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Author Topic: Bush Admin. wants Military to Arrest Civilians
maxomai
Alpha Geek
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Icon 8 posted July 22, 2002 10:34      Profile for maxomai   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Bush Administration is advocating that the military get civilian law enforcement powers. (additional link).

Congress can give the military these powers by modifying a 130-year-old law called the Posse Comitatus Act, which is intended to prevent situations like the Trail of Tears.

Of course, some of us might not LIKE the idea of permanent martial law in the United States, and our best bet would be to write our Congressmen, right now.


Posts: 343 | From: Portland, OR | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
LifetimeTrekker
Highlie
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Icon 1 posted July 22, 2002 13:52      Profile for LifetimeTrekker     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Max,

In the first article, Joe Biden--Democratic Senator from Delaware--was the subject of the article. He is not a member of the Bush Administration.

In the second, yes, the Bush Administration is asking for a review of the law, but it's not advocating a change in it. A review of the law, in this case, is being supported by the opposition in the form of Senators Biden and Carl Levin, D-Michigan.

Nowhere in either article is there a stated request to suspend posse-comitatus.

Where you get the idea for your topical sentence, I can't see.

I suggest re-reading the articles in question.


Posts: 669 | From: Albuquerque, NM, US | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
EngrBohn
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Icon 1 posted July 23, 2002 05:05      Profile for EngrBohn     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I hadn't before heard the suggestion that Posse Comitatus was enacted to prevent "Trail of Tears"-type incidents. Rather, as I've been taught, it was enacted (a) to prevent/remove military governorships; (b) to force the States to take care of themselves; and (c) to close the book on the Civil War.

There have been several reviews over the years, and some of these have resulted in amendments, such as the clarification that the military can provide "supportive and technical assistance (e.g., use of facilities, vessels, aircraft, intelligence, tech aid, surveillance, etc.) while generally prohibiting direct participation of DoD personnel in law enforcement (e.g., search, seizure, and arrests)." (quote ref). And, even though the Reuters article says "As the law stands, Biden said military officers called in for an emergency like a weapon of mass destruction in an Amtrak tunnel would not be allowed to use their weapons.", the law *does* recognize our right to fire in self-defense.

There have, of course, been frustrations. For example, when a civilian wants to do something incredibly stupid (such as leaving the base during a blizzard by way of a highway that the county Sheriff closed), we have to let them (since we can't enforce the county Sheriff's orders, and we can't legally keep a civilian on-base even when we've closed the gates), and then when their stupid act puts their life in jeopardy (they've buried their car in a snowbank), we have to save their butts if were the closest available responder, putting our crews at risk. And there are frustrations for the local governments, as there's a lengthy chain of offices that requests for equipment must go through when a federal disaster area hasn't been declared.

Now, I have no problems with another review -- indeed, I look forward to it for two reasons. First, it'll make sure the military has the legal authority to do the domestic missions its being assigned. Second, it'll force a review of those missions to make sure they're reasonable to the elected representatives of the country's population. (For example, if firing upon a hijacked airliner on a general officer's order is acceptable, it'd be nice if that authority were codified. If it's not acceptable, it'd be nice to know that now instead of after-the-fact.). I'd also appreciate it if, during the review, an eye is kept toward not giving the military too much authority -- enough to do the job, and nothing more. Else, we'll see "just one more job" assigned several times over, until we're doing jobs that rightly belong to local governments, taking resources away from our real job: the defense of the country.


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cb
"The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the Air Force, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government."


Posts: 987 | From: United States | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged
macadddikt18
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
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Icon 1 posted July 26, 2002 07:23      Profile for macadddikt18   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
this is obviously a plot by THEM, write congress, and try and stop them. if the military gets these powers, i am moving back to canada.
Nayt

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Nayt: making interesting posts boring since Jan 02


Posts: 1870 | From: In a world beyond your understanding | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
LifetimeTrekker
Highlie
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Icon 1 posted July 26, 2002 15:26      Profile for LifetimeTrekker     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by macadddikt18:
this is obviously a plot by THEM, write congress, and try and stop them. if the military gets these powers, i am moving back to canada.
Nayt


THEM are in Canada, too. THEM know no geographic or political borders.


Posts: 669 | From: Albuquerque, NM, US | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged


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