Once considered paranoid, Americans concerned over the buildup of military-style units within non-security-related federal agencies – specifically Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams – just had their fears confirmed.
According to a Washington Times report, a 2010 Pentagon directive on military support to civilian authorities reveals what critics say is a policy that outlines the potential use of military force against Americans by the Obama administration.
The document which was signed by then-Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn – contains understandable and standard provisions on support to civilian emergency services, special events and domestic use of the Army Corps of Engineers…. it also outlines presidential authority for use of military weapons and personnel against Americans during times of domestic unrest. Incredible!
“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.”
Interestingly, while the use of unarmed drones is specifically mentioned, “use of armed [unmanned aircraft systems] is not authorized,” the directive states.
Among the federal agencies with SWAT teams are the 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.
During the recent standoff between armed Bureau of Land Management agents and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, the administration considered deploying military force under the Directive No. 3025.18 but ultimately rejected the idea.
Shamefully, this militarization of multiple federal agencies, under little-known statutes that permit deputization of security officials, comes as the White House has launched verbal attacks on private citizens’ ownership of firearms by law-abiding citizens.