US Military Grants Itself the Power to Police American Streets and "Quell" "Civil Disturbances"

Comments

1
No, it means that unless Governors push back, we live in a Gulag.
2
Pick up that can, citizen!
3
Well that's bad. Can they just give themselves that power?

I've quietly made myself king of the United States*. Don't tell anyone.

* And protector of Mexico.
4
Answering my own question, if you have enough guns, tanks, and nukes I suppose you can give yourself any power you want.
5
It means 5280 is our only line of defense.
6
Holy. Cow. I've been standing up to my right-wing-nut friends who've been maintaining that there's a militaristic power grab. I may have been wrong. That's truly scary. Not that I'm wrong, that happens all the time. But the military can come in whenever they want and institute martial law? Can this be undone?
7
Five posts before a "liberal" said "I'm OK with that. Take my guns."
8
@5, don't joke. It's not funny.
9
@6 Pssst! Hey, lemme tell you something.

It's not just the right-wing-nuts that have been saying it. It's anybody who's been paying attention.
10
@7 Were you kicked in the head as a child? First, you're using quotes wrong, as they're supposed to be used when you're quoting something they *actually* said. Second, you're not even paraphrasing him correctly, since he never said anything even remotely like that.

Actually, you know what? Nevermind. Just go back to huffing paint in your backwoods bunker.
11
To everybody on this thread, bullshitting and "told you so"s aside, what the fuck are we, are you, going to do about it?
12
@10 Subtext and posting histories, dude. They go over your head.
14
@12 Oh sorry, some of us don't troll the Slog comment sections religiously. My bad.
15
Since the only thing stopping the biggest and most effective fighting force the world has ever seen from seizing power was a piece of paper, this is very troubling news.

16
So then what's the point of the National Guard? You know, it almost seems quaint now to think of 1999 when the Guard got called out and stood shoulder-to-shoulder along Pine Street the second morning of the WTO meeting. They were armed only with billy clubs. The cops had their "armored personnel carrier" and riot gear on, but the Guard looked like neighborhood kids in cammo.

Never thought I'd be nostalgic for that.
17
That is legitimately shitty. What recourse is available to reverse or counteract this? (Besides investing in a gun and assuming I can fend off the military from my basement with all the training I got from youtube videos of fat dudes in camo running maneuvers and shooting mannequins in the woods.)
18
@16 technically, what most people think of as the US military is in fact primarily the National Guard, activated and shipped overseas.

We used to have mostly reg force with few active reserves (except during disasters), now it's more the other way around, as anyone serving in Iraq or Afghanistan could tell you. More of the model that Canada uses (and used since Korea), actually.

Hence my point about Governors. It's up to Governors to push back. Nobody else actually can.
19
@14 Your use the word "us" in that sentence is hilariously ironic. Obvious troll is obvious.
20
The Right to Bear arms is not about skeet shooting.
It is not about hunting.
Or shooting burglars.

The Right to Bear arms is about the populace being able to overthrow a tyrannical government.
By armed force, if needed.

A population that surrenders its right to be effectively armed only retains the liberties others are willing to grant them. For only as long as those others are willing to grant them.

Sweet Dreams.....
21
@20 What do we spend on the military each year again? You think your rifle will protect you against tanks, nukes, and drones?

If you want real security, cut our military spending down to a size.
22
In extreme emergencies, the National Guard steps in to help with states.

Do you want seasonal workers saving your life, or do you want full-timers saving your homes? I vote for active duty soldiers saving my shit.
23
21

you mean, like the sequester?
24
21

and we shan't bore you with details but Liberals seem to have a profound lack of understanding about military affairs and a misplaced awe at the ability of a small professional quasi-mercenary greatly overtaxed force to subjugate the most heavily armed population in history.
25
The military empowering itself to intervene in civil disturbances isn't funny, however the wingnut fantasy that armed civilians would be able to do anything to stop this from happening has always been hilarious.

I did not know the military was empowered to empower itself. Isn't this a legislative issue?
26
Wake-up. We've been under a police state since Nixon.
27
jesus christ stranger; can someone can this closet teabagger Kiley already? Keep on spewing hate and lies about the american people buddy.
28
besides, the military will be much more concerned with protecting its veterans benefit programs than rooting survivalists out of the hills and swamps.

your military won't be rounding up right wing patriots.

it will be besieging Washington DC to secure its share of the dwindling Federal booty
29
really though; thanks for providing this speck of substance amongst the sludge of shallow and unexamined crutch.
30
and the military is overly fond of small calibre ammunition.

31
@15 "Since the only thing stopping the biggest and most effective fighting force the world has ever seen from seizing power was a piece of paper [...]"

The piece of paper is nice and all, but there's also tradition, oaths, etc.

In actuality, I think the biggest impediment should be family and community loyalty. This is why it's better to have the National Guard called out than troops pulled from all across the country.

I am actually much more worried about private contractors and the foreign mercenaries the US has been hiring.
32
This is what the gun grabber wonks keep saying they want. A well organized militia. Not citizen ownership of firearms.

So slog, which one is it?
33
Well, if Obama needs to have a "hair-trigger threat of martial law" he must have a good reason... Who are we to question it???
34
Did they repeal the Posse Comitatus Act while we weren't paying attention?
35
I love a good Slog drama.
36
@32 What is your definition of "militia"?
37
Uh, this is bullshit. Selective quotes and all. Look at the original source document they're referencing. The quote they reference about how "federal military commanders have the authority" blah blah blah and that's bad because it undermines civilian control of the military?

It doesn't say that. In the document they're quoting, that text is preceded by the line "When permitted under emergency authority in accordance with Reference (c),".

Reference (c) says: "Federal military commanders are provided EMERGENCY AUTHORITY under this Directive. Federal military forces shall not be used to quell civil disturbances unless specifically authorized by the President in accordance with applicable law (e.g., chapter 15 of Reference (d)) or permitted under emergency authority, as described below (see DoDD 3025.12 (Reference (j)) and DoDD 5525.5 (Reference (c))).

In these circumstances, those Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances because:

(1) Such activities are necessary to prevent significant loss of life or wanton destruction of property and are necessary to restore governmental function and public order; or,(2) When duly constituted Federal, State, or local authorities are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for Federal property or Federal governmental functions.

Federal action, including the use of Federal military forces, is authorized when necessary to protect the Federal property or functions."

In other words, this is a lot weaker than the article makes it out to be, isn't really an expansion of powers since these are all directives that have been in place for decades, and given the wording would not be applicable in any of the situations people are throwing out as threats. The whole thing's basically bullshit. C'mon, Brendan, I thought you people were reporters; aren't you supposed to check this shit out before you post it?
38
Once again y'all be freaking out about the wrong clause of the provision. Note:
Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation...

So the real question isn't "What constitutes an 'emergency'?" but rather, "What is a 'circumstance where Presidential authorization is impossible'?"

(And we --old fogies that is-- know how Al Haig would answer that question!)
39
@37 no they're not. The Governors can ignore them. And should. Separation of South and State.
40
How long until some version of this story finds it way onto Snopes? I give it about a week tops.
41
First thought - it's likely this does not mean what some of the more panicky thinks it means. I'll wait to see how this story develops.

Second thought - it's telling that some people (like Cato the Bitter Bitter) found it more satisfying to crow about this than express any actual outrage or otherwise make a meaningful contribution. Congratulations, you are now hard left Rush Limbaughs, without the money or sex tourism.
42
@41 "make a meaningful contribution."

You mean like your criticizing people and their reaction is a meaning contribution? That's pretty telling as well.
43
@42, aw look, someone who ignored my first paragraph, aka my "meaningful contribution."

Go away kid, ya bother me.
44
Not to negate anything in that article, but...

I grew up on Long Island. Haven't read either of the local papers in a long while, but my memory of the Long Island Press is as a pretty shitty newspaper. They were always the rightest-wing answer to Newsday, except with sloppier reporting, if that was possible.

A four-year old quote from a Daily Kos article about something else? What else do they have?

Kudos to them if they've broken some big story, and even if I can't remember it ever happening before, I suppose it's entirely possible. Just unlikely.
45
The May 14 story in the Long Island Press may be based on a reading of this May 2 op-ed column about a February 27 document issued by DOD.

http://jurist.org/forum/2013/05/kevin-go…

It's certainly a more complete analysis. I haven't followed all the links, but I'm more confident than ever that the Long Island Press is a rag with an agenda.
46
@43 Contradictiry, baseless, skepticism without opinion is not substantial or meaningful. It's just trolltastic criticism.

Snooooooooooooooze.
47
Shorter:

Dr. Strangelove is in black and white, ergo it is a documentary.
48
The level of breathless hyperbole and speculation in this article are highly amusing. Who wrote this shit? Art Bell?