In this week's issue, Jon Ward puts the spotlight on John McCain and finds the longtime senator both pursuing new fights with characteristic grit and reflecting on his legacy.
"McCain knows he is living out the closing chapters of a storied career," Jon writes, in a story that sweeps from McCain's youth as a Navy fighter pilot and Vietnam prisoner of war to his 2008 presidential nomination and subsequent loss to Barack Obama. At 76, the man who once wrote that earning the respect of his father and grandfather -- who cast long shadows as four-star admirals in the U.S. Navy -- was "the most lasting ambition of my life," is still raring for a fight, from his proposals for immigration reform to his cross-examination of Hillary Clinton on the Benghazi attacks. In an interview with Jon, McCain speaks about points of tension with newcomers in the GOP senate, including Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, and opens up about his future prospects. "I do think that I have seen individuals, men, who were at the top of their game and stayed to the point where they were not only not at the top of their game, but they were kind of objects of our sympathy," he says. "I don't want to be one of those."
Elsewhere in the issue, Radley Balko writes about the increasing militarization of our police forces, as the American Civil Liberties Union is now looking into the ways police are using weapons that were once used only for war.
The numbers tell the story of a rapid rise in this troubling trend, starting in the late 1960s when the first SWAT team formed in Los Angeles. By 1982, 60 percent of cities with 50,000 or more people had a SWAT team, rising to nearly 90 percent of cities by 1995.
Radley points to a powerful factor driving this trend: the ability of politicians to appear "tough on crime" by securing large grants for their hometown police departments. But fewer people are asking whether these grants, and the high-powered weapons they bring to communities across the country, are good for the people they're designed to protect. Radley introduces us to Keene, a small New Hampshire town where residents protested the proposed purchase of an armored personnel carrier that would be parked outside City Hall. As one resident put it, "Keene is a beautiful place. It's gorgeous, and it's safe, and we love it here. We just don't want to live in the kind of place where there's an armored personnel carrier parked outside of City Hall ... It's just not who we are."
This story appears in Issue 42 of our weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, in the iTunes App store, available Friday, March 29.