Army reviews troop use after fatal Ala. shootings
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Thread: Army reviews troop use after fatal Ala. shootings

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Army reviews troop use after fatal Ala. shootings

    The Army said Wednesday it opened an inquiry into whether federal laws were broken when nearly two dozen soldiers were sent to a south Alabama town after 11 people died in a shooting spree last week.

    State officials said the deployment of 22 military police officers and the provost marshal from Fort Rucker was requested neither by Republican Gov. Bob Riley nor the White House, which typically is required by law for soldiers to operate on U.S. soil.

    Col. Michael J. Negard of the Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Va., said officials are trying to determine who ordered the soldiers to Samson, who requested them, why they were sent and what they did there.

    "In addition to determining the facts, this inquiry will also consider whether law, regulation and policy were followed," he said. He declined further comment.

    Former Samson resident Michael McLendon, 28, fatally shot nine victims in the town and killed a 10th in a neighboring county. The March 10 spree ended when McLendon killed himself, and the soldiers arrived in the hours after.

    Investigators said McLendon was despondent over his inability to hold a job and his failure to become a Marine or a police officer.

    Riley isn't concerned whether the military overstepped its bounds, said Press Secretary Jeff Emerson.

    "From what I understand it was a few folks who came to direct traffic or help where they could," Emerson said. "If it had been more than what it was there might be a reason for concern, but these folks just came to see if they could help and left."

    The White House press office did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

    Reporters and curious citizens poured in after the slayings, overwhelming the town of 2,000 near the Florida state line. Samson is about 35 miles from Fort Rucker, the Army's main helicopter training base.

    Samson's tiny police force and county officers were stretched to the limit after the shootings, which left investigators with at least seven different crime scenes to check for evidence.

    Samson Mayor Clay King said he did not know why the soldiers showed up in town, but he was glad they did.

    "The only function they did was directing traffic. They took drinks and snacks to other people working crime scenes," King said. "I'm proud they were here."

    Residents said soldiers from Fort Rucker, a major employer in southeastern Alabama, have a reputation for helping nearby communities in emergencies.

    According to a summary by the Congressional Research Service, federal law generally prohibits the armed forces from being used as domestic police. Exceptions include emergencies, when troops can help civilians but don't directly act as police.

    The chairman of the Libertarian Party of Alabama, Stephen Gordon, said while many are worried about the use of Army troops in civilian police roles, he doubts there was anything nefarious about the soldiers in Samson.

    "There is no apparent harm here, but the principle still needs to be upheld," Gordon said. "The barrier has been lowered for the next time, and we really need to take a look at what happened."

    Source: The Associated Press
    Last edited by lukem; 03-19-2009 at 10:17 AM.
    FESTUS
    IN OMNIA PARATUS

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  3. #2
    So they are slowly setting the stage for future use of the military in our streets. What ever happened to posse comitatus? If any help was really needed should not it have been done by calling up the National Guard?
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

  4. #3
    thedoc96 Guest
    National Guard? Maybe. But what this looks like was just some well meaning 1SG rallying a few joes to help out in the community that supports their post. I didnt see anywhere about them carrying weapons or attempting to wield law enforcement authority. As much as the whole doomsday scenario involving a strong centralized government using the military to cow its citizens into submission worries me, I dont think this was even a precursor to that. When I was stationed at Fort Campbell we often volunteered at local events and participated with civic organizations. If we directed traffic for an event did that qualify as military intervention in civilian affairs?
    Keep in mind too, our military is made up generally of God fearing, mom and apple pie defending Americans. How many do you think would stand next to their American communities against an oppressive government? Personally I know quite a few whose moral compass would preclude them from taking up arms against the American people if directed to do so by an oppressive government.

  5. #4
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    Exclamation Unless there was a military parade...

    These guys had no business whatsoever IN UNIFORM policing the streets PERIOD!
    If they were volunteers in civvies just helping put, that is one thing. If the Govenor called up the state Natl. Guard, That is another. Even directing traffic is illegal (it is a police function). National security was not at risk and the killer wasn't an active duty fugitive from justice. There is NO EXCUSE othere than they were wrong to be there.

    posse comitawhatever my eye!
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  6. #5
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    Posse comitatus: No military shall be used to enforce civilian law, only under the Declaration of Marshal Law would the Military be granted Law Enforcement Powers.

    One could argue the direction of traffic is enforcing traffic laws, however, in this instance it could also be viewed as assisting a community in need...............

  7. I guess it never occurred to anyone to call the County Sheriff's Department or State Police for help. I am sure they could have spared a few troops to help out.

    Most LENF agencies have agreements in place for mutual assitance to include deputizing those as necessary.

  8. #7
    thedoc96 Guest
    OMG festus!!! Chill out!! You have people direct traffic all the time who are not police! As far as having no business in uniform you need to get educated. I dont know what your deal is but if you are one of those flag waving chest thumping freedom nuts let me remind you who is responsible on a daily basis for defending our most basic freedoms. I can wear my uniform ANY TIME and ANYWHERE I WANT!! The only thing that restricts my wear of the uniform I have EARNED is the regulation that governs it. NOT YOU. Now according to the news story it is still unclear who ordered these Soldiers into action.

    State officials said the deployment of 22 military police officers and the provost marshal from Fort Rucker was requested neither by Republican Gov. Bob Riley nor the White House, which typically is required by law for soldiers to operate on U.S. soil.

    Now the way I read this is neither the federal nor the state government ordered this. In addition, the above statement is flawed. Proper authorization is required for Soldiers to undertake military functions (combat operations) or law enforcement functions on US soil. Once again, neither appears to have happened here.
    Explain to me anyone exactly what oppressive government agenda was furthered here?
    Just goes to prove that there are extremists in every group.
    BUT....If you would rather the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines stationed all over our great nation simply shut themselves away inside the gates of their military installations and sever the ties being good neighbors with the communities that host them have forged....if you would rather our military men and women get locked away behind a glass door that says, "Break In Case of War," then I feel you forget that we are people/citizens just as much as everyone else. We are members of our communities. To imply that we should simply ostracize ourselves from the very communities we serve is simply ridiculous. Stop seeing a conspiracy beneath every rock and start trying to see the people inside the uniform.

  9. #8
    thedoc96 Guest
    I see by your profile you are a retired MSgt. festus. You more than anyone else here should know these Soldiers and their 1SG did nothing wrong here. If they had been detaining people, collecting evidence at a crime scene, or even writing traffic tickets it would be a whole different ball game.
    According to you:

    National security was not at risk and the killer wasn't an active duty fugitive from justice.

    Even if it were, active duty Soldiers would NOT have been allowed to go after the killer. Im hearing people basically saying this is an example of our country going down a "slippery slope". Guys, there are countless examples of our government going too far. This simply isnt one of them. No laws were broken. No ones rights were trampled on. Until I hear differently (and since I have only read the above article on this subject so its entirely possible there is information Im not aware of yet) this was simply another example of our military helping out a community the installation partners with for so many different things. I say GOOD JOB!

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by thedoc96 View Post
    OMG festus!!! Chill out!! You have people direct traffic all the time who are not police! As far as having no business in uniform you need to get educated. I dont know what your deal is but if you are one of those flag waving chest thumping freedom nuts let me remind you who is responsible on a daily basis for defending our most basic freedoms. I can wear my uniform ANY TIME and ANYWHERE I WANT!! The only thing that restricts my wear of the uniform I have EARNED is the regulation that governs it. NOT YOU. Now according to the news story it is still unclear who ordered these Soldiers into action.

    State officials said the deployment of 22 military police officers and the provost marshal from Fort Rucker was requested neither by Republican Gov. Bob Riley nor the White House, which typically is required by law for soldiers to operate on U.S. soil.

    Now the way I read this is neither the federal nor the state government ordered this. In addition, the above statement is flawed. Proper authorization is required for Soldiers to undertake military functions (combat operations) or law enforcement functions on US soil. Once again, neither appears to have happened here.
    Explain to me anyone exactly what oppressive government agenda was furthered here?
    Just goes to prove that there are extremists in every group.
    BUT....If you would rather the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines stationed all over our great nation simply shut themselves away inside the gates of their military installations and sever the ties being good neighbors with the communities that host them have forged....if you would rather our military men and women get locked away behind a glass door that says, "Break In Case of War," then I feel you forget that we are people/citizens just as much as everyone else. We are members of our communities. To imply that we should simply ostracize ourselves from the very communities we serve is simply ridiculous. Stop seeing a conspiracy beneath every rock and start trying to see the people inside the uniform.

    Perhaps before you go on a tirade you should take time to find out that festus is retired military and most likely served longer than you are old. I think there are plenty of both active and retired military that post on this forum on a regular basis that have a problem with this. I don't care who ordered the solders into the streets I still do not like it. We tolerate a little next time it will be something else. This is America not Nazi Germany.
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

  11. #10
    thedoc96 Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by HK4U View Post
    Perhaps before you go on a tirade you should take time to find out that festus is retired military and most likely served longer than you are old. I think there are plenty of both active and retired military that post on this forum on a regular basis that have a problem with this. I don't care who ordered the solders into the streets I still do not like it. We tolerate a little next time it will be something else. This is America not Nazi Germany.
    Read my earlier post HK. You have no idea how old I am or how long I have served for that matter. Dont insult me or patronize me like that. Im not going to get into a pissing contest with you and I dont care how long festus was in. The last Im going to say about this is you can have your opinions all you want. You and all others who "have a problem" with this can whine about it all you want because according to the facts as presented in the article NO LAWS WERE BROKEN. You can scream alarmist propaganda all you want but when you do you insult your own brothers in arms. These Soldiers did nothing more than assist a community in need. festus, as a senior noncommissioned officer you might have done the same. I know that as an NCO when I see a need I work to fill it. But I suppose you would rather people just sit on their hands rather than help each other.
    I challenge ANY currently serving or retired member of this community to show me a law that was broken here. Besides scaring conspiracy theorists, there isnt one.
    The worst the responsible commander will face is possibly a reprimand for acting without direction of his superiors. According to the article Washington was taken unawares. Did this commander jump the gun? Maybe. We arent privy to such information. His actions and the actions of his Soldiers were not illegal. Once again, had they detained ANYONE, had they been carrying weapons, had they collected and processed evidence or assisted in the investigation....that would have been different. Now obviously we disagree. In my opinion, thats fine. We have the right to do just that. But HK, the next time YOU decide to go on a tirade you need to bring something besides flag waving and chest thumping. Unless you have something besides insults and hollow rhetoric, I think this conversation is over.

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