Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Military Plans for Assuming Control of U.S.

This possibility I file under the category of "REMOTE," but I thought it was relevant for today. Remember, two months plus the number of days until the 22nd, 2 p.m. Under the Rainbow Bridge. I might be carrying a stick.

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[SAM SMITH, UNDERNEWS - As you read this and similar stories, bear in mind that there is no provision in the Constitution for martial law. Further, the Constitution clearly grants to the states those powers not enumerated in it. Therefore, in the event of a large disaster, power would properly - and wisely - devolve to the governors of the 50 states, those best politically and technically qualified to run their jurisdictions during such periods. These, after all, are the officials with the most experience dealing with disasters in their own areas. But every major disaster plan since the 1980s has - like this one - involved some sort of illegal takeover, whether by the military or by an unconstitutionally chosen group of individuals. This story is not about saving America; it is about a military coup.]

BRADLEY GRAHAM, WASHINGTON POST - The U.S. military has devised its first-ever war plans for guarding against and responding to terrorist attacks in the United States, envisioning 15 potential crisis scenarios and anticipating several simultaneous strikes around the country, according to officers who drafted the plans....

The war plans represent a historic shift for the Pentagon, which has been reluctant to become involved in domestic operations and is legally constrained from engaging in law enforcement. Indeed, defense officials continue to stress that they intend for the troops to play largely a supporting role in homeland emergencies, bolstering police, firefighters and other civilian response groups.

But the new plans provide for what several senior officers acknowledged is the likelihood that the military will have to take charge in some situations, especially when dealing with mass-casualty attacks that could quickly overwhelm civilian resources...

The Pentagon's new homeland defense strategy, issued in June, emphasized in boldface type that "domestic security is primarily [sic] a civilian law enforcement function." Still, it noted the possibility that ground troops might be sent into action on U.S. soil to counter security threats and deal with major emergencies...

Civil liberties groups have warned that the military's expanded involvement in homeland defense could bump up against the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which restricts the use of troops in domestic law enforcement. But Pentagon authorities have told Congress they see no need to change the law.

According to military lawyers here, the dispatch of ground troops would most likely be justified on the basis of the president's authority under Article 2 of the Constitution to serve as commander in chief and protect the nation. The Posse Comitatus Act exempts actions authorized by the Constitution...

One potentially tricky area, the admiral said, involves National Guard officers who are put in command of task forces that include active-duty as well as Guard units -- an approach first used last year at the Group of Eight summit in Georgia. Guard troops, acting under state control, are exempt from Posse Comitatus prohibitions.

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