Monday, October 6, 2008

US Army to deploy brigade in US to help with civil unrest

This stinks to high heaven.

The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the armed forces from acting in a law enforcement capacity. How else would you describe helping with "civil unrest and crowd control" if not "acting in a law enforcement capacity"?

And why do we need the military to help with these sorts of emergencies? Couldn't we have civilian organizations to help in times of crisis?

At the very least, this is one more big step in the militarization of the US, along with the cult of the "Commander in Chief" and the willingness to bomb first, ask important questions later. When I'm in a darker mood, this looks a lot like preparation for a something ugly in the near-future, like a depression or declaration of martial law.

clipped from
The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.

Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.

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 authorities.

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.

They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.
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