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G.I. Joe

Posted by Rick · January 23rd, 2005 · 1 Comment

There has been a steady withdrawal of information from the public domain in the present administration, and a reluctance to disclose even the most mundane of facts. — Eric Schmitt, “Commandos Get Duty on U.S. Soil” (January 23, 2005) The New York Times

So ends an article titled “Commandos Get Duty on U.S. Soil.”

The story is about something with which I don’t think I have strongly negative feelings about — although I think it should certainly concern us as people living in the reputed land of the Free and home of the Brave. American Special Operations Forces have been deployed on American soil as adjuncts — support units — to regular state and federal police and FBI activities.

The article notes the passage of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. That act states, among other things,

From and after the passage of this act it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States, as a posse comitatus, or otherwise, for the purpose of executing the laws, except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress; and no money appropriated by this act shall be used to pay any of the expenses incurred in the employment of any troops in violation of this section And any person willfully violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding two years or by both such fine and imprisonment. Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 ” 15, 20 Stat.L. 145

“Posse comitatus” is Latin for “power (or force) of the county” and in this case refers to the use of the military, as opposed to ordinary police, to handle otherwise ordinary law enforcement operations. The Posse Comitatus Act is further codified by 10 U.S.C. 375 and 18 U.S.C. 1385, which forbid direct participation of any member of the Armed Forces in “search, seizure, arrest, or other similar activity” unless the law otherwise authorizes it.

The reason the law was passed was that — surprise! — human beings fill the offices of the United States government. These human beings typically belong to specific political parties and have, at times, not been afraid to utilize the power of the government against their political enemies as well as actual declared enemies of the United States. The Posse Commitatus Act, for example, was passed as a direct response to the apparent misuse of federal troops to punish the South after the Civil War.

Now, as I said, I’m not against the idea of the use of American troops to go after actual terrorists in the process of actually attempting to carry out acts of agression on American soil. If it comes down to that….

The thing that worries me, though, is that parting comment from the article:

There has been a steady withdrawal of information from the public domain in the present administration, and a reluctance to disclose even the most mundane of facts. — Eric Schmitt, “Commandos Get Duty on U.S. Soil” (January 23, 2005) The New York Times

The Bush Administration — as anyone who has done significant reading knows — is a great admirer of communist leaders such as Vladamir Lenin and Josef Stalin.

You don’t believe me? Try doing a little reading. If you’re lazy (and willing to trust writers who have done the research on this already) you can read Rampton & Stauber’s Banana Republicans: How the Right Wing is Turning America into a One-Party State. The book contains numerous quotes from Republican leaders that are literally taken right from the mouths of communist leaders, and usually concern how best to overpower and suppress people who disagree with you. (Banana Republicans isn’t the only scary source. Earlier this year, there were rumors that a former KGB official, reputed to work for Fox “News”, claimed former KGB officials had been hired by the United States government to spy on Americans.)

But whether we’re talking about Cheney and the commission that set America’s energy policy, after which we ended up with gasoline prices that were considered impossible before the oil men were elected to the Whitehouse, or whether we’re discussing the current use of Special Operations Forces on American soil — potentially against Americans — the Bush Administration has become increasingly secretive about its operations. When it does talk to us, it does so only in Orwellian terms.

My fear is that Orwell — or Bush’s America — is just one step towards Kafka. Secret government may have worked wonders for communist Russia with its KGB. Secret governments have no place in America.

I’d suggest we all get ready for The Siege — coming soon, not to the theater, but to a real life near us.

Categories: The War President


1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Kate S. // Feb 4, 2005 at 3:26 pm

    Oh man, I wish I’d seen this post before I wrote my last post. I need stuff like this to keep the more conservative readers on their toes. It’s starting to feel like a good ol’ sparring exercise, jab, jab, dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee roundhouse clocking.

    May I borrow this?

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