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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
DOD BILL COHEN WARNS OF US TERRORISM . . .
Army Times 10-22 Staff /Wire Reports
***US ARMY WILL PATROL U.S. STREETS . . .
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,"
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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