Posse Comitatus and Reality

I don’t think that we will ever really know whether the fears that Bush/Cheney would not leave office in January 2009 were justified, but suspicious minds learning more and more of the bypassing of the constitution are pushed deeper into such fears.

I know that Cheney is an evil man, I know it in my heart. There is plenty of evidence to corroborate his evil nature, and given a trial we could put to rest many suspicions regarding his criminal acts. Bush on the other hand was perhaps not as evil but definitely far more dangerous, for it was his hands that held the power to act and seize the government through military action.

I once attended a dinner of WW2 veterans of the 8th Air Force. I have a lifetime membership in this group because my uncle served and was killed while serving as a bombardier in this unit. There was a guest speaker, a woman who had just been promoted to Lt. Colonel and was in charge of security at Andrews Air Force Base. The floor was opened for questions after her speech and I asked her what she would do if the President suspended Posse Comitatus and ordered her to detain members of Congress and those military men or women who would not follow the orders of the President? Her father, who was leader of the group, became extremely angry at me as did a few, a few, a very few of the veterans. There were perhaps 250 people there and six voiced indignation at my question and 3 of those were her relatives.

I understood that I was ‘putting her on the spot’, but I wanted to see her reaction and hear what she would say. Her response was that she did not believe that could ever happen and that she was too far down the chain-of-command to really make a decision. When I pressed for an answer, she backed further away from my question and then was saved by someone changing the subject with a different question. I went up to her afterwards and apologized for putting her in an uncomfortable position, but I really wanted to know what she would do IF she DID have to make such a decision to follow or not follow the President.

She could have simply said that she had sworn an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, and would follow ITS dictates, but she didn’t. She would not, even in a one-on-one discussion, reply. I don’t think that she really knew what she would do. It certainly was not part of her training, and there is of course no historical background to follow. Perhaps it should be incorporated into some of the training in Officer’s School. I’d bet that if you asked 100 people in today’s military what they would do, less than 20 could give you an answer.

We need to make provisions to assure that a maniacal President cannot seize dictatorial power and overthrow our Constitution and our government. All members of Congress are, I hope, sworn to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. This time only a small handful tried. We need better people in our government than that, and a scary thing is that Barack Obama and his Chief of Staff, Mr. Emanuel, were not among those few.

We need to put Bush and Cheney on trial. We need to get the people scared and angry at what those two terrible men tried to do to us and did to our country. If we do not, then we can surely expect more of the same sometime in the future.