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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Libertarian Bob Barr opposes US domestic troop deployment, warns of "culture of militarism"

Salem-news.com is reporting that the US government plans to deploy 20,000 troops – a full division – to domestic law enforcement. Former Republican congressman and Libertarian Party leader Bob Barr opposes the plan and the growing “culture of militarism” in America: 

"When combat troops are used for domestic law enforcement, rights are inevitably violated and tragedies occur, such as when the military was improperly activated to assist in the tragedy at Waco, Texas in 1993. This domestic use of the military resulted in the loss of some 80 men, women and children," says Barr, the Libertarian Party's 2008 presidential nominee.

"The government's plan to deploy initially 20,000 uniformed military personnel inside the United States goes against everything we have learned about using soldiers as police officers. Not only do these plans appear to be a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act—which forbids the use of the military in law enforcement on non-federal property—but it also opens up the American public to dangerous Constitutional violations."

Barr says his concerns are greatly heightened by the conclusion reached by the current Bush Administration in a classified 2001 Department of Justice memo. The memo stated that the Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures, does not apply to the U.S. military when it engages in “domestic” operations.

It gives new meaning to the antiwar cry to “bring the troops home.” Be careful what you wish for.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on December 4, 2008 in International Politics | Permalink

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Comments

Good, send them into the Ghetto. Freedom without order is no picnic. Americans were freer when there weren't 100,000 members of the Crips and Bloods roaming the streets.

Lots of freedom in Somalia, no functioning central government. Funny, I don't see many libertarians moving there.

Posted by: Statist Investigator | 2008-12-04 8:09:33 PM


Probably the most irrelevant politician in the US.

Posted by: epsilon | 2008-12-04 8:25:48 PM


This 20,000 troops would only be deployed once a weapon of mass destruction was set off inside the country. These troops would then step in to reestablish order, provide medical assistance, and even shelters. A WMD would have the potential to overwhelm local authorities and medical personnel. This is why these forces are available. Barr is beginning to sound more like an anarchist than a libertarian.

Posted by: Derek | 2008-12-04 8:26:39 PM


Epsi,

Most irrelevant? What about Ralph Nader? Or Lyndon Larouche? :)

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-12-04 8:38:09 PM


Shame on the previous commentators for their knee-jerk defense of this unprecedented and ominous move by the federal executive.

Of course the rule of law is preferable to a state of nature, but history has shown more evidence of death and destruction caused by too much government than by not-enough of the same.

Remember, when aggression is on a personal level, one can attempt to defend oneself or band together with others for mutual defense. When aggression is the policy of a distant government, there is no escape or redress.

I prefer the freedom and security of New York's (relatively) limited government to Somalia's lack thereof, but I would choose Somalia's anarchy to Zimbabwe's totalitarianism.

I live in Manhattan, ground-zero of the attacks on 9/11, and I am infinitely more scared of Homeland Security than Al-Qaeda. Not only is US foreign policy the main instigator (and trainer) of these terrorists, but the US response is theatrical and blatantly despotic. Being a victim of terrorism is an odds-game, but being a victim of government is a sure-thing.

Of course, I don't expect Her Majesty's Loyal Subjects to completely grasp the risks we accept to maintain our freedom.

That said, Bob Barr is an awful spokesman for liberty. If he truly believed in the movement, he would step aside, work behind the scenes, and let someone with more authenticity and a better record speak for the movement.

Posted by: Mike Vine | 2008-12-05 5:32:49 AM


Probably the most irrelevant politician in the US.

Posted by: epsilon | 4-Dec-08 8:25:48 PM

Probably the most irrelevant comment on this blog.
Nothing to say about the issue? Just slinging shit on people as usual.
Always good to hear from you Epsi...

Posted by: JC | 2008-12-05 7:34:35 AM


I live in Manhattan, ground-zero of the attacks on 9/11, and I am infinitely more scared of Homeland Security than Al-Qaeda. Not only is US foreign policy the main instigator (and trainer) of these terrorists, but the US response is theatrical and blatantly despotic. Being a victim of terrorism is an odds-game, but being a victim of government is a sure-thing.
Posted by: Mike Vine | 5-Dec-08 5:32:49 AM

Well said Mike. People are (it seems)either genuinely uninformed or wilfully ignorant of the role played in the world by US foreign policy and the damage it has done in the name of US interests. The greatest part of the illusion is that US interests are somehow the interests of the American people...they're not. They are the interests of the government and corporations...who by the way don't give a damn about the American people.
And yes, the prospect of deploying troops on American soil was exactly the reason for the 2nd Amendment. So when you see videos such as those of the troops kicking in doors in New Orleans to disarm Law abiding people...alarms really should be going off.
The use of troops on US soil..."against" Americans is really a very horrifying thought.
On the bright side, since Obama became President elect....gun sales are WAY up! :)
And as one Her Majesty's subjects, I'd like to say
to hell with the "Royal" parasites too.

Have a good one. :)

Posted by: JC | 2008-12-05 7:47:32 AM



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