How the military invaded America

Sam Smith, 1996 – One might ask just when it became the business of the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to set policy on drugs and urban gangs, but in today’s Washington the question won’t produce more than a shrug. Thus when, upon General Barry McCaffrey’s appointment is drug czar, Bill Clinton transferred $250 million from the Pentagon to the drug czar’s office, no one took notice. The accounts are already heavily commingled.Browsing DOD literature makes this clear. For example, there is the Manual for Civil Emergencies that says it applies not only to the various branches of the military services but serves as a reference for other federal, state and local agencies on how the Department of Defense supports civil authorities and DOD assets can be used to support civilian leadership priorities in returning their communities to a state of “normalcy.”

Those are DOD’s quote marks around the last word — a reminder that what may be normal to a general may not seem normal to an ordinary citizen.
You have to watch the language carefully. For example, the manual defines hazards as “natural or man caused events, including, without limitation, civil disturbances, that may result in major disasters or emergencies.”
And what are civil disturbances?:
“Riots, acts of violence, insurrections, unlawful obstructions or assemblages, group acts of violence and disorder prejudicial to public law and order…” In short, words are so broadly defined as to mean almost anything the Pentagon wants them to mean — right down to a noisy crowd at the street corner. As Mort SahJ once pointed out, a federal conspiracy is now defined as “whenever two or three are gathered together.”Another unnerving manual is the resource guide for the 1994 Counterdrug Managers’ Course at the National Interagency Counterdrug Institute at Camp San Luis Obispo CA. In it we learn that among the problems ordinary cops may face is that “the vast DOD bureaucracy will overwhelm the requesting law enforcement agency.” The manual adds reassuringly, “To date such fears have proven to be unfounded. DOD has not become a law enforcement agency … There is, however, much that DOD can do without usurping a police role.”

A few pages on, the manual lists what some of these things are:
• In appropriate cases, armed forces personnel and equipment will be detailed directly to law enforcement agencies to assist in the fight.• The Department of Defense will be prepared to assist the Department of Justice with its responsibilities for incarceration and rehabilitation of drug criminals, through means such as training federal, state, and local personnel in the conduct of rehabilitation-oriented training camps for first-offense drug abuses and providing overflow facilities for incarceration of those convicted of drug crimes.

• [DOD will] arrange for assigning military personal to federal drug law enforcement agencies and the ONDCP [the office of the drug czar] to perform liaison, training, and planning functions as appropriate to assist in implementation of the National Drug Control Strategy and the DOD guidance for implementation of that strategy.

• [DOD will] review the potential for DOD to provide temporary overflow facilities, upon the request of appropriate federal, state, or local authorities, for incarceration of individuals convicted of drug crimes.

Verbal shell games are being played here. On the one hand, the Defense Department is declared not to be a law enforcement agency; on the other, its personnel and equipment “will be detailed directly to law enforcement agencies to assist in the fight.” Such postmodern linguistic mush is a key part of the camouflage used to conceal the military’s mission creep. For example, the Navy is prohibited by the Posse Comitatus Act from engaging in domestic law enforcement, so the Coast Guard gets around this by hoisting a Coast Guard flag on any naval vessel it wants to use. The ship thereupon becomes a Coast Guard vessel — for the sole purpose of circumventing the law.Of particular concern to anyone wishing to retain a democracy in the US are the oblique references to concentration camps for drug offenders. To be sure, the manual prefers Maoist phraseology – “rehabilitation oriented training camps” ~ but it means the same thing.

This idea may have been launched some years back by a former high US drug official named Robert Dupont, who proposed in the Washington Post that there be mandatory drugs tests for those attending school or getting a driver’s license. Those who failed drug tests repeatedly would be incarcerated in “large temporary health shelters.” There would be some invasion of privacy and civil rights, the doctor admitted, but “this is a price we would need to pay for life in a modern, interdependent community.” The concentration camps, the manual notes, could also be used to provide “temporary overflow facilities . . .

Both Dupont and the manual use the word temporary. Does this refer to the quality of the gulags’ construction or to the transitory nature of their need? And if the latter, then what precisely are the conditions under which temporary overflow facilities would be required? One thing history teaches us is that drug use rises and falls in a stately fashion; there are no sudden mass LSD binges or waves of ecstasy parties that sweep the nation. On the other hand, what can change rather rapidly is the government’s desire and willingness to lock persons up – such as under martial law.

Finally, the manual indicates that not only are military personnel assigned to the drug czar but that the nation’s domestic drug strategy is subject to “DOD guidance for implementation of that strategy.” In other words, under McCaffrey our drug program will be run by a general, aided by military personnel, funded by military dollars and guided by military policy. In short, it is not unlike the sort of arrangement McCaffrey’s Southcom has worked out for places like Bolivia and Colombia. Our cities have become just another third world country to keep under the military’s control.

The handwriting has been on the wall for a long time. The Review has previously reported that in speaking before the 1991 National Guard Association Conference, Lt. General John B. Conway, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, said:

Our commander in chief has declared war on drugs.Our mission as America’s National Guard in this war is clear: make America drug-free in as short a time as possible using any means necessary no matter what the cost.

 

[Drugs are] the greatest threat that is out there . . .We’ve got to get our stuff together. The battle is not going to be won in the source countries or in the transit countries. The battle is going to be won here in the United States and we better start doing something about it.

Sir.  Major General Barry McCaffrey reporting for duty, Such dreams have been partly realized without even bothering to repeal the troublesome Posse Comitatus Act.

Thus we now find Army reservists working with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in anti-pot forays. Said one Army official:

We want the public to become more aware of what we’re doing. This is an ongoing war on our soil. We want people to see the Army involved in a war right here – a war against drugs . . . We’re fighting a war in our own hometowns — a war we’ll fight every day until, finally, we win

So between January and August of the following year, the National Guard made nearly 20,000 arrests, searched 120,000 cars and searched over 1200 buildings.

Said one National Guard official, “The National Guard is America’s legally feasible attitude-change agent.” The regular Army, however, was anxious to get in the act as well. Lt. Gen. J. H. Bindford Peay III, the chief of staff for operations and plans, asserted in an Army publication a few years back that military forces are required for such purposes as internal peacekeeping, anti-drug operations and support of civil authorities to maintain stability in a rapidly changing America. Said Peay: “We can look forward to the day when our Congress repeals the Posse Comitatus Act and allows the Army to lend its full strength towards making America drugfree.”

And Inside the Pentagon quoted the commander-in-chief of the US Special Operations Command saying in a speech:

[Drugs are] the greatest threat that is out there . . .

We’ve got to get our stuff together. The battle is not going to be won in the source countries or in the transit countries. The battle is going to be won here in the United States and we better start doing something about it.

Sir.  Major General Barry McCaffrey reporting for duty, Such dreams have been partly realized without even bothering to repeal the troublesome Posse Comitatus Act.

Thus we now find Army reservists working with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in anti-pot forays. Said one Army official:

We want the public to become more aware of what we’re doing. This is an ongoing war on our soil. We want people to see the Army involved in a war right here – a war against drugs . . . We’re fighting a war in our own hometowns — a war we’ll fight every day until, finally, we win.

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