LA Times: One sheriff's deputy shot himself in the leg while pulling out his gun to confront a suspect. Another accidentally fired a bullet in a restroom stall. A third deputy stumbled over a stroller in a closet as he was searching for a suspect, squeezing off a round that went through a wall and lodged in a piece of furniture in the next room. Accidental gunshots by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies have more than doubled in two years, endangering bystanders and occasionally [read more]
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.