Editor's note: This story has been updated with significant additional information. See below.
A former member of the United States Marine Corps on Monday night voiced his serious concerns about the U.S. "building a domestic Army" during a local city council meeting in Concord, N.H. In his impassioned testimony, the retired Marine said he believes that the recent push for local police forces to bulk up on military-grade equipment is disturbing and represents a very real threat to Americans.
His fears bring to mind something President Barack Obama actually suggested while running for president in July 2008:
“We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”
That statement from then-Sen. Obama may have been on the mind of one participant at the recent Concord City Council meeting.
This past Monday night, Concord, N.H. held its monthly city council meeting. At the end of the fairly typical gathering, during the public session, citizens were allowed to give testimony (stand and speak to the council and the citizens gathered). One speaker's comments have started to go viral on the web.
These comments reportedly came from a former colonel in the United States Marines Corps. The still unidentified former military man said he was concerned about the way America's domestic police forces have started looking more and more like the U.S. military. His statements were in response to the local police chief's request for the military grade vehicle - a Ballistic Engineered Armed Response Counter Attack Truck. These vehicles are also known as BearCats.
The council was supposed to vote on this request for the BearCat during the meeting.
The speaker claimed to have worked as a military defense coordinator – someone who was training the Iraqi army. You can watch the 3:09 video and read a full transcript below.
A full transcript of what the former Marine said to the crowd reads:
We don’t need this.
I’m a retired… I was a retired Colonel in the Marine Corps.
I saw a sign hanging in the back that said we want “More Mayberry, Less Fallujah.”
I spent a year in Fallujah. You know what, when I first got there, I didn’t have armored Humvees.
I spent…I traveled over 10,000 miles over there. Sometimes you had to deal with and go with what you had. That’s part of the job, for one.
And second thing was… I was a Ministry of Defense Coordinator. Where job was to man, train and equip the Iraqi Army…and I can tell you right now…Somebody had the idea to get rid of the Iraqi Army…When we rebuilt it, we did everything we could to make it as strong as possible. And I’ll tell you right now, Homeland Security would kick their butts in a week.
What’s happening here is we’re building a domestic military because it’s unlawful and unconstitutional to use American troops on American soil. So what we’re doing is building a military.
My best friend, who is a SWAT officer in Nashua (NH), came to Iraq with me to train the Iraqi police, sent me a picture of him in the media, on the streets of Watertown, MASS, wearing the exact same combat gear we had in Iraq, only was a different color.
The way we do things in the military is called “task organization.” You take a command and then you attach units to it in order to accomplish the mission. What’s happening is, Homeland Security is pre-staging gear, equipment. What they’re trying to do is use standardized vehicles, standardized equipment.
I saw a picture in the Boston Globe during the Boston Marathon bombing, where there was a State police officer…actually there were two officers, they both had identical helmets, flak jackets, weapons, everything I wore in Iraq, only it was all blue. The officer on one side had a big patch that said Massachusetts State Police…the other officer next to him…his patch said Boston Police.
What we’re doing here, and let’s not kid about it, we’re building a domestic army and we’re shrinking the military because the government is afraid of it’s own citizens.
The last time more than 10 terrorists were in the same place at the same time was September 11th. And all these vehicles in the world wouldn’t have prevented it or helped anybody.
So I don’t know where we’re gonna use this many vehicles and this many troops. Concord is just one little cog in the wheel. We’re building an army over here and I can’t believe people aren’t seeing it.
Is everybody blind? (crowd erupts in applause – “thank you” is heard from someone close to the camera).
The colonel offered to take questions from the crowd. None were asked. As he left the mic, Martino closed by stating, "My wife always tells my kids -- there's always free cheese in the mousetrap."
One video posted online claims that a scheduled vote on the purchase of the BearCat truck has been postponed until a meeting on September 9th.
TheBlaze has contacted the municipal offices in Concord and requested a copy of the transcripts in order to identify and contact the mystery Marine. As soon as we receive the transcript, we will update the story with more from the Marine.
Update: Several Blaze readers have reached out to TheBlaze with additional information on this story, including the identity of the retired Marine, Col. Pete Martino. We have reached out to Martino and are still waiting for a reply.
We also heard from Carla Gericke, the President of the Free State Project. She describes her group as, "a peaceful movement to concentrate 20,000 liberty lovers in New Hampshire." According to Gericke, her group was also cited as a "domestic terror threat" by the Concord city council's petition for a grant to purchase the $258,000 Leno BearCat vehicle pictured above. You can see the mention of "Free Staters" in Section 1, paragraph B of the application.
The Free Staters were in attendance at the Concord city council meeting. And as you can see from this photo of them approaching the building, they appear to be a well organized, and well heeled group. Not exactly along the lines of the typical OWS crowd.
Carla was one of the 48 people who testified at the city council meeting. She reports to TheBlaze that 44 of the 48 were against the proposed purchase of the BearCat, with only 4 people speaking in favor of the idea.
Note: Any references to "ex-Marine" in this story were swapped out and replaced with retired or former Marine.
H/T - FreeStateProject.org
Follow Mike Opelka on Twitter - @stuntbrain