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Army to manage unruly crowds (Basically, Martial Law in US)

From a Democracy Now! Report
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvVAKx8E_r4]

From a New Zealand media report: here.

Pre-election Militarization of the North America
Monday, 29 September 2008, 12:18 pm
Michel Chossudovsky

Pre-election Militarization of the North American Homeland. US Combat Troops in Iraq repatriated to “help with civil unrest”

GlobalResearch.ca

The Army Times reports that the 3rd Infantry’s 1st Brigade Combat Team is returning from Iraq to defend the Homeland, as “an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.” The BCT unit has been attached to US Army North, the Army’s component of US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). (See Gina Cavallaro, Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1, Army Times, September 8, 2008).

“Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be 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.

It is not the first time an active-duty unit has been tapped to help at home. …

But this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.

After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one…

The new mission of the 1st Brigade on US soil is to participate in “defense” efforts as well as provide “support to civilian authorities”.

What is significant in this redeployment of a US infantry unit is the presumption that North America could, in the case of a national emergency, constitute a “war theater” thereby justifying the deployment of combat units..

The new skills to be imparted consists in training 1st BCT in repressing civil unrest, a task normally assumed by civilian law enforcement.

What we are dealing with is a militarization of civilian police activities in derogation of the Posse Comitatus Act.

The prevailing FISA emergency procedures envisage the enactment of martial law in the case of a terrorist attack. The 1st BCT and other combat units would be called upon to perform specific military functions:

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.

Training for homeland scenarios has already begun at Fort Stewart and includes specialty tasks such as knowing how to use the “jaws of life” to extract a person from a mangled vehicle; extra medical training for a CBRNE incident; and working with U.S. Forestry Service experts on how to go in with chainsaws and cut and clear trees to clear a road or area.

The 1st BCT’s soldiers 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.

“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.

Civil unrest resulting from from the financial meltdown is a distinct possibility, given the broad impacts of financial collapse on lifelong savings, pension funds, homeownership, etc.

The timing of this planned militarization is crucial: how will it affect the presidential elections scheduled for Tuesday November 4.

The brigade in its domestic homeland activities will be designated as the Consequence Management Response Force ( CCMRF) (pronounced “sea-smurf”).

What ” Consequences” are being envisaged?

…The operation officially has an emergency mandate to “help American citizens on American soil, to save lives, provide critical life support, help clear debris”, but it also implies the running of military style operations. :in fact it would appear that the emergency tasks helping civilians is a cover-up. This is a combat unit, which is trained and equipped to kill people:

Some brigade elements will be on call around the clock, during which time they’ll do their regular marksmanship, gunnery and other deployment training. That’s because the unit will continue to train and reset for the next deployment, even as it serves in its CCMRF mission.

Should personnel be needed at an earthquake in California, for example, all or part of the brigade could be scrambled there, depending on the extent of the need and the specialties involved.

Other branches included The active Army’s new dwell-time mission is part of a NorthCom and DOD response package.

Active-duty soldiers will be part of a force that includes elements from other military branches and dedicated National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Teams.

A final mission rehearsal exercise is scheduled for mid-September at Fort Stewart and will be run by Joint Task Force Civil Support, a unit based out of Fort Monroe, Va., that will coordinate and evaluate the interservice event.

In addition to 1st BCT, other Army units will take part in the two-week training exercise, including elements of the 1st Medical Brigade out of Fort Hood, Texas, and the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Bragg, N.C.

There also will be Air Force engineer and medical units, the Marine Corps Chemical, Biological Initial Reaction Force, a Navy weather team and members of the Defense Logistics Agency and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

One of the things Vogler said they’ll be looking at is communications capabilities between the services.

“It is a concern, and we’re trying to check that and one of the ways we do that is by having these sorts of exercises. Leading up to this, we are going to rehearse and set up some of the communications systems to make sure we have interoperability,” he said.

A national emergency could be triggered. “[H]orrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive [attack]” or a so-called CBRNE type scenario. One assumes that this is some form of domestic attack, allegedly by terrorists.

But at the same time, the Bush administration may be seeking a justification to establish martial law and intervene militarily within the USA…

(excerpt from) Op Ed News

…Flaunting the once sacrosanct Posse Comitatus Act prohibiting the use of US soldiers against US citizens, the Bush move is the first time an actual active army fighting force has been designated to a strategic planning military group known as the US Army North. That’s right from the Northern Command, every conspiracy theorist’s worst nightmare, the same folk who bring you the martial law drills every year. They would also be the same ones back about seven years ago who created those hijack plane drills that happened to take place on the exact same day real planes were crashed into the Twin Towers-the ominous mystery men in films like Dylan Avery’s Loose Change and Zeitgeist.  The first line of defense in a case of national emergency or martial law.

Perhaps the soldiers are in actuality preparing for something that will never take place and we leftwing discredited are panicking over nothing. The government is just being prepared, providing for a common defense. Hey, there will probably be a peaceful transfer of power come January and no one will object in the slightest to any of Bush’s actions between now and then and any election results between now and then…

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