In a frightening expansion of executive power the United States military is planning to have 20,000 uniformed troops INSIDE the United States by 2011. With congressional approval and funding, the federal government lead by the Bush administration, is riding rough shod over the Posse Comitatus Act passed in 1878.From MSNBC dot com
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.
Americans are suspicious of the use of military force on American soil and for good reason. This suspicion is rooted in the American colonial experience. Dana Somerville at HNN dot com provides some insight in her article, What is the Posse Comitatus Act?.
This prejudice against the military is rooted in our experience during Colonial times. In the tumultuous years preceding the American Revolution the British military was sent to the colonies to enforce British control. In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson expressly cited the use of the British military in America as one of the colonists’ central grievances: “He [the king] has kept among us, in times of peace, standing militaries without the consent of our legislatures. He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power.”
Once the United States was formed, Americans were determined to protect themselves from an overbearing military. The Articles of Confederation limited the role of the military. The Constitution mandated civilian control of the military, with the elected president serving as commander-in-chief.
More recent events should raise concerns about the increased involvement of the military in civilian affairs. In 1993 President Clinton used the United States military to massacre 82 civilians at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. Picking up where Clinton left off, President Bush has removed any limits on the executive’s power to wage war, seize and confine. Now this expanded power will be handed over to an unrepentant marxist.
“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” –Benjamin Franklin
God help us!