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Damage Control: U.S. Army Investigates Deploying Troops in Samson, Alabama
CNSNews is reporting the U.S. Army has launched an investigation into the deployment of troops on the streets of Samson, Alabama, after a murder spree on March 10. The use of the troops in domestic law enforcement is a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act substantially limiting the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement.
|From Reuters: “U.S. Army soldiers from Ft. Rucker patrol the downtown area of Samson, Alabama after a shooting spree March 10, 2009.”|
Alabama Gov. Bob Riley did not deploy the troops or were they sent by the request of president Obama, CNSNews reports. Todd Stacy, spokesman for Riley, was unaware of the deployment and expressed surprise when he was told that troops had been sent to the town. Harvey Perritt, spokesman for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) at Fort Monroe, Virginia, said the Army has launched an inquiry to determine “whether law, regulation and policy were followed.” TRADOC is the headquarters command for Ft. Rucker.
On March 11, Infowars posted an article on the deployment after we saw a Reuters photo of soldiers in downtown Samson following the shooting incident. The deployment of federal troops was not reported by the corporate media with the exception of the photo. If not for Infowars, the alternative media and the blogosphere, the story would have gone unreported and the Army would likely not have launched an investigation.
[efoods]After Alex Jones covered the story on his radio program, hundreds of people called the Samson Police Department and the the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Rucker complaining about the deployment.
“We’ve been getting a lot of calls,” Jim Stromenger, a dispatcher at the Samson Police Department, told CNSNews. “They weren’t here to police, let me make that clear. They were here to help with traffic and to control the crime scene–so people wouldn’t trample all over (it).” Stromenger said he was unaware of who called the Army and requested the deployment of troops.
The Directorate of Public Safety at the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker “maintains liaison with federal, state and local law enforcement and fire agencies,” according to the DPS website at Fort Rucker.
Since September 11, 2001, and the passage of the Patriot Act and associated legislation, the Posse Comitatus Act has faced repeated challenge and periodic violation.
“The federal government has also moved in recent years to erode restrictions on the use of the military’s vast assets for law enforcement operations,” writes J.D. Tuccille for the Examiner. “The military is now explicitly authorized to participate in drug enforcement efforts, as well as to help control immigration and collect tariffs. States can also call on federal troops to put down insurrections or help with natural disasters. The federal government can send troops of its own accord to suppress rebellions or when ‘major public emergencies’ render state and local authorities incapable of protecting people’s constitutionally guaranteed rights.”
CNSNews notes that the U.S. Justice Department has prosecuting authority if it is deemed any violation of the law occurred. The Justice Department did not respond to CNSNews and it remains to be seen if they will take action in the case.
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