Do you really believe that cops with no hesitancy about Tasering college kids for asking a question, studying in a library, skateboarding, or just because they ask for it would have any problems using so-called "non-lethal devices" (that have killed over 400 people over the past five years) or worse to enforce a martial law declaration?
C'mon. Let's get real here. Cops believe that civilians are The Enemy. Cops have their own culture, which overlaps with civilian culture only at the edges. Cops have their own values, which are not civilian values. Any cop who has any objection to enforcing ridiculous, unconstitutional laws has been forced out of the profession by the War on Drugs, which violates the Constitution in oh so many ways by outlawing consensual commerce between adults, seizing property without compensation or any meaningful due process, removing voting rights in violation of the 14th Amendment, and so forth. If a cop's chain of command told him to enforce a dusk to dawn curfew in order to prevent rioting over a Presidential decree that elections were cancelled and Congress dismissed due to "terrorist threats", he would do it -- period. Using all force allowed by departmental policies. If a cop's chain of command ordered him to arrest Duncan Black of Atrios fame as a member of a "terror cell" and escort him to a USAF cargo jet for processing to Guantanamo Bay, he would do so, without a thought, or if he did have a thought, said thought would be "I'll just do my job, and if he's innocent the courts will free him." If a cop was ordered to arrest a sitting judge (who had the timerity to rule that arresting Duncan Black was illegal) and escort him to that jet it'd be the same response.
The basic problem is that we have allowed our government to get away from us, through apathy, ignorance, and fear. No government survives without the willing aquiescence of the majority of the people. We have allowed our fear to allow ambitious politicians into stampeding us into giving them more and more power, of which the police are the enforcers of that power. The disconnect between the police and the citizenry they are supposed to serve is not because police are inherently evil, it is because we have allowed our government to become disconnected from the citizenry and the police are, in the end, government employees who similarly have become disconnected. The case of health care is a good example. The majority of Americans want universal health care. They don't want patchwork systems of competing HMO's and PPO's and payment approvals and so forth, they want to be able to go into any doctor's office, anywhere, when they get sick, and get taken care of. Yet the plan of the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton, is to force people at gunpoint to subsidize the private insurance industry by requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance.
As long as the majority of Americans continue to be more interested in the latest episode of their favorite "reality TV" show than in who rules them, we run the risk of martial law and permanent loss of our freedoms, and our police forces and military, despite all the propaganda about how they "protect our freedoms", would happily cooperate in enforcing martial law. Unfortunately, I know of no way to make apathetic, ignorant, fearful people less apathetic, ignorant, or fearful. Other than shock treatment like what happened in the 1929-1932 time frame, which ended Republican rule of America for a generation. Are we there yet? I suspect that in the next few years, we'll find out.
-- Badtux the Ramblin' Penguin