Posse Comitatus

Discussion in 'Politics' started by carpro, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. carpro

    carpro
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    Several posters have actively been encouraging the President to break the law. At least, I think they are. But I believe it is unintentional.

    So here's a small excerpt and explanation of the laws that may apply to Katrina.

    "one of the express missions of the Guard is to preserve the laws of the state during times of emergency when regular law enforcement assets prove inadequate. It is only when federalized pursuant to an exercise of presidential authority that the Guard becomes subject to the limitations of the Posse Comitatus Act.

    Congress has also approved the use of the military in civilian law enforcement through the Civil Disturbance Statutes: 10 U.S.C., sections 331–334. These provisions permit the president to use military personnel to enforce civilian laws where the state has requested assistance or is unable to protect civil rights and property. In case of civil disturbance, the president must first give an order for the offenders to disperse. If the order is not obeyed, the president may then authorize military forces to make arrests and restore order. The scope of the Civil Disturbance Statutes is sufficiently broad to encompass civil disturbance resulting from terrorist or other criminal activity. It was these provisions that were relied upon to restore order using active-duty Army personnel following the Los Angeles “race riots” of the early 1990s.

    Federal military personnel may also be used pursuant to the Stafford Act, 42 U.S.C., section 5121, in times of natural disaster upon request from a state governor. In such an instance, the Stafford Act permits the president to declare a major disaster and send in military forces on an emergency basis for up to ten days to preserve life and property. While the Stafford Act authority is still subject to the criteria of active versus passive, it represents a significant exception to the Posse Comitatus Act’s underlying principle that the military is not a domestic police force auxiliary."


    I apologize for having inadvertantly deleted my source on my notepad. :(
     
  2. El_Guero

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    Carpro

    A state's "National" Guard is called out by the Govenor.

    Federal troops can only be called by the president under certain circumstances (basically martial law).

    And I wonder why the Louisiana Guard does not seem to have been called upon before the other state guards were mobilized. News reports have not given any real hint about this.
     
  3. billwald

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    I suspect there will be a big push to disarm the general population.
     
  4. carpro

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    Correct. The Governor controls the NG.

    In all fairness, I believe 3000 Louisiana Guardsmen are in Iraq. I also believe 550 Guardsmen were deployed before the hurricane struck to the Superdome. They were evidently unable to maintain order.

    But that's not all the Guardsmen in Louisiana. I don't know what happened to the other 6000.
     
  5. Daisy

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    What law do you think people are calling to break? Calling the military force on civilians?

    There might be more confusion now because so many of our state National Guards are being deployed overseas like regular army.
     
  6. emeraldctyangel

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    You are absolutely right capro. Our national guard here in Hawaii, about 6000 of them anyway are currently in Iraq (have been since Feb) and guess where they went for 6 months prior to that for training? Fort Polk, LA.

    The NG tasked with the Iraq mission were federalized (meaning the US taxpayer pays directly for their efforts in Iraq). The NG has local control and authority by the Gov of the state and is paid for by state funding. They can enforce martial law and not violate the PC act. If I were told to go to New Orleans, I would be restricted to VA hospitals and the base. I could not help in any way in the town.

    I dont think that people really want the PC act to be suspended. We then would have the authority to hold military tribunals and carry out the death penalty. People need to calm down.
     
  7. El_Guero

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    Daisy

    That would qulify for breaking the law if not done according to the Federal laws.

    It has been done ... Gen Patton was once called upon to do so. (I think he was a captain at the time)
     
  8. rsr

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    You are referring to MacArthur's breaking up of the Bonus Marchers' camp in Washington in 1932, which Hoover opposed.

    The camel's nose is well under the tent on the Posse Comitatus.

    According to U.S. Public Laws Title 10, Subtitle A, Part I, Chapter 15, Section 333:

    "The President, by using the militia or the armed forces, or both, or by any other means, shall take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy, if it—
    (1) so hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of the United States within the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or
    (2) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws."

    Federal troops were sent to Los Angeles in 1992 to help quell rioting after the verdict in the Rodney King trial.
     
  9. carpro

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    It doesn't seem likely to me that New Orleans would fall under the Civil Disturbance Statutes.
     
  10. LadyEagle

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    And why not, carpro? People were being raped and murdered in the Super Dome and in the NO convention center. Armed thugs were riding around in the beds of pickup trucks just like you see in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly every place of business in NO that isn't sitting under flood water has been looted. Thugs were even trying to get into hospitals. Thugs with AK-47s attacked a police substation. What part of that wouldn't fall under Civil Disturbance? :confused:
     
  11. carpro

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    For starters, how is he supposed to give an order for the offenders to "disperse" when he doesn't know who or where they are? They were already "dispersed" being in small groups or single individuals anyway.

    There were 550 National Guardsmen at the convention center. The vast majority of people there were peaceful. How do you order them to disperse?

    Do you really want the President to have the power to use federal troops against peaceful people any time he sees fit or can make up a reason that comes close to conforming to the law?
     
  12. El_Guero

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    Carpro

    I agree ... but then again it may be the modern call for reconstruction ...
     
  13. LadyEagle

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  14. carpro

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  15. superdave

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    A democratic legislator was on the news bashing Bush for not "sending in the troops" Ted Koppel called him on it and said that if Bush had done that before being specifically asked by the gov, they would have been bashing him for Posse Comitatus. When asked, he sent everything they asked for, and more.

    Used to be we called these things acts of God, not things Bush should have been able to prevent.

    We want our God to be on our level, and our political leaders to be God.
     
  16. poncho

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    Nothing Bush or anyone else could have done would have prevented this hurricane but you'd think he would have had better judgement than to slash the funding needed to keep the destruction of the inevitable down as much as possible.

    The storm couldn't have been prevented but the total destruction and resulting chaos could have been. IMHO.

    More At SOURCE
     
  17. El_Guero

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    Carpro

    I knew of the threat of a Cat 5 at New Orleans as a CHILD in 1967 ...

    Only city folks that have never seen a hurricane think you need to spend 70 million dollars on a study of how to fix it.

    But, you can write me a check ... The plan is simple, fill in New Orleans to 10 feet above sea level. ... I knew that when I was 7 ...

    That is why I do not blame the Pres.
     
  18. poncho

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    So, by your statement I assume you have the proper expertise and qualifications to make such a statement. BTW, I'm not Carpro nor have I gone through any situation similar to this but I have been through the 1972 flood that covered most of the valley that I live in that caused great damage and took many lives.

    But that's another discussion. I realized I shouldn't have posted that here after it was to late to edit it. My apologies to all.

    As far as the Posses Comitatus is concerned I think it's a good thing to keep and adhere too. I can't help but wonder what the outcome of the rescue attempts would be if we still believed in the idea of citizen militias. Seems to me they could have acted faster simply by not having to wait around for orders and the over reaching control of the feds.

    Just a thought.
     
  19. carpro

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    Profound! [​IMG]
     
  20. Dragoon68

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    Both National Guard (state) and Regular (federal) troops have been sent to assist and are doing a great job!

    Regular troops can not be used to perform traditional civilian law enforcement functions either directly or as deputies of local authorities. Martial law is the complete control of all aspects of local government by the military and, as far as I know, hasn't been invoked in the USA since it was done in Hawaii after the Japanese attack. Martial law is not a means to circumvent the intent of the Posse Comitatus Act. I was floored when I first heard the incorrect news report that had been done in New Orleans.

    Regular troops can provide any support needed other than traditional civilian law enforcement. They can provide logistical support to civilian law enforcement. They can, and do, provide training. They can be used, in certain conditions, to quell insurrection or domestic violence, which is beyond the scope of traditional civilian law enforcement. They can also invoke, as individuals, whether on duty or off duty, the power of citizens arrest according to local State law to prevent a felony crime they witness.

    Both National Guard and Regular troops are trained, equipped, organized, etc. in essentially the same manner especially at the moment since so many National Guard units have been in federal service. Therefore, operationally, the results of their use are essentially the same. The only difference is that the Governor commands non federalized National Guard forces while the President commands Regular (including Reserve) and federalized National Guard forces.

    The force of choice for responding to natural disasters or dealing with public order is the National Guard.

    It should be evident from yesterday's establishment of order at the New Orleans Convention Center by National Guard troops that once sufficient mass of troops was attained the appropriate action was taken. Hat's off to an excellent job on their part in that no one was killed or injured during that skillfully executed operation.

    The Posse Comitatus restriction, by the way, is not to be confused with military authority over all military personnel world wide regardless where they are, jurisdiction over all persons - military or civilian - while on military installation with the USA, jurisdiction in foreign countries according to negotiated SOFA which may include US civilians of certain categories, or jurisdiction and authority over military and civilians in areas of conflict according to the Law of War.
     

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