Posse Comitatus Goes Belly Up

Yuck.

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, according to Pentagon officials.

The long-planned shift in the Defense Department's role in homeland security was recently backed with funding and troop commitments after years of prodding by Congress and outside experts, defense analysts said.

There are critics of the change, in the military and among civil liberties groups and libertarians who express concern that the new homeland emphasis threatens to strain the military and possibly undermine the Posse Comitatus Act, a 130-year-old federal law restricting the military's role in domestic law enforcement.

But the Bush administration and some in Congress have pushed for a heightened homeland military role since the middle of this decade, saying the greatest domestic threat is terrorists exploiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, dedicating 20,000 troops to domestic response -- a nearly sevenfold increase in five years -- "would have been extraordinary to the point of unbelievable," Paul McHale, assistant defense secretary for homeland defense, said in remarks last month at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. But the realization that civilian authorities may be overwhelmed in a catastrophe prompted "a fundamental change in military culture," he said.

I predict that while now couched in terms of the necessity for a ready response to a cataclysmic terrorist attack, within five years there will be calls to use these forces for less urgent matters, such as crowd control at political conventions, natural disaster response, border control, and, inevitably, some components of the drug war (looking for marijuana in the national parks, for example).

Here's hoping Obama scales this back.  Or if he doesn't, that, with a Democrat in the White House, the Republicans rediscover the way they once got the heebie-jeebies over this stuff.

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  • Egosumabbas||

    "Here's hoping Obama scales this back."

    Thanks, I needed a good laugh today!

  • Naga Sadow||

    Cue Star Wars: Fall of the Republic jibs in . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

  • Ska||

    the Republicans rediscover the way they once got the heebie-jeebies over this stuff.

    Thanks, I needed a good laugh today!

  • ||

    Let's not forget that it was the Republicans who first used the army for law enforcement, during the Reconstruction period. The Posse Comitatus act was part of the deal that Hayes made with the south to get their support.

    -jcr

  • tarran||

    I am far more likely to be physically attacked by a federal, state or local government official than by a terrorist.

  • Naga Sadow||

    I'm shocked tarran! If you've done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear! You have done nothing wrong right? Why are you sweating? You seem nervous . . .

  • SIV||

    Here's hoping Obama scales this back. Or if he doesn't, that, with a Democrat in the White House, the Republicans rediscover the way they once got the heebie-jeebies over this stuff.

    I predict the latter is more likely. I got a good laugh out of both though

  • ||

    Obama is not going to scale this back. If anything he is going to make it bigger. Reason rightfully objects to this. My problem with Reason is they don't want to live with the consiqences of not doing it. Where was Reason's concern about PC when they were cackling and laughing like the junior high school cool kids about the federal response to Katrina? The only way you can have an instant or close to instant federal response to a big disaster like a IND or another Katrina is to use the active duty military like this. Reason doesn't like that? Good, they probably shouldn't. But, they need to shut the fuck up the next time big daddy federal government doesn't magically appear on the scene to save people from an incompetant state government. You can't have it both ways.

  • ||

    Well, quite a few libertarians have wanted this for a long time. The whole " bring them back from over there because we need to use our troops here ( border, and some other bs)" thing.

  • ||

    Er, Radley, the Civil Air Patrol, a USAF Auxiliary, has been used for narco-surveillance for years. Ditto National Guard.

  • Egosumabbas||

    "Well, quite a few libertarians have wanted this for a long time. The whole " bring them back from over there because we need to use our troops here ( border, and some other bs)" thing."

    Having the troops guard the border is a legitimate function of the military. Having them perform policing duties is not.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Ego,

    Ahem. Until recently it was NOT a legitimate function. It was patroled by police and/or federal police(FBI, ATF, DEA).

  • ||

    One other thing Radley, the active duty military pretty much owned the Federal response to Katrina. FEMA gives mission assignments to the active duty military for disaster relief all the time. Disaster relief doesn't violate PC.

  • ||

    It's official the terrorists won. They've gotten us to trample all over our liberties all on our own.

    The federal response to Katrina was garbage, with or without the military. Yes, the state of Louisiana royally fucked up, but we paid the price for Bush turning the FEMA appointment into a patronage spot akin to the ambassador to Aruba.

  • ||

    When the Democrats are in charge, big government is bad. But when the Republicans come to power, the bigger the better.

  • economist||

    John,
    Don't poke at the cosmotarians today. They're cranky.

  • the innominate one||

    John - there is an obvious difference between the use of military for policing duties in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act and FEMA responding to a natural disaster in accordance with their statutory duties

    just because they are both federal entities doesn't automatically make one wrong and the other right, unless you're making a constitutional argument, which I didn't see in your comment

  • ||

    John,
    What's with your pissiness over people ragging on the federal response to Katrina anyway? They fucked that one up royally. It was a 3rd world country level of disaster response.

  • economist||

    "They've gotten us to trample all over our liberties all on our own"
    What's this "us"? I don't remember authorizing, singly or jointly, any motion of this sort.

  • Hugh Akston||

    John,

    For the shitty job that reason does reporting on this and seemingly every other political issue, one would expect you to spend less time here.

  • economist||

    Mo,
    Perhaps John's questioning whether it is constitutional (or even a good idea) to put the feds in charge of local safety measures. We could go over the flaws in the local and state response, and the reasons why the responsibility falls more on the city of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana than on the feds, whatever their flaws, but I've heard enough about the issue myself to last me forty years.

  • EJM||

    Before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, dedicating 20,000 troops to domestic response -- a nearly sevenfold increase in five years -- "would have been extraordinary to the point of unbelievable," Paul McHale, assistant defense secretary for homeland defense, said in remarks last month at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. But the realization that civilian authorities may be overwhelmed in a catastrophe prompted "a fundamental change in military culture," he said.

    Will we end up calling it "McHale's Army"?

  • sfb||

    Can we let New Orleans sink into the sea now?

  • ||

    What's this "us"? I don't remember authorizing, singly or jointly, any motion of this sort.

    Through our elected representatives, we have. I doubt the vast majority of the population gives two shits about it.

    In fact, when most people (not here) bitch about airport security, I often hear it justified with, "Well, at least they're trying to keep us safe." It's hard for me to not to shout, "I don't care what they're trying to do, I only care if it works and if it violates my privacy."

  • ||

    Egosummabus, you're on a real slippery slope. I don't think that DOD uniformed personnel should guard the border, unless there's a credible threat of armed invasion.

    The US Coast Guard is kind of in a gray area. They're a uniformed service, but not DOD (formerly Commerce, now DHS).

    Remember that border-control checkpoints (warrantless searches) are currently located as far as 100 miles from the US border with Mexico. Radley has theorized that the authorization for this could also be interpreted to allow such checkpoints within 100 miles of any seacoast, or within 100 miles of the Canadian border.

  • Naga Sadow||

    sfb,

    Good luck there. Even Katrina couldn't totally drown that hellhole. Though I would miss all the skeezy strip clubs.

  • ||

    there is an obvious difference between the use of military for policing duties in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act and FEMA responding to a natural disaster in accordance with their statutory duties



    and

    What's with your pissiness over people ragging on the federal response to Katrina anyway? They fucked that one up royally. It was a 3rd world country level of disaster response.



    Which was partially because the US military could not respond until the local governors asked, due to the Posse Comitatus Act, unlike in aid to other countries. Governors have control of the situation unless the Insurrection Act is used, which happens only rarely. There were clear chain of command issues.

    I think that the Posse Comitatus Act is a good thing, but people who don't realize the connection to Katrina are just ignorant. Most discussions and papers about revising the PCA have specifically centered around Hurriane Katrina even more than a terrorist act as the reason to revise it.

    There were plenty of comments and complaints at the time about the US military not moving in as effectively as in, say, the tsunami. I think it's a bit much to blame it on Reasonoids, but surely it's an utterly incomplete post if you don't address the Katina angle.

    Yes, the state of Louisiana royally fucked up, but we paid the price for Bush turning the FEMA appointment into a patronage spot akin to the ambassador to Aruba.



    Yet another person expecting FEMA to do things that it had never done. FEMA, whether in Hurricane Hugo or Andrew or any other major hurricane, had always come in afterward to pay for rebuilding and put up temporary housing. Yes, they still suck at that, but the job of rescuing and managing the storm has always been up the National Guard and, when called upon and offered in support, the military.

  • ||

    "John,
    What's with your pissiness over people ragging on the federal response to Katrina anyway? They fucked that one up royally. It was a 3rd world country level of disaster response."

    The reason why the federal response to Katrina was bad was because it wasn't fast enough. The military response to Katrina was quite good. It just takes the military a hell of a long time to get there. The Katrina experience is very much driving this plan. The idea is that you have ready brigades that can deploy immediately to get a quicker federal response to a big disaster. Using the military like that is really the only way the feds can have that quick of a response. If Reason thinks it is wrong to use the military like that, and it well may be, then they need to also be realistic about the federal response to a big disaster like a nuke or another Katrina.

    If Reason had its way and the feds didn't do this and there was another Katrina or its like, Reason would also no doubt be banging their rattles and screaming about how incompetant the Federal government is and how slow the response is. If Reason were actually true to their principles of small government, they would have used Katrina as a teaching moment for the need for effective state and local government and the inherent limitations of the Federal government. Instead, they let their dislike of Bush get the better of them and screamed like small children about how the federal government didn't save everyone. Yeah, that is a really libertarian sentiment there.

    As far as my disaster relief comment, Radley says "within five years there will be calls to use these forces for less urgent matters, such as crowd control at political conventions, natural disaster response, border control, and, inevitably, some components of the drug war (looking for marijuana in the national parks, for example)." I was just pointing out that the military is already used for disaster relief and it should not be listed in the parade of horribles.

  • ||

    Aruba is of vital importance to the US, vital I tell you. Oops, Claude from the French embassy is here for my tennis date.

  • Other Matt||

    What Ego said in the first post, pretty much word for word.

  • PC||

    "Naga Sadow | December 1, 2008, 1:29pm | #

    Cue Star Wars: Fall of the Republic jibs in . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . ."

    Unconstitutional bills usually come out of committtee one at a time to hide their numbers?

  • David Ross||

    Tonio: "unless there's a credible threat of armed invasion."

    You must've missed the news coming out of Mexico's northern border towns lately. The whole region is in anarchy. There may not be a "credible threat of armed invasion", but American citizens along that border have to live with armed incursions every day.

  • Naga Sadow||

    I was expecting a movie quote but okay, PC.

  • ||

    Naga,

    It's best to quote--even with some rewriting--from the first three movies. I mean the first three movies and not the abominations produced later.

  • PC||

    Ummm, isn't this basically a moot point after Bush enacted this?

  • ||

    I agree with Pro Liberate.

  • Naga Sadow||

    I recall you saying that sometime earlier in the past. I believe I agreed with you despite some protest on my part. I will defer to your judgement once again.

  • economist||

    "Through our elected representatives, we have. I doubt the vast majority of the population gives two shits about it."
    You see, since I'm not part of that vast majority, it's really inaccurate to include me in that classification. Unless be "we" you meant a group including yourself but not necessarily everyone posting here.

  • ||

    Call me crazy, but isn't keeping the military at home to deal with military threats against our home territory sort of what "anti-interventionists" want?

  • economist||

    Could I take a second to rail against the very existence of the DHS?

  • BDB||

    "joe | December 1, 2008, 2:27pm | #
    Call me crazy, but isn't keeping the military at home to deal with military threats against our home territory sort of what "anti-interventionists" want?"

    They want to use it against invading armies--not drugs or illegal immigrants or poverty or hurricanes whatever else we're having a "war" on at the moment.

  • BDB||

    And also, as a deterrent to keep anyone from invading us.

  • Heinrick||

    "Here's hoping Obama scales this back. Or if he doesn't, that, with a Democrat in the White House, the Republicans rediscover the way they once got the heebie-jeebies over this stuff.

    I predict the latter is more likely. I got a good laugh out of both though"

    I predict neither, and I don't think it's funny.

  • economist||

    joe,
    Well, maybe if we could be certain that this was just a shift in the allocation of resources...

    Also, a lot of people here get jittery about anything involving the military and law enforcement. Not exactly sure why.

  • ||

    You see, since I'm not part of that vast majority, it's really inaccurate to include me in that classification.

    Why is it always the people who claim to hew the clostest to the "intent of the framers" who deny the existence of the social contract and of popular, democratic sovereignty?

  • ||

    "They want to use it against invading armies--not drugs or illegal immigrants or poverty or hurricanes whatever else we're having a "war" on at the moment."

    It won't make a difference since there are more than two brigades at home anyway. The only thing this will potentially do is keep them from training on going to war, which is a problem if you ever want to use them to defend the country versus fish people off of roofs and patrol streets. This is a bad idea. It needs to be left to the National Guard. But, as I said above, if you want big daddy federal government to do everything, then this is how it has to be done. I guess Reason should have thought about this when they were whinning about Katrina.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    You must've missed the news coming out of Mexico's northern border towns lately. The whole region is in anarchy. There may not be a "credible threat of armed invasion", but American citizens along that border have to live with armed incursions every day.


    No they don't. I don't know where you get your news, but while Ciudad Juárez is having over 200 homocides a month, El Paso's homocide rate is unchanged. What's remarkable about the current spate of border violence is how little of it has actually spilled over into the US.

  • ||

    BDB,

    They want to use it against invading armies--not drugs or illegal immigrants or poverty or hurricanes whatever else we're having a "war" on at the moment. As far as I can tell, none of those things are being proposed. Rather, the Northern Command troops are proposed to be used in case of a terror attack, or in disaster response. We've had federal troops involved in both for years.

    If this is a slippery-slope argument, then why isn't it being made in regards to the military formations that already have duties related to defending our home territory?

  • economist||

    I get a good laugh every time a voter thinks he personally exercises any meaningful control over "our" representatives. I vote with an utterly resigned attitude toward the whole affair. If you don't get your hopes up, they can't be painfully dashed.

  • Lester Hunt||

    If this depression gets as bad as some say it will, these troops will be used against food rioters, Hooverville squatters, veterans benefits marchers, etc. In other words, you and me.

  • Joel||

    Well, I suppose this is a good development if you're a Bill of Rights completist. After all, about the only article the fedgov hasn't pissed all over is the third, right? Maybe here's their chance at last...

  • BDB||

    I just think its bizzare that the National Guard is increasingly being used in foreign wars while the regular army is going to be used for disaster response. Huh? I thought it should be the other way around.

  • ||

    It seems to me that the bright line needs to be between military responsibilities and law enforcement, not between domestic and overseas military responsibiities.

    Reason seems to be deliberately blurring that bright line.

  • Orange Line Special||

    I came over here expecting Reason to be ignoring this story and instead concentrating on the tyranny of local food inspectors. But, I guess they realized it would look odd if they didn't mention it. Good to see they added in their trademarked stupidity with the hope that BHO would scale it back. Everyone else realizes he's part of the problem, but not Radley Balko and Reason.

    P.S. There are videos and links about similar earlier efforts here.

  • BDB||

    Fuck off OLS.

  • Asharak||

    Hell, Posse Comitatus has been "belly up" for decades.

  • concerned observer||

    While the libertards spin their conspiracy theories I'm going to go have some fun laughing at them.

  • Naga Sadow||

    LONEWACKO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    *shakes fist in air*

  • concerned observeerr||

    Have fun making your tinfoil hats!

  • Naga Sadow||

    co,

    Just as long as you do it somewhere else I'm cool with you gloating.

  • concerned observer||

    I always get the impression that the libertards are hunched over their computers on meth franticlly typing before the zombies can eat their brains.

  • concerned observer||

    @Naga given that you people are incapable of arguing a point locically I usually come here to gloat.

  • ||

    I predict that while now couched in terms of the necessity for a ready response to a cataclysmic terrorist attack, within five years there will be calls to use these forces for less urgent matters, such as crowd control at political conventions, natural disaster response, border control, and, inevitably, some components of the drug war (looking for marijuana in the national parks, for example).

    Poliitical conventions? I expect we'll see marines in fatigues at the Super Bowl. We can't have these guys just sitting around, it's a new thing to play with, let's play. Let's put some soldiers armed with automatic weapons patrolling the streets of the east side of Detroit and watch street crime go down.

    I remember how creepy it felt to walk down the street in Pusan or Manila in the mid '70s with a soldier carring an M-16 walking behind me. I remember how grateful I was that we didn't have that kind of military presence on the streets of the good ol' USA.

    And speaking only for myself, this military man wanted nothing to do with fucking civilian cops (that'sa right, you cops are fucking civilians, just like sandcrabs and every other citizen not in the military). Take a guess how I'd have felt about working with them.

  • economist||

    It seems that the casual observer has latched onto this thread. I'm out.

  • concerned observer||

    @JsubD-Nice to the token self-hating govenrment employee come by.

  • BDB||

    J sub, why DO cops call non-cops "civilians" then?

  • Naga Sadow||

    CO,

    Are you attempting to annoy me with your spelling errors?

  • concerned observer||

    @BDB-Maybe because non-cops don't get shot at on a regular basis.

  • Joel||

    J sub, why DO cops call non-cops "civilians" then?

    Because they're all Sgt. Rock wannabes?

  • Naga Sadow||

    CO,

    Speedman: I don't believe you people!
    Kirk Lazarus: What do you mean, "you people?"
    [silence]
    Alpa Chino: What do you mean, "you people?"

  • BDB||

    "concerned observer | December 1, 2008, 2:48pm | #
    @BDB-Maybe because non-cops don't get shot at on a regular basis."

    Neither do most cops. In fact I'd bet a "civilian" in east side Detroit gets shot at more in his or her lifetime than a cop in Shitsburg, Kentucky (pop:5,476).

  • ||

    Are you attempting to annoy me with your spelling errors?

    It's all he has left, Naga.

  • Xeones||

    incapable of arguing a point locically

    You stay classy, c.o.

  • ||

    troll on my brethren, troll on

  • concerned observer||

    Don't worry, you're making real progress. For one, you didn't turn the childish adolescent joke tactic of fake posting under my handle. One day, you might be fit for society.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Epi,

    I'm just worried that he's going to go FULL RETART on this board. (shivers in fear)

  • Naga Sadow||

    Great idea CO but it's Monday and I got things to do soon.

  • ||

    J sub, why DO cops call non-cops "civilians" then?
    Hellifino. Wannabes maybe.
    Unions? That's a civilian thing.
    Calling in sick? Another civilian thing. Mediation with your superiors? That's called a court martial/NJP.
    The ability to quit? Another thing that is not afforded to the military.
    Not my job? Get real.
    __________________________________________________________________________
    CO, your displayed lack of intellect is not even slightly amusing. You lack wit. Go to school and try to work on your shortcomings, you'll be a better person for it.

  • ||

    J sub, why DO cops call non-cops "civilians" then?

    Because the culture of police departments is deeply, deeply dysfunctional, due mostly to the WOD?

  • ||

    Maybe because non-cops don't get shot at on a regular basis

    Being a cop is far from the most dangerous job in this country.

  • Xeones||

    Don't worry, you're making real progress. For one, you didn't turn the childish adolescent joke tactic of fake posting under my handle. One day, you might be fit for society.

    Not a lot of self-awareness to this one, hey?

  • ||

    Can't someone start sock puppeting CO like they did to Lefiti?

  • ||

    I'm just worried that he's going to go FULL RETART on this board. (shivers in fear)

    You never go FULL RETART, Naga. Even CO knows that. However, FULLY RETARTED SPELLING is something else.

  • concerned observer||

    @John-Your libertarted tears taste so sweet!

    By the way, I just shat myself. Third time today. This new diet is working out great.

  • ||

    co was already sock-puppeted extensively some weeks back, on a friday. yes, i beleive fridays are the ideal sock puppet days as they are the days i seek such entertainment.

    hooray, three cheers for trolls

    hip hip hooray

  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun ||

    We announce today that we are no longer advocating the restriction of the private ownership of handguns until this egregious action, the use of military forces for domestic purposes, is ended. So long as our domestic tranquility is less than the ideal we hold for our nation there cannot be effective advocacy or askance of the citizens of the United Stated to stand down from their personal employ of the means of self preservation.*

    *In a world where the opponents of libertarianism had one iota of intellectual honesty.

  • concerned observer||

    Let's touch peepees!

  • ||

    John,

    I could do it, but I couldn't make it funny.

  • concerned observer||

    I haven't even posted on this thread yet,you libtard cumbaggers.

  • ||

    "John,

    I could do it, but I couldn't make it funny."

    True. Lefiti was just too easy to sock puppet. CO in contrast is so tiresome I not sure he can even be parodied.

  • ||

    """Hell, Posse Comitatus has been "belly up" for decades."""

    Not really. It has been smelling bad, but it's not dead yet.

  • ||

    David Ross:

    You must've missed the news coming out of Mexico's northern border towns lately. The whole region is in anarchy. There may not be a "credible threat of armed invasion", but American citizens along that border have to live with armed incursions every day.

    LOL, pendejo, I have family in Yuma, AZ, and am totally familiar with the situation there. Have been illegally searched while driving from Yuma to San Diego. You?

    Also, while the anarchy does spill over sometimes onto US soil, you have yet to convince me that this isn't something that armed US federal agents couldn't deal with.

    Incursion does not equal invasion. I used the word for a reason.

    Thanks, Tacos, for softening this gringo up for me.

  • ||

    I'm just worried that he's going to go FULL RETART on this board.

    Get a brain, Retarts!

  • ||

    Retarts. Recycled Pop-Tarts. Fucking hippies ruin everything.

  • BDB||

    Doesn't El Paso actually have a low crime rate even by American standards?

  • ||

    Guys, the "retart" thing is a running gag from here (just keep reading down). Naga spelled it that way on purpose.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Episiarch,

    I . . . er . . . right. I speeled that way on porpoise.

  • ||

    rotavator is the longest palindromic word i can think of.

    it used
    to be racecar.

    but
    i got better



    spoon it in oops

    fall leaves when leaves fall



    i no longer need to think because i have the internet.



    look out honey cause im using technology!

  • Boston||

    CO,

    threadkiller, presumed intellectually unarmed but dangerous.

  • concerned observer||

    Right when I think there might be some hope for you libertards I'm disappointed. You really are just a bunch of whiny kids who want to think that if TEH GUBMINT would stay out of their lives then they wouldn't be pimply losers who live in their parents' basements.

  • Alice Bowie||

    (looking for marijuana in the national parks, for example).

    For those of you that Don't think marijuana smoking in national parks requires military intervention...

  • Alice Bowie||

    I hate people.

  • Nigel Watt||

    If joe were consistent, he would support this along with the bailouts (or at least make wishy-washy comments vaguely in favor of it), because we have problems, and why shouldn't I trust a government solution to them?

    (Note: I haven't read all the comments on this thread.)

  • ||

    Uh, yeah. Because Nigel can't be bothered to know anything about an issue beyond "Is the government gonna do sumpthin?" that means nobody else can, either.

    You know, if Nigel was consistent, he'd agree with Concerned Observer, because he's agreed with other comments, written by people, on his screen.

    Read them? Why on Earth would he do that?

  • ||

    Hey, if paramilitary force should be used to extradite a kid to Cuba, why shouldn't the real thing be used for the drug war, border patrol, protecting Our Masters from us subjects at their quadrennial parties, and the like?

  • Asharak||

    concerned observer (and Lefiti), if you think Reasonoids are such pathetic losers, then why is it that you can't seem to stop posting here yourselves? If Internet trolls became a serious focus of study, a mental health professional somwhere would have a shot at a Nobel.

    If your intention is to infuriate the libertarians, I should note that joe seems to thinks you're idiots, too.

  • concerned observer||

    "should note that joe seems to thinks you're idiots, too."
    Can you actually point out a post where joe has called me an idiot?

  • Asharak||

    somwhere=somewhere

  • concerned observer||

    Asharak-So you just made an unfounded claim? Link, please.

  • Asharak||

    Can you actually point out a post where joe has called me an idiot?

    No, but he does think that way about your fellow troll Lefiti.

    And you didn't answer the first question and thus proved my point. Typical hypocritical, cowardly troll behavior (and yes, you are a coward, so own up to it).

    Furthermore, what makes you assume that everyone else who posts here is a libertarian?

  • Asharak||

    I wonder if concerned observer pays to see Kevin Costner movies to throw popcorn at the screen?

  • Know Your Trolls||

    concerned observer (and Lefiti)



    That's redundant.

    Cesar=Edward=Lefiti=concerned observer

  • concerned observer||

    I am not Lefiti, dammit!

  • Lefiti||

    and I am not concerned observer....until I delete "Lefiti" from the box labeled "Name:"

  • Paul||

    Even if we put aside the whole obvious creepout factor of haffink military forces operatink vissin ze bordahs, what about the idea that it would even be necessary?

    why would we need a military response to four guys who carry a boxcutter aboard an airplane and crash it into a building? I mean, a couple of f-15's can be given the nauseating order to shoot it down if it's discovered en-route. But for the most part, we've proven that fighting terrorism before it happens is largely an intelligence game, and fighting terrorism after it happens is largely a search and rescue operation.

  • ||

    Has anyone mentioned that the NYFD and the NYPD and all those guys at Ground Zero did a shitty job? How about those first responders to the Oklahoma City bombing? Or any other "terrorist" event?

    Hmmm. I didn't hear anything like that.

    So, unless the Government is planning on replacing first responders, which they have not done in any case, what we are talking about here are clean up operations. Y'know ... the hurricane has come and gone and there's a mess that only Federal Troops can deal with.

    Bullshit.

    I believe these brigades are being put in place solely to be tasked with domestic crowd control, domestic surveillance, domestic government support and other missions that directly violate the concept enshrined in the Posse Comitatus Act. There is nothing for them to do with regard to any of the other purported missions, except for to clean up the messes made by natural disasters. They can't stop them, they are not first responders ... pre-disaster they are irrelevant and have demonstrated that they can do their clean up tasks just fine without being deployed domestically, just as they did with Katrina et al.

    This is nothing less than the militarization of America. Domestic deployments for domestic use.

  • La Gaucho||

    R C Dean | December 1, 2008, 5:42pm | #
    Hey, if paramilitary force should be used to extradite a kid to Cuba, why shouldn't the real thing be used for the drug war, border patrol, protecting Our Masters from us subjects at their quadrennial parties, and the like?


    When American forces are used on the border and the situation escalates because of it, the drug lords will be forced to act and the result will be a complete embarrassment for you. If you don't realize how ineffective your military is now with the war in the Middle East now, you certainly will know within the next few years if you are so foolish to extend it on to your own border.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Mexican terrorism strikes reason!

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Hmmm...coming from a Field Artillery background, I'm excited by the possibilities ;)

  • ||

    This is Very Bad Idea. That's my opinion, as a guy who has studied the use of state and federal military force in domestic U.S. settings. The track record is abominable, from the Whiskey Rebellion to the Bonus Army Marchers.

    Of course, joe and his ilk favor this even though they've watched the History Channel enough to know what the end of this particularly slippery slope looks like.

  • ||

    Hey, if paramilitary force...

    PARAmilitary force is already allowed for all of those things, RC. Those are all domestic law enforcement concerns.

    This is about military force.

    Aren't you supposed to be a lawyer?

  • ||

    Of course, joe and his ilk favor this...

    I do?

    Wow. Did not know that. Hell, I didn't even know I had ilk.

  • Jesse Walker||

    If Reason were actually true to their principles of small government, they would have used Katrina as a teaching moment for the need for effective state and local government and the inherent limitations of the Federal government. Instead, they let their dislike of Bush get the better of them and screamed like small children about how the federal government didn't save everyone. Yeah, that is a really libertarian sentiment there.

    I realize I'm late to the game here, but I should mention that, as is often the case, John's description of Reason's coverage bears very little resemblance to the actual content of Reason's coverage. While we came at Katrina from a variety of angles, one recurring theme, certainly in what I wrote at the time, was opposition to the authorities' militarized, command-and-control response. I never argued that the government should (or could) save everybody. But I was very pissed when the authorities blocked other qualified rescuers from joining in.

    I'm leaving for the airport shortly, so I don't have time to debate whether or not my critique was correct. But I wanted to set the record straight about what the critique was in the first place.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Here's a batch of our Katrina stories, for anyone who'd like to compare them to John's summary of our stance.

  • La Gaucho||

    rob | December 2, 2008, 9:33am | #
    This is Very Bad Idea. That's my opinion, as a guy who has studied the use of state and federal military force in domestic U.S. settings. The track record is abominable, from the Whiskey Rebellion to the Bonus Army Marchers.


    That seems highly probable. The new administration will likely extend this program even further as the border program produces early positive results (as measured by the goals of the political elites) where the failures are obscured and the chain reaction of negative effects only begin to start before they accumulate and overwhelm you, like they did in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • alan||

    Jesse,

    I haven't glanced at the list there, but I remember the comparison of New Orleans, post Katrina to Dhalgren from Samual Delany's novel from the Reason back catelog. I have never completed Atlas Shrugged and don't intend to, but I have read Dhalgren in its enormous entirety and I have gone back to it a number of times as it has a feel for a post-Apocalyptic world that is unique and likely more realistic than any other such vision. I just wished Chip would get back to writing short space yarns like Babel-17 and Nova that I grew up on.

  • alan||

    post Katrina to Dhalgren from Samual Delany's novel

    Oops, that should be, 'Bellona from the novel Dhalgren . . .'

  • ||

    Here's a fun bit of fiction.

    The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012 from Parameters, Winter 1992-93, pp. 2-20.

    ..he argues that the coup was the outgrowth of trends visible as far back as 1992. These trends were the massive diversion of military forces to civilian uses, the monolithic unification of the armed forces, and the insularity of the military community. His letter survives and is here presented verbatim.

    It goes without saying (I hope) that the coup scenario above is purely a literary device intended to dramatize my concern over certain contemporary developments affecting the armed forces, and is emphatically not a prediction. -- The Author

  • Craig||

    Here's hoping Obama scales this back.

    Thanks, I needed a good laugh today. Who do you think they've been setting all this up for?

  • Craig||

    I am far more likely to be physically attacked by a federal, state or local government official than by a terrorist.

    And I haven't been robbed by a terrorist, a gangster, or even a petty thief in the past 40 years, yet federal and state governments take a sizable chunk out of my paycheck twice a month.

  • ||

    Don't worry: Rush and Hannity will be all over this (for as long as we have a president with a D next to his name)...

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