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View Full Version : Posse comitatus coming to an end?


divemedic
December 1, 2008, 11:35 AM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27989275/

The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.

Does anyone here think that these troops will be used solely for emergency response to terror, or will "mission creep" cause them to be used to enforce laws? What effect will this have in enforcing laws such as the expected AWB that the Obama administration is surely contemplating?

hogdogs
December 1, 2008, 12:10 PM
A kind of adventurous sort myself... I know that 20,000 soldiers without something to occupy their time are gonna find something to do;) My first thought when hearing of this was a different term but "mission creep" suits better here on TFL!
Brent

azredhawk44
December 1, 2008, 12:12 PM
IBTL. :p

Some pretty heavy extrapolation to go from NBC response duties to door-to-door gun seizure due to a particular administration's political leanings.

For the record though, I do favor State/National Guard forces being prepared for these duties, and recalled from abroad. Send the 20K federal armed forces personnel to Iraq/Afghanistan to replace 20K National Guardsmen that are stationed over there.

I would appreciate Federal training standards being adopted, State/NatGuard forces being trained, and mobilization authority in the hands of Governors.

No New Jersey army recruits in Arizona please... I want Arizona guardsmen responding to Arizona emergencies.

Te Anau
December 1, 2008, 12:15 PM
I hope all of these troops get stationed along the Mexican border right after the mined 100 yard wide "no-mans" land (I've been advocating for years) gets constructed.That's where we need American troops. :)
And for those who aren't sure.....
1878, U.S. federal law that makes it a crime to use the military as a domestic police force in the United States under most circumstances. The law was designed to end the use of federal troops to supervise elections in the post–Civil War South. The posse comitatus (from which the term posse derives) is the power or force of the county, and refers to citizens above the age of 15, who may be summoned by a sheriff to enforce the law. The act specifically prohibited the use of the U.S. army as a posse comitatus; the prohibition was later extended by legislation to the air force and by government directive to the marine corps and navy. The restriction does not apply to the coast guard during peacetime or the national guard when it is under state authority. There are legal exceptions to the law, particularly in aspects of drug law enforcement, in emergency situations, and in cases of rebellion.
Who knows how Obama will interpret the law.:confused:

divemedic
December 1, 2008, 12:29 PM
Exactly- there was a question here a week or so ago about how the President could use an EO to enforce a gun ban. Once congress authorizes the President to use military forces for domestic law enforcement, an EO would then be able to direct those forces to do whatever law enforcement duties the President sees fit. That to me is dangerous, no matter who the president is.

Edited to add:

According to the article, the first unit is a unit from Fort Stewart. Fort Stewart houses the 3rd Infantry Division. That is hardly a unit that specializes in recovery and rescue.

A/C Guy
December 1, 2008, 09:21 PM
There are legal exceptions to the law, particularly in aspects of drug law enforcement, in emergency situations, and in cases of rebellion.The most likely scenario would be an attempted confiscation of firearms using local law enforcement and the feds. Then a declaration that the gun owners have form a rebellion or started a revolution. That would be followed by proclamation of martial law and an explanation of the legal exception quoted above. Then the direct orders from the commander in chief to use the army to quell the rebellion and confiscate all firearms.

Tennessee Gentleman
December 1, 2008, 10:25 PM
This is a good read about the act and why it might be used to good effect today: http://www.homelandsecurity.org/journal/articles/Trebilcock.htm

The act is a statutory creation, not a constitutional prohibition. Accordingly, the act can and has been repeatedly circumvented by subsequent legislation. Since 1980, Congress and the president have significantly eroded the prohibitions of the act in order to meet a variety of law enforcement challenges.

divemedic
December 2, 2008, 07:55 AM
Of course it is a statutory creation, but that certainly does not mean that it will not be circumvented. Which, by the way, is the exact thing the anti-federalists were worried about, and the reason why this country was not meant to have a standing army.

Al Norris
December 2, 2008, 11:51 AM
I think it would be wise, when talking of Posse Comitatus, to look at what the Constitution says. After all, no mere statute can be more powerful than the document which is the supreme law.

In Article I, section 8, clause 15, we find: "To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;"

The part I highlighted gives the Congress the authority to use the militia as a Federal police force. Since we all accept at face value, that the standing Army is part and parcel of the greater Militia, then it should pose no problem to anyone if the Congress decides to use the Army in such a manner.

This doesn't mean that the Army can supplant the local police, as theoretically, that authority does not exist (there is no general grant of police power to the Federal Government anywhere in the Constitution), except under such conditions that might require a declaration of martial law, either by the State or the Federal Government.

Such conditions might very well exist after a highly co-ordinated terrorist attack using CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive attack), as the article indicated.

Given what the terrorists wish for the U.S., it would be prudent to advance a response to such an incident. After Katrina and the lack-luster response of FEMA, it would be stupid not to plan and implement such a response.

Tennessee Gentleman
December 2, 2008, 12:05 PM
Good response Al,

Historically IIRC Posse Comitatus came about during the Reconstruction and the abuses that followed along with the administration of martial law in the southern states.

IIRC as well Rutherford Hayes cut a deal with the southern democrats to pull out the union troops and military governments if they would support his election in which he lost the popular vote to Tilden. This was called the Compromise of 1877 See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compromise_of_1877. I think this is the true root of the Posse Comitatus Act. Again, context with history is everything.

divemedic
December 2, 2008, 12:59 PM
Good point, except that the founders never planned on the nation having a standing army, and in fact were opposed to such a force. The militia was always intended to be used on a temporary basis. The Army is no more the militia than the National Guard is. (The National guard is actually more like the Army reserve.) The unit that is on standby is a Brigade Combat Team, no more effective against a handful of terrorists than a modern police SWAT team. How is an Armored Cavalry Brigade going to combat a dozen terrorists? I would more buy this if a logistical brigade were the unit in question.

What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. ...Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.- Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814) of Massachusetts, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Member of the Constitutional Convention - spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment, I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789

By a declaration of rights, I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by juries in all cases, no suspensions of the habeas corpus, no standing armies. These are fetters against doing evil which no honest government should decline. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President

The constitution ought to secure a genuine militia and guard against a select militia. .... all regulations tending to render this general militia useless and defenseless, by establishing select corps of militia, or distinct bodies of military men, not having permanent interests and attachments to the community ought to be avoided. Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794) Founding Father

Al Norris
December 2, 2008, 01:31 PM
There are certain things, we simply should not fall back on.

One of those are the views of the Founders in regards to a standing Army, given the world today. You can not seriously expect the U.S. to survive in todays political and economic climate, if we relied solely upon the isolationist theories of the Founders. We are far too dependent upon the rest of the world to not have a standing Army.

Has our Armies been abused? Yes. Yet they are still necessary in these times. Like it or not, we are a (if not the) world power. The genie will not be put back into the bottle.

Consider the following 2 quotes:

"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights." Justice Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1833)

Justice Story foresaw the probable direction that our nation would turn to. His worries have been vindicated, it seems.

You want the kind and type of militia that the Founders wanted? Then get busy and get your State legislatures to correct the problem. For, it is by their action or inaction, that we find ourselves in the state we are today.

I'm afraid however, that what Justice Story foretold, is the state of the average citizen today. They see no reason and cannot be bothered.

ZeSpectre
December 2, 2008, 02:00 PM
I'm afraid however, that what Justice Story foretold, is the state of the average citizen today. They see no reason and cannot be bothered.
The "nanny state" triumphs again. :barf:

Tennessee Gentleman
December 2, 2008, 02:13 PM
The American people have never IMO liked the military. They don't like living the life and after 21 years of it, I can see their point, they'd rather be golfing and making money.

I don't think we are a militaristic nation culturally like say, the Germans, and so my reading tells me that the unorganized militia was really designed to get people out of serving. Witness the all-volunteer military today.

We have a standing army and will always have one in perpetuity. And I think the police departments will get more professional AND military minded as well. Is that bad? I don't know but it is the way it is.

divemedic
December 2, 2008, 03:35 PM
I submit that it is a self reinforcing cycle: We need a military because we are constantly using that military to enforce our will on other nations.

I can only think of one war in the last 60 years that was one of defense. The rest of them were preemptive attacks against nations that would not have invaded or attacked us.

There are 90 million gun owners in this country. If we were invaded, any invading army would have their hands full, especially if we as citizen militia members owned the most up to date arms, as our founders did. Problem is, the militia has been disarmed in favor of a standing army.

You claim the militia system doesn't work, but I would point out that Switzerland has not been at war since 1815.

Tennessee Gentleman
December 2, 2008, 04:55 PM
I submit that it is a self reinforcing cycle: We need a military because we are constantly using that military to enforce our will on other nations.

I think we have a military that includes a large standing Army because we learned in 1941 that we can no longer follow a course of isolationism that Al points out our founding fathers believed in.

You claim the militia system doesn't work, but I would point out that Switzerland has not been at war since 1815.

I didn't say the system would not work, rather that we have no such system extant. Switzerland is not a world power with important international interests as the US. Not sure the analogy is very good there.

azredhawk44
December 2, 2008, 05:50 PM
There are certain things, we simply should not fall back on.

One of those are the views of the Founders in regards to a standing Army, given the world today. You can not seriously expect the U.S. to survive in todays political and economic climate, if we relied solely upon the isolationist theories of the Founders. We are far too dependent upon the rest of the world to not have a standing Army.

Isolationism works for Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the majority of Europe in fact.

Seems to do alright for Mexico and Canada, too.

I have serious contentions with anyone who things the PRIMARY function of the US Government is to safeguard our status as the pre-eminent economic superpower of the world. While the Constitution does empower Congress with certain powers to regulate the US economy, Congress has never been deliberately tasked with such duties as regulating interest rates for the mortgage industry or babysitting the daily fluxuation of the DJIA or the seasonal shifts in the values of commodities.

Read those founding documents. You won't find a lot of concern over trade route maintenance, reciprocal tarriffs, unpredictable values for shares of stock, commodity price fixing or equal opportunity loans. What you will find is complaints against Imperial governments that use their military force to coerce remote subjects into participating in an economic scheme they otherwise would avoid.

ETA: I have no problem with having the biggest, baddest most nukular guns on the block. Teach our soldiers to use 'em well and drill them to blow attackers straight to H-E-doublehockeysticks. Big ships, big bombs, fast planes, invisible subs, all that stuff. Heck, even patrol international waters and use those cool nukular guns on pirates and their ilk. Every nation should do a bit of deep sea fishing using pirate chum for bait.

Big nukular guns keep China, Russia, or the threat of the day off our back. Yay. I understand that a bunch of hunters with .30-06 Model 70 Winchesters may not get the same point across.

I've just had it with imperialism. Let the shiftyeyedbastards in the middle east play games with the cost of oil. We'll leave them in the stone age when we move past oil technologically. Their loss.

Same thing with Africa. To heck with Africa. We fixed ourselves. They can fix themselves.

wpcexpert
December 2, 2008, 08:29 PM
When I read the whole article, I must have taken from it, a different view. I can see the big and small bold letters are intended to spike interest and criticism. However, I don't feel the subliminal that this article is trying to incite, is the vision of the government.

As many of you know, there are millions of active duty, guard and reserve already homeland. But in the Headline..."Plan would dedicate 20,000 uniformed troops inside U.S. by 2011", it seems that the government is to completely dedicate those troops with the sole purpose of disaster clean-up/policing. I highly doubt the government, is prepared to spend the millions to have these troops trained and then let them sit around just waiting for an incident. They will be regular troops, doing what they regularly do, but specially trained for the disaster. They will be able to deploy to the location at a moments notice. But the standard day to day ops will continue.

The cost to pay these troops to sit around and wait for an incident to happen is too much. I'm talking about a low end number of 60 million dollars per month. That's a lot to waste. If these troops were to be dedicated, that means that 20,000 more would have to come in replace them. It's just not feasible.

If the plan was to have these troops go door to door to collect weapons...
1) That's not nearly enough troops to get the job done
2) The Government, if they wanted to, could use the National Guard already
3) I would like to believe that these troops would do the same as the local PD and "Just Say No"...being gun owners themselves

In closing, I don't feel there is a threat for this batch of soldiers to be utilized in the immediate future for unCostitutional laws and Executive Orders. Now, maybe Martial Law during and after a crisis...perhaps.

Tennessee Gentleman
December 2, 2008, 09:51 PM
azredhawk44,

I would take it then that you are not a citizen of the world?:eek::D

Te Anau
December 3, 2008, 09:00 AM
i've Just Had It With Imperialism. Let The Shiftyeyedbastards In The Middle East Play Games With The Cost Of Oil. We'll Leave Them In The Stone Age When We Move Past Oil Technologically. Their Loss.

Same Thing With Africa. To Heck With Africa. We Fixed Ourselves. They Can Fix Themselves.
Awesome!!!

alloy
December 25, 2008, 08:45 AM
i read this thread a few times yesterday and was wondering...is this thread for real or isn't it a saran wrap type discussion?:)

Al Norris
December 25, 2008, 12:20 PM
... is this thread for real or isn't it a saran wrap type discussion?
I suppose that if you think you can just take what you like (about the constitution) and leave the rest (cafeteria constitutionalism, anyone?), you might be correct.

If however, you think there might be merit in pointing out the fallacies of certain popular thinking, there might be something to this thread.

alloy
December 25, 2008, 12:29 PM
yes that i understand. but if you throw in What effect will this have in enforcing laws such as the expected AWB that the Obama administration is surely contemplating? from the OP, it ends up immediately at topics guarranteed for thread lock, n'est-ce pas?

maybe its a benevolent act designed to counteract terrorism...

divemedic
December 25, 2008, 01:01 PM
As the OP, I ask you this:

Can you name 10 times in history where a government began using its military against its own citizens, and that military intervention was to the benefit of the citizens?

I cannot think of one. There are only three outcomes (or a mixture of 2 or more of the three) in history:

1 the military is used to oppress the citizens
2 the military is rendered useless for its primary mission of defending the citizens from external threats, as it becomes preoccupied with the interior mission
3 the military initiates a coup, and takes over

I think this is very germane to firearms, since we have an incoming administration that is for "common sense gun laws" and is in possession of a tool box full of the Patriot Act, military forces that can be used civilly, and a host of other powers that were created during the GWOT.

alloy
December 25, 2008, 01:09 PM
yes i understand that also.:rolleyes:

soooo...what are you saying the intent is, as you see it?

Sodbuster
December 26, 2008, 10:37 AM
respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic
catastrophe

The original link has expired, so I'm not sure what the article addressed. I'm guessing it didn't refer to an Army War College report stating that military troops may be needed to control unrest due to the present economic crisis. Martial Law? Interesting times.

http://phoenix.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2008/12/15/daily34.html

alloy
December 26, 2008, 02:14 PM
Arizona is kinda odd what with the Governor's promise to save ammo from harm in case of disaster, but they got the new Bushmasters courtesy of Mr Spade, so they are on the path to civic fung shui.

Which times were not interesting, Sodbuster?

Sodbuster
December 26, 2008, 02:55 PM
Perhaps my comment is an affirmation of your implication? A subset of the total period of interesting times. :) I heard about Mr. Spade providing some firearms for LE, didn't read an article about it or know who received them.

alloy
December 26, 2008, 03:17 PM
Perhaps.:) A link here... http://tv.msn.com/tv/article.aspx?news=345090&GT1=28103&silentchk=1&

edit: my bad about the other article i posted for a second, i misread the rifle quantity.

Eghad
December 26, 2008, 09:34 PM
The original link was expired. So I did not get a chance to read it. I foresee the major military role being to enhance surveillance capabilities. Our current capabilities in Iraq have proven to the enemy we can operate 24/7 and that night time is owned by us. Or to quote a crewmember of a Specter gunship.. "you can run but you just die tired. Same for the border and urban areas.

rwilson452
December 26, 2008, 10:10 PM
I suspect that crewmember stole that line from Carlos Hathcock.


The original link was expired. So I did not get a chance to read it. I foresee the major military role being to enhance surveillance capabilities. Our current capabilities in Iraq have proven to the enemy we can operate 24/7 and that night time is owned by us. Or to quote a crewmember of a Specter gunship.. "you can run but you just die tired. Same for the border and urban areas.

Tennessee Gentleman
December 27, 2008, 01:01 PM
Can you name 10 times in history where a government began using its military against its own citizens, and that military intervention was to the benefit of the citizens?

Not against them but the National Guard has helped out many a community devastated by natural disaster. Also, the military has been used successfully to monitor and track/apprehend drug runners and illegal immigrants.

Using the military for internal operations like the Corps of Engineers was used in the 1930s can be beneficial in certain extreme times. Hey, it was the military research folks (ARPA) that invented the Internet (with apologies to Al Gore:p)

The problem with using the military in many other countries is 1) The military isn't subordinate to civilian authority and/or 2) the civilian authority is not democratically elected and accountable to it's people. We don't have that problem.

divemedic
December 29, 2008, 09:40 AM
Not against them but the National Guard has helped out many a community devastated by natural disaster.

Not the same as using military force. Using them purely as a manpower pool to fill sandbags is different from using Federal troops as law enforcement.

Also, the military has been used successfully to monitor and track/apprehend drug runners and illegal immigrants.

The war on drugs is more of an infringement than a benefit.

Using the military for internal operations like the Corps of Engineers was used in the 1930s can be beneficial in certain extreme times. Hey, it was the military research folks (ARPA) that invented the Internet (with apologies to Al Gore)

Corps of engineers is more like a Federal Construction program than military. The Corps of engineers is the military paying civilians to operate dredgers and build bridges and dikes. Not the same as military force being used against citizens.

The problem with using the military in many other countries is 1) The military isn't subordinate to civilian authority and/or 2) the civilian authority is not democratically elected and accountable to it's people. We don't have that problem.

That is my point. Once you begin using the military to control the population and to enforce law, the military is less subordinate to civilian control. As far as "democratically elected," I believe that Cuba has elections, as did Iraq.

Tennessee Gentleman
December 29, 2008, 11:54 AM
The war on drugs is more of an infringement than a benefit.

Not on topic but just for the record, I don't think the war on drugs is an infringement of any of our rights.

Once you begin using the military to control the population and to enforce law, the military is less subordinate to civilian control.

Not sure I see that at all. How you use the military does not impact who they answer to. With the kind of asymetrical terrorist threat we face today local LEOs aren't equipped to fight that and we might need our military to deal with parts of that threat. Posse Comitatus was passed because of Reconstruction and the military governments in place in the south after the civil war. Not an issue now.

Bottomline, sometimes military intervention is needed and beneficial and that includes law enforcement. Nevetheless, our military answers to our elected leaders and using them for certain aspects of LE will not change that.

As far as "democratically elected," I believe that Cuba has elections, as did Iraq.

Did you mean Iran? Cuba's elections are shams but I would argue that those in the Iraqi parliament were elected by the majority of the population in a legitimate election per their people's will.

alloy
December 30, 2008, 08:14 AM
Katrina showed all i need to know about leaving local government to deal with large emergencies. In the modern times(as in all times most likely) the gov't is damned if they do, damned if they dont.
Nationwide Martial Law to enforce an Obama AWB? Can't see it, but i hope the gov't knows something about logistics and probabilities of emergencies and terrorism that i dont know. Seems they might, we havent had an attack lately. A few million folks needing drinking water or food or medical...would require something we obviously dont seem ready for. Maybe they have learned a few things running Iraq for a few years.

divemedic
January 1, 2009, 08:45 AM
Seems they might, we havent had an attack lately.

I am not buying that. The first WTC attack was February 26,1993. There was not another incident of international terrorism on US soil until September 11, 2001, more than 8 1/2 years later.

The fact that we have gone 7 years 4 months without another proves exactly nothing about the effectiveness of the Government in preventing attacks.

alloy
January 1, 2009, 09:04 AM
Divemedic, fine. I shouldnt have answered this thread. If you want to hyperventilate into a paper bag and worry about the inevitability of REX84 and Cable Splicer during Obamas transition into the White House, fine.

Even as cynical as i am, which is pretty cynical...im not gonna argue semantics of each sentence because you choose to think Bush suspended a law so that Obama could take away my sporter.

Good day, i have more positive thoughts to think this New Years Day than martial law being used to suppress Americans.:)

divemedic
January 1, 2009, 12:20 PM
My, my aren't we a bit sensitive.

You said that the fact that we have not had an attack in 8 years prove that the Govt is keeping us safe from the mean old terrorists. All I am saying is that a negative can't be used to prove a positive.

Kind of like saying that no one has broken into my house and my door is unlocked proves that closing the door is enough to deter a burglar.


BTW- I don't think anyone did it so Obama could do anything. What I am saying is that it is inthe nature of governments to use the tools which they have been given, and that they are usually used in unintended and over reaching ways. I will have a good time laughing at those who lauded the powers handed the Presidency during the last term, when they are inevitably misused in the next.

Al Norris
January 1, 2009, 01:30 PM
Do we get back on topic, or do we close this thread? :rolleyes:

Don't answer this post, while it is sarcastic in nature, it is a valid directive.

Tennessee Gentleman
January 1, 2009, 02:22 PM
Al,

You are right this is getting off topic.

I say that using the military for certain parts of law enforcement is not a worry to me and would I think, be beneficial in some instances. I do not fear the military in the US as long as they answer to elected civilian authority.

The terrorist threat we now face today might well exceed the capabilites of local LE (even some national LE) and so the military might be well suited to help meet that threat.

A pertinent aside, as a college intern with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement many years ago I studied and wrote several briefs detailing how FDLE might use the military to help with fighting the drug trafficking that was getting real bad. Some years later, I was told my briefs were used to ask for military radar aircraft to be used while training to track incoming flying drug dealers. Win win for all and Reagan signed an EO to make it happen.

44 AMP
January 2, 2009, 09:02 PM
Against striking miners on more than one occassion, and most certainly be used again when the poeple in power deem it to be in the nations best interrests. The law contains more than enough exceptions so that any action may be legally justified, including house to house search by troops, if the authorities are willing to sign the paperwork declaring the needed level of "emergancy".

Any and all legal challenges will come well after the fact, and the way our system works, the only repercussions likely to those giving the orders is a loss of political prestige. And that is only going happen possibly years after the troops are sent in.

As far as the concept that we should not need a standing army, as per the Founding Fathers beliefs, a couple hundred years ago, we could have gotten away with it. But even then, our Founders recognised the need for a standing Navy. Ships of war were the most technological systems in use in the era. The need for having trained men to work them at need was well understood.

Gone are the days when a militia was able to be called up, and being as well equipped as the soldier, and owning a kowledge of basic drill and maneuver was able to priovide a viable fighting force. Things are waaay to technical for that today. And anything less advanced is seen as deliberately jeopardizing the lives of our troops, our sons and daughters.

Since a standing army must exist, they do exist, and they will be used. How, where, and why are decisions well above the pay grade of most of us. All we get to do is voice our opinions to our elected representatives, and hope the act in accordance with both our wishes and our best interests.

Tennessee Gentleman
January 2, 2009, 11:05 PM
Any and all legal challenges will come well after the fact, and the way our system works, the only repercussions likely to those giving the orders is a loss of political prestige. And that is only going happen possibly years after the troops are sent in.

After Katrina, Tennessee passed a law to make it illegal to confiscate firearms during a declared emergency. GOV Bredesen didn't like it but didn't dare veto it. Pretty quick response to a governmental intrusion. Many other states passed similiar laws. That is a little more than political prestige. I think politicians who confiscate firearms might lose more than prestige maybe their jobs as well.

All we get to do is voice our opinions to our elected representatives, and hope the act in accordance with both our wishes and our best interests.

NO! We get to vote and throw out those who oppress us. Listen to Guntalk Radio and Clark Apotion who with his Utah Gun group that stopped a state judge appointment. We can make a difference if we stay vigilent and involved. The NRA helped us defeat an anti-gun ordinance in our county and we stuffed it good. Democracy works, passivity does not.:mad:

sewerman
January 14, 2009, 10:07 AM
as with every consitutional law that provides the populace rights from oppression & tranny. this one's being adulterated and driven out of town.

let the goose stepping begin:

http://www.homelandsecurity.org/journal/articles/Trebilcock.htm



sewerman

Erik
January 15, 2009, 12:00 AM
"Posse comitatus coming to an end?"

No. The argument is that military involvement in disaster relief efforts equates to granting the military law enforcement powers. I submit that "disaster relief" and "law enforcement" are not synonymous.

209
January 15, 2009, 03:37 AM
I believe the concept is to have a unit on-hand and ready to deploy for disasters and to help in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. Having briefly served in an NBC Decon type unit, I know they have a heck of a lot of equipment sitting around and it’d be silly not to use them in an NBC event. Likewise, a good combat engineer unit would be a nice thing to field quickly for certain types of problems. If they assign a light infantry brigade to the task, I'll be concerned.

I’m not initially worried by the idea. I am more concerned about the Obama proposal for a National Security Force. I think that could turn into something bad faster than having an Army unit dedicated to civil disaster/terrorist response.

Of course years from now, I may find myself facing something and saying, “How did that happen?” I'll be cursing my crystal ball. :eek: Sometimes a smart idea experiences a "creep" in design and becomes rather undesirable. And it mutates slowly.

BlueTrain
January 15, 2009, 08:41 AM
One of the times the military (not the National Guard) was used was to run the bonus marchers out of town. Ironically, they were WWI veterans and it happened in Washington, D.C. They even used tanks. The commander was MacArthur. This was before my time but one who was living here at the time said that MacArthur overstepped his authority, meaning he went farther than his orders said to, which in this case actually meant crossing the Anacostia River. Truman remembered that when MacArthur wanted to do the same thing in Korea.

The D.C. National Guard was used to help restore order in 1968, too, but I don't know if you want to count that or not.

Regarding the militia, colonial American style, and also the Swiss military system, you should understand that neither was voluntary and were not necessarily popular. In the case of the Swiss, it did not follow that the Swiss generally had a lot of confidence in their own ability to resist the Germans but apparently the leadership of the country at the time (1940) managed to rally the Swiss enough to adopt an active defensive posture. Naturally all this is arguable. The militia was certainly very active on the early American frontier, chiefly against the Indians but also the French. However, there were regular troops, if you can call them that, manning frontier forts all up and down the Alleghenies, chiefly. This period of history was actually quite short, roughly from 1750 to around 1800 (fifty years, not really so short a period) after which the threat to the states had pretty much been eliminated east of the Mississippi, except in the south. The regular troops I mention would have been state troops and existed, as far as I know, only in very limited numbers but the total population was still small.

I don't recall much mention of a militia in the west (beyond the Mississippi) except perhaps for Texas, which of course also had a regularly organized army, even if it was not uniformed. Federal troops carried most of the burden of surpressing the Indians in the west.

In countries like Germany under Hitler and others, it was still the police who carried out anything resembling policing and other bodies apart from the regular armed forces, namely the SS, who mainly did the dirty work of the state. While both Germany and the USSR may have been police states, they were not really military dictatorships. Dictatorships to be sure but generals didn't run the country.

Erik
January 15, 2009, 02:25 PM
Speaking of DC, I heard today that 12, 500 troops were on tap for inaugural events. I don't have further details.

Wuchak
January 15, 2009, 02:45 PM
...Cuba's elections are shams but I would argue that those in the Iraqi parliament were elected by the majority of the population in a legitimate election per their people's will.

So was the new Southern government headed by Jefferson Davis. We all know how that turned out. Lincoln, who used the US Military to invade and conquer the sovereign States of the South, should be universally despised as a tyrant and yet instead is heralded as one of the greatest Presidents in our history. That is in no small part due to the North's clever repackaging of him as the great liberator of the slaves and of the North rewriting history so people believe that slavery was a key reason for the war when nothing could be further than the truth.

Chui
January 15, 2009, 07:51 PM
Originally posted by divemedic: "Of course it is a statutory creation, but that certainly does not mean that it will not be circumvented. Which, by the way, is the exact thing the anti-federalists were worried about, and the reason why this country was not meant to have a standing army."

Amen, brother. Too few in this nation are knowledgable enough to know this, however

Chuckusaret
January 15, 2009, 11:03 PM
The president can direct the states to mobilize their National Guards to control riots, civil unrest etc. If there is an AWB approved I believe the Guard would be mobilized to enforce the ban. If this would be the case I would hope state governors would use "Home Rule" as the way to refuse to carry out the presidents order to use the troops to confiscate the weapons. Based on the riots/demonstrations in England I don't believe Obamanation has the gonads to start civil unrest early on in his term. If he should, I would recommend that he surround himself with the 20,000 troops on a daily basis. I do believe there is someone out there that will take exception to his attempt to ban weapons and take whatever action is necessary to have him cancel the law.

BlueTrain
January 23, 2009, 10:22 AM
Anyone who has spent time in the service knows they will have no trouble finding things to do. But I think there is just as much danger of mission creep on the part of the civil police as there is with the army. Sometimes the civil police look too much like the military. After all, they have automatic weapons, helmets, and some departments even have armored vehicles.

In any event, there are already national law enforcement agencies that have been used locally, not that there are any possible uses that are not local in some sense of the word. The US Marshalls seem to be the ones in charge in such cases, usually reinforced by other agencies and, sometimes, the military.

I think it has been a mistake to use the National Guard so freely for overseas deployments. The idea behind integrating the National Guard and Reserve into deployment plans was to insure that operations had the backing of the general population, at least in theory. There might be a problem if the National Guard doesn't represent the general population, demographically speaking (if you follow me) but that's another story. But I don't think the present situation justifies such frequent deployments on the basis of an emergency, which is also another story.

I also believe there is justification for another component of our armed forces, being that of a "real" militia (yes, well regulated). I believe it should operate as a federal or national (if you don't like the word federal) force to free it from both the influence of governors and from the function of the National Guard.

I know there is already a local defence force, whatever it's called, apparently intended for guarding key local installations, but it appears there is a greater need for border and coast security, at least in places. Trouble is, not everyone believes that. Most people here seem to, but not in other places.

This militia would have to be locally recruited and ought to be armed with small arms. It would be part time, of course, and uniformed sufficiently for identification purposes. An auxilliary force, if you will. Arms would be not problem but no doubt recruiting would be.

Canada has such a force operating on it's northern frontier. Apparently the border isn't as clear as they would like and an active presence is necessary. Almost a novel idea. I can see it being employed along both the southern national border and along the southeast coast where supposedly a certain amount of smuggling goes on.

And you thought I was a liberal!

Tennessee Gentleman
January 23, 2009, 10:58 AM
The idea behind integrating the National Guard and Reserve into deployment plans was to insure that operations had the backing of the general population, at least in theory.

Bluetrain, actually the Guard and Reserves were always supposed to be in the role you describe. However, during Vietnam, Lyndon Johnson refused to activate them fearing loss of political support for the war resulting in the Guard and Reserve being a place to hide from the draft and the war with the regular Army being populated with "McNamara's 100,000" which was a disaster and almost ruined the force. GEN Creighton Abrams (the one the tank is named for) said "Never Again!" and developed the Total Force concept that insured that the next time America fought for a prolonged period the Guard and Reserve would have to be used and if the populace who supplied those soldiers grew tired of the war they would force the political leaders to end it. That happened and now we have a new President who will do just that.

As to the militia, if regulated by the proper elected officials and trained appropriately you could be right. What would not work is a mob with guns who might be as likely to violate our rights as preserve them.

BlueTrain
January 23, 2009, 12:08 PM
I agree that the Guard and reserves were places to go to evade the draft, which is not to say the draft was a bad idea (but a different subject). I served in both the regular army, as did my father and my son and my father-in-law and a few other relatives. In fact, one of my wife's first cousins was married to an Air Force general, who was on duty in the Pentagon on 9/11 as Inspector General of the Air Force. He happens to be an avid sportsman. But I digress.

I also served in the D.C. National Guard. One of the positive aspects of the draft was that it provided a broader cross section of the population, more or less, and also provided an incentive to actually join the guard or reserves. Whether that was all a Good Thing or not is subject to speculation.

A more active local defense militia is really something new and as far as I can think of, more closely related to Colonial militia or rangers than anything else. There may have been something similar active during WWII as a coastal watch but not exactly the same thing I have in mind. So having something like that again isn't so much a conservative idea as it is radical. Naturally the need or usefulness of such a thing would vary across the country and, to an extent, across any given state. I presume there is little need for border security in, say, Iowa. But the idea is to have something organized along military lines on a part time basis to act as an auxillary border patrol more than anything else. But military, not police and national, not state. Armed, not like the Civil Air Patrol. But local, not deployable elsewhere. Britain used to have units called fencibles during the Napoleonic War period that were home defense only, not for overseas use. But these would be strictly local, like the Home Guard.

It'll never fly, a well-regulated militia.

BlueTrain
January 23, 2009, 12:29 PM
A little internet research turned up the website for the Canadian Rangers, which is part of the Canadian Land Forces. It says they are issued a .303 Enfield and 200 rounds of ammuntion per year. Their issued uniform is apparently limited to a red sweatshirt and a baseball cap. How American! I don't know if I really think an active local militia is a good thing or if it's just because I like No. 4 Lee-Enfields. The Canadian Rangers is over 4,000 strong.

trekkie951
January 23, 2009, 12:58 PM
We talk about this because we are unsure of what it actually means. some people wonder if its the actual start of tyranny while others feel its simply to be prepared for disasters. It could be either one, or both. If it WAS for any reason other than keeping civil peace then we wouldn't be told, and the gov't would want us to be asking the wrong questions like right now, asking what it is instead of what we should do about it. We can never be sure until when(if ever) the mask is ripped off a tyrant. The only thing we can really do besides talking about it on the internet is be ready for the day where we commit to a cause greater than ourselves.


P.S. If anyone has never heard about the REX-84 program, google it real quick

BlueTrain
January 23, 2009, 02:05 PM
My proposal for an active, armed local defense has nothing to do with protecting against tyranny but with border security, if there is such a thing. I think I am proposing something completely new (in this country), at least recently, though I have mentioned it on this forum before. In fact, the object of this new component is to provide something that is currently missing. However, trekkie951 may not have been referring to my post at all but to the original post.

trekkie951
January 23, 2009, 03:29 PM
yes BlueTrain I was referring to the OP.

But in regards to the militia idea I think its great. I've actually thought about it also and talk it about it with my friends a lot (they mostly just listen haha). Though when I say it im thinking more along the lines of defending our town in a SHTF scenerio. But I think your idea with protecting important installations and the coastlines against smuggling is much more practical. Theres not much smuggling going on in upstate NY..that im worried about anyway.

BlueTrain
January 23, 2009, 04:41 PM
There is something called the Virginia Defense Force, which is certainly a low profile outfit. I couldn't tell if they are armed from their website but there strength is about 800. The main object appears to be to supplement the Virginia National Guard in the event of general mobilization and to guard important physical installations in the absence of other troops. It is generally along the lines I was suggesting, except that it is under state control, which may or may not make any difference.

Smuggling, you probably know, has a long and involved history in some parts of this and most other countries with a coastline.