Re: Sept 5 letter from Bob Soule, “Blame Obama for police militarization”
When you criticize someone’s opinion and use phrases such as “I’m fascinated by people like Mr. Rosenthal” or, “clearly he hasn’t been paying attention,” you ought to ensure your facts are correct. When you quote the President of the United States, you ought to have your quotations accurate.
Mr. Soule quotes Obama as saying he wanted a “civilian army, as well trained and as well armed as the military.” What Obama said during a campaign speech in July of 2008 was “to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong and just as well funded” as the military.
He was specifically referring to Americorps, the Peace Corps, and the USA Freedom Corps. All of these programs were active before he took office, two of them founded by Republican administrations. None of these are police agencies and none have received military equipment. The practice of giving military equipment to law-enforcement agencies began in 1990 under a Republican administration.
In Mr. Soule’ s defense, he did not fabricate the quote, a former Republican congressman from Georgia was the first to do it, followed quickly by Fox News and later by Glenn Beck.
The writer lives in Surfside Beach.