William K. Wolfrum writes “satire and commentary.” This would make great satire — but, darn it, it’s not: “Bush unleashes surge in War on Americans.”
What sort of riots does Bush expect? When?
Is there a Poe’s Law of politics? Can we impeach someone who follows that law, and quickly, please?
The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.
Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.
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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.
“I was the first guy in the brigade to get Tasered,” said Cloutier, describing the experience as “your worst muscle cramp ever — times 10 throughout your whole body.
“I’m not a small guy, I weigh 230 pounds … it put me on my knees in seconds.”
The brigade will not change its name, but the force will be known for the next year as a CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force, or CCMRF (pronounced “sea-smurf”).
“I can’t think of a more noble mission than this,” said Cloutier, who took command in July. “We’ve been all over the world during this time of conflict, but now our mission is to take care of citizens at home … and depending on where an event occurred, you’re going home to take care of your home town, your loved ones.”
You read it right. The Army is coming to “take care of you in your home town.”
Were they being deployed to rebuild New Orleans, I’d regard it as a noble undertaking. Am I wrong to worry about what is up with this?
Whatever happened to the posse comitatus nuts?
Comments are open. What do you think?
- Glenn Greenwald on the issue, at Salon
- John Cole’s Balloon Juice comments
- President Bush’s signing statement on the fiscal 2008 National Defense Authorization Act, in which Bush says he does not recognize legal or constitutional limits on the president’s power to deploy troops at home.
- Story in The Minnesota Independent, probably a leftist publication
- Examiner.com article
- The 3rd Infantry Division was the group ABC’s “Nightline” correspondent Ted Koppel and the late Leroy Seivers accompanied as it fought its way to Baghdad after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.
- 3rd Infantry Division website, “Rock of the Marne”