Sunday, August 21, 2005
Sent: Saturday, August 20, 2005 8:56 AM
Subject: PENTAGON PREPS FOR MARTIAL LAW AT HOME?
PENTAGON PREPS FOR MARTIAL LAW AT HOME?
Aug 13, 2005 - FreeMarketNews.com
by staff reports
Martial law? According to a Washington Post story this week, it may not be so farfetched, as the Pentagon is actually already making contingency plans for such a condition. The front-page article was written by Post reporter Bradley Graham, from his recent tour of Northcom headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base. Graham cites sources working at the headquarters of the military's Northern Command (Northcom), located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Terrorist attacks would be used as the justification for imposing martial law on cities, regions or the entire country. The plans themselves are of course classified, but "officers who drafted the plans" gave him the details. According to the analysis of at least one website commentator, this seems "a deliberate leak conducted for the purpose of accustoming the American population to the prospect of military rule."
The new plans provide for what several senior officers acknowledged is the likelihood that the military will have to take charge in some situations, especially when dealing with mass-casualty attacks that could quickly overwhelm civilian resources. They outline 15 potential crisis scenarios, ranging from "low-end," ("relatively modest crowd-control missions") to "high-end" after as many as three simultaneous catastrophic mass-casualty events, such as a nuclear, biological or chemical weapons attack. In each case, the military would deploy a quick-reaction force of as many as 3000 troops per attack (9,000 total in the worst-case scenario), with more troops made available as needed.
The Post quotes Admiral Timothy J. Keating, head of Northcom: "In my estimation, [in the event of] a biological, chemical or nuclear attack in any of the 50 states, the Department of Defense is best positioned of the various eight federal agencies that would be involved] to take the lead." According to the article, about 1400 National Guard troops have been formed into a dozen regional response units, with smaller quick-reaction forces in each of the 50 states. Northcom may also mobilize four active-duty Army battalions, as well as Navy and Coast Guard ships and air defense fighter jets. In order to get around the limitations on using military for domestic policing (e.g., posse comitatus), the plans might call for using the National Guard, which is exempt from such limitations. "[Keating] cited a potential situation in which Guard units might begin rounding up people while regular forces could not," Graham wrote. - ST