Washington, D.C.– A Pentagon directive that details military support to civilian authorities has potentially troubling aspects that involve the use of federal military force against American citizens on U.S. soil.
The directive, which outlines the Obama administrations policy regarding military support, was issued on Dec. 29, 2010.
While there are noncontroversial provisions, such as support to civilian fire and emergency services and domestic use of the Army Corps of Engineers, the more troubling aspects of the directive are in regards to the domestic use of military arms and forces.
“This appears to be the latest step in the administration’s decision to use force within the United States against its citizens,” said a defense official opposed to the directive, according to the Washington Times.
The directive, No. 3025.18, “Defense Support of Civil Authorities,” states that U.S. commanders “are provided emergency authority under this directive.”
“Federal military forces shall not be used to quell civil disturbances unless specifically authorized by the president in accordance with applicable law or permitted under emergency authority,” the directive states.
“In these circumstances, those federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the president is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances,” under two conditions.
The two conditions set forth to utilize the military in a domestic situation are: “to prevent significant loss of life or wanton destruction of property and are necessary to restore governmental function and public order,” and when federal, state and local authorities “are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for federal property or federal governmental functions.”
“Federal action, including the use of federal military forces, is authorized when necessary to protect the federal property or functions,” the directive states.
This can include loans of arms, ammunition, vessels and aircraft. The directive goes on to state clearly that it is for engaging civilians during times of unrest.
If there was any question about how this directive is potentially going to be utilized, it was answered when a U.S official said the Obama administration considered but rejected deploying military force under the directive during the recent standoff with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters, according to a report in the Washington Times.
Bundy has been engaged in a legal battle with the federal Bureau of Land Management over unpaid grazing fees. In April, Bundy and his supporters stood their ground against federal authorities in a standoff that ended when the BLM backed down, this coming after the BLM had brought in over 200 armed agents and sniper teams to confiscate Bundy’s cattle.
The Pentagon directive authorizes the secretary of defense to approve the use of unarmed drones in domestic unrest, but bans the use of missile-firing unmanned aircraft. “Use of armed [unmanned aircraft systems] is not authorized,” the directive says. The directive was signed by then-Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn.
As reported on previously by BenSwann.com, there has been a buildup of military arms and units within non-security-related federal agencies.
The buildup of executive military has raised questions about whether the Obama administration is undermining civil liberties utilizing the façade of counternarcotic and counterterrorism efforts.
The White House has consistently attacked private citizens’ ownership of firearms and their exercising of Second Amendment rights, despite the fact that most gun owners are law abiding citizens, while consistently militarizing and arming federal agencies using obscure statues that allow for deputization of security officials.
During a speech at the National Defense University a year ago, President Obama stated: “I do not believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and kill any U.S. citizen — with a drone or with a shotgun — without due process, nor should any president deploy armed drones over U.S. soil.”
The president’s own words certainly don’t to seem to reconcile with this directive.
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