“We live in an age of terrorism, with mass murder being able to be stopped by listening into cell phone data...then that makes sense. How is that hurting any law abiding citizen? If we have a city go up in an nuclear explosion, dont worry, we are all going to lose far far more rights! The very fact that Snowden went to our enemies speaks volumes, does it not?”
Your government has declared that YOU are the enemy, and has been gearing up to “COIN” you for some time now. What Snowden illuminated was just one element in the construction materials for your incarceration, 21st century style:
[from the link]:
The so-called war on drugs was the casus belli for the militarization of the local police forces in the U.S., although it took time to effect the evolution far and wide. Near the end of the campaign in Iraq, the favorite think tank of the left, the RAND Corporation, published a report in 2009 entitled Does The United States Need A New Police Force For Stability Operations? In it, Seth Jones, et. al., conclude:
Weighing all considerations, the researchers concluded that the best option would be a 6,000-person hybrid force headquartered in the U.S. Marshals Service. The personnel in reserve status could be employed in state and local police forces so they would be able to exercise police functions in a civilian population daily and could be called up as needed.
The Marshals Service was deemed to have many of the requisite skills. However, its training and management capabilities would need to be expanded to take on this large mission, and it would have to recruit additional personnel as well. The annual cost, $637 million, is reasonable given the capability it buys. The cost savings in relieving military forces of these duties could be greater than required to create the SPF.
The Military Police option was attractive for a number of reasons, especially its capacity, training, and logistical capabilities, but its inability to engage in policing activities when not deployed was a major stumbling block. The Posse Comitatus Act precludes military personnel from exercising police functions in a civilian setting, and legislative relief might be difficult to get.
Not to be outdone or left behind, the military establishment has weighed in with papers advocating the use of U.S. troops for a similar mission on American soil. One example, causing me forever to lose any respect for Small Wars Journal, was entitled Full Spectrum Operations In The Homeland: A Vision Of The Future, and SWJ followed this up later with Political Violence Prevention: Profiling Domestic Terrorists. The former paper advocated the use of U.S. military troops for stability operations in America, while the later paper advocated the use of human terrain systems for profiling domestic terrorists (I discussed these papers here).
Just to ensure that we all knew that the full force of the think tanks was behind this effort, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point published Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding Americas Violent Far Right (via Western Rifle Shooters Association). Several observations may be made at this point. First, while the seeds for military operations on American soil by police and/or U.S. troops had been planted long ago, watching war occur for a decade across our television screens caused a change in those whose predilections would point them in the direction of waring on American soil.
This is how it is to be done, it was easy to conclude. Social science with a gun: community involvement, town meetings, law enforcement knowledge of everyone all of the time, biometrics to track people (and especially men of military age), door kicking and killing as punitive measures, all sanctioned by the authorities and fully approved. A new mission. No longer will we merely perform constabulary duties. We must rebuild our cities, bring stability, and ensure that the centralized planners work with the military leaders to guide us all. The example has been set, and weve watched it unfold before our eyes for ten years. It has been paraded across our television screens for years, and now we know how to do it.
Second, in order to effect this revised mission, they must have the same tactics, same military hardware, and the same doctrine. Police involving the community sounds warm and acceptable to the uninitiated, but it has a dark underbelly. The carrot and stick approach requires that they perform as COIN troops, as forces of occupation, to enforce their will. War is, after all is said and done, the use of violence to enforce your will.
And this history of COIN in America has indeed been violent, partly because of the paradigm which guides the mission. I know something about the mission because my son is a former Marine and conducted operations in Fallujah in 2007. He performed counter-sniper operations, cleared rooms with an M4, cleared rooms with his Squad Automatic Weapon, performed satellite patrols, and operated an M2 aboard a helicopter targeting insurgents as they crossed over the Euphrates River into Fallujah after checkpoints had locked down the city. Marine Corps 2/6 went into Fallujah hard in the summer of 2007, but theres an interesting instance that demonstrates how SWAT teams operate in America. [ more at the link]