On July 2, 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama made an interesting promise at a campaign stop in Boulder, Colorado, when he said:
“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”
One of the concerns at the time by liberty-loving conservatives was that Obama would build a Gestapo-styled police force by equipping local police with military-grade weapons and then assume control over them one city at a time.
While Obama did make some military technology available, such as radar devices that made it possible for the police to see inside homes without permission or a warrant, he imposed a ban on weapons of warfare like grenade launchers and tracked armor vehicles.
In 2017, only days after his inauguration, Trump immediately indicated his desire to see Obama’s dream of a militarized police force operating under federal control become a reality when he issued a police-state inspired threat to the City of Chicago.
If Chicago doesn't fix the horrible "carnage" going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017
In August 2017, Trump announced that he would revive the program providing surplus military equipment to local police forces. This announcement followed a previous executive order expanding government power to seize private property without due process using civil asset forfeiture laws.
Now, in the heat of his re-election campaign, Trump is doubling down on his plans to militarize local police but with a twist straight out of the police-state handbook.
Speaking at the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Chicago recently, Trump announced that his Department of Justice is preparing to launch a sweeping crackdown on crime using a program he referred to as “the surge,” a term previously associated with George W. Bush’s decision to send tens of thousands of additional troops into Iraq in 2007 (aka The Way Forward):
“In the coming weeks, Attorney General Barr will announce a new crackdown on violent crime—which I think is so important—targeting gangs and drug traffickers in high-crime cities and dangerous rural areas.
“Let’s call it the surge.”
Though providing few details — gee, he’s never done that before — Trump did give an indication as to where he plans to start:
“To help keep you safe, I’ve made $600 million-worth of surplus military equipment available to local law enforcement. If you remember, the previous administration didn’t want to do that … They didn’t want to make you look so tough. They didn’t want to make you look like a threat.”
The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity is calling “The Surge” the equivalent of the Patriot Act on steroids and another “pre-crime” approach to violence that targets people who have committed no crime. According to Ron Paul, it will also include an FBI plan to target “potential criminals” and identify “anti-government extremists.”
I recently wrote an article listing some of the ways Trump is a threat to the Constitution, and the cult laughed. If Trump goes through with The Surge, they won’t be laughing much longer.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative.
His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.