Friday, 06 May 2016

Beware of the Strong Cities Network

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It all sounds so reassuring and reasonable! Acting for the Obama administration, the nation’s attorney general has placed the United States into an international grouping of cities whose advertised purpose involves combating violent extremism. Some of the cities in the new group will even be in other countries where terrorism has occurred or is surely a threat. All of the members of this new group will share their experiences and planning. Everyone should be most grateful that the Strong Cities Network (SCN) has been created.

But a closer look at this network reveals some problems. The first is that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch decided to announce U.S. participation in the SCN at the United Nations. Then, in her speech before the world body last September, Lynch noted that SCN would have an International Steering Committee and an International Advisory Board “run by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a leading international think-and-do tank” based in London, whose members include veterans of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission.

Representatives of Norway’s Oslo and Canada’s Montreal joyfully announced membership in the new SCN during the world body’s confab. And the UN’s high commissioner for human rights, Jordan’s Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, added his enthusiasm for the new organization.

Boiled down to its essence, the SCN is actually a new law-enforcement body whose laws will govern participating cities, including New York, Atlanta, Denver, and Minneapolis, that have already signed on as members. Law-enforcement measures for these cities will dovetail with or emanate from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and the United Nations, not from the U.S. Constitution and locally elected officials and the laws governing them. In her remarks at the unveiling of this new organization, Attorney General Lynch claimed that the new arrangement would work toward being “an alliance of nations” and would aspire to be “a global community.”

The Strong Cities Network, therefore, should be known as a nascent global police force controlled by the United Nations. Where central or global authority doesn’t govern police power, it is controlled locally. When it is controlled by a national or international governing body, as it was in the hands of Germany’s Gestapo, the Soviet Union’s KGB, or the ruling body in a communist-led country, tyranny reigns.

In the United States, attacks against the very concept of local control over police power have been varied, with campaigns regularly complaining about treatment of rioters and protesters. This style of lawlessness customarily includes calls for replacing local control with state or even national oversight. Until the unveiling of the SCN and its Institute for Strategic Dialogue, however, there were no calls for global oversight over police.

In her speech at the UN praising the creation of the SCN, Attorney General Lynch used the word “global” five times. She also employed the terms “international” and “world” while at the podium. Then she closed her remarks by introducing Sasha Havlicek, the CEO of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.

Widespread understanding of the slogan “Support Your Local Police and Keep Them Independent” has never been more needed. It reminds all who encounter it that trading the American system of local control over police to any national or international governing body is suicidal. Unfortunately, the Obama administration and its attorney general seem determined to destroy America’s long-standing police policy and, by doing so, deliver our independent United States of America into the steadily growing power of the United Nations. This is something all decent Americans must oppose. Contact Congress today with our pre-written alert to let them know of your opposition!

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John F. McManus is president emeritus of The John Birch Society. This column appeared originally at the insideJBS blog and is reprinted here with permission.

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