Posse Comiwhatus?

So am I the only one who finds this just a little bit troubling?

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.

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT 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.

[...]

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.

[...]

The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets.

“I was the first guy in the brigade to get Tasered,” said Cloutier, describing the experience as “your worst muscle cramp ever — times 10 throughout your whole body.

“I’m not a small guy, I weigh 230 pounds ... it put me on my knees in seconds.”

The brigade will not change its name, but the force will be known for the next year as a CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force, or CCMRF (pronounced “sea-smurf”).

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  • Mad Max||

    I still have nightmares from that horror movie I once saw, *Attack of the Sea-Smurfs.*

    They came from the depths of the uncharted ocean, destroying all in their path. Can men and land smurfs ally to defeat this menace?

  • ||

    How is this brigade's deployment even legal? Don't governors need to give permission for the feds to deploy on the ground?

  • Shallow Throat||

    So, in how many more ways can this look like the 3rd and 4rd Nixon administration?

  • ||

    "Consequence Management Response Force"

    Orwellian, yet Madison Avenue.

  • ||

    Costa Rica is looking better and better.

    E, I imagine governors will be getting into fistfights with each other over who gets to have these guys deploy in a disaster.

    What a terrible idea, not only from a civil perspective, but from a military one. Military reflexes are not police reflexes; tasking this group with police duties can only degrade their combat effectiveness. Not only that, but if these guys light up a neighborhood going after looters, the PR hit for the military is likely to be huge.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  • Abdul||

    Epi,

    They don't appear to have been deployed. They are training in case they get deployed. I don't think it would be anymore illegal then when Lieutenant General Russel L. Honoré led a joint task force in the New Orleans area after Hurricaine Katrina.

  • bubba||

    Serious Question:

    I understand the concern. But from a technical standpoint, how is this different from a national guard deployment?

  • ||

    OK, they are just training, but I'm sure RC is right that governors will say "yes" faster than a bar whore after four Screwdrivers and a line of coke. Still, this is dumb. What is the National Guard going to be doing, playing Tiddlywinks?

  • ||

    Bloody Sunday happened when a battle-hardened British paratrooper unit was used in a civil-security capacity.

    Think anybody who spent serious time in a combat unit in Iraq is going to be jumpy?

  • Abdul||

    What is the National Guard going to be doing, playing Tiddlywinks?

    If these guys get called up, it'll probably be a "Joint Task Force." This is not because they'll be searching houses for marijuana cigarettes, but because they "join" the professional military guys with the NG weekend warriors and the civilian police and emergency personnel to coordinate a response to the emergency.

    And you can be damned sure that if emergency tiddlies need winking, our crack NG men and women are up to it!

  • Elemenope||

    So long as their eventual deployment accords with the Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act, this is no more or less dangerous than usual.

    Not that I like it, mind you.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    What it really sound like is that they won't be doing anything. In other words, "we're tired of your fucking war." If the army is really going to be putting a "brigade combat team" (whatever that is) on domestic duty each year, it simply means that we'll have fewer troops to send overseas.

  • Abdul||

    Joe,

    Bloody Sunday happened in a situation where the civilian populace was generally hostile to the military presence. In the event of a natural or manmade emergency or disaster, I imagine most Americans will be happy to see the military come in.

    And sure, Iraq war veterans may be jumpy. There were iraq war veterans in General Honore's Joint Task Force in Hurricaine Katrina. But no bloody sundays because Lousiana has not been hostile to federal troops since General Butler left.

  • Elemenope||

    Bloody Sunday happened when a battle-hardened British paratrooper unit was used in a civil-security capacity.

    Not for nothing, but it was also *immediately* after the IRA had assassinated a large number of British law enforcement and dumped their bodies around Dublin.

    But I get your point.

  • ||

    Sounds like the beginnings of a plot...to a movie. ;-)

    You can't fund a combat brigade without money. Oh, maybe that is why Paulson needs $700 bn NOW.

  • ||

    Fair enough, Abdul.

    I'll just note that storms and wildfires are one thing, while the LA riots are another.

    The California National Guard was pretty responsible and restrained.

    This makes me nervous, that's all.

    Elemenope,

    Not for nothing, but it was also *immediately* after the IRA had assassinated a large number of British law enforcement and dumped their bodies around Dublin.

    I've heard people suggest that that is precisely why the British decided to use a paratrooper brigade that had been involved in heavy combat.

  • Mad Max||

    "Think anybody who spent serious time in a combat unit in Iraq is going to be jumpy?"

    Why should they be, what with the success of the surge? Are you suggesting there are still security problems in Iraq, five years after *our* President proclaimed that major combat operations were over?

  • ||

    Joe,

    This makes me nervous as well, but recall that the 1st Marine Division was deployed to LA in 1992 to help maintain order during the riots.

  • ||

    Think anybody who spent serious time in a combat unit in Iraq is going to be jumpy?

    Actually, as I understand it, combat time makes you less jumpy since you are used to it. The undeployed National Guard weekend warriors or recruits fresh out of Parris Island are more likely to be jumpy. And they get deployed first.

  • ||

    Were they, Corey? I'd forgotten that.

    Mad Max,

    Good one, but at first, I couldn't tell if you were serious. Iraq supporters have become impossible to parody. TallDave dropped a comment THIS YEAR reading "The Iraq War was a strategic master stroke." Good luck topping that.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Yay! Brownshirts!

  • Christ on a Cracker||

    I think exicted Marines only know one way to stop looting. This is yet another step towards the Iraqification of the US.

  • Christ on a Cracker||

    Make that "excited"

    I will use the preview button
    I will use the preview button
    I will use the preview button
    .
    .
    .

  • ||

    The police are acting more and more like the military every day, and now the military is coming home to meddle in domestic disasters. Why can't we keep the military separate and for you know, militaristic things like war? These people are trained to shoot, kill, and deal with enemy combatants. We don't need those skills introduced to the public. I mean, elemenope is right, it's not definitely bad, but its definitely not a step in the right direction.

  • steveo||

    So the Illuminati have their shock troops in place. Expect an October surprise. Something bad enough to let them call off the election and declare martial law.

  • ||

    Are you suggesting there are still security problems in Iraq, five years after *our* President proclaimed that major combat operations were over?

    I don't see where those two are mutually exclusive or, to the reasonable mind, deserving of derision.

  • ||

    "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."

    Right. Within a week, they will be crashing through our doors and terrorizing us while helping the murderous police serve search warrants for drugs and dice.

  • ||

    How long before they are called in for a no-knock raid? "The money from the drugs in that house are being used to support terrorist activities in South America!" I have a feeling the puppycide rate may get a bump.

  • ||

    I understand the concern. But from a technical standpoint, how is this different from a national guard deployment?

    In this day and age, not so much. The national guard of each state is the 'army' for that state and answers directly to the Governor of that state (unless and until it has been Federalized, the it becomes a part of the U.S. Army and answers to the President).

    This appears to be long term fallout over Hurricane Katrina where people asked "Why don't we send the army/navy to help those people out?". Well, now we have a brigade that is training to deploy after Katrina-ish disasters that happen in the U.S.

  • ||

    Oh, and I meant to add, I am not too concerned about this, but it doesn't seem to be step in the right direction as others have said.

  • miche||

    I've always liked you guys but can I be rude for the first time and say you are fucking stupid if you don't get how wrong this is. Go re-read the article and learn what it's really saying. The military will be training to fight US.

  • ||

    The military will be training to fight US.

    George Romero foresaw this.

  • Elemenope||

    Go re-read the article and learn what it's really saying. The military will be training to fight US.

    Man, that's old news. Like 1960's old. Seriously, there is nothing shocking about this. When you train the military to act like police, and you train police to militarize, you get...what we already have.

    There was a time to panic about this, and it was thirty fucking years ago.

  • Elemenope||

    Damn submit button. What I was going to follow with was that action should be taken against it in the political arena (vote for and or run candidates that are against the militarization of the homeland). But to be *shocked* about this makes one sound just slightly out of touch.

  • cadaver dog||

    This is totally legal thanks to the 2006 changes to the Insurrection Act:

    On September 30, 2006, the Congress modified the Insurrection Act as part of the 2007 Defense Authorization Bill. Section 1076 of the new law changes Sec. 333 of the "Insurrection Act," and widens the President's ability to deploy troops within the United States to enforce the laws. Under this act, the President may also deploy troops as a police force during a natural disaster, epidemic, serious public health emergency, terrorist attack, or other condition, when the President determines that the authorities of the state are incapable of maintaining public order. The bill also modified Sec. 334 of the Insurrection Act, giving the President authority to order the dispersal of either insurgents or "those obstructing the enforcement of the laws." The new law changed the name of the chapter from "Insurrection" to "Enforcement of the Laws to Restore Public Order."

    The 2008 Defense Authorization Bill, H.R. 1585, repeals the changes made in the 2007 bill, [3] but was pocket vetoed by President George W. Bush. [4] A new bill, H.R. 4986, has been passed which also repeals the changes made in the 2007 bill. [5]

  • cadaver dog||

    Uh, never mind. The second House repeal bill was signed into law on 1/28/2008.

  • Dread||

    So am I the only one who finds this just a little bit troubling?

    No.

    Not by a long shot.

    I can easily see a scenario where the government deploys the legions at home to keep any uppity peasants from balking at having their income plundered for the sake of the elite.

  • qnunc||

    "Expect an October surprise. Something bad enough to let them call off the election and declare martial law."

    Right, Stevo. I've thought the same thing for several years. Look at the specious reasons they are here: civil unrest and crowd control, (aka, anti-war demonstrations), and massive poisoning and chaos in response to various and sundry horrible attacks.

    Even though every american is now regarded as Public Enemy #1 by our masters and rulers, we haven't yet pulled off any of these Mad Max scenarios, so the government must let slip the dawgs of war to unleash these horrors on us. That will make it easier to declare martial law. We will be grateful to be put in "protective custody" at detention camps.

  • Warren\'s stand in||

    doom
    Doom
    DOOM

  • thoreau||

    What could possibly go wrong?

  • Abdul||

    qnunc,

    I propose a wager:

    If we make it through 2009 without the military being called out to put Americans into detention camps, will you pay me $1000?

    If we are put in detention camps, I'll give you $1,000 or the equivalent in the detention camps' underground economy (cigarettes? rat cutlets?).

  • Elemenope||

    Even though every american is now regarded as Public Enemy #1 by our masters and rulers, we haven't yet pulled off any of these Mad Max scenarios, so the government must let slip the dawgs of war to unleash these horrors on us. That will make it easier to declare martial law. We will be grateful to be put in "protective custody" at detention camps.

    I'm sorry, but this is a tad ridiculous. The US citizenry, generally, is *very* well-armed, and *very* ornery. Our government can't even get people to evacuate a fucking hurricane zone. Why on Earth do you think it would be *more* successful at rounding people up into camps?

    Not to mention the fact that US troops might be a tad hesitant to fire on their own god-fearing brethren. Shooting college kids and black people is one thing. Shooting old town country hicks is something else.

  • Robert||

    The military will be training to fight US.


    That's the definite impression I get from:

    The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets.


    It doesn't look what what they'd need to fight terrorists or ameliorate a natural disaster.

  • Abdul||

    Shooting college kids and black people is one thing. Shooting old town country hicks is something else.

    How did you kill women and children?

    Simple, you just lead them a little less.

  • ||

    I think exicted Marines only know one way to stop looting.

    I think you don't know jack shit about Marines.

    Expect an October surprise. Something bad enough to let them call off the election and declare martial law.

    Oh, please, steveo. The loony left goes off on this pretty reliably now (at least, they did last election season). Ain't gonna happen.

    The US citizenry, generally, is *very* well-armed, and *very* ornery.

    And a large chunk of the armed forces would switch sides before gunning down citizens declining their free government housing. Ain't gonna happen.

  • ||

    There are lots of reasons this is really bad. Civil liberties aside, I think police work (or occupation) damages the combat-worthiness of our soldiers.

    Soldiering = shoot first, ask questions later.
    Policing/Occupation = talk first, then shoot

    Training combat soldiers to police reduces their effectiveness as an invasion force.

  • Elemenope||

    How did you kill women and children?

    Simple, you just lead them a little less.


    War is hell, in'nt?

    "Son, what's the idea of having a peace symbol on your jacket and 'born to kill' written on your helmet?"

    "Sir, it's about the duality of man. That Jungian thing, sir!"

  • The Expatriate||

    "Man, that's old news. Like 1960's old."

    Kent State, anyone...

  • miche||

    There was a time to panic about this, and it was thirty fucking years ago.



    Maybe so but it seems that the people old enough to do it then were asleep at the wheel. Thanks a fucking lot... Greatest generation my ass.

  • thoreau||

    While I'm not in favor of this, thinking about it more I realize that they don't need the military if they want to do something evil on US soil. As Radley Balko will attest, SWAT teams can fill that role nicely.

    Indeed, there's a lot of PR value to keeping the military's domestic record fairly clean.

  • ||

    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 or an economic meltdown or any other generalized political unrest, at the discretion of the government.

    The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; beanbag bullets, microwave ray transmitters, CS gas foggers, lasers, automatic weapons, grenade launchers, predator drones, missiles and rockets, and psychological warfare tactics.

    There, fixed it for reality.

  • ||

    "Man, that's old news. Like 1960's old."

    Kent State, anyone...


    I think the troops involved were National Guard, not that it makes any difference to those who died that day.

  • qnunc||

    This is a good article from 1997 about the dangers of the many "exceptions" to the Posse Comitatus Act: THE POSSE COMITATUS ACT: A PRINCIPLE IN NEED OF RENEWAL (http://web.archive.org/web/20070311032020/http://law.wustl.edu/WULQ/75-2/752-10.html):

    The need for reaffirmation of the PCA's principle is increasing because in recent years, Congress and the public have seen the military as a panacea for domestic problems. . .

    The growing haste and ease with which the military is considered a panacea for domestic problems will quickly undermine the PCA if it remains unchecked. Minor exceptions to the PCA can quickly expand to become major exceptions. For example in 1981, Congress created an exception to the PCA to allow military involvement in drug interdiction at our borders. Then in 1989, Congress designated the Department of Defense as the "single lead agency" in drug interdiction efforts.

  • ||

    While I'm not in favor of this, thinking about it more I realize that they don't need the military if they want to do something evil on US soil. As Radley Balko will attest, SWAT teams can fill that role nicely.

    SWAT teams don't have ordnance or mechanized armor. Yet.

  • shane in wva||

    Isn't that what Guardsmen are supposed to be doing? Is it because they have been in war for so long, that they can't be trusted to have American's in their cross-hairs? What is goin on here people? The Army walking our streets?

  • ||

    Why on Earth do you think it would be *more* successful at rounding people up into camps?



    Perhaps they've learned a few things since WWII when thousands of Japanese-American citizens were rounded up into camps in 1942.

  • qnunc||

    Of course, the Insurrection Act precludes this:

    . . . That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.



    With the exception of Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson and a few others, the "founding fathers" were dead serious that this "right" would never be exercised. The recurring theme of the Federalist Papers was the need for a strong central government to quash any thought of dissent (not to mention revolution) among the "ruled."

  • Elemenope||

    qnunc --

    You do realize that the Declaration of Independence was a very early and sterling example of *propaganda*, right? Now, I don't disagree with what Jefferson wrote there on any particular point, but I think one would have to be deluded to believe that Jefferson would have reacted with equanimity to an insurrection if it had occurred on his watch as president.

    Besides, the Insurrection Act doesn't obviate the possibility of rebellion. It just makes it *harder*. Revolution, IMHO, is not supposed to be easy; things have to be bad enough that you are willing to *kill* and *die* in order to change them.

  • Elemenope||

    Perhaps they've learned a few things since WWII when thousands of Japanese-American citizens were rounded up into camps in 1942.

    Hmm. A mostly unarmed, insular minority with no political power. Yeah, that's exactly equivalent to what we're talking about.

    /sarcasm

  • Kolohe||

    CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force, or CCMRF

    The very best military acronyms are nested.

    I think I once found one 4 deep.

  • Kolohe||

    Fwiw, I find this new program more an adminstrative change than an operational change.

    What the new unit would do would have been what other diverse units would have done in the past; and IIRC, what they basically did after 9/11 for example.

  • Elemenope||

    Kolohe:

    Not a military acronym, but strange-loop acronyms are great.

    GNU: GNU's Not Unix

    A decent collection here.

    Also, my all-time favorite is Quine's Paradox.

    "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation" yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation.

    Take that, English!

  • shane in wva||

    It is because they need troops on the ground in case there is some crazy language in the Wall Street Bailout like...

    "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."

    Yeah, I'd want trained security too.

  • qnunc||

    No, Elemenope, I didn't realize the declaration of independence was *propaganda*, but like a lot of the people who have posted here, (you being an exception, ahem) I am as dumb as a fishing worm. Propaganda how so? Most of the grievances against the king are exactly the grievances many of us have against the government today (of course, I don't mean *you*):

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their substance.

    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury



    And, you do realize, (don't you?) that the government is working overtime to disarm us, right? They have no intention of *rounding up* an armed and "ornery" citizenry. The Japanese-American detention camps is certainly equivalent to what we're talking about.

    /no sarcasm

  • ||

    qnunc, the point is that the DoI has absolutely no legal standing. Not that it matters on that point; if the people are ready to rebel against the government, the laws against them doing so are irrelevant.

  • Elemenope||

    What Tulpa said, and also...

    The very best propaganda (in the functional sense) is mostly true. Or rather, it works off of readily verifiable or apparent facts. What makes it propaganda is the manner in which it is stated.

    So, a statement like...

    the King has created a bureaucracy which has had the effect of impeding commerce which has made it very difficult to do profitable business...

    becomes:

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their substance.

    One sounds like bitching (ahem, I mean a petition of grievances), and the other sounds like you wanna kill the guy. That's the difference.

    The DoI is not a legal document. It is primarily a *political* document.

  • ||

    Welcome, everyone to the security over individual rights police state. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I hope it doesn't come to an armed revolution to return the U.S. of A. to it's original purpose: limited government, protection of individual rights, and protection of our national boarders (against foreign invasion, not illegal immigration) but I fear it will.

  • Dello||

    "...helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys."

    Maybe these guys can get Comcast's butt moving in a timely fashion. They might even be able to get the produce trucks to Von's while the stuff is still ripe.

  • ||

    The 'Civil Assistance Plan' febuary 14th 2008

    illegal, unconstitutional, unapproved by Congress and very worrying.



    "SAN ANTONIO, Texas - U.S. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, and Canadian Air Force Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, commander of Canada Command, have signed a Civil Assistance Plan that allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency."

    http://www.northcom.mil/News/2008/021408.html" >northcom.mil

  • Mo Jo||

    This is fucking unreal... Not the national guard but a fucking ARMY from a fucking war zone...

    What does this government have cooking now???

    This should be stopped.

  • ||

    You think we are lying when we say main steet is in big trouble if you don't approve the Goldman, GE, JP Morgan bailout?

    ya you have big trouble right around the corner...now hand over your children's future paychecks to us! slaves!

  • JOSEPH F YATES||

    MAYBE IT`S BECAUSE A REPORTER IN PHILADELPHIA SAID THAT " IF BARRACK OBAMA IS NOT ELECTED THEN IT WILL BE AN ALL OUT BLACK ON WHITE WAR ". WE ARE BEGINNING TO LOSE ALL REASON WHEN POLITICS ARE INVOLVED.

  • ||

    So we don't waste too much time ... who will be President after the successful revolution? Is there some kind of committee working on this?

  • ||

    They most likely are looking to restructure their 'total force' structure in terms of training. They have already used the Army National Guard so much in Iraq, now they want to make the 'regular' Army more ready for National Guard-type roles. Didn't Pres. Bushwa I use active duty soldiers and marines in the wake of the LA riots?

    The command structures and 'total force' integration is already there. It is more a matter of training than anything, and that is for one brigade.

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