Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

…pardon my French, but what the fuck is going on with this?

Maybe I’m missing something. Could someone with a military background please convincingly explain to me how this isn’t as scary as it sounds? Because it sounds pretty damned scary. Or at least the start of something scary.

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32 Responses to “Um…”

  1. #1 |  Doug | 

    “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.”

    Look out for the guys in camo at the next G8 summit. wtf.

  2. #2 |  Kyle | 

    So… Posse Comitatus is dead letter, I take it.

  3. #3 |  Sam | 

    Posse Commitatus anyone?
    And I only have 5 yrs of military experience, but this scares the hell out of me. It sounds like a great way to integrate the police and military.
    Lots of questions too…”full battle rattle” going to include live ammo? Yeah, we want them shooting up american streets just like Baghdad, right?

    “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.”

    sounds a lot like: “put down the resistance to the coup and laugh about the non-existent chemical threat.”
    This is a very, very serious step. Aside from convoy ops moving equipment around the active duty forces don’t operate in civilian areas of the US. There were occasional exercises in Germany decades ago like Reforger, but those were very specific, not perpetual, and they tore the hell out of the countryside and roads.

    That’s my experience. It’s limited, and I’m sure there’s other ways to look at it that we’ll hear about, but I was scared before this.

  4. #4 |  bob | 

    The original purpose of our government was to preserve the liberty of the people. The contemporary purpose of government is to preserve the government.

    This latest development along that trend is not at all surprising. It’s just a shame that we no longer have the power to stop it.

  5. #5 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I wonder if they plan to call it “Operation American Freedom”.

    Anyway, you shouldn’t sweat it. They will simply be helping to keep the peace when the oil runs out and we go back to the days of having to kill our own food, bury our property, and defend our families from roving gangs (ie: everyone else in the neighborhood).

    I hate to be a pessimist, but I think the momentum is so powerful now that the only thing left for us to do is brace ourselves for the impact. In a way, we are living like we did at the peak of the cold war, hoping no one will make a mistake that will plunge the world into total chaos. Only now, in addition to nuclear weapons, we also have to worry about the threat of financial collapse and the oil drying up.

    Personally, I plan to dedicate what little time we have left to women and booze.

  6. #6 |  Gerald A | 

    Sorry Radley, it is as scary as it sounds. Right up there with “I’m from the government, I’m here to help”

    Let’s see, begins Oct 1, and the election is when?

  7. #7 |  Nick Schweitzer | 

    Posse Commitatus has pretty much been repealed. Please see PL 109-364 (Defense Authorization Act of 2007)


    `(a) Use of section 3034(d)Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies- (1) The President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to–
    `(A) restore public order and enforce the laws of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (Public Law 109-59; 119 Stat. 1650) shall be available forUnited States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the purchaseUnited States, the President determines that–
    `(i) domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authoritiescommuter rail equipment for of the South County Commuter Rail project upontate or possession are incapable of maintaining public order; and
    ??`(ii) such violence results in a condition described in paragraph (2); or
    ??`(B) suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy if such insurrection, violation, combination, or conspiracy results in a condition described in paragraph (2).
    ??`(2) A condition described in this paragraph is a condition that–
    `(A) so hinders the receipt byexecution of the Rhode Island Departmentlaws of Transportationa State or possession, as applicable, andan approved environmental assessment for of the South County Commuter Rail project.United States within that State or possession, that any part or classSEC. 1096. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON IRAQ SUMMIT. Sense of Congress- Itits people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the senseConstitution and secured by law, and the constituted authoritiesCongress of that State or possession are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or
    `(B) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.
    ??`(3) In any situation covered by paragraph (1)(B), the State shall be considered to have denied the equal protection of the laws secured by the Constitution.
    `(b) Notice to Congress- The President should convene a summitall notify Congress of the determination to exercise the authority in subsection (a)(1)(A) as soon as possibleracticable after the determination and every 14 days thereafter during the duration of the exercise of that includesauthority.’.
    (2) PROCLAMATION TO DISPERSE- Section 334 of such title is amended by inserting `or those obstructing the leadersenforcement of the Governmentlaws’ after `insurgents’.
    (3) HEADING AMENDMENT- The heading of Iraq, leaderschapter 15 of such title is amended to read as follows:

  8. #8 |  Nick Schweitzer | 

    Shoot… that copied way more than I wanted. Sorry about that. Please feel free to delete the last and just keep the link to Gov Track.

  9. #9 |  MarkM | 

    You should be afraid. I am glad I am not the only one who noticed this piece.

    Never fear, the see smurfs are here. Consequence Response Management Force. Has a nice altruistic ring to it, don’t you think? To me it sounds like, “We are here to fuck you up” rather than “We are here to help.”

  10. #10 |  Cappy | 

    I spent six years at Ft. Stewart. When entering through Richmond Hill off of 95, it’s 20-some miles of 144 before you get to the actual base. There should be a sign there at the exit: “Welcome to Ft. Stewart, where the universe ends and hell begins.”

    Let the beatings commence. Ft. Stupid will do that to a person. And they’re putting these soldiers in with the general populace.

    Yes, it’s as scary as it reads.

    Amerika, The New Police State

  11. #11 |  Cappy | 

    Oh, and ya gots ta love the unit name: Consequence Management Response Force.

    It’s all about control. And now you have combat trained personnel doing the policing.

    Mebbe they’ll be more effective at killing than the police. The state can only hope so.

  12. #12 |  SusanK | 

    I don’t know what to say.
    The 4th Amendmend has been eviscerated, so let’s move on to the 3rd?
    Or I could go all sarcastic:
    What are you complaining about? It’s homeland SECURITY. It’s for the children!!! Don’t you want to be safe?

  13. #13 |  Jaybird | 

    It’s for your own good. What if the At-Risk Community riots because they don’t like the outcome of the election?

    Surely you, as members of the Working Class, will appreciate being protected from the At-Risk rioters.

    Certainly the swing voters among you will appreciate being protected from supporters of one of the two candidates for president who tend to riot when they don’t get their way. Right, swing voters?

    (This is the October Surprise. It ain’t a bomb, it ain’t hostages, it ain’t anything except swing voters being told that the Military is in the streets because the negroes might riot.)

  14. #14 |  tarran | 


    You should be scared. This is an attempt to create a Federal version of the National Guard.

    Everything these guys do is done already by the National Guard. However, the National Guard is really the remnants of what used to be state militias, and state governors retain control over them.

    The only reason to set up these schemes is if the U.S. military wants to develop the capability to do National Guard missions when the National Guard is incapable or uncooperative.

    I can understand the incapable part; so many guard units are on active duty that there is a distinct possibility that a natural disaster could leave a governor with too few forces to face a crisis. However, in such a scenario, the governor could, in theory, request units from neighboring states be activated by their governors and sent to help out.

    On the other hand, if a governor is uncooperative, or perhaps disagrees with national security directives, the federal government now has a unit that is tasked with the state militia assignments of quelling riots and imposing martial law in times of crisis. Most scarily, this unit will have soldiers drawn from all over the United States. A soldier is hesitant to shoot the guys who were customers in his hardware store two days ago. A guy from New York may have fewer qualms about shooting some hippie from Oregon.

    For the first time in a long time, the U.S. president will have active duty units on call among whose missions are the requirement to quell uprisings by the American people and will have no particular loyalty to the people living in the area it operates in. And worst of all, there will be no constitutional crisis as occurred when JFK federalized Alabama NG in order to forcibly desegregate the schools there. Regardless of the justness of the president’s cause, you want such actions to be very difficult and damaging politically. Now, the president picks up the phone and calls the General in charge of Northcom. No publicity or fuss.

    This sort of thing has happened before. Hell, in his first term as President, George Washington led the U.S. army in an invasion of Pennsylvania (the so-called Whiskey Rebellion). But every time that it has been attempted, it has been pretty awful (I think the last time the U.S. army went after U.S. citizens was when Douglass MacArtur attacked World war I veterans in Washington DC during a sit-in demanding pensions). And, more to the point, they’ve always been temporary, ad-hoc affairs. This is permanent.

    Funny, anyone notice how the movie “The Siege” is never played on TV anymore?

  15. #15 |  Andrew | 

    It’s just a matter of time before the US military is widely used against the citizenry. It has already happened before and it will happen again.

    There are those who say that “oh our soldiers won’t do anything to violate the Constitution even if ordered to…they’re patriots after all” but that is so much bullshit. They’ll do exactly as ordered. They did in New Orleans. They forcibly disarmed American citizens. Violated the 2nd and 4th amendments Posse Comitatus among other crimes. They did it without question. They got away with it too. Not one soldier involved was ever charged. No commander was ever charged. They simply walked over American citizens in the most vile of ways and did so with impunity.

    Ironically enough they did just what British redcoats tried a couple of hundred years ago but “our” soldiers did it successfully and without any sort of repercussions from either the legal system or from those they were brutalizing. Hopefully if the situation ever happens again it will more 1775 and less 2005.

  16. #16 |  qwints | 

    “I don’t know what America’s overall plan is — I just know that 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there are soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that are standing by to come and help if they’re called,” Cloutier said. “It makes me feel good as an American to know that my country has dedicated a force to come in and help the people at home.”

    Talk about Orwellian.

  17. #17 |  Jeremy’s Jeremiad » Ever Heard Of The Posse Comitatus Act? | 

    […] Hat Tip:  The Agitator […]

  18. #18 |  Eric Ogunbase | 

    They’re here to protect us!

    Just wait until the “Civilized Society Act” passes. The one that effectively outlaws personal firearms for protection.

    “You don’t need self protection in a civilized society! We have the Consequence Management Response Force to protect you.”

    Just wait.

  19. #19 |  KBCraig | 

    You should be scared. This is an attempt to create a Federal version of the National Guard.

    Everything these guys do is done already by the National Guard.

    The nation needs these active duty Army troops to fill in for the National Guard, because the National Guard is busy filling in overseas for active duty units.


  20. #20 |  Chris | 

    This mission – short of having a rapid response team to deal with a major terrorist attack – would still seem illegal because the 2006 and 2007 ammendments, that for a short while would have permitted this mission, have since been repealed in their entirety by HR 4986: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (full text here).

  21. #21 |  Ben | 

    They are reading the writing on the wall. There’s going to be a revolution in this country. It’s just a question of who moves first, the government to subjugate the population or the population to subjugate the government.

    I used to think that I was half crazy thinking shiat like that. Not so much anymore.

  22. #22 |  ParatrooperJJ | 

    Nothing new, this is a way to stabilize a brigade from foreign deployment to allow for training and family time. As to PC, it doesn’t apply when martial law is declared, and it doesn’t apply to the Navy, or Marines anyway. The military has had a domestic counterinsurgency mission for a long time. Look at the SF CIST (Counter Insurgency Strike Team) mission, to locate and neutralize the leaders of a counterinsurgency.

  23. #23 |  Sam | 

    Ah, sorry, I missed the declaration of martial law. I guess I also missed that an active regular army BCT was so similar to a small group of specialists that weren’t trained specifically to roam our streets quelling civil unrest. Eh, it’s easy I guess…I’ve spent so much time drinking beer and watching 24 that I miss just about everything these days. God I wish.

  24. #24 |  robertl | 

    Remember “Seven Days in May”? I believe that it was called “EcomCon” in the movie….

  25. #25 |  Red Green | 

    Facist, feelgood patriotism. Martial Law ,but with shopping.And what about those railroad cars? It really is strange, that the National Guard is over there,while the Civility Rangers are right here.

  26. #26 |  CFisher | 

    “Consequence Response Management Force”

    The Consequences they will be responding to being the angry peasants upon finding out just how badly they’ve been screwed by their lords.

  27. #27 |  PSYOP | 

    There are those who say that “oh our soldiers won’t do anything to violate the Constitution even if ordered to…they’re patriots after all” but that is so much bullshit. They’ll do exactly as ordered.

    Sadly, I would agree. If the Army is unleashed on America’s populace, most will follow orders – that’s how the military works. Those that didn’t obey would pay a steep price. You would likely have some lower-ranking enlisted personnel go AWOL or desert, but it would really be up to officers to stand up and say “I’m not doing this, and I wont order my soldiers to do it, either, it’s an unlawful order!” I don’t know too many that would, but some might…we still have honorable soldiers and leaders in the military.

    Their can be a huge divide in the thinking of civilians and active-duty military personnel, I know because I was one. I tend to think any revolutionaries would be viewed as traitors by many soldiers. Sad, but true. The real traitors run our government and rape the Constitution on a daily basis…

  28. #28 |  Jmarsh | 

    Really, a bit of an overreaction people.

    Active duty units have been used for “public works” projects (ie, privates setting out chairs for massive Bingo tents) just like the national guard for years. A private is a unit of labor, that’s all. Jaws of life employment? Firefighting? Sounds like cross MOS training. SFW?

    While they may *learn* crowd control with non lethal weps and techniques (much like every freaking unit that has done MOUT training on American soil has done for years), this doesn’t imply they’re going to ever, ever, be used in this capacity on our soil. Most of the national guard troops that showed up for Katrina duty were completely unarmed, just like an AD unit would be if deployed to do anything but active counter insurgency on the domestic front.

    Hell, put engineers on the southern border and start practicing installing claymores and other defensive works.

    With the way cops and people like the Atlanta mayor act, you guys should refocus your angst on an aggregate risk basis.

  29. #29 |  Wayne | 

    Better to have an overreaction than an underreaction. Underreacting is going to result in you waking up one day and asking yourself how we got to the point of armed soldiers standing in our airports and train stations. Or maybe not. Nothing in the article talked about setting out chairs for Bingo, or building dams, or giving aid during floods, etc. The article repeatedly mentioned “civil unrest,” “crowd control,” and the need to “subdue unruly individuals.” These are not terms that come to mind when I think of my grandmother going to Bingo. Also, why does the military need to use chainsaws to clear roads? How big of a hurricane do we need to warrant giving the military chainsaws to clear roads of fallen trees? Where will the civilian rescue people be? This is one of the most unnerving articles I have read lately, especially when you couple it with the fact that it’s over two weeks old and had not been widely circulated even in the alternate news communities. Oh, and I just read that McLame is “suspending” his campaign because of the economic crisis. This could be just a hop, skip, and a jump from “suspending” the November elections if the crisis continues to escalate. I’ll just continue to overreact by stepping up my preparations for a disaster that I hope won’t ever come.

  30. #30 |  Daniel | 

    I think I saw this show, it was called “Jericho.”

    This is what the National Guard is for; the fact that they’re all overseas is wrong but the DOD’s need for troop rotations has forced this.

    Using battle-hardened infantry brigades for ‘crowd control’ is overkill, though.

  31. #31 |  Victor | 

    I was going to make some kind of flip comment to the effect of: bringing home all those wonderful “nation-building” techniques that work so well overseas – the midnight door-kicking and urine-soaked hoods; the roadblocks accompanied by full-auto sprayings of random cars; the surgical strike on your next-door neighbor’s house with a 500-pound bomb – what could possibly be scary about that? You some kind of terrorist sympathizer, or what?

    Then it struck me it might be more to the point to ask: what reason have we to believe the US’s military exercises in subjugating populaces in foreign countries over the last decade or more of strategically-brainless interventions is not intended as practice for the control of the American people?

  32. #32 |  Darth Cuddly | 

    I don’t think this is as bad as it sounds. NORTHCOM has been around for a while as a subordinate to NORAD so the existence of a continental US mission with a command is nothing new. Assigning a maneuver brigade to the command is new but makes sense for training and command relationship development.

    Where’s the NG? Deployed, or quite easily ineffectual because they are victims of the problem they might be working to solve. Though that might not necessarily be the case I would expect a competent government to have a contingency on the shelf if it were.