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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Safe at Home...?

For more than 200 years, federal laws have protected the American people against the use of military forces on our own soil. Strengthened in 1878 by the Posse Comitatus Act, these laws have guaranteed that the federal government could not use the military for domestic law enforcement purposes. In 2006, Congress weakened the Posse Comitatus Act by expanding the list of activities for which military involvement on domestic soil would be permitted. This expansion was largely repealed a little more than one year later, but President Bush issued a signing statement signaling his intention to ignore the repeal.

Back on Wednesday, October 1st 2008, The 3rd Infantry Division 1st Brigade Combat Team was reassigned by George W. Bush to serve under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks here at home.

"They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack."

"The 1st BCT’s soldiers [to be known as "Sea Smurfs" instead of Consequence Management Response Force or CCMRF] also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them."

"The package is for use only in war-zone operations, not for any domestic purpose."

“It’s a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that they’re fielding. They’ve been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and because of this mission we’re undertaking we were the first to get it.”

"The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets."

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