DownsizeDC.org
February 24, 2012
The People of Keene, NH Stand Up To Homeland Security
By James Wilson

Quotes of the Day:

"The argument for up-armoring is always based on the least likely of terrorist scenarios. Anyone can get a gun and shoot up stuff. No amount of SWAT equipment can stop that." - Mark Randol, a former terrorism expert at the Congressional Research Service

"We're going to have our own tank." - Mayor Kendall Lane of Keene, NH

Several of our readers are already part of the Free Keene movement or the Free State Project in New Hampshire.

They are protesting a "gift" from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Keene, New Hampshire, with a population of only 23,000, is getting an armored personnel carrier. And the members of Free Keene aren't the only residents who are protesting.

We applaud their resistance to receiving "free" stuff from the feds that the rest of us must pay for. If they succeed, perhaps other towns will say "enough is enough" to the DHS.

That's why I sent this letter to strike at the root and abolish the Department of Homeland Security altogether.

I encourage you to do the same. You may borrow from or copy-and-paste this letter...

The DHS recently issued a $285,933 grant to Keene, New Hampshire, to purchase a Bearcat, an eight-ton armored personnel vehicle. Keene has a population of just 23,000. Thankfully, townspeople are protesting. (http://huff.to/wRzJud)

I hope other towns protest the scam of receiving unnecessary "grants" from the DHS. And that's all the DHS is, a scam...

* There is no evidence any DHS agency prevented or foiled a terrorist plot in ten years. The FBI is not part of DHS.
* Nearly all "foiled" plots involved incompetent losers who were set up in, and even assisted by, FBI sting operations.
* Over the past twenty years, the odds of dying from terrorism on U.S. soil, in any year, is about one in two million. (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001454.html)

Why are you, Congressperson, spending so much of MY money to "protect" us against virtually non-existent threats?

The DHS budget is NOT "protecting" us at all. The DHS seems intent on doing two things...

1. Change the culture so that citizens become accustomed to humiliation (such as TSA abuse) and unnecessary displays of federal "authority."
2. Enlarge the "customer base" of the Military-Industrial Complex to include police departments.

Which brings us back to the Keene Bearcat grant. Pure pork. Yet, it isn't even pork that will create jobs in Keene. Instead, it will increase the profits of Pittsfield, MA-based Lenco Industries.

The DHS has spent $34 billion on grants to local governments to provide them with military-style equipment. (http://bit.ly/safpjg)

But they are not using them to fight terrorists. There aren't any terrorists to fight! Instead, the money is used to...

* Present local police NOT as public servants but as intimidating, occupying soldiers.
* And deploy unnecessary and excessive force during mundane activities like serving warrants.

As Radley Balko reports, this disturbing trend began in the 1980's. But 9/11 and the creation of the DHS provided another excuse to militarize the police. (http://huff.to/pVzIEE)

If local communities REALLY believed the safety of police officers depended on this equipment, they would spend the money themselves.

Furthermore, I see no enumerated provision in the Constitution authorizing federal aid to local law enforcement, which means the Tenth Amendment prohibits it.

Keene, New Hampshire doesn't need a Bearcat! More importantly, NO local community needs the "gift" of military equipment.

END these DHS grant programs, and end the DHS itself.

Please, if you still disagree with me about DHS, in your reply, tell me from where, in the Constitution, you derive authority to issue these grants to local law enforcement.

END LETTER

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James Wilson
Policy Research Director
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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