By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
Our media were so fixated on the “militarization” of the police in Ferguson that most of them failed to highlight the fact that Democratic Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s decision to call in the National Guard was another and more potent form of militarization.
Wynton Hall of Breitbart noticed the irony: “Democratic Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D-MO) said on Sunday he was ‘thunderstruck’ by the ‘over-militarization’ of the police in responding to the Ferguson riots and looting. Hours later, he ordered in the U.S. military in the form of the National Guard.”
The “striking contradiction,” as he put it, reflects the media mentality. The idea that the police have been “over-militarized” was a big theme of Radley Balko, the journalist whose book, Rise of the Warrior Cop, and writings have been highlighted for their gross distortions and exaggerations.
Some commentators, such as Kirsten Powers on Fox News, tried to insist that the initial show of force by the local police had somehow provoked the demonstrators. That seemed to be Nixon’s line as well. In addition, he claimed that the release of the videotape showing Michael Brown robbing a convenience store—before he attacked a police officer and was shot—was provocative.
In the end, however, the “militarized” local police were no match for the organized criminal elements egged on by the racial agitators. Bigger guns were called in.
The real story out of Ferguson is that a national network of agitators is ready, on a moment’s notice, to arrive on the scene to cause violence and mayhem. On Monday night, as the violence continued, Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson identified some of the protesters as coming from New York and California. Two “protesters” were shot by other “protesters.” This is a classic case of communist political agitation, as documented decades ago by a report released by the Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security.
Rich Lowry of National Review commented, “So now Governor Nixon is calling in the National Guard, or in other words, ‘militarizing’ the response. What Ferguson needs is the restoration of basic order, and the absence of it has never been the fault of the police, but of a small, lawless fringe of protestors bent on mayhem.” But this small group seems to be growing day by day.
The Defense One website ran a story headlined, “So Much for Demilitarizing Ferguson, Here Comes the National Guard.”
Despite all the talk about the “militarization” of police, the threat to people and property in Ferguson required a more substantial response. Nixon ordered the National Guard in, even while claiming to be surprised by the need for a military response. It was classic double-talk.
In fact, despite his “thunderstruck” comments, Nixon’s Missouri Department of Public Safety has been part of the program to accept surplus military equipment for local police agencies. It is called the Department of Defense Excess Property Program (1033 Program).
The director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety is former St. Louis County Police Chief Jerry Lee. He was installed in this position on October 18, 2011, by Nixon.
If there has been the “over-militarization” of law enforcement in Ferguson, state authorities have made it possible. And that includes Nixon.
Melissa Quinn of The Daily Signal reported that Nixon “signed off as recently as January on statewide participation” in the program. She added, “Should Nixon, a Democrat elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, have been surprised? Participating jurisdictions, including agencies in St. Louis County, received weapons and equipment as early as 2010 and again in 2012, 2013 and this summer. Ferguson is a St. Louis suburb.”
So why is Nixon surprised by this? He’s not. But this has become the fashionable thing to say.
Still trying to drive the national conversation, Radley Balko is now excited that Attorney General Eric Holder has announced “a broad, national review of police tactics.” He adds, “The Holder Justice Department has been great about investigating and fighting police brutality.”
Ferguson has become a “war zone” because of outside agitators, and yet the Obama/Holder Justice Department has decided to investigate and punish the police.
There was a time when Congress had internal security committees investigating attacks by communist and other groups on law enforcement. Those panels were dismantled by liberal politicians. As a result, the cop who protected himself against Michael Brown is living in fear and hiding while the mob runs wild in Ferguson. Police Officer Darren Wilson could be indicted by a grand jury under the influence of the Obama/Holder Justice Department.
Obama and Holder have a record of leniency toward criminals, terrorists and cop-killers. Weather Underground terrorist Marilyn Buck was given early release from federal prison by Holder, who was deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration and involved in pardons for members of the Weather Underground and the Puerto Rican FALN terrorist group at that time. Holder also intervened last year to release terrorist lawyer Lynne Stewart from a federal prison.
More recently, Obama nominated Debo Adegbile, who had filed a legal appeal on behalf of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, to head the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Several Democrats in the Senate joined with Republicans to defeat his nomination.
This is the same Civil Rights Division that Holder has ordered to help lead an investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
Reacting to the defeat of Adegbile, Radley Balko wrote in The Washington Post that “Frankly, we need more people with criminal defense experience in policy-making positions. We certainly need more of them sitting on the bench, particularly at the appellate level and on the U.S. Supreme Court.”
On his Twitter account, he denounced the vote against Adegbile, saying, “The U.S. Senate has just demonstrated some ugly ignorance about the role of a criminal defense attorney.”
This was more nonsense from a discredited “expert.” The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) had noted in a letter to Obama that Adegbile, working at the time for the Legal Defense Fund of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, “volunteered” to represent the cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal and that “His just sentence—death—was undone by your nominee and others like him who turned the justice system on its head with unfounded and unproven allegations of racism.”
FOP National President Chuck Canterbury wrote in the letter, “We are aware of the tried and true shield behind which activists of Adegbile’s ilk are wont to hide—that everyone is entitled to a defense; but surely you would agree that a defense should not be based on falsely disparaging and savaging the good name and reputation of a lifeless police officer. Certainly any legal scholar can see the injustice and absence of ethics in this cynical race-baiting approach to our legal system.”
But Radley Balko is perfectly content with Holder’s race-baiting approach.
Balko may have started out his career as a libertarian, but he is quickly showing his true colors—as an apologist for the anti-police agenda of the Obama/Holder Administration. He has set the stage for the media’s failure to hold the double-talking Democrat Nixon responsible for failing to stem the violence and the chaos in Ferguson.