Commentary on the economic , geopolitical and simply fascinating things going on. Served occasionally with a side of snark.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Martial Law Primer ( August 19 , 2014 ) -- US Army's Civil Disturbances Manual .....US chemical weapon usage at Ferguson ( Tear Gas = chemical weapon ) ....... Amnesty International comes to Ferguson ( and US for the first time EVER !
With events in Ferguson deteriorating from day to day, despite the arrival of the Missouri National Guard, some have asked what further escalation steps are possible.
As a reminder, the reason Missouri governor Jay Nixon resorted to the aid of the National Guard is due to the limitations imposed by the Posse Comitatus Act which, broadly, seeks to limit the powers of Federal government in using federal military personnel, i.e., the Armed Forces of the United States, to enforce state laws. The Act does not apply to the National Guard, nor to the US Coast Guard, although the former will likely not see much practical use in Missouri.
However, as usually happens, there are loopholes and the best place to uncover these is in a 132-page primer conveniently released by none other than the US Army back on April 21, known simply as ATP 3-39.33 "Civil Disturbances." The primer begins with the umbrella statement:
Civil unrest may range from simple, nonviolent protests that address specific issues, to events that turn into full-scale riots. Gathering in protest may be a recognized right of any person or group, regardless of where U.S. forces may be operating. In the United States, this fundamental right is protected under the Constitution of the United States...
The Constitution of the United States, laws, regulations, policies, and other legal issues limit the use of federal military personnel in domestic support operations. Any Army involvement in civil disturbance operations involves many legal issues requiring comprehensive legal reviews. However,federal forces are authorized for use in civil disturbance operations under certain circumstances.
What circumstances? For the answer we turn to section, 2-8, whose provisions may soon become applicable to Ferguson and/or other municipal regions, should the rioting in the St. Louis suburb escalate further. To wit:
The Constitution of the United States provides two exceptions for which the Posse Comitatus Act does not apply. These exceptions are based upon the inherent right of the U.S. government to ensure the preservation of public order and to carrying out governmental operations within its territorial limits by force, if necessary. These two exceptions are—
Emergency authority. A sudden and unexpected civil disturbance, disaster, or calamity may seriously endanger life and property and disrupt normal governmental functions to such an extent that local authorities cannot control the situation. At such times, the federal government may use military force to prevent the loss of life or wanton destruction of property and to restore government functions and public order. In these circumstances, federal military commanders have the authority, 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 (see DODD 3025.18).
Protection of federal property and functions. When the need for the protection of federal property or federal functions exists, and duly constituted local authorities are unable to, or decline to provide adequate protection, federal action, including the use of military forces, is authorized.
2-9. Laws passed by the U.S. congress include four exceptions to the Posse Comitatus Act. With the first three laws discussed below (10 USC 331–333) there is a prerequisite that the President must take personal action, including the issuance of a proclamation calling upon insurgents to disperse and retire peaceably within a limited time. The four exceptions, based on law are—
10 USC 331. When a state is unable to control domestic violence and they have requested federal assistance, the use of the militia or Armed Forces is authorized.
10 USC 332. When ordinary enforcement means are unworkable due to unlawful obstructions or rebellion against the authority of the United States, use of the militia or Armed Forces is authorized.
10 USC 333. When a state cannot or will not protect the constitutional rights of the citizens, due to domestic violence or conspiracy to hinder execution of State or Federal law, the use of the militia or Armed Forces is authorized.
House Joint Resolution 1292. This resolution directs all departments of the U.S. government, upon request of the Secret Service, to assist in carrying out its statutory duties to protect government officials and major political candidates from physical harm.
The good news: the use of lethal force is not the only option the US Army would have if and when it engages with the population. US citizens may simply be herded into "temporary internment camps" for reindoctrination purposes under the supervision of PSYOP Officer (no really, they used that word), as follows from the Army's FM3-39.40 "Internment and Resettlement Operations"manual:
Internment and Resettlement (I/R) operations facilitate the ability to conduct rapid and decisive combat operations; deter, mitigate, and defeat threats to populations that may result in conflict; reverse conditions of human suffering; and build the capacity of a foreign government to effectively care for and govern its population. This includes capabilities to conduct shaping operations across the spectrum of military operations to mitigate and defeat the underlying conditions for conflict and counter the core motivations that result in support to criminal, terrorist, insurgent, and other destabilizing groups. I/R operations also include the daily incarceration of U.S. military prisoners at facilities throughout the world.
An adaptive enemy will manipulate populations that are hostile to U.S. intent by instigating mass civil disobedience, directing criminal activity, masking their operations in urban and other complex terrain,maintaining an indistinguishable presence through cultural anonymity, and actively seeking the traditional sanctuary of protected areas as defined by the rules of land warfare. Such actions will facilitate the dispersal of threat forces, negate technological overmatches, and degrade targeting opportunities. Commanders will use technology and conduct police intelligence operations to influence and control populations, evacuate detainees and, conclusively, transition rehabilitative and reconciliation operations to other functional agencies. The combat identification of friend, foe, or neutral is used to differentiate combatants from noncombatants and friendly forces from threat forces.
Presenting army camps, hopefully not in a city near you:
Detainee facilities, an important planning consideration, are treated in the same basic fashion as any base camps. The same basic planning considerations are taken into account. Some detainee facilities will be subordinate to a larger base camp but they may also be at a separate location.
The PSYOP officer in charge of supporting I/R operations serves as the special staff officer responsible for PSYOP. The PSYOP officer advises the military police commander on the psychological impact of military police or MI actions to prevent misunderstandings and disturbances by detainees and DCs. The supporting I/R PSYOP team has two missions that reduce the need to divert military police assets to maintain security in the I/R facility. The team—
Assists the military police force in controlling detainees and DCs.
Introduces detainees or DCs to U.S. and multinational policy.
Develops PSYOP products that are designed to pacify and acclimate detainees or DCs to accept U.S. I/R facility authority and regulations.
Gains the cooperation of detainees or DCs to reduce the number of guards needed.
Identifies malcontents, trained agitators, and political leaders within the facility who may try to organize resistance or create disturbances.
Develops and executes indoctrination programs to reduce or remove antagonistic attitudes.
Identifies political activists.
Provides loudspeaker support (such as administrative announcements and facility instructions when necessary).
Helps the military police commander control detainee and DC populations during emergencies.
Plans and executes a PSYOP
In other words, if and when the time comes to "override" Posse Comitatus, random US citizens may have two options: i) end up in the US version of a Gulag or, worse, ii) be shot.
If you've been watching what's going on in Ferguson, Missouri, lately, you're quite well aware that the police have been basically spraying tear gas almost everywhere they can. Suddenly, articles are springing up all over the internet about the use of tear gas -- which, it turns out is technically banned for use in warfare as a chemical weapon. The history of how that came about, however, is a bit complicated, as this State Department notice on tear gas discusses. Basically, there was a dispute over whether or not tear gas violated the Geneva Conventions. Here's a snippet:
In 1966 the Communist countries strongly criticized the United States for using tear gas and chemical herbicides in Vietnam. In the General Assembly, Hungary charged that the use in war of these agents was prohibited by the Geneva Protocol and other provisions of international law. The United States denied that the protocol applied to nontoxic gases or chemical herbicides. Joined by Canada, Italy, and the United Kingdom, the United States introduced amendments to a Hungarian resolution that would have made the use of any chemical and bacteriological weapons an international crime. In its final form the resolution called for "strict observance by all states of the principles and objectives" of the protocol, condemned "all actions contrary to those objectives," and invited all states to accede to the protocol. During the debate the U.S. Representa-tive stated that it would be up to each country to decide whether or how to adhere to the protocol, "in the light of constitutional and other consider-ations."
Interpretation of the protocol remained a thorny problem. In his foreword to a U.N. report on chemical and biological weapons (July 1, 1969), Secretary General Thant recommended a renewed appeal for accession to the protocol and a "clear affirmation" that it covered the use in war of all chemical and biological weapons, including tear gas and other harassing agents. Discussion in the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (CCD) showed that most members agreed with the Thant recommendations. Swedish Ambassador Myrdal, a strong advocate of the broad interpretation, stressed the danger of escalation if nonlethal chemical agents were permitted. She also pointed out that the military use of tear gases should be distinguished from their use for riot control and that there was a similar difference between using herbicides in war and employing them for peaceful purposes. On the other hand, U.K. Disarmament Minister Mulley held that only the parties to the protocol were entitled to say what it meant.
Years later, there was a push to officially renounce the use of chemical weapons in war, which became the chemical weapons treaty... but it included exceptions for domestic use. Those exceptions were mainly pushed by the US:
The 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention doesn't apply to domestic law enforcement. (The United States was a major proponent of the exemption, fearing that the convention might be interpreted to prohibit lethal injection.)
“We criticize dictators for quelling dissent and silencing protestors with tactics like curfews, we’ll certainly speak out when it’s happening in our own backyard. The people of Ferguson have the right to protest peacefully the lack of accountability for Michael Brown’s shooting.”
- Amnesty International USA’s executive director, Steven W. Hawkins
I’m sure most of you have heard by now of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s decision to deploy the National Guard to the unrest in Ferguson, but what you may not have heard is that human rights organization Amnesty International is also on the ground. In fact, it has been there for several days now and is quite disturbed by what is happening.
Specifically, Amnesty International USA announced on August 14, that it had sent a 12-person human rights delegation to Ferguson. Yet while the organization has been there for several days, it wasn’t until last night that I started seeing considerable media coverage on the subject. Buzzfeed went so far as to say that some of the resources deployed have never before been used in the United States:
WASHINGTON — Amnesty International has taken “unprecedented” action to deal with the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, by sending resources the human rights group has never before deployed inside the United States.
The organization has been on the ground in Ferguson since Thursday. It sent a 13-person human rights delegation to the city in the wake of the Aug. 9 police shooting death of Michael Brown.
Jasmine Heiss, a senior campaigner with Amnesty and part of the team in Ferguson, said the use of the “cross-functional team” — which she said included community trainers, researchers, and human rights observers — was “unprecedented” within the U.S. for the group.
On Saturday, after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and put a curfew in place in Ferguson, Amnesty International USA’s executive director, Steven W. Hawkins, issued a scathing statement.
“We criticize dictators for quelling dissent and silencing protestors with tactics like curfews, we’ll certainly speak out when it’s happening in our own backyard,” he said. “The people of Ferguson have the right to protest peacefully the lack of accountability for Michael Brown’s shooting.”
Law enforcement agencies are turning to the Department of Defense, more and more, for their tactical policing needs, requesting such items as Mine Resistant Ambush Protection (MRAP) vehicles, surplus Humvees, rifles, and other assorted military-grade hardware. While some can be used in special operations, such as protecting officers from active shooters, or gaining entry into heavily fortified buildings, the sheer audacity of one Oklahoma Sheriff goes far beyond this.
Sheriff Randall Edwards, of the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office, located on the western edge of Oklahoma City, has failed miserably in his attempt to soften the image of these war machines by stenciling, “Protecting Your Constitutional Rights“, on the sides of his new MRAP and Humvee.
How does a 50,000 lb. vehicle, capable of shielding occupants from rocket propelled grenades and AK-47 fire, protect American Rights?
Does this vehicle serve to protect protesters exercising their First Amendment right? Will the Sheriff deploy this armored beast to aide in citizens wishing to vote, or perhaps, to shelter his fellow Oklahomans who decide to use their Second Amendment right? I’ll bet that Sheriff West had some grand ideas of using this war machine in order to prevent soldiers from being quartered in peoples’ homes or to resist any future attempts at alcohol prohibition.