Monday, 30 March 2015

Military and Police in Florida Practice Detaining Citizens

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If you live in South Florida, the black military helicopters buzzing over your city were not in your imagination — regardless of what the increasingly discredited establishment press has been claiming for years. A controversial military training drill took place last week in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that spooked more than a few residents, as well as analysts. Featuring Special Forces from various branches of the military working with local law enforcement, the drill involved, among other elements, rounding up civilians. And now, the training is coming under fire from locals and national media commentators as everything from an inconvenience and safety hazard to an ominous sign of trouble to come.

The “urban warfare” exercises had been announced earlier in the month without much fanfare by authorities and local media outlets. However, last week, a dramatic video of the dangerous drill, already viewed by hundreds of thousands of people, sparked widespread alarm about the true purpose of the exercises. A spokesman for the Tampa-based U.S. Special Operations Command cited in media reports downplayed the exercise as merely “routine” training for overseas missions. But more than a few critics say the Obama administration is actually up to no good — potentially even training to impose martial law and overt tyranny on the American people following some sort of crisis.

In perhaps the most troubling segment of the amateur video footage of the drill, military forces can be seen marching a column of “detainees” — presumably role players who were participating in the exercise — across a street to meet their unknown fate. While the scenario was officially explained as training for military operations in foreign nations, more than a few analysts pointed to problems with that supposed explanation. Cooperation in the drills from local law-enforcement, for example, has raised concerns among critics — especially considering the federal government’s ongoing efforts to militarize and nationalize state and local police forces. 


Other concerns cited by concerned critics and analysts include U.S. government documents leaked to the press in recent years. A 2010 U.S. Army publication on “Internment and Resettlement Operations,” for instance, specifically applies to U.S. citizens and outlines how Americans might be herded into camps and subjected to “psyops” (psychological operations) to change their views. The document also lists the dictator-dominated United Nations as a partner in the scheming. But that could never happen in America, right? It certainly could, according to analysts, history, and even a sitting U.S. Supreme Court justice.   

Under a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), passed by Congress and signed by Obama, U.S. citizens can be indefinitely detained by the military inside the United States as part of the terror war. No charges, trial, due process, or access to an attorney are necessary to detain an American potentially for his or her whole life under the unconstitutional scheme — just an order from the Obama administration, which also purports to have the authority to secretly execute Americans without so much as criminal charges. In fact, multiple Americans have already been executed via drone without charges or trial, including a 16-year-old American searching for his father in Yemen.  

There is, of course, precedent for the mass-internment of Americans, too. During World War II, Japanese-Americans were rounded up and placed into detainment camps for the duration of the war — no charges, no due process. More recently, when asked about the Supreme Court’s approval of the mass-internment scheme, Justice Antonin Scalia warned last year that “you are kidding yourself” if you do not think such policies will eventually return to America. Next time, though, presumably at least, the victims will be different.

Critics commenting on the developments cite official documents and statements as offering some hints as to who might potentially be targeted in the event of a serious crisis — perhaps those “bitter” Americans who “cling” to their “guns or religion,” as Obama put it in a speech. Indeed, the Obama administration’s ongoing demonization of tens or even hundreds of millions of Americans as potential “terrorists” and “extremists”military veterans, pro-life activists, constitutionalists, Ron Paul supporters, liberty lovers, evangelicals, Catholics, and more — has raised widespread concerns from Congress and state legislatures to veterans groups and police departments nationwide. Obama has a long and troubling history of links with that sort of extremism, too. The fact that his administration invited Communist Chinese and Russian terror troops to train with U.S. forces on American soil has led to serious concerns as well.     

Also alarming in the Fort Lauderdale training caught on video, according to analysts and even military sources, is the fact that black military helicopters can be seen maneuvering through buildings in the densely populated downtown area. One mistake could have easily resulted in widespread loss of life and massive property damage, putting taxpayers on the hook, according to critics. Officials claimed training in such environments for “urban warfare” was necessary to ready troops for overseas deployments, though few commentators on the drill seemed convinced.      

News of the exercises in Miami-Dade and Broward counties was first reported in February by local outlets. Local law-enforcement officials quoted in media accounts claimed the training was designed to “ensure the military's ability to operate in urban environments” and “prepare forces for upcoming overseas deployments.” In a statement by the Broward County Sherriff’s Office, residents were informed that local law enforcement agencies were “providing support” for what was described as two weeks of “routine training.” Some 200 military personnel from the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy reportedly participated as well.  

While local news reports generally echoed official pronouncements downplaying the significance of the drills, a brief perusal of the comment sections reveals that residents were largely unconvinced — especially by the claim that the drills were supposed to serve as training for “overseas” missions. The story eventually went “viral” after the Fort Lauderdale training video was picked up by Infowars, which reported that the footage “shows military and law enforcement practicing the internment of citizens during martial-law style training.”

Infowars editor and reporter Paul Joseph Watson also noted concerns that the drills are serving to prepare Americans to accept martial law in a national emergency — a fear also expressed by military personnel and Americans all across the political spectrum. “The fact that preparations are being made to use the military during domestic unrest is manifestly provable,” Watson added, citing a vast array of official documents and indisputable evidence.  

Concerns about the exercises in Florida came shortly after a military presentation on the upcoming “Jade Helm 15” Special Forces drills in the American Southwest led to similar alarm. Especially troubling to critics is the fact that Texas, Utah, and part of California identified are identified as “hostile” or “insurgent” territory on a map for the exercise, while other states are listed as permissive or unknown. The Special Forces drills, set to take place this summer, involve a wide array of controversial elements, ranging from trying to blend in with civilians while dressed in civilian clothes to carrying military weaponry with blank ammo in public. A former Special Forces operator alarmed by the plans theorized that the drill may be about gathering intelligence on citizens, police, and officials in the area who might oppose a potential martial-law order.    

The ongoing, upcoming, and increasingly visible military drills in major U.S. cities may be just what officials claim they are — training to be employed in foreign interventions around the world. However, they may not be, and more than a few critics who should know say there are many elements of the exercises that do not appear to fit the criteria for “overseas missions” training. Either way, considering the escalating lawlessness permeating the federal government, and the vicious hostility displayed by the administration toward those who disagree with it, Americans would be wise to get educated and active in restoring the U.S. Constitution. Everything may seem fine now, but one crisis could easily bring about irreversible changes.        

Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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