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Monday, February 23, 2009

Department of Defense Contemplates Helping Civil Authorities Abrogate Civil Rights

I hate conspiracy theorizing. Wild-eyed Rosie O'Donnell types who think, for example, the government could succeed in taking down two of the world's tallest skyscrapers, on purpose, and keep the secret both before and after the fact, and use the evidence that there is no evidence of this merely to prove how deep the conspiracy goes, are nuts, pure and simple.

But the fact that conspiracy theorists are nuts doesn't mean our government never makes any nefarious plans. Witness these quotations, which look fairly harmless until translated out of the barely intelligible Defense-ese:

"The likeliest and most dangerous security challenges emerging from it will be unconventional. “Unconventional,” from a DoD perspective, connotes national security conditions and contingencies that are defense-relevant but not necessarily defense-specific. Unconventional security challenges lie substantially outside the realm of traditional warfighting. They are routinely nonmilitary in origin and character. Yet, nonmilitary, in this context, does not necessarily mean nonviolent, nonstate, or disordered and unorganized. … Purposeful threats are defense-specific or defense-relevant security challenges originating in the hostile designs of a consequential opponent. Threats of context are defense-relevant security challenges emerging slowly or suddenly from circumstances endemic to the strategic environment itself; all in the absence of hostile design vis-à-vis the United States. … Among the most challenging defense-relevant shocks will be those arising in the absence of hostile strategic design. … The most challenging defense-relevant shocks might emerge from adverse conditions endemic to the environment itself. This is made more certain by the unguided forces of globalization, toxic populism, identity politics, underdevelopment, human/natural disaster, and disease. In the end, shocks emerging from contextual threats might challenge core U.S. interests more fundamentally than any number of prospective purposeful shocks. Threats of context might include but are not limited to contagious un- and under-governance; civil violence; the swift catastrophic onset of consequential natural, environmental, and/or human disaster; a rapidly expanding and uncontrolled transregional epidemic; and the sudden crippling instability or collapse of a large and important state. Indeed, pushing at the boundaries of current convention, it would be prudent to add catastrophic dislocation inside the United States or homegrown domestic civil disorder and/or violence to this category as well. Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security. Deliberate employment of weapons of mass destruction or other catastrophic capabilities, unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters are all paths to disruptive domestic shock. …Already predisposed to defer to the primacy of civilian authorities in instances of domestic security and divest all but the most extreme demands in areas like civil support and consequence management, DoD might be forced by circumstances to put its broad resources at the disposal of civil authorities to contain and reverse violent threats to domestic tranquility. Under the most extreme circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. Further, DoD would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance."

What this means is that the far-seeing folks at Department of Defense have paid this fellow from the Strategic Studies Institute to write a monograph to justify the use of the military against U.S. citizens, expecting "strategic shocks" within the continental U.S. due to things like "unforeseen economic collapse." Click the title of this post to go to the original document.

This fits with a bill recently introduced by Rep. Alcee Hastings, HR645, the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act. Quickly summarized, it allocates money for and directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to spend it to make over some of the closed military installations from the Clinton era to serve as refugee camps.

And you scoffed at my idea of hyperinflation? Congress and the DoD think massive civil disorder is coming, my friends. Get yourselves ready.

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