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Armed and Dangerous: If Police Don’t Have to Protect the Public, What Good Are They?

By John W. Whitehead | The Rutherford Institute | February 26, 2018

In the American police state, police have a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later.

In fact, police don’t usually need much incentive to shoot and kill members of the public.

Police have shot and killed Americans of all ages—many of them unarmed—for standing a certain way, or moving a certain way, or holding something—anything—that police could misinterpret to be a gun, or igniting some trigger-centric fear in a police officer’s mind that has nothing to do with an actual threat to their safety.

So when police in Florida had to deal with a 19-year-old embarking on a shooting rampage inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., what did they do?


There were four armed police officers, including one cop who was assigned to the school as a resource officer, on campus during that shooting. All four cops stayed outside the school with their weapons drawn (three of them hid behind their police cars).

Not a single one of those cops, armed with deadly weapons and trained for exactly such a dangerous scenario, entered the school to confront the shooter.

Seventeen people, most of them teenagers, died while the cops opted not to intervene.

Let that sink in a moment.

Now before your outrage bubbles over, consider that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed (most recently in 2005) that police have no constitutional duty to protect members of the public from harm.

Yes, you read that correctly.

According to the U.S. Supreme Court, police have no duty, moral or otherwise, to help those in trouble, protect individuals from danger, or risk their own lives to save “we the people.”

In other words, you can be outraged that cops in Florida did nothing to stop the school shooter, but technically, it wasn’t part of their job description.

This begs the question: if the police don’t have a duty to protect the public, what are we paying them for? And who exactly do they serve if not you and me?

Why do we have more than a million cops on the taxpayer-funded payroll in this country whose jobs do not entail protecting our safety, maintaining the peace in our communities, and upholding our liberties?

Why do we have more than a million cops who have been fitted out in the trappings of war, drilled in the deadly art of combat, and trained to look upon “every individual they interact with as an armed threat and every situation as a deadly force encounter in the making?

I’ll tell you why.

It’s the same reason why the Trump Administration has made a concerted effort to expand the police state’s power to search, strip, seize, raid, steal from, arrest and jail Americans for any infraction, no matter how insignificant.

This is no longer a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”

It is fast becoming a government “of the rich, by the elite, for the corporations,” and its rise to power is predicated on shackling the American taxpayer to a life of indentured servitude.

Cops in America may get paid by the citizenry, but they don’t work for us.

They don’t answer to us. They’re not loyal to us.

And they certainly aren’t operating within the limits of the U.S. Constitution.

That “thin, blue line” of loyalty to one’s fellow cops has become a self-serving apparatus that sees nothing wrong with advancing the notion that the lives—and rights—of police should be valued more than citizens.

The myth of the hero cop really is a myth.

Cops are no more noble, no more self-sacrificing, no braver and certainly no more deserving of special attention or treatment than any other American citizen.

This misplaced patriotism about police and, by extension, the military—a dangerous re-shifting of the nation’s priorities that has been reinforced by President Trump with his unnerving knack for echoing past authoritarian tactics—paves the way for even more instability in the nation.

Welcome to the American police state, funded by Corporate America, policed by the military industrial complex, and empowered by politicians whose primary purpose is to remain in office.

It’s a short hop, skip and a jump from the police state we’re operating under right now to a full-blown totalitarian regime ruled with the iron fist of martial law.

The groundwork has already been laid.

The events of recent years have only served to desensitize the nation to violence, acclimate them to a militarized police presence in their communities, and persuade them that there is nothing they can do to alter the seemingly hopeless trajectory of the nation.

The sight of police clad in body armor and gas masks, wielding semiautomatic rifles and escorting an armored vehicle through a crowded street, a scene likened to “a military patrol through a hostile city,” no longer causes alarm among the general populace.

Few seem to care about the government’s endless wars abroad that leave communities shattered, families devastated and our national security at greater risk of blowback. Indeed, there were no protests in the streets after U.S. military forces carried out air strikes on a Syrian settlement, killing 25 people, more than half of which were women and children.

And then there’s President Trump’s plans for a military parade on Veterans Day (costing between $10 million and $30 million) to showcase the nation’s military might. Other countries that feel the need to flex their military muscles to its citizens and the rest of the world include France, China, Russia and North Korea.

The question is no longer whether the U.S. government will be preyed upon and taken over by the military industrial complex. That’s a done deal.

It’s astounding how convenient we’ve made it for the government to lock down the nation.

Mind you, by “government,” I’m not referring to the highly partisan, two-party bureaucracy of the Republicans and Democrats.

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, I’m referring to “government” with a capital “G,” the entrenched Deep State that is unaffected by elections, unaltered by populist movements, and has set itself beyond the reach of the law.

I’m referring to the corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country and calling the shots in Washington DC, no matter who sits in the White House.

This is the hidden face of a government that has no respect for the freedom of its citizenry.

February 26, 2018 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | ,


  1. Armed and Dangerous: If Police Didn’t Have to Protect JFK, What Good Are They?

    JFK 101
    To solve a crime, detectives look at cui bono, specifically, motive, means and opportunity. In his short time in office JFK managed to provoke a swamp full of vicious and powerful enemies. Here are the Big Eight by:


    • Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson, whose ambition, pride and ruthlessness were unexcelled, was going to be dumped from the ticket after three years of inside ridicule at the hands of the Kennedy crowd, and further the Billy Sol Estes and Bobby Baker scandals were about to end his powerful political career.

    • The CIA hated JFK for his coitus interruptus of its (and Dick Nixon’s) all-out Bay of Pigs scheme, his crack down on assassination attempts against Castro, his hands-off-Cuba pact with the Soviets after the missile crisis and his threat to scatter the criminal CIA into a thousand pieces. JFK fired Director of Central Intelligence Allen W. Dulles [future Warren Commission member!] and cronies after the Bay of Pigs, and Dulles is suspect #1 for top supervisor of the JFK ambush. A Fort Worth Press front page photo a few days before the assassination showed Allen Dulles at the LBJ Ranch.

    • J. Edgar Hoover and his FBI hated everything about the Kennedys, including their boss, RFK, attorney general of the United States, and Hoover knew that JFK planned to fire him after re-election in 1964.

    • Texas independent oilmen like H.L. Hunt and Clint Murchison hated JFK for many reasons, especially his promise to eliminate the 27.5% oil depletion allowance, which would have raised their taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

    • The Pentagon and the military industrial complex were agitated because JFK had already signed a National Security memorandum to begin a phased withdrawal of American military “advisers” from Vietnam, had rejected the Joint Chiefs proposal to stage a false-flag terrorist Operation Northwoods to provide a pretext to invade Cuba, and more generally, JFK’s drive for peace and perceived “softness” on communism.

    • Wall Street and investment banking powers were threatened by JFK’s intention to terminate the Federal Reserve under his theory that a privately-owned central bank served the interests of Wall Street and bankers, not those of America, and it had no right to issue currency under the Constitution. JFK further alienated the business community with his confrontation over price increases by big steel.

    • Organized crime, which had worked with the CIA since it began as the OSS in World War II, wanted its lucrative casinos back in Havana, plus its drug- and gun-running and money laundering profits from Cuba. The mob helped get Kennedy elected and showered him with molls to bed, and for their troubles Bobby cracked down on them. Resentment can be traced back to Joe Senior, who made his fortune running booze during Prohibition, generating plenty of underworld enemies.

    • The Israeli government’s determination to go nuclear was fiercely opposed by JFK on the grounds that it would destabilize the middle east and ignite an arms race. Ben Gurion and successors believed that JFK’s resolve threatened Israel’s very existence. Prior to launching its 1981 attack on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear facility, the Israeli commander told his pilots with unusual emotion, “The alternative is our destruction.” After JFK’s demise, LBJ generously supported the Israeli war machine.

    • Miscellaneous outsider groups like rednecks, Russians and Cubans, both pro- and anti-Castro, do not make my Big Eight, even though individual Cubans were involved.

    Clint Murchison threw a party at his Dallas residence the night before the assassination and his guest list included H.L. Hunt, Richard Nixon, Texas Senator John Tower, John McCloy [‘head of the establishment’ and future Warren Commission member], J. Edgar Hoover, and Lyndon Johnson. They went into a private meeting and Madeleine Brown, one of Lyin’ Lyndon’s mistresses, left the party with him and he told her by telephone the next morning,

    “Those damned Kennedys will not be poking fun at me after today.”

    In contrast to this intense cauldron of hatred of the charismatic Irish American Catholic, all the establishment offers us about Oswald is the loose suggestion that he was a publicity-seeking, lone nut. Like most propaganda about what happened to JFK, little evidence affirms the official theory. For example, upon arrest Oswald protested, “Now everybody will know who I am!” This comports with the compelling evidence that Oswald was a CIA and FBI asset.


    • Key to opportunity in this case, as Air Force pilot Fletcher Prouty said, is who had “the power to call off or reduce the usual security precautions that are always in effect whenever a president travels?” Only powerful insiders, not outsiders, have this power.

    • The Secret Service violated rule after rule of presidential protection, including an blatantly slow 120 degree left-hand turn from Houston onto to Elm Street, no motorcycle escorts alongside the presidential limo, no shield of Secret Service agents on limo running boards, people in the streets and open upper-story windows, the presidential limo braking during the shooting and even coming to a complete halt as shooters finished their work, secret service agents reacting slowly during and after the shooting, and so on. It was a set up, beyond reasonable doubt.

    • One particularly telling fact is that the press photographers’ vehicle usually traveled within two vehicles of the presidential limo, but in Dallas they were confined to a station wagon far back in the motorcade, thwarting a major media photo and film record of the assassination.

    Fall guy Oswald was in the Texas School Book Depository at the time of the assassination, so he superficially had opportunity. The trouble is that within sixty seconds of the shooting TSBD superintendent Roy Truly and Dallas policeman Marrion Baker found Oswald standing in the lunch room on the second floor calmly drinking a coke, despite (allegedly) committing the “crime of the century.” He did not have enough time to fire on the president, run to the opposite corner of the sixth floor where the weapon was discovered, hide it, race down four flights of stairs without being seen (the elevators were locked in the wrong position for descent), get a coke and show no sign of exertion or emotion. Other TSBD employees concurred that they heard no footsteps and did not see Oswald racing down the stairs for his encounter with Truly and Baker.


    • The assassination required expert planning, coordination and skilled shooters to insure success.

    • Accused clandestine services like the CIA, Mossad, and the French SDECE had plenty of experience in assassination. Likewise the FBI and military. The mob had it too, although the military-style triangulation that killed JFK was not their style, favoring instead up-close-and-personal techniques like garroting and 38 caliber slugs. LBJ and Texas independent oilmen were quite familiar with employing professional killers. The list of possible and self-confessed killers is long (E. Howard Hunt, Frank Sturgis, Charles Harrelson, Bernard Barker, Mac Wallace, etc.) yet the key is that the professional killers depended on powerful insiders, especially in terms of supplying compensation, a patsy and the cover up.

    Oswald, by contrast, had military experience but was a marginal marksman. No expert marksman has ever been able to reproduce the Warren Commission script that the lone assassin fired three deadly shots within six seconds from behind a moving limo with a bolt-action Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. The absurdities of the Warren theory are countless, but one is that a real solo gunman on the 6th floor of the TSBD would have shot the president as his limo approached the TSBD on Houston Street rather than waiting until it turned onto Elm Street and went away from the sniper. A leafy tree obstructed half the good shots along Elm Street. Further, the rifle in the fake backyard photos used by the Warren Commission to link Oswald to the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle found in the TSBD is not the same weapon! And Oswald’s assassination? The conspiracy could not allow Oswald to stand trial since he could easily prove his innocence and implicate some insiders as well. Oswald eluded his own scheduled murder on the streets of Dallas following the assassination, so mob figure Jack Ruby(Rubenstein)was given an order he could not refuse.


    The final area proving that JFK’s death was an inside job is the systematic destruction of evidence, fabricated evidence, omissions in gathering evidence and dead witnesses and potential squealers. The medical data—body, autopsy, and X-rays—were criminally tampered with and forged in the case of X-rays, primarily to hide the evidence of the frontal shots and the huge hole shot out the back of the president’s head with the attendant brain loss. He was shot in the head at least twice. The limousine was immediately sent to Michigan for a makeover, covering up the multiple shots and especially to replace the windshield with its bullet hole from the front, likely a fatal headshot. Eyewitnesses were intimidated and their testimony distorted and inverted beyond recognition. The federal government stonewalled New Orleans prosecutor Jim Garrison, governors refused to extradite witnesses and dozens of witnesses and insiders were murdered.


    It is not difficult to disprove the lame lone assassin theory in favor of multiple gunmen. Try this out: Oswald could not drive a car, yet he pulled off the crime of the century without help. Then another lone nut with no known connections to organized crime according to the Warren Commission, but plenty of cop connections, whacked Oswald in the cops’ stronghold because he said he wanted to prove Jews were not weak, and later that he was worried about Jackie’s health. Who makes this shit up? We are supposed to believe that these are real motives for murdering a president?

    Shortly after the assassination, national polls showed that 52% doubted Oswald did it alone and this skepticism reached 90% in intervening years. The evidence is overwhelming that multiple gunmen did JFK in at the behest of powerful interests.

    Why care today?

    Surely most of the perpetrators are dead. Yet that rogue network inside and outside the national government remains. It was never rooted out. It would sound familiar to a Roman citizen who experienced the transformation of the Roman Republic to despotic empire and then eventual dissolution to barbarism. Rome shriveled from the first city to attain perhaps 1 million people to a local trading center of about 5,000-10,000.

    The network buried in deep politics has grown more audacious since the Kennedy triumph, with individual assassination still popular (e.g., Senator Paul Wellstone) but escalating to mass murders like the Oklahoma City bombing and the World Trade Center. Do we need CNN to televise the federal government slaughtering Americans in a Tianneman-square-style massacre, more open and visible than the FBI’s massacre of women and children at Waco, before people understand the constitutional crisis? I fail to see how America’s current head-in-the-sand approach can succeed.

    Comment by Buddy Silver | February 27, 2018 | Reply


    “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    ’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

    ’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”

    Comment by Buddy Silver | February 27, 2018 | Reply

    • You wrote, ” … a Tianneman-square-style massacre”. How do you know what you think you know about the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident? Mostly CNN. Enough said.

      That incident was another foreign-instigated attempt at a color revolution before the term “color revolution” came into use.

      Have you ever heard about the number of Beijing police and Chinese soldiers who were killed by molotov cocktails and other weapons by the so-called ‘protesters’ during that attempted uprising? The number was significant and may well have been larger than the number of ‘protesters’ killed by the soldiers.

      I suggest you choose a different example next time you want to give an example of government oppression of protesters. How about the Kent State massacre?

      Comment by I Speak | February 28, 2018 | Reply

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