Over the last 20 years, one direct consequence of the “war on drugs” has been the militarization of civilian American law enforcement. Confusion of police functions with military functions has had dangerous-and all too predictable-results. As the police chief of Albuquerque succinctly told The New York Times in March, “If [cops] have a mind-set that the goal is to take out a citizen, it will happen.”

Lest that sound like reckless fear-mongering, remember what did happen when a group of federal law enforcement officers, with the “benefit” of military advice and training, tried to execute a simple arrest and search warrant in Waco, Texas: In the ultimate conflagration, 49 adults and 27 children perished.

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