Here it comes, just as predicted : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread

U.S. Mulls Military's Domestic Role

Sun Jul 21, 4:44 PM ET

By SCOTT LINDLAW, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Homeland security chief Tom Ridge says the threat of terrorism may force government planners to consider using the military for domestic law enforcement, now largely prohibited by federal law.

President Bush ( news - web sites) has called on Congress to thoroughly review the law that bans the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines from participating in arrests, searches, seizure of evidence and other police-type activity on U.S. soil. The Coast Guard and National Guard troops under the control of state governors are excluded from the Reconstruction-era law, known as the "Posse Comitatus Act."

Ridge said Sunday that it "goes against our instincts as a country to empower the military with the ability to arrest," and called the prospect "very unlikely."

But he said the government is wise to examine the law.

"We need to be talking about military assets, in anticipation of a crisis event," Ridge said on "Fox News Sunday." "And clearly, if you're talking about using the military, then you should have a discussion about posse comitatus."

Two influential Democratic senators agreed with Bush and Ridge that the law ought to be reviewed, but expressed no interest in granting the military new powers to arrest American citizens.

Sen. Carl Levin ( news, bio, voting record), chairman Senate Armed Services Committee ( news - web sites), said posse comitatus "has served us well for a long time."

"It's kept the military out of law enforcement, out of arresting people except in the most unusual emergency situations like a riot or after some kind of a disaster where they have to protect against looting," Levin, D-Mich., said on CNN's "Late Edition."

However, he said: "I don't fear looking at it to see whether or not our military can be more helpful in a very supportive and assisting role even than they have been up to now providing equipment, providing training, those kind of things which do not involve arresting people."

Sen. Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he favors expanding the military's role in responding to major catastrophes such as an attack by a weapon of mass destruction.

The law "has to be amended, but we're not talking about general police power," Biden, D-Del., said on "Fox News Sunday."

Air Force Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart, who heads the new military command charged with defending American territory, told The New York Times he favors changing the law to grant greater domestic powers to the military to protect against terror attacks. He offered no specific changes he favored.

Congress is racing to approve legislation by the end of its session this fall that would make Bush's proposed Department of Homeland Security a reality.

In the Senate, a version of the measure by Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., tracks closely with Bush's plan. It also would augment the agency's ability to gather and analyze intelligence from the FBI ( news - web sites), CIA ( news - web sites) and others.

That bill is to be considered by the Senate committee Wednesday.

House Majority Leader Dick Armey said on NBC's "Meet the Press" there was a strong possibility Congress will resolve its differences and send Bush a bill enacting the sweeping government reorganization by Sept. 11.

Some lawmakers have expressed concern about rushing decisions on far-reaching changes in the bureaucracy, but Armey said: "It's time to move forward with this. The president's got a good plan."

Bush planned to give a speech Monday about his proposed new department and view demonstrations of high-technology devices for combatting terrorism that are being developed at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

-- (Dumbya's Nazi SS @ Fascist. Police State), July 22, 2002


This is usually the way we lose our rights and freedoms. Even though it's very clear this kind of thing is illegal, Dumbya says he just wants to "look at it". Anytime a politician says he wants to "look at" something you know you're in trouble.

After the people accept the idea that they are considering changes, the gubmint first makes small changes. After the people accept the fact that there is a limited military police presence in society, it grows, and before you know it we have jack booted thugs invading our lives and threatening us at every turn.

It takes time, but eventually our freedom and privacy rights are completely eliminated. It's the old "frog in the water" strategy. First they say they are just putting the frog in the water, no harm there right? Then they say they are just going to make the water a little warmer, no problem. Then just a little warmer, and warmer, and...

-- (little by little @ we. get boiled), July 22, 2002.

Hey froggy trollboy, you just got suckered by the "slippery slope" fallacy. The worst-case scenario of anything, it is awful. Ergo, in your hermetic world, you cannot do anything, ever.

-- (, July 22, 2002.

Urgent aid for trollboy's ability to think critically..........

Slippery Slope Fallacy

-- (Prof Doofus @ Philosophy for.Dummies), July 22, 2002.

Today I was walking past a usually empty, large parking lot in a deserted part of town. Much to my surprise, it was now full of white school buses. Hmmmmmmmmmmm

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), July 23, 2002.

Yeah white school buses... maybe they are trying a disguise from their normal yellow color.

-- Maria (, July 23, 2002.

Maybe Maria is trying to disguise herself from people with a brain.

-- (lol @ morning. chuckle), July 23, 2002.

If so, you needn't attend.

-- Lol (trollboy@half.wit), July 23, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ