Friday, July 16, 2010

DIES IRAE-Preliminary Observations of Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High-Yield Explosives Consequence Management Plans

With an underlying and generally felt apprehension and even imminent doom pervading the national psyche, it is with a sense of the expectation of something dreadful that many Americans are looking past the lull occasioned by the dog days of summer to the turning of the seasons this fall and the reckoning with what is for an increasing number of us, going to be a very bleak winter indeed. Despite all the clamor arising from the government and its media cheerleaders, who are vainly attempting to rally the masses from the torpor of economic and societal gloom which has enveloped the nation, it is apparent that there is a mood of general anxiety and disquiet which will not be dispelled by the shallow nostrums prescribed by the intellectual schoolmasters and political and economic spinmeisters. So convinced and obsessed are these latter of their ridiculous and transparent legerdemain that they fail to see the house lights have gone up, the show is over and the last straggling members of their once captive audience are heading for the exits.

Of interest of course to many are the upcoming mid term congressional elections which, to some, promise to be at least the beginning of the longed for resolution to the painful and shameful desuetude which the "once great nation" has sloughed into. And yet all of this hopelessly belated appeal to "the founding fathers" and the Constitution and all those far gone (so conveniently!) and cherished patriotic ideals which supposedly "made this the greatest country on earth" are symptomatic of a hopelessly backward gazing and presently spellbound massa damnata, emerging from the mire of a hopeless morass and then resolutely and blindly marching towards a cliff from which they will shortly and almost certainly hurl themselves off into the abyss. As Will Rogers said, "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people".

Against the backdrop of this biennial madness and electioneering fraud which long ago ceased to have any relevance (if indeed it did have any to begin with), another much less heralded and perhaps more significant event is due to transpire, which despite its lack of apparent importance nonetheless has attracted the hysteric, self important and wild eyed legions of internet conspiratorialists who have singled out the red letter day of October 1, 2010 with their usual and familiar collective howling din of approaching apocalyptic disaster. The "event" is the assigning and allocation of the Consequence Management Response Force (CCMRF). Comprised of one Unit (active component) assigned to the US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) with two other Units (reserve component) placed on a "prepare to deploy order" while allocated to the same, the "seamurf" has been active since September of 2008. The assigned and allocated units will be at the disposal of the northern command for a minimum of 24 months through September 30, 2011. The term of engagement itself represents an increase of one additional year to the previous CCMRF mission, and a tripling of available personnel. The question naturally arises as to the reasons for such a radical augmentation of force and tour of duty involved, above and beyond the obvious legal and constitutional problems raised by such surpassing militarization of civil society.

If one looks closely at the relevant information disseminated from Info wars and Alex Jones concerning the CCMRF in April and then copied and pasted verbatim across several blogs and accompanied by a video of a Democracy Now! interview, a curious anomaly is encountered; namely, that rather than devoting any serious investigation to this crucial subject, it is flippantly, quite erroneously and somewhat hysterically declared that an 80,000 strong army force has gathered at Fort Stewart Georgia for a potential deployment across the homeland in support of NORTHCOM. In addition the Infowars reports, supposedly representing current assignments, are based on dated information going back to September of 2008, and the beginning of 2009 when the Democracy Now! interview was conducted with Army Colonel Michael Boatner, future Operations Division Chief of NORTHCOM and Matthew Rothschild, editor of the Progressive magazine. At that point the CCMRF contingent was at most a 4,500 man brigade strength unit assigned to the northern command for training and potential deployment "inside the United States to help mitigate the catastrophic results of possible man made or natural disasters".

The general concern at that time was of course over the original deployment of the First Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division (1-3 HBCT Raider Brigade)in September, 2008 from the streets of Ramadi, Iraq to the continental US in apparent direct violation of the Posse Comitatus Act 18 U.S.C. Para 385. Since then, not only have the domestic security parameters radically changed with a deepening of the financial crisis and of course the catastrophic and unprecedented environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, but the military deployment of the CCMRF and its Task Force Operations for the Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear and High Yield Explosives (CBRNE) have undergone significant and yet generally unpublicized modifications as well. In addition, revelations at the House Armed Services Committee-Subcommittee on Terrorism/Unconventional Threats last summer as well as a General Accounting Office Report in conjunction with the hearings (July 28,2009) have raised serious questions about the capacity, capabilities, and the very mission of the CCMRF itself.

The activations, assignments, allocations, and potential deployments of the military especially in the continental US are of surprisingly little or no concern to the "average" American. The idea that the military could be deployed in a hostile or adversarial status against its own citizenry is probably even of more remote interest. Yet, after all, the military is commissioned by the Constitution under the Commander-In-Chief to defend the nation against all enemies foreign and domestic. As the borderlines of hostilities became inevitably blurred with the attacks in Oklahoma City and New York, the expansion and diffusion of potential hostile agents within the US was accomplished. Extensive and inordinate security measures were introduced which placed the burden of suspicion squarely on the citizenry in the name of "fighting terrorism". The national security state, long in the making over the past decades, became firmly entrenched. The focus directed to the domestic sphere with singular intensity though was scarcely unprecedented. The notorious Palmer raids during WWI, the Japanese internment camps in WWII as well as the witch hunts conducted at the Army Intelligence Hearings and the House Un-American Activities Committee of Senator Joseph McCarthy are simply continuations of a general preoccupation with the "enemy within" that has characterized this nation since its inception.

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