Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Military At Home

According to the Washington Post, "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."

The ACLU and libertarian groups argue that this plan "threatens to...undermine the Posse Comitatus Act," and in fact they have a valid point. If, that is, these 20,000 troops are being deployed to make house arrests, serve warrants, and deliver speeding tickets. Title 10 of the United States Code states that:
The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe such regulations as may
be necessary to ensure that any activity (including the provision of
any equipment or facility or the assignment or detail of any personnel)
under this chapter does not include or permit direct participation by a
member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps in a search,
seizure, arrest, or other similar activity unless participation in such activity by such member is otherwise authorized by law

As such, it would appear that the Pentagon's action to create a domestic terrorist response force is lawful so long as the soldiers are assisting in and not actually executing the duties of local law enforcement. While that knowledge may not reassure the concerned citizens fearful, no doubt, of having their homes invaded by black-clad special forces wielding M16s in the dead of night, the recognition that the best trained military in the world is going to be prepared to assist in the event of a major nuclear or biological attack - which is predicted by a bipartisan commission to happen before 2013 - should comfort the rest of us.


Clay said...

...and Obama doesn't feel the need to continue a missile defense system.

Anonymous said...

I would expect our military to respond to a major attack within the United States. The oath of office for a commissioned officer and all enlisted personnel includes, "...protect the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

Meanwhile, as Janet Napolitano assumes the office of Director Homeland Security ... the same individual who supports sanctuary cities in Arizona, anyone with an ounce of sense should conclude that we need to plug gaping holes in our southern border; that's how terrorists will import weapons of mass destruction.

Good post!

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