An 18-year old high school student was shot by a U.S. marine along the U.S.- Mexico border May 20, 1997 according to the Associated Press. Four marines were patrolling the border area on a surveillance mission when they shot the teenager who was watching his heard of goats. The marines are claiming that the teen fired at them first and that they returned fire in self-defense. The incident has drawn deserved attention to the government's use of military personnel in domestic law enforcement assignments.
Reports carried by the wire services indicate that the teen, a Mexican immigrant, had fired his antiquated .22 rifle in the direction of the heavily camouflaged marines. Twenty minutes later the squad leader felled the teen with a bullet fired from his assault rifle. It was another twenty-two minutes before the marines rendered first aid or called for help. He died from his wound. The pastor of the teen's church questioned the likelihood that the mild mannered boy would fire on four heavily armed marines who were covered in burlap and leaves, their faces blackened. If he fired at all, it was probably at a rabbit or target. "You couldn't say enough good things about that kid," the Rev. Melvin LaFollette told the Washington Post.. "He was universally liked and never caused any trouble." Texas Rangers have yet to find evidence that the teen fired on the marines. "We have not been able to corroborate that [he] fired the two shots....Our perception of what occurred is not consistent with the military's version," investigators told the Washington Post..
Preliminary reports seem to indicate that the shooting was unjustifiable, at least, according to law enforcement standards. Soldiers are trained to kill, however, and this may have been a textbook shooting by military standards. Soldiers work by "rules of engagement" which are unlike the "use of deadly force" restrictions placed on domestic police officers. Perhaps the squad leader "took out" the alleged "sniper" to protect his men from the "enemy", just as he was trained to do.
In spite of their obvious lack of qualifications, the Clinton administration and Congress continue to introduce the military into domestic law enforcement functions across a broad front. This is contrary to the principles established in the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which with certain exceptions, prohibits the use of military personnel in domestic law enforcement functions. This act was passed after the Civil War to end the abuse of federal military force in the south during Reconstruction.
Over the decades Congress has weakened the Posse Comitatus Act by making provision for the military to be used in civil rights enforcement and, if needed, the detection and disarming of a terrorist nuclear device. A recent wave of "anti-terrorist" legislation has killed the Act all together by greatly expanding the role of the military in domestic law enforcement. While emphasizing the military's "supporting role" in chemical, biological, and nuclear incidents in a Senate debate last year, Senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga) argued that the military should also have the same authority that civilian police have. He said, "We do not want to have our military team out there in chemical gear, looking for chemical weapons...no policemen being able to go in...run right into the people perpetrating the act and not be able to do anything about it. So we have to give them that kind of limited [police] authority...." He also admitted "the military is not trained for law enforcement. They are trained to search and destroy using massive military force, not detect and investigate and arrest in accordance with due process and civil procedures." Former Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger, a staunch military supporter, bluntly testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that military involvement in civilian law enforcement is "extremely repugnant to a democratic society."
Senator Orin Hatch (R-Utah) noted that Americans have always been suspicious of using the military in domestic law enforcement, and that suspicion features prominently in the Declaration of Independence. Among the grievances listed in the declaration against the King of England is that he had "kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislature," and had "affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power."
The Oklahoma City bombing, as well as the Centennial Park bombing during the Olympics, has proven to be stronger arguments in favor of military empowerment than all the worthy arguments against it. It has been difficult for politicians to prevent the destruction of the Posse Comitatus Act while the evening news is replaying the shocking footage of the Oklahoma bombing and dwelling on the alleged "terrorist threat". In typical gradualist fashion, slowly but surely, the wall of partition between the police and the military functions is being eroded and, before long, it will be difficult to tell the difference between the two.
Although the legal precedents are in place, Americans may not readily notice the changes taking place around them. Ten thousand troops were assigned to the Olympics last year - assigned to harmless duties such as driving buses and directing traffic - a perfect event to accustom the public to a military "police" presence. Troops are assigned to patrol the U.S. border with Mexico and the Senate is now calling for 10,000 troops to be stationed there to help in the "war on drugs". Since the media tells us how bad things are getting at the border, Americans accept it - anything to make us safer. The gradual transition to a militarized police state is taking place in small, incremental steps, each move justified with a publicly acknowledged crisis.
The gradual transition of civilian law enforcement from the local police to the federal military establishment is the unstated goal of the power elite behind the scenes. The Commander in Chief of the military is the President himself, who may control a military police apparatus much better than he may influence a civilian one. As the military directs its sights inward - towards American citizens - we may see the truth about how everyday Americans are regarded by their benefactors in Washington. Their benefactors regard them as "the enemy." The introduction of armed forces into civilian police work is one of the hallmarks of a repressive regime.
The militarizing of American society is following the Fascist blueprint to the letter. Multi-national corporations own the government, which in turn harasses and regulates various industries into submission or out of existence. The masses are taxed, dislocated, demoralized and drafted into forced "volunteerism." The marshalling of society into government service would not be complete without the absorption of the police function into a centralized military command under the direct control of the president dictator appointed by the ruling oligarchy. As government sponsored disasters multiply, the bludgeoned masses cry for more intervention, more control, more security, and the government responds readily.
It shouldn't be difficult for anyone to see what America will be like under martial law. Those nice soldiers directing traffic and filling sandbags today will be the enforcers of presidential decrees tomorrow. Protest will not be met with the velvet glove of our local police, but by the "rules of engagement" of the New Order that will tolerate no dissent. The enemy will not be an external invader, but you, your neighbor, or anyone that thinks, speaks, or acts contrary to established norms of the new, "tolerant", global society of the twenty-first century. Like Fascist regimes of the twentieth century, this one will end up on a smoking ash heap along with all its victims.
A woman author and church leader of the nineteenth century foresaw the coming crisis precipitated by the New World Order. To those who were skeptical that such events could take place she wrote, "It has been confidently declared that this land could never become other than what it has been, the defender of religious freedom.... To human wisdom, all this now seems impossible; but as the restraining Spirit of God shall be withdrawn from men, and they shall be under the control of Satan, who hates the divine precepts, there will be strange developments. The heart can be very cruel when God's fear and love are removed." Ellen White in The Great Controversy (1884).
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