Defense Contractors' Funds Fuel Vote To Keep Dept. Of Defense's Police Militarization Program Funded

from the that-MRAP-has-been-paid-for-several-times-over,-it-would-seem... dept

Color me unamazed. Politicians who are in favor of the government's 1033 program -- which distributes excess military gear and weapons to police departments engaged in our country's two favorite "wars" (v. Terror, v. Drugs) -- received a lot more money from defense contractors than those who oppose it.

Maplight, which tracks contributions to politicians, uncovered more evidence that private companies can get the legislative results they want if they just a$k nicely.

In June, the House of Representatives voted on an amendment from Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) that sought to partially defund the 1033 Program. The amendment failed on a bipartisan vote of 62-355.

Representatives voting to continue funding the 1033 Program have received, on average, 73 percent more money from the defense industry than representatives voting to defund it.

Fifty-nine representatives received more than $100,000 from the defense industry from January 1, 2011 - December 31, 2013. Of those only four supported defunding the 1033 Program.
This amendment didn't even target some of the common transfers: assault rifles, night vision goggles, etc.. These common indicators of police militarization would have continued to flow from the US government to law enforcement agencies unabated. Instead, 355 legislators voted that local law enforcement should still be allowed access to the following equipment:
Aircraft (Including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), Armored Vehicles, Grenade Launchers, Silencers, Toxicological Agents, Launch Vehicles, Guided Missiles, Ballistic Missiles, Rockets, Torpedoes, Bombs, Mines, or Nuclear Weapons
One wonders if armored vehicles and drones had been struck from the list, the vote might have been more even. But phrased the way it was, if you still wanted your local PDs to acquire MRAPs, silencers and helicopters, you had to also give them the theoretical ability to requisition toxicological agents and ballistic missiles.

I don't imagine the government will be handing out guided missiles and nukes to law enforcement EVER, but what can be requisitioned is still partially a secret and information released to Muckrock by the Defense Logistics Agency only denotes which state received what, rather than indicate which law enforcement agencies were involved.

But even if the government has no intention of turning local law enforcement into full-fledged armies with nuclear/biological weapon capabilities, it's still handing over weapons and vehicles with little to no discretion. As Christopher Ingraham at the Washington Post notes, if you can fill out one very simple form, you'll be able to roll down Main Street, USA in an armored tactical vehicle bristling with military assault rifles.
Applying for federal student aid? You'll need to fill out a 10 page application. Social Security retirement benefits come with an eight-page form, a passport application is six pages, and the shortform Obamacare application is five.

But if you are a law enforcement agency in the U.S., you can apply for a free armored tactical vehicle from the Pentagon with a simple one-page form, below. You can even apply for multiple vehicles using the same form!
Ingraham's article oversimplifies the process somewhat (a few layers of pre-approval are needed), but the fact remains that it's incredibly easy to outfit local law enforcement units with military gear. A vetting process with some teeth would likely have prevented small towns from acquiring vehicles designed to protect soldiers in combat zones from explosives.

Crime is way down and police are more heavily-armed and well-protected than ever. Part of it is defense contractors making sure there's still a growing market for their wares. As Maplight points out (quoting an ACLU report on police militarization), 36% of the equipment transferred to law enforcement via the 1033 program is brand new. What may have seemed to be a fiscally responsible program -- making use of excess military equipment rather than simply scrapping it -- is now another way to blow tax dollars. Only this time, it's having other adverse effects on the general public.

When the Defense Logistics Agency is buying brand new and transferring these purchases to law enforcement at pennies on the dollar (using DHS grants to pay the difference), the government is screwing taxpayers multiple times, at multiple levels -- and that's just in a financial sense. We shouldn't need an amendment to tell the Defense Dept. to stop turning locals cops into makeshift occupation forces, and we certainly shouldn't need to tell the government that no law enforcement agency needs ballistic missiles or bombs. Local cops really don't need armored vehicles either, but until legislators are willing to enact some serious limitations, the downhill slope from the DoD's excess property storage to the United States' police departments will continue unabated.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 5:00am

    Aircraft (Including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), Armored Vehicles, Grenade Launchers, Silencers, Toxicological Agents, Launch Vehicles, Guided Missiles, Ballistic Missiles, Rockets, Torpedoes, Bombs, Mines, or Nuclear Weapons

    Use of some of these against military forces constitutes a war crime. So why would anyone even consider handing them over to entities that deal entirely with civilians?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Anonymous Howard (profile), Aug 19th, 2014 @ 5:06am

    Hello Police States of America!

    What could go wrong when businessmen sitting in comfortable corporate board chairs determine what wars should be fought against whom?

    What could go wrong when said businessmen support heavily armed "local law enforcement" to stifle civil disorder in case the plebs disagree with above decided wars?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 5:06am

    BRB

    Setting up a direct deposit to ACLU

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Aug 19th, 2014 @ 5:11am

    I don't imagine the government will be handing out guided missiles and nukes to law enforcement EVER

    Do not underestimate tyranny. Would you have believed 10, 20 years ago if you were told that cops would be attacking citizens in military gear by now?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Aug 19th, 2014 @ 5:19am

    Re:

    Because they don't care anymore.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 5:45am

    Ha! Silencers!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 5:55am

    This is easily one of the most ill-informed articles I have ever read at this site. While I have long been concerned about local police agencies taking on many of the essential attributes of our military's special forces, I have never associated the rise in militarization to defense contractors precisely because I have worked within the defense industry and assisted industry associations in their efforts to halt many of the giveaways to civilian law enforcement agencies. Think about it. The equipment was long ago sold to the DOD. Perhaps someone more enlightened might be able to explain how the original seller receives income when the DOD gives away surplus equipment to domestic groups. Thus far every time I have seen that line item on the side of the defense industry income ledger it has read "$0".

    Moreover, anyone with even a modicum of knowledge of our body of laws dealing with surplus military equipment well understands that only a very tiny fraction is even eligible for transfer to civilian custody (no F-15s or F-16s, bunker buster bombs, Hellfire missiles, Apache Longbows, landmines, grenades, etc.), and even then demilitarization of the equipment is a must.

    Blame many things for policy departments morphing into special forces units, but trying to make out manufacturers to be the bad guys is off the mark.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    spodula, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 5:56am

    "Grenade Launchers, Silencers, Toxicological Agents, Launch Vehicles, Guided Missiles, Ballistic Missiles, Rockets, Torpedoes, Bombs, Mines, or Nuclear Weapons"

    Well, after a lifetime of donuts and beer, sometimes Guided Missiles are the only way the thin blue line can catch some of those damned hippies, who wont stay still and be beaten like good citizens.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    AJ, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 5:57am

    They are scared, and they should be.

    We are arguably the most weaponized citizenry in the world. We have almost a 1:1 ratio (see source below)guns to people. Should we take up arms against the government, they would loose, and they know it. They have two choices, give us what we want peacefully, or we will replace them, with force if necessary, exactly as our forefathers intended.

    They know full well whats coming. These "show of force" situations are all they have in forcing their laws on us. Laws that are bought and paid for by the elite.

    This is just a symptom of a larger problem. The people are wanting change... REAL change, and if history is any indicator, they will get it one way or the other, but you can bet your ass the Government isn't going to change without a fight... not if the elite has anything to say about it.




    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_guns_per_capita_by_country

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    AJ, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 5:59am

    Re: They are scared, and they should be.

    *loose... *lose... it's early here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    spodula, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 6:03am

    Re:

    Would love to see a Demilitarized land-mine.
    The only one i can think of is something you step on and it raised a flag with "Bang!" written on it 60s-batman esq...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 6:05am

    Wonder what games of "Cops and Robbers" are gonna' be like now a days...

    Kid 1: "I want to be the robber!"
    Kid 2: "Ok, you get the knife, and I'll get the nuclear bomb. Ready? Go!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    spoduls, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 6:07am

    I assume the torpedoes are for those filthy arses who pee in municipal swimming pools.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    scotts13 (profile), Aug 19th, 2014 @ 6:10am

    Re:

    " The equipment was long ago sold to the DOD. Perhaps someone more enlightened might be able to explain how the original seller receives income when the DOD gives away surplus equipment to domestic groups."

    I realize your position in the industry doesn't allow you to see this, but it's very simple: The fact that some of the equipment is BRAND NEW indicates it was never needed for it's original purpose. Passing it along to local law enforcement allows the excessive purchasing to continue, rather than motivate the Feds not to buy it in the first place.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 6:16am

    Re: Re:

    Which is why they are never declared surplus and transferred to the custody of non-federal parties. Same is true of ICMBs, though I have seen that former ICBM launch facilities have been sold for conversion into private residences, resorts, etc. Obviously the real estate listings noted that the seller would remove all thermonuclear devices prior to closing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 6:17am

    They are creating a good used market

    One way to keep your new prices up is to create a solid used market. It is my understanding that you cannot buy a new Ferrari until you have owned a used one. I think the military is following suit and creating a strong used market. Just solid economics in action. /sarc

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Michael, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 6:18am

    Re:

    Simple concept that carries over to everything else (like video games):

    A healthy re-sale market increases the value of the original product. If the US military can re-sell equipment to law enforcement, they are more willing to purchase new equipment at higher costs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 6:23am

    wail 'til maintenance budgets come up

    then they'll be sold as excess to the public

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 6:26am

    Re: Re:

    Actually, I have seen it on occasion...but the truly bad actors in such situations are the members of Congress who refuse to allow the DOD to cut off procurements of unneeded goods because they want the adulation of supposedly saving jobs in the locales they represent.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 6:33am

    Re: Re:

    anymore?...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 6:34am

    The police doesn't need Intelligence offices either, yet they have spies that they even send to other countries. The US government is out of control. People need to react before it's too late to stop this growing monster.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 6:34am

    Re: Hello Police States of America!

    Nothing would go wrong... these guys all have college educations and are experts in their field!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 6:35am

    Re: BRB

    Dont act too fast... the ACLU is anti gun... regardless of what else they do... that flaw alone will defeat every other effort they make.

    In the end... might does make right... be prepared to stand up for it, or you just need to go and lay the fuck down!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 6:48am

    Re: Re: Hello Police States of America!

    How many of those degrees are "honorary"?
    I think who you know has a lot more to do with it than what you know. It seems to be a good old boys circle jerk club and they do not even have to do a good job, they still get huge bonuses. Good jig if you can get it, although one must leave their morals and ethics behind.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 6:54am

    Re:

    "local police agencies taking on many of the essential attributes of our military's special forces"

    Essential to the local police force? - I don't think so.
    If this is what you intended to state, please provide rational for same.

    Crime rates are declining and yet local police need military gear? Why?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 7:01am

    Re:

    Anecdotal evidence does little to enhance your argument. Are there specific counter points substantiated with reference or is this smoke out yer ass?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Jeffry Houser, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 7:13am

    Re: Re: BRB

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Michael, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 7:15am

    Re:

    They give them the knife AFTER they have used the nuclear bomb on them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    ahow628 (profile), Aug 19th, 2014 @ 7:31am

    Remember sequestration?

    Remember how hard sequestration was on the DOD? Poor guys. They have to sell all this equipment for pennies on the dollar just to make ends meet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Zero, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 7:36am

    Re: Re:

    I definitely agree with this. Some of their equipment is brand new or at least not obsolete. I'll assume everyone here has seen the video where John Oliver talks about this.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/08/18/john_oliver_on_ferguson_missouri_and_police_militariz ation_video.html

    In the video at 8:09, you'll see the vehicle from Saginaw, Michigan correct? That's a late model MRAP. The very same ones that are still in AFG which are used outside the wire by the Army. While I can't say if these painted civilian models have the same military loadout(weapons/equipment) as the ones in AFG; I'm now betting that they do after this and recent events and that's a red flag.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    zip, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 7:42am

    Feds maintain ownership -- not local police

    The police don't actually own this equipment -- the federal government does -- and so the feds have the power to take it back at any time for any reason.

    This is just one more way the federal government holds extra-Constitutional power over state and local governments, habitually doing an end-run around the 10th Amendment by essentially bribing state and local governments with their own money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    A Penny for Your Thoughts, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 8:10am

    Militarization of Police

    In general, I am not for the militarization of the police. But is it possible, that the initial militarized presence actually restrained further crazy, looting and violence rather than provoked it? One of the problems with the inner city rioting of the 60's was the vastly outgunned, outnumbered local police. Once the riots picked up steam, only an army could turn the tide. It would seem that the State Patrol's recommendation to the governor to bring in the National Guard justifies the strong presence at the start of the protests. I was in a 60's race riot and I thank God for the National Guard. The typical rioter is a coward, the same kind of person that hits someone over the head from behind during a bar room brawl. An overwhelming show of force that shows them they will be the hurtees rather than the hurters quickly changes the dynamic.

    A recent protest about cattle grazing rights brought out an immediate Federal agent militarized force, snipers, etc. Fortunately, it didn't end in bloodshed. But the overwhelming presence of government arms surely stopped any armed escalation. So DOJ and the Feds seem to me to be saying one thing in Ferguson, but act quite differently when things are under their direct jurisdiction, and when racial politics are not at play.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 8:24am

    Hang everyone of them that took bribes

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 8:25am

    using Ferguson, Missouri as an example, look at the shit that has kicked off there! most of what is going on now is because of the retaliatory action the police are taking, using an unnamed number of things that aren't usually associated with true police forces, but more with the army. of course the police need to be able to defend themselves, but had the Chief of Police not gone down the fantasy road of trying to make the killing of an unarmed black youth who had his arms in the air, legal, most of what has and is going on wouldn't have happened. even if the theft was true, did it necessitate killing the youth? did it warrant him having at least 6 bullets in him? definitely not! both the Chief of Ferguson Police and the officers concerned (not just the one who pulled the trigger) need suspending and an enquiry launched. on top of that Obama needs to stop this Police State that is happening to the USA before it has gone too far to stop!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 8:28am

    Re: Remember sequestration?

    Glad you brought that up. The really worrying part isn't so much that cops are militarizing, it is that there are cops who will eventually use this equipment against the "honest" citizens. Just look at what the police did during the sequestration. They found guys willing to block an elderly couple from their home just because it was on federal land. They found cops willing to round people up inside the hotel at Yellowstone and pull the shades so they couldn't see Old Faithful. They found cops willing to shut down private businesses on the Blue Ridge Parkway because it was federal land. If cops were just chasing criminals with this equipment, I think most people would look the other way. But sadly, cops will turn this equipment on honest people just because the President gives the order. That is the real scary part.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 8:29am

    Re: Militarization of Police

    You mean the armed fed forces that went to that rancher in force and set up freedom of speech zones for the protesters under heavy armed guard. The ones that acted like trigger happy tin pot dictators. Your actually defending their heavy handed tactics by saying the people defending their lands against illegal seizure should not have shown up armed but instead should have left their guns at home?

    In this day and age the typical police officer is the coward with a shoot first ask questions later policy, Where pets are not safe around such trigger happy thugs. People are more liable to have their dogs executed in front of them.

    The government already has a standing army plus the national guard, the police do not need to become another army. Your not going to make your country any better by having an overwhelming show of force to the people your supposed to protecting unless you view them as the enemy that has to be defeated

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 19th, 2014 @ 8:54am

    Re: Feds maintain ownership -- not local police

    Nobody can be bribed without being a willing participant in the bribery. So, at heart, the problem still isn't with the feds offering the bribe. It's with the cops accepting it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Aug 19th, 2014 @ 9:13am

    Re:

    "War crimes" went out the window in 2003.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 9:22am

    Re: Feds maintain ownership -- not local police

    Perhaps I have missed some recent legislation, but to my knowledge the ownership of surplus property is fully transferred from the federal government to the purchaser.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re: Remember sequestration?

    And here I thought Congress was in charge of the budget - go figure.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 9:54am

    Once again it seems that the root cause of evil in the government is from lobbying.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Remember sequestration?

    Not sure what you mean here. Congress were the ones who caused the sequestration. The President is the one who ordered the cops to make life hard on citizens because of it. But the point here isn't Repub vs. Dems if that is what you are implying. It is the fact that ordinary police are fully willing to take up arms against honest citizens and not just criminals.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 9:58am

    Aircraft (Including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), Armored Vehicles, Grenade Launchers, Silencers, Toxicological Agents, Launch Vehicles, Guided Missiles, Ballistic Missiles, Rockets, Torpedoes, Bombs, Mines, or Nuclear Weapons

    I'm amazed and disgusted.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 10:02am

    Re: Militarization of Police

    Comparing the situation in Ferguson to that of Cliven Bundy is a topic that has received much discussion, most of which points out the obvious racism.

    Now, your premise that an overwhelming show and preemptive use of force results in less "crazy, looting and violence" is unsupported by fact or example. Where is the control group? How is this opinion validated?

    You refer to the riots occurring in the 60's, which one - or all of them? Were they all the same? What caused them and how are they equivalent to Ferguson?

    And you allude to an opinion that all protesters are rioters. This is incorrect.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    zip, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 2:18pm

    It's even in writing -- use it or lose it!

    This may help explain why police are so willing to deploy military weaponry on a peaceful civilian population, rather than, say, warehousing it for a "SHTF situation" that will probably never occur:


    j. Utilization of Property

    Property received through the 1033 Program must be placed into use within one year of receipt and utilized for a minimum of 18 months unless its condition renders it unusable. If property is not placed in use within one year of receipt, it must be transferred to another authorized agency, or returned to a DRMO [Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office - i.e., the Feds].

    source: https://www.ok.gov/dcs/searchdocs/app/manage_documents.php?att_id=10800

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    zip, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Militarization of Police, 1968 MLK riots

    "Once the riots picked up steam, only an army could turn the tide."

    Good point. If the 1968 nationwide riots had happened in 2005, they could not have simply called in the National Guard or Reserves, because they weren't around -- entire divisions had been shipped off to Iraq and Afghanistan to man those wars. A total reverse of the Vietnam era, when people like (G.W. Bush) were lining up to join the National Guard to avoid having to fight (and die) in an overseas war.

    So it could be argued that the elimination of military conscription has created a need to militarize the police, since the National Guard can no longer be counted on to be available for domestic emergencies during wartime.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Aug 19th, 2014 @ 6:15pm

    Re: They are scared, and they should be.

    "Should we take up arms against the government, they would loose, and they know it."

    Only in your wildest anti-government dreams.

    The high number of guns is irrelevant compared to the number of citizens actually willing to fire one at a representative of the government, and what the government have to fire back at them with.

    I would hope that most smart people would realize that even if an armed citizenry could overthrow the USG, the end result would be far worse that the current state of affairs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 9:37pm

    Re: Militarization of Police

    But is it possible, that the initial militarized presence actually restrained further crazy, looting and violence rather than provoked it?
    It's also possible that all of the looting and violence could have been entirely prevented if Ferguson PD had just bothered to install the dash-cams that are sitting on a shelf in their own police station.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 20th, 2014 @ 11:42am

    Re: Militarization of Police

    "But is it possible, that the initial militarized presence actually restrained further crazy, looting and violence rather than provoked it?"

    Anything's possible, I suppose, but that would go against everything we've seen and understand about how people behave.

    "It would seem that the State Patrol's recommendation to the governor to bring in the National Guard justifies the strong presence at the start of the protests."

    How do you reach that conclusion? It seems like a nonsequitor to me.

    "But the overwhelming presence of government arms surely stopped any armed escalation."

    You speak as if you know this for a fact. What do you base that conclusion on?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    GEMont, Aug 20th, 2014 @ 12:36pm

    What was that he said about a sucker born every minute...

    So in reality, its the American Public who is militarizing the American Police Forces in preparation for.... um... whatever war they expect to be fighting in the streets of America.

    How slick is that.

    Without a single civilian consenting to the process, the US taxpayer is now footing the bill for the total makeover of the American Police into the Nazi Gestapo.

    You really gotta hand it to these billionaire Wall Street fascists and their MAFIA partners.

    When it comes to money-making schemes, they take a back seat to no-one.

    ---

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 20th, 2014 @ 12:51pm

    I can imagine it

    I don't imagine the government will be handing out guided missiles and nukes to law enforcement EVER


    I do. Cops are already allowed to get toxicological agents and ballistic missiles. If that's acceptable then it's only a tiny step to the guided missiles.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    Anonymous Howard (profile), Aug 21st, 2014 @ 5:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Hello Police States of America!

    I think (hope) he were being sarcastic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2014 @ 7:47am

    Re: I can imagine it

    Citation to source needed for such a claim...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 21st, 2014 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re: I can imagine it

    The article above covered this, but I'll repeat it here for you. An amendment was proposed that would prohibit those items from being sold to police departments. It was defeated. That an amendment was required to prohibit such sales implies that such sale are allowed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2014 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Re: I can imagine it

    Allowed? Not necessarily so, and Alan Grayson darn wells know this. The law does not end with the terms of a statute, as all should be aware given the media attention given to the ACA. The law drills down one more level to the agency level and its rulemaking activities. While I have not explored all of the DOD's regulations concerning surplus equipment, I am intimately familiar with export control laws at the statutory and regulatory level to say it would be nothing short of incomprehensible that regulatory implementation of the federal statute here involved permitted the transfer of everything that the Grayson amendment was talking about. For example, I have ZERO doubt that there is no way a fully functional Hellfire missile, laser designator and any associated delivery system would ever be transferred to domestic law enforcement. Understand that Grayson loves to play to the camera, and this was just one of his many such plays.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    ahow628 (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 10:19am

    Re: Feds maintain ownership -- not local police

    Of course there is a stipulation with accepting the equipment that it must be used within a year. That is what I call a nudge.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Advertisement
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Techdirt Reading List
Advertisement
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Support Techdirt - Get Great Stuff!

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.