A Phil-for-an-ill Blog

February 11, 2010

Robocop (1987) – Promoting the Militarization of Police


Notice the compelling subtitle: The FUTURE of Law Enforcement

– What is Predictive Programming?
– Alan Watt – Predictive Programming; Theory and Practice
– Vyzygoth Interviews Phillip and Paul Collins – Invoking the Beyond (Predictive Programming)

A decent synopsis can be read on the corresponding Wikipedia page.

According to a Police magazine, “Police officers working in patrol vehicles, dressed in urban tactical gear and armed with automatic weapons are here, and they’re here to stay.” puppetgov.com

Although this review is critical of certain aspects of law enforcement, it should by no means be interpreted as a direct attack on the very concept of police. I sincerely respect the police and I am quite convinced that in today’s world, society cannot do without the institution of police as a means to safeguard and protect the citizens. I think society has not (yet) reached a sufficient level of maturity to be able to do away with law enforcement as a whole. And so I do not advocate a police-less state, nor should this critical address be understood to be an article of such advocacy. However, I have sincere reservations regarding the use of excessive police force (e.g. police brutality) possibly culminating in the formation of a Police State, in which the police is to be used not for the people but against the people. It is with the looming threat of the Police State in mind, that inspired me to express my criticism and grievances in the form of this movie review.

The movie is already a bit dated and the characters are remarkably, but typically for b-movies, rather 2D and shallowly portrayed. The plot is likewise rather simple and unsophisticated and it revolves around a crispy clear distinction between good and evil. This theatrical given made it quite easy to spot the predictive programming elements; which all can all be seen to honor the theme of the spotless vindicating good cop versus the consistently evil crime offenders.

I will address the several predictive programming elements with the aid of several representative screen shots taken from the movie.

The movie starts at a police precinct with the announcement of the killing of a police officer in the line of duty. This act of brutality committed by the public may be read to help serve as the moral ground for an increased defensiveness towards a hostile and dangerous public.

We see a good-looking, well-mannered and indeed overall exemplary young police officer who has his heart and mind dedicated to “protect and serve” the public. Observe that he, and his female companion colleague, wear protective armor. If this was not yet commonplace in the 80s, which I presume to be the case, then the adoption of protective gear by the police can be understood to be one element of predictive programming.
During an extremely violent encounter with a band of heinous villains, the protagonist is brutally shot, execution style, and led to the very brink of death. No doubt his armor-wear contributed to his narrow survival, or so the viewer is led to believe. Indeed, by the near survival of the protagonist the viewer is encouraged to accept the necessity for the police to wear armor gear so as to have protection against armed and dangerous thuggish members of the public.

Brought back from a comatose vegetating state, the new and improved protagonist awakens in a virtually invulnerable and powerful robotic exoskeleton that comes with all kinds of helpful gadgetry that will prove to be useful in the following fight against dangerous criminal elements of the public. And so Robocop is born. Note that free-will of the protagonist has been completely replaced with mandatory (computerized) observance of the three directives given in the picture. The third directive is the most interesting because it compels Robocop to unconditionally serve the state even if its laws have become that of a tyrannical police state.

Over the course of the next half an hour or so, we see a showcasing of the full capability of this “new and improved” version of the police officer.

Robocop displays superhuman strength and bad guy bullets simply bounce right off of his impregnable armor.

This scene is so blatantly symbolic that I hesitate to call it a subliminal. The camera angle is such that Robocop has the appearance of a giant, who faces bad guys rendered minuscule in comparison. Notice also the ominous and machismo kind of shadow that Robocop casts over the bad guys. This makes him look even more impressive and supreme.

And of course, damsels-in-distress love Robocop.

Apart from effortlessly overcoming street hoodlums, Robocop has more tricks up his titanium sleeve. While managing to hold up a sizable portion of the local police, even a dangerous hostage-keeper armed with a machine gun and a big mouth, cannot stop Robocop...(1)

(2)...Aided by a nifty kind of infrared vision, so as to be able to detect people through concrete structures, Robocop is quick to come to the rescue...

(3)...and without hesitation immobilizes the assailant with a spectacular counter-assault in which he simply comes barging right through the wall. Robocop's success in neutralizing this dangerous hostage taker vindicates the use of obtrusive and privacy invading infrared vision in the eyes of the viewer.

And of course besides women in dire straits, Robocop is best of friends with the little ones. But hold on a minute. Is it me or is there a not-so-proper subliminal contained in this particular shot? Note that the entire scene is shot from this particular awkward angle and camera angles are usually consciously chosen in movies... You decide.

In the semi-final showdown, Robocop one-by-one effortlessly neutralizes the bad guys with immaculately aimed gunfire. This further confirms Robocop’s (moral) supremacy over the (savage) hordes of evil bad guys.

This show-down takes place in a plant where illegal drugs are manufactured. Robocop manages to easily take down its entire "staff." In this particular shot you see his foot crush drug ampules of which its symbolism clearly is morally stacked against the proliferation of illegal drugs. The depiction of Robocop's ultimate righteousness versus the inherent cruelty of the evil drug manufacturers, encourages the viewer to accept that the persecution of street drugs and its army of "lowlife" dispensers is a proper and desirable thing to do.

It is easy to relate the robotic kind of motor skills of Robocop, where the human touch has been traded for cold obedience and stellar discipline, with that of regular military officers. Also notice that the face-mask of Robocop foreshadows the facelessness of, for example, SWAT police members. I suspect that since face-masks guarantee the anonymity of the police officer, it therefore aids them to act with less care towards the public; the possibility of persecution by the public vanishes with guaranteed anonymity.

The Militarization of Police

It is easily understood that this movie serves as a banner movie for a new kind of police force. The depiction of an extremely vicious and cruel criminal environment justifies the advent of a sort of cop that can meet those extreme challenges. As such, Robocop embodies a kind of Police man in which all public-minded emotions have been replaced by cold, calculated and indeed ruthless efficiency. Although, in reality robotic cops do not exist, the mentality of cops seems to have shifted towards a greater lack of concern and caring for the welfare of the public. It is this kind of militant police mentality that is predictively programmed into the mind of the young viewer. The movie dates from the 80s and that suggests that the average street-cop of today was probably just a kid back then and, while being at an age at which one is highly susceptible to TV and media propaganda, the odds are that the programming in all likelihood was effective.

Here are some excerpts drawn from an article posted at puppetgov.com, which basically confirm the rationalizations for the predictive programming contained in “Robocop” [boldfaced emphasis is mine]:

Over the past 20 years there has been a dramatic expansion of the role of the military in law enforcement activity. In 1981 Congress passed the Military Cooperation with Law Enforcement Officials Act.23

That law amended the Posse Comitatus Act insofar as it authorized the military to “assist” civilian police in the enforcement of drug laws. The act encouraged the military to (a) make available equipment, military bases, and research facilities to federal, state, and local police; (b) train and advise civilian police on the use of the equipment; and (c) assist law enforcement personnel in keeping drugs from entering the country. The act also authorized the military to share information acquired during military operations with civilian law enforcement agencies.

As the drug war escalated throughout the 1980s, the military was drawn further and further into the prohibition effort by a series of executive and congressional initiatives: In 1986 President Ronald Reagan issued a National Decision Security Directive designating drugs as an official threat to “national security,” which encouraged a tight-knit relationship between civilian [police and the military].4

As the drug war escalated throughout the 1980s, the military was drawn further and further into the prohibition effort..law enforcement and the military.24 puppetgov.com

The 1980s and 1990s saw marked changes in the number of permanent SWAT teams across the country, in their mission and deployment, and in their tactical armament..An even more disturbing development reported in the Kraska-Kappeler study, however, is the growing tendency of police departments to use SWAT units in routine policing activity. The Fresno SWAT unit, for example, sends its 40-person team, with full military dress and gear, into the inner city “war zone” to deal with problems of drugs, gangs, and crime. One survey respondent described his department’s use of SWAT teams in the following way: “We’re into saturation patrols in hot spots. We do a lot of our work with the SWAT unit because we have bigger guns. We send out two, two-to-four- men cars, we look for minor violations and do jump-outs, either on people on the street or automobiles. After we jump-out the second car provides periphery cover with an ostentatious display of weaponry. We’re sending a clear message: if the shootings don’t stop, we’ll shoot someone.”puppetgov.com

Because of their close collaboration with the military, SWAT units are taking on the warrior mentality of our military’s special forces. The so-called war on drugs and other martial metaphors are turning high-crime areas into “war zones,” citizens into potential enemies, and police officers into soldiers. Preparing the ground for the 1994 technology transfer agreement between the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice, Attorney General Reno addressed the defense and intelligence community. In her speech, Reno compared the drug war to the Cold War, and the armed and dangerous enemies abroad to those at home: “So let me welcome you to the kind of war our police fight every day. And let me challenge you to turn your skills that served us so well in the Cold War to helping us with the war we’re now fighting daily in the streets of our towns and cities across the Nation.” puppetgov.com

Departmental SWAT teams have accepted the military as a model for their behavior and outlook, which is distinctly impersonal and elitist; American streets are viewed as the “front” and American citizens as the “enemy.” The sharing of training and technology by the military and law enforcement agencies has produced a shared mindset, and the mindset of the warrior is simply not appropriate for the civilian police officer charged with enforcing the law. The soldier confronts an enemy in a life-or-death situation. The soldier learns to use lethal force on the enemy, both uniformed and civilian, irrespective of age or gender. The soldier must sometimes follow orders unthinkingly, acts in concert with his comrades, and initiates violence on command. That mentality, with which new recruits are strenuously indoctrinated in boot camp, can be a matter of survival to the soldier and the nation at war.

The civilian law enforcement officer, on the other hand, confronts not an “enemy” but individuals who, like him, are both subject to the nation’s laws and protected by the Bill of Rights. Although the police officer can use force in life-threatening situations, the Constitution and numerous Supreme Court rulings have circumscribed the police officer’s direct use of force, as well as his power of search and seizure.59

In terms of violence, the police officer’s role is, or should be, purely reactive. When a police officer begins to think like a soldier, tragic consequences, such as the loss of innocent life at Waco, will result.

After some controversial SWAT shootings spawned several wrongful death lawsuits against the police department of Albuquerque, New Mexico, the city hired Professor Sam Walker of the University of Nebraska to study its departmental practices. According to Walker: “The rate of killings by the police was just off the charts. . . . They had an organizational culture that led them to escalate situations upward rather than deescalating.The mindset of the warrior is simply not appropriate for the civilian police officer charged with enforcing the law..61?60puppetgov.com

Government Involvement in Creating the Drug Problem

There are a number of important testimonies and resources available on the Internet that lend credence to the notion that it was the government itself who helped create the problem of illegal drugs in the US. If true, which does seem to be the case, then it can be inferred that the drug problem and the consequential “war on drugs” was all planned to happen.

As to the reason why, one only needs to ask who stands to benefit of such treasonous and deeply immoral initiatives. First off, the police forces engaged in fighting drug related crime benefit greatly of course since the justification to lay claim on extra government funding as well as expand its powers, has been presented on a silver platter. Secondly, the prison industrial complex also benefits greatly as new prisons will need to be build to house all the new waves of drug offenders and petty drug dealers.

And so, under the self-catalyzed pretext of a war on drugs and, by affiliation, also the persecution of gangs, the fledgling Police State has gained a systematic incentive to develop itself (out of proportion). All the while, needless to say, all the “nurturing costs” are relegated to the shoulders of the tax payer.

Here’s a grasp of the evidence incriminating the government for creating the drug problem in the streets of the US:

Gary Webb on C.I.A. Trafficking of Cocaine

Michael Ruppert confronts CIA director about Drug Laundering

Crack the CIA

CIA Torture Jet crashed with 4 Tons of COCAINE

Mena Connection: Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA, Drug smuggling

Also this Dutch documentary is an interesting watch:

War on Drugs (The Prison Industrial Complex) (1999)

Police Brutality

Another unfortunate consequence of the militarization of police is of course, the unsavory practice called police brutality. Youtube features an abundance of videos detailing and reporting this brutally sad contemporary phenomenon.

Here is a small selection:

More cases of police brutality can be gleaned from brainz.org. Also see the “Police Brutality in Pittsburgh After the G20” PrisonPlanet article.

My other analyses (oldest first, newest last):

Children of Men (2006)
300 (2006)
28 Weeks Later (2007)
Soylent Green (1973)
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
The Kingdom (2007)
The Invasion (2007)
Shoot em Up (2007)
John Rambo (2008 )
I, Robot (2004)
Cloverfield (2008 )
Conspiracy Theory (1997)
Starship Troopers 3 – Marauder (2008 )
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008 )
Code 46 (2003)
Equilibrium (2003)
Gattaca (1997)
Minority Report (2002)
V for Vendetta (2005)
Things to Come (1936)
Swordfish (2001)
Independence Day (1996)
Death Race (2008 )
Bee Movie (2007)
The Happening (2008 )
Cyborg Girl – Boku no kanojo wa saib?gu (2008 )
Transformers (2007)
Survivors (2008 ) – BBC TV Series – Part 1of6
Survivors (2008 ) – BBC TV Series – Part 2of6
Survivors (2008 ) – BBC TV Series – Part 3of6
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008 )
I Am Legend (2007)
Robocop (1987) – Promoting the Militarization of Police
Dark Knight (2008) – Excusing the Rude & Stoic Strongman Crime Fighter

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