This is an awesome article detailing the militarization of domestic law enforcement in the United States.
The trend toward a more militarized domestic police force began well before 9/11. It in fact began in the early 1980s, as the Regan administration added a new dimension of literalness to Richard Nixon’s declaration of a “war on drugs.” Reagan declared illicit drugs a threat to national security, and once likened America’s drug fight to the World War I battle of Verdun. But Reagan was more than just rhetoric. In 1981 he and a compliant Congress passed the Military Cooperation with Law Enforcement Act, which allowed and encouraged the military to give local, state, and federal police access to military bases, research, and equipment. It authorized the military to train civilian police officers to use the newly available equipment, instructed the military to share drug-war–related information with civilian police and authorized the military to take an active role in preventing drugs from entering the country.
A bill passed in 1988 authorized the National Guard to aid local police in drug interdiction, a law that resulted in National Guard troops conducting drug raids on city streets and using helicopters to survey rural areas for pot farms. In 1989, President George Bush enacted a new policy creating regional task forces within the Pentagon to work with local police agencies on anti-drug efforts. Since then, a number of other bills and policies have carved out more ways for the military and domestic police to cooperate in the government’s ongoing campaign to prevent Americans from getting high. Then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney declared in 1989, “The detection and countering of the production, trafficking and use of illegal drugs is a high priority national security mission of the Department of Defense.” +
So as it turns out, further arming the police states of america is the brainchild of conservative drug policy.
Posts tagged 9/11.
9/11 Magazine Covers
Ten years after September 11, 2011, images of the deadliest attacks ever launched on American soil have lost none of their power to stun, appall, enrage, and devastate. The United States had experienced nothing like it since Pearl Harbor, and even that assault did not share the profoundly sinister air of having been aimed — clearly, murderously — at civilians.
To mark and perhaps, in a small way, lend coherence to our remembrance, LIFE.com curated this collection of 911 photographs. And so here they are: images you remember; images forgotten, or never seen; moments great and small from New York, Washington, and cities around the world as the scale of the cataclysm grew unspeakably clear. This is 9/11 — 911 Photographs of 9/11
Magazine covers, September 2001.
Can you imagine how fast people fall? They’re falling really fast, and while you’re photographing this you have to pan with them so I picked this guy up in my viewfinder, put my finger on the button, and kept taking pictures while he was falling. I had to time my vertical motion of the camera to his descent.
AP photographer Richard Drew recounts how he witnessed and captured the now-iconic photo of ‘The Falling Man.’
In the 10 years since the attacks of 9/11, much has changed in the world. Led by the United States, western nations invaded and occupied Afghanistan and later Iraq, removing their rulers and unleashing sectarian violence and insurgencies. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians have lost their lives at a cost of trillions of dollars, and western military forces remain in both countries. A third war, the War on Terror, has driven changes in the U.S. that have pushed against the limits of what American society will accept in return for security — measures such as pre-emptive military strikes, indefinite detentions, waterboarding, wiretapping, and invasive airport security systems. As we remember those lost on September 11, 2001, and construction of the new skyscrapers in Manhattan nears completion, most U.S, troops are scheduled to leave Iraq by the end of this year and Afghanistan by 2014. Here is a look at some of the events of the post-9/11 decade, and some of the progress still being made.
See more powerful photos at In Focus
9/11 Inside Job: Ten Years Later (by TheAlexJonesChannel)
In a special report marking the 10th Anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Infowars.com reporter Aaron Dykes examines some of the biggest smoking guns and unanswered questions of 9/11.
That catalyzing event has transformed society, thrusting the United States and many of its allies into perpetual wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other states in the region. At the same time, in the name of stopping potential terrorists, a police state has risen at home— from TSA groping to Homeland Security targeting returning veterans, constitutionalists and political activists, our Bill of Rights and Constitution have been thrown out the window.
Meanwhile, the victims’ family members, suffering rescue workers and patriots have struggled for truth and justice, with no answers at all from those in power. Instead, so-called investigations have been nothing more than cover-ups.
From WTC Building 7 to evidence of demolition, subverted intelligence, the al Qaeda hoax and political grandstanding, nothing from the official story adds up… and there is every reason to persevere in the fight to bring the truth to the public’s attention.
All out 9/11 to stand with the Muslim people and resist U.S. imperialism’s terror wars!
Sunday, Sept. 11 - 1 pm - City Hall Park - New York City
It must be incredibly difficult to inform the public of a vague but real terrorist threat without inducing unnecessary panic. That was the line that Mayor Bloomberg and Janice Fedarcyk, FBI Assistant Special Agent, and other officials had to walk when informing reporters on Thursday that there was, in the words of Fedarcyk, a “credible, specific but unconfirmed” terrorism threat planned near the eve of the tenth anniversary of 9/11.
In Marc Ambinder’s National Journal report, the threat was described by senior U.S. counterterrorism official as a plan to detonate car bombs in New York or D.C. An ABC News report added that the plan was by bin Laden successor Ayman al-Zawahiri and that ”authorities are scrambling to sort through information that the CIA developed in the past 24 hours indicating that at least three individuals entered the U.S. in August by air.”
Never fear - we are in this together!
The Pentagon — and, by extension, the U.S. military — has become such a prominent and obvious symbol of American might over the years that it’s easy to forget that the world’s largest office building and home of the Department of Defense is just that: a building.
Here, on both the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack in Washington that left 125 Pentagon employees dead and, eerily, the 70th anniversary of the Pentagon’s September 11, 1941, groundbreaking, LIFE.com presents rare and unpublished photographs of the iconic, colossal edifice under construction.
see more — RARE & UNSEEN: Building the Pentagon
Pictured: Building the new home of America’s War Department. (The name “Department of Defense” would not come into use until 1947.)
The jihadi movement, much of it highly critical of bin Laden, could have been split and undermined after 9/11, if the “crime against humanity,” as the attacks were rightly called, had been approached as a crime, with an international operation to apprehend the suspects. That was recognized at the time, but no such idea was even considered in the rush to war. It is worth adding that bin Laden was condemned in much of the Arab world for his part in the attacks. By the time of his death, bin Laden had long been a fading presence, and in the previous months was eclipsed by the Arab Spring. His significance in the Arab world is captured by the headline in a New York Times article by Middle East specialist Gilles Kepel: “Bin Laden Was Dead Already.” That headline might have been dated far earlier, had the U.S. not mobilized the jihadi movement with retaliatory attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq.
By Frank Rich
Published Aug 27, 2011
… Three red-letter days in 2011 have certified the passing of the 9/11 decade as we had known it. The first, of course, was the killing of Osama bin Laden. We demand that our stories have beginnings, middles, and ends. While bin Laden’s demise wasn’t the final curtain for radical-Islamic terrorism, it was a satisfying resolution of the classic “dead or alive” Western that George W. Bush had dangled so tantalizingly before the nation in 2001, only to let the bad guy get away at Tora Bora. Once bin Laden was gone, he was gone from our politics, too. Terrorism has disappeared as a campaign issue; the old Bush-Cheney fear card can’t be found in the playbook of the GOP presidential contenders. Ron Paul’s isolationism increasingly seems like his party’s mainstream while the neocon orthodoxy of McCain-Palin looks like the cranky fringe.
The other red-letter days were August 5 and 6, with their twin calamities: the downgrading of America by Standard & Poor’s and the downing of a Chinook helicopter by the Taliban, making for the single most fatal day for Americans in Afghanistan. Among the fallen in that bloodbath were 17 Navy Seals, some of them members of the same revered team that had vanquished bin Laden.* Yet their tragic deaths were runners-up in national attention next to our fiscal woes. America may still ostensibly be a country at war with terrorists, but that war is at most a low-grade fever for the vast American majority with no direct connection to the men and women fighting it. The battle consuming our attention and our energies these days is the losing struggle to stay financially afloat. In time, the connection between the ten-year-old war in Afghanistan and our new civil war over America’s three-year-old economic crisis may well prove the most consequential historical fact of the hideous decade they bracket.
The hallowed burial grounds of 9/11 were supposed to bequeath us a stronger nation, not a busted one. We were supposed to be left with a finer legacy than Gitmo and the Patriot Act. When we woke up on September 12, we imagined a whole host of civic virtues that might rise from the smoldering ruins. The New Normal promised a new national unity and, of all unlikely miracles, bi-partisanship: The still-green president had a near-perfect approval rating for weeks. We would at last cast off our two-decade holiday from history, during which we had mostly ignored a steady barrage of terrorist threats and attacks. We would embrace a selfless wartime patriotism built on the awesome example of those regular Americans who ran to the rescue on that terrifying day of mass death, at the price of their own health and sometimes their lives.
What arrived instead, sadly enough, was another hijacking—of 9/11 by those who exploited it for motives large and petty, both ideological and crassly commercial. The most lethal of these hijackings was the Bush administration’s repurposing of 9/11 for a war against a country that had not attacked us. So devilishly clever was the selling of the Saddam-for-Osama bait-and-switch that almost half the country would come to believe that Iraqis were among the 9/11 hijackers. No less shabby, if far less catastrophic, was the milking of 9/11 for the lesser causes of self-promotion and product placement by those seeking either power or profit. From the Bush-reelection campaign ad with an image of a flag-draped stretcher carrying remains at ground zero to the donning of flag pins by television anchors and pandering politicians, no opportunistic appropriation of 9/11 was too sleazy to be off-limits. T-shirt hawkers and Scientologists rushed downtown to merchandise their wares; NBC re-branded its prime-time entertainment by outfitting its ubiquitous peacock logo with stars and stripes. (G.E., the network’s owner, had defense contracts to tend to.) Nor should we forget the preening architect Daniel Libeskind, who posed for an Audi ad to celebrate winning the contest to design the World Trade Center site (“the commission of the century,” as the copywriter had it).
… In Afghanistan and Iraq, the US and its allies knew that long-term victory required winning hearts and minds. But mistakes in the early years of those wars complicated that already-difficult battle. The wars’ collateral damage has been massive: by some accounts, more than a million Iraqis have died, directly or indirectly, because of the war. According to some studies, at least 137,000 civilians have died violently in Afghanistan and Iraq in the last ten years; among Iraqis alone, there are 1.8 million refugees and 1.7 million internally displaced people.
Not all of the consequences were disastrous. The deficits to which America’s debt-funded wars contributed so mightily are now forcing the US to face the reality of budget constraints. America’s military spending still nearly equals that of the rest of the world combined, two decades after the end of the Cold War. Some of the increased expenditures went to the costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the broader Global War on Terrorism, but much of it was wasted on weapons that don’t work against enemies that don’t exist. Now, at last, those resources are likely to be redeployed, and the US will likely get more security by paying less.
Al Qaeda, while not conquered, no longer appears to be the threat that loomed so large in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. But the price paid in getting to this point, in the US and elsewhere, has been enormous – and mostly avoidable. The legacy will be with us for a long time. It pays to think before acting.
Joseph E. Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia University, a Nobel laureate in economics, and the author of Freefall: Free Markets and the Sinking of the Global Economy.
Nearly ten years after the crippling terror attacks on Lower Manhattan, business, tourism, and new construction like One World Trade Center have rejuvenated the formerly devastated cityscape.
Pictured: The reflecting pools marking the footprints of the twin towers are seen as work continues at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center site on July 8, 2011.
Note: These images were made with a panoramic film camera and scanned into a digital file.