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6/21/2017 8:25:40 PM
Posted: 6/26/2001 7:45:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/26/2001 8:42:28 PM EDT by critter_FR]
Title 18 US Code, PART I, Chapter 67, § 1385, The Posse Comitatus Act Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
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Is it the name? If we renamed the U.S. Army something sweet like the U.S. Department of Highway Safety, could they then police our interstates with full auto weapons and tanks? Could they use helicopters with machine guns to stop evading cars and drivers? Or is it the weapons and the tactics that they use? When we give our police departments full auto assault weapons and tanks, shouldn't they then considered an army? They look like an army. They act like an army. And they are armed like an army. The posse comitatus act forbids the use of the military in domestic police actions without authorization of congress. If the weapons and tactics determine if a group is a military unit, why do we not see rigorous prosecutions of those who direct these units to use their military weapons and tactics against sovereign citizens of the several states, without congressional consent?
Link Posted: 6/26/2001 7:54:29 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/26/2001 8:03:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SGB:
Originally Posted By critter_FR:
Title 18 US Code, PART I, Chapter 67, § 1385, The Posse Comitatus Act Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
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It's a federal statute and applies to federal troops. State troops are under the authority of the states constitution. Local police are under local municipal authority. Hope this helps sgb
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Not so fast. [:)] The Constitution strictly prhibits states from keeping troops in times of peace without consent of congress. From Article 1, section 10: No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, [b]keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace[/b], enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay. So when is an army an army?
Link Posted: 6/26/2001 8:12:10 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/26/2001 8:19:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/26/2001 8:19:03 PM EDT by critter_FR]
Originally Posted By Boland: What about the USMC?
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Technically, the USMC is a branch of the navy, and is therefore authorized to remain standing, even in peace time. The navy is not specifically mention in Posse Comitatus. The US Army should be disbanded in times of peace, and I guess that would include the airforce as well. I believe that one of the reasons we have been in a continuous state of war since the ratification of the Constitution is to keep the standing army. If you look through our history, there has never been a two year period where we didn't involve ourselves somewhere militarily.
Link Posted: 6/26/2001 8:23:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/26/2001 8:30:58 PM EDT
I found this interesting tidbit from the eighth circuit court while searching for info on where the navy and marines fit into the equation:
Civilian rule is basic to our system of government. The use of military forces to seize civilians can expose civilian government to the threat of military rule and the suspension of constitutional liberties. On a lesser scale, military enforcement of the civil law leaves the protection of vital Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights in the hands of persons who are not trained to uphold these rights. It may also chill the exercise of fundamental rights, such as the rights to speak freely and to vote, and create the atmosphere of fear and hostility which exists in territories occupied by enemy forces. Bissonette v. Haig, 776 F.2d 1384, 1387 (8th Cir. 1985), aff'd on reh'g, 788 F.2d 812 (8th Cir. 1986), aff'd, 485 U.S. 264 (1988).
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Link Posted: 6/26/2001 8:31:57 PM EDT
I think its the pretty lights and the sirens on the squad cars....OOPS am I confusing two different groups here ??? [;)]
Link Posted: 6/26/2001 8:35:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Boland: I was just wondering since the Act covers the Army and Air Force but not the Navy (thus the Marines)
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I found this on the US Coast Guard website:
"POSSE COMITATUS ACT" (18 USC 1385): A Reconstruction Era criminal law proscribing use of Army (later, Air Force) to "execute the laws" except where expressly authorized by Constitution or Congress. Limit on use of military for civilian law enforcement also applies to Navy by regulation. Dec '81 additional laws were enacted (codified 10 USC 371-78) clarifying permissible military assistance to civilian law enforcement agencies--including the Coast Guard--especially in combating drug smuggling into the United States. Posse Comitatus clarifications emphasize supportive and technical assistance (e.g., use of facilities, vessels, aircraft, intelligence, tech aid, surveillance, etc.) while generally prohibiting direct participation of DoD personnel in law enforcement (e.g., search, seizure, and arrests). For example, Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDETS) serve aboard Navy vessels and perform the actual boardings of interdicted suspect drug smuggling vessels and, if needed, arrest their crews). Positive results have been realized especially from Navy ship/aircraft involvement.
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Link Posted: 6/26/2001 8:43:48 PM EDT
And this from the Command and General Staff College website:
In 1988, Congress further amended Title 10 providing exceptions "that authorize the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) to provide equipment and personnel to assist civilian agencies in the enforcement of drug, immigration and tariff laws."18 "But the statute expressly forbids ‘direct participation by a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marine Corps in a search or seizure, an arrest or other similar activity unless . . . otherwise authorized by law’
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