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Corporate Media Smear Mayor Who Vetoed Military Urban Warfare Drill In His Town

Troops barred from "playing war in Toledo"

Steve Watson
February 14, 2008

The Mayor of Toledo, Ohio has been castigated by the mainstream media for taking the decision to order 200 Michigan based Marines out of his town just before the unit was supposed to start a weekend of urban warfare training downtown.

Mayor Carty Finkbeiner expelled the members of Company A, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines from Grand Rapids, Michigan last Friday because he did not think it a good idea to have uniformed soldiers drilling in a highly visible area as it may have disrupted and frightened residents.

In addition, despite police knowledge of the scheduled exercises, the mayor told media that he was not informed of the exercises until the night before they were due to begin.

NBC reports:

Police issued a press release earlier in the week saying the Marines would be wearing green camouflage uniforms, operate military vehicles, carry rifles, perform foot patrols, and fire blank ammunition during the exercise.

NBC also spoke to Jack Smith who recalled that after the Marines last visit, he and the mayor had a heated exchange about the training, during which the mayor told him he did not want marines "playing war in Toledo".

Mayor Finkbeiner said downtown, particularly on a weekday afternoon, was not suitable for military staging operations since up to 14,000 people would have been departing their office buildings at the same time. He also pointed out that thousands of schoolchildren would have been transferring buses downtown Friday just as the exercise would have begun, reported the Toledo Blade.

However, since the story broke, the mainstream media has enacted a sustained smear campaign against Finkbeiner. Check out the following one sided reports from CBS, Fox and CNN.

Note how two of the networks use the same hand picked clips of the same few residents who said they thought the decision to expel the marines was wrong, without providing any counter examples.

Some of the residents interviewed believed it was right for the marines to be in their cities for their own "protection", clearly unaware that the use of military for law enforcement violates the Posse Comitatus Act.

NBC rounded off the one sided affair with its "fair accurate honest" poll, showing that 89% of people want the military running around in their town conducting urban warfare training.

In response to the criticism and even small protests in Toledo, Finkbeiner said “Anybody who suggests that this man is in some way, shape, or form not loyal to this country or not loyal to the military of this country, well that person is just a plain baboon who doesn’t know me in any way, shape, or form and what I stand for,”

In further developments, the Mayor's spokesman, Brian Schwartz, has since been suspended for three weeks for allegedly using a vulgarity while speaking off air during a radio interview concerning the controversy. It appears that Schwartz was angry at the one sided coverage the story has received.

The military has purpose built facilities for training, it is unacceptable and unlawful to have troops training on the streets of towns and cities in America. Nevertheless, the media castigates the idea of preventing it from occurring.

Reporting on this saga, Jim Kouri of interviewed former and current police chiefs who believe the motive for training US troops inside American cities is more sinister:

“The police power has traditionally been reserved for the states. The fact that we’re allowing military troops to train in US cities is a violation of that tradition. We don’t need federal troops to intervene in matters that should be handled by local police officers, state troopers and the National Guard,” one former detective states.

“The increasing use of Urban Warfare Training Exercises, I believe, desensitizes both the public to the deployment of military forces in their own neighborhoods,” warns a police chief, whose mayor endorses the use of military forces within the US.

“It also desensitizes military and police personnel so that they will accept what was once considered unacceptable,” another police chief comments.

We have previously reported on the coordinated program of urban warfare drilling in America and how such activity has increased in tandem with an growing effort to erode the ancient law of Posse Comitatus.

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