The right is so desperate for something to bitch about, they will go back to old news.
The dead bomber from Boston has been autopsied and buried – finally. Not the determined search for a cause for hysteria on the right.
Now, from the Long Island Press, we have another load of Glenn-Beck-style organic fertilizer:
U.S Military ‘Power Grab’ Goes Into EffectPentagon Unilaterally Grants Itself Authority over ‘Civil Disturbances’
The manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects offered the nation a window into the stunning military-style capabilities of our local law enforcement agencies. For the past 30 years, police departments throughout the United States have benefitted from the government’s largesse in the form of military weaponry and training, incentives offered in the ongoing “War on Drugs.” For the average citizen watching events such as the intense pursuit of the Tsarnaev brothers on television, it would be difficult to discern between fully outfitted police SWAT teams and the military.
The lines blurred even further Monday as a new dynamic was introduced to the militarization of domestic law enforcement. By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled “Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.
This author could benefit from a good editor, and running spellcheck.
So, here is a more rational take on this. First of all, there is no new powers, nor could the Pentagon take them or give them to themselves. We have a civilian controlled military, and the only way to grant any powers to the Pentagon is through congressional action, or in rare and very limited instances, by executive orders issued by the President. No one is claiming either here.
As the article itself notes, buried a ways down under the purely speculative bullshit:
“A defense official who declined to be named takes a different view of the rule, claiming, “The authorization has been around over 100 years; it’s not a new authority. It’s been there but it hasn’t been exercised. This is a carryover of domestic policy.” Moreover, he insists the Pentagon doesn’t “want to get involved in civilian law enforcement. It’s one of those red lines that the military hasn’t signed up for.” Nevertheless, he says, “every person in the military swears an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States to defend that Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.”
One of the reasons an official doesn’t want to be named is they don’t want to be embarrassed by having their name used in something that smells this badly of stupid.
Not only is there no terrifying power grab, but there are good reasons for the turnout of the forces in the Boston bombing. A bombing is domestic terrorism, not just an attack on a neighborhood, or an event, or a city; it is an attack on the U.S. Therefore it becomes a federal matter, not something more local.
This is a good thing; the various levels of authority worked seamlessly together in the Boston bombing.
This has nothing to do with government over-reach by the Pentagon or military. It is a practical matter of protection. When all of these troops joined in the hunt for the terrorist, they were also positioned to deal with additional bombings that were a concern. No one knew if the two bombs at the finish line of the marathon were all there were, or if there were more, and if so, where. Finding the remaining known bomber was the best possibility for determining any additional threat.
Beyond that is simple public safety strategy and tactics. In the event of smaller disasters, cities and counties tend to provide mutual support. That would have been inadequate for this kind of threat. What it would have done however to simply use more local resources supplemented by state resources would be to bring all of the available resources into one area, leaving the rest of those locations without necessary protection and support in the event of additional bombs or other terrorist devices planted somewhere else.
The military has the equipment to operate as safely as possible, they have the training to do so efficiently, and they have the additional benefit of not leaving other areas unprotected from both damage, and subsequent chaos and confusion.
The system worked. There was no over-reach. There was no panic, people were sad, they were concerned by events. But they were also reassured by the government response, by the cooperation of local, state, and federal authorities, not huddled in their homes wishing they had guns, as promoted by the hair on fire right wing nuts.
I have a lot of sympathy for those who have to make these decisions; they are continually faced with decisions where every choice is damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t. This kind of right wing nuttiness does NOTHING to promote good government or public or individual safety. It does everything to promote hysteria and bad government decisions that result from it when authority humors their stupidity, their paranoia, and their lack of factual information.
The Boston bombing was handled very well by the authorities at all levels. We should feel more safe, not less safe, because of it. People like this author would do well to go sit themselves down in a corner and slap themselves until they get over their hysteria, and before they sit down at a keyboard again. So should anyone who is persuaded by his load of bull.