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View Diary: Not Again! New DOD Spy agency quietly given incredible powers (122 comments)

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  •  It used to be illegal for the Military (4.00)
    to be used against us.
    •  It still is. (4.00)
      Gonna be a budget fight over this crew.

      "If you get an outfit, you can be a cowboy, too..." : The Smothers Brothers.

      by wozzle on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 01:03:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Privatize Tyranny (4.00)
      Now they hire civilian contractors, which were used on the ground in New Orleans to restore order. Like any government contract, the contractor delivers a product, or service, with little or no oversight.

      "Republicans hate the French Revolution, and everything it stands for; Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, but they love the Guillotine.

      by agent double o soul on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 01:10:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why don't we just get on with it (4.00)
      and rename it the Praetorian Guard?

      Emperors need their henchmen, after all.

      Impeachment is no longer an option. It is our moral and civic obligation as Americans. We owe our country nothing less.

      by Republic Not Empire on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 01:31:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Let us not forget that NSA is military (4.00)
      run. The structure is half military, half civilian techno-geekish. But it is the military half that is in overall charge. Another reason why the NSA Bush policy is so terrifying.
    •  It's called Posse Comitatus Act (4.00)
      from the military NORTHCOM website:

      Section 1385 of Title 18, United States Code (USC), states:

            "Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."

      The PCA does not apply to the U.S. Coast Guard in peacetime or to the National Guard in Title 32 or State Active Duty status. The substantive prohibitions of the Posse Comitatus Act (PCA) were extended to all the services with the enactment of Title 10 USC, Section 375. As required by Title 10 USC, Section 375 the secretary of defense issued Department of Defense Directive 5525.5, which precludes members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps from direct participation in a search, seizure, arrest, or other similar activity unless participation in such activity by such member is otherwise authorized by law.

      The PCA generally prohibits U.S. military personnel from direct participation in law enforcement activities. Some of those law enforcement activities would include interdicting vehicles, vessels, and aircraft; conducting surveillance, searches, pursuit and seizures; or making arrests on behalf of civilian law enforcement authorities. Prohibiting direct military involvement in law enforcement is in keeping with long-standing U.S. law and policy limiting the military's role in domestic affairs.

      The United States Congress has enacted a number of exceptions to the PCA that allow the military, in certain situations, to assist civilian law enforcement agencies in enforcing the laws of the U.S. The most common example is counterdrug assistance (Title 10 USC, Sections 371-381). Other examples include:

          * The Insurrection Act (Title 10 USC, Sections 331-335). This act allows the president to use U.S. military personnel at the request of a state legislature or governor to suppress insurrections. It also allows the president to use federal troops to enforce federal laws when rebellion against the authority of the U.S. makes it impracticable to enforce the laws of the U.S.
          * Assistance in the case of crimes involving nuclear materials (Title 18 USC, Section 831). This statute permits DoD personnel to assist the Justice Department in enforcing prohibitions regarding nuclear materials, when the attorney general and the secretary of defense jointly determine that an "emergency situation" exists that poses a serious threat to U.S. interests and is beyond the capability of civilian law enforcement agencies.
          * Emergency situations involving chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction (Title 10 USC, Section 382). When the attorney general and the secretary of defense jointly determine that an "emergency situation" exists that poses a serious threat to U.S. interests and is beyond the capability of civilian law enforcement agencies. DoD personnel may assist the Justice Department in enforcing prohibitions regarding biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction.

      Military support to civilian law enforcement is carried out in strict compliance with the Constitution and U.S. laws and under the direction of the president and secretary of defense.

      •  Katrina response (none)
        Bush et al had been waiting around for an excuse to declare martial law and start the end of the PCA. Gov Blanco's email dump gives indications this was the problem; no federal help until the feds are put in charge of the disaster area. And then but a few months later, when everyone is talking about bird flu, there's Bush suggesting a debate on the PCA should take place.

        As far as I can tell, the best explantion so far the the admin response to Katrina I've seen.

        The Place of Dead Roads
        "The City of Louisiana has dodged the bullet with Hurricane Corrina."

        by Dr Benway on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 10:23:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Where is the Posse Comitatus law? (none)
      It's been illegal for 130 years for the military to operate in this country against civilians.  How in the world does this program not run afoul of that law?

      -4.50, -5.85 "To initiate a war of aggression is ... the supreme international crime." ---Nuremberg Tribunal

      by Dallasdoc on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 04:19:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's why (none)
        those inside the Beltway with serious anal-retentive neuroses want to repeal Posse Comitatus.

        Most of the rest are just happy to ignore it.

      •  Northcom was one of Bush's first post 9-11 moves (none)
        NorthCom is the first US military command on North American soil since Posse Commitatus in 1878.  And the guy Bush picked to head up NorthCom is a pal of Poindexter's and was the commander of NORAD on 9/11.  It just gets creepier the more you know.

        "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing - after they have exhausted all other possibilities." Winston Churchill

        by LondonYank on Wed Dec 21, 2005 at 01:12:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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