Clinton Body Bag

Posted: August 14, 2016 in Uncategorized

And the numbers will continue to grow.

How can it start?

There is an old adage that militaries set themselves up by failure by preparing to fight the last war. When it comes to 21st Century warfare, the problem however may not be with looking back, but that we aren’t looking back far enough.

For the last two decades, leaders in London and Washington have become focused on operations in places like Sierra Leona, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Syria, where the worry was, and is, weak and imploding states.

But bigger trends are at play globally. We are seeing the return of great power politics – and with it, the risk of powerful states going to war.
A Syrian army jet is guided out of the hangar at al-Dumayr military airport, 40 km north-east of Damascu Credit: Getty Images

Conflict with the likes of Russia or China was something that seemed buried with the end of the Cold War. Yet today’s simmering tensions mean there is a risk of such an outcome becoming all too real.

As in the past, it is perfectly possible that a third world war could start with a small event, or even by accident.

One of the many Russian bomber planes now probing NATO’s borders could collide with an RAF Typhoon, prompting an aerial skirmish the likes of which the world has not seen for decades.

Indeed, the skies over Syria are starting to get dangerously crowded, with Russian jets flying near US planes on bombing runs, and sparring with NATO air defenses in neighboring Turkey.

Perhaps it could happen at sea, when a Japanese or American ship scrapes paint with its Chinese Navy counterpart amid the reefs in the Pacific that are being militarized as part of Asia’s current arms race.

Conflict could also come as part of larger decisions to try and reshape the world. Power trends in Asia are already starting to shift as its military and economy begins the match those of the West.

President Xi Jinping has already made the connection between military strength and national primacy in his “Chinese dream” speech, which envisioned the concept of “Guanjun Guojia Genti”, or replacement of the US as the world’s leading power.

Meanwhile China’s economic ascendance bears the promise of lifting more people out of poverty than at any other point in human history – and along with it, the possibility of a nation looking to reorder the global system as befits it reacquired strength.

Throughout history, rising powers have repeatedly tested the status quo by using their might: Harvard professor Graham Allison found that, since 1500, 11 out of 15 such cases have resulted in conflict.

Or the decisions might be ones driven not by rising strength, but weakness. Russia is a once-great power now in economic and political decline.

A child born in Russia has roughly the same life expectancy as one born in Haiti. And yet the game played by Putin with these ever weaker cards is to push harder on his borders and send NATO to its highest levels of alert since the mid 1980s.

How might a third world war unfold? Undoubtedly differently from the “small wars” of today – which, though they have proven so tough, have also led many in Beijing and Moscow to think they prove our true weakness.

When we set out to explore what a modern-day war between 21st century great powers might look like in our new book, Ghost Fleet, it was clear that the setting would quickly move beyond the familiar fights on land that we have grown accustomed to.

Unlike the Taliban, or Isil, or even the militaries of powers such as Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, true state powers can deploy forces in every domain.

We’d see the kind of battles for control of the air and sea we haven’t experiences for over 70 years – and they would, unfortunately, be fights that would call into question some of the major purchases we are in the middle of making.

The UK is currently buying £12 billion worth of new fighter planes – but their program has been hacked on multiple occasions, and they have less range than their World War II equivalents. We’re spending £6 billion on a carrier that lacks some of the key defence needs of modern warfare.
British Armed Forces – by numbers Play! 01:08

But, as the hacking illustrates, we’d also see fights in two new domains: space and cyberspace. Space is now part of the military’s nervous system.

It’s not just military spy satellites: over 80 per cent of NATO military communications travel on commercial satellites, which make them targets that are arguably as strategically important as airfields or shipyards.

China’s anti-satellite capabilities have been demonstrated repeatedly since 2007; Russia is also believed to be working on weapons that will target space systems in order to leave NATO forces in the dark.

The US military, meanwhile, has just budgeted $5 billion for its own space war plans.

Cyberspace has also moved from the realm of science fiction to being integral to military affairs – indeed, the battles may already have begun.
Watch: Turkey shoots down Russian military plane on Syria border Play! 01:26

Chinese-linked hacking groups have penetrated everything from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program (the plane was to give Western allies advantage on a future battlefield a generation ahead, but China is already preparing to export its own J-31, which looks like the plane’s twin), to the personnel files of every security clearance holder in the US. They have stolen 1.1 million fingerprints.

An outright war in the real world would see this stealing of information turn into something more in the cyber world. The Russian use of cyber attacks to attack communications and commerce in Ukraine and the US use of the Stuxnet digital weapon to physically damage Iranian nuclear research facilities show how cyberwar would come with physical costs.

The very same industrial control system software that Stuxnet targeted is used in everything from London traffic lights to Royal Navy warship engine rooms.

This isn’t just a matter of great powers having at their disposal planes and missiles with ranges far past what Isil or Bashar-al Assad could contemplate. In space and cyberspace, there are no geographic borders and, moreover, the military and civilian networks are intertwined, whether it’s undersea fibre-optic cables or domestic telecoms networks.

Military communications and intelligence shares bandwidth with grandmothers sending e-mail. GPS is used by both the latest generation of RAF drones and families navigating home from a vacation.
Electioneering: Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, visiting the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility
Electioneering: Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, visiting the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility Credit: AP

Admittedly, such a conflict is neither wanted nor inevitable; a third world war would be an epic failure of deterrence and diplomacy. But the possibility means we must weigh our calculations in a way that we haven’t for decades.

Too many leaders and thinkers mimic their counterparts of a century ago, who thought that trade and progress had somehow made the risk of war between states obsolete.

In turn, too many military officers take the opposite tack of mimicking their historic counterparts and being unduly optimistic about such a fight if it were to happen, using words such as “short and sharp”. .

It is no longer politic to avoid talking about these trends. It may seem like a fear of the distant past or the realm of fiction, but if there is a hope of averting such great power fights, a frank and open discussion about their real risks of and likely horrors is needed.

Not persuaded? At least weigh the statement of a Chinese military officer in an official regime publication last year.

“The world war is a form of war that the whole world should face up to”, he said. It is a statement to be both considered and chilled by.

PW Singer is a strategist at New America and August Cole is a Fellow at the Atlantic Council.

They are the co-authors of  Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War

WW3 Seethes In Syria

Posted: October 8, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

WW3 Seethes In Syria: China Sends Warplanes, Putin Deploys

WW3 Seethes In Syria: China Sends Warplanes, Putin Deploys Ruthless Troops
Sukhoi Su-34, Sukhoi Su-24M, Sukhoi Su-27, Sukhoi Su-30, Micoyan & Gurevich MiG-29 Dmitry Terekhov / Flickr cc by-sa 2.0

Russia’s military intervention in Syria has found another supporter in China as it plans to deploy Shenyang J-15, a carrier-based fighter aircraft in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin has also sent in his most ruthless troops, the Spetsnaz or the Special Purpose Soldiers.

According to military and intelligence sources who have spoken with Jerusalem-based news site DEBKAfile, China has already given its commitment to Russia of sending its J-15 warplanes to Syria. If the report is true, this is going to be a milestone for the Chinese military for two reasons: it is going to be China’s first military involvement in the Middle East and J-15 first participation in actual war.

Aside from China, Mr. Putin’s most ferocious of troops had already been deployed in Syria. The Mirror understood that the Spetsnaz will be fighting on the ground against the ISIS and all terrorist organizations, including the U.S.-backed oppositions and the Free Syrian Army.

While Russian marines are guarding Russia’s airbases in Syria, the Spetsnaz were deployed to mop up after airstrikes, call in these strikes and to practically conduct extremely covert missions to ultimately wipe out terrorists, intelligence sources revealed to The Mirror. The sources described the Spetsnaz troop as extremely aggressive and highly trained.

“They will not be as accountable as British or US special forces. They are there for one reason, to wipe out anyone threatening Assad. By any means,” the sources said.

The situation in Syria is complicated and ripe with tensions among the participants. The U.S. and Russia relations had been worse since the Ukraine crisis erupted. The two nations had been avoiding direct confrontation since; but the minute Russia joined the fight against ISIS in support of president Bashar al-Assad, miscalculations are imminent. With Russia pulverizing all terrorist organizations fighting Mr. Assad, including CIA-trained Syria oppositions, the situation in Syria is tantamount in saying that Russia and U.S. are the ones pitted against each other in the region. The U.S. has its ally countries participating in its fight in the region. Russia now has China, Iraq, Iran and Hezbollah’s support.

Read: WWIII Seethes In Syria Day 2: US, Russia, Iran, hezbollah Risk Confrontation

Russia continues to pound on terrorist targets in Syria. On Oct. 5, Russia’s Ministry Of Defense announced its Su-34, Su-24 and Su-25 aircraft performed 15 combat sorties from the Hmeymim airbase during daytime. The aircraft were able to engaged ten terrorist facilities, including an HQ and a command center of the ISIS. In the nighttime, Russia performed twenty-five air sorties, engaging nine ISIS facilities.

The Ministry of Defense also clarified reports saying it invaded the Turkish air space on Oct. 3. The Ministry admitted that an Su-30 aircraft maneuvered for several seconds into Turkey’s air space. The Ministry explained that its Hmeymim airbase is located 30 km from the Syrian-Turkish border.

“Under certain climate conditions, the approach is carried out from the north. That is why this occurrence is the consequence of unfavorable weather conditions in this region. There are no conspiratorial reasons to look for,” the Ministry said in a statement.

“As to the information concerning the pursuit of Turkish aircraft by an unidentified MiG-29 fighter – it has no relevance to the Russian air grouping. There is no aircraft of such type at the Hmeymim airbase,” the Ministry added.

Both U.S. and Russia expressed desires to work together in defeating the ISIS. However, each of them has set their own conditions before a partnership could be formed.

Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov called for U.S. and its allies to directly communicate with them and not with the media. “We strongly believe that nobody could fight terrorism alone. No matter how the United States, Great Britain, Germany and NATO are powerful, there is no doubt that these countries will not be able to eliminate the common threat by themselves. That is why we are appealing for the wide international cooperation,” Antonov said in a statement.

President Barack Obama has also expressed willingness to work with Russia against the ISIS but first, Mr. Assad must go. “I said to Mr. Putin that I’d be prepared to work with him if he is willing to broker with his partners, Mr. Assad and Iran, a political transition – we can bring the rest of the world community to a brokered solution,” Mr Obama told press on Oct. 2.

“We’re prepared to work with the Russians and the Iranians, as well as our partners who are part of the anti-ISIL coalition, to come up with that political transition,” Mr. Obama reiterated.

“And nobody pretends that it’s going to be easy, but I think it is still possible,” he said.


Posted: July 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

With the world agreeing to the Iran nuclear deal, further isolating Israel; the economic and financial treaties being made across Eurasia and the Far East; the EU nearing its financial breaking point, and the U.S. dredging along in an economic malaise, the world is beginning to look like it did pre-WW1 & 2.

The collapse of the U.S. as a morally righteous nation, to one that has or is prepping to accept every form of sexual perversion, because of a warpped perception on tolerance; we are indeed seeing the virtual and very real collapse of western society.
The docile populations of the western world are being infiltrated and overran by Arabic, Muslim, Latino, and African emmigrants; both legal and illegal.
It is estimated that within twenty years the majority of Europeans will be of the Islamic faith.
The current crop of politicians in the U.S. are also allowing this to occur in this country.

I think it would be safe to say that America, as a Constitutional Republic, has ceased to exist. Giving way to Corporate Fascism and an Oligarchy of Financial Elitists who control the economies of nations with a simple phone call.

There are thousands of Americans who are leaving this nation, some will blather that these people aren’t patriotic and are fleeing at a time when they are most needed.

To this I would respond that there exist a strategy which escapes these mindless warmongers. Its one of self-preservation, one of knowing when defeat is a certainty and at times it’s better to step back and be a spectator instead of a participant in the collapse of a nation. Then when all is said and done,  the nations lay in ruins, then return to rebuild when able instead of being one of the dead.
Sacred scriptures simply says a live dog is better than a dead lion. Whereas the lion roars, is seen and killed, no longer a threat; the dog barks, attacks, tucks tail and runs if necessary, then returns to fight another day.
So those leaving may be considered dogs by the loud roaring welps of lions, but they will be alive to rebuild after the devastation.

Again, as you sit and read the news, depressing as it may very well be, it is still just news, signs of the times so to speak.
It may be late in the scheme of things, but its never to late to leave.
You may not consider leaving this country as an option, if so then prepare. There have been decades worth of information placed online for your consumption to help you prepare.
If you are caught without food or water; without weapons or a plan the only person to blame is yourself.

Do not be docile, wake up America, its closer than you know.


The Obama administration has named a national security threat it believes is more dangerous than even the Islamic State terrorists beheading, crucifying and burning innocent human beings: Right-wing extremists.

According to CNN, “A new intelligence assessment, circulated by the Department of Homeland Security this month and reviewed by CNN, focuses on the domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists.”

CNN doesn’t cite specific sources, but it says the new intelligence report references “24 violent sovereign citizen-related attacks across the U.S. since 2010.”

“Some federal and local law enforcement groups view the domestic terror threat from sovereign citizen groups as equal to – and in some cases greater than – the threat from foreign Islamic terror groups, such as ISIS, that garner more public attention.”

CNN reported, “The government says these are extremists who believe that they can ignore laws and that their individual rights are under attack in routine daily instances such as a traffic stop or being required to obey a court order.”

The report cites a 2012 incident in which a father and son reportedly shot and killed two police officers in Louisiana after being pulled over for a traffic violation. The two allegedly belonged to the sovereign citizen movement and claimed police had no authority over them.

The DHS intelligence assessment found, “(Sovereign citizen) violence during 2015 will occur most frequently during routine law enforcement encounters at a suspect’s home, during enforcement stops and at government offices.”

A CNN map shows DHS’ examples of sovereign citizen violence since 2010:


It adds, “[L]aw enforcement officers will remain the primary target of (sovereign citizen) violence over the next year due to their role in physically enforcing laws and regulations.”

The report comes after the White House concludes its three-day conference focusing on “violent extremism.”

The Obama administration has come under fire in recent days for its refusal to use the terms “Islamic extremism.” President Obama has described ISIS, the group that beheads Christians and burns them alive, as a “non-Islamic” group whose recruitment of radicals is fueled by poverty and hopelessness.

“We’re not at war against Islam,” he said during this week’s White House summit on “countering violent extremism,” adding, “We are at war with those who pervert Islam.”

Vice President Joe Biden, speaking at the summit, compared the troubling rise in Islamic terror attacks to right-wing extremists and militias who commit violence “in the name of the Bible.”

For its report, CNN interviewed the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC, a well-funded civil rights law firm which has been accused of being a hate group and publishes an “extremist watch list.” It was one of several groups identified by a domestic terrorist as having inspired his attempt to murder Christians at the Family Research Council in a foiled armed attack in 2012.

SPLC senior fellow Mark Potok  estimated there are as many as 300,000 Americans involved in sovereign citizen extremism and 100,000 who make up the core of the movement.

According to the report, Potok said some groups in the movement “travel the country pitching their ideology as a way to help homeowners escape foreclosure or get out of debt, by simply ignoring the  courts and bankruptcy law.”

WND reported in 2009 when DHS issued a report warning of the possibility of violence by unnamed “right-wing extremists” concerned about illegal immigration, increasing federal power, restrictions on firearms, abortion and the loss of U.S. sovereignty and singles out returning war veterans as particular threats.

That report, titled, “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” dated April 7, 2009, stated that “threats from white supremacist and violent anti-government groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts.”
However, the document, first reported by talk-radio host and WND columnist Roger Hedgecock, went on to suggest worsening economic woes, potential new legislative restrictions on firearms and “the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.”
The report from DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis defined right-wing extremism in the U.S. as “divided into those groups, movements and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups) and those that are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”
Most notable was the report’s focus on the impact of returning war veterans.
“Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to right-wing extremists,” it says. “DHS/I&A is concerned that right-wing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize veterans in order to boost their violent capacities.”


Secure communication for preppers

Posted: February 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

Have you ever considered how you would communicate covertly and/or securely if the need were to arise? It could be for a number of reasons; maybe you simply don’t want someone to know what you are talking about or maybe it is more serious and electronic communications are not functioning because of an EMP. The modern technology that the United States, as well as foreign, governments possesses allows the easy electronic surveillance of almost anyone. This could be a good reason by itself to have a way to communicate in a nontraditional, but secure way. One of the longest-standing ways of communicating in a secure and covert manner is through written code, also known as cryptography.

While seemingly only something you would see in a movie, from a historical perspective, cryptography has played a huge role in wars, diplomacy and, of course, espionage. Meaning hidden or secret writing in Greek, cryptography is the practice of taking clearly understood text and converting it into a state that is not understood except for the person who holds the key needed to decrypt the code. This could be a valuable tool to use within a prepper group or in an extreme case such as a future conflict within our own borders. Realistically speaking, cryptography can be useful in any situation where two parties wish to communicate with one another without anyone else being able to decipher what they are saying. In addition to being a more secure manner of communicating, cryptography can be used with any means of communication — verbal or written.

Whether verbal or written, a prepper can use encrypted messages in a variety of ways to avoid information compromise. A radio that is unsecure like a family band radio or CB can be dangerous if sensitive or personal information is being shared. Also, email or online communications are at risk of being captured or intercepted by law enforcement or intelligence agencies. Leaving a message in a meeting location (especially in public) or dead drop is not secure. All of these methods carry risk; and with so many opportunities for your information to be compromised, you should communicate securely with encrypted messages.

There are several types of codes or ciphers that can be utilized in cryptography and while it can be a personal decision to decide which type to use, there are specific benefits to using one over the other. With that being said, there are a variety of methods in which messages can be encrypted but the most basic of these methods is to use a cipher. The difference between a code and a cipher is that a code is the process of substituting a word or set of words for another, where a cipher plainly changes each letter in a word into another letter or number. The decision to pick one over the other typically comes down to how secure you would like your message to be.

Types of cryptography

Code: The simple process of changing one word for another complete word or set of letters. An example of a code could be taking the words “breakfast cereal” and substituting them with the words “flat tire” or a specific set of letters that are unique to “breakfast cereal.”

Transposition cipher: Rearranging the order of the letters in a message. An example of a transposition cipher would be taking the words “medical kit” and converting them to “lcaiedm tki.” This is typically the most basic and simple cipher.

Substitution cipher: Systemically replacing specific letters or groups of letters in a message. An example of using a substitution cipher would be taking the words “gun range” and by shifting each letter back two letters (-2) in the alphabet, changing them to “esl pylec.” As you can see, this is different than just shuffling the letters in a word or phrase around but also can produce a pattern that can more easily be decrypted.

When looking at your options, also remember that with either a code or cipher you will have to have some sort of record or idea of how you will decode your message. Either way, having such a record could be a potential risk and increase the chances of compromise. Because a code is fairly simple, I will leave that up to you and only describe how to develop a cipher.

Developing a cipher

It is not the most difficult thing in the world to develop a cipher. In my opinion, the transposition cipher is not as secure as the substitution cipher for I will allow you to develop your own transposition cipher should you choose to. I prefer to take a two-pronged approach to the substitution cipher where a separate encryption is used for consonants and vowels. This might look something like this:

  • Consonants: The set of letters in the alphabet that are not vowels are consonants. To keep things simple, use the encryption of +5 letters and count without excluding the vowels from your count. You can make it your own but I will include the vowels in this scenario for ease of use. Using +5, a letter C will become the letter H and the letter Z will become the letter E, etc.
  • Vowels: Take the vowels A, E, I, O, and U and determine what interval you would like to use. If you were to choose a +1 interval, move ahead one vowel from the actual vowel in the word. With this being the case, an A becomes an E, an E would be an I, and so on and so on. If you chose a +3 interval, the A becomes an O and the E becomes a U.

You might notice that in these examples if you have a letter toward the end of the alphabet, it may become necessary to move to the beginning of the set of letters and keep counting. It is also important to keep in mind that a cipher does not have to always move to letters to the right (or plus letters), you can also move to the left (or minus letters).

Let’s look at the example below for a better understanding using the same variations listed above (+5 for consonants and +1 for vowels):

Using the phrase, “My favorite soda is Mountain Dew” as the sentence to be encrypted and applying the cipher, the phrase now becomes “Rd keauwoyi xuie ox Ruasyeos Iib.”

It is prudent to shift or change the cipher so that security is best maintained. A different day should have different encryption to avoid demonstrating a clear pattern and getting your cipher cracked. What will read one way on a certain day will likely look completely different on another day. Monday could be a +1 shift for consonants and a -1 shift for vowels. It is totally up to you and your imagination. Don’t forget about numbers either. You may need to include numbers in your communications and should select a specific variable for numbers just like you did with the vowels and consonants.

I personally like the idea of a four-week rotating cipher that uses two prongs: one for the consonants and one for the vowels, as outlined in the demonstration above. The thing to be careful about is making sure that your rotation does not become routine or predictable. You can do this by continuing to shift the variables back and forth using both negative and positive intervals. The table below will provide you an idea of what this might look like:


There technically is probably a limit to the combinations that you can use, but there are enough combinations that I was not worried about trying to count them all. My point is that you can pretty much do whatever you want when designing your cipher. To make things even easier, a quick reference card or chart can be made to facilitate quick decoding and coding of messages. Obviously, you must be careful to never allow the key to the cipher and your reference to be kept together if you have both because it will completely defeat the purpose.

Here is an example of a reference key:


There are a few other methods of cryptography that can be used to make a message secure but they are not all probably as secure as a cipher. They can be simpler though. If we use our example sentence from before and placing each word as the fifth word in the sentence, you can encode your message in a paragraph. I would look something like this:

How do you like MY new scarf? I can’t believe your FAVORITE is green! I think that a SODA will quench my thirst. There’s a chance I IS going to flunk English class when I talk like this. I saw a huge MOUNTAIN off in the distance. Grass is covered in DEW early in the morning.

While I chose to place my message as the fifth word in each sentence, you can just as easily vary the options by making the operative word variable in each sentence. Such a sentence might be something like the operative word in the first word in the first sentence, the second word in the second on so on. This could also be reversed. Once again, imagination is the only limiting factor.

A book can be another method used to code and decode messages. The key is just that the book has to be common to the parties involved. Really, any book that all parties have can be used by simply recording the page number, the line number on the page and the specific word on the corresponding line. An example might be the words “food storage,” which might be listed on page 42 on line 12 with word 5 being the word you need. This would be recorded as 42 12 5 and then a space is inserted before the next word. Imagination can have full reign here as well. You could use any number and type of book.

It is easy to see how dealing with cryptography can be a little difficult. And while communication can become more difficult through the use of cryptography, you run less risk of revealing sensitive information and putting life and/or property at risk.

When it comes to cryptography, the older and less technical codes and ciphers seem to be the most compatible for use within a prepper group or circle of trusted friends and family. The more modern ciphers typically rely on advanced mathematics, algorithms and computers, making them less practical for preppers in most scenarios. Could you imagine trying to decode a message that required a computer without an electricity source? It is just for reasons like this that a basic but well thought out cipher can be the best selection for the prepper.

–Thomas Miller

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Personal Liberty

Thomas Miller

lives with his wife and three sons in the Northeastern quadrant of the United States. He has completed countless hours of advanced training in both clinical and trauma medicine and is a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician. Tom has also completed several courses in disaster and emergency planning/management as well as hazardous materials handler and transport certification. He graduated with honors from American Military University with an Associate of Arts in Real Estate Studies.Tom is a U.S. Army combat veteran who served with honor as a combat medic on his multiple overseas tours during the Global War on Terror. During his time in the Army, Tom became an expert in the use of several weapons (including long guns, sidearms and improvised weaponry) and obtained competence with many other weapon systems, including foreign firearms. The Army also afforded Tom the opportunity to become proficienct in the driving and operation of several different vehicles from Humvees to heavy trucks and tracked vehicles.If there happens to be any free time available, Tom can be found sharing his passion for fishing with his sons, working on a project in the wood shop, tending to the garden or trying to maintain some resemblance of physical fitness. Tom’s other writings can be viewed on his blog, The Prepared Ninja, at If you are on Twitter, Tom can be followed on the handle @preparedninja.

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WASHINGTON — From federal SWAT teams to police departments with military weapons, many people are afraid of what they see taking place in their communities.

When thinking about crime in our neighborhoods, we don’t picture firefights in Iraq or Afghanistan.

While violent crime in America is reportedly decreasing, hundreds of law enforcement agencies use military-grade equipment to police their streets.

“There’s a distinct difference between military soldiers and what their mission is and civilian police and what their mission is supposed to be, and those lines are way beyond blurred,” Cheryl Chumley, author of Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare Is Becoming our Reality, told CBN News.

Among her concerns is an increase in the use of police SWAT teams, units specifically trained to deal with scenarios like active shooters and hostage situations.

A recent study by the ACLU finds SWAT teams often deployed to execute search warrants, a decision that has maimed and even killed innocent people.

One case in point is 19-month-old Bou Bou Phonsavanh, nearly killed last spring in the house where he was sleeping.

“It was about three in the morning and then the local SWAT team busted through the front door, threw a flash bang grenade,” Chumley explained. “They had a no-knock warrant looking for a drug dealer — threw a grenade. It landed in the baby’s crib and the little boy’s face was half blown off.”

Mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles, or MRAPS as they’re known, protect American troops from IEDs in war, and today at least 500 police departments also have them,” she continued.

They come from the federal government through programs designed to offload excess equipment.

State and local police departments can get free or discontinued military equipment from the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and other federal agencies.

The practice really took off after 9/11, due to legitimate concern over the threat of terrorism.

Today, nearly 500,000 pieces of military equipment have been transferred to police organizations, including the following:

  • 92,000 small arms
  • 44,000 night vision devices
  • 5,000 Humvees
  • 600 MRAPS
  • 600 aircraft

According to Chumley, some police departments have even secured silencers for their weapons.

“A police officer is not a sniper, and I can’t imagine any scenario where a civilian police officer would need to sneak up on somebody and shoot them before they have their due process through court,” Chumley said.

President Barack Obama has issued an executive order directing the attorney general, secretary of defense, and others to look at how to improve the way military-grade equipment is distributed to state and local law enforcement agencies and how to ensure those agencies actually understand how and when they should use it.

But it’s not just militarized police departments that have some folks worried. Remember the tense armed standoff between armed supporters of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management?

The situation prompted Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, to introduce legislation to demilitarize federal regulatory agencies. Most of Utah is owned by the federal government.

“As I watched that I just became very uncomfortable looking at what were National Park Service SWAT teams or BLM snipers and these are regulatory agencies; they aren’t law enforcement agencies,” Stewart said.