“A Vision Of The Future”: Military Magazine Details Plan For Putting Down Domestic Uprising

Civil libertarians have been concerned for years with the move toward greater use of the military in domestic operations by both President George W. Bush and now by President Barack Obama. The military continues to shift resources for prepare for large-scale domestic operations. Most recently, the Marines moved to create a battalion to allow the military to “be capable of helping control civil disturbances, handling detainees, carrying out forensic work, and using biometrics to identify suspects.” Now the Small Wars Journal, a respected publication closely followed in the U.S. military, has published an article entitled “Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A ‘Vision’ of the Future” by retired Army Col. Kevin Benson of the Army’s University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and Jennifer Weber, a Civil War expert at the University of Kansas. It lays out not just the military but the legal basis for military operations to crush domestic insurrections in the United States.

The authors write how the military must be prepared to act against citizens when they received orders regarding domestic threats to the government. What is troubling is the lack of balance in the article and the general assumption of legality in the full spectrum of such operations. What is clear is that, again, Congress is allowing for such preparations without any serious discussion or review. The assumption of legality will soon become the acceptance of legality in domestic use of military forces.

The article lays out how the existing policies regarding “full spectrum” operations require the military to prepare for internal campaigns against our own citizens: “full spectrum operations in the coming two decades (US Army Training and Doctrine Command, The Army Operating Concept 2016 – 2028, TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-1, dated 19 August 2010, p. iii. Hereafter cited as TD Pam 525-3-1. The Army defines full spectrum operations as the combination of offensive, defensive, and either stability operations overseas or civil support operations on U.S. soil).”

The underlying scenarios are set for as soon as 2016 if the economy does not improve and unrest grows. Focusing on a town called Darlington, the article explores an order to “Fix Darlington, but don’t destroy it!” The authors write “We cannot discount the agility of an external threat, the evolution of Al Qaeda for example, and its ability to take advantage of a ‘Darlington event’ within U.S. borders.”

The authors write “once it is put into play, Americans will expect the military to execute without pause and as professionally as if it were acting overseas.” The article takes on a chilling tone, telling its many military personnel readers that “the Army cannot disappoint the American people, especially in such a moment.”

The authors spend comparatively little time considering the constitutional and legal barriers to the operations. They details how “Federal forces continue to tighten the noose as troops seize and secure power and water stations, radio and TV stations, and hospitals.” Yet, legal limitations are treated as largely irrelevant.

I have no problem with provocative articles exploring scenarios. This are issues that we should be discussing. However, the tenor and one-sided analysis of the piece is rather chilling. What is even more chilling is the lack of national debate as the Obama Administration continues the expansion of the military into domestic law enforcement and operations. It is indeed a “vision for the future” — the question is whether this is the vision that most citizens have for their government and themselves.

Source: Wasington Times

147 thoughts on ““A Vision Of The Future”: Military Magazine Details Plan For Putting Down Domestic Uprising”

  1. Gilded age again? Go ahead and elect Romney and Ryan. It will be a disaster. George W. already did massive damage. Maybe they can elect another bug exterminator from Texas as well. Then he can try out on Dancing With The Stars.

  2. Mike Appleton-

    In 1867, Karl Marx had a pretty good handle on what’s happening to working people in today’s America. I think he saw things a bit more clearly than Adam Smith.

  3. Malisha,

    Already been to court. Already took the battery out of my cell phone. Only got arrested once, and they let me go after four hours.

    Wasn’t that serious.

  4. Matt J: Right, but then when you do need to communicate, you’re on radar. And we’re all saying yes, we know, we know. And if we were ever to REALLY object to this, there’s always the court, and failing that (by the numbers), the military.

  5. Take the batteries out of your cell phones when you aren’t using them.

  6. Dredd’s reference early on in this thread to Ayn Rand, and Gene’s comments on corporate fascism are quite appropriate. Objectivism is the designer drug of choice for economic oligarchs. As conservatives continue to eliminate the balance of power between labor and capital, economic (and therefore political) inequality will continue to widen. History tells us that this eventually leads to civil unrest, and the mobilization of military power to protect the “productive” class from the predations of society’s “parasites.” That is why so-called third-world countries exist in almost continual states of revolution.

    In his book “A People’s History of the United States,” Howard Zinn observed, “Capitalism has always been a failure for the lower classes. It is now beginning to fail for the middle classes.” He is correct. And the corporate interests that increasingly control the political process may ultimately require resort to military power to protect their prerogatives.

  7. Let’s not forget the $385M contract that Kellog Brown and Root (KBR) was awarded in 2006 for building detention centers for:

    “establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs.”

    From KBR’s 2006 press release found here.

    And here is some discussion of this from Project Censored, circa 2006.

  8. Lotta,

    That is your definition of terrorist. The list of deeds

    Fine, then I feel secure except for the risk of being robbed or struck by lightning.

    One self-proclaied AQAP “member”. No other ones other than the usual loonies. No grand schemes nor conspiracies, nor groups etc produced after 11 years of constatated USA terrorism on its own citizens.
    I regard TSA and the many other misconducts reported here as true terrorism.

    The record of what our government and its agencies have done to us during these years are well documented.
    The “you are probably guilty or at least suspect and can now be executed without etc.” laws, decrees, declarations are all forms of state terrorism on its citizens.

    The state of terror is one experienced and expressed by folks I know well there. As presumably you all do or know well of the widespread fears.

    By the nature of proof I can NOT prove all this taking away of our rights or the surveillance known or possible to achieve, is in fact NOT necessary.

    But I feel, as do many, that this is not good nor well-intended in re democracy.

    This is in way of explaining my position rather than rebutting yours, except as to the numbers of true terrorist deeds. We have not had any since 9/11 is my contention.

  9. Paul O’Reilly: “The recent Small Wars Journal article referred to by Professor Turley in this blog posits a hypothetical military intervention to quell an insurgency initiated by tea party activists — “right wing,” “extremists,” “insurrectionists” — all of whom are lumped together with militias and organizations that are considered “racist” and “anti-immigration.
    ,,,, And it appears that it also has the left up in arms, based on the responses to this blog post, even though the good Professor did not state in his post that the target in this hypothetical consists of right-wing tea party insurrectionists.”

    I can’t imagine it mattering to civil libertarians. I’m not a fan of any of the groups you mentioned as above, but the thought that U.S. troop would be used to fight or round up civilians is repugnant in a country that values the civilian form of government and civilian sovereignty. It’s done and legal to do under most circumstances to maintain order, the National guard is called out in riots and, as stated above, Kent State speaks for itself.

    I’m glad you noticed but I’m surprised you thought the left, or at least the people you pegged as left-wingers on this blawg, would want the military rounding up the right-wingers.

  10. ID707: Depends on how you define terrorists. Any terrorist attack is signifigent if you’re the one being attacked, wounded, killed: This list doesn’t include the attacks/vandalism on various candidate HQ’s, the burning crosses that still crop up and the ubiquitous vandalism at womens’a health clinics, Iconsider this a partial list and lifted it from Wikipedia. There ia another list as long of failed attacks.

    May 2002 Mailbox Pipe Bomber: Lucas John Helder rigged pipe bombs in private mailboxes to explode when the boxes were opened. He injured 6 people in Nebraska, Colorado, Texas, Illinois, and Iowa. His motivation was to garner media attention so that he could spread a message denouncing government control over daily lives and the illegality of marijuana, as well as promote astral projection.

    2002 July 4: 2002 Los Angeles Airport shooting Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, a 41-year-old Egyptian national, kills two Israelis and wounds four others at the El Al ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport.[39] The FBI concluded this was terrorism, though they did not find evidence linking Hadayet to a terrorist group.[40]

    October 2002 Beltway sniper attacks: During three weeks in October 2002, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo killed 10 people and critically injured 3 others in Washington D.C, Baltimore, and Virginia. The pair were also suspected of earlier shootings in Maryland, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, and Washington state.[41] No motivation was given at the trial, but evidence presented showed an affinity to the cause of the Islamic jihad.

    2006 March 5: Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar injured 6 when he drove an SUV into a group of pedestrians at UNC-Chapel Hill to “avenge the deaths or murders of Muslims around the world”.[42]

    2006 July 28: Seattle Jewish Federation shooting, Naveed Afzal Haq, an American citizen of Pakistani descent, kills one woman and shoots five others at the Jewish Federation building in Seattle. During the shooting, Haq told a 911 dispatcher that he was angry with American foreign policy in the Middle East.[43]

    2007 October 26: A pair of improvised explosive devices were thrown at the Mexican Consulate in New York City. The fake grenades were filled with black powder, and detonated by fuses, causing very minor damage. Police were investigating the connection between this and a similar attack against the British Consulate in New York in 2005.[44]

    2008 February: In the first reported incident of animal-rights extremists physically assaulting the family members of animal researchers, six masked activists attempted to force their way into the home of a University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher and injured the researcher’s husband.[45][46]

    2008 March 3: Four multimillion-dollar show homes place in Woodinville, Washington, are torched. The Earth Liberation Front is suspected.[47]

    2008 March 6: A homemade bomb damaged a Recruiting Office in Times Square[48]

    2008 May 4: Multiple pipe bombs exploded at 1:40 am at the Edward J. Schwartz United States Courthouse in San Diego causing “considerable damage” to the entrance and lobby and sending shrapnel two blocks away, but causing no injuries. The F.B.I. is investigating links between this attack and an April 25 explosion at the FedEx building also in San Diego.[49]

    2008 July 27: Knoxville Unitarian Universalist church shooting: Jim David Adkisson enters the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee with a shotgun, killing two and injuring several congregants before being tackled to the ground. Adkisson stated to the police and in a manifesto that he desired to kill Democrats, liberals, African Americans and homosexuals. Adkisson pled guilty to the crime in February 2009 and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.[50][51]

    2008 August 2, August 3 University of California-Santa Cruz molecular biologist David Feldheim’s home was firebombed. A car belonging to another researcher from that university was destroyed by a firebomb in what is presumed to be related. FBI is investigating incidents as domestic terrorism related to animal rights groups.[52][53]

    2009 April 8: According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, intruders left malware in power grids, water, and sewage systems that could be activated at a later date. While the attacks which have occurred over a period of time seem to have originated in China and Russia, it is unknown if they are state-sponsored.[54]

    2009 May 31: Assassination of George Tiller: Scott Roeder shoots and kills Dr. George Tiller in a Wichita, Kansas church. Roeder, an anti-abortion extremist who believes in justifiable homicide of abortion providers, was arrested soon afterward. Roeder was convicted of convicted of the crime and sentenced to 50 years in prison in 2010. Tiller, who performed late-term abortions, had long been a target of anti-abortion extremists; he his clinic was firebombed in 1986 and Tiller was shot and wounded five times in 1993 in a shooting attack by Shelley Shannon.[55][56]

    2009 May 25: 17-year old Kyle Shaw sets off a crude explosive device at a Starbucks at East 92nd Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, shattering windows and destroyed a bench at the coffee shop. There were no injuries. The attack was a “bizarre tribute” of the movie Fight Club, in an attempt to emulate “Project Mayhem”, a series of assaults on corporate America portrayed in the film. Shaw took a plea agreement and was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison in November 2010.[57][58]

    2009 June 1: Arkansas recruiting office shooting: Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot and killed one military recruiter and seriously wounded another at a Little Rock, Arkansas Army/Navy Career Center in an act of Islamic terrorism. Muhammad, a convert to Islam, had vised Yemen for 16 months, where he spent time in prison and became radicalized. Muhammad, said he was part of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and upset over U.S. killing of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.[59]

    2009 June 10: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting: 88-year-old James Wenneker von Brunn, a white supremacist and neo-Nazi, walked into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., shooting and mortally wounding Stephen Tyrone Johns, a security guard. Von Brunn was wounded when other museum guards immediately returned fire and on January 6, 2010, von Brunn died of natural causes at a hospital near where he was imprisoned awaiting trial.[60][61][62]

    February 18: 2010 Austin suicide attack: Joseph Stack deliberately flew a small Piper Dakota aircraft into a government building in Austin, Texas, killing himself and an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee in an attack aimed at the U.S. government.

    2010 September 1: Discovery Communications headquarters hostage crisis: James J. Lee, armed with two starter pistols and an explosive device, takes three people hostage in the lobby of the Discovery Communications headquarters in Discovery Channel in Silver Spring, Maryland before being killed by police. After nearly four hours, Lee was shot dead by police and all the hostages were freed without injury. Lee had earlier posted a manifesto railing against population growth and immigration.[63][64]

    2011 January 6: Three packages detonate in the mail rooms of two Maryland state government buildings, causing minor injuries to the fingers of two government workers.[65]

    2012 August 5 Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting 6 killed, 3 injured including a police offer who was tending to victims at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Wade Michael Page age 40 killed himself after being shot by police.[66] The shooting is being treated by authorities as an act of domestic terrorism.[67][68] While a motive has not been clearly defined Page had been active in white supremacist groups

  11. Have there been any real terrorist attacks of significance (other than psychological/propanganda value) since 2001? I think not.

    Reason? George didn’t need any “major events”. Just a little stuff to keep the volunteers excited in
    various places far from the homeland, and keep our fear level sufficiently high to assure passage of laws and of deeds (Katrina military cleanup) needed to confirm capability.

    Now studies are to be admired and honored after merit, and one supposes that they did not do them solely for the value in increasing their various emoluments, so they should be examined in detail and analysed, etc.

    But I feel it is effort misspent. Why? Because, as one here pointed out in a different context, you can never know what is in the mind of another.

    Well doubledown by a factor of X millions on that inability to know, due to a simple fact, the rulers of our country DON’T want you to know what, how, when, they are planning in form of contingency measures.

    My blanket dissing of studies is quite attackable on many grounds, so do please differ. I would be so happy to see some real value in studying them as a protection/defense of our “rights”.

    And special thanks to Matt and Malisha for their reports from reality.

  12. Malisha,

    I basically told the circuit court judge to pi** off. I was a bit more politically correct about it than that, but not much. Bailiff followed me out the door.

  13. “What free speech rights? I had a circuit court judge in Wisconsin who tried to order me not to send email messages to certain individuals. I asked the judge if he knows what the 1st Amendment is.”
    Matt J, I heard an exchange in the courtroom as follows:

    Pro se litigant: Your Honor I believe it is a violation of my First Amendment rights to tell me that I can’t speak about this to anybody.

    Judge: The First Amendment is Constitutional law; this is a state court, we don’t do constitutional law here.

  14. Both of these articles posit different hypothetical military interventions to illustrate the potential for the abuse by our government of our free speech rights and our civil liberties during the prevailing era of real threats to our security by real terrorists.
    What free speech rights? I had a circuit court judge in Wisconsin who tried to order me not to send email messages to certain individuals. I asked the judge if he knows what the 1st Amendment is. Do you want to talk about a slippery slope? They already think they can do whatever they want.

    I worked for the IRS. They can’t do anything except audit your tax return, but they still think you should be afraid of them.

  15. It is interesting to note that many people from the political “left” as well as the political “right” are up in arms over reports that military and civilian authorities in the U.S. Government have plans for our military to engage, if necessary, in “full spectrum” operations to include internal campaigns against those of our citizens who are regarded (by the government) as domestic threats to other citizens or to the government.

    But the differing political points of view of those who are upset about the role of the military to put down a domestic uprising reveals not only our political differences but also what we apparently share in common, at least to some extent, regarding the domestic use of our military not only to put down an insurrection with force of arms but also to gather “intelligence” on citizens who are merely engaged in political speech.

    The recent Small Wars Journal article referred to by Professor Turley in this blog posits a hypothetical military intervention to quell an insurgency initiated by tea party activists — “right wing,” “extremists,” “insurrectionists” — all of whom are lumped together with militias and organizations that are considered “racist” and “anti-immigration.” By contrast, those who oppose the tea party are referred to as “mainstream” in this magazine’s hypothetical uprising. This article, co-written by a retired U.S. Army Colonel and a civilian History Professor who is a Civil War expert, is a hypothetical scenario that has the right up in arms because it suggests that tea party activists are all insurrectionists. And it appears that it also has the left up in arms, based on the responses to this blog post, even though the good Professor did not state in his post that the target in this hypothetical consists of right-wing tea party insurrectionists.

    On the other hand, a recent article from the George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal posits a similar hypothetical military intervention, only this one is to put down an insurgency initiated by the Occupy movement and therefore it targets “left wing” anti-war activists and members of social justice organizations. Both of these articles posit different hypothetical military interventions to illustrate the potential for the abuse by our government of our free speech rights and our civil liberties during the prevailing era of real threats to our security by real terrorists.

    Of the two articles, the one from the George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal is superior in explaining that there are risks that the balance between our legitimate security concerns and our constitutional liberties have tipped too strongly in favor of the security concerns. The fear is that this could lead to unwarranted lose of our civil liberties, domestic spying, and perhaps even a real military intervention. But the concern is articulable and is based upon on shortcomings in existing (published) civilian executive orders and military doctrines, not on the run-away imaginings of conspiracy theorists from either the right or the left. I highly recommend actually reading the full Small Wars Journal article and more especially this latter article, to wit:

    Smith, McKay M. Smith, Occupy Wall Street and the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division: A Hypothetical Examination of the Slippery Slope of Military Intervention during Civil Disturbance (August 2, 2012). George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal (CRLJ), Vol. 22, No. 3, 2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2122857.

  16. So, Woody, is there some way to figure out how much the federal govt has spent on the infiltration project? How were the infiltrators screened and hired? How many reports did they make? Where is the result of their work?

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