Despite President Obama going to great lengths to assuage the American people’s concerns with the increased militarization of federal agencies, a recently disclosed military directive suggests those fears could be legitimate.
Yesterday, The Washington Times disclosed a disturbing Department of Defense directive detailing which instances may be appropriate for the government to use lethal military force on dissenting civilians.
In a December 2010 directive entitled, “Defense Support of Civil Authorities” (DSCA), the DoD discusses plans “regarding military support for civilian law enforcement,” which would go into effect if authorized by the President, Secretary of Defense, civil authorities or other qualifying entities.
“Federal action, including the use of federal military forces, is authorized when necessary to protect the federal property or functions,” Directive #3025.18 states.
Under the directive, additional authority is also granted to military commanders. From the directive:
“Federal military commanders are provided EMERGENCY AUTHORITY under this Directive. Federal military forces shall not be used to quell civil disturbances unless specifically authorized by the President in accordance with applicable law.. In these circumstances, those Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances…”
Not surprisingly, the DoD order does little to quell the fears of Americans worried over various governmental agencies arming to the teeth, as well as those concerned with increasingly hostile rhetoric geared to demonize Tea Party supporters, liberty lovers, returning military veterans and law abiding gun owners.
“The militarization of federal agencies, under little-known statues that permit deputization of security officials, comes as the White House has launched verbal attacks on private citizens’ ownership of firearms despite the fact that most gun owners are law-abiding citizens,” contends Bill Gertz. Indeed, Second Amendment supporters are known for holding gatherings and protests, activities some may deem “large-scale” and “unexpected,” and which opponents may label “civil disturbances.”
Past military literature also outlines several groups the DoD expects to confront in said “unexpected civil disturbances.”
A DoD training manual disseminated last year, for instance, listed people who embrace “individual liberties,” and honor “states’ rights,” among other characteristics, as potential “extremists” likely to be members of “hate groups.”
“Nowadays,” the manual explained, “instead of dressing in sheets or publicly espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place.”
The manual’s contents dovetails with previous government studies targeting similar groups, such as a study funded by the Department of Homeland Security which characterized Americans “suspicious of centralized federal authority” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists.
Another government document disclosed by Infowars in 2009 listed supporters of presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr as potential “militia” influenced terrorists, and warned Missouri police to be on the lookout for supporters “displaying bumper stickers and other paraphernalia associated with the Constitutional, Campaign for Liberty, and Libertarian parties.”
Then there are the more tangible threats, such as local police departments acquiring armored vehicles designed for warfare, and outrageous bullet solicitations by federal agencies tasked with providing public services, like the US Postal Service, the Dept. of Education, the Social Security Administration and others.
The threat was such that last year one Ret. Army Captain Terry M. Hestilow bravely called out the Obama administration, concluding the DHS’ solicitations and acquisitions represented a “bold threat of war” against the American people.
Labeling the DHS purchases a “glaring threat of war against our nation’s citizens,” Capt. Hestilow declared the DHS’s acquisitions “can only be understood as a tyrannical threat against the Constitution of the United States of America.”
The fact the military has constructed a $96 million training facility in Virginia designed to resemble an American city could also constitute a tangible menace.
While the DoD directive provides some solace for citizens, in the form of prohibiting “armed” drones from being used for domestic DSCA purposes, the concession is overshadowed by the fact that mere years ago the government completely denied the existence of a drone program.
Of course, now it’s just common knowledge that surveillance drones are being used to monitor the border and are in use by the EPA to monitor farmers and ranchers, in addition to the fact that they were considered for use in the Bundy Ranch standoff last month.
At best, the language contained within the latest DoD directive provides an end run around posse comitatus; at worst, it can be construed as an admission by the feds that they anticipate a future quarrel with at least some portion of the American people, wherein military commanders may be required to make the call to aid local authorities in “controlling the situation.”