The Department of Defense program that arms police departments with surplus military equipment is prioritizing requests citing ‘climate disaster’ preparation – but the mine-resistant vehicles aren’t necessarily being used for rescue operations.
The bureaucratic shift in how sheriff’s offices and precincts justify their requests for military-grade vehicles under the Pentagon’s controversial 1033 Program was reported by the Huffington Post.
The report is based on the outlet’s continued analysis of a trove of documents from the hand-me-down scheme that came into its possession earlier this year, preparing for war against US citizens and arming the Warrior Cop.
Local jurisdictions are increasingly citing extreme weather and other natural calamities in their applications, since Congress tweaked the program in its annual defense spending bill.
Lawmakers instructed the DoD to give priority to applications that request vehicles used for disaster-related emergency preparedness, such as high-water rescue vehicles to link climate concerns to military hardware.
Military vehicles, such as mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles, or MRAP’s, can drive over fallen trees, withstand high winds, ford several feet of water and keep going at moderate speeds if their tires are punctured, all features which do also make them useful in natural disaster response.
But in practice, such vehicles have also been used for rendering arrest warrants or to intimidate protesters. There is no reason to expect that those supplied supposedly for disaster relief would be used strictly for that purpose.
There is also the issue of training – or the shortage thereof – that officers of the law receive to deal with natural disasters. When it comes to natural disasters, officers are ill-prepared for anything that happens outside the normal police department happenings.
The 1033 Program was launched in 1996 to funnel unneeded equipment from US foreign wars to domestic law enforcement. It resulted in a militarization of police forces across the US with disastrous results.
Along with the gear, the police adopted heavy-handed military tactics born from military counterinsurgency missions and have become increasingly prone to using violence in situations that could be resolved peacefully.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2021.