The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > Law and Civil Rights

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 1, 2008, 11:35 AM   #1
divemedic
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 12, 2006
Posts: 1,313
Posse comitatus coming to an end?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27989275/

Quote:
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?
__________________
Caveat Emperor
divemedic is offline  
Old December 1, 2008, 12:10 PM   #2
hogdogs
Staff In Memoriam
 
Join Date: October 31, 2007
Location: Western Florida panhandle
Posts: 11,071
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
hogdogs is offline  
Old December 1, 2008, 12:12 PM   #3
azredhawk44
Junior member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 6,465
IBTL.

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.
azredhawk44 is offline  
Old December 1, 2008, 12:15 PM   #4
Te Anau
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 17, 2004
Location: Somewhere south of the No
Posts: 3,824
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.....
Quote:
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.
__________________
"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." --American author Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Last edited by Te Anau; December 1, 2008 at 12:21 PM.
Te Anau is offline  
Old December 1, 2008, 12:29 PM   #5
divemedic
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 12, 2006
Posts: 1,313
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.
__________________
Caveat Emperor

Last edited by divemedic; December 1, 2008 at 04:22 PM.
divemedic is offline  
Old December 1, 2008, 09:21 PM   #6
A/C Guy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2007
Location: Apache Junction, Az
Posts: 309
Quote:
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.
A/C Guy is offline  
Old December 1, 2008, 10:25 PM   #7
Tennessee Gentleman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 31, 2005
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,611
This is a good read about the act and why it might be used to good effect today: http://www.homelandsecurity.org/jour...Trebilcock.htm

Quote:
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.
__________________
"God and the Soldier we adore, in time of trouble but not before. When the danger's past and the wrong been righted, God is forgotten and the Soldier slighted."
Anonymous Soldier.
Tennessee Gentleman is offline  
Old December 2, 2008, 07:55 AM   #8
divemedic
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 12, 2006
Posts: 1,313
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.
__________________
Caveat Emperor
divemedic is offline  
Old December 2, 2008, 11:51 AM   #9
Al Norris
Staff
 
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,298
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.
__________________
National listings of the Current 2A Cases.
Al Norris is offline  
Old December 2, 2008, 12:05 PM   #10
Tennessee Gentleman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 31, 2005
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,611
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.
__________________
"God and the Soldier we adore, in time of trouble but not before. When the danger's past and the wrong been righted, God is forgotten and the Soldier slighted."
Anonymous Soldier.
Tennessee Gentleman is offline  
Old December 2, 2008, 12:59 PM   #11
divemedic
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 12, 2006
Posts: 1,313
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
__________________
Caveat Emperor

Last edited by divemedic; December 2, 2008 at 01:07 PM.
divemedic is offline  
Old December 2, 2008, 01:31 PM   #12
Al Norris
Staff
 
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,298
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.
__________________
National listings of the Current 2A Cases.
Al Norris is offline  
Old December 2, 2008, 02:00 PM   #13
ZeSpectre
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2007
Location: Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 3,276
Quote:
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:
ZeSpectre is offline  
Old December 2, 2008, 02:13 PM   #14
Tennessee Gentleman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 31, 2005
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,611
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.
__________________
"God and the Soldier we adore, in time of trouble but not before. When the danger's past and the wrong been righted, God is forgotten and the Soldier slighted."
Anonymous Soldier.
Tennessee Gentleman is offline  
Old December 2, 2008, 03:35 PM   #15
divemedic
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 12, 2006
Posts: 1,313
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.
__________________
Caveat Emperor
divemedic is offline  
Old December 2, 2008, 04:55 PM   #16
Tennessee Gentleman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 31, 2005
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,611
Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.
__________________
"God and the Soldier we adore, in time of trouble but not before. When the danger's past and the wrong been righted, God is forgotten and the Soldier slighted."
Anonymous Soldier.
Tennessee Gentleman is offline  
Old December 2, 2008, 05:50 PM   #17
azredhawk44
Junior member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 6,465
Quote:
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.

Last edited by azredhawk44; December 2, 2008 at 05:56 PM.
azredhawk44 is offline  
Old December 2, 2008, 08:29 PM   #18
wpcexpert
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 2008
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 791
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.
__________________
When once a republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil.
- Thomas Jefferson
wpcexpert is offline  
Old December 2, 2008, 09:51 PM   #19
Tennessee Gentleman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 31, 2005
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,611
azredhawk44,

I would take it then that you are not a citizen of the world?
__________________
"God and the Soldier we adore, in time of trouble but not before. When the danger's past and the wrong been righted, God is forgotten and the Soldier slighted."
Anonymous Soldier.
Tennessee Gentleman is offline  
Old December 3, 2008, 09:00 AM   #20
Te Anau
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 17, 2004
Location: Somewhere south of the No
Posts: 3,824
Quote:
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!!!
__________________
"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." --American author Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Te Anau is offline  
Old December 25, 2008, 08:45 AM   #21
alloy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 11, 2008
Posts: 1,931
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?
__________________
Quote:
The uncomfortable question common to all who have had revolutionary changes imposed on them: are we now to accept what was done to us just because it was done?
Angelo Codevilla
alloy is offline  
Old December 25, 2008, 12:20 PM   #22
Al Norris
Staff
 
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,298
Quote:
Originally Posted by alloy
... 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.
__________________
National listings of the Current 2A Cases.
Al Norris is offline  
Old December 25, 2008, 12:29 PM   #23
alloy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 11, 2008
Posts: 1,931
yes that i understand. but if you throw in
Quote:
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...
__________________
Quote:
The uncomfortable question common to all who have had revolutionary changes imposed on them: are we now to accept what was done to us just because it was done?
Angelo Codevilla
alloy is offline  
Old December 25, 2008, 01:01 PM   #24
divemedic
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 12, 2006
Posts: 1,313
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.
__________________
Caveat Emperor
divemedic is offline  
Old December 25, 2008, 01:09 PM   #25
alloy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 11, 2008
Posts: 1,931
yes i understand that also.

soooo...what are you saying the intent is, as you see it?
__________________
Quote:
The uncomfortable question common to all who have had revolutionary changes imposed on them: are we now to accept what was done to us just because it was done?
Angelo Codevilla
alloy is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14293 seconds with 9 queries