Friday, May 8, 2009
Posse Comitatus Act
The first pic on the left is the National Guard at the recent Kentucky Derby. The second pic is the National Guard patrolling the streets of Samson, Alabama after a mass shooting. Two different situations, both using the National Guard. Long ago when America was rational and sensible there was this thing called the Posse Comitatus Act. It basically prohibited members of an Army, National Guard etc... from acting as peacekeepers or police officers. Surely the American people do not need their own organized Army to police private citizens' actions and daily routines. That is the job of the police force..right? Well Old George W. used the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina to enact the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (H.R. 5122). This basically allows the President to take control of the State's Army (being the National Guard whom answers to the Governor), and declare martial law as he wishes. In 2008 this bill was repealed and basically reworded an old bill called the Insurrection Act which expanded the President's discretion at which he could declare a disaster and summon Federal Troops or National Guard of the state to his bidding. Senator Leahy remarked:
"We certainly do not need to make it easier for Presidents to declare martial law. Invoking the Insurrection Act and using the military for law enforcement activities goes against some of the central tenets of our democracy. It creates needless tension among the various levels of government – one can easily envision governors and mayors in charge of an emergency having to constantly look over their shoulders while someone who has never visited their communities gives the orders."
So as of now the Acts have been reworded and returned to the original text of the Insurrection Act. Yet, we still see National Guard used to police private citizens...I understand their deployment to the chaos that was Katrina...but directing traffic and heckling drunks at the KY Derby?...I am starting to see and hear too much from the Federal Authorities...be it through the Census taking GPS snapshots of my neighbor's front door or through an MIAC report being labeled a Domestic Terrorist for attending a Tea Party and voicing my opinion of the importance of Constitutional Rights and small limited government.