For those who have forgotten their basic civics, the Posse Comitatus Act is a 130-year-old federal law restricting the military’s role in domestic law enforcement. Namely, they can’t take part in it. The idea originally sprung from the South wanting to get rid of the Union army after the civil war. Since then, most have agreed that it is a great way to prevent the military from overstepping its mandate (defending our borders) and it makes military coups illegal in the United States. Silly me, I still think those are good things. Enough history…
Before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, dedicating 20,000 troops to domestic response — a nearly sevenfold increase in five years — “would have been extraordinary to the point of unbelievable,” Paul McHale, assistant defense secretary for homeland defense, said in remarks last month at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. But the realization that civilian authorities may be overwhelmed in a catastrophe prompted “a fundamental change in military culture,” he said.
The Pentagon’s plan calls for three rapid-reaction forces to be ready for emergency response by September 2011. The first 4,700-person unit, built around an active-duty combat brigade based at Fort Stewart, Ga., was available as of Oct. 1, said Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., commander of the U.S. Northern Command.
If funding continues, two additional teams will join nearly 80 smaller National Guard and reserve units made up of about 6,000 troops in supporting local and state officials nationwide. All would be trained to respond to a domestic chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive attack, or CBRNE event, as the military calls it.Spencer S. Hsu and Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writers
I’m with Cato Institute Vice President Gene Healy. He warned of “a creeping militarization” of homeland security. I mean, isn’t this what the National Guard is supposed to do? Perhaps this is why we shouldn’t have them guarding other nations, n’est-ce pas?
“There’s a notion that whenever there’s an important problem, that the thing to do is to call in the boys in green,” Healy said, “and that’s at odds with our long-standing tradition of being wary of the use of standing armies to keep the peace.”
Here, here, Healy! Just like when Bush suspended Habeus Corpus (see video below), we are seeing our long-standing freedoms eviscerated before our glassy eyes. Make sure you note that this is already happening. The first troops were deployed inside the United States in October. The Pentagon saw no protestors in the streets following that “soft open,” so they are now expanding their program. Don’t let this lamest-of-ducks President or the terrified flock of ducks in Congress inflict our military upon us at home. Take a moment to contact your own, personal lame duck. Use the handy form above.
Take back the reins! Demand your freedoms! Anything less is un-american!