The war on drugs, liberty, reason.

800 times per week in this country, a SWAT team breaks open an American’s door, and invades his home. Few turn up any weapons at all, much less high-power weapons. Less than half end with felony charges for the suspects. And only a small percentage end up doing significant time in prison.

From Reason.com‘s contributing writer Radley Balko’s U.S. House testimony:
Our Militarized Police Departments

“Classically Liberal” has posted quite a bit on the encroaching police state and the militarization of the police:
Classically Liberal’s “Police State” search
Some specific articles:
Total control of guns is total control of people.
The failure of the state and national tragedies.
Stop the Big Brother State
Drug Warriors attack wrong house again.
US Senator says end War on Drugs (It’s my prez candidate, Mike Gravel, by the way)
In the War on Drugs you could be collateral damage.
Drugs & socialism: the more you succeed the more you fail.
Atlanta cops lied and Kathryn Johnston died.

Back to Balko and his House testimony, he provides information regarding how the U.S. military is providing arms and military training to the police in its effort to “fight the war on drugs,” turning our peace officers into paramilitary thugs and shocks forces. Which might be justified if it was actually doing some good with little to no innocent collateral damage–but that’s not what’s happening. Drug use hasn’t really changed, the supply certainly hasn’t changed, and most of the victims of these SWAT raids end up being non-violent, minor criminals and all too often innocent victims of chance and circumstance. Such as the elderly lady who was raided by stormtroopers who go the house number wrong, tried to fight back because after all, when black-clad armed troopers storm into your house and you know you’ve done nothing wrong–you’ll probably fight to protect yourself from these unknown assailants. They shoot her and stand on her neck as she bled to death, and then planted drugs in her house once they realized they made a mistake.

It’s not even an issue of the morally despicable and cowardly stance of “if you’ve done nothing wrong you have nothing to worry about” when out of control and unchecked police force is used wantonly with a focus on scorch-and-burn military tactics instead of protecting the peace and liberty of the citizens.

Balko:

It’s time we stopped the war talk, the military tactics, and the military gear. America’s domestic police departments should be populated by peace officers, not the troops of an occupying military force.