Apparently, I’m late to this party. But it sure made me laugh.
Posts From: December 1st, 2008
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.
The long-planned shift in the Defense Department’s role in homeland security was recently backed with funding and troop commitments after years of prodding by Congress and outside experts, defense analysts said.
There are critics of the change, in the military and among civil liberties groups and libertarians who express concern that the new homeland emphasis threatens to strain the military and possibly undermine the Posse Comitatus Act, a 130-year-old federal law restricting the military’s role in domestic law enforcement.
But the Bush administration and some in Congress have pushed for a heightened homeland military role since the middle of this decade, saying the greatest domestic threat is terrorists exploiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, dedicating 20,000 troops to domestic response — a nearly sevenfold increase in five years — “would have been extraordinary to the point of unbelievable,” Paul McHale, assistant defense secretary for homeland defense, said in remarks last month at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. But the realization that civilian authorities may be overwhelmed in a catastrophe prompted “a fundamental change in military culture,” he said.
I predict that while now couched in terms of the necessity for a ready response to a cataclysmic terrorist attack, within five years there will be calls to use these forces for less urgent matters, such as crowd control at political conventions, natural disaster response, border control, and, inevitably, some components of the drug war (looking for marijuana in the national parks, for example).
Here’s hoping Obama scales this back. Or if he doesn’t, that, with a Democrat in the White House, the Republicans rediscover the way they once got the heebie-jeebies over this stuff.
More begging. Of course, non-profits are always begging. That’s their business model. I know, because I’ve worked at a few, though the ones I’ve worked for don’t take any money from the government.
The fundamental concept to keep in mind, here, is that the companies and individuals who didn’t take dumb risks, make bad investments, and/or manufacture a crappy product are being forced by government to save the ones who did.
The gang at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition—a group of ex-cops, judges, and prosecutors who’ve come out against the drug war—will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the repeal of alcohol prohibition with an event tomorrow at the National Press Club. From the press release:
On Tuesday, December 2, a group of law enforcers who fought on the front lines of the “war on drugs” and witnessed its failures will commemorate the 75th anniversary of alcohol prohibition’s repeal by calling for drug legalization. The cops, judges and prosecutors will release a report detailing how many billions of dollars can be used to boost the ailing economy when drug prohibition is ended.
“America’s leaders had the good sense to realize that we couldn’t afford to keep enforcing the ineffective prohibition of alcohol during the Great Depression,” said Terry Nelson, a 30-year veteran federal agent and member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). “Now, cops fighting on the front lines of today’s ‘war on drugs’ are working to make our streets safer and help solve our economic crisis by teaching lawmakers a lesson from history about the failure of prohibition. We can do it again.”
Here’s LEAP’s compelling promotional video:
India’s government not only failed to protect its citizens from terrorism, it wouldn’t allow them to protect themselves. Check out this paragraph from the Wall Street Journal:
At about 9:45 p.m., two gunmen, slender and in their mid-20s, ran up the circular driveway at the entrance to the Trident. They shot the security guard and two bellhops. The hotel had metal detectors, but none of its security personnel carried weapons because of the difficulties in obtaining gun permits from the Indian government, according to the hotel company’s chairman, P.R.S. Oberoi.
On the other hand, at least some Indian officials are taking responsibility for their failure, which is more than we can say about anyone in the U.S. government after September 11.