By: Tom Rose A concerned reader who has been attentively observing the "signs of the times" makes a thoughtful comment and poses some pertinent questions: It appears that our police forces in America are changing and that we are developing into a Police State/Surveillance Society. What is the traditional model for police forces in America? Are they in the process of being militarized? If so, for what reason? How can we reconstruct the American concept of police? The answer is yes. The orientation and underlying concept of police enforcement in America have, indeed, been changing, but changing so quietly as to be hardly noticeable except by a few careful observers. The traditional orientation of police enforcement has been local rather than national. It was the sheriff, the highest police official in the county, and his deputies who were unquestioningly in control of maintaining peace and apprehending law breakers. Incorporated cities and municipalities have the same local orientation, but the titles change to chief of police and policemen on the beat. The general concept used to be that law enforcement was applied by the sheriff’s deputy or policeman on the beat right where problems occurred. This historic view has changed because of political pressures and monetary influences from the national level of government. But even now the sheriff, as the highest-ranking police officer in the county, still has authority to tell federal agencies and their SWAT teams (FBI, BATF, DEA, IRS, and federal marshals) how they must conduct themselves in his county. Sadly, very few sheriffs have the intestinal fortitude to buck the evolving national-statist system because doing so might threaten their careers or their standing with federal agencies on whom they have become financially dependent. Police State Defined Before we discuss the development of the Police State in America, it is needful to define the term. Police states are often initiated by a violent putsch: Lenin’s overthrow of the Russian government in 1917, Mussolini’s growing use of violence which led to his becoming Prime Minister of Italy in 1922, and Hitler’s Reichstag fire and appointment as Prime Minister of Germany in 1933. Each of these emerging police states focused on alleged internal and external enemies to solidify support among domestic followers. Terror, intimidation, and propaganda were freely used. Citizens were disarmed as quickly as possible to make them easier to control. A Police State is characterized by centralized control over every aspect of society: political, economic, social, cultural, and religious. This can be done through state ownership of the means of production (socialism: France, Britain); or by being tied politically with "communist rule of the proletariat" (Lenin’s and Stalin’s USSR, Castro’s Cuba); or it can be done through a more sophisticated form of statist control by which ownership of the means of production is left in the hands of private entities (fascism: Mussolini’s Italy; Hitler’s NAZI Germany; and, sadly, our modern USA, which has over 85 government-control agencies: the ICC, FTC, FCC, FDA, EPA, IRS, DEA, FDIC, BATF, FEMA, IRS, Homeland Security, etc, etc). The fascistic form of government control that developed in America got its big push by Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was enamored with Italian fascism. During the 20th century, regulation by federal agencies grew rapidly as each generation of American citizens was conditioned – through tax-supported education, textbook revisions, and government/news media propaganda – to embrace the freedom-destroying concept of "government regulation to protect the people." This was able to come about because each new generation had less understanding of the Constitution. Our founding fathers would be aghast at the centralized government control (fascism) which now exists in America. They thought in terms of the careful division of power to keep government from being centralized and unlimited. Only a very few limited powers were granted to the federal government by the states, and these were carefully delegated and enumerated. Early Police States relied heavily on secret police squads (paid thugs) to intimidate citizens into submission (the Soviet Union had its KGB; NAZI Germany had its brown-shirt Gestapo; and fascist Italy had its black-shirt thugs called Facis Di Combattimento). Those who opposed the growing Police State never knew when the door of their home might come crashing down in the dark of night to be beaten, killed, or forcibly moved to a concentration camp. In recent years in America, black-masked government SWAT teams ( also paid thugs) have increasingly appeared on the scene (BATF, FBI, DEA, federal marshals, and joint-task forces). Today, only the unaware feel safe. Some very keen observers and excellent students of history regard the so-called "terrorist attack" of 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina with its disturbing aftermath, as likely "putsches" meant to generate chaos for justifying the imposition of Martial Law, the disarming of Americans, and the birth of a full-blown Police State in America. A frightening thought? Certainly! But take heed to a timely warning: As I carefully watch the outworking of both 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, I see too many signs that Americans are being psychologically conditioned to accept a Police State! The growing use of masked government SWAT teams is an early warning signal of the erection of a Police State designed to rule over a frightened and compliant citizenry who have been conditioned to value the illusory promise of "security from terrorism" more than liberty and individual self-responsibility. The irony is that the so-called "terrorists" against whom we are to be protected are more likely to be found within our own government than in foreign countries! The Rest Of This Long Article Can Be Read By Clicking Here Or not, that's all up to you.