Be afraid America!

October 4, 2008 at 1:33 am 2 comments

Looks like Bush and his gang are up to their old tricks again. But this is potentially more worrying than any invasion of privacy if you ask me. The US Army is returning to the Homeland from Iraq. Alas, not all the troops just the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT), which has spent 35 months in Iraq patrolling here, there and everywhere.

They are not returning home for some R&R. Nope. They are returning home to….wait for it…..carry out homeland patrols in the US. What the? Yep. From October 1, for 12 months, the BCT will be under the day-to-day command of US Army North. So what I hear you say?

Well, let’s dig deeper. According to the Army Times:

“..this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.”

Note that last bit “coordinate defense support of civil authorities”. The article goes on:

“….they’ll learn new skills, use some of the ones they acquired in the war zone and more than likely will not be shot at while doing any of it. They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.”

Great to see they’ll be learning new skills but what civil unrest and crowd control are they expecting to be handling??? Do Bush and his croneys know something we don’t (although suspect) – that the meltdown of the financial system will plunge the US into Depression and the country will face riots and civil tension?

Let’s get something straight – we are talking about a standing Army inside US borders. Now obviously Bush is once again giving the finger to the Rule of Law or he’s suffering amnesia. The US has a piece of legislation called The Posse Comitatus Act. This Act was passed after the American Civil War and expressly prohibits the deployment of the US military within US borders. There are exceptions to this – the Coast Guard is exempted and military personnel can be deployed on an emergency basis, such as in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Other than this, Posse Comitatus was expressly designed to limit the powers of the US Federal Government in using the military for law enforcement. Posse Comitatus is one of the keys to democracy ensuring the US Prez cannot command an Army at will.

Have I missed a major emergency in the US? Has there been another Hurricane Katrina? If there is no emergency that would call for the military to intervene, then what on earth is a standing army doing in the US for the next 12 months?

Actually, I’m too hasty. It’s not just for 12 months. The Army Times goes on to say that after the BCT completes its mission “… expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one”.  See the penultimate word? Permanent!

After reading the article, I had to pick myself up off the floor. And then I rushed to do some research. How had Bush overturned Posse Comitatus? Seems on October 17, 2006, Bush swept away Posse Comitatus when he signed HR 5122 The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2006 (wasn’t this John Warner dude married to Elizabeth Taylor once?).

This Act allows the Prez to override State and local authorities to station troops anywhere within the borders of that grand old dame, the US of A. In other words, declare Martial Law. Jettison Democracy. Of course, Bush would argue that HR 5122 is a direct response to Hurricane Katrina, allowing more effective coordination in the wake of natural disasters. But if we read s333(A) of the Act it says:

“…restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident…”

Ah, so here we have it. HR 5122 is not about coping with natural disasters, it’s about broadening Bush’s powers by sneaking in that old chestnut “terrorist attack or incident”.

I am literally counting the days, hours and seconds until Bush departs the White House. But as I blogged about in a previous post, will Prez Obama or Prez McCain willingly give up expanded powers, particularly one that allows a President to act as a military dictator (for if you read HR 5122, that is what it comes to – the death of Posse Comitatus as a safeguard of democracy and the power to mobilise US troops within the US to put down any State or local act of insurrection, violence, civil unrest, unlawful combination, conspiracy and so on).

Where’s the valium??!!  RIP US Democracy.

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Entry filed under: Politics, United States. Tags: , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Metro  |  March 24, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    The brigade in question is on a recall status. The “mission” they are on is referred to as CCMRF (CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force). They are not a standing Army deployed on US soil, they remain at their duty station, Ft. Stewart, and continue to train for a coming deployment. Should they be needed they would only fill a logistical support role.

    “…restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident…”

    People are going to read that statement and contort it to fit their conspiracy theory. “…restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, AS A RESULT OF …….” see the kicker there? Its a free country and continue to look for evidence that the government is out to get you when they are only looking to protect you. Shame on them, right?

    Reply
  • 2. thinkingshift  |  March 24, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Metro
    As I responded to one of your previous comments (and thx for leaving them) – I am not a US citizen, I don’t live in the US. Democracy requires and allows us to ask questions – of the Government, of the military, of fellow citizens, of ourselves. I do not think that the US (or Australia for that matter, which is where I am) is as free as one might think – and so we must question laws, question Government, question any infringement on our privacy or rights, question why things are happening. THIS is what keeps the Government on its toes and doing its job of serving and protecting its citizens.

    I have no doubt that those in the US armed forces are doing the job out of honour and integrity but you are commanded, ultimately by your President. And so even people in the Armed Forces should ask questions to ensure that the job you are doing remains one of honour and integrity. That’s all anyone asks.

    Reply

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