mojom - patience my friend. You gave me a soapbox here.
The year is 1860. The situation is jezebel's original post, second paragraph. The American
Civil War almost destroyed the Union, and many things began to evolve in the rule of law
to avoid, if possible, another such event. As a percentage of the population, the Civil
War cost more than any combination of conflicts and Wars the US ever engaged in, before or
since. The US has yet to fully recover. The lessons learned has created legislation (rule
of law) that continues to evolve to this day. This circumtance and laws are taught to every
officer candidate, senior NCO, and to a lesser degree, even the basic NCO academies.
First Lesson: A law was championed by far-sighted Southern lawmakers in 1878.
They had experienced a fifteen year military occupation by the US Army in
post-Civil War law enforcement. They understood the heel of a jackboot.
Thus was born the PCA
Title 18 US Code, PART I, Chapter 67, § 1385, The Posse Comitatus Act
In a nutshell, this act bans the Army / Air Force from participating in arrests, searches,
seizure of evidence and other police-type activity on U.S. soil. The Coast Guard
and National Guard troops under the control of state governors are excluded from the act.
Under specified circumstances, the Marines can be excluded as well.
Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of
Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to
execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
Editor's Note: The only exemption has to do with nuclear materials (18 U.S.C. 831 (e)
Still with me? We are going "back to the future' in my next post.
[Edited on 27-2-2004 by nightwing]