No, seriously, I could swear the water in this pot is getting a little hotter… (#6)

Quick quiz. Try to identify where this photograph was taken, and what military force the people pictured in it are members of.

Here is a photograph of several men in dark uniforms with helmets and body armor, in combat posture, with assault rifles pointed directly at the camera. They are posed in front of a large tank. One man is standing in front of the tank, smiling, in a normal suit and tie.

The photograph was taken in Richland County, South Carolina. The people in the photograph are Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott and his Special Response Team. They are posed in front of their recently acquired Army-surplus Armored Personnel Carrier, which has a top speed of 30 miles per hour and a turret-mounted .50-caliber belt-fed machine gun. They call it the Peacemaker, apparently because this is exactly the sort of military hardware Jesus would use to terrorize or kill suspected meth addicts.

Sheriff Leon Lott told the Columbia State newspaper that he hoped the vehicle, named The Peacemaker, would let the bad guys know that his officers are serious.

We don’t look at this as a killing machine, Lott told the paper. It’s going to keep the peace. We hope the fact that we have this is going to save lives. When something like this rolls up, it’s time to give up.

— Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine (2008-03-06): S.C. Sheriff’s Department Armored Vehicle with Belt-Fed Machine Gun

Take another look at that photograph, and let me know whether that’s what peace looks like to you. Please keep in mind, if you happen to be in Richland County, South Carolina, that, in the view of the Sheriff’s Department, keeping the peace means putting so much firepower in the hands of government police that their capacity for violence terrorizes the rest of the populace out of any thought of defying or resisting their orders.

The Richland County Sheriff’s department got their new armored personnel carrier through a federal government program which provides military surplus weapons to local law enforcement agencies.

As Radley Balko said back in May, in response to another story:

I’m afraid this intermingling of domestic police and military is well beyond the point of no return.

Do you feel safer now?

(Via John Markley 2008-09-04, Radley Balko 2008-09-01, and Pete Guthier 2008-09-01.)

See also:

11 replies to No, seriously, I could swear the water in this pot is getting a little hotter… (#6) Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. Darian W

    Wow, George Orwell nailed so many things.

    War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, Freedom is Slavery can be applied to so many things these days.

    This is just the latest example of how statist “peace” means the fortification of the exploitive status quo through coercion and threats of violence.

    This is what a police state looks like!

  2. Nick Manley

    One would think they expect to face an armed insurgency or something…

  3. Nick Manley

    Oh well, it’s not as if anyone who breaks the law is ever a good guy.

    Nope! Us law breaking individualist types are all in need of an APC’s machine gun pointed at us.

    And if these cops are wrong about people backing down, then it’s not like a shootout with an APC involved would be that big of a deal. You may kill a few non-combatants with your macho man machine gun spray, but they are “mere” civilians, so who gives a fuck?

    Fuck; I really hate this country’s so called “criminal justice” system.

  4. Jesus Kills

    I’m proud to live in a country that touts violence so proudly. We are an inspiration to warmongering sorts everywhere.

    This proves that Jesus MUST be on our side.

  5. Insurgent

    A quote from the 03/08 issue of Tactical Weapons magazine: “LE tactical teams are undergoing a “militarization” in everything from equipment and uniforms to tactics and terminology… They call themselves “operators” and they’re fighting terrorists on a dangerous urban battlefield.” So it is obvious that the “War on Terror” is a war on anyone who is resisting the NWO, especially civilians.

· November 2008 ·

  1. Discussed at darianworden.com

    DarianWorden.com » Blog Archive » Police State 08:

    […] rifles to their patrol equipment, and other military equipment is on the way (See radgeek for some examples).  And let’s not forget tomorrow’s deployment of an active Army unit within the United […]

— 2009 —

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2009-03-28 – It doesn’t take much imagination.:

    […] Imagine that thousands of armed foreign troops were constantly patrolling American streets in military vehicles. Imagine they were here under the auspices of keeping us safe or promoting democracy or protecting […]

— 2010 —

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2010-01-23 – Siege mentality:

    […] belligerence or invasions against civil liberties; to explain the alleged need for assault rifles, tanks, cordoning off strategic hamlets in inner cities, and a niche industry in warrior mindset trainings […]

— 2011 —

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2011-01-28 – Non-Lethal Force (Cont’d):

    […] tasers and clubs to handguns and assault rifles, up to, and including, military helicopters and tanks. Worse, with all these weapons, they have institutionalized a culture of fact-free assertion and […]

  2. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2011-02-01 – Siege Mentality (Cont’d):

    […] belligerence or invasions against civil liberties; to explain the alleged need for assault rifles, tanks, cordoning off strategic hamlets in inner cities, and a niche industry in warrior mindset trainings […]

— 2014 —

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People's Daily 2014-01-28 – Welcome, Reasoners:

    […] GT 2008-09-19: No, seriously, I could swear the water in this pot is getting a little hotter……. […]

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