Kudos to the Albuquerque Journal for finding a true journalistic voice and having the fortitude to put it right out there on the front pages with nice big headlines on three consecutive days: “Homeland Security a Runaway Train;” “NM Footprint Grows;” and “Feds Help Militarize Police Departments.”
Wow! If people reading those articles don’t get the picture that we are living in a nascent police state, they deserve what’s coming.
The most eminently frightening of the three stories is the militarization of local police departments.
The fatal shooting of James Boyd is a perfect example of how this trend can impact any of us at any time, should we be unlucky enough to be caught in the cross hairs of a gung-ho team of quasi-military law enforcers who treat everyone they encounter as “the enemy.”
Closer to my home, it has just come to light that the tiny Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Department has received, thanks to the largesse of Homeland Security, an “MRAP,” while the Española Police Department was purportedly gifted a “tank” several months ago.
Lucky for us that apparently there are ex-military members of the Sheriff’s Department who know how to operate such a fearsome armored vehicle. Hopefully they will remember that they are in a small, peaceful American town and not Fallujah when called to duty over some low-key 911 incident that could be handled quietly with a little common sense and restraint instead of full-scale riot response.
Unfortunately, however, once these “hammers” are in the toolbox, everything looks like a nail.
So, listen up America, the destabilization of our democracy by creeping fascism is something that will impact all of us, whether we are liberals or conservatives.
It’s up to all of us to save our nation while there’s still time. Don’t be fooled into believing all of this is for our own good, keeping us safe from some shadowy foreign bogeyman poised to pounce the minute we let our guard down.
You may soon wake up and find out that bogeyman is a lot closer to home than you ever believed possible in the “land of the free.”