U.S. troops deployed for U.S. election control
October 20, 2008
By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN
For the first time in more than a century and in apparent violation of federal law, the U.S. military soon will be policing American streets –ostensibly to control anticipated post-election disruptions.
Battle-trained infantry troops will be in place and ready to conduct hostilities against American citizens, according to reports in Army Times. Unknown is how many troops will be deployed for what the military has dubbed “Consequence Management Response Team” operations.
Army Times reported Sept. 30 that the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq, is now retraining for the same mission at home — with a twist.
The 1st BCT soldiers are learning use of the first ever non-lethal package that the Army has fielded, according to1st Commander Col. Roger Cloutier in the Army Times interview. He was referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and non-lethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing.
A half dozen sources have told CalCoastNews.com that the Army is pulling together two divisions, approximately 20,000 soldiers, for domestic operations. (A battalion consists of fewer than 1,000, and a troop is fewer than 250.) Sources in the Camp Pendleton military base area in Southern California assert heavy troop movement throughout that area.
A spokeswoman for Camp Roberts said she had no information on any such plans.
Since 1878, deployment of military inside U.S. borders has been prohibited under the Posse Comitatus Act, as a response to one of this nations’ most contentious elections.
During the 1876 U.S. presidential election, Samuel Tilden defeated Rutherford Hayes in the popular vote, with 20 electoral votes left uncounted. After a contentious dispute, a compromise was made, Hayes was awarded the presidency and federal troops were withdrawn from southern states.
Since then, the primary responsibility for overseeing federal elections has been the duty of the individual states.
The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the deployment of U.S. troops inside U.S. borders except in cases of epidemics, natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, or responses to biological, radiological, or nuclear attack.
Following allegations of illegal military actions, Army officials retracted part of the original announcement and changed the story on the Army Web site. According to the new version, a non-lethal crowd control package deployed to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, as described in the original version of the Army Times’ article, is intended for use in the war zone, not in the United States as previously stated.