Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Coming To A Police State Near You

The Insurrection Act of 1807 was passed to limit Presidential power in putting down lawlessness, insurrection and rebellion. The Posse Comitatus Act was passed in 1878 and further restricted the President by prohibiting federal uniformed services from performing law enforcement duties on non-federal property. In 2007 all that changed with passage of the Defense Authorization Act. Then parts of that were repealed in 2008, but when President Bush signed that law he added a signing statement:

Provisions of the Act, including sections 841, 846, 1079, and 1222, purport to impose requirements that could inhibit the President's ability to carry out his constitutional obligations to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, to protect national security, to supervise the executive branch, and to execute his authority as Commander in Chief. The executive branch shall construe such provisions in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President.

Funny guy. He's always coming up with signing statements that carry no force in the law yet make him think they allow him to determine the law.

Recently this article was in the Army Times. In part...

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team 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.

They must be ready for anything.

Training for homeland scenarios has already begun at Fort Stewart and includes specialty tasks such as knowing how to use the “jaws of life” to extract a person from a mangled vehicle; extra medical training for a CBRNE incident; and working with U.S. Forestry Service experts on how to go in with chainsaws and cut and clear trees to clear a road or area.

Jaws of life. Extra medical training. Cut and clear trees? We need the Army for all this?

The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.

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'm curious how will that come into play in anything but a civil unrest situation?

“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.

Why do they have tasers? Hmmm, no mention of the Active Denial System. Make sure your protest march permit is in order.

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