Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Long War....on the Constitution

If you hoped that the attack on the Constitution would just be a short term spell that we would eventually snap out of- say, around January, 2009- think again, amigos. The BBC reports that CentCom is preparing for "The Long War."

Of course, we all want to see terrorism diminished. What is the cost of "The Long War," though? The track record over the last five years, e.g. shredding of the First and Fourth Amendments, doesn't bode well for the long-term health of the Constitution.

Maybe I'm paranoid. Or maybe this is ominous:
"I'm an artillery officer, and I can't fire cannons at the internet," he says, referring to what he sees as one of the key weapons of the modern age.

Instead, he argues that the US military must try to break down "old mind-sets and bureaucracies" and build new relationships with other agencies - like the FBI, the police and the state department - through what in military jargon are called "joint inter-agency task forces".

What does our future look like?

Now more than ever....the ACLU.

Andy in Harrisburg

5 Comments:

Anonymous Tha Mad Scotsman said...

That V for Vendetta reference (the movie the picture is from) strikes home.

Here's how I see it. If you look at the difference between society in 1949 (when 1984 was written) and the society portrayed in the book 1984, there's a great difference. For want of a better metric, lets say the difference is 10.

My feeling is that the difference between US society now and the society portrayed in V for Vendetta is only a 2. We're not that far away from the society of that movie - just remember - it's for our own safety.

As evidence, consider the prevalent use of fear to control the voters, the Whitehouse leaking the identity of CIA operatives for political gain, using terrorism as an excuse to invade an oil rich country, a President who appears to believe in creationism and the rapture, and on and on.

It's a brilliant movie though. If you can, go see it on he big (IMAX if you can) screen.

Cheers, Neil.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous The Mad Scotsman said...

.

7:38 PM  
Blogger ACLU of Pennsylvania said...

Instead, he argues that the US military must try to break down "old mind-sets and bureaucracies" and build new relationships with other agencies - like the FBI, the police and the state department - through what in military jargon are called "joint inter-agency task forces".

After I posted this, I started thinking, what is an "old mind-set"? Constitutional principles?

The idea of the military working with my local Barney Fife worries me, too. The militarization of the police is already an issue that communities and scholars are looking at. Does the military just want to make it official?

Andy

2:15 PM  
Blogger Sheikh Mahandi said...

"old mind-sets and bureaucracies"
Military / Police / FBI / CIA

So that's Posse Commitatus out of the window is it?

2:48 PM  
Anonymous The Mad Scotsman said...

Nice one Sheik - got me exercising my Google skills ;-).

According to Major Craig T Trebilcock of the US Army Reserve in 2000:

But does the act present a major barrier at the National Command Authority level to use of military forces in the battle against terrorism? The numerous exceptions and policy shifts carried out over the past 20 years strongly indicate that it does not. Could anyone seriously suggest that it is appropriate to use the military to interdict drugs and illegal aliens but preclude the military from countering terrorist threats that employ weapons of mass destruction? For two decades the military has been increasingly used as an auxiliary to civilian law enforcement when the capabilities of the police have been exceeded. Under both the statutory and constitutional exceptions that have permitted the use of the military in law enforcement since 1980, the president has ample authority to employ the military in homeland defense against the threat of weapons of mass destruction in terrorist hands.

That's from what looks like a homeland security website (http://www.homelandsecurity.org/journal/articles/Trebilcock.htm).

So, based on my 30 minutes of review, it's not an impediment to anything. But it was cool to learn about Posse Comitatus (with one M).

Cheers, Neil.

6:17 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home