Read it at Washington's Blog
Ever since Ronald Reagan in 1981 helped draw up the Military Cooperation With Law Enforcement Act, quickly passed by a very cooperative congress, effectively circumventing the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 by codifying military cooperation with law enforcement, the military has been encouraged to give any and all law enforcement agencies unfettered access to all military resources, training and hardware included. The military equipment was designed to be used by American fighting forces in combat with “the enemy,” but since a law was passed in 1994, the Pentagon has been able to donate all surplus war materiel to America’s police departments. The National Journal has compiled a number of statistics showing that in the first three years after the 1994 law came into effect, the “Department of Offense” stocked police departments with 3800 M-16 assault rifles, 2185 M-14’s, 73 grenade launchers, and 112 armored personnel carriers, as well as untold number of bayonets, tanks, helicopters, and even some airplanes. Regardless who will be in power in the future, the militarization of the police will continue. After all, who wants to appear as being soft on crime?
The Militarization of American Police – and Shredding of Our Constitutional Rights – Started At Least 30 Years Ago
Notice that this trend began under a Republican president and a solidly Democratic controlled Congress. This has been a bi-partisan endeavor since then, and it continues to be one of the few remaining areas where the parties cooperate. Score another one for the military-industrial complex.