St. Louis residents praise sight of military vehicles in neighborhoods.
Following reports last week that U.S. Army wheeled tanks would be rolling down residential streets and highways in St. Louis as part of a training program, local news media channels featured interviews with residents who praised the sight of troops on the streets as a valuable crime-fighting tool similar to that used in foreign countries.
As we reported on Friday, the exercise is part of a U.S. Army program run by military police from Fort Meade, Maryland focused around training MPs from St. Louis how to drive heavily armored vehicles “on highways and on city streets.”
According to a Fox 2 St. Louis report, “people who live and work in the area think the army training is a good idea.”
Indeed, the report features interviews with two residents, one of whom states, “I think it’s the same way when you go to other countries…they don’t have police officers they have troops, and I think it kind of scares a lot of people…it might cut down on a whole lot of crime because they don’t know if they’re military or the police.”
“I think it’s fantastic because it might slow down some of the crime rate,” added another.
In a separate KSDK report, although acknowledging that some had expressed fears about martial law, the news channel emphasized how other residents had vowed to “stop and salute” the tanks as they rolled by.
While these news channels have framed the idea of troops on the streets as normal and reasonable, others have gone even further.
A joint drill between military and police in South Florida last month involving troops storming a building in the middle of the night, unannounced to local residents, was characterized by local media coverage not as a frightening example of how Americans are being acclimatized to accept a state of martial law but as a ‘cool tourist story’.
Why is the news media, in its editorial decision to feature interviews with residents who laud troops on the streets of America in a similar vein to despotic foreign countries, actively promoting the idea of martial law?
Having U.S. troops perform duties normally ascribed to law enforcement officers is forbidden under section 1385 of the Posse Comitatus Act, which states, “Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”
Why is the news media giving editorial credence to something that is not only completely illegal but fundamentally anti-American and more in line with what you’d expect to see in the former Soviet Union or modern-day North Korea?
As Zero Hedge points out, the idea of troops from Maryland traveling all the way to St. Louis merely to teach other MPs to drive tanks doesn’t make sense unless one factors in the probability that this is an exercise in desensitization.
I have to say that this event, which is being labeled a “training exercise”, makes very little sense to me. U.S. Army troops all the way from Maryland running open exercises in armored personnel carriers on the busy streets of St. Louis? I know Maryland is a small state, but is there really not enough room at Ft. Detrick to accommodate a tank column and some troops? Are there not entire fake neighborhood and town complexes built with taxpayer dollars on military bases across the country meant to facilitate a realistic urban environment for troops to train in? And why travel hundreds of miles to Missouri? At the very least, this is a massive waste of funds.
On the other hand, such an action on the part of the Department of Defense makes perfect sense if the goal is to acclimate citizens to the idea of seeing tanks and armed military acting in a policing capacity. Just check out the two random idiots the local news affiliate picked to interview in St. Louis on the subject. Both state that they think the exercise is a “great idea”, because having the military on the streets would help to “reduce crime”.
The U.S. Army has been reluctant to provide details of the exercise, with army offices in St. Louis and Washington, D.C. refusing to return calls. When asked how residents should respond to the sight of armored vehicles being driven around their neighborhoods, U.S. Army Sergeant Cornelius Ivory discouraged citizens from taking video and photographs of the tanks and urged them not to get too close.
“They need to know to stay away from it,” Ivory told KSDK.
Over the course of the last 15 years, Infowars has documented numerous urban warfare training drills across the country which revolve around role playing exercises wherein troops are trained to fulfil law enforcement duties as well as incarcerating Americans in detention centers.
Exercises like the one currently taking place in St. Louis, scheduled to run until June 28, are part of the transition of the U.S. Army into a domestic police force, a role advocated by Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General Raymond T. Odierno in a recent Foreign Affairs piece.
Watch the original newscast we featured in our report on Friday below.
[youtube height=”400″ width=”550″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43iSzeH5exE[/youtube]