Memo outlines Obama’s plan to use the military against citizens

A memo from the Pentagon 2010 directions on military support to civilian authorities present what Obama opponents regard to be a decision to use the administration’s potential use of military force against Americans.

This is reported by Bill Gertz in the Washington times, May 28, who presents the story here.
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A 2010 Pentagon directive on military support  to civilian authorities details what critics say is a troubling policy that  envisions the Obama administration’s  potential use of military force against Americans.

President Barack Obama salutes military service  members while watching the inaugural parade from the reviewing stand on  Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2013. (Official White House  Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama salutes military service members while watching the inaugural parade from the reviewing stand on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)<br /><br /><br /><br />

The directive contains noncontroversial provisions on support to civilian  fire and emergencPresident Barack Obama salutes military service  members while watching the inaugural parade from the reviewing stand on  Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2013. (Official White House  Photo by Pete Souza)
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The troubling aspect of the directive outlines presidential authority for the  use of military arms and forces, including unarmed drones, in operations against  domestic unrest.

“This appears to be the latest step in the administration’s decision to use force within  the United States against its citizens,” said a defense official opposed to the  directive.

Directive No. 3025.18, “Defense Support of Civil Authorities,” was issued  Dec. 29, 2010, and states that U.S. commanders “are provided emergency authority  under this directive.”

“Federal military forces shall not be used to quell civil disturbances unless  specifically authorized by the president in accordance with applicable law or  permitted under emergency authority,” the directive states.

“In these circumstances, those 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” under two conditions.

The conditions include military support needed “to prevent significant loss  of life or wanton destruction of property and are necessary to restore  governmental function and public order.” A second use is when federal, state and  local authorities “are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for  federal property or federal governmental functions.”

“Federal action, including the use of federal military forces, is authorized  when necessary to protect the federal property or functions,” the directive  states.

Military assistance can include loans of arms, ammunition, vessels and  aircraft. The directive states clearly that it is for engaging civilians during  times of unrest.

A U.S. official said the Obama  administration considered but rejected deploying military force under the  directive during the recent standoff with Nevada rancher Cliven  Bundy and his armed supporters.

Mr. Bundy is engaged in a legal battle  with the federal Bureau of Land Management over unpaid grazing fees. Along with  a group of protesters, Mr. Bundy in April  confronted federal and local authorities in a standoff that ended when the  authorities backed down.

The Pentagon directive authorizes the  secretary of defense to approve the use of unarmed drones in domestic unrest.  But it bans the use of missile-firing unmanned aircraft.

“Use of armed [unmanned aircraft systems] is not authorized,” the directive  says.

The directive was signed by then-Deputy Defense Secretary William J.  Lynn. A copy can be found on the Pentagon website:  http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/302518p.pdf.

Defense analysts say there has been a buildup of military units within  non-security-related federal agencies, notably the creation of Special Weapons  and Tactics (SWAT) teams. The buildup has raised questions about whether the Obama administration is undermining civil  liberties under the guise of counterterrorism and counternarcotics efforts.

Other agencies with SWAT teams reportedly include the Department of  Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the  Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S.  Fish and Wildlife Service and the Education Department.

The militarization of federal agencies, under little-known statues that  permit deputization of security officials, comes as the White House has launched  verbal attacks on private citizens’ ownership of firearms despite the fact that  most gun owners are law-abiding citizens.

A White House National Security Council spokeswoman declined to comment.

President Obama stated at the National Defense University a  year ago: “I do not believe it would be constitutional for the government to  target and kill any U.S. citizen — with a drone or with a shotgun — without due  process, nor should any president deploy armed drones over U.S. soil.”

A Pentagon official who defended the  directive said it was signed in  December 2010 after four years of thorough  consultations within the  Pentagon and with  other federal agencies  The 2010 directive replaced several previously published  directives in  1980, 1991, and 1993.  The last time military forces were used to  quell civil unrest was 1906  following the San Francisco earthquake to protect  the federal mint and  restore order in the city.

The official said: “I suppose that in a very  extreme case, one can  imagine  a combination of natural and man-made  disasters that result in  the cascading  failure of communication  infrastructure, or some  electro-magnetic pulse that  shuts down all  electronic communication.”

“In the event that it should happen in  today’s day and age, we would  want  our senior military leaders in the  field to do all they can to  assist their  fellow Americans to prevent significant loss of life or malicious destruction of  property and to protect federal property or federal governmental functions,” the  official said.

HOUSE HITS ONA DOWNGRADE

The House defense authorization bill passed last week calls for adding $10  million to the Pentagon’s future warfare think  tank and for codifying the Office of Net Assessment (ONA) as a semi-independent  unit.

The provision is being called the Andrew Marshall amendment  after the ONA’s longtime director and reflects congressional support for the  92-year-old manager and his staying power through numerous administrations,  Republican and Democratic.

Mr. Marshall’s opponents within the Pentagon  and the Obama administration persuaded  Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this year to downgrade the ONA by  cutting its budget and placing it under the control of the undersecretary of  defense for policy. The ONA currently is a separate entity within the Office of  the Secretary of Defense.

Members of the House Committee on Armed Services objected and added the $10  million to the administration’s $8.9 million  request, along with a legal provision that would codify ONA’s current status as  separate from the policy undersecretary shop.

The committee was concerned Mr. Hagel’s downgrade would “limit the ability  and flexibility of ONA to conduct long-range comparative assessments,” the  report on the authorization bill states.

“The office has a long history of providing alternative analyses and  strategies that challenge the ‘group think’ that can often pervade the  Department of Defense,” the report says, noting an increasing demand for  unconventional thinking about space warfare capabilities by China and  Russia.

In addition to adding funds, the bill language requires the ONA to study  alternative U.S. defense and deterrence strategies related to the space warfare  programs of both countries.

China is developing advanced missiles capable of shooting down satellites in  low and high earth orbits. It also is building lasers and electronic jammers to  disrupt satellites, a key U.S. strategic military advantage. Russia is said to  be working on anti-satellite missiles and other space weapons.

“The committee believes the office must remain an independent organization  within the department, reporting directly to the secretary,” the report  said.

Mr. Marshall, sometimes referred to as the Pentagon’s “Yoda,” after the Star Wars character,  has come under fire from opponents in the administration, who say he is too independent  and not aligned with the administration’s  soft-line defense policies.

The ONA is known for its extensive use of contractors and lack of producing  specific overall net assessments of future warfare challenges, as required by  the office’s charter.

One example of the ONA’s unconventional thinking was the recent contractor  report “China: The Three Warfares,” which revealed Beijing’s extensive use of  political warfare against the United States, including psychological warfare,  media warfare and legal warfare.

“‘The Three Warfares’ is a dynamic, three-dimensional, war-fighting process  that constitutes war by other means,” the report says.

A Pentagon spokesman had no immediate  comment.

NO DENNIS RODMAN DEFENSE

Navy Adm. James A. “Sandy” Winnefeld, Vice Chairman of the  Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday that the Pentagon is deploying more and higher-quality  missile defenses to counter potential nuclear attacks from North Korea and  Iran.

“This is about ensuring we can deny the objectives of any insecure  authoritarian state that believes acquisition of deliverable weapons of mass  destruction is key to the preservation of its regime,” Adm. Winnefeld said in a  speech to the Atlantic Council. “The number of states trying to achieve that  capability is growing, not shrinking, with our principal current concern being  North Korea, because they are closest in terms of capability, followed by  Iran.”

He added that missile defenses are needed “because we’re not betting on Dennis Rodman as our deterrent against a future North Korean  ICBM threat.”

He was referring to the heavily tattooed and pierced former NBA star, who has  traveled to North Korea as a guest of leader Kim Jong-un. Mr.  Rodman calls the dictator his “friend.”

“A robust and capable missile defense is our best bet to defend the United  States from such an attack and is, in my view, our No. 1 missile defense  priority,” Adm. Winnefeld said.

North Korea is continuing to develop long-range missiles and nuclear weapons.  It recently threatened to conduct a fourth nuclear test, and analysts say signs  from the closed communist state suggest the North Koreans may test a missile  warhead.

Bill Gertz
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