|By Dave Mundy
The U.S. military has
asked Congress to lift the restrictions of an act designed to prevent American
military forces from being used against their own people, an online news
journal has reported—with clear implications the federal government could
use the surge of pro-independence sentiment in Texas as an excuse to establish
12 article in The Progressive, a liberal news journal, by reporter
Matthew Rothschild reports that the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) has
asked Congress to grant the Secretary of Defense the authority to post
up to 400,000 troops in North America “in times of emergency or natural
disaster.” If granted, the move would further erode the authority of the
states and would minimize the role played by the states’ militia, the National
Guard, in handling domestic issues.
More ominously, nothing
in the Pentagon’s request specifies that the troops to be posted in U.S.
cities would necessarily be Americans.
The US Northern Command
signed an agreement with Canada Command allowing the use of Canadian forces
to be used to handle “emergencies” in the United States on Feb. 14, 2008
– a treaty never presented by the Bush Administration to the Senate for
ratification, as required by the Constitution.
that NORTHCOM in June distributed a “fact sheet” entitled “Legislative
Proposal for Activation of Federal Reserve Forces for Disasters.”
“That proposal would
amend current law …authorizing the Secretary of Defense to order any unit
or member of the Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Navy Reserve, and the
Marine Corps Reserve, to active duty for a major disaster or emergency,”
Rothschild’s report notes.
In a June 20 letter
to the National Governor’s Association, Paul Stockton, Assistant Secretary
of Defense for Homeland Defense and America’s Security Affairs, explained
that the measure would allow some 379,000 reservists to be deployed in
communities around the U.S., in conflict with the Posse Comitatus Act of
“The governors were
not happy about this proposal, since they want to maintain control of their
own National Guard forces, as well as military personnel acting in a domestic
capacity in their states,” Rothschild wrote.
A letter from Vermont
Gov. James H. Douglas and West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin III in response
on Aug. 7 asserts that, “We are concerned that the legislative proposal
you discuss in your letter would invite confusion on critical command and
control issues … and that the states “must have tactical control
over all . . . active duty and reserve military forces engaged in domestic
operations within the governor’s state or territory.”
The possibility of
Canadian or even Mexican military forces being used against American civilians
was raised last year.
In an event heralded
by a news release
from NORTHCOM but ignored by the news media, U.S. Air Force Gen. Gene
Renuart, commander of NORTHCOM, and Canadian Air Force Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais,
commander of Canada Command, signed a Civil Assistance Plan that allows
the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation
during a civil emergency.
“This document is a
unique, bilateral military plan to align our respective national military
plans to respond quickly to the other nation's requests for military support
of civil authorities,” Renuart said in a news release issued by NORTHCOM.
“Unity of effort during bilateral support for civil support operations
such as floods, forest fires, hurricanes, earthquakes and effects of a
terrorist attack, in order to save lives, prevent human suffering and mitigate
damage to property, is of the highest importance, and we need to be able
to have forces that are flexible and adaptive to support rapid decision-making
in a collaborative environment.”
It is not known if
a similar agreement has been signed with Mexico. The treaty with Canada,
signed on Feb. 14, 2008 during the Bush Administration’s tenure in office,
has never been forwarded to the U.S. Senate for ratification, as required
by the Constitution.
The vague definition
of what might constitute an “emergency” leads to the possibility that U.S.
military forces could be deployed domestically to prevent, for example,
the citizens of Texas from voting on a plebescite to secede from the Union.
“So the new proposed
legislation would greatly expand the President’s power to call up the Reserves
in a disaster or an emergency and would extend that power to the Secretary
of Defense,” Rothschild writes.