As staged multi-agency drills go, they don’t come much bigger than this one.
This afternoon a mass manhunt was underway by law enforcement in Fox Lake, Illinois to find suspects following the shooting of a local police officer, fatally shot while in pursuit of the three men on Tuesday morning.
We’re told that the downed officer was lieutenant,Charles Joseph ‘G.I. Joe’ Gliniewicz, 52, a 30-year veteran with the Fox Lake Police Department. We’re also told that he was a married father of four. A loss such as this would certainly be a tragedy for this small community.
“This should never happen. Joey just loved his job,”said Thomas Poulos, a retired Waukegan police officer who says he went to high school with Gliniewicz in Antioch, Illinois.
It’ has not yet been explained why his nickname is ‘G.I. Joe’, but Gliniewicz appears to sport a ‘military’ look in including a cropped Marine-style haircut, so one might also only assume that he carried a similar persona while policing.
At a brief staged news conference in the morning, authorities announced they were searching for two white men and one black man. No other details were given, and police even admitted they had “no other information” about the three alleged suspects. Regardless, this did not seem to stop law enforcement and the mainstream media from quickly gearing-up for one of the largest manhunts TV productions staged so far this year in the United States.
Did this shooting really happen the way police claim it happened on Tuesday morning, and are there really three suspects at large? Time will tell what is fact and what is fiction in this case, but one thing is certain: whether real or fake, both the federalized police ‘fusion’ apparatus and the corporatized mainstream media have been a bit too enthusiastic in staging this enormous production – one of the biggest mechanized police state exhibitions we’ve seen to date – all to contain a threat which appears to be marginal at best.
Martial Law Imposed on Tuesday
Within 90 minutes, a large perimeter “envelope” was set up and Martial Law was essentially put into place throughout Fox Lake. Local schools were put on “lock-down” and all 10,000 residents of Fox Lake were quickly ordered to “Shelter In Place” by the authorities – for the entire day.Teams of heavily armed police with semi-automatic assault rifles, dressed in body armor and full tactical gear then began conducting house-to-house searches claiming they were looking for the three suspects.
Police made sure a select few of these house searches were filmed from designated helicopters overhead, and while watching the coverage of the house searches, it was obvious that police house raids were being choreographed for the TV – so police on the ground were being directed according to where the overhead film crews were positioned – to capture the best possible shots of their militarized operation. As expected, CNN continually praised the police, remarking how ‘dangerous’ the situation was and about, “The potential for them [suspects] going into a family house and taking hostages.”
MRAPs carrying armed tactical units conduct house-to-house searches in Fox Lake today.
The following local, state and federal agencies were all scrambled and put on high alert (for what otherwise would be just another incident involving a policeman and alleged perpetrators):
At least 300 armed officers and support agents (that we know of) from the FBI, ATF, U.S. Marshals Service, Illinois State Police, Fox Lake Police Dept., County Sheriff’s Dept., multiple SWAT teams (Sheriff, ATF, FBI and other counties), 40 K9 sniffer dogs, specialist ‘Anti-Terror’ units, private security contractors, multiple police forces from nearby towns and counties, EMS and two local Fire Departments.
Of the hundreds of armed agents that were dispatched, many included snipers and police ‘infantry’ dressed in camouflage, taking up sniper positions on nearby bridges, highway overpasses, and on the roofs of residential homes, as well as hiding in positions in the surrounding wooded areas.
Why the FBI, or any federal agency could pretend to claim ANY federal jurisdiction over an alleged crime scene such as this one in Fox Lake is anybody’s guess, and one can only assume that this was a staged drill, otherwise, the FBI, the ATF and the US Marshals service would not even be there. Who is in charge? Is it the local Sheriff, or the federal special agents? This question also has constitutional ramifications.
Again, despite all these resources being deployed, the police were said to have absolutely NO information about who the suspects were, where they were, or what they looked like, other than they were two white and one black male.
In addition to hundreds of officers and federal agents the following hardware was also deployed:
After reviewing all of today’s reports, we count at least 6 ‘Winnebago’-style mobile command centers, at least 20 armored black combat Humvees, 12 armored MRAPs combat transport vehicles, multiple helicopters with snipers on board, airplanes, drones and at least 50 other additional SUVs – which congregated at two main ‘forward operating bases’ that were set-up in the town. Columns of armored Humvees could be seen on TV from the air, positioned along the roads every 100 meters in formation you would typically see in an US Army convoy in an overseas war theater like Iraq. Clearly, these vehicles being positioned for the overhead camera shot, with armed commandos marching in formation along the adjacent railroad tracks.
How can local law enforcement afford $1 million fully equipped Winnebagos and fleets of Humvees and MRAPs? Answer: through federal grants doled out via federal agencies like theDepartment of Homeland Security (DHS). Critics believe that the DHS has assembled a centralized ‘Standing Army’ on US soil. After analyzing this week’s drill in Fox Lake, you might say they are correct.
By 3pm EDT, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that a ‘No-Fly Zone’ was now in effect over 2 square nautical miles above the scene. More than anything, this over-the-top move by the federal government indicates that Tuesday’s event was a full-spectrum drill, because there would be absolutely no reason to ban overhead flights, unless of course that law enforcement didn’t want anyone other than ‘embedded media’ cameras peering in on this unprecedented domestic drill.
Finally, 4pm rolls and still no sign (not surprisingly) of the alleged suspects. CNN and FOX pundits continue to worship the operation, and quickly begin salivating over the possibility of a“night-time manhunt”, possibly involving a squadron of police helicopters fitted with infraredand thermal imaging equipment.
Even though police have absolutely no idea if the alleged suspects still remain in the area, police crow proudly that an additional 100 specialist sniper and camouflaged marksmen will work alongside sniffer K9 teams “throughout the night” to hunt the suspects in the woods.
‘Police State Pageantry’
What was on display Tuesday had very little to do with catching armed suspects. A multimillion dollar manhunt was launched before an investigation took place, leaving TV viewers with an elaborately staged production for the benefit of national broadcasters.
If this was a genuine policing operation, then there would be two fairly obvious problems (but not obvious to mindless news anchors at CNN and FOX News). Firstly, when officer Gliniewicz was discovered, he had already been stripped of his gun and other gear – including his police radio. Given the battery life of that TETRA radio unit of up to 8 hours, the alleged suspects would have been able to listen to the police communications in the area.
Secondly, although reporters attempted to act coy about police movements and search locations in the late afternoon, the media still announced loud and proud about the size of the perimeter of “10 square miles”, and the approximate locations of the search earlier in the day. If the alleged assailants had any brains whatsoever (and judging by the fact that they took the police radio from the officer – they did have some brains), then they would have simply exited the general vicinity to avoid being caught in the state’s multi-million dollar elaborate dragnet.
What is not reported by either CNN or FOX News, is that many of the participants in Tuesday’s multi-agency drill were not full-time employees of the participating agencies, but rather, they were ‘freelance’ contractors hired through ‘approved’ security recruitment consultants. Many of these contractors would be from out-of-state, and are regularly paid in excess of $1,000 per day or more, plus expenses – in order to take part in this type of drill. The bill for Tuesday and Wednesday’s drill at Fox Lake increases by the minute, and by the time it’s finished, it could easily reach in excess of $5 million. Who will pick up the tab? Take a wild guess.
CNN and media outlets have not bothered to question the effectiveness of this massive overkill multi-agency military operation. Early reports confirm that the fallen officer had approached the alleged suspects while they were with their vehicle. Gliniewicz reportedly approached the three suspects near Route 12 and Sayton Road in Fox Lake. Clearly, police DO NOT know what vehicle they were driving, otherwise the make and model of the vehicle would have been released to the public (if it hasn’t, then this would signal a major departure from normal best practices). Common sense dictates that the three suspects simply got back into their vehicle… and drove away. This option has never been mentioned by the media, which is yet another reason to believe that today’s elaborate production is a staged event.
Regardless, mindless media commentators, especially from CNN, keep repeating the “see something, say something” mantra, encouraging more learned helplessness in the face of an obviously stage-managed media event.
If this were a normal crime scene, then police would first analyze CCTV camera footage from the nearby Walgreens pharmacy store, along with any other visual evidence, as well as forensic tire tread and other physical artifacts, before working through normal detective and investigative protocols to an idea of where the suspects might be. Instead, they did it the other way around. What left is a stage set for a Hollywood blockbuster film, or a reenactment of the 4th Infantry Division marching on Baghdad.
The entire operation today is conservatively estimated as costing in the millions of dollars.
NASHVILLE: Overwhelming response non event with no injuries or casualties. Hundreds of agents and officers spent the day posing in front of cameras and socializing in a shopping mall parking lot, with EMS personnel pretending to look busy moving things back and forth for TV shots (Photo Washington Post)
Bedfellows: Fusion and Overkill
Earlier this summer, the US mainstream media went into overkill mode over the entire month of June covering the great ‘New York Prison Break’, where prisoners David Sweat and Richard Matt escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, upper state New York. What followed was an endless stream of police press conferences, interviews with security experts, law enforcement people, and endless gushing by the media and talking heads over the eternal glowing “… coordination between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies”, as well as, “the urgent need for increased funding to upgrade our aging prisons and prevent these type of escapes from happening again.”
Tuesday’s domestic DHS multi-agency “fusion” operation in Fox Lake mirrored another recentoverkill event which was on public display during the militarized build-up during a staged drill that took place on Wednesday August 5, 2015, in the town of Antioch outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Police claimed that the Nashville event was because of a lone gunman who was spotted in a small theater. In the end, over 150 local, state and federal agency and EMS personnel were scrambled to the near empty suburban theater, even though the gunman did not injure anyone. Police claimed to have shot and killed the gunman, even though no evidence has been presented to verify the identity of the alleged gunman at the scene.
Like with most other major “active shooter drills”, coverage was mostly unremarkable, with scenes of hundreds of agents standing around, huddled together in small groups, socializing, talking and playing with their cell phones.
Last October, a similar ‘officer-involved shooting’ also took place in the nearby town of Holiday Hills, some 12 miles away from Fox Lake. That event also prompted a massive manhunt for US military veteran, Scott B. Peters, 52, who apparently shot and wounded three McHenry County sheriff’s deputies when they approached his door following what police describe as responding to a “domestic dispute”. Following his apprehension, Peters was then give an unusual $1 million bail by the court. Rather oddly, the Sheriff declined to state why the alleged “domestic situation” began which originally prompted the call-out in the first place. Peters was eventually sentenced to 135 years in prison.
“ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE” TOWN PARTY: Fox Lake Mayor Donny Schmit gets ready for Venetian Night during a recent fundraiser with one of the zombies who will be at the Aug. 1 event. (Village of Fox Lake / Handout)
Social Engineering: Dominant Themes
There are three dominant social engineering, political and psychological themes that have emerged from this multi-agency drill. Each one plugs directly into the left vs. right political dialectic. They are as follows:
1. ‘Open Season on Cops’ (Decried by the Right).
Keen to conjure a new threat to national security, reactionary right-wing media outlets like FOX News repeatedly insisted throughout the day that today’s incident in Fox Lake, Illinois was part of a new ‘war on police’, even though there is no evidence to support this sensational claim. The same sensational, baseless claim was made over the weekend when a Sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed in Harris County, Texas. Because the suspect in this case was black, both theSheriff and FOX News proceeded to push the talking point that activists from the Black Lives Matter movement were responsible for the shooting. Not content to quit there, FOX News and other reactionary right-wing talk radio hosts like Michael Savage also claimed that a Monday night shooting of a police officer in Atlanta, Georgia was also part of the mythical ‘war on police’ in America – even though there is no evidence to support the wild claim. Authorities admit that the Atlanta policeman was shot after confused officers responded to a call about a suspicious person – and showed up at the wrong house.
2. Federalization of Police (Sometimes decried by the Left, and occasionally by the Right).
What Fox Lake and Nashville demonstrate is that there is no more separation of jurisdiction when it comes to federal, state and local law enforcement in America. Far from protecting the US from al-Qaeda, the true function of the behemoth Department of Homeland Security is precisely this – to ‘fuse’ together all domestic law enforcement and data collection agencies in order to format a 21st century Police State. This new mechanized police trend is normally decried by the Left-wing, #BlackLivesMatter and Occupy – even though this policy is being pushed even harder by the current Democratic Party-controlled White House. Left-wing liberals normally overlook the dangers of a federalized police force because they automatically assume (at least during a Democratic administration) that anything coming out of Washington must be better. Right-wing pundits generally overlook the federalization trend due to blind love for seeing shiny military hardware and soldiers in camo on the streets of America (it reminds them of Iraq) and police snipers wearing Ghillie suits and cops in body armor, parading in front of TV cameras.
3. ‘Shock and Awe’.
This message is crystal clear. The federal government will spare no expense and will deploy the full force of its resources if it feels like it, regardless of how poorly thought out or effective that operation might be. Even for something relatively obscure. “We’ll show America our new toys, and don’t forget – we’re spending your money.” Sounds a bit like how Washington routinely operates overseas too. Surprised?
Earlier this year, President Barack Obama announced his plan for a federal takeover of state and local policing. Right-wing pundits will seize on this as “proof” that this is solely a ‘Obama agenda’ while ignoring the fact that this final federalization step would not have been possible without the DHS transformation decreed under George W. Bush in the Orwellian shadow of 9/11. In truth, it’s an agenda which BOTH parties are actively pursuing.
Federalists will claim that putting all law enforcement under one umbrella will ensure a more streamlined, professional police forced without corruption. This theory is fatally flawed, and history proves that federal agencies entertain corruption on a much higher level, and also use federal agencies to settle political scores (remember the IRS scandal?). One can also argue that keeping policing in the hands of diverse state and local authorities will help to limit the potential for abuse. Regarding federalized police in the US, writer Glenn Harlan Reynolds comments:
“The idea behind federal supervision of local police forces is that it will make them more accountable. Instead of a bunch of presumptively racist, violent hicks running things on a local level, we’ll see the cool professionalism of the national government in charge. There are (at least) two problems with this approach. The first is that federal law enforcement, especially in recent years, hasn’t exactly been a haven of cool professionalism. The second is that no law enforcement agency is very good at policing itself, meaning that a national police force is likely to be less accountable, not more.”
He adds, “These police agencies aren’t very good at policing themselves. But at least there’s the possibility that other police agencies might investigate them more thoroughly. The Secret Service agents in Nashville who requested their phony warrant were busted by the local police chief; the Baltimore police will be investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice. But unify all these police agencies under one umbrella and they’ll do what guilty bureaucrats tend to do — hide the evidence, then investigate themselves and proclaim themselves blameless.”
It will interesting to see what the narrative develops into on Wednesday after a full night of man hunt drills in Fox Lake. Will the media take the bait again ala New York and help conjure-up another nationwide man-hunt? Will it suddenly become an ‘ISIS-inspired’ attack?
One thing is certain: today has been one giant advertisement for the manufacturers of police and military hardware. by Thursday, the mainstream media will have forgotten about Fox Lake, just as they have already forgotten about the Virginia TV News Shooting event. On to the next mass shooting event! Such is the curious, albeit outlandish nature of The Daily Shooter.