By Josh Ely
The United States has an abundance of surplus military equipment, as evidenced by the guns, grenade launches and specially built military vehicles being distributed to police departments across the nation.
And there’s the well-documented problem of a porous southern border, through which tens of thousands of illegal aliens are sneaking into the country.
So why not send one to the other and solve two problems, asks a privacy activist who has written about the militarization of police forces.
“Here’s a better solution for this cast-off and transferred military equipment: Let’s put it at the border,” said Cheryl Chumley.
“Why not put this military equipment to good use and go after those trying to enter our country illegally – those who actually pose a risk to our nation?”
Chumley, the author of “Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare is Becoming Our Reality,” made the suggestion on the heels of a Senate hearing, which, as WND reported, focused on the federal militarization of police.
In the hearing, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., asked Alan Estevez of the Defense Department: “What purpose are bayonets being given out for? Twelve-thousand bayonets have been doled out across the nation.”
While Estevez lacked an answer for the senator, Paul quickly said the answer should be “none.”
The threats to your privacy are exposed in “Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare is Becoming our Reality.”
Paul’s data came from an NPR report on the Pentagon’s 1033 program, which Chumley said should “put to shame the naysayers who shrug off concerns and criticisms about militarized police.”
That’s the program through which automatic weapons, night vision goggles, grenade launchers and even Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, or MRAPs, are being distributed to police departments, where they are used for tasks such as delivering arrest warrants.
Included in the report, released at the beginning of this month, is a breakdown of the 1033 program by the numbers.
The 11,959 bayonets issued since 2006 may fall a bit shy of Paul’s 12,000 estimate, but the number is still staggering. The report notes that vehicles were the highest granted category of equipment, which includes the infamous MRAP vehicles.
Chumley noted that the number is far from being an outlier in the report.
“More than 79,000 assault rifles – more than 200 grenade launchers – now in the hands of our nation’s police. Not to mention night-vision goggles galore and three-and-a-half million dollars worth of camo gear. Isn’t this just what our Founding Fathers warned about – the dangers of a standing military?” she asked.
Chumley contends Americans must realize that police are simply soldiers operating on U.S. soil.
The hearing was held because of the police response to the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, after a police officer’s shooting of an unarmed teen. When protests turned to riots, policed quickly fired up the massive war machine vehicles and donned full protective suits.
The Los Angeles Times reported the town is attempting to create a civilian oversight group that could monitor the police force. With the number of affected communities cited in the NPR report, many localities will have similar work to do, even if there have not been instances of violence, Chumley said.
Chumley’s book explores traffic-light cameras to phone tapping, militarized police forces to targeting specific groups of people.
“Police State USA” chronicles America’s drift toward becoming a police state, what led to it and what the future may hold.
Mike Huckabee said the book was “fascinating, very timely, and I hope that Americans take it up and read it.”