On 21 January, Dr. Jim Garrow posted a shocking statement on Facebook. “I have just been informed by a former senior military leader that Obama is using a new ‘litmus test’ in determining who will stay and who must go in his military leaders. Get ready to explode folks,” he wrote.
“The new litmus test of leadership in the military is if they will fire on US citizens or not,”
Dr. Garrow isn’t a “right wing extremist.” He is the author of “The Pink Pagoda: One Man’s Quest to End Gendercide in China,” in which he describes his work saving Chinese girls from infanticide. So far, his organization is credited with saving over 40,000 girls. He was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 and the Order of Canada in 2010. Garrow is also the founder of the Bethune Institute, which has established hundreds of schools throughout China.
This news comes on the heels of the early dismissal of the Commander of the U.S. Central Command, General James Mattis.
According to a report on the Washington Free Beacon, “Word on the national security street is that General James Mattis is being given the bum’s rush out of his job as commander of Central Command, and is being told to vacate his office several months earlier than planned.
This would seem very improbable except when taken in the broader context of Obama’s policies, agenda and imperial presidency tendencies.
The three primary indicators of Barack Obama’s larger agenda are his call for a Civilian National Police Force, his recent push for disarming the American people through his gun control proposals, and now reports of his screening senior military leaders for their willingness to shoot on American civilians.
On 2 July 2008 in a campaign speech in Boulder Colorado, then candidate Obama called for the establishment of a Civilian National Security Force. He said that we can no longer count on the military to provide the security the country needs. This force, he said, must be ““just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded as the US Military.”
If the president had his way, and there were such a civilian force that is comparable to the U.S. military, against whom would they be defending? The Department of Defense is now tasked with fighting and winning our nation’s wars, presumably against a foreign power. If Obama wants his own Civilian National Security Force, the “enemy” he feels he needs to secure the country from must be We the People.
The Obama Administration is currently engaged in a highly publicized movement to curtail the private ownership of firearms. President Obama signed twenty-three executive orders on gun control on 16 January.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) on Tuesday unveiled her gun control bill. This bill proposes sweeping new gun control measures that will have no effect on violent crime in this country, but will limit the law-abiding population from arming itself.
The legislation bans the sale, transfer, manufacturing and importation of: All semiautomatic rifles that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: pistol grip; forward grip; folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; barrel shroud; or threaded barrel. All semiautomatic pistols that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: threaded barrel; second pistol grip; barrel shroud; capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip; or semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm. All semiautomatic rifles and handguns that have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds. All semiautomatic shotguns that have a folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; pistol grip; fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 5 rounds; ability to accept a detachable magazine; forward grip; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; or shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
All ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips, and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds. 157 specifically-named firearms are also banned. Operation Fast and Furious was conducted explicitly to gain public support for gun control. In Fast and Furious 2500 assault rifles into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels. These cartels, it was assumed, would then use these weapons in the commission of their illegal activities. Then, the Obama Administration would point out the need for stricter gun control measures here in the U.S. The Obama Administration would create the crisis of massive illegal weapons in the hands of the cartels and then use that “crisis” as the reason for banning weapons for U.S. citizens.
Another disturbing developments are the reports of the U.S. military conducting exercises in our populated areas. On 28 January, there were reports of unannounced military exercises in Miami and Houston.
KTRK-TV shot video of military-style helicopters roaming the skies in Houston, Texas. There have also been several reports of gunfire in the area. This reported “gunfire” may have been blank ammunition used in the exercise.
The U.S. Army tells KTRK-TV that they are overseeing a “multi-agency training drill” at the old Carnegie High School on Houston’s south side. There were reportedly armed men in fatigues, a lot of firearms and what many believed were real live rounds.
The Army did not give any additional details regarding what the training is all about or why it is being conducted in Houston.
These are not the first reports of military exercises being conducted in our urban areas. Also on 28 January, pictures and video emerged from Miami of another round of military exercises being held in that city. Unlike Houston, these exercises were conducted at 3 am, with the sound of helicopters waking downtown residents in the middle of the night.
In a statement from police in Miami-Dade County argued the training exercise in Miami was “routine” and “designed to ensure the military’s ability to operate in urban environments, prepare forces for upcoming overseas deployments and meet mandatory certification requirement”.
In my 24 years in the Army, I have not conducted one training exercise in a city and other than for parades and official functions, have not heard of any. I would not call them “routine.”
The military has what are called MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain) training sites on most major Army bases around the country. These facilities are purpose built for these types of exercises and come complete with contracted role players to simulate an overseas environment. Why would the Army be conducting exercises in U.S. cities?
The U.S. Army headquarters charged with operations within the United States is US Army North, on Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Primarily, it conducts its operations through its Defense Coordinating Elements (DCE) that are aligned with FEMA for emergency management, disaster response and other domestic crisis. If civilian authorities, involved in disaster recovery, such as Hurricanes Sandy or Katrina, requests military assistance, it is the DCEs that coordinate that assistance. They have not, at least publically, been involved in any tactical planning or maneuvers in U.S. cities. The DCEs also are very aware of and abiding to the Posse Comitatus Act.
Currently, the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 prohibits the use of the military in law enforcement activities within the United States. It reads “this act it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States, as a posse comitatus, or otherwise, for the purpose of executing the laws, except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress”.
So who is conducting these maneuvers in our cities?
But, a Civilian National Security Force would not be of the U.S. military and therefore exempt from the Posse Comitatus Act. If the military were to be employed, it would have to be in a declared state of Martial Law or other such declared state of national emergency. Given this president’s track record of by-passing Congress and executing fiats by executive order, it is not unthinkable that he would attempt to employ the military without authorization. He has already, in Libya and the Congo.
That brings the discussion back to the report of President Obama screening senior military leaders on their willingness to fire on American civilians. When taken in a vacuum, and in the context of our American history and values, it seems highly unlikely that such a thing could occur here. But, when taken in a more recent context of this president’s overall policy agenda of disarming the American people, Fast and Furious and his rule by executive order, combined with his proposed Civilian National Security Force, it starts to make sense.
Joseph Gilbert is a retired career US Army Military Intelligence officer. Gilbert was awarded 2 Bronze Stars, 4 Meritorious Service Metals, 4 Army Commendation Medals, and Joint Service Commendation Medals 24 years of service. He enlisted in 1985 as a Combat Engineer and after tours of duty in Germany and Korea, he attended OCS in 1993, was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in Armor. He has had two company commands, including that of an intelligence reconnaissance company in Iraq in 2003 for the Iraq Survey Group. He has a total of three combat tours in Iraq. After retiring from the military in 2010, Joe returned home to northern NY and was a senior intelligence analyst with the 10th Mountain Division.