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Coming Home to Roost: American Militarism, War Culture and Police Brutality

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posted on May, 31 2014 @ 11:43 AM
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It is not that soldiers have become police but that police have become soldiers. The increasing militarization of law enforcement has been going on for years. Law enforcement actually dropped a bomb on citizens in 1985. We cannot lay the blame for this mil of le on veterans.

In my 6 decades of life in the US, my father was in WW2, my fil in the Korean War, my generation was in Vietnam, my children’s friends served (and some died) in Iraq/Afghanistan. In between the aforementioned were Reagan’s “low intensity conflicts” in the Caribbean and Central America (Grenada, Panama), the Gulf Wars, and Bosnia. War and conflict has become part and parcel with what it means to be American. Patriotism is defined as “supporting the troops”.

We have/have had wars on poverty, drugs, heterosexuals, family values, white culture, motherhood, men (conducted by feminazis), women, unborn women, rule of law, the Constitution, the rich, terrorism, and Christmas. We call each other “enemies”. (Back in the 1990s, Newt Gingrich started calling his political opponents "enemies of normal Americans"; these days Hilary Clinton is being spoken of as the "real enemy".)

In this culture, we define power as using force; rape until recent times was seen only as an expression of a sexual urge and not as a violent act of domination; domestic violence until recent times was seen as a private matter in a “man’s castle”; we tolerated bullying; and violence is seen as the only resolution to personal/internal conflict.

Using the military to be “the world’s policeman” has made it easier to turn our own law enforcement into domestic military in order to police citizens. An increasingly authoritarian state and culture made it easier to sell the implements of warfare to domestic police forces. Pogo was right, We have met the enemy and he is us.

How Cops Became Soldiers: An Interview with Police Militarization Expert Radley Balko


edit on 31-5-2014 by desert because: punc




posted on May, 31 2014 @ 12:15 PM
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I think the perception among LEO of their relationship with the public has itself changed since 9/11. Much of the "training" (indoctrination?) they now receive involves terrorism which in their minds must nearly always remain a possibility in any interaction with the public. The anti-terror tactics are based on neutralizing a potential threat which is often far less lethal than their training may have led them to believe. The drunk husband who's locked his wife and kids outside is far more likely to get a bullet than psychological intervention.

The war on drugs has also pumped up the adrenaline and likelihood of encountering massive firepower.

I think we can say the idea of community policing has gone by the wayside and been replaced with an adversarial mindset requiring military-grade weapons and squad tactics. The firearms they train with and the uniforms they wear no doubt play an important role in their self-perception. If you are dressed and armed like a soldier you will begin to act like one eventually.



posted on May, 31 2014 @ 12:25 PM
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a reply to: TorqueyThePig

Want to know what I know?
I'm a vet myself, NEVER held myself above ANYONE, and in a VERY active veteran community, and most ARE combat veterans, and not a single one of them act better then anyone else. Most as a matter of fact would rather not even be bothered, and most if not all, lead low key lives. Do you see that as being elitist? How many are on your police force?



posted on May, 31 2014 @ 12:34 PM
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originally posted by: projectvxn
a reply to: HandyDandy

2 things:

1. about 1 percent of the army is actually combat arms.

2. so if you kill a guy intent on doing you harm in self defense that makes you a psycho right?



Did I say that?

No. I said anyone who would not be affected by it and be "ok" as you put it is a psychopath. That is the very definition of psychopath.



posted on May, 31 2014 @ 12:46 PM
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originally posted by: HandyDandy

originally posted by: projectvxn
Most people in the military can do their jobs and be ok.


Anyone who can kill and be ok with it is a psychopath. Period.


You didnt say it per se it, or ALLUDED to it
edit on 5/31/2014 by HomerinNC because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 31 2014 @ 12:54 PM
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originally posted by: HomerinNC

originally posted by: HandyDandy

originally posted by: projectvxn
Most people in the military can do their jobs and be ok.


Anyone who can kill and be ok with it is a psychopath. Period.


You didnt say it per se it, or ALLUDED to it



psychopath (ˈsaɪkəʊˌpæθ)

— n
Also called: sociopath a person afflicted with a personality disorder characterized by a tendency to commit antisocial and sometimes violent acts and a failure to feel guilt for such acts


I'll say it again. Anyone who can kill and be "ok" with it is a psychopath.........



posted on May, 31 2014 @ 01:03 PM
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originally posted by: projectvxn
a reply to: ~Lucidity

MOST combat vets don't come back all messed up.

While it is a serious issue and further screening should be conducted of police in ANY CASE, the notion that all combat vets returning and entering the police force itching to hurt someone is ridiculous.

The training police forces receive in the US, their TTPs, and SOPs are the problem. I know more soldiers with tactical patience than I do police. Hell I spent 9 months getting shot at in Afghanistan with a machinegun mounted on my helicopter and never shot at anyone. Not because I wouldn't be justified, but because I would prefer to bypass the location and report up than to shoot up the house the insurgent was in and potentially hurt a family hiding inside.

These are decisions that are made every single day by soldiers in combat. Most of us don't come home all messed up ready to beat civilians, wives, and kids into submission. The type of person who does that kind of crap was like that BEFORE deployment.

Hiring by police departments also follow a totally different set of rules. Can't be too smart. Can't use too much judgement. Must be a paranoid reactionary. That kind of crap will get you killed or a court martial in the military.


You can't have it both ways, though.

Either war is damaging to the mind of a person or it isn't.

If it is, they shouldn't be in positions where they have the opportunity to abuse people. Damaged minds shouldn't be placed in control of others.

If it isn't damaging to the mind, then why are so many people having issues once returning home?

As far as I'm aware nobody, ex-military or otherwise, has a RIGHT to be a police officer. We as citizens DO however have the right to not be abused by the police.

I think most people aren't terribly comfortable with giving a guy a badge and gun who just spent the last 4 years pushing people around at the end of an m4. When you get used to treating people a certain way it becomes habit, and don't tell me for one second civilians of Iraq and Afghanistan were treated anything like American citizens are legally required to be treated in America.

Start hiring ex-active duty military on a huge scale, and then wonder why the police of this country are so militarized. The equation is very simple. If you take offense to that idea, fine, you're feelings aren't as important as the lives and safety of the people of this country.



posted on May, 31 2014 @ 01:08 PM
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a reply to: HandyDandy

Being ok and being unaffected are two different things.

I'm ok. But I'm not unaffected by my experiences in Afghanistan.



posted on May, 31 2014 @ 01:14 PM
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a reply to: James1982




You can't have it both ways, though.


Who says I'm trying to? Just because you go to war doesn't mean you MUST come back completely mentally messed up. Why does it have to be that way? Most of us who came back aren't messed up. And like my post above says, just because we aren't totally mentally deranged doesn't mean we are unaffected.




If it is, they shouldn't be in positions where they have the opportunity to abuse people. Damaged minds shouldn't be placed in control of others.


So being affected by war or similar personal experiences should bar one from being on the police force?




As far as I'm aware nobody, ex-military or otherwise, has a RIGHT to be a police officer. We as citizens DO however have the right to not be abused by the police.


You do have that right. I agree. But you can't make that correlation without hard evidence that police abuse is a direct effect of prior military service. Especially when most police have NEVER been in the military before.



posted on May, 31 2014 @ 01:17 PM
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originally posted by: projectvxn
a reply to: HandyDandy

Being ok and being unaffected are two different things.

I'm ok. But I'm not unaffected by my experiences in Afghanistan.


Then we are both on the same page.

My brother was in the first gulf war. He literally saved a little girl's life who had her arms and legs blown off from a mine. He is definitely not "ok" with it though.

But....he IS an LEO now.



posted on May, 31 2014 @ 01:20 PM
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a reply to: HandyDandy

My first mission in Afghanistan was transporting a 6 month old girl who had been in an IED attack. Her parents were killed and her left leg was blown off.

She survived.

I'll never forget that.



posted on May, 31 2014 @ 01:24 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

Thank you for your service.




posted on May, 31 2014 @ 01:30 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

Just like I read stories about our military members raping, murdering and destroying nations all in the name of the petrodollar and military industrial complex.

Seems the notion of a good soldier is far from reality anymore.

Sure don't see the military doing anything to police themselves.

Pot, meet kettle.

It's okay though, keep telling yourself that you are protecting us from the boogeyman terrorists. Whatever helps you sleep at night.



posted on May, 31 2014 @ 01:37 PM
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a reply to: TorqueyThePig


We have the UCMJ.

Abuse in the military is prosecuted. Lots of people in Leavenworth for abuse.

Unless you're General Sinclair, rape isn't ok. We aren't without our problems too.

But cops? Throw a flashbang in a baby's crib and injure said baby with it and nothing happens.

At most it'll be a paid vacation.

We get caught doing something? Jail time, reduction in rank, forfeiture of pay.

Unless you're General Sinclair. Then you can rape women and abuse people at will.



edit on pSat, 31 May 2014 13:38:26 -0500201431America/Chicago2014-05-31T13:38:26-05:0031vx5 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 31 2014 @ 01:39 PM
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a reply to: HomerinNC

Okay cool. Just like I am a police officer who has sacrificed day in and day out for my community.

I also don't act like I am better then anyone else.

I just find it funny that there are numerous vets on ATS and ones I have meet in real life that love to use blanket statements and pass judgments on the police.

Yet when I give them a taste of their own medicine they get butt hurt.

It is extremely hypocritical and I am tired of it. I will no longer idly sit by and take the BS.

Let's face it, both the police and the US military have committed atrocities. But for you vets to sit here and pretend that you ALL are patriotic hero's is utter horse crap.

Both the police and military have their bad apples. Both have skeletons in their respective closets.

For any vet to think that every military member is perfect is elitist in itself.



posted on May, 31 2014 @ 01:43 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

No question that there are police that should have been punished for the atrocities that they committed, but were unfortunately not.

If you have read some of my previous posts you would see that I support harsher punishments for police officers.

However when an officer is arrested it is the judge who tries them if they are found guilty. The police who made the arrest of the officer have no control in regards to sentencing guidelines. Perhaps anger should be dealt towards the judges and the judicial branch of the government.

That being said there have been plenty of military members who have done the same and got away with it.

If you don't believe that, I don't know what to say.



posted on May, 31 2014 @ 02:00 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

Just like I have given infants CPR. One I saved, the other I didn't. Just like I have pulled bodies out of vehicles involved in accidents only to find their heads weren't attached. Just like I have pulled people to safety from burning houses. Just like I have jumped into the river to pull out a drowning victim. Just like I have seen raped and beaten children. Just like I have arrested their abusers and put them in jail. Just like I have seen people commit suicide by jumping from a building, cutting their wrists, hanging themselves, overdosing or blowing their heads off. Just like I have prevented a man from jumping to his death from a building. Just like I have seen people shot, stabbed, hanged, hit by trains, hit by cars, arrested burglars, recovered stolen peoples property, stopped a bomb plot at a local high school, arrested a student who brought a loaded 1911 to school who planed on shooting others, given elderly people rides home, help to get homeless people (including VETS) assistance,

Just like I volunteer my time every year for the special Olympics LEO torch run, Just like I volunteer my time every year to participate in the shop with a cop program.

I have been hit, kicked, shot at on one occasion, cut, burned, spit on, and have blown out both knees all because I LOVE MY COMMUNITY.

See, you are not the only one who sacrifices. On a daily basis I risk my personal safety and mental health.

Then I have to listen to some vets who probably are stationed in Nebraska and never seen a second of combat treat me like I am some kind of POS and do nothing for my community.

I am tired of it.

Look I do appreciate what you have sacrificed and the work you do. I do not want to judge you the individual by the actions of others who wear the same uniform as you.

I just wish you and the others I have met could extend the same courtesy to me.
edit on 31-5-2014 by TorqueyThePig because: (no reason given)

edit on 31-5-2014 by TorqueyThePig because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 31 2014 @ 03:23 PM
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a reply to: TorqueyThePig

Fair enough. I'd like to extend an apology.

I see an entire forum full of cops doing the wrong thing. It also infuriates me to no end when I read about soldiers doing the wrong thing as well. Like when General Sinclair got away with rape and got to keep his job, his pay, his benefits, and stay in command of soldiers.

But the two organizations are very different and have different missions. As I said earlier in the thread militarization of police is not a symptom, but the disease in general. A lot of that I think comes from the Feds and the DHS training many police forces get from them.

Tactics like no-knock raids are a threat to civil liberties as well as to the lives of everyone involved. Like I said, if a bunch of dudes in tactical gear kicked my door in without warning I would not stop to see who was coming in. I would fill the air with lead to protect myself and my family.

They are trying to legitimize the tactics used in military campaigns as appropriate for law enforcement.

Straight up warfare and law enforcement are NOT the same thing. But LE agencies are trying to treat it as if every time you go out on patrol that you are entering a hot zone. I'm not saying there is no risk, but warfare it is not.



posted on May, 31 2014 @ 04:29 PM
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a reply to: TorqueyThePig

Thank you also for YOUR service.






posted on May, 31 2014 @ 05:15 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

Apology accepted and I apologize to you as well.

Just to add, I do not support no knock search warrants.

I don't necessarily have a problem with the Posse Commitatus forum. However, without another forum dedicated to showing the positive things police do the news coverage will never be balanced.

Remember, ATS could just as easily start a "War Crime" forum and it would be easily filled with the horrors that soldiers have committed.

That wouldn't be fair though. But I guess life ain't fair.



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