- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Lydia Howell
Thursday, Oct. 09, 2008 at 12:14 PM
California Congressman Brad Sherman says threats were made to instigate martial law if the Wall Street bailout was not passed. Democarcy NOW! Army Col.Micheal Boatner & THE PROGRESSIVE's editor Mathew Rothschild re: deployment of US troops inside the U.S.
BREAKING NEWS! US Military Planning for Martial Law?
See transcript of DEMOCRACY NOW! interview below. TWO VIDEOs ADD SOME EVIDENCE before the Democarcy NOW interview.
Were the militarized police at the RNC a "dress rehearsal"?
Here's the video of Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) telling Congress the Paulson Mob threatened martial law if it didn’t pass the Wall Street bailout
I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties
than standing armies.
And here's the talk author, Naomi Wolf gave on her book "The End of
America" nearly a
Friday, October 03, 2008
Democracy NOW! host AMY GOODMAN
Is Posse Comitatus Dead? US Troops on US Streets
In a barely noticed development, a US Army unit is now training for
domestic operations under the control of US Army North, the Army service
component of Northern Command. An initial news report in the Army Times
newspaper last month noted that in addition to emergency response the
force “may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control.”
The military has since claimed the force will not be used for civil
unrest, but questions remain. We speak to Army Col. Michael Boatner,
future operations division chief of USNORTHCOM, and Matthew Rothschild,
editor of The Progressive magazine. [includes rush transcript]
Col. Michael Boatner, Future Operations division chief of USNORTHCOM.
Matthew Rothschild, Editor of The Progressive magazine.
AMY GOODMAN: In a barely noticed development last week, the Army
stationed an active unit inside the United States. The Infantry
Division’s 1st Brigade Team is back from Iraq, now training for domestic
operations under the control of US Army North, the Army service
component of Northern Command. The unit will serve as an on-call federal
response for large-scale emergencies and disasters. It’s being called
the Consequence Management Response Force, CCMRF, or “sea-smurf” for short.
It’s the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment
to USNORTHCOM, which was itself formed in October 2002 to “provide
command and control of Department of Defense homeland defense efforts.”
An initial news report in the Army Times newspaper last month noted, in
addition to emergency response, the force “may be called upon to help
with civil unrest and crowd control.” The Army Times has since appended
a clarification, and a September 30th press release from the Northern
Command states: “This response force will not be called upon to help
with law enforcement, civil disturbance or crowd control."
When Democracy Now! spoke to Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jamie
Goodpaster, a public affairs officer for NORTHCOM, she said the force
would have weapons stored in containers on site, as well as access to
tanks, but the decision to use weapons would be made at a far higher
level, perhaps by Secretary of Defense, SECDEF.
Well, I’m joined now by two guests. Army Colonel Michael Boatner is
future operations division chief of USNORTHCOM. He joins me on the phone
from Colorado Springs. We’re also joined from Madison, Wisconsin by
journalist and editor of The Progressive magazine, Matthew Rothschild.
We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Why don’t we begin with Colonel
Michael Boatner? Can you explain the significance, the first time,
October 1st, deployment of the troops just back from Iraq?
COL. MICHAEL BOATNER: Yes, Amy. I’d be happy to. And again, there has
been some concern and some misimpressions that I would like to correct.
The primary purpose of this force is to provide help to people in need
in the aftermath of a WMD-like event in the homeland. It’s something
that figures very prominently in the national planning scenarios under
the National Response Framework, and that’s how DoD provides support in
the homeland to civil authority. This capability is tailored technical
life-saving support and then further logistic support for that very
specific scenario. So, we designed it for that purpose.
And really, the new development is that it’s been assigned to NORTHCOM,
because there’s an increasingly important requirement to ensure that
they have done that technical training, that they can work together as a
joint service team. These capabilities come from all of our services and
from a variety of installations, and that’s not an ideal command and
control environment. So we’ve been given control of these forces so that
we can train them, ensure they’re responsive and direct them to
participate in our exercises, so that were they called to support civil
authority, those governors or local state jurisdictions that might need
our help, that they would be responsive and capable in the event and
also would be able to survive based on the skills that they have
learned, trained and focused on.
They ultimately have weapons, heavy weapons and combat vehicles and
another service capability at their home station at Fort Stewart,
Georgia, but they wouldn’t bring that stuff with them. In fact, they’re
prohibited from bringing it. They would bring their individual weapons,
which is the standard policy for deployments in the homeland. Those
would be centralized and containerized, and they could only be issued to
the soldiers with the Secretary of Defense permission.
So I think, you know, that kind of wraps up our position on this. We’re
proud to be able to provide this capability. It’s all about saving
lives, relieving suffering, mitigating great property damage to
infrastructure and things like that, and frankly, restoring public
confidence in the aftermath of an event like this.
AMY GOODMAN: So the use of the weapons would only be decided by SECDEF,
the Secretary of Defense. But what about the governors? The SECDEF would
have—Secretary of Defense would have—would be able to preempt the
governors in a decision whether these soldiers would use their weapons
on US soil?
COL. MICHAEL BOATNER: No, this basically only boils down to
self-defense. Any military force has the inherent right to self-defense.
And if the situation was inherently dangerous, then potentially the
Secretary of Defense would allow them to carry their weapons, but it
would only be for self- and unit-defense. This force has got no role in
a civil disturbance or civil unrest, any of those kinds of things.
AMY GOODMAN: Matt Rothschild, you’ve been writing about this in The
Progressive magazine. What is your concern?
MATTHEW ROTHSCHILD: Well, I’m very concerned on a number of fronts about
this, Amy. One, that NORTHCOM, the Northern Command, that came into
being in October of 2002, when that came in, people like me were
concerned that the Pentagon was going to use its forces here in the
United States, and now it looks like, in fact, it is, even though on its
website it says it doesn’t have units of its own. Now it’s getting a
unit of its own.
And Colonel Boatner talked about this unit, what it’s trained for. Well,
let’s look at what it’s trained for. This is the 3rd Infantry, 1st
Brigade Combat unit that has spent three of the last five years in Iraq
in counterinsurgency. It’s a war-fighting unit, was one of the first
units to Baghdad. It was involved in the battle of Fallujah. And, you
know, that’s what they’ve been trained to do. And now they’re bringing
that training here?
On top of that, one of the commanders of this unit was boasting in the
Army Times about this new package of non-lethal weapons that has been
designed, and this unit itself is going be able to use, according to
that original article. And in fact, the commander was saying he had even
tasered himself and was boasting about tasering himself. So, why is a
Pentagon unit that’s going to be possibly patrolling the streets of the
United States involved in using tasers?
AMY GOODMAN: Colonel Boatner?
COL. MICHAEL BOATNER: Well, I’d like to address that. That involved a
service mission and a service set of equipment that was issued for
overseas deployment. Those soldiers do not have that on their equipment
list for deploying in the homeland. And again, they have been involved
in situations overseas. And having talked to commanders who have
returned, those situations are largely nonviolent, non-kinetic. And when
they do escalate, the soldiers have a lot of experience with seeing the
indicators and understanding it. So, I would say that our soldiers are
trustworthy. They can deploy in the homeland, and American citizens can
be confident that there will be no abuses.
AMY GOODMAN: Matt Rothschild?
MATTHEW ROTHSCHILD: Well, you know, that doesn’t really satisfy me, and
I don’t think it should satisfy your listeners and your audience, Amy,
because, you know, our people in the field in Iraq, some of them have
not behaved up to the highest standards, and a lot of police forces in
the United States who have been using these tasers have used them
The whole question here about what the Pentagon is doing patrolling in
the United States gets to the real heart of the matter, which is, do we
have a democracy here? I mean, there is a law on the books called the
Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act that says that the
president of the United States, as commander-in-chief, cannot put the
military on our streets. And this is a violation of that, it seems to me.
President Bush tried to get around this act a couple years ago in the
Defense Authorization Act that he signed that got rid of some of those
restrictions, and then last year, in the new Defense Authorization Act,
thanks to the work of Senator Patrick Leahy and Kit Bond of Missouri,
that was stripped away. And so, the President isn’t supposed to be using
the military in this fashion, and though the President, true to form,
appended a signing statement to that saying he’s not going to be
governed by that. So, here we have a situation where the President of
United States has been aggrandizing his power, and this gives him a
whole brigade unit to use against US citizens here at home.
AMY GOODMAN: Colonel Michael Boatner, what about the Posse Comitatus
Act, and where does that fit in when US troops are deployed on US soil?
COL. MICHAEL BOATNER: It absolutely governs in every instance. We are
not allowed to help enforce the law. We don’t do that. Every time we get
a request—and again, this kind of a deployment is defense support to
civil authority under the National Response Framework and the Stafford
Act. And we do it all the time, in response to hurricanes, floods, fires
and things like that. But again, you know, if we review the requirement
that comes to us from civil authority and it has any complexion of law
enforcement whatsoever, it gets rejected and pushed back, because it’s
AMY GOODMAN: Matthew Rothschild, does this satisfy you, editor of The
MATTHEW ROTHSCHILD: No, it doesn’t. One of the reasons it doesn’t is not
by what Boatner was saying right there, but what President Bush has been
doing. And if we looked at National Security Presidential Directive 51,
that he signed on May 9th of 2007, Amy, this gives the President
enormous powers to declare a catastrophic emergency and to bypass our
regular system of laws, essentially, to impose a form of martial law.
And if you look at that National Security Presidential Directive, what
it says, that in any incident where there is extraordinary disruption of
a whole range of things, including our economy, the President can
declare a catastrophic emergency. Well, we’re having these huge
disturbances in our economy. President Bush could today pick up that
National Security Directive 51 and say, “We’re in a catastrophic
emergency. I’m going to declare martial law, and I’m going to use this
combat brigade to enforce it.”
AMY GOODMAN: Colonel Michael Boatner?
COL. MICHAEL BOATNER: The only exception that I know of is the
Insurrection Act. It’s something that is very unlikely to be invoked. In
my thirty-year career, it’s only been used once, in the LA riots, and it
was a widespread situation of lawlessness and violence. And the governor
of the state requested that the President provide support. And that’s a
completely different situation. The forces available to do that are in
every service in every part of the country, and it’s completely
unrelated to the—this consequence management force that we’re talking about.
AMY GOODMAN: You mentioned governors, and I was just looking at a piece
by Jeff Stein—he is the national security editor of Congressional
Quarterly— talking about homeland security. And he said, “Safely tucked
into the 6 billion defense bill, it easily crossed the goal line on
the last day of September.
“The language doesn’t just brush aside a liberal Democrat slated to take
over the Judiciary Committee”—this was a piece written last year—it
“runs over the backs of the governors, 22 of whom are Republicans.
“The governors had waved red flags about the measure on Aug. 1, 2007,
sending letters of protest from their Washington office to the
Republican chairs and ranking Democrats on the House and Senate Armed
“No response. So they petitioned the party heads on the Hill.”
The letter, signed by every member of the National Governors
Association, said, “This provision was drafted without consultation or
input from governors and represents an unprecedented shift in authority
from governors…to the federal government.”
Colonel Michael Boatner?
COL. MICHAEL BOATNER: That’s in the political arena. That has nothing to
do with my responsibilities or what I’m—was asked to talk about here
with regard to supporting civil authority in the homeland.
AMY GOODMAN: Matthew Rothschild?
MATTHEW ROTHSCHILD: Well, this gets to what Senator Patrick Leahy of
Vermont was so concerned about, that with NORTHCOM and with perhaps this
unit—and I want to call Senator Leahy’s office today and ask him about
this—you have the usurpation of the governor’s role, of the National
Guard’s role, and it’s given straight to the Pentagon in some of these
instances. And that’s very alarming. And that was alarming to almost
every governor, if not every governor, in the country, when Bush tried
to do that and around about the Posse Comitatus Act. So, I think these
are real concerns.
AMY GOODMAN: Matt Rothschild, the Democratic and Republican conventions
were quite amazing displays of force at every level, from the local
police on to the state troopers to, well, in the Republican convention,
right onto troops just back from Iraq in their Army fatigues. Did this
MATTHEW ROTHSCHILD: It did. It surprised me also that NORTHCOM itself
was involved in intelligence sharing with local police officers in St.
Paul. I mean, what in the world is NORTHCOM doing looking at what some
of the protesters are involved in? And you had infiltration up there,
too. But what we have going on in this country is we have infiltration
and spying that goes on, not only at the—well, all the way from the
campus police, practically, Amy, up to the Pentagon and the National
Security Agency. We’re becoming a police state here.
AMY GOODMAN: Colonel Michael Boatner, a tall order here, could you respond?
COL. MICHAEL BOATNER: Well, that’s incorrect. We did not participate in
any intelligence collection. We were up there in support of the US
Secret Service. We provided some explosive ordnance disposal support of
the event. But I’d like to go back and say that, again, in terms of—
AMY GOODMAN: Could you explain what their—explain again what was their
COL. MICHAEL BOATNER: They were just doing routine screens and scans of
the area in advance of this kind of a vulnerable event. It’s pretty
standard support to a national special security event.
AMY GOODMAN: And are you saying there was absolutely no intelligence
COL. MICHAEL BOATNER: That’s correct. That is correct. [inaudible] we’re
MATTHEW ROTHSCHILD: But even that, Amy, now the Pentagon is doing sweeps
of areas before, you know, a political convention? That used to be law
enforcement’s job. That used to be domestic civil law enforcement job.
It’s now being taken over by the Pentagon. That should concern us.
AMY GOODMAN: Why is that, Colonel Michael Boatner? Why is the Pentagon
doing it, not local law enforcement?
COL. MICHAEL BOATNER: That’s because of the scale and the availability
of support. DoD is the only force that has the kind of capability. I
mean, we’re talking about dozens and dozens of dog detection teams. And
so, for anything on this large a scale, the Secret Service comes to DoD
with a standard Economy Act request for assistance.
AMY GOODMAN: Boatner, in the Republican Convention, these troops, just
back from Fallujah—what about issues of, for example, PTSD,
post-traumatic stress disorder?
COL. MICHAEL BOATNER: Well, my sense is that that’s something that the
services handled very well. There’s a long track record of great support
in the homeland. If those soldiers were National Guard soldiers, I have
no visibility of that. But for the active-duty forces, citizens can be
confident that if they’re employed in the homeland, that they’ll be
reliable, accountable, and take care of their families and fellow
citizens in good form.
AMY GOODMAN: Last word, Matthew Rothschild? Ten seconds.
MATTHEW ROTHSCHILD: Well, this granting of the Pentagon a special unit
to be involved in US patrol is something that should alarm all of us.
And it’s very important to the Army. General Casey, Army chief of staff—
AMY GOODMAN: Five seconds.
MATTHEW ROTHSCHILD: —was a drill exercise for this group just last week,
or just three weeks ago. It was called—
AMY GOODMAN: We leave it there. We’ve got to leave it there. Thank you
to Matthew Rothschild and Colonel Michael Boatner.
Report this post as:
Change Links September 2018 posted
More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre
Site Outage Friday
Change Links August 2018
Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land
More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke
Change Links 2018 July posted
More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena
"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena
Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles
Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California
Change Links June 2018 posted
The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years
Unity Archive Project
Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi
CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police
Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies
California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings)
Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico
Change Links May 2018
Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
More Local News...
The Dictatorship of Corporations
18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting
Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue
Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator
Shopping du bashing
After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again
“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen
Probabilités de fin d'humanité
Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW
Propagande de virus, virus de propagande
Steer clear of work morality!
Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates
Paraphysique de l'origami
The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally!
August 2018 Honduras Coup update
Du réussissement putréfié
Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges
Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts
Paraphysique de contextualité
Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism
Ex-voto de réification
Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh
Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation
Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council
Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming?
The Shortwave Report 08/31/18 Listen Globally!
More Breaking News...