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POWER GRAB: Pentagon Says Militarization of US Disaster Relief " Inevitable "


POWER GRAB: Pentagon Says Militarization of US Disaster Relief " Inevitable "
by kingubu
Thu Oct 13, 2005 at 01:48:33 AM PDT

Recall earlier this month during Bush's snoozer of a press conference that he slipped in a little bombshell about the possiblity of using the US military to enforce quarantines in case of an outbreak of Avian Flu:

The policy decisions for a president in dealing with an avian flu outbreak are difficult.

One example: If we had an outbreak somewhere in the United States, do we not then quarantine that part of the country? And how do you, then, enforce a quarantine?

It's one thing to shut down airplanes. It's another thing to prevent people from coming in to get exposed to the avian flu.

And who best to be able to effect a quarantine?

One option is the use of a military that's able to plan and move. So that's why I put it on the table. I think it's an important debate for Congress to have.

(full text)

Congressional debate? Well, its been a over a week since then and you know our little George, he's twitchy; he doesn't like to wait.

kingubu's diary :: ::

Now, when the President hinted that the nation might do well to brush aside the 125 year-old Posse Comitatus Act (which strictly curtails the use of the US armed forces on US soil) and usurp the role of state Executives to control the National Guard in their own states, some nattering nabobs were decidedly negative:

But Dr. Irwin Redlener, associate dean of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and director of its National Center for Disaster Preparedness, told The Associated Press the president's suggestion was dangerous.

Giving the military a law enforcement role would be an "extraordinarily Draconian measure" that would be unnecessary if the nation had built the capability for rapid vaccine production, ensured a large supply of anti-virals like Tamiflu and not allowed the degradation of the public health system.

"The translation of this is martial law in the United States," Redlener said.

And Gene Healy, a senior editor at the conservative Cato Institute, said Bush would risk undermining "a fundamental principle of American law" by tinkering with the act, which does not hinder the military's ability to respond to a crisis.

"What it does is set a high bar for the use of federal troops in a policing role," he wrote in a commentary on the group's Web site. "That reflects America's traditional distrust of using standing armies to enforce order at home, a distrust that's well-justified."

(full text)

Others raised questions about state's rights, and wondered why the military should fill a role so obviously better suited to other Federal agencies-- the Dept.. of Homeland Security, and FEMA, for example. Most just rolled their eyes and threw the President's comment on the scrap-heap with previous Napoleonic fantasies and wondered, yet again, how they might cajole him into reading his job description after five years.

Well, unlike Georgie's Mars Adventure, and any evidence of his possession of basic human compassion, the President's plan to expand the domestic role of the US military did not vanish overnight.

Thus sayeth El WaPo:

The U.S. military is planning a more rapid, robust role for active-duty forces in responding to catastrophic disasters or terrorist attacks, a senior Pentagon official said yesterday, describing the demand for large-scale military resources in such cases as "inevitable."
Huh. Good thing the Congress had that lengthy debate on the subject. I know it made me feel better to know that our elected representatives had ample time to address the complexities of a policy that fundamentally alters the country by changing the domestic use of military resources. Oh wait...

There's more:

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, at a conference with Central American defense ministers in Florida, yesterday advocated closer military cooperation as a way to better address threats from terrorists and drug traffickers, as well as natural disasters.
So, not only is FEMA not the entity to handle disaster response and DHS not the agency to deal with terrorism, it turns out the Drug Enforcement Agency isn't the department to deal with drug trafficking. Wow!

"It is almost inevitable that the Department of Defense will play a very substantial role in providing resources, equipment, command and control, and other capabilities in response to a catastrophic event," McHale said. Only the Pentagon can "marshal such resources and deploy them as quickly . . . during a time in which thousands of American lives may be at risk."
Oh, I get it! Why fix FEMA or sear the billions of dollars worth of pork out of the DHS and finally get it to do something other than color between the line of fear when you can just hand everything over to the military! Why, if you tie this together with the creation of the first-ever US military command whose territory includes the domestic United States it almost seems like they've been planning this all along! And who says our George isn't smart?

Ahem.

All snarking aside, this is a dangerous and transparent power-grab by the Federal Executive that makes it substantially easier to roll US troops and tanks into US streets. This cannot be tolerated. We must cry out to our representatives in Congress and urge them to take the reigns on this issue and stop the Neo-cons from militarizing our domestic Federal agencies.

Update [2005-10-13 6:12:57 by kingubu]:

Be sure to also see Cedwyn's excellent post for deep background on Posse Comitatus and more detail on Bush's nefarious scheme.

LINK TO ORIGINAL

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Ok, so Monkeyboy wants to call in the troops to enforce quarantines. First of all, how do we even know that any claims of this flu if it breaks out here are REAL? After all, we are listening to the same lying murdering fool that told us about WMD's and all the other nonsense he has lied about (plans for medical care, non-privatization of SocSec, etc etc) How about maybe he and his NeoCon Religious-nut backers want to impose martial law to cancel elections when they see they are gonna lose???!!! What they and their puppets in the media seem to be doing at this point is scaring the hell out of the public ("Home of the brave????") so they will go along with this monstrous plan and believe he is "saving" them. Remember the big scare last year about "not enough flu vaccine"...that was a great lead-in for this situation...WOW..all of 80 deaths in China...how many people live in China...coupla billion, I think...mighty small percentage, 80 people, but enough for use as a scare-tool. So what does he expect, that the American Troops are going to shoot Americans???? I think it's time we dumped these dirtbags and got ourselves a reasonably honest government before it's too late!

Don't forget, this has been in the works since at least Iran Contra. Remember when several of the hearings were moved behind closed doors because they dealt with information which was "too sensitive"? A lot of those had to do with FEMA and the plans for the suspension of the constitution.

If it hadn't been for Eugene Haasenfus' plane getting shot down, along with a lot more politicians with balls than we have now, they probably would have gotten away with it, and we would have been under martial law a long time ago.

And if I am not mistaken, Florida has been under martial law since before the last election. Wonder what that is all about cause you never read about it anywhere.

Last, you want to dump the dirtbags as most level-headed Americans do. But how? The fix is in. The media is controlled as are the voting machines.

Suspending the constitution and placing America in a military state run by FEMA...

The only think that has to happen for FEMA to be able to implement all the executive orders, is for the President to declare a national emergency of any type, as long as it’s a national emergency.
Executive Order 10995 provides for the take over of communications media.
Executive Order 10997 provides for the take over of all electric, power, petroleum, gas, fuels and minerals.
Executive Order 10988 provides for the take over of food resources and farms.
Executive Order 10999 provides for the take overall modes of transportation, control of highways, seaports, etc.
Executive Order 11000 provides for mobilization of all civilians into work brigades under Government supervision.
Executive Order 11001 provides for Governmental takeover of all health, education and welfare functions.
Executive Order 11002 designates Postmaster General to operate a national registration of all persons.
Executive Order 11003 provides for the Government to take over all airports and aircraft.
Executive Order 11004 provides for the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.
Executive Order 11005 provides for the Government to take over railroads, inland waterways, and public storage facilities.
Now, all of these were combined under Nixon into one huge Executive order, which allows all of this to take place if the President declares a national emergency and it can be implemented by the head of FEMA not the President. The President has already given him that power under these executive orders.
All of these were combined into Executive Order 11490 and that was signed by President Carter on July 20, 1979, and is, in fact, law.

“Behold A Pale Horse

I did just what you asked. I e-mailed my Congressman and both my Senators outraged at what our fearless leader suggested. I decried it and demanded that they publicly criticize Bush's recommendation for giving the military police powers on the Senate and House floors. You know what? I did not receive a response at all from them. Nor did I hear anything about it being discussed in Congress. For the first time in my life I am scared and not scared about the possibility of an avian flu outbreak. No, I am scared that police powers will be granted to the military and now for the first time in my life I fear my government.

Nick K
Chicago, IL

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