Friday, September 26, 2008

Soldiers from Iraq duty being brought home

And being toughed up to deal with protesters:

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.

And: (my bold)

The colonel’s remark suggests that, in preparation for their“homefront” duties, rank-and-file troops are also being routinely Tasered. The brutalizing effect and intent of such a macabre training exercise is to inure troops against sympathy for the pain and suffering they may be called upon to inflict on the civilian population using these same “non-lethal” weapons.

According to military officials quoted by the Army Times, the deployment of regular Army troops in the US begun with the First Brigade Combat Team is to become permanent, with different units rotated into the assignment on an annual basis.

In an online interview with reporters earlier this month, NorthCom officers were asked about the implications of the new deployment for the Posse Comitatus Act, the 230-year-old legal statute that bars the use of US military forces for law enforcement purposes within the US itself.

Col. Lou Volger, NorthCom’s chief of future operations, tried to downplay any enforcement role, but added, “We will integrate with law enforcement to understand the situation and make sure we’re aware of any threats.”

Volger acknowledged the obvious, that the Brigade Combat Team is a military force, while attempting to dismiss the likelihood that it would play any military role. It “has forces for security,” he said, “but that’s really—they call them security forces, but that’s really just to establish our own footprint and make sure that we can operate and run our own bases.”

Lt. Col. James Shores, another NorthCom officer, chimed in, “Let’s say even if there was a scenario that developed into a branch of a civil disturbance—even at that point it would take a presidential directive to even get it close to anything that you’re suggesting.”
Update 9/27: Steve Bates of The Yellow Doggerel Democrat found the possible original link.


Steve Bates said...

Oh s#!t. I cannot think of any benign interpretation of this.

Steve Bates said...

Here is the apparent original (?) of your second link, the PoliticalForum post, from an article by Bill Van Auken, a reporter for the World Socialist Web Site and a sometime fringe candidate for president, the Senate, etc. I don't know what to make of this. The Army Times article seems clear enough, but makes no mention of possible Posse Comitatus Act violations. Additional sources on this one would be a Good Thing. If this is accurate, I still can't think of any non-scary interpretations.

ellroon said...

Thanks for the link. Getting it out there, true or not, makes people ask questions and watch carefully.

Isn't the National Guard what we use for such emergencies anyway? Don't we already have a structure for dealing with disasters? What is this?