The Militarisation of the United States
Bush policies increase Pentagon's
role in U.S. government
Friday May 25, 2007
Under the guise of the war on terror the Bush administration has
managed to set in motion the process of militarizing the United States
by completely undermining the United States Constitution, dividing the
nation, and restructuring the intelligence and defense department positions
to appoint military officers to key leadership positions
Since 9/11, Bush has signed the Patriot
Act and the Homeland
Security Act of 2002, giving federal law enforcement agencies broad
powers to monitor citizens. The American
Civil Liberties Union and human rights group opposed both laws, arguing
"These acts infringe on Americans' civil liberties and constitutional
rights such as the rights to freedom of speech, religion, assembly and
privacy; the rights to counsel and due process; and protection from
unreasonable searches and seizures.
By taking away people's liberties, the acts help advance the
process of militarization.
On Sept. 20, 2001, President Bush during an address to a joint session
of Congress made the statement, "Either you are with us, or you are with
the terrorists." In making this statement he was applying a very old tactic
called divide and conquer. By the time the British and U.S. soldiers invaded
Iraq in March of 2003, the American population was so split and divided
that antiwar activists were considered subversive groups by the U.S. government
and unpatriotic by many fellow Americans.
Today, both Congress and President Bush have continued to fuel this division
in the mainstream media by playing in a political theater of power struggle.
This has helped to create an even greater division between the Bush administration,
Congress, and the Republican and Democratic parties, and even between
the extreme and moderate wings of each party. By fueling infighting and
division, opposition is weakened.
While the infighting continues, President George W. Bush signed the Intelligence
Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. This Act completely restructured
the Intelligence Community by abolishing the position of Director of Central
Intelligence (DCI), who was concurrently head of the CIA, and creating
the position of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), which oversees
the entire intelligence community and the National Counterterrorism Center
(NCTC)). The post of Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (D/CIA)
now reports to the DNI. On May 30 2006, General Michael V. Hayden, an
active duty officer of the United States Air Force, became the 18th Director
of the Central Intelligence Agency, a position only previously held by
The first Director of National Intelligence was John Negroponte, a career
diplomat. When Negroponte became Deputy Secretary of State on Feb. 13,
2007, he was replaced as DNI by John Michael McConnell, a retired naval
admiral. This means that the two top posts in the U.S. intelligence community
are held by active duty or retired military officers.
As Congress and Bush are duking it out in the media over the illegal invasion
of Iraq, McConnell on March 23, 2007 announced even more organizational
changes, which included designating the Chief of Staff position as the
new Director of the Intelligence Staff and establishing an Executive Committee.
The effect of this reorganization would be to give the executive branch
power for the first time in history over all intelligence activities.
To make matters even worse, on May 2007 President Bush created a new position
in the defense department for Lieutenant General Douglas E. Lute as the
Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq
and Afghanistan. This appointment represents a sort of "militarization"
of defense policy -- at the expense of the civilian Secretary
We cannot forget the infamous disaster in August 2005, Hurricane Katrina,
when President Bush urged
Congress to give the military the authority to take over during national
disasters, without state approval as mandated by American law. My research
lead me to a published research
report [PDF] conducted for the Army by the Rand Corporation and dated
2004. The report discussed the role the U.S. Army might play in such disasters
under the Department of Homeland Security. This study demonstrates that
the Bush administration was considering increasing the military's domestic
role even before Katrina.
The "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122), was signed
by President Bush on Oct. 17, 2006, allowing the president to declare
a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control
of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor
or local authorities. Title V, Subtitle B, Part II, Section 525(a) of
the JWDAA of 2007 reads, "The Secretary [of the military service] concerned
may order a member of a reserve component under the Secretary's jurisdiction
to active duty... The training or duty ordered to be performed ... may
include ... support of operations or missions undertaken by the member's
unit at the request of the President or Secretary of Defense."
On May 15 2006, Bush called for 6,000 troops to be placed along the US
border. The media helped the Bush administration accomplish this by playing
up the illegal immigration issue in the news.
The net effect of all these moves is to instill in Americans the ideology
that militarization is for the good of the nation. The same
tactic was used by the Argentine military prior to the Dirty
All this emphasis on militarization leads me to wonder about a statement
made by Bush in a joking manner after his first meeting with congressional
leaders as president-elect. "I told all four that there are going to be
some times where we don't agree with each other, but that's OK. If this
were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long
as I'm the dictator."
Was this the plan all along?
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