"A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people."
"A standing army we shall have, also, to execute the execrable commands of tyranny; and how are you to punish them? Will you order them to be punished? Who shall obey these orders? Will your mace-bearer be a match for a disciplined regiment?"
Henry St. George Tucker, in Blackstone's 1768 Commentaries on the Laws of England:
"Wherever standing armies are kept up, and when the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction."
Yeah, but what did those old guys know? Now comes the well-upholstered Michael Wynne, the Secretary of the Air Force:
Nonlethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices should be used on American citizens in crowd-control situations before being used on the battlefield, the Air Force secretary said Tuesday.Well, all right, then, Secretary Wynne. You look like the sort of comfortable, well-to-do careerist who would have a nice wife, a collection of kids and grandkids, and maybe even a cute golden retriever bounding about the back yard of your suburban DC home. Next time you gather the whole crew for a nice cookout ... well, that seems like an ideal time to check out some of these crowd-control weapons, doesn't it?
The object is basically public relations. Domestic use would make it easier to avoid questions from others about possible safety considerations, said Secretary Michael Wynne.
"If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation," said Wynne. "(Because) if I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press."
The Air Force has paid for research into nonlethal weapons, but he said the service is unlikely to spend more money on development until injury problems are reviewed by medical experts and resolved.
Folks, this was on CNN's site day-before-yesterday. I wouldn't have known anything about it, except for a link at Antiwar.com. (Thanks for the heads-up, Mr. Horton.) What's it going to take to wake us up?