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Posse Comitatus Act=restricts confiscation?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Eightball, Dec 1, 2008.

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  1. Eightball

    Eightball Member

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    Alright, so I'm reading drudgereport, and come across THIS article, where the Pentagon wants 20,000 troops to aid in "domestic security," but there's fears that
    What is the Posse Comitatus Act, and would it prohibit, say, Obama (or any other future president) from using the Military to help confiscate civilian owned firearms?

    Not wanting to start a "it'll never come to confiscation" thread, just curious about if it came to that, if the above act has any relevance or not; if it doesn't, it seems conspicuous to me that they'd have 20,000 troops just "milling about" soas to help "domestic security," and if a possible confiscation attempt would warrant their use, in a strictly legal sense.
     
  2. Sinixstar

    Sinixstar member

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    Long story short - Posse Comitatus essentially says that the Military cannot be used for domestic police action.

    Yes - that means that the military could not be used to confiscate weapons from Americans. Posse Comitatus was designed specifically to prevent exactly that kind of action from taking place.

    The domestic security thing really isn't brand new. It's something that the outgoing administration is taking advantage of for the first time. My understanding is that the provision has been there for a standing domestic force for a long time - and it has simply never been implimented. Now it is.
     
  3. Sinixstar

    Sinixstar member

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  4. Cyborg

    Cyborg Member

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    Please note that "Posse Commitatus" allows use of the U.S. Armed Forces in "cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress". They have already - in VERY recent times - amended PC to allow use of Armed Forces in cases of national emergency. There is nothing to stop Congress from granting the president whatever powers to use the Armed Forces in whatever way he/she sees fit. They could even repeal "Posse Commitatus" and "Insurrection" entirely.

    I figure it would be easier to bring up Hurricane Katrina and give Barama sweeping new powers than it would be to repeal "PC" and "I" entirely. If they wrote the language properly, they could spin it as something very good for the country. All it would take would be another terrorist attack - Chemical or Biological or even Radiological - and congress would give his Baramaness essentially carte blanc. "Jericho" type scenario? (I loved that show. Always been a fan of Gerald McRaney even if I did hate him for getting to go home to Delta Burke every night)

    What I want to know is how/when/where did the Federal Bureau of INVESTIGATION acquire police powers? What is an agency allegedly devoted to investigating crimes doing arresting people? U.S. Marshals, I can see arresting but FB-frelling-I???

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    Cyborg
    Burying your head in the sand only makes your a** a better target.
     
  5. Sinixstar

    Sinixstar member

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    What I don't understand - is why people are looking at this as if it's something new.

    Yes - Congress could repeal Posse Comitatus. They could have done it at any time for the past 200+ years as well.

    We're talking about hypotheticals that have been there since the birth of this country, and jumping up and down screaming the sky is falling. Why?
     
  6. Cyborg

    Cyborg Member

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    Sinixstar, I hope you are not including me in the " jumping up and down screaming the sky is falling" crowd. I was just remarking on the status of PC. Personally, I have no illusions about what the left will do. I can't find the reference no but I recall reading an "11th Beatitude" that went something like "Blessed is the man who expects the worst for to him life is full of pleasant surprises." I hope for the best but prepare (or try to prepare) for the worst. Problem is I sometimes come wind up being a "Pollyanna" and what actually happens is far worse than even I expected.

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    Cyborg
    Burying your head in the sand only makes your a** a better target.
     
  7. TimRB

    TimRB Member

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    "What is an agency allegedly devoted to investigating crimes doing arresting people?"

    Are we supposed to have two agencies? One for doing the investigation and another for making the arrest? Why?

    Tim
     
  8. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    Has been changed several times in recent history.

    The Patriot Act essentialy made the Posse Comitatus act null and void. Fortunately most of it has expired.

    A law was also passed allowing the use of the military to assist in capturing drug traffickers. That was stretched through interpretation to include any situation involving drugs.
    So if drugs are involved, or they say drugs were involved and plant some after the fact, any use of the military was legal.
    The Waco Siege involved National Guard helicopters which were only given because the agents lied and said a meth lab was involved.

    In reality though the Posse Comitatus Act means very little anymore with the militarization of LEO. They now have paramilitary police forces, APCs, Tanks etc possessed by Law Enforcement agencies.
    So they do not need to use the "military" because certain branches of LEO, especialy in Federal LEO have become the military.
    Instead of deploying regiments in military camo the deploy people similarly armed wearing blue or black.
    The recieve certain ROE and proceed to accomplish an objective.

    They of course do not use artillery, airstrikes, or indiscriminate force, so there is a difference still at some levels. Well usualy, Philidelphia police did air drop a bomb on some people:
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-05-11-philadelphia-bombing_x.htm

    The difference between how military soldiers would act when deployed on the streets, and how paramilitary police would impose martial law is really not that different. So a good portion of Posse Comitatus has become meaningless, as the soldiers just wear blue now instead of camo.
     
  9. Sinixstar

    Sinixstar member

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    I mean in general.
    Much of this has been in the works for a very , VERY long time - and a good deal of it at the hands of republicans.
    So i'm sorry if I fail to see what the "leftist" agenda is in regards to these issues.
     
  10. jorb

    jorb Member

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    I don't know. I'm retired military myself. We used to train for riot control duty back in the late 60's and early 70's. Most of us took the training pretty seriously and were more than willing to, within legal limits, kick butts.
    Now I am a little leary of deploying Active Duty Combat Bdes to support local and state authorities. I know the story now on Drudge mentions some pretty innocuous missions they will be trained for, but.....they are trained and equiped for much more. I'm just sayin, ya know?
     
  11. 2RCO

    2RCO Member

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    Not to add to the Tin hat crowd but we have several training facilities that are set up as American towns that the Military uses and for scenarios such as jorb mentioned.

    In the right situation I would rather have the US military in my backyard AKA a serious riot in which people are destroying my property. The LA riots would have been a good time to call in the Marines. I also didn't mind seeing Marines with MGs posted at the bridges in DC after 911.

    Our forces aren't a bunch of sheep that would brainlessly take away the rights of US citizens.
     
  12. Sinixstar

    Sinixstar member

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    Yea - I'd trust the military a lot more then I trust the local PD. Barney Fife with an AR in his hands thinking he's John Wayne - is not my idea of security.
     
  13. Eightball

    Eightball Member

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    My intent wasn't to start a "sky is falling/leftists are planning a gun-grabbing apocalypse" thread; I was completely in the dark as to the PCA and what it meant insofar as military being used with domestic purposes in mind, from a purely "legal" standpoint.
     
  14. Sinixstar

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    Under the current legal definitions - it would be prohibited.
    As far as possible future action - it would take an act of congress either making an exception, or repealing PCA all together. Neither of which I find particularly likely simplely for the sake of grabbing guns.
     
  15. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    I seriously doubt any president (or other politician) is going to worry about the law if they decide to start confiscating our guns en masse.
     
  16. Sinixstar

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    There's a lot more they'd have to deal with then just posse comitatus.....
     
  17. monkyboy1975

    monkyboy1975 Member

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    Have we forgotten what happened during Hurricane Katrina? How many people were disarmed by the military.
     
  18. Sinixstar

    Sinixstar member

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    Declared state of emergency. Slightly different set of circumstances.
    Also - was it the military, or was it military contractors? I don't recall any mention of the marines patroling NoLA. I do recall Blackwater and the National Guard being around though.
     
  19. monkyboy1975

    monkyboy1975 Member

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    I was referring to the Guard, of which I am not slandering as I once upoun a time was in it.
     
  20. Eightball

    Eightball Member

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    Is that "all" that would be required by an anti-gun president, is to declare a "state of emergency" due to the number of firearms in circulation?
     
  21. monkyboy1975

    monkyboy1975 Member

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    My point exactly eightball!
     
  22. Sinixstar

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    Tin Foil hats do no one any good.

    First and Foremost - technically - we are already in a state of emergency at the federal level. Herr Bush has been constantly renewing the declaration from 9/11. If the government wanted to, under the the current law - they could walk in and hand your ass to you if they wanted to.

    Second off - Under the National Emergencies act - passed in 1976 - Congress has the power to kill any declaration of emergency made by the office of the executive.

    really - if you're going to go off on conspiracy theory "they're coming to get us" garbage. at least somewhat pay attention to what the laws are, and what's already in place.
     
  23. Blacksmoke

    Blacksmoke Member

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    IT is crazy to use combat and logistical troops for law enforcement. Adding 20,000 personel to a federal police force that can be seconded to the Border Patrol, the Marshalls Service, etc. might make some sense.
     
  24. Frog48

    Frog48 Member

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    Just to clarify things a bit...

    The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits active duty military forces to be used for domestic law enforcement. It DOES NOT prohibit the use of National Guard forces for domestic law enforcement. The gray area is whether the President can call-up (aka "federalize") National Guard units, and then deploy them for domestic law enforcement. It is neither explicitly authorized or prohibited under the Posse Comitatus Act. However it is permitted under the 2006 amendments to the Insurrection Act.

    Further, it does not prohibit active duty military forces from participating in civil disaster relief, search & rescue, medical assistance, etc.

    Actually, the President already has that power. Active duty military can be used domestically for investigation and law enforcement in response to nuclear, chemical, and biological threats, without authorization from Congress.
     
  25. Sinixstar

    Sinixstar member

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    Is that what they did?
    Again - I don't recall the marines being deployed to NoLA - if they were, i'd certainly like to see some evidence of it.

    Logistical troops 100% make sense in an emergency situation where rescue efforts are underway, and supplies, equipment, etc need to be coordinated.
     
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