Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself.”     Potter Stewart

December 2, 2008

Another Whimper In The Continuing Death Of Liberty

by Doug Mataconis

And this time, I doubt that anyone will even notice:

The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.

The long-planned shift in the Defense Department’s role in homeland security was recently backed with funding and troop commitments after years of prodding by Congress and outside experts, defense analysts said.

There are critics of the change, in the military and among civil liberties groups and libertarians who express concern that the new homeland emphasis threatens to strain the military and possibly undermine the Posse Comitatus Act, a 130-year-old federal law restricting the military’s role in domestic law enforcement.

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.

Before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, dedicating 20,000 troops to domestic response — a nearly sevenfold increase in five years — “would have been extraordinary to the point of unbelievable,” Paul McHale, assistant defense secretary for homeland defense, said in remarks last month at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. But the realization that civilian authorities may be overwhelmed in a catastrophe prompted “a fundamental change in military culture,” he said.

This comes despite the fact that the Posse Comitatus Act, passed all the way back in 1878 clearly and emphatically prohibits the use of American military forces in the United States as “law and order” forces in areas not already considered to be the property of the Federal Government.

The dangers of using military forces in areas that, by law and tradition, are the jurisdiction of domestic law enforcement should be manifest and, as Radley Balko predicts, it seems fairly clear that their role would, inevitably and inexorably, expand:

I predict that while now couched in terms of the necessity for a ready response to a cataclysmic terrorist attack, within five years there will be calls to use these forces for less urgent matters, such as crowd control at political conventions, natural disaster response, border control, and, inevitably, some components of the drug war (looking for marijuana in the national parks, for example).

Slowly but surely, the distinction between local, state, and federal law enforcement — all of which operate within limitations prescribed by the Constitution — and the military would be blurred.

From early days of the Republic, one of the greatest fears that the Founding Fathers had involved the creation of a standing army that would operate domestically in a manner that threatened the liberty of the people. Prior to the Civil War, that wasn’t a real concern because the standing army didn’t amount to very much. The passage of the Posse Comitatus Act sought to ensure that a larger Army would not become a threat to freedom.

Now, we’re on the verge of reversing 200 years of history.

There’s no real possibility that this new power won’t be abused.

TrackBack URI: http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2008/12/02/another-whimper-in-the-continuing-death-of-liberty/trackback/
Read more posts from
• • •

8 Comments

  1. The ancient Romans had a law that defended the Republic: no army commander could lead his army across the Rubicon river toward Rome without the consent of the Senate.

    That rule was broken by Julius Caesar, and within 2 generations, the Republic, with its conception of rule of law and civil rights, was dead. The emperors – who ruled by force – could kill at will, and their word, no matter how deranged or illconsidered, became law. The forms of the old Republic were there. Senators held debates in the senate, priests held ceremonies etc. They were merely going through the motions – their acts had become empty of any power or weight.

    The emperors instituted disastrous policies that not only destroyed the Roman economy, but ushered in feudalism.

    The founding fathers feared a standing army. They viewed it as a threat to liberty because eventually its leaders would turn it on the people (as George Washington did when he led the U.S. army on an invasion of Pennsylvania during the so-called Whiskey Rebellion). The abuses by the U.S. army in the Reconstruction era and during the Indian Wars show that their fears were well-founded.

    Like the income tax of 1908, this is the camel poking its nose in the tent. We will come to regret this day.

    Comment by tarran — December 2, 2008 @ 7:00 am
  2. There is just TOO much talk of another “nookuleer” attack here, or an bio-terror incident. The Pentagon basically assured us this will happen and I guess they know what they are talking about being they will be the ones DOING IT.

    Comment by Travis — December 2, 2008 @ 9:59 pm
  3. Travis,

    One thing that people fail to notice is that many of these weapons they fear are government inventions. The anthrax used in the 2001 anthrax attacks was produced in a government lab. The nuclear material people worry about is generally produced for governments as part of state weapons programs.

    I doubt the U.S. is planning some false flag attack. The pronouncements of doom they produce are more the product of how the incentives of government employment. But without a robust state that demands super weapons, the world would be a much safer place.

    Comment by tarran — December 3, 2008 @ 6:10 am
  4. Tarran,

    While I totally believe in the Military Industrial Complex, I also know a little about psychopaths and how they operate. If the planned economic destruction of the U.S. is right around the corner (and it is), what a better way to keep people off the streets? Spread a pandemic. that will certainly keep folks from hanging out and talking to each other for a while. Troops are being stationed here to deal with civil unrest.

    There are too many things GLOBALLY going on that I dont like. Pirates attacking ships every day now, terror attacks in India, U.S. airstrikes in Pakistan, Israel fencing in Gaza and shutting off all power, water and medicine, the Global Economy slowing down to a crawl, banks collapsing…..It’s just the dying gasp of an Empire.

    http://sanityisdead.blogspot.com/2008/11/more-pandemic-drills.html

    http://sanityisdead.blogspot.com/2008/11/connecting-dots.html

    Comment by Travis — December 3, 2008 @ 9:22 pm
  5. Travis,

    Why would anybody, psychopathic or not, plan the destruction of the U.S. economy?

    The U.S. economy is the goose that lays the golden eggs. What we are seeing is not planned evil, but rather the inability of those who seek to control the economy to alter fundamental consumer demand.

    Honestly, you might want to turn off the TV and look around you. People are still living their lives. Most businessmen are decent fellows who are honoring contracts and producing wealth for their contracts. You apocalyptic vision is based on taking bad things happening around the globe and confusing them with worldwide cataclysm.

    Comment by tarran — December 4, 2008 @ 8:42 am
  6. My friend, I turned off the TV a LONG time ago. The U.S. is not the goose that lays the golden egg anymore, it is the goose that is killing the world economy. The USA makes up 4% of the worlds population but consumes 25% of the worlds resources. We cannot even service the interest on the debt anymore. That is why the economy is collapsing. Other countries that hold (buy) our debt are starting to realize that we can’t pay it back, so why should they take on even more debt that can’t be repaid?

    In a capitalistic society, Businessmen can’t afford to be “good or decent” fellows. They would be out of business in a week. ANY business can’t afford to be ethical. Nobody who owned a lamp store would tell everyone that the lamp in the store next door was actually better. In this society, people CANNOT be ethical because you can’t make money by telling the TRUTH.

    If all businesses were ethical and corporations actually cared about people, NOT A SINGLE AMERICAN JOB WOULD EVER BE OUTSOURCED!!!!

    The average American spends 2% more than they make. Think about it. The economy in the last 12 years has been a consumer economy based on ever increasing credit lines. When the people of the U.S. are no longer of use to the bankers (No longer able to make payments on all the credit they took out) its game over.

    The United States is now a service economy which means we are washing each others clothes and cleaning each others houses while buying cheap, poisonous Chinese made trinkets with our Walmart salaries. Here’s what our modern day politicians represent: being a fat pig who pins “Country First” buttons on his man titties and chants “U-S-A! U-S-A!” at the top of his lungs while his kids buy groceries with credit cards and his grandchildren are saddled with a Bailout debt in the $$ Trillions which can never be paid off.

    Here’s the thing about Americans: You can send their kids off by the thousands to get their heads blown off in foreign lands for no reason at all, saddle them with Trillions in debt year after congressional year while they spend their winters cheerfully watching game shows and football, pull the rug out from under their mortgages, and leave them living off their credit cards and their Wal-Mart salaries while you move their jobs to China and Bangalore.

    http://www.freedomfiles.org/mary-book.pdf

    This is a simple exercise. The Govt says there were 19 Arab hijackers from Saudi Arabia.

    http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=t&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGIK_enUS281US281&q=saudi+9%2f11

    http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=t&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGIK_enUS281US281&q=israel+9%2f11

    Then why are there 5,800,000 more related searches? What could Israel possibly have to do with 9/11?

    So why would psychopaths in power want to bankrupt the U.S.? That is easy: North American Union.

    [S. 1959 (Codenamed by the Department of Homeland Security as "ENDGAME", you just can't make this stuff up)]http://justanothercoverup.com/?p=343 http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-1959 http://justanothercoverup.com/?p=356

    [Security and Prosperity Paternership of North America Security Agenda]http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/03/20050323-3.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeqjykY5wPk

    http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2006/Halliburton-Detention-Camps31jan06.htm

    This is the best documentary series you will ever watch.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5547481422995115331

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7065205277695921912

    http://sanityisdead.blogspot.com/2008/10/coming-times.html

    America Freedom to Fascism

    “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”- Woodrow Wilson

    Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship… Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.~ Nazi Hermann Göring

    This post by Travis was accidentally flagged as Spam by our Spam filter. Unfortunately, we only recognized the error now on December 10th 2008. I want to apologize to Travis for deleting a post that he obviously spent a great deal of time working on. – Tarran

    Comment by Travis — December 4, 2008 @ 10:41 pm
  7. Tarran,

    The US economy is not the goose that laid the golden egg. You might want to take a closer look at what our economy has become. It’s nothing more than a service economy. Americans spend 2% more than they make. The world is no longer financing our debt. Our economy is based on credit consumption and that CANNOT last. This also ties into why the Congress is not really interested in controlling illegal immigration, they need 30 million new people hooked on credit. Yes, Illegal Aliens can get credit. Half of my in-laws are here illegally and they own houses, boats and cars.

    Nothing more than a pyramid scheme (The same pyramid on your $1 bill)

    Comment by Travis — December 5, 2008 @ 10:50 pm
  8. Travis,

    I think we are in agreement, sort of: I am arguing that there are people in government and in powerful businesses that benefit from credit expansion, and that they are tying to maintaint hat which cannot be maintained. They believe they can keep it going indefinitely because they are ignorant.

    You asserted in an earlier post that these people were trying to engineer higher commodity prices and wreck the U.S. economy on purpose. I disagree, their incentive is to avoid wrecking the economy since the smooth functioning of the U.S. economy produces golden eggs for these politically connected people.

    The U.S. economy suffers from high taxes and inflationary monetary policy. Eliminate these (and repeal some SEC regulations) and you would see savings rates skyrocket followed by a new prosperity. To do this the government needs to slash spending, something no member of the elite wants to do. The vast majority of the elite don’t recognize that reducing spending, taxes and regulation are necessary to improve matters and are wed to incorrect economic theories.

    Comment by tarran — December 6, 2008 @ 7:37 am

Comments RSS

Subscribe without commenting

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by: WordPress • Template by: Eric • Banner #1, #3, #4 by Stephen Macklin • Banner #2 by Mark RaynerXML