Things are changing; slowly, imperceptibly, but certainly changing. If you choose to read the article you should pay special attention to the term “civil disturbances” and think hard about the implications. Would the Occupy Wall Street movement fall under that rubric? Tea Party Rallies? Acts of mass civil disobedience? No? Have you read or listened to the transcripts from last week’s Congressional hearing on the scope of 2001’s AUMF?
SEN. GRAHAM: Would you agree with me the battlefield is wherever the enemy chooses to make it?
MR. SHEEHAN: Yes, sir, from Boston to the FATA. (Federally Administrated Tribal Areas) – Source
Under a government that interprets law as enabling and justifying whatever actions they deem necessary to take, can there be any doubt?
“The lines blurred even further Monday as a new dynamic was introduced to the militarization of domestic law enforcement. By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled “Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.”
“The most objectionable aspect of the regulatory change is the inclusion of vague language that permits military intervention in the event of “civil disturbances.” According to the rule: Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances.”
“Bruce Afran, a civil liberties attorney and constitutional law professor at Rutgers University, calls the rule, “a wanton power grab by the military,” and says, “It’s quite shocking actually because it violates the long-standing presumption that the military is under civilian control.”…
“One of the more disturbing aspects of the new procedures that govern military command on the ground in the event of a civil disturbance relates to authority. Not only does it fail to define what circumstances would be so severe that the president’s authorization is “impossible,” it grants full presidential authority to “Federal military commanders.” According to the defense official, a commander is defined as follows: “Somebody who’s in the position of command, has the title commander. And most of the time they are centrally selected by a board, they’ve gone through additional schooling to exercise command authority.”
THE Excerpt below is particularly noteworthy…
“Another of the plaintiffs in the Hedges suit is Alexa O’Brien, a journalist and organizer who joined the lawsuit after she discovered a Wikileaks cable showing government officials attempting to link her efforts to terrorist activities. For activists such as O’Brien, the new DoD regulatory change is frightening because it creates, “an environment of fear when people cannot associate with one another.” Like Afran and Freedman, she too calls the move, “another grab for power under the rubric of the war on terror, to the detriment of citizens.”
Couple this – “government officials attempting to link her (O’Brien, a journalist) efforts to terrorist activities.” – with this…
“In response, the acting general counsel of the Pentagon, Robert Taylor, reassured Mr. McCain that the 2001 law already bestowed the right to attack “co-belligerents” of Al Qaeda—not just those somehow involved with the attacks.” – http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/17/the-forever-war/
Do you see it?…Can you see? Slowly. Imperceptibly.