It was only a little over a year ago that I wrote about the Posse Comitatus The Act forbids the use of the military of the United States as a posse comitatus (an armed body of men at the disposal of the King for the purposes of keeping the peace) or for law enforcement purposes, with the exception of the National Guard. Coupled with the Insurrection Act of 1807, we have a set of laws that govern the President of the United States of Americaâ€™s ability to deploy troops within the United States to put down lawlessness, insurrection and rebellion.
I wrote then
What the Posse Comitatus Act did was set a high bar in the use of the military in a policing role. Lower level officers were routinely punished for over stepping their bounds. Americans have distrusted an army that could be used against them. Now it appears that very little excuse is needed to deploy the military. Even Congress, whose job is oversight and upholding the Constitution must be notified as soon as practicable and renewed every 14 days. That doesnâ€™t seem good enough to me.
Now the Washington Post reports
The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.
We could sure use a professional force in the case of a Mumbai incident in this country many might be asking. Or we could encourage all citizens to wear a gun.
I think our government would prefer an internal armed force subject to orders from a President and I’m sure all sorts of excuses could be used to activate such a force. That’s just the nature of government.