Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Myth of Posse Comitatus?

Since I have been hearing a lot about Posse Comitatus in the last few weeks, I figured I should research the law. I haven't completed my research, but I did find the position as referenced on homelandsecurity.org. Its position is that the use of the military on the streets of America DOES NOT VIOLATE Posse Comitatus. At this point, I DO NOT AGREE with that position, but perhaps my position will change after further research. I do not recall any court ruling on the issue, so only time will tell.
The Posse Comitatus Act has traditionally been viewed as a major barrier to the use of U.S. military forces in planning for homeland defense.[1] In fact, many in uniform believe that the act precludes the use of U.S. military assets in domestic security operations in any but the most extraordinary situations. As is often the case, reality bears little resemblance to the myth for homeland defense planners. Through a gradual erosion of the act’s prohibitions over the past 20 years, posse comitatus today is more of a procedural formality than an actual impediment to the use of U.S. military forces in homeland defense.

Click here for the rest of the article.

UPDATE written by the author of the above article -- "Resurrecting Posse Comitatus in the Post-9/11 World"

Additional blog posts on Posse Comitatus by clicking on this sentence.

1 comment:

Craig Trebilcock said...

A more recent article by the author, criticizing the trend toward using federal military troops in domestic situations since 9/11 has been published in the May 2009 edition of ARMY magazine at http://www.ausa.org/publications/armymagazine/armyarchive/may2009/Pages/ResurrectingPosseComitatusinthePost-911World.aspx