is to empower the army to “assist” with border management.
Thoughts you, Trump is just not the primary president to deploy army forces to the border.
However, you possibly can relaxation assured that this newest name for boots on the bottom (whether or not these boots belong to the Nationwide Guard or the armed forces is mere semantics) to police the American border is yet one more Trojan Horse that may inflict all method of nasty police state surprises on an unsuspecting populace.
As I clarify in my e-book Battlefield America: The Conflict on the American Individuals, the menace of a nationwide police pressure—a.okay.a. a standing military—vested with the facility to utterly disregard the Structure, can’t be overstated, nor can its hazard be ignored.