While many concerned Americans express their worries regarding the direction of the country by repeating the tired warnings of “creeping” Fascism, the reality is that predictions of our dissolve into total tyranny are no longer appropriate. This is because what once was “creeping” has finally reached its destination. Now, it is only beginning to show itself more and more openly.
In all honesty, when one wishes to begin a conversation regarding Fascist elements in the United States, it would be hard to know where to start, given the developments that have accelerated since 9/11, each Presidential election, and, indeed, every passing year.
Yet, while many Americans, brainwashed by years of television and intellectual obsolescence, expect Fascism to rush in riding waves of tanks, parading soldiers, and dictators on megaphones, the fact is that Fascism has arrived in a slightly less advertised form.
However, while it may not have arrived in the United States in the way that Americans believed it might, there are at least two developments that have indeed followed the traditional track of the Fascism that emerged in Europe during the 1930s.
One of these forms was recently detailed by Susanne Posel of Occupy Corporatism in her article “DHS Are Militarizing Local Police to Create Federalized Law Enforcement Agencies,” where she discusses the ongoing agenda of consolidating and merging local and state police forces into one all-encompassing national police force structure.
In this regard, much of the consolidation agenda is being accomplished by virtue of private security firms, a topic which I have been forced to cover for similar reasons in the past.
In her article, Posel begins by mentioning the 2011 consolidation of police forces in Utah where an entirely new agency, the Unified Police Department (UPD) in the Salt Lake City area, was created. She writes that the UPD merged various jurisdictions and municipalities that were previously under the purview of the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Department and placed all of these jurisdictions under the authority of the UPD. Very soon after, Posel claims, the UPD became the standard for other police departments across the country.
Utah is by no means the only state with a private police force problem. States such as Florida, Minnesota, California, Louisiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, and Massachusetts, have either replaced or attempted to replace local police departments with private security firms in at least some capacity over the last two decades.
Many may remember the case of Hardin, Montana which was essentially occupied by American Police Force, a private security firm that paraded itself around town as Hardin’s police force in 2009.
In 2012, Delaware introduced legislation that would have removed the power of the Sheriff and stripped the deputies and Sheriff Departments of their arrest powers. Thankfully, H.B. 290 was not passed.
Likewise, a move was made in Kershaw County, South Carolina to remove power from the county Sheriff and create a countywide police force which was not directly accountable to the citizens. Ironically, because this move required approval from Kershaw County voters, Sheriff Jim Matthews and his position were saved by the very activists whom he labeled “domestic extremists” only months prior. Clearly, these activists were more adept at perceiving danger where it actually exists than the Sheriff himself.
Nevertheless, Horry County, South Carolina has already created a countywide police force. It should be noted, however, that the Horry County version exists (and has existed for at least 50 years) alongside the Horry County Sherriff’s office so the consolidation that has taken place in Salt Lake has not yet been fully realized in Horry.
Yet consolidation of traditional law enforcement agencies into an organization that no longer has elected officials as the head of operations is not a situation that exists only in the states mentioned above. Denver County, Colorado, for instance, maintains the Denver County Police Department, with the Sheriff’s Department assuming responsibility over mere care, custody, and transport of prisoners and detainees.
Indeed, one need only search the Web to find numerous cases of police departments and Sheriff’s offices that have been merged together to effectively remove the power of the electorate (for what it is worth) and enable larger-scale ramifications in the event that the County police department is privatized.
Of course, in reality it is obvious that the privatization of police forces has its roots in a much more sinister agenda than mere corporate greed and a desire to escape accountability.
For instance, in early 2012, a document was released by the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group, an organization closely tied to the Department of Homeland Security and co-chaired by former DHS chief Michael Chertoff, entitled, “Homeland Security and Intelligence: Next Steps in Evolving the Mission,” which states the desire of DHS and its related federal police state agencies to consume and centralize control over state and local law enforcement agencies as well as to infiltrate and co-opt the private sector. The report reads,
Partnerships and collaboration will be a determining factor in whether this refined mission succeeds. As threat grows more localized, the prospect that a state/local partner will generate the first lead to help understand a new threat, or even an emerging cell, will grow. And the federal government’s need to train, and even staff, local agencies, such as major city police departments, will grow. Because major cities are the focus for threat, these urban areas also will become the sources of intelligence that will help understand these threats at the national level, DHS might move toward decentralizing more of its analytic workforce to partner with state/local agencies in the collection and dissemination of intelligence from the local level.
This new approach to intelligence — serving local partners’ requirements, providing intelligence in areas (such as infrastructure) not previously served by intelligence agencies, and disseminating information by new means — reflects a transition in how Americans perceive national security. For this reason, state/local agencies, as clients for DHS intelligence, should also be involved in the development of requirements for what kinds of intelligence on emerging threats would be most helpful, from changing tactics for smuggling aliens into the United States to how to understand overseas terrorist incidents and translate them into analysis for the US.
Similarly, different private sectors in the United States, from the hospitality industry to
transportation, should drive requirements for DHS, in addition to serving as sources for information about what emerging vulnerabilities these industries are seeing. DHS should utilize existing public private partnerships to both drive requirements and aid distribution.
Indeed, one can easily see the agenda coming into view by virtue of the emergence of fusion centers infiltrating state and local law enforcement agencies all across the country, only furthering the federalization of police.
Without a doubt, the privatization of police forces is only one method of converting local and state law enforcement agencies to federally-controlled DHS public management organizations that are themselves interchangeable to the point of being one and the same as the U.S. military.
The evisceration of the rule of law (except for the force of law aimed at keeping the “little people” in check) is indeed one of the hallmarks of Fascism. But, while this may be seen in the privatization of police forces, nowhere is it more obvious than in the context of the “Emergency Manager” dictatorship being established in Michigan.
In what can easily be described as an openly Fascist law, Michigan’s Emergency Financial Management Law which was passed in March, 2011, essentially gives the Governor the authority to take over local governments and municipalities and appoint his own directors in place of elected leaders.
Although the concept of an “Emergency Manager” is not entirely new since Michigan has had a form of the Emergency Manager in place since around 1988 by virtue of a law which was passed and signed by then Governor James Blanchard, a Democrat, Republican Governor Rick Snyder has taken full advantage of both the Emergency Manager concept and the new powers of the Financial Management Law. It should also be noted that Emergency Managers have since been utilized by both Democrat and Republican administrations.
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