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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/10/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

State-of-the art weaponry sold off for cheap to small municipalities

Costing millions of dollars, and years of research and development, the United States feverishly works to create state-of-the-art weapons and vehicles to withstand combat. Sometimes they stay too long on the shelves, or become instantly outdated due to recent innovations - and are unloaded in small towns where these items can quietly die of embarrassment.

Most agree that the expensive MRAP, intended for desert military duty, would have little practical application in Midwest America.

Most agree that the expensive MRAP, intended for desert military duty, would have little practical application in Midwest America.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/10/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Military spending, gadgets, practical applications


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - One sterling example: a Mine Resistance Ambush Protected, or MARP for short, originally produced for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have since been made available to local police departments across the U.S., including such as Mason City and Storm Lake, IOWA.

Weighing in at an impressive 49,000 pounds, the MARP stands 10-feet tall and possesses a whopping six-wheel drive. Originally designed to resist landmines and IEDs, it's unlikely to have much practical application serving in Washington County, Iowa.

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Washington police officials have attempted to justify the possession of a vehicle it clearly has no use for. Officials cite school shootings to a terrorist attack happening in central Iowa. With a population of 7,000 people, Washington, Iowa seems a most unlikely candidate for such an event.

"I mean if the police were realistic, they could come up with actual reasons to use their MRAP/machine of doom," Matthew Byrd of the Daily Iowan writes. "Drunken high-school house parties could be broken up by ramming the MRAP into the side of the building."

"Clearly, people who have been trying to curtail underage drinking have not seriously considered the serious deterrents to slamming down a few Hamms in your parents' house caused by a soulless war machine demolishing your kitchen."

Byrd does theorize that the incident "reflects the out-of-control militarization of the police that's been occurring across small towns and big cities from Los Angeles to Waterville, Maine."

The author of the book, "The Rise of the Warrior Cop," Radley Balko, who recorded the militarization of the police discovered that in 2006 alone that the Pentagon, "distributed vehicles worth $15.4 million, aircraft worth $8.9 million, boats worth $6.7 million, weapons worth $1 million and "other" items worth $110.6 million to local police agencies."

This is a matter of grave concern. "Civil liberties have absolutely been eroded, with police-brutality rates skyrocketing in last decade according to the Justice Department. Not only that, but, with the influx of military gear into local police forces, cops begin to view themselves as soldiers whose main job is combat rather than keeping the peace. How else can you explain the rise in police shootings since 9/11?" Byrd writes.

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