Whatever Happened to Posse Comitatus?
By L. Reichard White
Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise
Many parts of the coverage of the Tiananmen Square rebellion in China have stuck with me over the years. The unarmed Chinese student stopping a tank by standing in front of it and waving his arms -- and an interview with a leader of the protestors who had a bandanna over his face to avoid reprisals. The commentator informed him that over 80% of the Chinese population opposed the government and supported the demonstrators and then asked what he and his fellow protesters were going to do about it. The bandannad leader said, "Nothing." The commentator asked why not. The leader answered, "Because they have all the guns." The point is clear: An unarmed 80% majority is no match for an armed government. Why do you think the establishment is so desperate to get our guns?
But the Chinese people had one saving grace. The protestors were able to occupy the square for about two weeks -- because Chinese troops had NEVER IN HISTORY been used against their own citizens. This was for good reason; the troops would rebel. And worse, the people would not trust or support the troops in the future. This was why an unarmed student could stop a tank. It took the communist leaders two weeks to get troops from the furthest reaches of the empire, from Mongolia I believe, troops from populations who regarded the native Chinese to be, literally, animals. They're the ones who drove the tanks over the protestors' bodies.
It's this sort of thing that Posse Comitatus Acts were designed to prevent here in the US. The Posse Comitatus Acts grew out of civil unrest in the post Civil War South caused by use of the US Army to enforce civil law. Posse Comitatus specifically prohibits the use of US troops OR EQUIPMENT to enforce civil law. Soldiers shooting at the civilians who are taxed to support them tends to piss off Americans as well as Chinese. That's why they call out the National Guard rather than the U.S. Army to quell civilian riots.
Posse Comitatus Leaks Like a Sieve.
If you'll recall, someone claimed the Branch Davidians were running a "meth lab" (manufacturing meth-amphetamines). They made this claim in order to get the U.S. Army tanks they used to flatten the Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. Makes you wonder where they got the Mongolians to drive those tanks. But the Davidians WEREN'T running a "meth lab."
It's a lesser known fact that the FBI created a rumor that Randy Weaver was growing marijuana (he wasn't) as a ploy to get military equipment at Ruby Ridge. In order to protect us from ourselves, our wondrous guardians of freedom in DC passed a loophole in Posse Comitatus to help fight the WAR ON DRUG users. In the Ruby Ridge hearings, a reluctant FBI honcho admitted that it has become common practice for law enforcement personnel to fraudulently use the drug loophole in the Posse Comitatus laws to get military aid and equipment.
The ultimate hole in Posse Comitatus would be the actual use of US troops against US citizens. Some people claim such use is anticipated by the United Nations and "New World Order" folks to confiscate our guns and quell the US population when the effects of their plans -- such as United Nations taxes on airline tickets, income, gasoline, etc. - -- hit home. (If you don't like what Washington DC does, just think about paying for and obeying the UN as well!!) I always thought such talk was ridiculous -- but George Bush's repeated use of the phrase "New World Order" in the last year of his presidency DID get my attention. Are they REALLY planning to use US troops against US citizens?
Prospects for UGW (Urban Guerilla Warfare) in America:
In October of last year I talked to a truck driver I had met the previous year. Talking to him was easy; listening wasn't -- the guy was terminally reticent. Turns out he was ex special forces, had participated in Panama, Grenada, and anti-guerilla operations in Marcos' Philippines. He was cross-trained in Russian special forces techniques, and I believe, Israeli special forces tactics as well. Just before he retired, he was coaching battlefield commanders after "Desert Warfare" military exercises, showing them where they had made their mistakes. (My son tells me this makes him an "OP 4," whatever that is.)
I asked him if he knew anything about UGW (Urban Guerilla Warfare) tactics. He said he did, and that there wasn't anyone in the world who knew how to handle guerilla warfare well, that it was the most hated type of operation. I asked him if there was indeed UGW training of American troops going on. He said "Yes." I mentioned the Twin Palms survey, looking for American soldiers who said they would fire on American citizens. He didn't know about it, but said he wasn't surprised. I asked him if he thought these soldiers and tactics would ever actually be used against American citizens. He said VERY matter-of-factly, "Yes." I asked him how soon he thought this might be. He said "I don't know. But sooner or later, it's inevitable."
Black, ah, Dark Olive Green Helicopters Over Pittsburgh?
At least once a year I hear a story which is so far-out I have trouble believing it. The following E-MAIL story of black (Cobra? Blackhawk?) helicopters engaging in an UGW exercise in Pittsburgh was my first entry for this year. (A previous unbelievable story was that the USA has far more of it's citizens per capita in jail than any other country in the world -- which is true.)
The Washington Times (A1, 6/6/96, http://www.washtimes.com) reports:
Nine Army helicopters swooped into Pittsburgh in the middle of the night this week and turned parts of the city into war zones, complete with sounds of explosions and gunfire that frightened residents and sent one pregnant woman into labor.
Since my son lives in Pittsburgh and keeps up on such things, he should be able to debunk the story. His mother-in-law answered the phone. Because she works in a downtown hospital, she had been in the neighborhood when it happened and heard the automatic cannon fire from the choppers and ninja-outfitted shock troops. A few of her co-workers went outside and WATCHED. My daughter-in-law had a good friend in another affected neighborhood. She reported that one chopper was so low, it's prop-wash knocked over a 55 gallon drum. My son knew about it as well. My mother, who lives in a nearby community, followed the story on the local news. Perhaps it even made the national news while I was in a travel induced (blissful) news blackout. At any rate, unfortunately I now believe the incident occurred as reported.
Maybe they're training for FOREIGN UGW? The story mentioned that such exercises had been carried out in other US cities, including Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, and Detroit. The tag line on the story I received over the internet reads:
But you need not worry about black helicopters descending on your community. As Col. McGraw informs us, they are dark olive green helicopters not black.
IT COULDN'T HAPPEN HERE?
In August of last year I talked to a National Guardsman who had participated in Desert Massacre. He told me his outfit was being trained to "attack urban buildings." I asked him for clarification. "If they told us there were guns or drugs in that house, we know how to take it down," he said, pointing to my friend Steve's house.
L. Reichard White lives six houses up from the old Black Horse Tavern, a birth place of the Whiskey Rebellion -- which explains alot. His current project involves the notion that altruistic drives evolved because they caused small-group humans to preserve their knowledge base - -- which existed only in the minds of group members. He has supported his writing habit for over twenty years by beating casinos at their own games.
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