In 1990, when Dick Cheney was Secretary of Defense, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contained Section 1208, authorizing the Secretary of Defense to "transfer to Federal and State agencies personal property of the Department of Defense, including small arms and ammunition, that the Secretary determines is suitable for use by such agencies in counter-drug activities; and excess to the needs of the Department of Defense." The "1208 Program" thus established, was updated in 1996 and became the "1033 Program" after Section 1033 of that year's NDAA. 1033 created a Law Enforcement Support Office within the Defense Logistics Agency to manage the dispursal.
Not surprisingly, given Dick Cheney's close ties to major defense contractors, the program was boon to the arms industry. Police and sheriffs departments around the country received old military hardware, including humvees and other armored vehicles, which required ongoing maintenance contracts, spare parts, etc. The program clearly established a militarization of police and sheriffs forces that has proceeded apace ever since. I am told that the biggest expansion of the 1033 Program has occurred under the present Obama Administration. According to a report in Newsweek on Aug. 15, so far $5.1b in military hardware has been transferred to the local police since the outset of the program. The Defense Logistics Agency, which coordinates the dispursal of the Pentagon equipment to the police and sheriffs have rebuffed efforts by the ACLU to obtain the list of which departments have requested access to tactical equipment like M16s, MRAPS, and grenade launchers. According to the Defense Logistic Agency's own website, half a billion dollars in equipment was passed to law enforcement agencies in 2013 alone. The New York Times reported in June that the withdrawal of US combat troops from Iraq and Afghanistan has accelerated the delivery of military hardware to the local police and sheriffs. "Former tools of combat--M16 rifles, grenade launchers, silencers and more--are ending up in local police departments, often with little public notice." Some police departments have even received military aircraft, in addition to night vision scopes, armored cars and camouflage gear. In addition, many local police departments, including the Ferguson police, have received additional military equipment via grants from the Department of Homeland Security, including the APCs used recently in Ferguson.
But the 1033 Program tells only half of the story. Not only are police and sheriffs departments encouraged to adopt military hardware for counter-narcotics and now counter-terror operations. They are being offered specialty training in Israel under the sponsorship of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). Both the St. Louis County Police Department and the St. Louis Police Department have participated in the training programs in Israel. Journalist Max Blumenthal has labeled this process the "Israelification of America's security apparatus."
According to the ADL's own website, since 2004, over 175 American law enforcement officers have been sent to Israel--all expenses paid--to attend ADL's National Counter-Terrorism Seminar" where they "study first hand Israel's tactics and strategies... from senior commanders in the Israeli National Police, experts from Israel's intelligence and security services, and the Israeli Defense Forces." All told, executives from 100 American law enforcement agencies have participated in the past decade alone in the ADL program.
In the same decade, JINSA has hosted a parallel program, their Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP) which "takes delegations of senior law enforcement executives to Israel to study methods and observe techniques used in preventing and reacting to acts of terrorism." JINSA claims to have sent 9.500 to Israel under the LEEP program since 2004. And many more American police and sheriffs have been brought into JINSA seminars in the United States, where Israeli experts have been imported to train and indoctrinate American cops in the Israeli approach to counter-terrorism. If the recent razing of Gaza is any indication of the kind of training provided, the process of militarization of American law enforcement has gone a long way, just in the past decade. ADL has been conducting its program for at least the past 30 years. The program came under scrutiny in 1992, when the San Francisco District Attorney opened a criminal investigation into one San Francisco Police officer who had been outright recruited to spy for Israel and had illegally obtained California Department of Motor Vehicle records and other confidential data on thousands of individuals, including labor and civil rights activists, pro-Palestinian academics and activists and anti-apartheid organizers (that data was passed on through a Los Angeles private detective on the ADL payroll to South Africa's Bureau of State Security for lucrative payments).