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Greeks Bearing Gifts


Almost certainly the most famous military gambit in history is the story of the Trojan Horse. The Greek army, seeing that a siege of the city of Troy was getting them nowhere, pretended to give up the effort and sail off into the Aegean sunset, leaving behind a "peace" offering, an immense wooden horse on wheels. The horse was the political and religious symbol of the Trojans. The Trojans, prone to arrogance, having watched the Greek ships slipping over the horizon, confidently decided to roll the jumbo equine admission of defeat into the city.

That night forty Greek warriors climbed silently down out of the wooden horse and began unbarring the gates of the city. At the same time the Greek fleet reversed course and headed back to Troy under cover of darkness. Troy was sacked ruthlessly by the Greeks. Only one citizen of Troy voiced any suspicion of the Trojan Horse. His immortal words were: "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts."

The Federal Government of the United States has a juicy military equipment giveaway program for local law enforcement agencies. Department of Defense Program 1033 was initiated in 1997 as a response to the "war on drugs" and the "war on terror". For a small city or small town police department it’s pretty much a "kid in the candy store" fantasy. Guns, ammunition, ballistic vests, armored personnel carriers, boots, helmets … you name it … is up for grabs. Why Bull Frog, Oregon would need an armored personnel carrier is perhaps a bit unclear. But if they really want one? They can have it! Come on down! Here’s Wisconsin’s wake up call to its state Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs).

Quite understandably civil liberties groups on both the left and the right are casting a jaundiced eye at this intriguing Federal cornucopia of firepower, armor, and other groovy SWAT/Commando type stuff. "Tear gas! Aisle three! Grenade launchers! Aisle six!"

Liberals and conservatives who would usually not say a civil word to each other are asking, in rare harmony: "Excuse me, but why are we turning our cops into soldiers?"

"Why are we turning our cops into soldiers."


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