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Panetta: Use police not military for enforcement

PUNTA DEL ESTE, URUGUAY — Latin American nations must try to use their police and not their military forces to enforce the law, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday, telling defense ministers here that the U.S. will help them build their capabilities.

Speaking to a conference of defense ministers from the Americas, where militaries are often used to battle drug traffickers and other guerrilla groups, Panetta said the U.S. realizes that it's sometimes difficult to decide if a threat requires the use of the military or law enforcement.

"In some cases, countries have turned to their defense forces to support civilian authorities," Panetta said in remarks prepared for delivery. "To be clear, the use of the military to perform civil law enforcement cannot be a long-term solution."

Here in America we don't use the military, we just turn our police forces into military units.


Minnesota police


Pittsburgh police

Police at RNC


Occupy Oakland

Occupy Oakland

Military police

Need I say more.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's all the same now. Mayberry PD reports to (17+ / 0-)

    the County who reports to the State who reports to Homeland Security who reports to the President, same as the Pentagon.  I'm sure there's a term for that somewhere.
    Those pictures within 16 years are very telling.  And from someone that grew up in the sixties, absolutely disgusting. The thing most people don't focus on when looking at something like that, a difference within a sixteen year period, is what it will look like in another 16 years.  It never stops, we can't assume that.  And if it's bad now, what then?  

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 09:46:50 PM PDT

    •  This bit of news about Homeland Security... (7+ / 0-)

      ...has me concerned;

      Sniper Ammunition Being Ordered By Homeland Security As Ammo Buildup Continues

      However, it is the type of ammunition and not necessarily the quantity that is troubling.
      First on the agenda is the .223 rifle ammunition. Just a measly 40 million rounds in the first year, and another 160 million rounds in the following four years. 200,00 million rounds in total.
      I know this news item is all over the paranoid wingnut Internets but it is disconcerting nevertheless.

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 10:00:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, the Mayberry PD reports to the city and (10+ / 0-)

      county and every county has a Homeland Security "coordinator" who coordinates directly with DHS.  There's no state middleman.

      The militarization of this nation's police departments is a national disgrace.  You see things like a single cop firing at a person in a stationary pickup truck 41 times - reloading at least twice.  An unarmed person, by the way, who is wanted for...?  Evading police. Not stopping for a traffic stop.

      You see things like a cop shooting a naked 19 yo college kid to death. Cuz he was skeered.  

      The brutality and murderous actions of our police across the nation is increasing daily.  And all due to the utter paranoia drilled into them and the weaponry provided by DHS.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 10:28:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Panetta's "advice" was so ignorant. (15+ / 0-)

    Part of the reason Mexico is using military is that the USA encouraged them to do so.  

    Bush's political advisors were involved in the Calderon election before and after the voting. Bush negotiated "The Merida Initiative," which offered military aid to Mexico for the drug war.  And it specifically sought to provide a market for US weaponry, ammunition and "advisors" (mercenaries along with CIA, DEA, FBI, ATF, etc, all of which is strictly unconstitutional in Mexico).

    The USA has 200 US Marines in Honduras - on anti-drug missions TODAY.

    The CIA and "State Dept contractors" (i.e. ex-CIA) agents have been working in Peru, Chile, Columbia, etc, for decades.  The US State Department provides state-of-the-art military helicopters to Columbia for their drug war.  

    Nice use of "diplomacy" huh?  Our State Dept providing military gear?

    Panetta's a freaking hypocrite. Seeing that news story literally made me blow my top!

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 10:25:26 PM PDT

    •  It seems to have worked this week (6+ / 0-)

      Zetas leader Heriberto Lazcano apparently killed in shootout

      Death of drug gang founder at hands of marines will represent a major victory for Mexican authorities if confirmed
      Fighting drug cartels is one thing showing up at a peaceful demonstration is quite another.

      Panetta lives in a bubble.

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 10:40:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They used the Mx Navy - specifically - not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the Army because the Navy is thought to be the least corrupt of the military services.  The Federal police are also thought to be very involved in corruption.

        Sadly, each of these killings is held up as a "major victory" against the cartels, but the cartels keep operating.  For every leader killed there are 3 or 4 more ready and willing to take his place or fight for his place.  Which just leads to more killing.

        Aside from "The Executioner" you mention being killed, "Commander Squirrel" (look at his photo to see why) was also arrested.

        But rather than cowering the cartels, the Zetas immediately set up roadblocks and lit cars on fire across Nuevo Laredo following "Commander Squirrel's" arrest.

        Killing or capturing these two guys still leaves other strong leaders in charge.  The Zetas are cellular, like Cold War spies.  Any one death - or dozen - does nothing to actually weaken the cartel.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 11:44:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Reminds me of my last trip to Guadalajara (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          When I was in Guadalajara 5 months ago and I tried to get to the airport from the hotel, no taxi wanted to go.  The cartels had finally targeted this city of 8 million which had not been too affected by the drug war.  They stopped 25 buses and trucks, poured gasoline on them and lit them on fire.  The army came in and the traffic was a mess or just not going.

          I managed to convince one taxi driver to get me to the airport for a tip (US$40 plus fare).  

          We spent almost 2 hours dodging roadblocks and burning trucks before we got there. I did make the flight.

          I made friends with the taxi driver (married and father of two) who told me he had always voted for the PAN (Calderon) but this time he was voting for the PRI.  Why? Because he preferred the corruption of the PRI than the war on cartels brought by the PAN.

          Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

          by Shockwave on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 12:33:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And as many in Mexico believe, the PAN is just as (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            corrupt, but on a different scale and in different ways.

            PAN is corrupt for the rich.  PRI is corrupt for everyone, including working people.  If you were poor which would you chose?  The corrupt one who would help you out or the corrupt one who would make the rich richer?  (similar to the USA, actually, in so many ways)

            Calderon's "drug war" has affected all cartels except one which has mysteriously seen few arrests or government forces killings.  

            PRI presidents were known to have made deals with cartels to operate and to gin up votes for particular politicians in return for a "hands off" policy.   Calderon broke that decades-old quiet accord in favor of the militarism that Bush preferred.

            And it is all part of the USA's "war on drugs," which is a failed strategy from start to finish. There's no reason Mexico should really care about the USA's unquenchable drug appetite.  Unless the USA wants to work on reducing demand, other nations shouldn't worry about it.

            The higher the price and the more difficult to obtain the drugs, the strong the cartels become.

            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

            by YucatanMan on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 01:27:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  MB posted a great article this summer on how... (5+ / 0-)

    this works. It's not like most police departments have the cash for armored personnel carriers. They get it free from Leon Panetta's own DoD.

    "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

    by 2020adam on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 11:25:31 PM PDT

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