"It is only when men contemplate the greatness of God that they can come to realize their own inadequacy." Jean Calvin
It is essentially a law enforcement agency that was specifically created to get around most protections that exist for US citizens from police overreach. Though created after 9/11 for the purpose of thwarting terrorists, today its main focus is enforcing laws against American citizens that are in no way related to terrorist activity.
down for you is up
I remember a time where, the policy was "we do not negotiate with terrorists", now, it's the opposite, now it's "let's preemptively give in to what we believe the terrorists want, to inoculate ourselves against terrorism".
But, you all wanted the patriot act, the NDAA. And all those other recent changes to the core values Americans espouse.
At the end of the day, you want someone to blame, blame yourselves collectively.
I saw a TV documentary about the policing of the 1930s. Apparently the bank robber gangs had gotten a hold of some BAR 50s and Thompson sub-machine guns. The Police were no match using 38 stub-nosed specials. They had to upgrade their fire power just to be able to keep up with the gangs.
I suppose that what we see today is that law enforcement never wants to play catch up again.
The difference is that while Bonnie and Clyde were wanted dead of alive, the SWAT teams of today are being used in far lighter crimes. It's like they want to instill fear in the average law abiding citizen. This culminates in deaths in raids that used to just cause arrests.
Let's not forget that the "war on drugs" is not just an American thing. Other countries have adopted this policy at our urging as well. See links below.
War on Drugs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I have a history book with pictures of Bonnie and Clyde before they were killed. They had an arsenal of weapons to include BARs Thompsons etc. Yes a lot of fire power was employed to bring them down but it was not a permanent fixture of law enforcement.
Those weapons employed in the 30s were every bit as deadly and powerful as today. For the most part the police did not feel the need to have permanent teams available to deal with it.
Today every police departments wants SWAT, armored vehicles, helicopters, snipers etc. Not to mention very ominous intelligence gathering technology such as license plate scanners which are used to build a data base of every automobiles movement.
What often happens is these powerful forces sit around waiting for the big event to happen where they are needed. As time drags on with no such massive emergency they are employed routinely for trivial offenses and situation. As you point out they are used for light wieght crimes and as a result people get hurt. But hey at least they justified the massive budget.
It was only a few decades ago that the norm for police serving a warrant was to knock and present the document then proceed to arrest or search. Now the norm is a no knock assault. Not a week goes by when we do not hear of yet another foul up because they only discover after the fact that they hit the wrong home or address. Or they had to kill a pet or slam someone causing a heart attack or miscarriage or even shooting the wrong person.
I agree with allowing the police what is needed to do their job but it is obviously a problem when they are becoming as much a threat to people as a criminal is.
and those two browning automatic rifles (20 rounds of 30-06) are more powerful than either the M16 or the AK 47
a bit heavier but in terms of firepower, very few weapons you can easily carry can match it