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Old March 19, 2009, 05:13 AM   #26
USASA
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Quote from the article:

Jim Stromenger, a dispatcher at the Samson Police Department, confirmed the MP’s presence in the town, telling CNSNews.com that the troops “came in to help with traffic control and to secure the crime scene”--


I was an MP at a small Army post near Warrenton, Virginia in the early 60's. We did assist in traffic control when the Freedom Rider buses would pass though town. I cannot recall what procedures where followed to provide the traffic control to the city, but it didn't seem to cause any problems then...so I'd assume there should be no problem with this now.

BTW, we did carry our issued M1911A1's...but, NO AMMO.

We used to also furnish a squad of MP's for local veteran funerals. The funeral service detail was voluntary. I always volunteered when I could. To this day, being part of those services for our veterans, is my proudest memory.

.

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Old March 19, 2009, 10:14 AM   #27
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I'm having a hard time with a constitution/legal issue getting my shorts in a wad over the initial report.
That may be a problem someday. Most people don't get excited about anything.
However, Our founding fathers were wise enough to realize the Army didn't belong in civil matters. Posse Comitatus. Otherwise, a dictator could simply order the military to keep him in power. In the Alabama matter, it seems no one is taking the credit for sending troops.
I'm not piling the mattress against the door, either, but let's see if any more of these happen. (besides the DUI check points in Montana using the military).
Hmmm? Training? For What?
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Old March 19, 2009, 10:39 AM   #28
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It will certainly be interesting to follow this.
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Old March 19, 2009, 11:13 AM   #29
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army smarmy

are you guys all nut cakes??????????the prohabition is to prevent active interaction against civilians.there is nothing about helping in traffic control or helping in a hurrican situation.the ruby ridge and waco were what should not happen.get real,or you will see bogge men all night.
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Old March 19, 2009, 11:30 AM   #30
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Could you refine and repost Teddy, because I don't understand your post
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Old March 19, 2009, 11:35 AM   #31
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teddy, you need to step off the stump and rethink your words!
Hurricane assistance was with the "guard" NOT ACTIVE DUTY ARMY SOLDIERS and those guardsmen were knocking and doors and confiscating arms from honest citizens! Many of which are yet to get them back. It wasn't their commanders orders but they did do it!
This is why we do not invite this action in america!
Traffic control could have been handled by the Junior officer cadet kids like my 12 year old daughter did for big events in our town!
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Old March 19, 2009, 03:24 PM   #32
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Yeah, I'm bothered by this, although I'm not much of a "black helicopters in tinfoil hats" type...

The phrase "thin end of the wedge" comes to mind here... I wouldn't call it a deliberate plan, but I think that putting active-duty troops on the streets and calling it "traffic control," or whatever, is a good way to desensitize people to the idea of an expanded military role in law enforcement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
Let's say there is a big base. Like where I live. Across from the big base, a nutso starts shooting up the kindergarten. But he is just a good ol' American nutso and not a terrorist.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
If a Piper cub starts flying over town, dropping home made grenades and flying down the highways with a person in the passenger's seat with a NFA legal full auto hosing down the SUVs - should the myraid F-16s around here blow him up.
Glenn, I think these hypothetical cases are bit, um... straw-mannish. It's possible, I guess, to make a case that in an acute emergency you'd want whatever help was available, but as I understand it, what happened in Alabama was that troops came in after the fact -- the shooting was over, the perpetrator was dead.

I might be less troubled if it were not following close on the heels of this:

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/0...eland_090708w/

3rd Infantry’s 1st BCT trains for a new dwell-time mission. Helping ‘people at home’ may become a permanent part of the active Army
... [T]his new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.

After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one.

“Right now, the response force requirement will be an enduring mission. How the [Defense Department] chooses to source that and whether or not they continue to assign them to NorthCom, that could change in the future,” said Army Col. Louis Vogler, chief of NorthCom future operations. “Now, the plan is to assign a force every year.”
....
They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.
....
The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.

The package is for use only in war-zone operations, not for any domestic purpose.
And if you believe the last paragraph, have I got a bridge for you...

I find this chilling.
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Last edited by Vanya; March 19, 2009 at 04:33 PM. Reason: To insert a missing indefinite article.
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Old March 19, 2009, 03:43 PM   #33
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They may not have the legal responsibility, but they would have a Moral responsibility, just as a CCW holder would, IMHO.
And that's were the argument breaks down. If you apply that standard, what if tomorrow it is "immoral" to own a gun?
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Old March 19, 2009, 04:46 PM   #34
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Let's say there is a big base. Like where I live. Across from the big base, a nutso starts shooting up the kindergarten. But he is just a good ol' American nutso and not a terrorist.

The MPs see this. The local law is a bit away.

Should the MPs do anything, carrying official US Armed Forces firearms?

If they do, does it mean the Army is coming for my guns at a later time?
Can I play, too?

Let's say that a man is killing some cops, and a convicted felon happens by, grabs a fallen officer's gun, and kills the murderers.

Will he be charged for a felon in possession of a firearm?

Does this mean the felon will kill me?

I can make up stories to "what if" anything.

A coordinated decision to use the Army for law enforcement is illegal. That is what this was. There was a time in this country where the local LEOs actually trusted their citizens, and deputized them when needed.

Now instead, they call the Army in to control the town. How is that an improvement?
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Old March 19, 2009, 04:59 PM   #35
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A coordinated decision to use the Army for law enforcement is illegal. That is what this was. There was a time in this country where the local LEOs actually trusted their citizens, and deputized them when needed.

Now instead, they call the Army in to control the town. How is that an improvement?
divemedic, that is an excellent point. One would certainly hope that a smallish rural police force has a volunteer reserve or a good old boy network to emergency-deputize some lay folks in time of crisis. I hope this community and many others take note of the concern arising here. As well as the obvious need to communicate with state patrol, neighboring cities, county sheriffs and other law enforcement organizations.

flippycat: thank you for the picture. Now that I see that these soldiers are deployed with vests saying "police" and them carrying firearms, I am officially bothered.
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Old March 19, 2009, 05:04 PM   #36
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I've got to agree for the most part with the caution I've read. While I'm not outraged or angry by the deployment of active duty troops, it is troubling. More trouble is the lack of 'legitimate' journalism dedicated to the story.

In my opinion, counter-factuals regarding what an enlisted soldier's moral obligations are are misguided, as his/her conduct in such case would be a personal decision and not under military order.

Military policing of citizens should be distasteful. When necessary, prior options should be exhausted (first responders, National Guard, deputizing) and then proper channels (official requests) should be followed.

Let's hope that this is admitted as a mistake where no harm came from it and lessons were learned (too optimistic?).
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Old March 19, 2009, 08:22 PM   #37
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I used to live near down there and spent a lot of time in that exact place. I'll explain this for those who haven't been to that particular place. Ft. Rucker is a few minutes down the road and the MP's were the largest nearby available police to supplement the effort that could be had in a reasonable span of time. If you've got a maniac on the loose shooting people in multiple places--and there was absolutely no way of knowing at the time that there wasn't more than one person doing the shooting--you've gotta use whatever good resources you have at the time and FAST.

It probably wasn't the most legally correct thing to do on paper, but it was the right decision to handle a crisis. I hate jackbooted thuggery, but this was not a case of it.
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Old March 19, 2009, 08:41 PM   #38
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Normally id say the idea of troops in the street without authorization is a pretty scary idea, but considering what was happening to cause it i think it was an understandable reaction.

Should it be investigated? Definately. Will the person/people responsible be officially charged? Probably. But should the punishment be anything more than a robust slap on the wrists? Given the circumstances, extra-duty or community service is likely what would be decided upon, mainly so that the people in the community who are glad for the extra security in a time of momentary crisis can get a chance to say thank you.

But im not saying that they should make a habit of it.
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Old March 19, 2009, 09:26 PM   #39
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Unfortuantly....its Legal

Read The Patriot Act ....
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Old March 19, 2009, 09:50 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
Let's say there is a big base. Like where I live. Across from the big base, a nutso starts shooting up the kindergarten. But he is just a good ol' American nutso and not a terrorist.
Of course they should go thru the bureaucratic process first. After all, they wouldn't know for sure that it was terrorists doing the murdering--now would they? There simply must be official word from their Kommander before they do anything-- even if it's unflolding within view.

We should recognize that personal initiative during an immediate crisis is anethmatic to the system. The Soviets got it right. Why can't we?
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Old March 20, 2009, 06:31 AM   #41
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This situation has NOTHING to do with "personal initiative" or with troops watching a gunman shoot people across the street. Apples and oranges.

These troops were requested AFTER the shooting was over, from a military base 35 miles away from the area. Hardly an emergency.

Personnel could have been requested from Dothan, AL, which is only 45 miles away, Brewton is 80 miles, Ozark is 55 miles, and Montgomery is 100 miles.

In addition, Florida and Alabama have assistance agreements in effect that would have allowed Fort Walton Beach (75 miles) police to assist, as well as Pensacola (110 miles).

They could have deputized citizens, called for the National Guard, or used the civil air patrol or even neighborhood watch, all of which would have been legal.

Conspiracy? No. If allowed to satand, can it be precedent setting? Yes. Should the person who "freelanced" be punished in some way? Yes. This is exactly the same type of freelancing that resulted in the NOLA gun grabs.
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Old March 20, 2009, 07:28 AM   #42
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Lots of help many miles away. If the MP's are right there in town and the help is needed are you going to wait until someone comes 80 miles? Lets all relax a little, MP's helping the local cops is not the start of mass gun confiscations.
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Old March 20, 2009, 07:44 AM   #43
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I will start worrying more when people don't get their knickers in a twist about this.

As long as everybody gets all exercised whenever Air Force cops are directing traffic during an air show, we're good.
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Old March 20, 2009, 08:26 AM   #44
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Lots of help many miles away. If the MP's are right there in town and the help is needed are you going to wait until someone comes 80 miles?
Uh, the MP's were just about as far as the rest. They are 35 miles away. There were plenty of cops at just about the same distance. There were two large towns within ten miles of the base, and plenty of major cities only 50 miles further.

The emergency was OVER. The shooter was dead. The shooting was OVER. There was nothing here to require laws to be broken. The law here was broken. As an officer of the law, are you suggesting that it is OK to break the law if you happen to be the government?
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Old March 20, 2009, 10:47 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Tamara
I will start worrying more when people don't get their knickers in a twist about this.

As long as everybody gets all exercised whenever Air Force cops are directing traffic during an air show, we're good.
Ah, if only it were everybody... as Bond007 wrote, what's troubling is the lack of media attention to this, and to the issue I noted in my previous post, that we now have active-duty troops assigned to a role that includes dealing with "civil unrest and crowd control," i.e. law enforcement.

They're not sposta be doing this.

And if the mainstream media aren't covering it, the mainstream folks won't know about it, and their knickers will remain neatly pressed.
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Old March 20, 2009, 11:00 AM   #46
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Military troops deployed on US soil?

Nothing new---- Most recent I see is Army and Marines in LA in the early 90's.

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Old March 20, 2009, 11:02 AM   #47
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I am not real sure that a group of MPs standing around in the middle of a street is a violation of posse comitatus.

It all depends on just what they were doing, and on what/who's authority.
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Old March 20, 2009, 11:17 AM   #48
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excerpts from recent news updates from all news reports the last 24 hours are pretty much growing in details..

Quote:
Jim Stromenger, a dispatcher at the Samson Police Depatrment, told CNSNews.com that the troops “came in to help with traffic control and to secure the crime scene” and that the department was glad for the help. “They weren’t here to police, let me make that clear. They were here to help with traffic and to control the crime scene--so people wouldn’t trample all over (it).”
http://aliberals-hitlist.blogspot.co...troops-in.html

I thought this to be interesting also because if the gunmen did not kill himself and was apprehended I believe this could of been a reason for mistrial if crime scenes were not maintained by the civil law enforcement and exit and entry logs were not maintained for the crime scene(s)? Were they keeping logs? If so I would assume they were acting in a policemen's role.

Quote:
Riley (being the Governor) isn't concerned whether the military overstepped its bounds, said Press Secretary Jeff Emerson.
Hrmm ok so if no charges are filed in this matter I guess the Governor just opened the door with this statement?

Quote:
Residents said Soldiers from Fort Rucker, a major employer in southeastern Alabama, have a reputation for helping nearby communities in emergencies.
So this happens a lot then unchecked ..interesting

Quote:
http://www.military.com/news/article...n-alabama.html

March 19, 2009
Associated Press

SAMSON, Ala. - The Army said Wednesday it opened an inquiry into whether federal laws were broken when nearly two dozen Soldiers were sent to a south Alabama town after 11 people died in a shooting spree last week.

State officials said the deployment of 22 military police officers and the provost marshal from Fort Rucker was requested neither by Republican Gov. Bob Riley nor the White House, which typically is required by law for Soldiers to operate on U.S. soil.

Col. Michael J. Negard of the Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Va., said officials are trying to determine who ordered the Soldiers to Samson, who requested them, why they were sent and what they did there.

"In addition to determining the facts, this inquiry will also consider whether law, regulation and policy were followed," he said. He declined further comment.

Former Samson resident Michael McLendon, 28, fatally shot nine victims in the town and killed a 10th in a neighboring county. The March 10 spree ended when McLendon killed himself, and the Soldiers arrived in the hours after.

Investigators said McLendon was despondent over his inability to hold a job and his failure to become a Marine or a police officer.

Riley isn't concerned whether the military overstepped its bounds, said Press Secretary Jeff Emerson.

"From what I understand it was a few folks who came to direct traffic or help where they could," Emerson said. "If it had been more than what it was there might be a reason for concern, but these folks just came to see if they could help and left."

The White House press office did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Reporters and curious citizens poured into the town of 2,000 after the slayings, and city officials said Soldiers directed traffic. The town is located near the Florida state line about 35 miles from Fort Rucker, the Army's main helicopter training base.

Samson's tiny police force and county officers were stretched to the limit after the shootings, which left investigators with at least seven different crime scenes to check for evidence.

Residents said Soldiers from Fort Rucker, a major employer in southeastern Alabama, have a reputation for helping nearby communities in emergencies.

According to a summary by the Congressional Research Service, federal law generally prohibits the armed forces from being used as domestic police. Exceptions include emergencies, when troops can help civilians but don't directly act as police.

The chairman of the Libertarian Party of Alabama, Stephen Gordon, said while many are worried about the use of Army troops in civilian police roles, he doubts there was anything nefarious about the Soldiers in Samson.

"There is no apparent harm here, but the principle still needs to be upheld," Gordon said. "The barrier has been lowered for the next time, and we really need to take a look at what happened."
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Old March 20, 2009, 12:10 PM   #49
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soldiers

then it must be ilegal for soldiers to be sent to help if there is a hurrician.from the little I can read here its a bunch of fanatics that have gone of their rockers and mad a big thing about it .have at it as I am gone .
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Old March 20, 2009, 01:24 PM   #50
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then it must be ilegal for soldiers to be sent to help if there is a hurrician.from the little I can read here its a bunch of fanatics that have gone of their rockers and mad a big thing about it .have at it as I am gone .
It is, if the troops in question are Army and not national guard, and the troops are being used in a law enforcement role. During the 7 hurricanes that I have been deployed to (Andrew, Charlie, Ivan, Francis, Jean, Katrina, Wilma), the National Guard and police have enforced the laws and curfews, while the Army (I believe it was the 82nd Airborne) was performing rescues and passing out food and medical care. (a decidedly non-law enforcement role) The Army troops were easy to spot, as the ones I saw had no weapons.

The troops in these photos carried weapons, wore "Police" clothing, and were "securing" a "Crime scene." A decidedly police role.

I find it interesting to note that anyone who does not agree with you is a fanatic that is off their rocker.
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