More U.S. Military Units Assigned For Homeland Security
Northcom has announced that two more U.S. military units will be assigned for domestic homeland security missions, bringing the total number of combat ready service members operating inside the U.S. to around 4,700, as fears grow about the increasing militarization of law enforcement.
The announcement follows the controversy surrounding a September 8 Army Times report (revised on September 30), which revealed that the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, fresh from combat duties in Iraq, would be operating inside America for tasks including "civil unrest and crowd control," a detail that was later denied by Northcom despite the concession that forces would be armed with both non-lethal and lethal weapons as well as having access to tanks.
"In the next three years the military plans to activate and train an estimated 4,700 service members for specialized domestic operations, according to Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of U.S. Northern Command, which was created in 2002 for homeland defense missions," reports the Colorado Independent.
“It’s to help us manage the consequences of a large-scale event,” said Renuart. “We have one [unit] now trained and equipped and assigned to the Northern Command. We’ll grow a second one this calendar year of 2009 and a third one in the calendar year 2010 so we can provide the nation three sets of capabilities that could respond to an event of the size of 9/11 or larger.”
But as Mike German, national security counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union’s legislative office in Washington., D.C., points out, “This isn’t a military police brigade or a civil affairs brigade. This is actually a combat brigade being assigned a domestic mission.”
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“It’s fine for the general to say that,” said counter-terrorist operations specialist German. “But we want to know what the policies actually are, what the roles are and what the regulations are to see whether this is actually complying with the law.”
The ACLU has filed a Freedom Of Information Request demanding more information on the purpose and scope of military assets under Northcom control being deployed domestically.
Despite Northcom's insistence that the deployments are purely related to natural disaster and mass casualty response, the original Army Times report quoted 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier as saying that the unit would be trained in the use of "nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals" for the purposes of "crowd and traffic control".
The use of U.S. troops in law enforcement duties is a complete violation of the Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act, which substantially limit the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement unless under precise and extreme circumstances.
Section 1385 of the Posse Comitatus Act states, "Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."
Under the John Warner Defense Authorization Act, signed by President Bush on October 17, 2006, the law was changed to state, "The President may employ the armed forces to restore public order in any State of the United States the President determines hinders the execution of laws or deprives people of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law or opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws."
However, these changes were repealed in their entirety by HR 4986: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, reverting back to the original state of the Insurrection Act of 1807. Despite this repeal, President Bush attached a signing statement saying that he did not feel bound by the repeal.
Fears of active duty military assets being called upon to administer martial law in the aftermath of an economic collapse or a large scale terrorist attack were heightened after we revealed the existence of a FEMA-run program which is training Pastors and other religious representatives to become secret police enforcers who teach their congregations to "obey the government" in preparation for a declaration of martial law, property and firearm seizures, and forced relocation.
Debunkers and "urban myth" websites - such as The Museum of Hoaxes - dismissed the story as a hoax, yet it was later confirmed in triplicate by mainstream news reports.
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