Monday, December 1, 2008

"Domestic Catastrophe"

The Drudge Report links to a frightening Washington Post article detailing a plan to station uniformed troops inside the United States:

The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.

The long-planned shift in the Defense Department's role in homeland security was recently backed with funding and troop commitments after years of prodding by Congress and outside experts, defense analysts said.

There are critics of the change, in the military and among civil liberties groups and libertarians who express concern that the new homeland emphasis threatens to strain the military and possibly undermine the Posse Comitatus Act, a 130-year-old federal law restricting the military's role in domestic law enforcement.


Let's assume this is not a sinister plot (which I do not rule out) and take it at face value that members of the United States security establishment are genuinely worried about the terrorist threat. Even under that premise, this represents complete and utter negligence on the part of the federal government to protect the United States from military attack and additionally threatens a massive infringement on civil liberties.

Robert Tracinski once described the emphasis on "homeland security" as America's Maginot Line referring to the useless fortifications and obstacles set up by the French in the run up to World War II. In other words, instead of identifying and defeating our enemy militarily, the United States is retreating behind a wall. Instead of using the most sophisticated intelligence and military in world history to name and annihilate the perpetrators of such attacks (see Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria), the federal government is going to turn our military inward to harass American citizens on the premise that it is "protecting" us from a "potential" attack.

This plan needs to be defeated not only on grounds that it represents a violation of Posse Comitatus but also that it represents a total appeasement of our enemies. See Dr. John Lewis site for more on history lesson's regarding appeasement and the proper approach to foreign threats.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see this issue in your blog. I've been banging the drum since I first heard this published in the Army Times- but most think I'm a kooky conspiracy theorist. It's completely illegal and the government is obviously gearing up for some calamity from within or without. Probably self-created to distract us from something real.

I've also been saying we're in a recession for months (since the government just changes the parameters when they don't like the inflation, unemployement figures, etc.). I guess that was a conspiracy too!

Doug Reich said...

Thanks for your comment.

Given this report, I don't think your colleagues can charge you with being a "theorist" anymore...

Incidentally, have you noticed that the charge of being a "conspiracy theorist" is now used to smear anyone who alleges a scheme whether there is a rational basis for it or not.

I think that this is another consequence of the breakdown in rational epistemology. In other words, if one can not properly understand the relationship between observed facts, concepts, theories, and knowledge it would be impossible to discern between a rational "theory" and an arbitrary claim or at least between a good theory and a poor theory.

The confusion around these concepts and the general belief that no one really knows anything for sure is the basis for the tactic of brushing off anyone who makes a claim beyond the level of "it's cold out today" as a "conspiracy theorist."