Thursday, October 15, 2009
Pittsburgh: Beta Test for a Police State
October 14, 2009
The G-20 police response in Pittsburgh was a beta test. “We spent months getting ready for this and it was a lot of preparation, but we’ll see the dividends of that for a long time to come,” Public Safety Director Michael Huss told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
In other words, Pittsburgh is not going to stand-down now that the G-20 has departed. The “dividend” is that it will remain a militarized police state.
All the Homeland Security training was not for naught. Deputy police Chief Paul Donaldson said the training involved 716 of the force’s 872 officers as well as 254 officers from the Allegheny County police, county Sheriff’s Office, Port Authority Transit and University of Pittsburgh. Cops were given riot gear and the latest anti-First Amendment technology, including the now infamous LRAD. “A federal grant of $200,000 allowed police to buy four Long Range Acoustic Devices, or LRADs, which were used to disperse protesters,” the newspaper reports.
During the G-20, there were 6,000 heavily armed and outfitted cops on the street in response to 5,000 demonstrators, the vast majority of them peaceful.
Pittsburgh is the poster child for the police state. In 2007, the cops rolled out a 20-ton armored truck with a blast-resistant body, armored rotating roof hatch and gunports in response to street crime and violence. The $250,000 armored vehicle was paid for with Homeland Security money.
“With scores of police agencies large and small, from Lexington, Ky., to Austin, Texas, buying armored vehicles at Homeland Security expense, some criminal justice experts warn that their use in fighting everyday crime could do more harm than good and represents a post-9/11, militaristic turn away from the more cooperative community-policing approach promoted in the 1990s,” writes Ramit Plushnick-Masti.
“Law enforcement agencies say the growing use of the vehicles, a practice that also has its defenders in the academic field of criminal justice, helps ensure police have the tools they need to deal with hostage situations, heavy gunfire and acts of terrorism.”
In Pittsburgh during the G-20, there were no terrorists — unless you consider citizens opposed to globalism and the world government schemes of the banksters terrorists. No hostages were taken, no drug-running gang-bangers were shooting at the police.
All around the country local law enforcement is looking to the feds to provide high-tech military hardware. San Francisco wants $125,000 for an armored vehicle and $200,000 for a mobile command vehicle. Sparks, Nevada wants $600,000 to purchase a “live fire” house its SWAT team can shoot up, and another $420,000 for a SWAT armored vehicle. Gary, Indiana wants $750,000 for a host of “modernization” upgrades to its police department, including “sub-automatic machine guns” and an armored vehicle. Ottawa, Illinois (population: 18,307) wants $60,000 to purchase, among other things, five “tactical entry rifles.”
“Why is our civilian law enforcement in an arms race, and who are they arming against? Why us of course. What use to be six to ten man SWAT teams are now platoon size of 25 if not more. The City Police, Sheriffs etc, are armed to the teeth and resemble SS units, this is a way to circumvent Posse Comitatus in the coming Martial Law,” writes Open Dialogue Government. “They are not rounding up illegal aliens or criminal street gangs who reek havoc on our country. They are here for us.”
In addition to Homeland Security money, cities want to use “stimulus” funds to get up to speed on the high-tech surveillance state. The following cities requested stimulus funds to supplement, initiate, or upgrade public surveillance camera systems: Brockton, Massachusetts; Buffalo, New York; Burnsville, Minnesota; Caguas, Puerto Rico; Cerritos, California; Columbia, South Carolina; Compton, California; Homestead, Florida; Hormigueros, Puerto Rico; Indianapolis, Indiana; Inglewood, California; Lewiston, Maine; Lorain, Ohio; Lynn, Massachusetts; Marion, Ohio; Merced, California; New Rochelle, New York; North Richland Hills, Texas; Oakland, California; Orange, New Jersey; Orem, Utah; Orlando, Florida; Pembroke Pines, Florida; Ponce, Puerto Rico; Riverdale, Illinois; Shreveport, Louisiana; Silver City, New Mexico; Sumter, South Carolina; Tallahassee, Florida; Warren, Ohio; and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. (see Any Taxes You Pay Can and Will Be Used Against You.)
And you thought the “stimulus” was about jobs and the economy.
The in-your-face “militarization of domestic law enforcement is now coupled with the military’s own rapid development and deployment of ‘non-lethal weapons’ systems which inevitably, will be ’shared’ with civilian police for ‘crowd control.’ As with data mining, DHS spy-satellite surveillance, blanket CCTV coverage of American cities, illegal FBI deployment of infiltrators and provocateurs, ‘mission creep’ by the Pentagon into civil affairs are signs that stronger measures to blunt the crisis may be in the offing,” Tom Burghardt wrote in October, 2008.
Add to the list the deployment of combat-hardened troops in the U.S. and numerous “exercises” for “emergency preparedness” and we have the finishing touches on a police state ready to be unleashed provided the appropriate staged terror attack or — more likely — during the coming unrest in response to the unraveling economy.
Homeland security is officially defined by the National Strategy for Homeland Security as “a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America’s vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur.” It has superseded that mission.
In fact, Homeland Security was never about al-Qaeda or external terrorist attacks. It was from day one about the American people, specifically those Americans outlined in the DHS report on “rightwing extremism” — advocates of the Second Amendment and those of us who are demanding a return to a constitutional republic and a drastically scaled back federal government.