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Militarizing the "Homeland" in Response to the Economic and Political Crisis
(Tom Burghardt, Global Research, October 11, 2008)
Based on a document (AR 500-3) published by the whistleblowing website Wikileaks, it described "all hazards COOP planning" as the mechanism by which "the Army remains capable of continuing mission-essential operations during any situation, including military attack, terrorist activities, and natural or man-made disasters." . . . The Wikileaks document is all the more relevant since a September report in Army Times described how the 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) would be deployed October 1 "under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North," the "service component" of NORTHCOM. . . . Since that article appeared September 8, Army Times has done a partial climb-down and now claims that the "non-lethal crowd control package" described earlier for operations in the heimat, "is intended for use on deployments to the war zone, not in the U.S., as previously stated." . . . But this mendacious claim by Army Times is belied by current political trends in the U.S. Under cover of the "war on terror," driftnet surveillance and moves toward suppressing dissent, most recently on display when protests during the Democratic and Republican National Conventions were criminalized and organizers were charged with "domestic terrorism" under the Patriot Act, are but the tip of the proverbial iceberg. . . . the top secret Main Core database linked to Continuity of Government contingency planning, "includes dissidents and activists of various stripes, political and tax protesters, lawyers and professors, publishers and journalists, gun owners, illegal aliens, foreign nationals, and a great many other harmless, average people." . . . Reporting in July for Salon, investigative journalist Tim Shorrock was told by a source that Main Core is "'an emergency internal security database system' designed for use by the military in the event of a national catastrophe, a suspension of the Constitution or the imposition of martial law. . . . As I pointed out in my October 6 article, current Army doctrine is heavily-weighted towards contingency planning for "civil disturbances." While these programs are not new and in fact, plans such as Garden Plot and Cable Splicer have been integral to military doctrine since the late 1960s, what is new--and highly disturbing--is the launch of NORTHCOM's Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS). . . . In other words, although civilian agencies are the nominal PFA's during a "disaster or emergency situation," JTF-CS "operates within a clear Department of Defense chain of command" that begins and ends with the Executive Branch, that is, the President in his role as the leader of the "unitary executive branch" and Commander-in-Chief. Were a "national emergency" of any kind declared by the President, rules governing Continuity of Government operations would place civilian agencies, including "State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure," under the effective control of the military. . . . Would, let's say, the eruption of mass protests as a result of a stolen presidential election or mass actions as a legitimate and exemplary civilian response to limiting bank withdrawals, a freeze on Social Security payments, a prohibition on strikes or the declaration of a "national security emergency" as a result of prerevolutionary challenges to the legitimacy of federal authority (as took place in Argentina in 2000 during that nation's economic meltdown) trigger MACDIS and other Continuity of Government operations? . . . DoD 3025.12 states, "Under reference (r), the terms "major disaster" and "emergency" are defined substantially by action of the President in declaring that extant circumstances and risks justify Presidential implementation of the legal powers in those statutes." In other words, "extant circumstances" are "defined substantially" by the President. Once triggered by Executive Order, the scope of operations undertaken by the military acting as the enforcement arm of the "unitary executive branch" are virtually unlimited. . . . Under these rules, martial law, suspension of habeas corpus, indefinite detention would render lawful rules guiding a constitutional republic moot; mere footnotes written on the "blank page" of America's "new normal," what Naomi Klein has termed "disaster capitalism." . . . Despite the repeal of the "Insurrection Act Rider" to the 2007 Defense Appropriations bill that gave the President sweeping emergency power to deploy the military for any "condition" he might cite, not merely a terrorist atrocity or CBRNE "event," the Bush "signing statement" reported by Amy Goodman above, effectively nullified Congress' intent not to give the president carte blanche to station U.S. troops on American streets.

posted by Lorenzo 1:54 PM

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