For weeks now, Glenn Beck has been incessantly warning that a conspiracy is afoot in which phony grassroots activists are ginning up civil unrest in places like Baltimore and Ferguson in order to create a situation which will allow the federal government to step in and take control of local police departments all over the nation.
A key component of this strategy has been the militarization of local police forces, Beck has warned.
"You can call it a conspiracy all you want, "Beck said on his radio program last Monday. "Look at our police force today. Our police forces have military equipment! Is it a coincidence? Maybe it is. Is it a coincidence then that Al Sharpton is calling for this and meeting with the president? Maybe it is. But how many of these coincidences do you need before you start to say, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Even if it is a coincidence, we need to stop this":
Beck has been so alarmed by this conspiracy that he is dedicating a special program to exposing it on Thursday "that will blow your mind" as he connects all of the dots behind what is really taking place.
"Next Thursday is the 50th anniversary of the last time we had martial law in this country," Beck said last Friday. "And once you know the history of the last time we had martial law in this country and then you see what Al Sharpton is calling for and you see what they’re starting to plant in all of these cities, you’ll understand why all of a sudden they say, well, let me just say this: When you watch next week’s episode, you will no longer question why Baltimore and Ferguson, why they didn’t send the police — why Baltimore said, just let it burn for a while. We got a zone where they can just destroy things. You will completely understand":
Apparently President Obama did not get the message about the conspiracy to militarize the police in anticipation of taking them over, as today he is set to announce restrictions on providing military equipment to police and efforts to recall equipment that has already been handed out:
Nine months after police in riot gear dispelled racially charged protests, President Barack Obama is prohibiting the federal government from providing some military-style equipment to local departments and putting stricter controls on other weapons and gear distributed to law enforcement.
The surprise announcement comes after the White House suggested last year that Obama would maintain programs that provide the type of military-style equipment used to respond to demonstrators last summer in Ferguson, Missouri, because of their broader contribution to public safety. But an interagency group found "substantial risk of misusing or overusing" items like tracked armored vehicles, high-powered firearms and camouflage could undermine trust in police.
In previewing the president's trip, the White House said that effective immediately, the federal government will no longer fund or provide armored vehicles that run on a tracked system instead of wheels, weaponized aircraft or vehicles, firearms or ammunition of .50-caliber or higher, grenade launchers, bayonets or camouflage uniforms. The federal government also is exploring ways to recall prohibited equipment already distributed.
In addition, a longer list of equipment the federal government provides will come under tighter control, including wheeled armored vehicles like Humvees, manned aircraft, drones, specialized firearms, explosives, battering rams and riot batons, helmets and shields. Starting in October, police will have to get approval from their city council, mayor or some other local governing body to obtain it, provide a persuasive explanation of why it is needed and have more training and data collection on the use of the equipment.
While this development would seem to undermine Beck's entire theory, he will presumably now work to spin this as confirmation that the conspiracy has been discovered and is now being covered up by the government.