“Those who do not remember the past are
condemned to repeat it.”— George Santayana
June 11, 2020 "Information
Clearing House" - Watch and see: this debate
over police brutality and accountability is about to get
politicized into an election-year referendum on who
should occupy the White House.
Don’t fall for it.
The Deep State, the powers-that-be, want us to turn
this into a race war, but this is about so much more
than systemic racism. This is the oldest con game in the
books, the magician’s sleight of hand that keeps you
focused on the shell game in front of you while your
wallet is being picked clean by ruffians in your midst.
Reichstag Fire all over again.
It was February 1933, a month before national
elections in Germany, and the Nazis weren’t expected to
win. So they engineered a way to win: they began by
infiltrating the police and granting police powers to
their allies; then Hitler brought in stormtroopers to
act as auxiliary police; by the time an arsonist (who
claimed to be working for the Communists in the hopes of
starting an armed revolt) set fire to the Reichstag, the
German parliamentary building, the people were eager for
a return to law and order.
That was all it took:
Hitler used the attempted “coup” as an excuse to declare
martial law and seize absolute power in Germany,
establishing himself as a dictator with the support of
the German people.
Fast forward to the present day, and what do we have?
The nation in turmoil after months of pandemic
fear-mongering and regional lockdowns, a national
election looming, a president with falling poll numbers,
and a police state that wants to stay in power at all
Note the similarities?
It’s entirely possible that Americans have finally
reached a tipping point over police brutality
after decades of abuse. After all, until recently,
the legislatures and the courts have marched in lockstep
with the police state,
repeatedly rebuffing efforts to hold police accountable
for official misconduct.
Then again, it’s also equally possible that the
architects of the police state have every intention of
manipulating this outrage for their own purposes.
It works the same in every age.
As author Jim Keith explains, “Create violence
through economic pressures, the media, mind control,
agent provocateurs: thesis. Counter it with totalitarian
measures, more mind control, police crackdowns,
surveillance, drugging of the population: antithesis.
What ensues is Orwell’s vision of 1984, a
society of total control: synthesis.”
Here’s what is going to happen: the police state is
going to stand down and allow these protests, riots and
looting to devolve into a situation where enough of the
voting populace is so desperate for a return to law and
order that they will gladly relinquish some of their
freedoms to achieve it. And that’s how the police state
will win, no matter which candidate gets elected to the
You know who will lose? Every last one of us.
Listen, people should be outraged over what
happened to George Floyd, but let’s get one thing
straight: Floyd didn’t die
merely because he was black and the cop who killed
him is white. Floyd died because America is being
overrun with warrior cops—vigilantes with a badge—who
are part of a government-run standing army that is
waging war on the American people in the so-called name
of law and order.
Not all cops are warrior cops,
trained to act as judge, jury and executioner in
their interactions with the populace. Unfortunately, the
good cops—the ones who take seriously their oath of
office to serve and protect their fellow citizens,
uphold the Constitution, and maintain the peace—are
increasingly being outnumbered by those who believe the
lives—and rights—of police should be valued more than
These warrior cops may get paid by the citizenry, but
they don’t work for us and they certainly aren’t
operating within the limits of the U.S. Constitution.
This isn’t about racism in America.
This is about profit-driven militarism packaged in
the guise of law and order, waged by greedy profiteers
who have transformed the American homeland into a
battlefield with militarized police, military weapons
and tactics better suited to a war zone. This is
systemic corruption predicated on the police state’s
insatiable appetite for money, power and control.
This is a military coup waiting to happen.
Why do we have more than a million cops on the
taxpayer-funded payroll in this country whose jobs do
not entail protecting our safety, maintaining
the peace in our communities, and upholding
I’ll tell you why.
These warrior cops—fitted
out in the trappings of war, drilled in the deadly
art of combat, and trained to look upon “every
individual they interact with as an armed threat and
every situation as a deadly force encounter in the
making—are the police state’s standing army.
This is the new face of war, and America has become
the new battlefield.
Militarized police officers, the end product of the
government—federal, local and state—and law enforcement
agencies having merged, have become a “standing” or
permanent army, composed of full-time professional
soldiers who do not disband.
Yet these permanent armies are exactly what those who
drafted the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights feared
as tools used by despotic governments to wage war
against its citizens.
American police forces were never supposed to be a
branch of the military, nor were they meant to be
private security forces for the reigning political
faction. Instead, they were intended to be an
aggregation of countless local police units, composed of
citizens like you and me that exist for a sole purpose:
to serve and protect the citizens of each and every
As a result of the increasing militarization of the
police in recent years, however, the police now not only
look like the military—with their foreboding uniforms
and phalanx of lethal weapons—but they function like
them, as well.
Thus, no more do we have a civilian force of peace
officers entrusted with serving and protecting the
American people. Instead, today’s militarized law
enforcement officials have shifted their allegiance from
the citizenry to the state, acting preemptively to ward
off any possible challenges to the government’s power,
unrestrained by the boundaries of the Fourth Amendment.
They don’t work for us. As retired Philadelphia
Police Captain Ray Lewis warned, “Corporate
America is using police forces as their mercenaries.”
We were sold a bill of goods.
For years now, we’ve been told that cops need
military weapons to wage the government’s wars on drugs,
crime and terror. We’ve been told that cops need to be
able to crash through doors, search vehicles, carry out
roadside strip searches, shoot anyone they perceive to
be a threat, and generally disregard the law whenever it
suits them because they’re doing it to protect their
fellow Americans from danger. We’ve been told that cops
need extra legal protections because of the risks they
None of that is true.
In fact, a study by a political scientist at
Princeton University concludes that militarizing police
and SWAT teams “provide
no detectable benefits in terms of officer safety or
violent crime reduction.” According to researcher
Jonathan Mummolo, if police in America are feeling less
safe, it’s because the process of transforming them into
extensions of the military makes them less safe,
less popular and less trust-worthy.
The study, the first systematic analysis on the use
and consequences of militarized force, reveals that
neither reduces rates of violent crime nor changes the
number of officers assaulted or killed.”
In other words,
warrior cops aren’t making us or themselves any
Militarized police armed with weapons of war who are
allowed to operate above the law and break the laws with
impunity are definitely not making America any safer or
The problem, as one reporter rightly concluded, is
“not that life has gotten that much more dangerous, it’s
authorities have chosen to respond to even innocent
situations as if they were in a warzone.”
Americans are now eight times more likely to die in a
police confrontation than they are to be killed by a
Militarism within the nation’s police forces is
proving to be deadlier than any pandemic.
This battlefield mindset has gone hand in hand with
the rise of militarized SWAT (“special weapons and
Frequently justified as vital tools necessary to
combat terrorism and deal with rare but extremely
dangerous criminal situations, such as those involving
hostages, SWAT teams have become intrinsic parts of
local law enforcement operations, thanks in large part
to substantial federal assistance and the Pentagon’s
military surplus recycling program, which allows the
transfer of military equipment, weapons and training to
local police for free or at sharp discounts while
increasing the profits of its corporate allies.
Where this becomes a problem of life and death for
Americans is when these SWAT teams— outfitted, armed and
trained in military tactics—are assigned to carry out
relatively routine police tasks, such as serving a
search warrant. Nationwide, SWAT teams have been
employed to address an astonishingly trivial array of
criminal activity or mere community nuisances: angry
dogs, domestic disputes, improper paperwork filed by an
orchid farmer, and misdemeanor marijuana possession, to
give a brief sampling.
Remember, SWAT teams originated as specialized units
dedicated to defusing extremely sensitive, dangerous
situations. They were never meant to be used for routine
police work such as serving a warrant. Unfortunately,
the mere presence of SWAT units has actually injected a
level of danger and violence into police-citizen
interactions that was not present as long as these
interactions were handled by traditional civilian
few communities without a SWAT team today, and there
more than 80,000 SWAT team raids per year.
Yet the tension inherent in most civilian-police
encounter these days can’t be blamed exclusively on law
enforcement’s growing reliance on SWAT teams and donated
It goes far deeper, to a transformation in the way
police view themselves and their line of duty.
Specifically, what we’re dealing with today is a
skewed shoot-to-kill mindset in which police,
trained to view themselves as warriors or soldiers in a
war, whether against drugs, or terror, or crime,
must “get” the bad guys—i.e., anyone who is a potential
target—before the bad guys get them. The result is a
spike in the number of incidents in which police shoot
first, and ask questions later.
Making matters worse, when these officers, who have
long since ceased to be peace officers, violate
their oaths by bullying, beating, tasering, shooting and
killing their employers—the taxpayers to whom they owe
their allegiance—they are rarely given more than a slap
on the hands before resuming their patrols.
This lawlessness on the part of law enforcement, an
unmistakable characteristic of a police state, is made
possible in large part by police unions which routinely
oppose civilian review boards and resist the placement
of names and badge numbers on officer uniforms; police
agencies that abide by the Blue Code of Silence, the
quiet understanding among police that they should not
implicate their colleagues for their crimes and
misconduct; prosecutors who treat police offenses with
greater leniency than civilian offenses; courts that
sanction police wrongdoing in the name of security; and
legislatures that enhance the power, reach and arsenal
of the police, and a citizenry that fails to hold its
government accountable to the rule of law.
Indeed, not only are cops protected from most charges
of wrongdoing—whether it’s shooting unarmed citizens
(including children and old people),
raping and abusing young women, falsifying police
reports, trafficking drugs, or soliciting sex with
minors—but even on the rare occasions when they are
fired for misconduct, it’s only a matter of time before
get re-hired again.
Much of the “credit” for shielding these rogue cops
goes to influential police unions and
laws providing for qualified immunity, police
contracts that “provide
a shield of protection to officers accused of misdeeds
and erect barriers to residents complaining of abuse,”
state and federal laws that allow police to walk away
without paying a dime for their wrongdoing, and rampant
cronyism among government bureaucrats.
all across the country.
This is how
perverse justice in America has become.
Incredibly, while our own Bill of Rights are torn to
shreds, leaving us with few protections against
government abuses, a growing number of states are
Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBoR),
which provide cops accused of a crime with special due
process rights and privileges not afforded to the
This, right here, epitomizes everything that is wrong
with America today.
Even when the
system appears to work on the side of justice, it’s
the American taxpayer who ends up paying the price.
Because police officers are
more likely to be struck by lightning than be held
financially accountable for their actions. As Human
Rights Watch explains,
taxpayers actually pay three times for officers who
repeatedly commit abuses: “once to cover their
salaries while they commit abuses; next to pay
settlements or civil jury awards against officers; and a
third time through payments into police ‘defense’ funds
provided by the cities.”
Deep-seated corruption of this kind doesn’t just go
politicians and corporations suddenly become
conscience-stricken in the face of mass protests and
start making promises they don’t intend to keep.
As I explain in my book
Battlefield America: The War on the American People,
we need civic engagement and citizen activism,
especially at the local level. However, if it ends at
the ballot box without achieving any real reform that
holds government officials at all levels
accountable to playing by the rules of the Constitution,
then shame on us.
Constitutional attorney and author John W.
Whitehead is founder and president of The
Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield
America: The War on the American People is
www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at email@example.com.