Back in the day when J Edgar Hoover ran the FBI it was the most feared law enforcement agency. Granted J Edgar was no saint (or very good leader) but at least he managed to make sure the FBI was feared by criminals and innocents alike. Later we had Mulder and Scully of the X-Files who were FBI agents after all– and damn intelligent ones at that. Later still there was Clarice Starling versus Hannibal Lector in ‘Silence of the Lambs’. No one can deny Starling at least played a smart FBI agent. And during this period we had the ‘Manhunter’ and profilers and vaunted FBI agents who hunted serial killers.
Then somehow, some way we now have ‘The Following’, ‘Hannibal’ and ‘Blacklist’ where all the FBI agents are inarguably the stupidest people on the face of the earth. In ‘The Following’ the FBI is thwarted at every turn by a psychopath and his amateur followers. In one absurd sequence some of the followers penetrated an FBI perimeter and killed dozens and got what they came for. In ‘Hannibal’ the FBI agents use a serial killer (Hannibal) as a consultant! They haven’t figured out the guy helping them is the guy committing most of the crimes! And in ‘Blacklist’ a criminal is enlisted to help the FBI and despite that they still can’t get their act together. Our favorite was a scene where the FBI was transporting an important witness in an armored convoy and they come to a bridge where a man in an orange vest holds up a sign claiming there is a toxic spill and they must take a different route. Of course they blindly listen and are ambushed. Gee, no one would ever suspect a guy in a $2 orange vest may be a terrorist (!????)
And these are just fictional. In real life the FBI is about as bad. The FBI crime lab was disgraced. They torched the Waco compound (by accident – we don’t know which is worse). They overlook the Boston bomber hiding in a back yard because they forgot to search that street! And they were warned these guys were trouble before they even committed a crime!
The FBI web site regularly gets hacked. The FBI itself is used as a ransom virus! Criminals barely pay attention to the FBI anymore.
So what happened?
According to the AP the Defense Department has offered 165 MRAPs or mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles to police departments around the country and they’ve all been snatched up.
Just what we needed, your local police now have armored military vehicles from the Army! Just to patrol around your neighborhood and ‘serve warrants’.
Why is the Federal government trying to turn local police into paramilitary units?
Think about it. We’ve always thought the black helicopter conspiracy theorists a little crazy. Lately we’re not so sure anymore.
The future doesn’t always arrive with a gasp and a boom like Skynet inTerminator. No, sometimes it’s more like Office Space.
At least that’s the idea I get watching this video of the Marines’ testing the Legged Squad Support System. DARPA built the LS3 to act as an autonomous pack horse that “can carry 400 lbs of a squad’s load, follow squad members through rugged terrain and interact with troops in a natural way, similar to a trained animal and its handler.”
Its headless form has always disturbed me in its … headlessness. (Like, did Haruki Murakami design these things in a fever dream? Robots galloping across the plains.)
And yet, in the hands of real Marines, it sounds like they’re testing a new network printer out, or maybe putting the office fob system through its paces.
“The experimentation phase is in full swing right now,” said Brigadier General Kevin Killea with all the emotion of a building manager introducing new trash chutes.
“And we’ll come back and we’ll look at all the data and we’ll get the feedback from all the Marines about how they feel it can support them best.”
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