Bush Tries Again…

Oh, how my opinion of George W. Bush continues to fall.  I came across a story that deeply disturbs me in the Washington Post.  It is discussing how the Pentagon has trained the first of several brigades from the Army to be used in law enforcement capacities.  This is in direct violation of the 130-year-old Posse Comitatus Act, which specifies that the armed forces of the U.S. may not be used domestically as law enforcement personnel.

President Bush had tried to circumvent the Posse Comitatus Act once before.  In 2007, the President supported the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007.  This bill included a provision that would have expanded the President’s power to declare martial law and take control of state National Guard troops without the authorization of the state Governors.  However, this provision was repealed the following year.

Why am I so opposed to having up to 20,000 U.S. soldiers trained for “domestic peacekeeping” roles?  Why do I feel threatened by the presence of military forces who have been trained, not to fight a foreign enemy but rather to fight angry U.S. citizens?  Let me take you on a hypothetical trip into the not-too-distant future to answer that question.

Imagine, if you will, that the growing loss of personal freedoms that have become prevalent in the last 30 years or so continue.  As our personal freedoms (such as private property ownership, free enterprise system of commerce, right to bear arms, freedom of speech, etc.) continue to be eroded and limited by the federal government, larger and larger segments of the population begin to feel disaffected and disenfranchised.  As resentment grows at this move toward more and more federal control of our lives, eventually civil unrest would likely break out.  Who will the government turn to in order to quell the uprising?  You guessed it…our very own “secret police,” the U.S. Army.  Shades of the formation of the KGB.  We are moving one step closer to becomming the U.S.S.A.

I would like to point out that I am very much NOT anti-military.  I proudly served in the 82nd Airborne Division for three years and have a lot of respect for people who volunteer to serve their country for meager salaries and high risks.  However, I also know that expecting 18-20 year old kids to know the difference between lawful and unlawful orders, and to have the backbone to stand up in the face of superior officer issuing those unlawful orders, is asking an awful lot.  How many times have we heard the excuse, “I was just following orders”?  What happens when those orders involve shooting U.S. citizens instead of Viet-Cong?

Maybe, just maybe, President-elect Obama will reverse this dangerous course when he takes office.  However, given that he is retaining Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense (a move I applaud him for, not because I like Gates, but because continuity is very important during a time of war), I would expect that the program moves forward at least until Gates is replaced.  If he doesn’t, I truly believe we will have taken a major step toward creating Socialism at the point of a gun, literally.  It gives me a very sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

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Published in: on December 1, 2008 at 11:17 pm  Comments (2)  
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