Does Obama “plan to use the military against citizens”?

Summary: Today’s hot story on the Right concerns Obama’s new policy allowing use of military force on US soil. Great outrage and wetting of pants follows! Like the “Antarctica ice collapsing” stories this month that bedazeled the Left, these demonstrate (again) that we’re ill-informed and easily manipulated because we get information from our tribal leaders, and they lie to us. Leaders don’t speak truths, let alone harsh and difficult ones, to dogs. When we decide to again stand like men and women, we’ll find reliable sources of information. And better leaders

WW2 propaganda
True then and true now


Memo outlines Obama’s plan to use the military against citizens“, Washington Times, 28 May 2014 — Opening:

A 2010 Pentagon directive on military support to civilian authorities details what critics say is a troubling policy that envisions the Obama administration’s potential use of military force against Americans.

The directive contains noncontroversial provisions on support to civilian fire and emergency services, special events and the domestic use of the Army Corps of Engineers.

The troubling aspect of the directive outlines presidential authority for the use of military arms and forces, including unarmed drones, in operations against domestic unrest. “This appears to be the latest step in the administration’s decision to use force within the United States against its citizens,” said a defense official opposed to the directive.

This is agitprop fed to the gullible — like much of what the Washington Times prints. They’re pros.

  1. This article refers to DoD Directive 3025.18, which consolidates, replaces, and updates various policy documents going back to 1997 (they’re listed in the references).
  2. These policies were expressed for the field in “Civil Support“, Joint Publication 3-28, dated 14 September 2007 — before Obama was elected.
  3. JP 3-28 was reissued in “Defense Support of Civil Authorities” dated 31 July 2013.

So the policy is not Obama’s. It’s not new. The article identifies no changes. For that we turn to JP 3-28, which lists the changes from the 2007 version. Read them and tremble in fear!


  1. Changes title of the joint publication from “Civil Support” to “Defense Support of Civil Authorities”.
  2. Restructures document format, removing key sections from appendices and placing them within appropriate chapters.
  3. Introduces the Deputy Secretary of Defense-approved definition of “complex catastrophe”.
  4. Updates the definition of defense support of civil authorities.
  5. Changes the terminology of “catastrophic incident” to “catastrophic event.”
  6. Changes the terminology of “strategic communications” to “communications synchronization.”
  7. Introduces, defines and clarifies the dual-status commander to include nomination, training and appointment.
  8. Explanation of the capabilities for incident awareness and assessment.
  9. Clarifies the role and authorities of the military in homeland defense and support to civil authorities.
  10. Describes more fully the importance of the National Response Framework.

The Truth key

Incidents like this could make us better if only we’d learn from them. Yet we prefer to hold tribal truths, even false one, and continue to rely on those who lie to us.

For More Information

(a)  Archives of posts:

  1. Posts about propaganda (of both Left and Right)
  2. Posts about Information & disinformation

(b)  Posts about ignorance and delusions of the Right:

  1. Can Obama turn America into something like Zimbabwe?,
    22 February 2010
  2. About the political significance of the conservatives’ health care propaganda, 23 March 2010
  3. More use of the big lie: shifting the blame for the housing crisis, 29 December 2011
  4. Seeing the world through conservative eyes, 15 February 2014
  5. A look into the GOP mind: untethered from reality and drifting in the wind, 3 March 2014

(c)  Posts about the Right’s appears to fear:

  1. Today’s conservative doomster warning (ludicrous but fun), 1 August 2010
  2. Hatred and fear of Islam – of Moslems – is understandable. But are there hidden forces at work?, 3 August 2010
  3. About the mystery missile launch (America the fearful, chapter XX), 10 November 2011
  4. Inciting fear of inflation in our minds for political gain (we are easily led), 28 February 2011
  5. Danger, America! Wet your pants in fear of China!, 4 June 2013

(d)  Some posts about propaganda:

  1. Successful propaganda as a characteristic of 21st century America, 1 February 2010
  2. A note about practical propaganda, 22 March 2010
  3. The similar delusions of America’s Left and Right show our common culture – and weakness, 26 March 2010
  4. Programs to reshape the American mind, run by the left and right, 2 August 2010
  5. The easy way to rule: leading a weak people by feeding them disinformation, 13 April 2011
  6. Facts are an obstacle to the reform of America, 20 October 2011
  7. Our minds are addled, the result of skillful and expensive propaganda, 28 December 2011
  8. Who lies to us the most? Left or Right?, 25 February 2013
  9. Who lies to us the most? Left or Right?, 25 February 2013
  10. We can see our true selves in the propaganda used against us, 14 May 2013
  11. A nation lit only by propaganda, 3 June 2013
  12. The secret, simple tool that persuades Americans. That molds our opinions., 24 July 2013
  13. We live in an age of ignorance, but can decide to fix this – today, 15 April 2014



15 thoughts on “Does Obama “plan to use the military against citizens”?”

  1. Since military weaponry is already being used against civilians, including nonviolent civilian protesters as for example the LRAD military sound cannons sold by the U.S. military to the Chicago police and used against non-violent demonstrators at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh as well as against Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York, this is old news. Moreover, it is not proceeding from the top down, but from the ground up. Keene New Hampshire recently purchased an ex-military SWAT tank at greatly reduced cost from the U.S. army in order to…guard their annual pumpkin festival. They also have a sniper team on call, in case some “catastrophic event” befalls the pumpkin festival.

    Uniformed police are being deployed against 5-year-olds for overdue library books. The equipment used by police SWAT teams differs from the weaponry and body armor of American soldiers deployed in Afghanistan only in its color — blue for police SWAT teams, as opposed to desert tan for military troops.

    Obama has nothing to do with the militarization of America. We did to ourselves in a paroxysm of mindless panic after 9/11. Now, America languishes under effective martial law, and the name of the president doesn’t matter, because the American people did it to themselves.

    1. You can’t say that Obummer has nothing to do with the militarization of America. He may be just a puppet under the global elites but he’s marching to their orders and has broken most if not all of his promises because of it. He is doing all he can to advance the police state no doubt under orders from the higher ups.

    2. Obama is at fault, to the extent that he was our last hope to end this. Now that is gone. The door is closed — at least as long as the two parties rule.

  2. This is all far, very far, outside my area of expertise. But it’s amazing what you can find with almost no effort.

    The DOD directive 3025.18, linked in the FM article’s quote from the Washington Times for the subject matter of this FM article, gets its authority form, and refers directly to, US code, title 10, chapter 15:

    This piece of law: The Insurrection Act has had some colorful history, was invoked during the civil rights movement to use federal troops to enforce integration in public schools, against the resistance of the racist judicial systems in southern states.

    Cornell Law School website, click on “notes”, scroll down to Ex. Ord. No. 10730/ 11053. The fine print has gone back and forth over the years, including quite recently in 2006 and 2008: Insurrection Act: differences between old and new wording, and Posse Comitasus Act: recent legislative events.

    I think what a lot of people are wondering about, is where does the Obama administration stand on these matters, in the context of the Bush era pattern of trading away due process in exchange for security. It seems to me, and I’m no expert on this, but it seems that the DOD directives are just the wheels turning, implementing the changes in the machine, to comply with recent legislative changes such as the ones to title 10 chapter 15, and probably many others that came in the wake of 9/11.

    One particular change to 10 usc 15, is the recent inclusion of terrorism, in the list of reasons to invoke the presidential power to summon the military for domestic use. While to my non-lawyer eyes, this law seems to say that the use of military within the US is only in an emergency, after-the-fact, the tendency in the Bush and Obama administrations has been to act pre-emptively against terrorists. While this is justifiable, it is, at the same time, a major danger point.

    The danger comes from the unclear (and hypocritical!) way in which terrorists are designated by the executive branch. It cuts a small but very leaky hole in the principle of separation of powers, rule of law, due process, and so forth.

    That is what I would be concerned about. The whole thing is just an episode in the erosion of due process that has been going on since the Patriot act.

    If someone out there accuses the Obama of wanting to attack US citizens for no reason — yes, they’re crazy and should be corrected. But such a correction shouldn’t be used as a strawman, in place of the real argument. There is a real argument to be made out there about why such things are bad. And from what I can see, Obama is dutifully pushing forward, carrying out the ugly changes to our laws that were made under Bush.

    1. Petey,

      Thank for this informative comment, and the links to more information. I agree on all points.

      One additional note: imo the most serious trend is growing power and militarization of the domestic security apparatus (formerly called “law inforcement”) — at all levels, Local & State (including national guard) & Federal (including not just Homeland Security agencies, but also DoD intelligence agencies). They have slipped the lease and are running free.

  3. Charles Yaker

    I hope someday we do grow up but am not hopeful. I used to think things were different in the past but then I read David McCullough’s book “John Adams” and the election of 1800 between Adams and Jefferson.. I also just read the Wikopedia piece on the Election between John Jr. And Jackson. No longer sure anything has changed

      1. cyaker,

        True. But that’s more or less a constant of history. It’s the changes that driven the rise and fall of nations, and the evolution of people’s. Focusing on the constants blinds us to the vital changes, as seeing just a green forest masks its many kinds of change — from its overall ecological succession and the life cycle of individual trees.

        Speaking in general (not of you), this “things don’t change” attitude is an excuse for passivity. The 1% loves it, as they know better.

      2. Not passive just not hopeful that this will end well. I doubt that “this time is different “. And so does Ian Welsh. More importantly I and my Grandkids are among the different whose ancestress have been on the receiving end.

      3. Cyaker,

        “Always in motion is the future, and so difficult to see”
        — Yoda

        It is difficult to see how this will end well. But the creation of America was a bet against the odds of history. Our history is a series of wins against the odds.

        Surrender — which so far as I can see is our major civic activity (its justification, our chief intellectual activity — makes failure certain.

      4. Unfortunately those that care are few and far between while a as long as the others have their toys, bread and circuses they are happy. Especially since the critical thinking, necessary to know the temperature in the pot is being increased, slowly deteriorated. On the other hand some of the young are beginning to pay attention and that’s a good thing. It’s also not always easy to know who is real and who is not real or is just well intentioned but wrong headed.

  4. FM remarks: “It is difficult to see how this will end well. But the creation of America was a bet against the odds of history. Our history is a series of wins against the odds.”

    America has done itself worse harms to its constitutional liberties in the past, and reversed course. The most extreme examples? The Alien and Sedition Act of 1798, which amazingly has never been officially repealed but which is most certainly dead-letter law, the Palmer deportations of 1919-1920 (U.S. citizens judged leftists had their citizenship revoked and were forcibly deported to foreign countries), and the arrest and internment of the Japanese-American citizens in 1942 — not one of whom ever committed an act of treason against America, either before or after their internment.

    So it’s important not to despair. If we give up hope, we stop trying to change America…and we automatically guarantee a slide into tyranny.

    Meanwhile, greedy unscrupulous weapons manufacturers continue to peddle military hardware to local police departments, finding eager buyers. As in this instance where Seattle police seek more drones even though they have several sitting in a warehouse because they can’t think up a use for them.

    The public needs to protest these weapons manufacturers directly, surrounding their factories and lying down in front of their executives’ houses until they stop this kind of creeping fascism. Military weapons systems have no business being deployed against peacable U.S. citizens.

    1. Thomas,

      Trivia note — there were 4 acts collectively called the Alien and sedition acts. One expired in 1800, another in 1801, a third was repealed in 1802.

      The 4th, The Alien Enemies Act, remains in effect as 50 USC Sections 21–24.

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