Freedom of Information requests filed and released by the ACLU have begun shedding some light on just what the military is up to, by stationing active combat troops on American soil.
Over the next three years, the Army plans to activate and train 4700 troops for specialized domestic operations, according to the report. As I reported a couple of months ago, the 3rd Infantry’s 1st Brigade Combat Division has already been assigned to North Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. This unit recently spent most to of its time patrolling Iraq. Two more units will be added over the next two years, one unit at a time.
General Gene Renuart, who in charge of North Command says the unit’s purpose is to help manage large scale catastrophic events. He said the troops are basically medical personnel, chemical decontamination experts, engineering specialists and logistics people. The General said that was not true that the troops would be used in police fashion, crowd control situations against American citizens.
However the American Civil Liberties Union and other citizen groups are not convinced.
“One of our founding touchstones of democracy is that the military is not to be used against the American people. Over a hundred years ago that sentiment was put into law in the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibited the military from being involved in law enforcement functions. Our hope is to find as much information as we can to challenge whether this is appropriate or not and to create some public awareness about what’s going on”- Mike German, American Civil Liberties Union.German, who is national security counsel for the ACLU, reiterated that these units were combat troops not civil police and in direct violation of the Posse Comitatus Act which has stood as law since 1878.
During a recently held symposium, under questioning from the audience, General Renuart did admit that North Command routinely assists with law enforcement, mainly intelligence and anti drug efforts, in conjunction with 45 other federal police agencies.