During testimony on Capitol Hill, Chuck Hagel characterized the attack in Boston as terrorism and said the Pentagon is prepared to respond quickly to any request from domestic law enforcement, according to Pentagon’s propaganda newspaper, Stars and Stripes.
“(The attack) is clearly an act of terror and will be approached as an act of terror,” Hagel said.
“I will continue to consult closely with DOD senior leaders and my counterparts in other agencies,” Hagel added, “on how we can best support the government’s response and investigations.”
The event in Boston has provided the Department of Defense with a handy excuse to reverse the disestablishment of two National Guard civil support teams, including one currently responding to the bombing in Boston.
Over 400 Massachusetts National Guardsmen “remain on duty to continue to assist local authorities,” the newspaper reported, citing a press release from the Guard.
The 211th Military Police Battalion was deployed to provide security, the Massachusetts National Guard’s 387th Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) has been activated, the 267th Combat Communications Squadron was sent to Boston, and the Navy sent a bomb-disposal unit “to assist local authorities as needed in the aftermath of the explosions.” In addition, the U.S. Northern Command on Monday decided not to change security levels at military installations in the U.S.
Under the Posse Comitatus Act passed on June 18, 1878, after the end of Reconstruction, the military is prohibited from involvement in such activity as the supply of support, training, intelligence and equipment to civilian law enforcement. Because the federalized National Guard is part of either the Air Force or the Army, it is covered by the Act, according to Seattle attorney Lynne Wilson.