Later this evening as the newfangled Times Square Ball descends in
Manhattan, you may see New York National Guard soldiers patrolling with
the NYPD as you watch on television. "Under orders from New York
Governor David Paterson, members of the New York Army and Air National
Guard will conduct additional security missions and stand ready to
respond to city authorities if a man-made or natural emergency occurs,"
reports Jim Kouri , who is currently fifth vice-president of the National
Association of Chiefs of Police.
Short of a hurricane, blizzard, or al-Qaeda bio attack — all
extremely unlikely — the presence of armed soldiers on the streets
during the celebration has an obvious purpose: to get you accustomed to
soldiers working with the police.
Earlier this month, the U.S. military announced it will place 20,000
troops on the streets of America by 2011. "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,"
the Washington Post reported on December 1. "The Pentagon's plan calls
for three rapid-reaction forces to be ready for emergency response by
September 2011. The first 4,700-person unit, built around an active-duty
combat brigade based at Fort Stewart, Ga., was available as of Oct. 1,
said Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., commander of the U.S. Northern
The Pentagon plans to include the National Guard and reserve units in
this effort. "All would be trained to respond to a domestic chemical,
biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive attack, or
CBRNE event, as the military calls it."
In October, the Department of Defense announced it was assigning a
full-time Army unit to be "on call" to facilitate military cooperation
with the Department of Homeland Security. On October 1, the Army Times
Division 1st Brigade Combat Team, ostensibly to respond to a natural
disaster or terror attack.
According to Bert B. Tussing, director of homeland defense and security
issues at the U.S. Army War College's Center for Strategic Leadership,
the long standing Pentagon plan "breaks the mold" by assigning an
active-duty combat brigade to the Northern Command for the first time.
Although Mr. Tussing did not mention it, this plan also breaks the Posse
Comitatus Act that forbids the military working with law enforcement.
"The National Guard's 2nd Civil Support Team, a full-time,
rapid-response element that detects chemical, biological or radiological
hazards, also will provide a detachment in Manhattan to support the New
York Police Department," Kouri continues. "The 22-man detachment, based
at the Scotia Air National Guard Base near Schenectady, NY, has worked
with New York City police for counterterrorism support operations since
the unit's formation in 2000, according to police officials." In other
words, the unconstitutional deployment was on the agenda well before the
attacks of September 11, 2001.
In addition to parading uniformed and armed soldiers on the streets, the
New York National Guard will provide liaison officers to New York's
emergency management office and the New York City Police Department,
according to Kouri, again a direct violation of Posse Comitatus.
Predictably, the New York Times and the rest of the corporate media are
ignoring this report based on information obtained by the 14,000-member
National Association of Chiefs of Police.
Don't be surprised if you see soldiers toting carbines mingling with the
revelers later this evening. It is all part of a psychological warfare
campaign to get you acclimated to the incremental presence of troops on
the streets and the implementation of a police state.
Army combat unit to deploy within U.S.
CNN Pentagon producer
Soldiers preparing for a mission coordinated by Joint Task Force North,
the U.S. Northern Command unit.
The 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry, which was first into
Baghdad, Iraq, in 2003, started its controversial assignment Wednesday.
The First Raiders will spend 2009 as the first active-duty military unit
attached to the U.S. Northern Command since it was created. They will be
based in Fort Stewart, Georgia, and focus primarily on logistics and
support for local police and rescue personnel, the Army says.
The plan is drawing skepticism from some observers who are concerned
that the unit has been training with equipment generally used in law
enforcement, including beanbag bullets, Tasers, spike strips and
That kind of training seems a bit out of line for the unit's designated
role as Northern Command's CCMRF (Sea Smurf), or CBRNE Consequence
Management Response Force. CBRNE stands for chemical, biological,
radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive incidents.
According to Northern
CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force is a team that will
ultimately number about 4,700 personnel from the different military
branches that would deploy as the Department of Defense's initial
Its capabilities include search and rescue, decontamination, medical,
aviation, communications and logistical support. Each CCMRF will be
composed of three functional task forces -- Task Force Operations, Task
Force Medical and Task Force Aviation -- that have individual
operational focus and mission skills, the Web site says.
deployed to help local, state or federal agencies deal with such
incidents, not take the lead. The law enforcement-type training is not
connected to its new mission, it says.
Use of active-duty military as a domestic police force has been severely
limited since passage of the Posse Comitatus Act following the Civil
Bloggers are criticizing the new force, saying that because it has been
training in law enforcement tactics it could be be used for domestic law
Troops may be trained in non-lethal tactics, but they are not trained
for what they may have to deal with in domestic situations, said Gene
Healy, a vice president of the conservative think-tank Cato Institute.
Healy said civilian police and, if circumstances are extreme, National
Guard troops under the command of state governors should keep the peace.
"Federal troops should always be a last resort, never a first
responder," he said.
Critics also point to a General Accounting Office study in 2003 that
found that domestic security missions put a strain on a military
stretched thin by two simultaneous wars, and that a unit's readiness for
combat is reduced if the members have to take time out to respond to an
emergency at home.
The U.S. military "is not a Swiss Army knife," ready to fight the
Taliban one week, respond to a hurricane the next and put down a major
political protest the third week, Healy said.
The Army says the non-lethal training is an outgrowth of missions that
troops have faced around the world in recent years.
"We need a lot more in our toolbox in order to deal with angry people on
the street," said Col. Barry Johnson of U.S. Army North.
The units are well-trained in the skills they might need to assist the
Northern Command, and that won't weaken the unit when and if it goes
back to Iraq.
The designation of a specific unit as the CCMRF is a step forward, he
The active-duty military has long had units capable of handling
chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or other domestic
emergencies, such as hurricanes, Johnson said. But they were assigned as
needed. Now they will have a unit that knows in advance that it might be
called upon to respond in a domestic emergency.
"We don't have the luxury to wish these things away. We have to imagine
the unimaginable," Johnson said.
ACLU Demands Information On Military Deployment Within U.S. Borders
Deployment Erodes Longstanding Separation Between Civilian And Military
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union today demanded
information from the government about reports that an active military
unit has been deployed inside the U.S. to help with "civil unrest" and
"crowd control" – matters traditionally handled by civilian
authorities. This deployment jeopardizes the longstanding separation
between civilian and military government, and the public has a right to
know where and why the unit has been deployed, according to an ACLU
Freedom of Information request filed today.
"The military's deployment within U.S. borders raises critical questions
that must be answered," said Jonathan Hafetz, staff attorney with the
ACLU National Security Project. "What is the unit's mission? What
functions will it perform? And why was it necessary to deploy the unit
rather than rely on civilian agencies and personnel and the National
Guard? Given the magnitude of the issues at stake, it is imperative that
the American people know the truth about this new and unprecedented
intrusion of the military in domestic affairs."
According to a report in the Army Times, the Army recently deployed an
active military unit inside the United States under Northern Command,
which was established in 2002 to assist federal homeland defense efforts
and coordinate defense support of civil authorities. This deployment
marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated
assignment to Northern Command.
Civilian authorities, not the military, have historically controlled and
directed the internal affairs of the United States. This rule traces its
origins to the nation's founding and has been reaffirmed in landmark
statutes including the Posse Comitatus Act, which helps preserve the
foundational principles of our Constitution and democracy.
"This is a radical departure from separation of civilian law enforcement
and military authority, and could, quite possibly, represent a violation
of law," said Mike German, ACLU national security policy counsel and
former FBI Agent. "Our Founding Fathers understood the threat that a
standing army could pose to American liberty. While future generations
recognized the need for a strong military to defend against increasingly
capable foreign threats, they also passed statutory protections to
ensure that the Army could not be turned against the American people.
The erosion of these protections should concern every American."
In order to assess the implications of the recent deployment, the ACLU
requested the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Defense
today to immediately make public all legal opinions, executive orders,
presidential directives, memos, policy guidance, and other documents
that authorize the deployment of military troops for domestic purposes.
Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the Department of Defense has
dramatically expanded its role in domestic law enforcement and
intelligence operations, including the National Security Agency's
warrantless wiretapping programs, the Department of Homeland Security's
use of military spy satellites, and the participation of military
personnel in state and local intelligence fusion centers. The ACLU has
repeatedly expressed concern about these incremental encroachments of
the military into domestic affairs, and the assignment of active duty
troops to Northern Command only heightens these concerns.
A copy of the ACLU's information request is available online at:
Germany To Allow Domestic Military Deployment TOO!
Germany's governing coalition partners want to change the constitution
to allow for military deployment within the country if needed to combat
terrorism, officials said Monday.
The proposal would allow use of the military only if police are
overwhelmed and cannot properly respond to a situation themselves.
"It is not to be used generally, but only in very specific cases,"
Interior Ministry spokeswoman Daniela-Alexandra Pietsch said.
The center-left Social Democratic Party — which makes up half of
Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition — had been opposed to the
proposal but agreed late Sunday after working out an agreement that
includes strict guidelines for domestic deployment.
"We're talking only about emergency help," Social Democrat parliamentary
leader Peter Struck said. For example, the navy could be called to help
in a situation where police maritime patrols were not sufficient, he
The proposal will now go to Merkel's Cabinet and then to parliament for
Given Germany's militaristic past, many are hesitant to expand the role
of soldiers domestically. Currently, the German military can be deployed
within the country only in times of war, or to help with emergencies or
Following the announcement of the new proposal, opposition Left Party
lawmaker Petra Pau accused the government of seeking to violate a
constitutionally dictated division "between army, police and secret
"The military has no role domestically for historic, political, legal
and professional reasons," Pau said.
Germany used Tornado fighter jets to secure airspace during last year's
Group of Eight summit, while troops helped provide support to police
Merkel's government at the time defended the deployment as necessary to
secure the area and provide technical and logistical support for police.
But the opposition Greens party criticized it as "a creeping breach of