COHEN: "the American people shouldn't fear the potential of seeing U.S. military forces on the streets of U.S. cities" : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

New military unit for domestic deployment Cohen says Americans should 'welcome' troops on home soil


By Jon E. Dougherty ) 1999

Critics are denouncing recent congressional changes to the Posse Comitatus Act that will allow a broader use of U.S. military forces in a domestic law enforcement role including a new unit for deployment in assisting civilian officers during a terrorist attack.

The new command, established Oct. 7 in Norfolk, Va., will be called the U.S. Joint Forces Command, and replaces the former U.S. Atlantic Command. At a ceremony commemorating the new unit, Defense Secretary William Cohen told participants the American people shouldn't fear the potential of seeing U.S. military forces on the streets of U.S. cities.

The military must "deal with the threats we are most likely to face," Cohen told reporters, downplaying concerns about troops operating on home soil. "The American people should not be concerned about it. They should welcome it."

The new command is designed to prepare U.S. troops to fight abroad or to respond if terrorists strike with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.

In opposing the measure, critics cite the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits federal troops from participating in domestic law enforcement activities under most circumstances. With the concern over domestic terrorism rising since the World Trade Center bombing and numerous incidences of cyber-attacks on U.S. defense and financial institutions, the Clinton administration has begun to relax some of those restrictions.

In July, WorldNetDaily reported the new measures would end the requirement for local law agencies to reimburse the federal government for any local use of military equipment, as well as enable the Department of Defense to deploy military troops in cases of anticipated or actual terrorist attacks.

Then, David Kopel of the Independence Institute warned that the measures would, if passed, "set (bad) precedents for years to come."

Since the Waco debacle in 1993, when federal law officers and military personnel assaulted a church community resulting in the deaths of over 80 men, women and children, Kopel said the federal government has been "eroding the protections contained in the Posse Comitatus Act." In the past, he told WorldNetDaily, most of the amendments to the original law had been based on bogus drug issues. Now, he said, that issue seems to have shifted to so-called terrorist attacks, or at least the threat of them.

The Defense Department has said only the military has enough equipment to operate in a poisoned environment, or to manage a massive decontamination effort. Secretary Cohen told reporters last week that federal law will not be violated because the military would only respond if requested.

"It is subordinate to civilian control," he said.

But Gregory Nojeim, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington, D.C., told WorldNetDaily he is concerned about "nightmare scenarios" like those in the recent films, "Enemy of the State" and "The Siege."

"Soldiers are not equipped, by training or temperament, to enforce the laws with proper regard for civil and constitutional rights," he said. "They're trained to kill the enemy."

Nojeim said the ACLU is concerned about "letting loose the most effective fighting force in the history of the world" on American civilians.

Cohen said that the creation of the Joint Forces Command would better coordinate the training of the four armed services. However, history is replete with reasons why some Americans continue to be hesitant about using military troops in a law enforcement capacity.

Besides questions about the Army's Delta Force role during the Waco siege, most recently, in 1997, U.S. Marines assigned to assist the U.S. Border Patrol in combating illegal immigration accidentally shot and killed an 18-year-old goat herder. That force has since been withdrawn and reassigned, but lawmakers have remained committed to expanding the military's civil law enforcement role in other ways.

For example, the military also has been given an expanded role in defending against cyber-terrorism, or assaults on U.S. computer systems. The U.S. Space Command in Colorado will be leading that effort.

Nojeim questioned the need for such an expansion of federal military forces into the domestic law enforcement arena, even though U.S. officials have said the nation is now at greater risk of terrorist attack. He also believes the White House should do a better job of educating the American people about why the changes to the Posse Comitatus law are needed.

"For years the federal government has showered the FBI with hundreds of millions of new dollars to help it combat crimes involving chemical and biological weapons," he told WorldNetDaily. "Taxpayers need to know where that money has gone and why the president now wants to call in the troops."

Addressing the long-term ramifications of the change in military law enforcement policy, Nojeim said, "When the crisis hits, those with the biggest guns will be subordinate to no one."

-- Roland (, October 13, 1999


God that guy scares me...


-- Roland (, October 13, 1999.

May 4th, 1970 - Kent State University

Welcome to the Department of Special Collections & Archives at Kent State University. May of 1995 marked the 25th anniversary of the shootings on our campus where 4 students were killed and 9 wounded. In their memory, we have created an exhibit for you to inquire into how such a tragedy could take place, to learn the vital lessons wrought from the violence on that spring day; and to reflect on ways to manage conflict among peoples, groups and nations.

-- it cant (happen@again.right?), October 13, 1999.

the American people shouldn't fear the potential of seeing U.S. military forces

... we saw British forces before ...

-- D E F (, October 13, 1999.

The American people shouldn't fear the potential
of seeing U.S. military forces securing buildings
in the largest cities.

The American people shouldn't fear the potential
of seeing U.S. military forces using your home
for barracks.

The American people shouldn't fear the potential
of seeing U.S. military forces taking control
of the radio and TV stations.

The American people shouldn't fear the potential
of seeing U.S. military forces killing those
they perceive to be terrorists.

But they should be eternally vigilant less they
lose their freedoms.

-- spider (, October 13, 1999.

Fate is sealed now. Seeing, right in front of nose, but seeing not.

-- The Fat Lady (I'm@StartingTo.SingNow), October 13, 1999.


-- R (, October 13, 1999.

You know, they're about ready to drop the other shoe. All this talk about terrorists is so self-serving for them. The next terrorist attack will be the Reichstag fire of the Fourth Reich right here in the U.S.A. Heil Klinton! I'd better practice my two-step goose-step.

I might get invited to the ball.


-- Tim the Y2K nut (, October 13, 1999.

"Tin soldiers and Nixon's comin'/we're finally on our own./This summer I heard the drummin',/four dead in Ohio./Gotta get down to it,/soldiers are cutting us down./What if you found her, and found her dead on the ground?/How could you run when you know?/Tin soldiers and Nixon's comin'/we're finally on our own./This summer I heard the drummin',.../four dead in Ohio."

We mean you no harm,... Yup...."their beards have not [certainly]grown longer over night."

-- Donna (, October 13, 1999.

Force XXI/Intelligence XXI:


(down to item 10)

10)Frequent, varied deployments in Operations Other Than War > (OOTW), to include assistance to civilian authorities, will > continue through the year 2010.

-- Mark Hillyard (, October 13, 1999.

Why don't the sheeple get it? What they're saying is so in your face it's frightening.

-- Gia (, October 13, 1999.

I think the implication is the American citizen is viewed as the terrorist threat.

-- Eyes Wide Open (, October 14, 1999.


If they push us to the limit, every real American (by my definition) WILL be a threat. The key is suspension of freedoms of speech, assembly, the roundup of "dissidents," the suspension of elections. If any or all of these things happen, I guarantee this country will come apart like a cheap suit. Maybe that's the goal: weaken America (the tough nationalist nut to crack for the globalists) by fomenting civil war, and meanwhile consolidate gains elsewhere. When the domestic dust clears, we will be no match for a global army of occupation. Remember that the UN has declared that it will not recognize the sovereignty of nations any longer, when they determine that some "atrocity" is occuring there.


-- Liberty (, October 14, 1999.

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