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cohen predicts army patrols US streets

Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 15:42:55 -0700
From: Bill Mee <[email protected]>
Subject: Cohen Predicts Army Will Patrol US Streets

Sorry no URL on this--the following was copied from the 
FreeRepublic website 


Army Times 10-22 Staff /Wire Reports 

An Interview with Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen 
. . .in the Army Times.*** 

>From Staff and Wire Reports The Times of Arkansas, Texas 
and Louisiana: US Defense Secretary Predicts the Army 
Will Patrol US Streets 

"Terrorism is escalating to the point that Americans soon 
may have to choose between civil liberties and more 
intrusive means of protection," says Defense Secretary 
William S. Cohen 

The nation's defense chief told the Army Times he once 
considered the chilling specter of armored vehicles 
surrounding civilian hotels or government buildings to 
block out terrorists as strictly an overseas phenomenon. 

But no longer. 

"It could happen here," Cohen said he conclued after 8 
months of studying threats under the Pentagon microscope. 

Free-lance terrorists with access to deadly chemical and 
biological bombs are "going to change the way in which the 
American people view security in our own country," he 
predicted in a Sept 10 interview. 

Cohen is calling for the government to step up its efforts 
to penetrate wildcard terrorist organizations. 

"It's going to require greater intelligence on our part -- 
much greater emphasis on intelligence gathering capability 
- - - more human intelligence, and it's going to take more 
technical intelligence," he said. 

But using the U.S. military in a domestic law enforcement 
role would require revisions to laws in force for more 
than a century, cautions Shreveport attorney John Odom, 

"You can't do it from the Defense Department side unless 
Congress dramatically revises the Posse Comitatus laws." 
said Odom, a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and a 
reserve Judge Advocate. 

"The 1878 law specifically prohibits the use of the 
military in domestic law enforcement unless authorized by 
Congress or the Constitution and does not wllow for 
military intervention through action by the Secretary of 
Defense of even an Executive Order from the President," 
Odom said. 

We're trained from the first day of Judge Advocate school 
to think of Posse Comitatus !!! said Odom. "If Secretary 
Cohen is suggesting that the Department of Defense be 
involved, it may be part of a legislative package, but it 
will not happen unilaterally without a lot of folks 
thinking long and hard about it." 

Cohen said terrorism would be a top priority in 5 new 
areas he plans to focus on now that he has wrapped up his 
first defense budget, the quadrennial review of the 
military and a new 4-year defense strategy. 

Other goals include modernizing the military, improbing 
troops housing and other benefits, streamlining the 
defense bureaucracy and shaping new military relationships 
and contracts across the globe.

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