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Congress Increasing President's Power to Suppress Insurrection

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posted on May, 28 2008 @ 11:57 PM
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Congress is currently moving to increasing the President's authority to activate and use reserve military forces, specifically to suppress domestic rebellion and insurrection.

I decided to have a quick read of H.R.5658, the "Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009" that was passed by the House last week (5/22/08). There's always fun and interesting stuff buried in authorization bills!

The relevant text is in Subtitle J, appropriately labeled "Other Matters", sections 591 and 594 (with some unrelated sections sandwiched in between).

Here's section 591:



SEC. 591. INCLUSION OF RESERVES IN PROVIDING FEDERAL AID FOR STATE GOVERNMENTS, ENFORCING FEDERAL AUTHORITY, AND RESPONDING TO MAJOR PUBLIC EMERGENCIES.
(a) Federal Aid for State Governments- Section 331 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by striking `armed forces, as he' and inserting `armed forces (including units and members of the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve ordered to active duty for this purpose), as the President'.
(b) Enforcement of Federal Authority- Section 332 of such title is amended--
(1) by striking `he may' and inserting `the President may'; and
(2) by striking `armed forces, as he' and inserting `armed forces (including units and members of the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve ordered to active duty for this purpose), as the President'.
(c) Response to Public Emergencies- Section 333(a)(1) of such title is amended by inserting after `Federal service' the following: `and units and members of the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve ordered to active duty for this purpose'.


Currently, 10USC331 allows the President to call in to service and use armed forces to suppress insurrection, at the specific request of a state governor or legislature. Section 519(a) expands this to include the use of activated reserve forces.

10USC332 is more interesting, as the President requires no authorization other than his own consideration. It currently reads:



Whenever the President considers that unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages, or rebellion against the authority of the United States, make it impracticable to enforce the laws of the United States in any State by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, he may call into Federal service such of the militia of any State, and use such of the armed forces, as he considers necessary to enforce those laws or to suppress the rebellion.


Section 519(b) expands this to allow the use of activated reserve forces, too. Similarly, 519(c) adds to the forces the President can use to unilaterally "suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy" under certain conditions (by his determination -- he's only required to notify Congress "as soon as practicable", not seek their or the state's approval).




posted on May, 28 2008 @ 11:57 PM
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So, how would those reserve forces get activated? That's where section 594 comes in. Here's section 594:



SEC. 594. AUTHORITY TO ORDER RESERVE UNITS TO ACTIVE DUTY TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE IN RESPONSE TO A MAJOR DISASTER OR EMERGENCY.
Section 12304(b) of title 10, United States Code, is amended--
(1) by redesignating paragraphs (1) and (2) as subparagraphs (A) and (B), respectively;
(2) by inserting `(1)' before `The authority'; and
(3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
`(2) The authority under subsection (a) includes authority to order any unit of the Selected Reserve of the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, or Coast Guard Reserve to active duty to provide assistance in responding to a major disaster or emergency (as those terms are defined in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122)).'.


It modifies the current law, 10USC13204. This is the law that gives authority for "stop-loss" orders in times of emergency. Currently, it allows the President to order reserves to active duty in response to: "(1) a use or threatened use of a weapon of mass destruction; or (2) a terrorist attack or threatened terrorist attack in the United States that results, or could result, in significant loss of life or property", when "the President determines that the requirements for responding to an emergency... have exceeded, or will exceed, the response capabilities of local, State, and Federal civilian agencies".

So, section 594(2) seems at first like a slight increase in the scope of this authorization, but let's look at the definitions of "emergency" that's cited (42 U.S.C. 5122):



(1) Emergency.— “Emergency” means any occasion or instance for which, in the determination of the President, Federal assistance is needed to supplement State and local efforts and capabilities to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States.


The key words here are "in the determination of the President" -- essentially, for any reason the President can contrive.

The Authorization Act also modifies the authorized strengths of the active forces (Section 401):



The Armed Forces are authorized strengths for active duty personnel as of September 30, 2009, as follows:
(1) The Army, 532,400.
(2) The Navy, 326,323.
(3) The Marine Corps, 194,000.
(4) The Air Force, 317,050.


and the reserve forces:



The Armed Forces are authorized strengths for Selected Reserve personnel of the reserve components as of September 30, 2009, as follows:
(1) The Army National Guard of the United States, 352,600.
(2) The Army Reserve, 205,000.
(3) The Navy Reserve, 66,700.
(4) The Marine Corps Reserve, 39,600.
(5) The Air National Guard of the United States, 106,700.
(6) The Air Force Reserve, 67,400.
(7) The Coast Guard Reserve, 10,000.



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 11:58 PM
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There are of course limits on how many of the Selected Reserve can be activated at any one time, under normal circumstances. But look at section 416:



(a) Additional Waiver Authority- Subsection (a) of section 123a of title 10, United States Code, is amended--
(1) by inserting `(1)' before `If at the end'; and
(2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
`(2) When a designation of a major disaster or emergency (as those terms are defined in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122)) is in effect, the President may waive any statutory limit that would otherwise apply during the period of the designation on the number of members of a reserve component who are authorized to be on active duty under subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 115(b)(1) of this title, if the President determines the waiver is necessary to provide assistance in responding to the major disaster or emergency.'.


So, is Congress really worried about rebellion and insurrection? If not, I can't see why there's a need to expand 10USC331 and 10USC332, simply to enable "stop-loss" policies and better prepare for natural disasters or terrorist threats.

I haven't seen these specifics discussed in any news reports, so I thought I'd post this here and see what everyone thinks. Please, comments and corrections are welcome! (I only spent about 90 minutes researching and compiling this, so have mercy).



posted on May, 29 2008 @ 12:44 AM
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seems that there was a lot of amendments to remove "HE" does this mean theres going to be a SHE soon?


also the clarification for all the branches appears nothing more than improving the legal jargon to stop people from sue over a term like "ARMED FOCES" which to most of us will include Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, or Coast Guard Reserve in the first place.

That would like playing a sport and not being able to use the reserves because they are not starters.



posted on May, 29 2008 @ 01:05 AM
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I would be interested to see how this is different from the John Warner Defense Authorization Act? How has the president expanded his powers yet again?

Hell, if people start rioting over gas prices and/or food shortages, it would be the perfect opportunity to implement full-scale martial law with cops and soldiers on the streets and dissidents in those camps that they've never managed to fill with illegals!



posted on May, 29 2008 @ 08:09 AM
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Originally posted by puzzled2
That would like playing a sport and not being able to use the reserves because they are not starters.


Currently, the maximum number of reserves that can be activated to full-time operational support duty is limited by law, regardless of what the President wants (otherwise they wouldn't actually be reserves!):


(1) The Army National Guard of the United States, 17,000.
(2) The Army Reserve, 13,000.
(3) The Navy Reserve, 6,200.
(4) The Marine Corps Reserve, 3,000.
(5) The Air National Guard of the United States, 16,000.
(6) The Air Force Reserve, 14,000.


HR5658 greatly increases the ability of the President to unilaterally ignore those limits.



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 07:25 PM
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SAN ANTONIO, Texas — U.S. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, and Canadian Air Force Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, commander of Canada Command, have 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.

"Civil Assisstance Program"

Yeah...it's kind of bad, but I am a bit more concerned about the above deal...allows a military force to bypass posse comitatus, a law that requires Congressional approval for member(s) of the Armed Forces to perform law enforcement duties on American Soil.

Let's not forget forget military contractors.



DynCorp is a Virginia-based military contractor that describes itself as a "highly successful provider of critical support to military and civilian government institutions," with "commercial business in aviation, infrastructure development, security, and logistics, including international projects to build and manage regional air facilities," according to its website.



These guys can do anything they want to if the need ever arose. West Coast?



Cubic Delivers Deployable Combat Training Centers to Romania and Slovakia New instrumentation is compatible for joint training

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - May 22, 2008 -- Cubic Defense Applications (CDA), a defense subsidiary of Cubic Corporation (Amex: CUB), announced it completed installation of two new deployable combat training centers simultaneously in Romania and Slovakia.

San Diego based Company Cubic Corp.

These guys just joined some major financial circle the past year...


Point is, the whole re-writing of bills and stuff is interesting, but it is hardly a new trend. There are many other institutions that are designed to be able to bypass the law and as long as the money that Cheney has seen in Haliburton continues to grease the palms of various lawmakers and get passed back to the various other step children of the military contract world.

And with the social hierarchy such as it is...they can probably get a son to turn on his mother with nothing more than an indirect accusation....:shk:



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 07:30 PM
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Always remember this from history. Regardless of who is in power or what you think of the person.

The Republic will do whatever is needed to protect the Republic.

Take some advice for what its worth.



posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 01:05 PM
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