[Rushtalk] DoD Issues Instructions on Military Support of Civilian Law Enforcement

Carl Spitzer Winblows at lavabit.com
Fri Apr 26 19:57:32 MDT 2013

DoD Issues Instructions on Military Support

 of Civilian Law Enforcement

April 13, 2013
Source: Public Intelligence

Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment, XVIII
Fires Brigade train last December to “respond to an escalating
civil-disturbance situation caused by unhappy simulated hurricane
victims.”  According to an article produced by the 82nd Combat Aviation
Brigade, the training was designed to prepare the soldiers “for their
upcoming assignment as a quick reaction and rapid response force for
U.S. Army North Command in support of emergencies in the United States.”

Public Intelligence

The Department of Defense has issued an instruction clarifying the rules
for the involvement of military forces in civilian law enforcement.  The
instruction establishes “DoD policy, assigns responsibilities, and
provides procedures for DoD support to Federal, State, tribal, and local
civilian law enforcement agencies, including responses to civil
disturbances within the United States.”

The new instruction titled “Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement
Agencies” was released at the end of February, replacing several older
directives onmilitary assistance to civilian law enforcement and civil
disturbances.  The instruction requires that senior DoD officials
develop “procedures and issue appropriate direction as necessary for
defense support of civilian law enforcement agencies in coordination
with the General Counsel of the Department of Defense, and in
consultation with the Attorney General of the United States”, including
“tasking the DoD Components to plan for and to commit DoD resources in
response to requests from civil authorities for [civil disturbance
operations].”  Military officials are to coordinate with “civilian law
enforcement agencies on policies to further DoD cooperation with
civilian law enforcement agencies” and the heads of the combatant
commands are instructed to issue procedures for “establishing local
contact points in subordinate commands for purposes of coordination with
Federal, State, tribal, and local civilian law enforcement officials.”

In addition to defining responsibilities for military coordination with
local law enforcement, the instruction describes circumstances in which
direct participation in civilian law enforcement is permissible.  Under
the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, U.S military personnel are generally
prohibited from assisting in civilian law enforcement functions such as
search and seizure, interdiction of vehicles, arrest and interrogation,
surveillance or using force except for in self-defense. Though the Posse
Comitatus Act originally referred only to the Army, it was extended in
1956 to include the Air Force. Subsequent DoD regulations prevent the
use of the Marine Corps or Navy for civilian law enforcement functions.
In 1981, this principle was further codified in 10 USC § 375 which
directs the Secretary of Defense to ensure that military activities do
“not include or permit direct participation by a member of the Army,
Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps in a search, seizure, arrest, or other
similar activity unless participation in such activity by such member is
otherwise authorized by law.”

Though the Posse Comitatus Act is the primary restriction on direct DoD
involvement in law enforcement functions, it does not prevent military
personnel from participating in circumstances “authorized by the
Constitution or Act of Congress.”  This includes circumstances involving
“insurrection, domestic violence, or conspiracy that hinders the
execution of State or Federal law” as well as actions “taken under
express statutory authority.”  The DoD’s instruction includes a list of
more than a dozen “laws that permit direct DoD participation in civilian
law enforcement” including many obscure statutes that are more than a
hundred years old.  For example, a law passed in 1882 and codified
under 16 USC § 593 allows for the President to use land and naval forces
to “prevent the felling, cutting down, or other destruction of the
timber of the United States in Florida.”  Likewise, the Guano Islands
Act of 1856 enables the President to use land and naval forces to
protect the rights of a discoverer of an island covered by the Act.

Military commanders also have “emergency authority” to use military
forces in civilian law enforcement functions “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”.  This authority is
limited to actions “necessary to prevent significant loss of life or
wanton destruction of property and are necessary to restore governmental
function and public order” and “provide adequate protection for Federal
property or Federal governmental functions.”  In fact, an enclosure to
the DoD instruction describing requirements for support of civil
disturbance operations states that military commanders “shall not take
charge of any function of civil government unless absolutely necessary
under conditions of extreme emergency.”  According to the instruction,
any “commander who is directed, or undertakes, to control such functions
shall strictly limit DoD actions to emergency needs and shall facilitate
the reestablishment of civil responsibility at the earliest time


ObombA did not win erection, Trotskite RINO Mitt Romney threw the
election.  -- Rush Limbaugh
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