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U.S. Army Troops To Serve As U.S. Policemen? By Chuck Baldwin

Posted by soldierservant on October 6, 2008

This may be a necessary step to Bush’s canceling the elections?

This column is archived at

According to the Army Times (dated Tuesday, September 30, 2008), “Beginning
Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT [Brigade Combat Team] will be under the
day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of
Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or
manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.”

The article continued by saying, “But this new mission marks the first time
an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint
command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal
homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil

“After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that
another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the
mission will be a permanent one.”

The Times column also reported that the Army brigade “may be called upon to
help with civil unrest and crowd control . . .” It seems that the Army’s new
domestic duties also include “traffic control” as well as subduing “unruly
or dangerous individuals.”

The brigade will be known for the next year as a Consequence Management
Response Force, or CCMRF (pronounced “sea-smurf”).

I am assuming that the planners and promoters of this newfound function for
the Army brigade envision the Army assisting local first responders in
dealing with natural emergencies such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and the
like. Good intentions notwithstanding, to assign domestic police duties to
the U.S. military is extremely disturbing.

To understand my concern for this new “homeland Army brigade,” it is
important that we rehearse the principles of liberty as they relate to
standing armies.

One of America’s most sacred principles has always been that the U.S.
military was never to be used for domestic law enforcement. The fear of
standing armies ran very deep in the hearts and minds of America’s founders.
The tyranny and misery inflicted upon the colonies by British troops weighed
heavily upon those who drafted our Constitution and Bill of Rights. In their
minds, the American people would never again be subjected to the heavy
weight of army boots. Furthermore, they insisted that America would have a
civilian–not military–government.

And after the fiasco of the abuse of federal troops in the South following
the War Between the States, the doctrine of Posse Comitatus was enacted into
law. The Wikipedia online encyclopedia says this about Posse Comitatus:

“The Act prohibits most members of the federal uniformed services … from
exercising nominally state law enforcement police or peace officer powers
that maintain ‘law and order’ on non-federal property. . . .

“The statute generally prohibits federal military personnel and units of the
United States National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law
enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly
authorized by the Constitution or Congress. . . .

“The Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act substantially limit the
powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement.”

The Posse Comitatus Act was passed in 1878 and was universally accepted as
being a very just–and extremely important–law of the land.

But in 2006, President George W. Bush pushed a Republican-controlled
Congress to pass the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for
Fiscal Year 2007, which included a section titled “Use of the Armed Forces
in major public emergencies.” This section provided that “The President may
employ the armed forces to restore public order in any State of the United
States the President determines….” In effect, this bill obliterated Posse

When the Democrat-controlled Congress passed the 2008 National Defense
Authorization Act, however, the restrictions of Posse Comitatus were
restored. But when President Bush signed the Act into law, he attached a
signing statement (Executive Order) indicating that the Executive Branch did
not feel bound by the changes enacted by the repeal. Translated: President
Bush wiped out Posse Comitatus by Executive Order.

Now, just a few months after expunging Posse Comitatus, President Bush has
authorized an Army brigade to be assigned the new role of dealing
exclusively with domestic law enforcement and related duties. This evokes
serious questions.

Who will give the order to send U.S. troops against American civilians, and
under what circumstances? What will the rules of engagement be? How will
“unruly” and “dangerous” be defined? How will soldiers be asked to deal with
“crowd” or “traffic” control? And perhaps the biggest question is, Once we
begin to go down this road, where will it lead?

For several years, the federal government has been accumulating to itself
more and more authority that was historically understood to reside within
the states and local communities. More and more, our police departments have
taken on the image and tactics of the armed forces. And to a greater and
greater degree, the rights and liberties of the American people are being
sacrificed on the altar of “national security.” It seems to me that to now
ascribe law enforcement duties to the U.S. Army only serves to augment the
argument that America is fast approaching police state status.

If Hurricane Katrina is the template that our federal government is using as
a model for future events, Heaven help us! Do readers remember how National
Guard troops were used to confiscate the personal firearms of isolated and
vulnerable civilians shortly after that hurricane devastated the New Orleans
area? Do you remember how representatives of the federal government were
calling upon pastors and ministers to act as spokesmen for gun confiscation?
Is this what the new Army brigade is preparing for? And do President Bush
and his military planners envision an even broader role for military troops
on American soil?

Add to the above rumors of thousands of plastic caskets–along with
thousands of portable prison cells–being shipped and stored across the
country, and one is left to ask, Exactly what is it that our federal
government is planning?

I think there is an even bigger question, What exactly will members of our
armed forces do if and when they are commanded to seize Americans’ firearms,
arrest them at gun point, or even fire upon them? How many soldiers and
Marines love liberty and constitutional government enough to resist such
orders, should they be given? And how many officers would resist issuing
such orders?

Remember, it is the job of the armed forces to kill people and blow up
things, not to do police work. Then again, Presidential administrations from
both major parties have been using the U.S. military as U.N. “peacekeepers”
for decades now. So, was all of this preparation for what is yet to take
place in the United States?

God forbid that any of the above should actually take place in our beloved
land, but I believe it would be naïve to not see that the actions and
attitudes of the federal government over the past several years do nothing
to assuage such fears.

(c) Chuck Baldwin

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