Is It Just Police Killings that We Need to Protest?

In signing the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997, President Bill Clinton gifted the future a legacy known as the "1033 Program." Henceforth, "surplus" military hardware would be gifted to civilian police departments, thus commencing the full-blown militarization of the American Police

The Homeland: The New Battlespace! Source
Fast forward to 2020 and Americans rioting against police killings committed in broad daylight are faced down by drones formerly used by the Pentagon to target members of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and faced on by MRAPs designed to withstand IEDs and meant to intimidate the Afghan population with merely their sheer size and brutal edges.

But it is not hardware alone that leads most foreign observers to believe that the United States is a police state. 

To truly understand America, one must consider what the German government of Adolph Hitler would have argued if his diabolical regime had won the war. 

The Nazis would have likely argued that they invaded America to "free" interned Aryan citizens. Since the Japanese were considered "honorary Aryans" by the Germans and because the US government never stripped them of citizenship with Executive Order 9066 (which ordered their internment) this means that the internment of Jews in Germany was in fact more legal than what the United States did... since the Jews had been stripped of citizenship prior to the onset of hostilities.

The Germans were "interning" non-citizens in concentration camps, while the Americans were interning "Honorary Aryans," which meant that when Jews were being killed in the gas chambers, they were not entitled to civilian tribunals as per the modern laws of war, since in 1942 the United States Supreme Court decided in Ex parte Quirin that even citizens could be subjected to military tribunals and secretly  executed. 

And, indeed, in WWII the US government executed Hans Herbert Haupt, a German-American dual-national, meaning that the Nazis could have argued that the Americans had secretly executed many more Aryan citizens. 

An astute German prosecutor could have argued that "America was justly invaded because it was secretly interning Aryans and clandestinely executing Aryans through closed military tribunals."

If these arguments appear to be only relevant to WWII because it was nearly eight decades ago and "times have changed," the truth is that they're not irrelevant because the Barack Obama administration used Ex parte Quirin to argue that US citizens could be secretly executed via drone with merely the wave of a hand by the president. 

Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen, and his 16-year-old son, born in Colorado, were killed in Yemen by President Obama after being placed on the Disposition Matrix. To justify killing a minor, Attorney General Eric Holder determined that a 16-year-old was a "military-aged male" and could be legally executed, even if they were a non-combatant. 

Attorney General Holder, when asked if the same attacks could be carried out in the United States, replied that it would be "possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States."

The Authorization for Use of Military Force of 2001 is open-ended and global, meaning that the United States has been engaged in hostilities for nearly two decades, and with that state of war come emergency powers which give the government the legal rationale to intercept the communications of every single American. The National Security Agency intercepts every byte of data which exits and enters US borders, holding a facility in Utah that is large enough to store all of the world's data to be created this century. 

Although the US government assures us that this data can only be examined with a warrant and is designed to catch "terrorists," the Drug Enforcement Administration has been known to use this data to build drug cases, calling it "parallel construction," which entails using "information from the NSA’s mass surveillance programs that is then re-obtained through the less controversial powers granted by the 1976 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act."

Essentially, the United States is using tools of espionage to apprehend ordinary criminals. Although the FBI has previously doubted the legality of "parallel construction," there's no way to ascertain if other agencies are using this spy data to build files on protesters, files that could one day be used to indefinitely detain "looters," especially since the New York Supreme Court has recently determined that "arraignments can be delayed" because we're in a "crisis within a crisis." Since this "crisis" could last for longer than a year, does that mean that people apprehended on suspicion of looting could be effectively sentenced to a year of incarceration?

The current protests are about more than just George Floyd, they're about confronting a government that has decided that it can spy on everyone, disregard habeas corpus, and kill anyone above the age of 16 in secret.