Why is the U.S. Military Being Used as Law Enforcement on American Soil?

U.S. AIR FORCE CONDUCTS RAID AGAINST NEVADA GUN SHOP

by Sharon Rondeau

The Nellis Air Force Base website states: "Many communities in southern Nevada see and hear Nellis aircraft 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

(Aug. 22, 2011) — The U.S. Air Force was involved in a “rare raid” at a gun dealer located in Las Vegas, NV on Friday, December 19, 2011, after which the arrest of several people were carried out.

According to several mainstream news reports, members of the Air Force “joined the FBI and police” to conduct the raid at Citadel Gun & Safe.  A spokesman for the Air Force stated that “the operation was part of an ongoing investigation involving the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigation.”

A report dated August 21, 2011 stated that property confiscated from Nellis Air Force Base was taken by the Air Force and law enforcement personnel but that “there were no weapons involved.”

It is unknown why the Air Force was involved in a civilian law enforcement operation.

According to Wikipedia, the Posse Comitatus Act “prohibits Army and Air Force personnel and units of the National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress.”

A July 28, 2011 report of military police arresting civilians in Florida as part of a “crime prevention” program sponsored by the Homestead Air Reserve Base stated that “Here at Homestead Air Reserve Base we have the Crime Stop hotline that allows anyone either on base or off the installation to anonymously report a crime.”  A link to Homestead’s website regarding the initiative now yields a blank screen.

In 2009, members of the National Guard reportedly served as policemen by directing traffic in Kingman, AZ.  Also in 2009, U.S. Army troops were dispatched 23 military personnel to Samson, AL from Ft. Rucker, after which the Army stated that the law “may have” been violated.  In October of that year, the Army Inspector General declared that the Posse Comitatus Act had definitely been broken by the deployment on U.S. soil.

It has been reported that General Martin Dempsey was the officer who either ordered or approved the Samson, AL deployment.  Dempsey has been chosen by Obama to be the next Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff following the retirement of Adm. Michael Mullen.

Regarding the Posse Comitatus Act, Major Craig T. Trebilcock, a JAG officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, wrote:

The original 1878 Posse Comitatus Act was indeed passed with the intent of removing the Army from domestic law enforcement. Posse comitatus means “the power of the county,” reflecting the inherent power of the old West county sheriff to call upon a posse of able-bodied men to supplement law enforcement assets and thereby maintain the peace. Following the Civil War, the Army had been used extensively throughout the South to maintain civil order, to enforce the policies of the Reconstruction era, and to ensure that any lingering sentiments of rebellion were crushed. However, in reaching those goals, the Army necessarily became involved in traditional police roles and in enforcing politically volatile Reconstruction-era policies. The stationing of federal troops at political events and polling places under the justification of maintaining domestic order became of increasing concern to Congress, which felt that the Army was becoming politicized and straying from its original national defense mission. The Posse Comitatus Act was passed to remove the Army from civilian law enforcement and to return it to its role of defending the borders of the United States.

The same writer maintains that since its passage in 1878, the original intent of the Posse Comitatus Act has been eroded by the executive branch and Congress.  He cites examples from 1980 in which Congress passed statutes which provided for exceptions to the Posse Comitatus Act which allow the U.S. military to take action on U.S. soil:  in the event of a natural disaster, for immigration enforcement, for the “war on drugs,” during a civil disturbance which local law enforcement is unable to handle alone, and for the enforcement of tariffs.  Trebilcock also states that presidential power has expanded during the last century and that “The erosion of the Posse Comitatus Act through Congressional legislation and executive policy has left a hollow shell in place of a law that formerly was a real limitation on the military’s role in civilian law enforcement and security issues.”

An exception to use of the Air Force in civilian law enforcement is cited as a matter involving “nuclear materials.”

Why is the Air Force “working with” the U.S. Attorney’s office “on this investigation”?

A comment received in an email from Daryn Moran, who was recently discharged from the U.S. Air Force for declaring that Obama is not eligible to serve as president and other offenses, stated, “In Nevada, the AF was part of a raid on a civilian store, so some are joining the dictator.”

The Post & Email spoke with LCDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.) regarding the raid on the gun store, and he told us:

We’ve spoken before about the insidious nature of the attempts by the military to replace civilian police with military police in the United States.  This Air Force-led raid on a civilian gun shop in Las Vegas is but another example – and it looks as if the Air Force has gotten pretty aggressive on this – of where you have military policemen exercising military government in a civilian community.  There is no reason why a sheriff’s department or police department could not have gone in to this gun shop and effected a law enforcement activity.  The reports I have seen say that there was someone from nearby Nellis Air Force Base who took property from Nellis and sold it to someone at the store.

I do not know how that business transaction was carried out – if it was someone walking in with body armor, meals ready to eat – I don’t know what precautions the proprietors of the gun shop took or did not take.  But if somebody walks in with jewelry to a pawn shop, there is an obligation on the part of the proprietor, if he or she believes the jewelry has been stolen, to notice police officials.  I don’t know if the proprietors of the gun shop were under any suspicion at all that the property was “hot,” but I do know this much:  it did not fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Air Force to find out.

You’ve heard of the NCIS:  Naval Criminal Investigative Service.  It used to be called the Naval Investigative Service (NIS), and then after the Tailhook scandal, they had to change the name to NCIS, which is now how they are commonly recognized.  In the Air Force, the equivalent to the NCIS is called the Office of Special Investigations (OSI).  It was the OSI which led that raid into a civilian gun shop based upon the facts which have been reported so far, which is that they received reports of what the Air Force is claiming to be “stolen property.”  OK, but that did not have to be done by the Air Force.  And they led the raid, according to news reports.

If the Air Force thinks that something has been stolen from them, perhaps stolen by a civilian employee and taken off-base, then that’s an issue for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  A civilian comes under the jurisdiction of the federal government and possibly state government, but it’s not military jurisdiction.  It’s off the base.

Because it’s federal property and it is a federal offense, then the Air Force should turn to the FBI just as I’ve been doing – reporting federal crimes to federal officials – and then the FBI might lead some kind of a lead into the gun shop.  I’m not sure that that was the appropriate law enforcement action.  I don’t think it needed to be that dramatic.  I know this much only:  it wasn’t the purview of the United States Air Force.

I’ve talked to you about military police making arrests of civilians in the area around Homestead Air Force Base.

In the criminal complaints that were launched naming Obama in treason, two of them were dated 17 March, one in 2009 and the other was 17 March 2011.  In both of those criminal complaints, I point to the militarization of civilian police forces.  It’s not just a violation of Posse Comitatus; it’s treason.  The military is enforcing its own government.  You do not want to have military policemen arresting civilians.

The NCIS started this practice some years ago with the Law Enforcement Information Exchange Program (LInX).  Wherever you have an NCIS office, you have this type of civilian-military law enforcement cooperation, and it has to be stopped.