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The Roots of Police Militarization

By Kevin Carson | CounterPunch | August 28, 2014

The police rampage in Ferguson, Missouri has increased public awareness of police militarization and drawn well-deserved attention to writers like Radley Balko who’ve documented the proliferation of military equipment and culture in local police forces over the past decade.

It’s certainly true that the post-9/11 security state and the Global War on Terror have flooded police forces with surplus military equipment, increased the prevalence of military cross-training (including “counter-terrorism” training by Israeli military personnel encouraging American police forces to view their communities in much the same way Israeli security forces view the Palestinians in Gaza).

But the roots of police militarization go back way further than 9/11 – all the way back to the aftermath of insurrections by the black populations of major American cities in the 1960s and the American political elite’s desire to ensure that nothing like that ever happened again.

US presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon began creating an institutional framework to ensure that any such disorder in the future would be dealt with differently. This process culminated in DOD Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2, aka “Garden Plot,” which involved domestic surveillance by the military, contingency plans for military cooperation with local police in suppressing local disorders, plans for mass preventive detention and joint exercises of police and the regular military. Frank Morales wrote in Cover Action Quarterly (“U.S. Military Civil Disturbance Planning: The War at Home,” Spring-Summer 2000):

“At first, the Garden Plot exercises focused primarily on racial conflict. But beginning in 1970, the scenarios took a different twist. The joint teams, made up of cops, soldiers and spies, began practicing battle with large groups of protesters. California, under the leadership of Ronald Reagan, was among the most enthusiastic participants in Garden Plot war games. … Garden plot [subsequently] evolved into a series of annual training exercises based on contingency plans to undercut riots and demonstrations, ultimately developed for every major city in the United States. Participants in the exercises included key officials from all law enforcement agencies in the nation, as well as the National Guard, the military, and representatives of the intelligence community.”

It was against this background that then-governor Reagan introduced the first SWAT teams in California.

When Reagan became president, he appointed Louis O. Giuffrida, who as head of the California Guard had enthusiastically participated in Garden Plot exercises under Reagan’s govenorship, to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In that role Giuffrida worked with Oliver North to draw up plans for martial law in the event of a “national emergency.” They worked together on the Readiness Exercises 1983 and 1984 (Rex-83 and Rex-84), which included mass detention of suspected “terrorist subversives” under the emergency provisions of Garden Plot.

The hypothetical civil disturbance/insurrection scenario these emergency exercises were supposed to be coping with was (ahem) a series of massive antiwar demonstrations in response to a U.S. military invasion of Central America. “North … helped draw up a controversial plan to suspend the Constitution in the event of a national crisis, such as nuclear war, violent and widespread internal dissent or national opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad (Alfonso Chardy, “Reagan Aides and the ‘Secret’ Government,” Miami Herald, July 5, 1987).

The militarization of local polic, and the encouragement of a police culture that viewed local communities (especially people of color in minority neighborhoods) as an occupied enemy populations, got further impetus from the War on Drugs, which was greatly intensified under the Reagan administration. By 1999 — well before the Global War on Terror — the phenomenon had progressed to the point that Diane Cecilia Weber wrote a Cato Institute paper titled “Warrior Cops: The Ominous Growth of Paramilitarism in American Police Departments” (Briefing Paper No. 50).

Since 9/11, the problem has grown beyond Weber’s imagining. After Katrina the (largely black) flooded out portions of New Orleans got a demonstration of the same police hostility and aggression we’re witnessing today in Ferguson. It’s a safe guess that this is now the standard treatment to expect from local police in a community experiencing an “emergency” or (manufactured) “disturbance” of any kind.

Ultimately, what it boils down to is the government views its own people — particularly those of color — as the enemy. The question is how long we will tolerate it.

August 28, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Israel presses forward plans for Jewish seminary in occupied east Jerusalem

Al-Akhbar | August 28, 2014

Israel on Thursday approved a further stage in plans to build a nine-story Jewish seminary in the heart of a densely-populated Palestinian neighborhood near Jerusalem’s Old City.

According to the Peace Now settlement watchdog, the committee threw out an appeal tabled by a left-wing council member and approved a new stage in plans for a tower block in Sheikh Jarrah in occupied east Jerusalem.

Should the plans be approved by the district planning committee, construction could begin within the coming year, Peace Now’s Hagit Ofran told AFP.

“It might take six months to a year until it gets final approval for them to start building,” she said of the plan which was tabled in February.

The building will be used as a yeshiva, or Jewish seminary, for ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Sheikh Jarrah is a Palestinian residential neighborhood located to the north of the Old City.

Located on the road which links the Old City to Mount Scopus, the area is considered a strategic location and illegal settlement groups have made persistent efforts to take control of its land.

Israel captured east Jerusalem during the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community.

It considers all of Jerusalem its “eternal, indivisible” capital and does not see construction in the eastern sector as settlement building.

Both the Palestinians and the international community consider all Israeli construction on land seized in 1967 to be a violation of international law.

This has not stopped Israel from continuing its policy of illegal settlement in east Jerusalem and the West Bank over the years.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

August 28, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russian gas sector should not be sanctioned – EU energy chief

RT | August 28, 2014

Russian gas sector should not be subjected to EU sanctions despite the situation in Ukraine, EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said Thursday.

“Gas is not a suitable sector for sanctions, as in this case everyone will lose – Russia, Ukraine and the European Union,” RIA Novosti cites Oettinger as saying.

EU Energy Commissioner insisted on a quick resolution of the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine.

“We need a solution that prevents an escalation between Ukraine and Russia,” he told German broadcaster ARD. “We need Ukraine as a transit country. Ukraine needs gas in winter. In a long and cold winter, Ukraine will not have enough stored gas of its own.”

He also acknowledged that in case Ukraine is left without gas supplies in winter it may steal Russian transit gas on its way to the West.

According to Oettinger by the end of October the European Union should develop a concept that provides each bloc member with warm homes, financing of infrastructure and maintenance of industry for the period from November to March.

On Friday, Oettinger is expected to meet with Russian Energy Minister Aleksander Novak to discuss future Russian gas deliveries to Europe.

The agenda includes talks about safe transit of Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine, legal and technical aspects of the South Stream project, Gazprom’s access to the full capacity of the OPAL pipeline and issues related to the continuation of the Russia-EU Energy Dialogue, the Russian Energy Ministry said in a statement Monday.

August 28, 2014 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Calls to prosecute foreigners who volunteered in Israeli army during war

MEMO | August 28, 2014

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki announced on Wednesday that his ministry had sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and to the leaders of other countries, requesting them to bear their responsibility for implementing international law regarding foreigners who volunteered in the Israeli army during the latest assault on Gaza.

Citing the Palestinian foreign ministry statement, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news website reported that in cooperation with human rights organisations, the ministry has found that foreigners volunteered in the Israeli army during the latest aggression and carried out war crimes.

The news website said they took part in the war as part of two programmes called Mahal and Ser-Al. The Palestinian ministry stressed the necessity to prosecute them.

As part of the programmes, Jews and non-Jews who do not hold an Israeli ID can travel to Israel to take part in military service for a year and a half in order to get the ID.

The ministry called for specifying those who volunteered in the Israeli army or helped it, identifying their war crimes and the breaches of international law that they committed through the Israeli army, as well as telling them about the potential criminal responsibility for what they did during the war.

In addition, the ministry called upon those countries where the citizen volunteers are from to prosecute them inside the judicial system of their geographical areas.

Under the framework of international law, “which Israeli cannot evade”, the ministry is also seeking to prosecute everyone who committed war crimes in Gaza, including Israelis.

The ministry called for accelerating the convention of international bodies to require Israel to implement the Fourth Geneva Convention in the occupied Palestinian territories.

August 28, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Switzerland mirrors EU sanctions against Russia

RT | August 28, 2014

Switzerland has issued an expanded sanctions list against Russia which includes 5 banks, several companies and 11 Russian citizens. The move comes as the country doesn’t want to be used to bypass European sanctions on Moscow.

On Wednesday the Swiss Federal Council decided to widen its policy against Russia and to take all the measures required “to ensure that the most recent sanctions imposed by the European Union cannot be circumvented via Swiss territory,” the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said in a statement.

The cabinet didn’t name the five Russian banks, but in July, the European Union sharply reduced the abilities of Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank and the Russian Agricultural Bank.

The affected financial institutions will have limited access to the capital markets of Switzerland. Moreover, Russian banks will require approval to issue long-term financial instruments in Switzerland, the statement said.

Bern also said it had added a further 11 individuals and a number of firms to the list without specifying them.

In addition, Switzerland has banned the import of materials for military purposes, the export of equipment for the oil industry, and limited the opportunity for investment in Crimea and Sevastopol.

The statement also said that the cabinet won’t try to promote any agricultural exports to Russia. Following the Russian food embargo, several European agricultural producers tried to re-export their goods through Switzerland, which were not included in the Russia ban.

August 28, 2014 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Leave a comment

Kiev accuses Russia of ‘bringing troops’ to Ukraine, no proof offered

RT | August 28, 2014

The chorus of allegations about a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine has President Poroshenko calling for an emergency meeting of the country’s security and defense council, while the Prime Minister Yatsenyuk is calling for a Russian asset freeze.

“I have made a decision to cancel my working visit to the Republic of Turkey due to sharp aggravation of the situation in Donetsk region, particularly in Amvrosiivka and Starobeshevo, as Russian troops were brought into Ukraine,”Petro Poroshenko said in a statement on his website.

The Russian representative to the OSCE Andrey Kelin has given a firm response to the allegations, saying that “We have said that no Russian involvement has been spotted, there are no soldiers or equipment.”

“Accusations relating to convoys of armored personnel carriers have been heard during the past week and the week before that,” he said. “All of them were proven false back then, and are being proven false again now.”

“There is no sense in these accusations,” he said.

Yet, Ukraine is going to call for a meeting of the UN Security Council, said Poroshenko.

“The world must provide assessment of sharp aggravation of the situation in Ukraine,” he added.

Poroshenko added that on Thursday there will be a meeting of Security and Defense Council to elaborate the plan for further action.

“The President must stay in Kyiv today,” he said.

As with previous allegations of smuggled troops, equipment and other underhanded tactics, no evidence has been offered.

Given the confusion arising out of the recent capture of alleged Russian paratroopers and the subsequent videos with interviews released by the Ukrainians, the government is going to the US, EU and the G7 to ask for a freeze on Russian assets.

Meanwhile, the OSCE has announced that it’s calling an emergency meeting in Vienna – for the second time in August – giving no further details.

Yet when the head of its Ukraine mission, Paul Picard, was asked if the monitoring team saw any evidence of Russia crossing the border with troops and tanks, the answer was “no.” He told journalists of round-the-clock surveillance by a team of 16 people. The team said “we are hearing shooting, but it’s difficult to tell just how far.”

This didn’t stop the Ukrainian government from alleging that the border town of Novoazovsky in the south-east has fallen under Russian control – a mix of troops and members of the eastern-Ukrainian uprising.

August 28, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

The Forever Threat: The Imminent Attack on Iran That Will Never Happen

By Nima shirazi | Wide Asleep In America | August 27, 2014

“Israel has drawn up plans for a combined air and ground attack on Iranian nuclear installations if diplomacy fails to halt Tehran’s atomic program…” – Toledo Blade, March 14, 2005

Last month, amid the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, accomplished lunatic Louie Gohmert, a Republican congressman from Texas, took to the House floor and called for Iran to be attacked.

After insisting it is “time to cut off every dime of American money going to anyone who has any kind of relationship with Hamas or those killing in the Middle East, and especially in Israel,” Gohmert added, “It is time to bomb Iran’s nuclear capabilities. It is time for the United States, if we are not going to stop Iran’s nukes, then let Israel do it. A friend will not put another friend in this kind of jeopardy.”

Never mind that Iran has no “nukes” for anyone to “stop,” since it’s not actually making any and never has made or acquired any. Never mind that Iran has been consistently complying with the prescriptions of the multilateral deal agreed to last November by Iran and six world powers. Never mind that a number of recent articles in widely-read media outlets have addressed the myriad falsehoods and myths responsible for the past three decades of fear-mongering and propaganda about Iran’s civilian nuclear program.

Still, the persistent false narrative that military strikes by either the United States or Israel may follow any potential failure to reach a deal continues to be repeated in the press. Of course, the fact that any such attack would be unequivocally illegal under international law is rarely noted in these assessments.

Pronouncements that Iran is close to having a nuclear bomb, or close to being bombed, are ubiquitous in the media. Threats against Iran – by both the United States and Israel – have been made for decades, despite routine Iranian dismissal of such rhetoric as mere bluster.

The frequency of such threats – always reported with fever-pitched alacrity by a dutiful and prostrate press – is alarming.

Not only is an American or Israeli attack on Iran always just around the bend – regardless of the state of diplomacy or intelligence assessments – but the media consistently provides fantasy scenarios by which its audience can imagine, replete with maps and graphics, just how such war crimes would take place.

Over twenty years ago, a report in the Independent (UK) published on June 23, 1994 revealed that the Pentagon had inked a deal to provide Israel with advanced F-15I fighter jets, designed to “enable the Israelis to carry out strikes deep into Iraq and Iran without refuelling.”

Three years later, on December 9, 1997, a The Times of London headline screamed, “Israel steps up plans for air attacks on Iran.” The article, written by Christopher Walker, reported on the myriad “options” Israel had in confronting what it deemed “Iran’s Russian-backed missile and nuclear weapon programme.”

Such reports have been published ever since. Of course, neither the United States nor Israel will attack Iran, regardless of the success or failure of negotiations, but such reports (often the result of strategically timed “leaks” by anonymous government officials) serve to not only intentionally torpedo diplomacy but also mislead the public into believing the absurdly false narrative surrounding the Iranian nuclear program; that is, either Iran must be bombed or it will acquire a nuclear arsenal. This is nonsense.

Below are some of the constant headlines we’ve seen over the past dozen years promoting such propaganda. When will this madness – this pathological obsession with the false necessity of dropping bombs and the righteous inevitability of killing people – stop?

The Times of London, November 5, 2002:

AFP, October 11, 2003:

The Scotsman, November 22, 2003:

New York Daily News, November 23, 2003:

The New York Times, August 21, 2004:

Los Angeles Times, October 22, 2004:

The Jerusalem Post, January 21, 2005:

The Independent, January 27, 2005:

Toledo Blade, March 14, 2005:

Associated Press, December 4, 2005:

The Straits Times, December 17, 2005:

Associated Press, January 22, 2006:

Fox News, June 4, 2006:

The Telegraph, February 24, 2007:

Associated Press, March 21, 2007:

Newsweek, December 19, 2007:

The Daily Star (Lebanon), May 30, 2008:

USA Today, June 6, 2008:

The Telegraph, June 7, 2008:

The Age, June 9, 2008:

Fox News, June 20, 2008:

The Telegraph, June 23, 2008:


ABC News, July 1, 2008:

Ha’aretz, July 2, 2008:

AFP, July 30, 2008:

Associated Press, August 7, 2008:

CBS News, August 7, 2008:

Wired, April 2, 2009:

Salon, April 14, 2009:

The Times of London, April 18, 2009:

The Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2009:

The Washington Post, July 2, 2009:

CBS News, July 27, 2009:

Los Angeles Times, August 30, 2009:

Talking Points Memo, August 31, 2009:


Fox News, September 21, 2009:

Huffington Post, September 28, 2009:

Ynet, October 9, 2009:

The Washington Times, October 22, 2009:

Ha’aretz, November 6, 2009:

The New York Times, December 23, 2009:

Newsmax, April 2, 2010:


The Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2010:

AFP, June 12, 2010:

TIME, July 15, 2010:

The Weekly Standard, July 26, 2010:


Christian Science Monitor, August 12, 2010:

The Spectator (UK), August 12, 2010:


Christian Science Monitor, August 13, 2010:

The Weekly Standard, August 14, 2010:

The Week, August 17, 2010:

New York Daily News, August 17, 2010:

The Atlantic, August 18, 2010:

Newsmax, September 2, 2010:

The Atlantic, November 28, 2010:

AFP, November 29, 2010:

The Australian, November 30, 2010:

The Washington Times, December 3, 2010:

The Australian, January 13, 2011:

Associated Press, May 30, 2011:

Ha’aretz, September 28, 2011:

Associated Press, November 2, 2011:

The Daily Beast, November 2, 2011:

The Guardian, November 2, 2011:

The Telegraph, November 6, 2011:

Reuters, November 9, 2011:

Arutz Sheva, November 10, 2011:


Chicago Tribune, November 13, 2011:

Arutz Sheva, December 1, 2011:

The New York Times, January 25, 2012:

Foreign Affairs, January/February 2012:

The Washington Post, February 2, 2012:

Reuters, February 3, 2012:

Foreign Affairs, February 23, 2012:

Congressional Research Service, March 27, 2012:


CNN, March 30, 2012:

Salon/GlobalPost, May 9, 2012:


The Telegraph, May 17, 2012:

CBN News, May 24, 2012:


The Blaze, July 8, 2012:

Reuters, August 10, 2012:

The Times of Israel, August 11, 2012:

The Daily Mail, August 21, 2012:

The Jewish Chronicle, August 27, 2012:

Forbes, September 30, 2012:

National Journal, October 9, 2012:


The Telegraph, October 9, 2012:

Voice of America, December 19, 2012:


The New York Times, January 26, 2013:

The Times of Israel, March 14, 2013:

Newsmax, April 13, 2013:

The Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2013:

Ha’aretz, May 3, 2013:

The Times of Israel, May 9, 2013:

Al Jazeera English, July 17, 2013:

The Atlantic, August 1, 2013:


Washington Examiner
, September 18, 2013:


Gatestone Institute, October 7, 2013:

Financial Times, November 17, 2013:

CNN, November 19, 2013:

The Times of London, November 26, 2013:

Defense News, December 4, 2013:


CBS News, December 6, 2013:


ThinkProgress, January 2, 2014:

Foreign Affairs, January 7, 2014:

Ha’aretz, March 19, 2014:

Associated Press, March 21, 2014:

The National Interest, April 16, 2014:

Iran Times, May 16, 2014:


Defense News
, June 8, 2014:

Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), June 12, 2014:

The Raw Story, July 23, 2014:

*****

August 28, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Boycott Israel – Immortal Technique

Don Martin ft Immortal Technique (US), Eltipo Este (Cuba), Tumi (South Africa), Tonto Noiza (France). Prod Tommy Tee. Video by Ulfdawg. English translation + free download below.

Visit http://www.bdsmovement.net for more information on boycott campaign. Download the track mp3 free at http://www.donmartin.no/boycott-israel/

Lyrics

Immortal Technique:
Bambaataa told us knowledge was the fifth element
Truth behind the lies is what the music represents
So how the fuck you gonna have a peace settlement?
When people want a piece of your land to build settlements
There’s all different kinda terrorism you can perpetrate
Every dead body causes karma to circulate
There’s suicide bombin’ buildings full of civilians
Or cutting off water to cities full of children
You can’t try to justify collective punishment
A country never finds peace with bodies buried under it
I guess some Americans just don’t remember
There’s a slave graveyard under the world trade center
Stop the criticism of Iranian nuclear fission
Until mutual nuclear disarmament’s the mission
This ain’t about religion, Muslim, Jew or Christian
It’s about people making money off of that division

Tumi:
I am recognizing that the voices in my head
Are urging me to be myself and never follow when I’m led
So with that said it’s insurgency as we confirm some things
I am anti Zionist and any form of fundamentalist
The devil’s in the specifics mixing with your favorite dish
You can beef with Israel and not be antisemitic
Don’t buy beef from Israel cause you paying to kill them kids
So if you’re rocking this shit, go ahead do the Gaza strip
My heart race when I hear apartheid from out their lips
We have lived it, missed Olympics, seen ‘free Mandela’ pickets
And his image beamed repeatedly to street favela children
Even freed from prison cause of global criticism
Of this horrible system boycotted by the citizens

Boycott, boycott Israel

Tonto Noiza:
There’s only one step from hypocrisy to diplomacy,
Staying there sitting down in front of the stale situation
It is not the picture I have of human rights
Cause the immunity Israel grants itself shocks me
Look at the poverty of a people
How to relativize
This is the power that must be broken
I´m coming aiming without stigmatizing
I haven´t come to enter pacts like the UN
Nor to stir up hatred
But the inequality that bad faith entails has tenfold my sadness
It is the governing bodies I address, because they attack
For the price of past errors it is a whole people they oppress
For all innocent on all sides dragged into this fight
The bill is saltier then the dead sea. We have to get out of it

Boycott, boycott, boycott

Don Martin:
It´s raining grenades over Gaza´s roofs
hitting hospitals, hitting kindergarten children, hitting dormitories
Off course we are calling it an apartheid state
They´re building a wall between themselves and those who shall not have citizenship
Because if you call something “pro-Palestinian”
then (international) rules do not count anymore. You best believe that
there is a more macabre sound to the word “blood orange”
when it is grown in stolen land and grows from a dead body.
Not in my name, not with my money
It´s not enough to just sit around complaining/crying anymore
We must hit the foundation, show Israel.
Cause they don´t give a shit about resolutions anyway
It´s a small part of a much bigger picture
Like when we boycotted Shell, when I was much younger
The responsibility lies with all of us ,so we want
anyone with a conscience – boycott Israel

 

Boycott Israel vocal sample from Arundhati Roy’s speech “Come September”

August 28, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Video | , | Leave a comment