Joe Miller Security Scandal Gets More Disturbing

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

It now looks like the security thugs working for Alaska GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller were active military.

Here’s Glenn Greenwald:

If it’s not completely intolerable to have active-duty soldiers handcuffing American journalists on U.S. soil while acting as private “guards” for Senate candidates, what would be?  This is the sort of thing that the U.S. State Department would readily condemn if it happened in Egypt or Iran or Venezuela or Cuba:  active-duty soldiers detaining journalists while they’re paid by politician candidates?

Greenwald suggests that this is illegal. If it isn’t, it should be. It isn’t difficult to see the problems that would come with active soldiers working private detail for politicians.

Miller should have apologized, fired his security, and acknowledged the handcuffing and threats to other journalists were out of line. Instead he’s defending the actions of his security and making excuses that aren’t true.

So to recap, a candidate for the U.S. Senate sees nothing wrong with active duty U.S. troops providing private security for a political candidate, then handcuffing and threatening journalists who ask the candidate tough questions.

Disturbing. But also probably to be expected of a guy who thinks we should adopt an East German model of border control.

Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

60 Responses to “Joe Miller Security Scandal Gets More Disturbing”

  1. #1 |  Politically.Speaking | 

    I’ve read that private security personnel can make citizens arrests in AK, which would make the thugs’ handcuffing of the journalist fall into the legal realm (assuming he was making a ruckus). However, with that “security” firm having an expired license at the time of the detainment (they just renewed it yesterday), then it seems like they were not a legitimate security firm able to perform a citizen’s arrest.

    As for the active duty personnel on staff – the Army does allow soldiers to moonlight as long as their moonlighting does not harm readiness. However (pt 2), there are restrictions as to what they can do. Guarding a warehouse with paper supplies would be legitimate, I imagine. I cannot imagine political thug for hire falls into that legitimate realm, though.

  2. #2 |  perlhaqr | 

    Were the .mil folks on or off duty? If they were off duty, is it your argument that they don’t have the right to volunteer for this gig?

    (I understand that the military may in fact prevent them from doing so in their own free time, but recognizing that is hardly the same as arguing that that position is right.)

    I am, by my own admission, ignorant of the details of this case. But I would also like to say that “journalist” isn’t a “get away with being a jackass free” card. So I can see circumstances under which it would be perfectly reasonable for the security detail for a candidate for office to detail people if they happen to make their money working for the media.

    Again, as I say, owing to my ignorance about the details of this case, I am not defending these actions in specific because I don’t know what they were.

  3. #3 |  Taktix® | 

    Didn’t the Roman republic start to collapse when Gaius Marius used the army as his own personal guard?

    Ehh… never mind, move along, nothing to see here…

  4. #4 |  Marty | 

    the cop that was there never intervened… this is chilling stuff. I’m not so disappointed in the dipshit, fascist politician, it’s the breakdown of safeguards that’s striking. cops and soldiers are always slamming politicians, but here they go again, sucking up to the power teat.

  5. #5 |  Matt | 

    The “active duty military” thing sounds like a canard, if they were working on their own time.

    To make a simple analogy, suppose a US soldier murders his wife in a domestic dispute while on leave. Would we then hear frantic claims about “active duty” troops committing summary executions of US citizens?

    That would be stupid.

  6. #6 |  Ben | 

    It’s accelerating. Give it fifteen years, we’re going TO BE East Germany.

  7. #7 |  John Jenkins | 

    I don’t think it’s any more disturbing if the security guards were off-duty soldiers working for a security firm. If they violated DoD policy, they will (and should be) punished for it. It would be more disturbing if they were on duty, but it seems incredibly unlikely that would be the case. I find Greenwald’s histrionics, however, to be unpersuasive at best. I just don’t trust that he is being honest anymore, particularly during election season.

    This is one of those issues that crops up from time to time that bothers me about myself. On the one hand, if someone is being a dick in public, when he gets his comeuppance, it doesn’t bother me much. On the other, it’s still an abuse that should bother me. If they were acting as private guards, then the reporter has civil remedies for false imprisonment so he can vindicate his rights (no prizes for a list of available remedies if they were acting in an official capacity).

  8. #8 |  Cackalacka | 

    You know what’s gorgeous about this?

    11 a.m. this morning on the original thread I suggested that, ya know, active duty personnel arresting private citizens at the behest of politicians miiiiight be of interest to libertarians. I see that really didn’t go over too well with your readership.

    Just because someone pays lip service to tea parties, you shouldn’t ignore a wicked authoritarian streak.

    I’d urge libertarians to pay attention to guys like Miller. Tea Partiers are co-opting your brand. One might argue that what they say and do, particularly when it comes to authoritarianism, has more than a few ramifications to your brand than it does sniping at liberals with patronizing italics.

  9. #9 |  Cackalacka | 

    “The “active duty military” thing sounds like a canard, if they were working on their own time.”

    According to Greenwald, “DoD Directive 1344.10 – governing “Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces on Active Duty” — provides: “A member on AD [active duty] shall not: … [p]articipate in partisan political management, campaigns, or conventions.”

    Histrionics or no, presumably handcuffing a private citizen at a public event is a little outside the gray-area, right?

  10. #10 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “a candidate for the U.S. Senate sees nothing wrong with active duty U.S. troops providing private security for a political candidate, then handcuffing and threatening journalists who ask the candidate tough questions.”

    At a public event at a public venue.

  11. #11 |  Matt | 

    It’s disturbing to have anyone handcuff a private citizen without good cause, I don’t care who’s doing it. If the soldiers violated DoD rules they should indeed be punished. But I read Greenwald as trying to insinuate there is some sort of nefarious breach of posse comitatus going on, which doesn’t look to be supported by the evidence.

  12. #12 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Cackalacka, you commented kind of late in the game on the original post. Sentiment can go either way unless there’s heavy voting. For a true sampling of opinion, you need to be among the first to comment.

    That said, you have some good points, especially about the disturbing events regarding Joe Miller. As for the brand of libertarianism — well, us libertarians are so used to being maligned, marginalized and manipulated that I can’t imagine any honest libertarian really caring about what a mainstream candidate does in the name of “libertarianism” anymore. I mean, even Jerry Brown is using “libertarian” arguments in his commercials!

    Oh, we could come up with a new name, but it would only be a matter of time before that got co-opted. Politicians will say anything if they think it will get votes, nothing we can do about it.

  13. #13 |  Steve Verdon | 

    John Jenkins,

    We have a public figure running for public office, at a public event, at a public facility and we have active duty military personnel, who have sworn to uphold the Constitution, arresting a journalist and you don’t see any potential problems? Really? Seriously?

    Lets keep in mind that another video shot by another journalist showed security pulling an age old trick. Security/police get right up in the photographers face and then when the photographer puts a hand out to maintain a reasonable amount of distance it becomes, “You touched me, you assaulted me, I’m going to arrest you.” If I came right up in your face like that you’d likely feel threatened and tell me to back off and possible even put your hands up to keep some distance between us.

    Being security or police does not give one the right to get in other people’s faces to provoke a response and then arrest them, IMO.

    This is one of those issues that crops up from time to time that bothers me about myself.

    Maybe some therapy then. These are all of our rights and when we let instances like this go we are all made just a bit worse off. Yeah, sometimes it means we have to defend the dick, but so what.

  14. #14 |  SJE | 

    Of course, you also have senior officers appearing in uniform in support of Christian ministry in the military and discriminating on the basis of belief. If your top brass is allowed to get away with neocon politicking, is it any surprise that the grunts think that they can “go rogue” in support of a conservative politician?

  15. #15 |  John | 

    Miller’s people say that the reporter shoved a guard and followed Miller into the bathroom.

    If true, there’s nothing disturbing about what the guards did.

  16. #16 |  John Jenkins | 

    My point is that the fact that they were off-duty military people doesn’t make it any worse than if they were off-duty cops or off-duty bouncers in any existential sense. It’s just as bad, but not worse. The fact that these guys might have violated DoD policy by being security guards at a political function is of great consequence to them, but not of great consequence in the grand scheme of things. Their chain of command will take care of it and they will be punished appropriately (military justice is a swift affair, I assure you).

    If they were on duty, it’s a completely different story, but I didn’t see any evidence anywhere that they were on duty at the time. I just don’t see why the day job of the part time security guard makes any difference.

  17. #17 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    When I was in the Navy, I would work security at events, such as golf tournaments and concerts (I lived not too far from Bay Hill in Florida). Lord knows I couldn’t arrest anybody, so handcuffing someone is bizarre to me.

    Active duty members should not be precluded from private jobs unless they are acting in official duty (Army uniforms, specific orders to do so from command, etc).

    I’d prefer jarheads to army grunts, though, if my ass was needin’ protection. Just sayin’.

  18. #18 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Luckily, the Republican Party (the party of integrity and freedom) will come roundly condemn this situation as completely intolerable.

  19. #19 |  omar | 

    But I would also like to say that “journalist” isn’t a “get away with being a jackass free” card.

    Nope. The get-out-of-jail card is your birth certificate. Grown up societies don’t handcuff people talking out of their back ends.

  20. #20 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I doubt hardly anyone in the two major parties even has a clue why it’s a bad idea to have the military acting as domestic cops (whether employed by the government or private enterprise).

  21. #21 |  Cackalacka | 

    Point taken, Cynical, I was a day late and a dollar short.

  22. #22 |  Psion | 

    My problem with allowing off-duty military personnel to function as security for civilian functions is that it becomes all too easy and tempting to use them regardless of their duty status. Just retro-actively claim they were off-duty. It’s that easy to abuse the distinction. And I don’t want them anywhere near civilians regardless of the costume they’re wearing. What makes them military isn’t the presence of a uniform, but the training, social structure, and access to special equipment they enjoy as active members of the military.

    We should never be in a situation where plausible deniability becomes an option for excusing military interactions with civilians.

  23. #23 |  The Johnny Appleseed Of Crack | 

    Key question: were they in their military uniforms? If so, then yes, it should absolutely be illegal. If not, then they are just another couple of private citizens who hold part time employment as security guards. Their actions may be bad/illegal (I don’t know ’cause I haven’t rtfa), but their full time occupation is not relevant.

  24. #24 |  DarkEFang | 

    Active military can act as security guards if they have permission from their commanding officer. In this situation, they did not have permission from their current COs. It’s possible they did have permission from a previous CO.

    “Miller’s people say that the reporter shoved a guard and followed Miller into the bathroom.”

    My understanding is that Miller and the reporter ran into each other in the bathroom before the event began. They didn’t say anything to each other, just “acknowledged” each others presence.

    The video that’s come out so far doesn’t show any physical contact. Security is right in the reporter’s face and telling him to stop asking questions or else he would be arrested.

  25. #25 |  Salt | 

    It seems there are deeper roots to this circus: According to the most prominent anti-Palin blog, http://tinyurl.com/258rq8a, the ‘security’ company was licensed only as a military surplus store and did not have a current license to provide security services in AK. Additionally, the owner of the ‘security’ service (the most prominent face in the video) is a ‘supply sergeant’ for the Alaska militia, which is headed by a former Michigan militia organizer.

    There’s a boatload of document copies at the anti-Palin site supporting these claims, as well as their ties to Miller.

    It does make for some interesting reading.

    FWIW

  26. #26 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    #22-Psion-
    Um, you must not realize that military folk are normal people. And they live and work right next to civilians constantly. You need to let go of your movie stereotyping.
    As far as access to “special equipment” (what, you mean guns?), using government weaponry like that is highly illegal (ask Ft. Hood soldiers about that). Besides, a quick trip to a gun store or show could arm someone a lot easier.
    Social structure? Really?

  27. #27 |  JS | 

    I wonder how this story would play if Minister Farrakhan were running for office and it was his private army that did something like this?

  28. #28 |  JS | 

    Maybe the reporter (who Joe Miller had warned previously about asking him questions about his private life) brought his own “security detail” his guys and Miller’s could have had a nice throw down.

  29. #29 |  Cackalacka | 

    “Um, you must not realize that military folk are normal people.”

    Save for the fact that they are mandated by their employer to a higher level of conduct.

    There is a reason we call them ‘servicemen.’ We hold them to a higher esteem than the general public as they have ceded some of their liberties to protect ours.

  30. #30 |  Eric_in_AK | 

    As an Alaskan I’ll make the following offer. Any other state can have both Palin and Miller, just haul them away. Please!!!

  31. #31 |  Marty | 

    #16 | John Jenkins

    ‘My point is that the fact that they were off-duty military people doesn’t make it any worse than if they were off-duty cops or off-duty bouncers in any existential sense.’

    I disagree with you here… I think using off duty military personnel is MUCH worse. The politician can exert negative influence on the soldier’s career by manipulating supervisors or lobbying for the soldier to get bad assignments. The politician can influence the soldier’s behavior by promising perks in the military or in the military industrial complex after the soldier is discharged. and last, I feel this gives politicians a huge supply of trained killers to use for their own ends. Cops are trained to interact with US citizens, so I don’t feel as bad about that. Bouncers… they’re private citizens- I have no issues with that.

  32. #32 |  Bruce | 

    OK. The Joe Miller campaign rented a school for a town hall meeting. They were told they needed a security plan. They hired a local security company that happens to employ off duty soldiers. Nobody was in uniform. The ‘journalist’ in question is the editor of the Alaska Dispatch, a liberal blog owned by a New York socialite who last year wanted the Alaska legislature to appropriate $500,000 for her NYC business. The ‘journalist’ has been dogging Joe Miller during the campaign and at the end of the town hall meeting followed Joe into the hall with a camera in his face blocking his exit. Joe was forced to turn around and walk the other way. That was when security blocked the ‘journalist’s’ access to Joe and told him to leave and that he was trespassing, which he was, since they had rented the school, they could control access to the event and remove anyone they choose to who they felt was disruptive. That’s when he shoved one of them. He admitted on camera to KTUU news that he shoved one of the security. That was when he was placed in handcuffs.

    The fact that part of the security were soldiers working a second job has absolutely no bearing on the situation. They were not acting in any capacity as US military

  33. #33 |  Lew | 

    One of the advantages of being republican means never having to say you’re sorry.

  34. #34 |  Javad | 

    @32 – Bruce. The event may have been paid for but it was not a provate event. The areas where the encounter occurred were not covered by the “contract.” Further, handcuffing a citizen for daring to ask a question of someone who is running for office to represent the people is way over the line. This goes to the whole politicians thinking they are owed positions. Any citizen should be able to askone running for office or in office any question without fear of arrest. The security guards should be arrested for false imprisonment. Now here is the part that is interesting – were they armed, if so? were they carrying military issue sidearms? Assuming they were not armed, the facts look like they falsely imprisoned someone and should be charged. That charge should have an adverse effect on their military careers. Public officials acting in their private capacities still can have public reprecussions.

  35. #35 |  Marty | 

    ‘The fact that part of the security were soldiers working a second job has absolutely no bearing on the situation. They were not acting in any capacity as US military’

    the fact that they were soldiers working as security guards for a politician has a huge bearing on the situation. Soldiers have repeatedly demonstrated that they’re more interested in following orders than they are upholding the constitution. I have huge issues with politicians hiring soldiers to be security guards (mercenaries?) for their own ends.

  36. #36 |  MassHole | 

    I haven’t read deeply into this, but my question is did the men working security break the law by laying hands on the man and putting him in handcuffs?

  37. #37 |  Flight 741 | 

    Concerning the East Germany comment:

    You know, if we really wanted our borders to be secure, we would just let the economy tank. Oh….wait….

  38. #38 |  John Wilburn | 

    As Cackalacka indicated above, DoD Directive 1344.10 specifies activities which are allowed, and activities which are not allowed, for active duty military to engage in, as far as partisan politics are concerned. Among other things, active duty military are specifically prohibited to;
    “Participate in partisan political management, campaigns, or conventions (except as a spectator when not in uniform), or make public speeches in the course thereof.”
    It isn’t too much of a stretch to consider security guards to be participating in the management of a political campaign or convention…
    (Yes, I know it seems like a play on words, but it’s a valid point, nonetheless…)
    Most people in the military have deep and profound misgivings about involvement with politicians anyway – politicians are the parasites that start wars and get people shot…

  39. #39 |  Steve Verdon | 

    My point is that the fact that they were off-duty military people doesn’t make it any worse than if they were off-duty cops or off-duty bouncers in any existential sense.

    Actually it does, see Greenwald’s updates. Active service military personnel are not to work for partisan political campaigns.

    Its been posted here, I’ll copy and paste it again for you,

    According to Greenwald, “DoD Directive 1344.10 – governing “Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces on Active Duty” — provides: “A member on AD [active duty] shall not: … [p]articipate in partisan political management, campaigns, or conventions.”

    Seems pretty clear. If you are moonlighting for a security contractor you should tell your employer that you can’t work security for political campaigns, etc.

    The fact that these guys might have violated DoD policy by being security guards at a political function is of great consequence to them, but not of great consequence in the grand scheme of things.

    They quite possibly stomped all over a person’s constitutional rights…in direct violation of an oath they took to protect such rights. Sure, I see exactly what you mean.

    Active military can act as security guards if they have permission from their commanding officer.

    According to the DoD Regs that Greenwald cites this is not true if the security gig is for a partisan political event.

    The video that’s come out so far doesn’t show any physical contact.

    On the audio you can clearly hear the female journalist telling one of the security team to not touch her at about the 2:25 mark. This is very common with security/police. They initiate physical contact and when the person being touched responds then they claim assault and such, or they start touching the photographers camera.

    That was when security blocked the ‘journalist’s’ access to Joe and told him to leave and that he was trespassing, which he was, since they had rented the school, they could control access to the event and remove anyone they choose to who they felt was disruptive.

    Actually no. They rented part of the school according to the school district, they did not rent the hallway where the incident took place. Further, they advertised the event to the public thus rendering the “control access” point extremely dubious. If someone who has views contrary to Miller shows up, too bad for Joe he should have made it invite only then.

    That’s when he shoved one of them. He admitted on camera to KTUU news that he shoved one of the security.

    Sure and he also stated he felt threatened. As can be seen from the video these security guards get right in the faces of people they want to leave, they get extremely close so that most people would want them to either step back or take a step back themselves and possible put up their hands to ward them off. Common tactic, they do this hoping the person makes even the most incidental contact with them so that they can respond with far far greater level of force.

    The fact that part of the security were soldiers working a second job has absolutely no bearing on the situation. They were not acting in any capacity as US military

    Other than that they appear to have been violating DoD regulations, and acting in a thuggish manner contrary to the oath they swore when joining the military you mean.

    I haven’t read deeply into this, but my question is did the men working security break the law by laying hands on the man and putting him in handcuffs?

    They appear to have violated military regulations by working security for a partisan political event.

  40. #40 |  this is silly | 

    If it’s legal for the active duty soldiers to moonlight – and that’s a big if, but still an if – then I don’t see what their day job has to do with anything.

    Soldiers *volunteering* to work security would certainly be a problem with DoD regs (and with most state laws in general, regarding security workers), but that is a different matter. Working for pay is likely a different matter – what we’re talking about is no different than working as a janitor, electrician, or plumber. Being hired by a campaign does not automatically mean you’re engaged in political activity.

    Laws pertaining to what private guards can do are pretty clearcut, but their powers vary wildly from state to state and depending on where they are (private property owned by their employer, a venue they are contracted to work in, on a public sidewalk, etc.). Keep in mind that the legal authority of a contracted security person who is working on their specific property is virtually identical to that of the property owner themselves – they’re acting for them in their stead.

    If they broke the law, throw the book at them. This isn’t rocket science. In this case I doubt they had the right to do anything to the journalist, since it was apparently a public venue.

    “And I don’t want them anywhere near civilians regardless of the costume they’re wearing. What makes them military isn’t the presence of a uniform, but the training, social structure, and access to special equipment they enjoy as active members of the military.”

    This entire statement is just ridiculous, and you’re talking about them as if they’re some sort of freaks or something. They have less access to training or special equipment than YOU do. Stateside, equipment is locked up and highly controlled at virtually all times. Missing weapons will result in entire posts or units being locked down. There are severe restrictions on what weapons service members may own, often even in their own homes. Privately owned weapons are never allowed in the barracks, ever. Every last round of ammunition is expected to be accounted for after training – even when they put troops in the airports after 9/11, they didn’t actually give them any ammunition.

    You, on the other hand, can go get whatever training you want, most of it better than theirs. You can purchase whatever weapons and equipment you like, as many as you can afford, and store them in your own home however you see fit.

  41. #41 |  Steve Verdon | 

    this is silly,

    The regulations don’t prevent moonlighting, but they do prevent moonlighting for partisan political events. Its been posted here twice. Why is this hard to comprehend?

    Being hired by a campaign does not automatically mean you’re engaged in political activity.

    The regulations don’t say not to engage in political activity as voting is clearly a political activity that soldiers can engage in. What they can’t do is work for a partisan political campaign.

    http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134410p.pdf

    4.1.2. A member of the Armed Forces on active duty shall not:

    […]

    4.1.2.8. Perform clerical or other duties for a partisan political committee or candidate during a campaign, on an election day, or after an election day during the process of closing out a campaign.

    This would seem to prohibit working on any type of security detail for a political candidate. Now they could do a security detail for a concert, or a private event.

    It seems pretty straight forward to me.

  42. #42 |  Bruce | 

    Can we get off the non issue of WHO the security men are, or what their day job is? It has nothing to do with the issue.

    Dan Fagan is a local radio host. He had Tony Hopfinger on his show today. Tony is the journalist who was belligerent and was detained for it. They post podcasts of Dan’s show each evening. So you can hear the actual journalist speak in his own voice about his version of what happened as well as the questions posed to hime by Dan and callers. I beleive he was on in the second hour. Get it while its hot.

    http://www.kfqd.com for the podcast

  43. #43 |  JG | 

    I think the guy is an authoritarian asshole, and I’m voting for libertarian candidate David Haase (if I vote), but this post is pretty damn cheap Radley, not up to your standard. Miller wasn’t even in the building when security arrested the guy, and from all accounts they weren’t acting on his orders. Maybe Miller is a dick for hiring these goons in the first place; it is sleepy Anchorage after all, but he hired a firm, they acted like assholes. I don’t see his responsibility, at least in the moment. After the fact, he should have fired them and apologized though, certainly. Also, the East German comment wasn’t an endorsement of the tactic. He was answering the question of whether it’s impossible to secure a border. Obviously, as evidenced by the East Germans, it is not impossible.

  44. #44 |  SJE | 

    I think the issue is not just WHO is doing security, but WHAT they did. Since when does private security have the right to handcuff you?

  45. #45 |  Bruce | 

    AS 12.25.030. Grounds For Arrest By Private Person or Peace Officer Without Warrant.

    (a) A private person or a peace officer without a warrant may arrest a person

    (1) for a crime committed or attempted in the presence of the person making the arrest;

    (2) when the person has committed a felony, although not in the presence of the person making the arrest;

    (3) when a felony has in fact been committed, and the person making the arrest has reasonable cause for believing the person to have committed it.

  46. #46 |  Law Prof | 

    Journalists are not immune from the law (or they shouldn’t be). If they want to trespass or engage in an assault (shoving first) they should get treated like any other person. I don’t care that the aggressor here was a journalist any omre than if he’d been a lawyer. Neither job is an excuse for bad conduct.

    “Active duty” as used in the article is simply a misrepresentation. An Army medical corps captain who moonlights at the local ER would not be referred to in this fashion. He’s Doctor, performing a service to the community IN HIS SPARE TIME and for a fee. An “active duty” legal clerk acting as a bouncer at a civilian bar brings no magic powers to the job, neither does an infantryman (do you realize how many civilian bouncers are former infantry soldier — a lot). Believe me, all their GI issue equipment (except maybe underware is not with them on their civilian moonlighting job.

    This is a bad rap.

    If they are thugs, as many policemen and security guards certainly are, it’s not because they are in the military. THey were thugs long before Uncle Sam got ahold of them and they’ll be such long after they leave the military and join a police department or whatever.

  47. #47 |  Marty | 

    #40 | this is silly

    ‘If it’s legal for the active duty soldiers to moonlight – and that’s a big if, but still an if – then I don’t see what their day job has to do with anything.’

    they’re working for a senator and initiating force against the press- the most important tool we have to fight tyranny. this ‘part time job’ can have a huge impact on the soldiers’ careers- the senator can help with promotions, job assignments, etc. the senator can help secure positions with military contractors.

    soldiers are trained to follow orders. look at all the corruption with blackwater… this is ugly.

    ‘If they broke the law, throw the book at them.’ we can’t get cops who are videotaped beating people suspended, much less ‘throw the book at them’. these guys are working for a senator- that’s pretty close to being immune to little people laws.

  48. #48 |  qwints | 

    “Cops are trained to interact with US citizens”

    This quote wins the thread.

  49. #49 |  Dan Z | 

    It may have been covered, Im not sure as I didnt read all the comments, but I know at least here in Michigan that a citizens arrest can only be made if the person making the arrest actively witnesses a felony occur, not for any misdemeanor charge or the like or for hearing that a gas station was robbed down the street etc. Id find it more than a little odd that this would not be the norm for most states.

  50. #50 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    Brace yourself for this, guys: A majority of military personnel do not know what rights are granted via the Constitution, just like any segment of the American population. For you to assume that just because they’re sworn to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, they understand what that means specifically. If they truly did, there would be tanks rolling into Mississippi right now.
    The soldiers, working in an official capacity or not, are still held subject to the same laws as we are (and even more so under the UCMJ). If they broke a law, they should be punished. It will be dolts like us on juries that let these bozos off just because they are soldiers.
    But this idea that there should be a law against them working a perfectly legitimate job goes against some core Libertarian ideals, IMHO. The arguments above aren’t about liberty, they are about a fear of power and of the military.

  51. #51 |  Loader | 

    #25- if that bit about the company owner and the militia is true in any fashion, these guys just bought tickets to a world of shit they aren’t soon getting out of. Working a political rally (campaign style, not the usual “you got voluntold to pull security for when Sen. Whatshisnuts finally comes to talk to the locals” stuff) is bad; working for someone with a position of power in anything more extreme than a sundayschool class is doubleplus bad. I can almost hear the JAGs gnashing their teeth from here…

    #47- The big difference there is that civilian cops are, for the most part, completely unaccountable while .mil folks are. If, as has been stated, these chumps are AD and not Res/NG, they could have been working for the flying spaghetti monster itself and that would still not be enough to save their asses.

  52. #52 |  Rick H. | 

    The arguments above aren’t about liberty, they are about a fear of power and of the military.

    Power is force. It’s usually used to destroy freedom. There’s something strange about a so-called libertarian not having a healthy fear of power. Whether or not you feel the military is a necessary institution, surely you agree that there ought to be constraints on its use? This is my beef with modern conservatives – it’s all about freedom until you dare to criticize cops, soldiers or other State enforcers.

  53. #53 |  James A. Donald | 

    The rally was held in a building rented by Joe Miller, so he could throw out anyone he felt like. He ordered this journalist to leave, the journalist refused to leave, and his bouncers then physically removed the journalist. That is what bouncers do. That is why we call them bouncers. It is completely legal and proper.

  54. #54 |  SJE | 

    @53: Bouncers can throw you out of the club. They cannot arrest you unless you commit a crime. Second, military law prohibits active duty soldiers from working for a partisan political event.

  55. #55 |  SJE | 

    Sorry, they cannot arrest you or HANDCUFF you unless you commit a crime. There are such things as unlawful arrest.

  56. #56 |  Marty | 

    #50 | Mike Leatherwood

    ‘The arguments above aren’t about liberty, they are about a fear of power and of the military.’

    I feel our liberties are being trampled by their abuse of power.

  57. #57 |  Marty | 

    #48 | qwints |

    “Cops are trained to interact with US citizens”

    This quote wins the thread.-

    it is a little funny!

  58. #58 |  SJE | 

    Its seems that most of the “training” these days occurs on the firing range, with cut outs of children, mothers, and the family pet.

  59. #59 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Bruce,

    Being verbally belligerent is not sufficient reasons to detain someone. And yes, a politician using active duty military personnel as security is part of the issue, in fact the DoD disagrees so much with you a directive was issued.

    Really, learn to read.

    Law Prof.,

    This issue isn’t so much that they were moonlighting, but that they were doing so 1. without permission apparently and 2. in contradiction to a DoD directive concerning partisan political events.

    You need to learn to read too.

    Mike Leatherwood,

    A majority of military personnel do not know what rights are granted via the Constitution….

    I’m not sure what to make of that paragraph…is that a defense of these soldiers or condemnation? In any event a mere peasant such as myself would not be granted any benefits for not “knowing the law” so neither should any soldier. If he unwittingly acts in a way contrary to his oath he should be punished accordingly.

    James Donald,

    The rally was held in a building rented by Joe Miller, so he could throw out anyone he felt like.

    Not when he opens that event and rally to the public. Fliers told supporters to bring neighbors, friends, family, anyone who wanted to hear from Miller…i.e. the idea of throwing people out becomes much, much more problematic. If it was a rented space for a private event that was invite only you’d have a leg to stand on, probably two, right now you got nothing…you’re sitting on your ass.

    He ordered this journalist to leave, the journalist refused to leave, and his bouncers then physically removed the journalist. That is what bouncers do. That is why we call them bouncers. It is completely legal and proper.

    Escorting someone off of the premises is one thing, detaining them for a non-crime is something else entire…it is in fact itself a crime.

  60. #60 |  albatross | 

    There’s a quote from the Washington Post’s Top Secret America series that comes to mind here: “You can’t find a four-star general without a security detail.”

    Powerful people seem to be becoming more and more inclined to have some kind of muscle nearby–partly from fear, partly from keeping up with the General Joneses, but also probably because having some muscle around who works for *you* gives you some options you wouldn’t otherwise have. You can have annoying journalists roughed up, or let them fear that they will be roughed up if they don’t show proper deference. You can silence hecklers, get rid of annoying protesters, or just intimidate someone who’s getting on your nerves without ever appearing on camera any where doing it yourself.

    I have a feeling this is related in some way to the militarization of police forces, and to some other very worrying and ugly changes in our society.

Leave a Reply