Susanne Posel: Legal Authority to Deploy Reservists on American Streets
Thanks to Posse Comitatis, the US military are forbidden from responding on the streets of America whenever the whim is announced. The Posse Comitatus Act, Section 1385, states that only under "circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress" can the military presence on American streets be allowed. Yet, if the Defense Department has their way, a new authorization act will give them the power to order the armed forces to be used against the American public. Air Force reservists are stated to be the new response team for domestic disturbances. Disseminated from Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) and other reserve agencies, these men and women could be called to be first response to natural disasters within the US. The legislation would extend mobilizations for indeterminate periods of time. The AFRC affirms that reservists are traditionally not used in "homeland disaster response". The governors of individual states can request the National Guard's assistance during a natural disaster, when local law enforcement becomes overwhelmed. "Our reservists have been asked and often volunteer to assist after disasters hit the homeland," said Lt Gen. Charles E Stenner Jr, chief of Air Force Reserve and AFRC commander. "Mobilizing needed reservists will help sustain their support for longer periods and make operations more efficient. We mobilize reservists to handle contingencies overseas, so it makes sense that we do that to take care of our own country." Because of the specialized training that reservists are given in dealing with disasters, the US government has decided they would be perfect as a first response team!