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When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Monday - February 11, 2013

Walking a fine line, or leaping across it?

h/t to Doc Jeff, who spotted this and wonders ... is posse comitatus dead? WTH, it’s just another bit of the Constitution gone, and at this point who would notice another missing shred?

[from Wikipedia] The Posse Comitatus Act is the United States federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1385, original at 20 Stat. 152) that was passed on June 18, 1878, after the end of Reconstruction and was updated in 1981. Its intent (in concert with the Insurrection Act of 1807) was to limit the powers of Federal government in using federal military personnel to enforce the State laws. Contrary to popular belief, the Act does not prohibit members of the United States Armed Forces from exercising Law enforcement agency powers within a State, police, or peace officer powers that maintain “law and order”; it requires that any authority to do so must exist within the United States Constitution or Act of Congress (which it currently does not except under the Insurrection Act).{Federalist 29 (Hamilton, 1788)} Any use of the Armed Forces under either Title 10/Active Duty or Title 10/Reserves at the direction of the President will offend the Constitutional Law also known as Public Law prohibiting such action unless declared by the President of the United States and approved by Congress. Any infringement will be problematic for political and legal reasons.

The Bill/Act as modified in 1981 refers to the Armed Forces of the United States. It does not apply to the National Guard under state authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within its home state or in an adjacent state if invited by that state’s governor. The U.S. Coast Guard, which operates under the Department of Homeland Security, is also not covered by the Posse Comitatus Act, primarily because the Coast Guard has both a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency mission.

So military forces can be used for law enforcement duty, but only at the request of the President and with Congressional approval. So, was that asked for and given last week in Alabama, for that Jimmy Lee Dykes guy who was holding a 5yo boy hostage? I had not heard either way. Not that this would be the first time Posse Comitatus was violated in Alabama under Obama’s watch.


Hostage negotiations, especially those involving children, are always tricky, and trained government negotiators already have a secret bag of tricks that are not shared. In this case, news reporters aided the effort, as well, with many agreeing not to publicize movements of equipment and people in the Midland City, Ala., area so as not to spook Dykes.

But while more will surely be told about the ordeal in Alabama, which ended Monday with a late afternoon raid that saved Ethan but ended in the death of Dykes, it’s also clear that parts of the operation will remain shrouded in secrecy, given that it involved America’s most expert paramilitary counter-terrorism units collaborating with US special operations forces, under the direct authority of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

“This all rings of a unique covert operation,” says Randall Rogan, a crisis communications expert at Wake Forest University who has been following the story closely, adding the multiagency involvement is “atypical, quite honestly, for … what, after all, is not a significant terrorist event.”


Well, there ya go. While Posse Comitatus does have a number of exceptions ...

There are a number of situations in which the Act does not apply. These include:

* National Guard units and state defense forces while under the authority of the governor of a state;
* Troops used under the order of the President of the United States pursuant to the Insurrection Act, as was the case during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.
* Under 18 U.S.C. § 831, the Attorney General may request that the Secretary of Defense provide emergency assistance if civilian law enforcement is inadequate to address certain types of threats involving the release of nuclear materials, such as potential use of a nuclear or radiological weapon. Such assistance may be by any personnel under the authority of the Department of Defense, provided such assistance does not adversely affect U.S. military preparedness. The only exemption is nuclear materials.
* Support roles under the Joint Special Operations Command

Although it is a military force, the U.S. Coast Guard, which operates under the Department of Homeland Security, is not restricted by the Posse Comitatus Act. The Coast Guard enforces U.S. laws, even when operating as a service for the U.S. Navy.

… having Special Forces troops take out a kidnapper does not seem to be one of them. Even “under the direct authority of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta” ... who has NO AUTHORITY in this situation at all. Was kidnapper Jimmy Lee Dykes made out of plutonium? I think not.

Ok, a deranged kidnapper is dead, and a little kid is safe ... but the local cops could have, should have done the job. Or maybe with the help of the FBI, who I am sure has a whole bag of tricks and a warehouse full of neato high tech gear ... so why bring in soldiers? Of any kind??  Just one more instance of Libs going with the “pragmatic” solution, laws be damned.

This is no way to run a railway. Or a nation.

As usual, I’m late to the party. Freepers were all over this days ago, as was this site, which followed the story as it unfolded. Dykes is said to have had explosives, but nobody is saying he had nukes. Duh.

image
Oh look, FBI AGENTS in action at that bunker.

So let me toss out an OTOH - if the police have been fairly militarized and equipped, and the FBI has crews that are so militarized that you can’t tell them from soldiers even when they stand right in front of you, what’s the point? The lines are so blurred these days; Posse Comitatus may exist on paper, but it can have a nice end run done on it by groups like these. Or, as Hillary says, “What difference does it make?”

SOFREP covered this too, and seems to think it’s all hunky-dory. I think it’s time we tore up the Patriot Act, shut down the DHS, and put back up a couple of Jamie Gorlick’s walls. Take away Barney Fife’s machine gun and armored half-tank, and give him back his revolver and his one bullet. Put suits on the Feebs, not soldier’s uniforms. And keep the Army, Navy, and Air Force out of law enforcement. And that includes drones too. Ok, except maybe along the borders, the defense of which is arguably their job anyway.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/11/2013 at 03:00 PM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentJack Booted ThugsMilitary •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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