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The U.S. Army intervenes
On the 28th of July 1932, Attorney General Mitchell ordered the police evacuation of the Bonus Army veterans, who resisted; the police shot at them, and killed two. When told of the killings, President Hoover ordered the U.S. Army to effect the evacuation of the Bonus Army from Washington, D.C.
At 4:45 p.m., commanded by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the 12th Infantry Regiment, Fort Howard, Maryland, and the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, supported by six battle tanks commanded by Maj. George S. Patton, Fort Myer, Virginia, formed in Pennsylvania Avenue while thousands of Civil Service employees left work to line the street and watch the U.S. Army attack its own veterans. The Bonus Marchers, believing the display was in their honour, cheered the troops until Maj. Patton charged the cavalry against them — an action which prompted the Civil Service employee spectators to yell: "Shame! Shame!" against the charging cavalry.
After the cavalry charge, infantry, with fixed bayonets and adamsite gas, entered the Bonus Army camps, evicting veterans, families, and camp followers. The veterans fled across the Anacostia River, to their largest camp; President Hoover ordered the Army assault stopped, however, Gen. MacArthur—feeling this free-speech exercise was a Communist attempt at overthrowing the U.S. Government—ignored the President and ordered a new attack. Hundreds of veterans were injured, several were killed — including William Hushka and Eric Carlson; a veteran's wife miscarried; and many other veterans were hurt. The sight of armed U.S. Army soldiers attacking poor American veterans of the recent Great War later prompted formal veteran relief funds, and, eventually, establishment of the Veterans Administration. (Bonus Army encamped in 1932; Veterans Administration had already been established in 1930. en.wikipedia.org...) As member of Gen. MacArthur's staff, Maj. Dwight D. Eisenhower had strong reservations about routing the Bonus Army.
The Posse Comitatus Act — forbidding civilian police work by the U.S. military — did not apply to Washington, D.C., because it is the federal district directly governed by the U.S. Congress (U.S. Constitution, Article I. Section 8. Clause 17). The exemption was created because of an earlier "Bonus March". In 1781, most of the Continental Army was demobilised without pay, two years later, in 1783, hundreds of Pennsylvania war veterans marched on Philadelphia, surrounded the State House wherein Congress was in session, and demanded their pay. The U.S. Congress fled to Princeton, New Jersey, and, several weeks later, the U.S. Army expelled the war veterans back to home, out of the national capital.
The only deaths that did occur were two veterans shot by the police before the army intervened. An infant, Bernard Myers, later died in the hospital after the incident but reports indicated the death was not caused by the evacuation of the BEF.
Originally posted by Vector J
This is an extremly interesting thread, and I take the OP's point fully.
What I find intruiging is the people saying 'Soldiers won't fight against their own people, because of their morals/personal judgement/whatever.'. These are the same people that agree that solideris are trained to follow orders.
Anyone notice the problem?
If we believe that soldiers follow orders, then we must believe that they would follow their superiors orders and turn on their fellow countrymen.
If we beleive that soldiers have a moral or otherwise stance that means they wouldn;t follow orders they judge to be 'illegal' or against their personal code, then, of course these brave men and women wouldn;t fire upon their fellow citizens.
The problem is that, if soldiers just picked and chose what orders they followed based on morals or sense of justice or what they view as right or legal, then they'd be pretty ineffective soldiers.
Originally posted by TheRepublic
reply to post by jfj123
not to rehash the civil war but you have heard of shermans march to the sea havnt you?
that was brutality and it was random and carried out against civilians.
I was particularly disturbed by seeing men and women soldiers smilling, enjoying the torturing and humiliation of Iraq POW's.
Originally posted by dooper
Yes, yes, yes. The problem is, these current American civilians will shoot back.
The military may fire on one group one time. After that, they'll never, ever, get the jump on civilians again.
And those Generals that order such a thing?
Let them go to their homes and see what they find.
Originally posted by jam321
The same way the Chinese go after there people is the same way the US would go after its citizens. The US doesn't have to send in troops to fight every citizen in Houston or LA. All it has to do is send in the troops to pick up the ones who are the most likely to ignite the crowd.To quell any possible civil unrest, they will bring then in on trump up charges. Once people see the loudest ones are being taken away, the rest will fall in line. It would not be an all out military vs civilians event as most are imagining. As long as there are trump up charges on those people, I don't see how the military personnel could disobey a lawful order.
Originally posted by jhill76
reply to post by RFBurns
I don't mean shooting at citizens at will. But, put the military in an authoritative position over citizens and let's see what happens. There will be chaos, life will not be the same, when you can't go out partying and a curfew is in effect, you situation has changed, and therefore you will change. Regular citizens will change and therefore the military will have to adjust to this change, with strength and by example.