The Trump administration has announced a plan to revive a program that provides local police departments with surplus military equipment such as grenade launchers and armored vehicles. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement at a national convention of The Fraternal order of Police, one of the groups clamoring for the restoration of the program that had been suspended in 2015 by Barack Obama.
With the administration’s July announcement greatly expanding the power of law enforcement to seize private property without due process as is guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments to the Constitution, Trump’s new policy regarding military equipment sales provides another avenue for possible police abuse, not to mention being a threat to our Constitutional rights.
Barack Obama issued his executive order, which prohibited the federal government from providing grenade launchers, bayonets, and tracked armor vehicles and other weapons of warfare to police as a response to concerns over the militarization of civilian police.
Even though Obama promised during his 2008 campaign to provide America with a “well-equipped” civilian police force, things began to get a little out of hand. For example, there was the military radar technology that made it possible for local police to effectively peer through the walls of your home without entering–sometimes without a warrant.
In the end, even Obama realized that military equipment in the hands of civilian police was problematic.
Donald Trump has a track record of Constitutional ignorance and indifference, and I recently wrote a piece about the threat he poses to our right to liberty. Which begs the question: If Barack Obama—the man who made shredding the Constitution a national pastime—realized the danger in militarizing the police, why is it now in vogue under Donald Trump?
Simply put, it’s because so-called conservatives have accepted “whataboutism.” Trump’s actions are always okay because “What about Obama?” or “What about Hillary?” or “What about the media?’
In an opinion piece written for the New York Post, Senator Rand Paul explains how the sale of military equipment to police presents a serious threat to liberty. Paul has vowed to reintroduce a bill that would prohibit the practice once Congress returns to work after their August recess.
Barack Obama did the right thing when he ended the militarization of local police. Donald Trump needs to reconsider his decision to bring it back.
Originally posted at The Strident Conservative.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that’s politically-incorrect and always “right.” His articles are also featured on RedState.com.
His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.