Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Trump To Send National Guard To Border

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

Trump:

“The situation at the border has now reached a point of crisis,” Trump said in the memorandum. “The lawlessness that continues at our southern border is fundamentally incompatible with the safety, security, and sovereignty of the American people. My administration has no choice but to act.”

The president said that the nation’s security was under threat from “drastic illegal activity,” including drug smuggling. He also cited the threat of gangs, included MS-13. “The anticipated rapid rise in illegal crossings as we head into the spring and summer months threatens to overwhelm our Nation’s law enforcement capacities,” Trump wrote.

The memorandum did not say how many National Guard troops would be sent to the border or for how long. Trump said he was directing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, in coordination with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to come up with “an action plan” within 30 days.

Uh huh.  This has been done before.

Unfortunately, I must report that “Armed does not always mean “armed” as most Americans would understand. There are various states of being “armed.” These are called “Arming Orders (AO)” which define where the weapon “is,” where the magazine “is,” where the bullets “are” and where the bayonet “is.” They start at Arming Order One which could best be described as a “show of force” or “window dressing” in the worse case.

After considerable searching, I was able to find a complete copy of the Memorundum of Understanding/Rules of Engagement pertaining to the National Guard Deployment (“Operation Jump Start”), which I could then review.

After reviewing the MOU/ROE, I contacted several senior “in the loop” National Guard Officers that I have previously served with, to determine how many soldiers would be “armed” and their Arming Order number. After confirming The El Paso Times article that “very few soldiers there would carry weapons,” I was advised that during the next 90 days, amongst the few soldiers that have weapons, no soldier will have an Arming Order greater than AO-1, which means that an M-16 will be on the shoulder, there will be no magazine in the weapon (thats where the bullets come from), and the magazines stored inside the “ammunition pouch” will in most cases have no ammunition, they will be empty.

It was also conveyed to myself that in the unlikely event that a soldier is ever harmed on the border, the Arming Order will not be raised. Every individual I spoke to envisions no circumstance where there will ever be soldiers at AO-3/4, where a magazine with ammunition would be immediately available. Instead the soldiers will simply be kept farther away from the border if needed. They will be deliberately kept out of harms way.

I know you are thinking (maybe screaming), “but Why?” The easy public relations answer is that a soldier could kill someone. The National Guard is going to ensure that there is not a repeat of the incident in which Esequiel Hernández was killed by a US Marine along the Border.

There are also numerous regulations pertaining to weapons. There is a requirement that a soldier must qualify with his weapon on an annual basis. Reasonably, you must be “qualified” with your weapon before you may carry a weapon. However, ranges for weapons qualification are extremely limited. National Guard soldiers normally perform their once a year required qualification when they go to Annual Training at Ft. Stewart, Ft. McCoy…… This year they are going to “the border” and unless there is a “regulation M-16 qualification range” down the road, they will not be able to get qualified. There is also the question of weapon storage and how do you prevent theft.

In order to deploy to the border as a military force under the current legal constraints, the following must be done: [a] the troops must be trained, [b] the military lawyers must craft and publish RUF/ROE (rules for the use of force, rules of engagement), [c] the troops must be trained on that RUF/ROE, [d] the troops must go through rifle qualifications while NCO and above also go through pistol qualifications again, and finally and most important, [e] arming orders will have to be issued.

It’s not going to happen.  They will sit at the border and push meaningless paperwork like they did the last time NG troops deployed to the border.

Request For Arming Orders For Louisiana National Guard During Katrina, Part II

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 10 months ago

Recall that I requested arming orders for the Louisiana National Guard during Katrina in July of this year.  This would aid in studying just who ordered the Guard to be armed, what their mission was, and why they confiscated firearms from the public.

On July 22, I received this note from the Louisiana National Guard.

Dear Mr. Smith:

The attached letter is to acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information Act request dated July 20, 2014 requesting records of arming orders for the Louisiana National Guard during the response to Hurricane Katrina.  This request has been assigned the case number FA-14-0006.

We will make every effort to provide the responsive records as soon as possible.  All communications concerning this request should be identified with the above reference number and addressed to the address shown above.

If you have any questions regarding your request, please contact the undersigned at (___) ___-____, fax (___) ___-____, or via email at mackenzie.g.eady.mil@mail.mil.

Mackenzie G. Eady
Administrative Services Division
(Office) redacted …
(Mobile) redacted …
(Fax) redacted …

To date I have heard nothing from the Louisiana National Guard.

Request For Arming Orders For Louisiana National Guard During Katrina

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 1 month ago

As I’ve pointed out before concerning deployment of the National Guard to the Southern U.S. border, there is a huge difference between deployed and deployed and under arming orders.  We’ve all seen the videos and read the reports of forcible gun confiscation by the Louisiana National Guard in the aftermath of Katrina.

In an age where no Governor or President has the courage to deploy the National Guard under arming orders to the Southern Border, it’s important to understand how the confiscation of guns occurred in Louisiana.  If the National Guard was actually under arming orders, it marks a significant point in American history.  No National Guard unit has ever deployed to the Southern border to stop the flood of illegal immigrants, but they will go armed against their own countrymen in order to confiscate personal property.

It’s important to know if they were armed (rounds in magazines and chambered, with orders to shoot and under very specific rules for the use of force), and if so, who signed the arming orders and under what pretext it was done.  Additional questions might include under whose authority did they operate, to whom did they directly report, and who issued the order to confiscate weapons?  In fact, the last question may very well be the most important one.

To this end I have begun a request for this information with the Louisiana National Guard, but as of this writing my e-mails have been bounced by the e-mail servers and summarily ignored by the recipients (when not bounced).  Not even the FOIA e-mail functions properly.  I have sent the following e-mails to the LNG and state officials.

June 23, 2014:to:         webmaster@geauxguard.com
date:         Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:02 PM
subject:    Contact Concerning Arming Orders

Sir,

I see no other way on your web site to contact command of Louisiana National Guard concerning my questions, so I am reaching out to you to forward this note to your superiors.  This is the first of several questions I have concerning Lousiana National Guard actions during Katrina, but we may as well start with the first one.  I would like to have a traceable paper trail for all of my communications, and if necessary I will fill out the requisite paperwork for FOI request.  Let’s hope that it doesn’t come to that.

My first question concerns whether LNG soldiers were armed (with rounds in magazines and/or chambered) during your response to Katrina.  I would like a PDF copy of your arming orders for this if so.  Your CO will know what I refer to when I say “arming orders.”

Thank you,

Herschel Smith
http://www.captainsjournal.com/

On June 26 and 27 I forwarded the note to the same e-mail address.  Having then located the FOIA e-mail address, I then sent this note on June 28.

to:         LA.FOIA.PA@ng.army.mil
date:         Sat, Jun 28, 2014 at 1:13 AM
subject:     Fwd: Contact Concerning Arming Orders

To whom it may concern,

Please see the note below concerning my request for historical documentation viz. arming orders for the LNG actions during hurricane Katrina.  Let me know if there is other paperwork you would like for me to fill out.  If I am not mistaken this should be fairly easy documentation to produce and thus not very costly to the LNG.

This e-mail bounced until July 1.  On July 8 I sent the following note to a LNG PAO.

to:     denis.ricou@us.army.mil
date:     Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 12:08 AMAs you can see below, my FOIA request is being bounced by your servers for some reason, and ignored by your webmaster for some other reason.  Please forward my request to the appropriate person for resolution.

I forwarded the same note on July 15.  Only July 18 I sent the following note.

to:     Public.Request2@la.gov, denis.ricou@us.army.mil
date:     Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Please see below the request for information concerning arming orders for the LNG during Katrina.  As you can see, my request(s) have been summarily ignored thus far.  I will also be sending a note directly to the governor.

I followed this up with an e-mail to the governor’s office, as follows.

I have sent multiple requests both the the PAO and the FOIA officer at the Louisiana National Guard for information concerning arming orders during Katrina.  Thus far my request(s) have been summarily ignored, if I am not mistaken contrary to the stipulations of federal law.  Please ensure that your NG officers meet my reasonable requests for information.

Herschel Smith, Editor
www.captainsjournal.com

In the interest of openness I am informing my readers as to the difficulty of this project, but I’m not surprised given the subject matter.

Rapid Reaction Force And Arming Orders

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 3 months ago

WRSA has a link on a recent North Carolina National Guard rapid reaction force training exercise.  This is par for the course concerning the use of military to police American citizens, and the theoretical underpinnings were started a while back.  It isn’t to be taken lightly.

But I think there is a little more than meets the eye here.  Let me remind you of what we discussed concerning N.G. troops on the Southern border.  From one in-line commander, there was this.

Unfortunately, I must report that “Armed does not always mean “armed” as most Americans would understand. There are various states of being “armed.” These are called “Arming Orders (AO)” which define where the weapon “is,” where the magazine “is,” where the bullets “are” and where the bayonet “is.” They start at Arming Order One which could best be described as a “show of force” or “window dressing” in the worse case.

After considerable searching, I was able to find a complete copy of the Memorundum of Understanding/Rules of Engagement pertaining to the National Guard Deployment (“Operation Jump Start”), which I could then review.

After reviewing the MOU/ROE, I contacted several senior “in the loop” National Guard Officers that I have previously served with, to determine how many soldiers would be “armed” and their Arming Order number. After confirming The El Paso Times article that “very few soldiers there would carry weapons,” I was advised that during the next 90 days, amongst the few soldiers that have weapons, no soldier will have an Arming Order greater than AO-1, which means that an M-16 will be on the shoulder, there will be no magazine in the weapon (thats where the bullets come from), and the magazines stored inside the “ammunition pouch” will in most cases have no ammunition, they will be empty.

It was also conveyed to myself that in the unlikely event that a soldier is ever harmed on the border, the Arming Order will not be raised. Every individual I spoke to envisions no circumstance where there will ever be soldiers at AO-3/4, where a magazine with ammunition would be immediately available. Instead the soldiers will simply be kept farther away from the border if needed. They will be deliberately kept out of harms way.

So the question in a case of deployment like this would be, “Are they under arming orders?”  The most likely answer is no, although it would be interesting to see the actual arming orders for the N.G. during Katrina in New Orleans (not rumor, not innuendo, but a PDF of the actual arming orders).  In the mean time, there are more pressing matters.

… in recent years, military servicemen and women — many of whom are decorated — have found themselves increasingly targeted for surveillance, censorship, threatened with incarceration or involuntary commitment, labeled as extremists and/or mentally ill, and stripped of their Second Amendment rights, all for daring to voice their concerns about the alarming state of our union and the erosion of our freedoms.

For example, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program dubbed Operation Vigilant Eagle tracks military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and characterizes them as extremists and potential domestic terrorist threats because they may be “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war.”

For example, Jose Guerena, a Marine who served in two tours in Iraq, was killed in 2011 after an Arizona SWAT team kicked open the door of his home during a mistaken drug raid and opened fire. Apart from his military background, Guerena had no prior criminal record, and the police found nothing illegal in his home. [Editorial Note: My link on Guerena is here].

John Edward Chesney, a 62-year-old Vietnam veteran, was killed by a SWAT team allegedly responding to a call that the Army veteran was standing in his apartment window waving what looked like a semi-automatic rifle. SWAT officers fired 12 rounds into Chesney’s apartment window. It turned out that the gun Chesney reportedly pointed was a “realistic-looking mock assault rifle.”

Ramon Hooks, a 25-year-old Iraq war veteran, was using an air rifle gun for target practice outside when a Homeland Security Agent, allegedly house shopping in the area, reported him as an active shooter. Hooks was arrested, his air rifle pellets and toy gun confiscated, and charges filed against him for “criminal mischief.”

Although no toy guns were involved in Brandon Raub’s case, his fact scenario is even more chilling, given that he was targeted for exercising his First Amendment rights on Facebook. The 26-year-old decorated Marine actually found himself interrogated by government agents about his views on government corruption, arrested with no warning, labeled mentally ill for subscribing to so-called “conspiratorial” views about the government, detained against his will in a psych ward for standing by his views, and isolated from his family, friends and attorneys.

On August 16, 2012, a swarm of local police, Secret Service and FBI agents handcuffed and transported Raub to police headquarters, then to a medical center, where he was held against his will due to alleged concerns that his Facebook posts were “terrorist in nature.” Meanwhile, in a kangaroo court hearing that turned a deaf ear to Raub’s explanations about the fact that his Facebook posts were being read out of context, Raub was sentenced to up to 30 days’ further confinement in a psychiatric ward. Thankfully, The Rutherford Institute came to Raub’s assistance and brought about his release. Even so, within days of Raub being seized and forcibly held in a VA psych ward, news reports started surfacing of other veterans having similar experiences.

A federal judge actually dismissed Raub’s lawsuit challenging the government’s Operation Vigilant Eagle campaign and its increasing view of veterans as potential domestic terrorists as “farfetched.” Yet what may sound farfetched to the courts is a grim reality to Americans who are daily being targeted for daring to exercise their constitutional rights to speak their minds, criticize the government and defend themselves and their families against overreaching government surveillance and heavy-handed police tactics.

This is even more dangerous partly because the judicial system sides comprehensively, completely, absolutely and without reserve with the police and all of their chosen tactics.  Before it’s time to worry over the N.G. or regular troops – many or most of whom likely won’t turn on American citizens anyway – let’s remember the daily and growing threat of the police.

Remember what Kurt Hofmann and I have been saying.  The easiest, fastest workaround to Posse Comitatus is the militarization of the police.


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