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U.S. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, left, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, and Canadian Air Force Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, commander of Canada Command, signed a Civil Assistance Plan that allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency. The signing took place at U.S. Army North headquarters, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Feb. 14, 2008. (USNOPRTHCOM Photo)
TEXAS ISSUES: Texas Sovereignty
Military asks Congress to set aside Posse Comitatus
By Dave Mundy

The U.S. military has asked Congress to lift the restrictions of an act designed to prevent American military forces from being used against their own people, an online news journal has reported—with clear implications the federal government could use the surge of pro-independence sentiment in Texas as an excuse to establish martial law.

An Aug. 12 article in The Progressive, a liberal news journal, by reporter Matthew Rothschild reports that the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) has asked Congress to grant the Secretary of Defense the authority to post up to 400,000 troops in North America “in times of emergency or natural disaster.” If granted, the move would further erode the authority of the states and would minimize the role played by the states’ militia, the National Guard, in handling domestic issues.

More ominously, nothing in the Pentagon’s request specifies that the troops to be posted in U.S. cities would necessarily be Americans. 

The US Northern Command signed an agreement with Canada Command allowing the use of Canadian forces to be used to handle “emergencies” in the United States on Feb. 14, 2008 – a treaty never presented by the Bush Administration to the Senate for ratification, as required by the Constitution.
Rothschild reported that NORTHCOM in June distributed a “fact sheet” entitled “Legislative Proposal for Activation of Federal Reserve Forces for Disasters.” 

“That proposal would amend current law …authorizing the Secretary of Defense to order any unit or member of the Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Navy Reserve, and the Marine Corps Reserve, to active duty for a major disaster or emergency,” Rothschild’s report notes.

In a June 20 letter to the National Governor’s Association, Paul Stockton, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and America’s Security Affairs, explained that the measure would allow some 379,000 reservists to be deployed in communities around the U.S., in conflict with the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.

“The governors were not happy about this proposal, since they want to maintain control of their own National Guard forces, as well as military personnel acting in a domestic capacity in their states,” Rothschild wrote. 

A letter from Vermont Gov. James H. Douglas and West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin III in response on Aug. 7 asserts that, “We are concerned that the legislative proposal you discuss in your letter would invite confusion on critical command and control issues … and that the states  “must have tactical control over all . . . active duty and reserve military forces engaged in domestic operations within the governor’s state or territory.”

The possibility of Canadian or even Mexican military forces being used against American civilians was raised last year. 

In an event heralded by a news release from NORTHCOM but ignored by the news media, U.S. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of NORTHCOM, and Canadian Air Force Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, commander of Canada Command, signed a Civil Assistance Plan that allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency.

“This document is a unique, bilateral military plan to align our respective national military plans to respond quickly to the other nation's requests for military support of civil authorities,” Renuart said in a news release issued by NORTHCOM. “Unity of effort during bilateral support for civil support operations such as floods, forest fires, hurricanes, earthquakes and effects of a terrorist attack, in order to save lives, prevent human suffering and mitigate damage to property, is of the highest importance, and we need to be able to have forces that are flexible and adaptive to support rapid decision-making in a collaborative environment.” 

It is not known if a similar agreement has been signed with Mexico. The treaty with Canada, signed on Feb. 14, 2008 during the Bush Administration’s tenure in office, has never been forwarded to the U.S. Senate for ratification, as required by the Constitution.

The vague definition of what might constitute an “emergency” leads to the possibility that U.S. military forces could be deployed domestically to prevent, for example, the citizens of Texas from voting on a plebescite to secede from the Union.

“So the new proposed legislation would greatly expand the President’s power to call up the Reserves in a disaster or an emergency and would extend that power to the Secretary of Defense,” Rothschild writes.

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