Exploiting Harvey: Jeff Sessions says Hurricane Harvey Is Proof We Need To Militarize Our Police Forces

(The restrictions Obama put in place after allowing the transfer of such military equipment for 7 years, involves the following items: grenade launchers, armored vehicles and bayonets. Does anyone want to explain to me how grenade launchers and bayonets would have helped people in Houston get to higher ground? Apparently Sessions is from the “never let a good crisis go to waste” school of thought.)

from TechDirt

Earlier this week, we wrote about Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions bringing back the Defense Department’s 1033 program, which helped militarize local police forces with surplus military equipment. We’ve been covering all sorts of problems with the 1033 program over the years, and people like Radley Balko have written entire books on the problem. And the previous ban on the 1033 only put a fairly narrow limit on the practice of militarizing police — but now even those modest limits are gone.

What’s truly incredible, however, is the complete nonsense being used to justify this. Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a speech about this on Monday, in which he trotted out his standard misleading and out-of-context stats, falsely claiming that there’s some massive new crimewave across the country, when there’s really just been a tiny bump after decades of decline in crime rates (the use of percentages by Sessions shows the he likely knows the absolute numbers are so meaningless that he has to mislead with percentages working off a small base).

But, even with the usual misleading claims about violence and violence directed towards police, I still never expected him to… point to Houston and the impact of Hurricane Harvey as a reason for increased police militarization. But that’s exactly what he did:

Those restrictions went too far. We will not put superficial concerns above public safety. All you need to do is turn on a tv right now to see that for Houstonians this isn’t about appearances, its about getting the job done and getting everyone to safety.

Wait. Law enforcement in Houston needs surplus military equipment to rescue people? Last I’ve seen it’s been tons of good hearted people using boats of all kinds going around and rescuing people. I don’t see much need for military equipment…

[read more here]

10 Responses

  1. Jeff Sessions seems like a really nice guy who’s doing a good job in wanting to protect people. His type is just too few and far between. Our great country needs so many more like him. God bless him and God bless America!

    • Is this comment for real? I don’t know what to make of it.

      • Of course not. Maybe a poor expression of sarcasm containing a little ambivalence (I guess) directed at all of Merika (but only half at a given time; which half merely depends upon which letter the idol occupying the dark house in D.C. attaches to himself). If the current occupier had a different letter attached to his name, and the attorney general thereby had a different name, pursuit of this one of ten thousand egregious policies would yet maintain. For real? About as real, at least from me, as the vacuous actors that motivated it. But don’t too quickly disbelieve that it doesn’t presently express a fairly common sentiment in the “land of the free and home of the brave”.

  2. One time when coffee would be better left unmade… so I didn’t have to actually wake up to read this nightmare.

  3. Crises are always a convenient moment for clamping down on any perceived challenges to the national security state. Arming the police has zilch to do with disaster relief.

    • so you’re not in favor of snipers killing our fellow citizens for stealing bottled water in a disaster-area? do you want chaos? are you a communist, lol? LAW AND ORDER, BABY!

      • mercury7, what are you in favor of? Why do you make everything you say a joke? What is the joke?

        • just some sick humor remembering “katrina”.

          i’m certainly NOT in favor of snipers killing our neighbors & am NOT in favor of militarized police.

    • The “crisis” was created (most always, always is: c.f., seventy years of documented proof of weather modification and geoengineering which went turbo in 1998) by the pretenders offering their “solution”. The names of the actors don’t matter. The “solutions” always have a distinct correspondence, regardless of who implements them. Global governance via effacement of nations and national borders, slicing the globe into regional sections for governance by persons who have no allegiance or loyalty to the specific collection of person inhabiting any specific region, and hand-picked to govern by other persons you and I likely never heard of let alone had an opportunity to at least pretend like we vigorously “voted” for or against them (something I haven’t had the “heart” to do for over twenty five years). .

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