Brad Sherman shoulda known better…

Naomi_wolf Congressman Sherman was interviewed on a radio talk show in Austin.  Listen to him talk about what he said on the floor of the House.

What he is saying is that one or more members of the House (Whips probably) told him that they had been told by other members of the House that there would be various bad and catastrophic results if there was a second failure to pass the Paulson bailout law.

He does not say that the Executuve Branch threatened anything like that.  His statement has nothing to do with anything that Northcom is doing.

He is basically talking about the kind of feckless nonsense the Congressmen say to eash other when trying to line up members for a vote.

Naomi Wolf?  A flake if ever there was one.  Her piece, linked to below, is a tissue of fantasy.

What is the matter with you people????  pl

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40 Responses to Brad Sherman shoulda known better…

  1. Fred says:

    If Naomi feels this bad about the direction America is heading in she should run for office. If she could actually get elected then she could do something to change the direction of this country. The key question is once the troops come back from Iraq just where did she expect them to be deployed?

  2. greg0 says:

    Sorry. But I like fantasy!
    Thanks for the YouTube clip. It had nicely ominous Empire Strikes Back theme music. Rep Sherman’s quotes sound believable, however: “overblown effort to create panic in order to pass a bad bill” and “panic takes a life of it’s own”.
    Consider the censorship of journalism, mass arrests of citizens without regard to legalities, wiretapping on a broad basis, recent stolen elections, and hateful rhetoric, and you may have to excuse those who simply wonder when the other hobnailed boot is going to drop.
    Let’s hope it’s just a fantasy.

  3. I’m surprised at the opacity of your analysis. Bad week?

  4. Dave of Maryland says:

    When the government thinks the natives are this restless, they’re either completely out of touch, or they’re on to something.
    Neither possibility is exactly cheerful.
    How about a government that actually works for a change?

  5. Patrick Lang says:

    Maybe you just don’t agree with it? maybe you are having a bad week? pl

  6. No market worries here. It’s all sunshine and unicorns from where I sit. John McCain even called his fellow Americans “fellow prisoners” in a stump speech recently. (See the youTube) Silly times we live in. I respect your analysis, generally. But this homeland “duty” smells from the head and you know it. When in American history have troops fresh out of combat been tasked with such an undefined “mission?” And when has it been necessary? Just what we need: Iraq-sharpened combat soldiers facing down hungry, frustrated, desperate Americans. Using the passive language of the military-industrial drones, “This idea isn’t liked.”

  7. Patrick Lang says:

    You are quite wrong here.
    All troops stationed in the CONUS are available for a variety of tasks while they are here. Some of them are; training the reserves, conducting ROTC Summer training camp, fighting forest fires, their own training cycle, assistance to law enforcement in an emergency. Units are subject to these and many other taskings as a routine matter. What this particular tasking does is free that BCT from other taskings so that it can concentrate on training and planning for this one. Northcom probably asked for this in order to have some regular troops who would concentrate on their mission.
    You do know, don’t you that US Army and marine units are normally stationed in the US? The 82nd at Ft Bragg NC, the 1st Cavalry Division at Ft. Hood TX, etc.
    I have the impression that people who are reeacting to this as you are, are either 1- don’t want to understand or 2- know so little about the armed forces that the answers are incomprehensible to you.
    Maybe the regular armed forces should just say to hell with you and let you deal with the next Katrina or whatever all by yourselves. pl

  8. Patrick Lang says:

    For the benefit of all, we (the USA) did not do unit rotations in WW1, WW2, Korea and Vietnam. Therefore, there could not be UNITS in CONUS during those wars that had recently been in combat.
    It is a non-issue anyway unless you think that combat veterans are dangerous. If they are, you should be polite to them. pl

  9. jonst says:

    If PL “know[s] it” why would he not say what he “knows”? What, that has gone on on this blog, makes you think he “know[s] it” but won’t say it? And if you think he is that deceptive what is the point of reading the blog? Not being confrontational here SS….just curious. People can disagree, even at this point in America, without automatically going to motives or deception. Disagree with him. Hell, bitterly disagree with him. But leave bad faith aside. So I would argue, anyway.

  10. Mad Dog says:

    “It is a non-issue anyway unless you think that combat veterans are dangerous. If they are, you should be polite to them. pl”
    And hopefully, vice versa. *g*

  11. J says:

    What I’m reading here from some within your readership is not they fear our military and its personnel, but ‘question’ the ‘motives and methods’ of the civilian leadership that has been misusing and abusing both our military and civilian entities for its crooked civilian leadership’s personal gains. When the civilian population witnesses sooo much money $1 Trillion plus budgeted by the Congress for the latest military budgeting, and at the same time these very same persons within the civilian leadership seemingly oblivious to the most basic needs and ‘pain’ of our nation’s most vulnerable. It does make our civilian population just a wee bit skittish and leery whenever/however the civilian leadership moves the pawns (i.e. military units) on the chess board.
    Just an ‘observation’ on my part, which may or may not be accurate depending on one’s point of view.
    Ahh, there’s the supper bell, Bon Appetit all.

  12. DaveGood says:

    As I understand it there are two factors at play here.
    One of them is that for the first time a Combat Unit of the US military has been specifically detailed to…. let us say… “restrain” any large scale protest by the citizens of the US.
    And the other is the building on US military bases of up to 40,00 prison cells for the said Citizens.
    Such prisons to be known collectively as the.. “Civilian Inmate Labor Program”
    You might want to read and comment on the implications inherent this document published by the US Army.

  13. Remember the “Help is on the way” message from Cheney as VP nominee in 2000 to the active forces? In addition to other writings Naomi Wolf’s “Shock Doctrine” reaches conclusions that indicate much more considered misuse of institutions by the leadership of various countries, including the US, then I think can be documented by academic or even non-biased research. Clear though she has struck some nerves when the media is so in-ept and academics and policy wonks so in-ept in explaining civil-military relationships in the US. Although I also disagree with some of his conclusions, recommend Samuel Huntington’s “The Soldier and the State” to readers of this blog. Most of the active military flag ranks are familiar with this book.

  14. HSDell says:

    I understand you believe that the fear of American troops being used against American citizens as described would never happen. Is there a line or some threshold that if crossed by this administration with or without the use of the military, would constitute a misuse of the military and cross over into tyranny? Or, can the government do no wrong or ever go too far in your view?
    I’d really be interested in your response.

  15. TR Stone says:

    How did America get to this point in time, both in policy and campaigning.
    It seems to me that the political divide is becoming similiar to the Sunni/Shia split.
    I can only hope that the extremes on both sides, especially the right, are just dilettantes in this increasingly ugly run for the Presidency.

  16. Hawk Of May says:

    Americans have always liked a good conspiracy theory. From the assassination of President Lincoln to the assassination of President Kennedy to 9/11 a conspiracy theory of one sort or another has sprung up.
    This time we happen to have a perfect economic storm combined with two overseas wars which is all ratcheting up the anxiety level here in the states.
    Layer on top of this the quasi-imperial view that the current president has…well you have some pretty rich soil for conspiracy theories like the one involving “The Raiders”.
    I’m 99.99% sure that this one will end up in the trash bin like all the other conspiracy theories.

  17. Dick says:

    The 82nd Airborne was used in ’67 in Detroit. The majority of those deployed in The Motor City were Vietnam combat vets. Clearly it was a situation that got beyond the control of the local authorities. The 82nd acted professionally and helped restore order, and went back to Fayetteville. Regular troops have been used within the US many times. Another e.g. the Bonus Army marchers after WWI. Anyway, Federal troops were not used, for example, during the great Civil Rights marches on Washington, or the ’68 Dem Convention (however a large force of 82nd troopers and Marines were stationed on Homestead AFB for the Repub Convention of ’72 in Miami Beach).
    So, I conclude that it is not a question of a federal garrison in our midst, ready to suppress our Liberty. Naomi is crying wolf.
    What I wonder and fear is someone like Cheney calling out the troops in a PREMEDITATIVE move of SUPPRESSION against something like a mass protest on Washington. That would be cause, in my opinion, for the second burning of the White House (symbolically speaking). Fortunately, with the upcomming (01.20.09) ouster of the scoundrels in power, that is an unlikely scenario.

  18. Patrick Lang says:

    HS Dell
    “Is there a line or some threshold that if crossed by this administration with or without the use of the military, would constitute a misuse of the military and cross over into tyranny? Or, can the government do no wrong or ever go too far in your view?
    I’d really be interested in your response.”
    Could you have been more insulting?
    I have been very clear that use of the military in support of and at the request of civllian government is appropriate. I have been very clear that I believe in the US Constitution before everything but my religion.
    I see that nothing has really changed in the last 40 years. You are the equivalent of the woman who spat on me in San Francisco in 1968.
    The doctinaire left and the doctrinaire right are equally despicable.
    There is an end to everything. pl

  19. David W. says:

    I dunno, Col, good faith for our current govt. is in short supply these days, and deservedly so. Sounds like Sherman broke some clubby ideal that was leftover from the previous century. Perhaps this fear mongering in the dark needs to stop, so why not throw some sunlight on it. After all, passive acceptance to the fear mongering around 9/11 is what led us into the tarpit. If the regime backers were playing up martial law, then let’s hear about it. Hell, after 50 years of visions of mushroom clouds being planted in our heads, this ain’t nothing to cover the kids’ ears over.
    I think any sort of ‘tinfoil hat’ accusations can be mollified by looking at the hyper-security attitude that has become the norm at such events as the Republican and Democratic National Conventions or WTO Conferences (they’re having a hard time having those anywhere lately).
    The worry that the Army would be used against us, while increasingly a possibility, is not likely, but for the reason that what those in power need most from We the People is for us to keep working, spending and shopping (which should be a clue to the key to our cell, my fellow prisoners).
    Also, let’s not confuse Naomi Wolf, the flaky feminist with Naomi Klein the journalist and author of The Shock Doctrine.

  20. frank durkee says:

    As an Episcopal priest at an innercity parish during the Washington, D.C riots after Dr. Kings killing, I can still remember how relieved we all were with the arrival of units of the 82nd in our area of the riot. It was the first element that was effective in the restoration of a semblence of order, in the midst of burning, looting, and armed threats in our neighborhood. that seemed to me a very legitimate use of our regular army then and would in comporable situations be today. If you have lived, even if for a very short time, in situations of violence without effective means of quelling it on the civilian side, the use of those who can do that task is most welcome. that relief was shared by our parishoners and our poor black neighborhood.
    I am probably in the eyes of many of you a ’60’s radical social activist. However, when the civilian capacity to maintain the minimum of order fails, the use of our military forces to secure that is welcome, aat least to those in the midst of the violence, who were feeding, housing, and medically treating those at risk. What they are being trained for is not an abstraction but a past reality and an always present possibility. Be grateful that that capacity is there, just hope you are never where you need it.

  21. HSDell says:

    My sincere apologies for having insulted you–I see where sarcasm entered my thoughts. That is not what I intended, and I humbly take it back.
    I have sincerely valued your perspective and experience over the few years I’ve frequented this website.
    And, as an average citizen, I REALLY would value your thoughts on my actual question, about where you would draw that line.
    My own opinion, for what it’s worth, is that either government military or private forces (i.e. Blackwater) going door-to-door as they did in New Orleans, confiscating guns of law abiding citizens, or arresting citizens for peaceful civil disobedience, is right up against the line.
    Thank you.

  22. Stand corrected on the Naomis! Thanks!

  23. bstr says:

    Dear Sir, You ask “What is the matter with you people????” The answer is eight years of Executive Office lying. A crazy Market. A world in which Russia, not the UN not the USA, can bail out Iceland.An election in the 21st century which might hang on racism. If you think your readership is shaky now please recall that in the end we are a part of a very battered public. What we have to fear is the possibility of a reaction, as in the battered wife syndrome defense.

  24. drongo says:

    The continental US is approximately 3 million square miles and is the home to what? – 300 million people in perhaps twenty metropolitan areas the size of Baghdad. The paranoid apocalyptic fantasists on this blog who seem to imagine that the US Army is about to be turned on to the American population need to explain just how a division of that army could possibly be used to asssault the American people or occupy the American nation. Gen Shinseki estimated half a million men would be needed to control a post war Iraq that has a population of near 30 million and an area smaller than Texas; any planner expecting to impose some sort of military control over the US would logically be looking at a military force of perhaps ten million. My knowledge of American history tells me the US Army has not been that size since WW2. Quite apart from the wild improbability of American soldiers turning their arms against the constitution of the US, simple maths surely tells us that the scenario is as unlikely as Sarah Palin turning vegetarian and speaking intelligently.

  25. Patrick Lang says:

    Its a brigade actually with some attechments, maybe 5,000 people. That makes your argument even more cogent.
    There is alo the little matter of over 200 million guns in citizen hands. pl

  26. DaveGood says:

    Drongo and PL…
    You are overlooking the obvious.
    With the Wall Street Bailout sucking the last of America’s wealth away it is now a matter of urgency to yank in America’s over sea’s empire of 700+ Bases.
    It is not possible to fund the Pentagon on anything like the level it’s got used too.
    That brings back hundreds of thousands of idle troops.
    And if the ” president” orders the Army to put down dissent… will the Army follow orders or not?
    In any Army anywhere at any time….. there will always be hundreds of Lt. Calley’s and damn few Hugh Thompson Jr’s.
    Admittedly, faced with a pissed off population of 300 million, armed to the teeth and aware that they’ve been swindled… is not something the US military would relish taking on.
    But if ordered to do so by a desperate civilian “Leadership”… I’m sure they’d attempt it.

  27. Patrick Lang says:

    You have never been in the US Army. The troops are never “idle.” They get more time off in combat than in the States.
    You do not seem to understand that the soldiers you blather about are your fellow citizens. For you they are obviously, “the other.” I’ll bet you never even considered joining the military. Too good for that?
    He would never have been an officer if college graduates from the privileged classes had been willing to serve in sufficient numbers. You seem to forget that Calley was convicted of murder by a court-martial.
    Maybe you should talk about something you understand. pl

  28. Mike Martin, Yorktown, VA says:

    Pat, when you said, “… Northcom probably asked for this in order to have some regular troops who would concentrate on their mission.”, my old dim bulb glowed a little.
    My guess is that NORTHCOM, now with an assigned ground component, has gotten a seat at the table with the other unified commands and is therefore legitimized, allowing the four star to have increased self esteem.
    This line from NORTHCOM’s web site strikes me as unusual: “U.S. Army North conducted the exercise while ITS SUBORDINATE , JOINT(emph added)Task Force Civil Support,…” Interesting to see that a JOINT organization is subbed to a service – not my understanding of joint doctrine, Goldwater-Nichols act.
    Whatever. Still not sure I see the need for NORTHCOM anyway other than to thinly justify a few more GO/FO billets.

  29. DaveGood says:

    Actually I’m intimately familiar with the military ( I’m UK not US)… My father was in the Army, two of my Uncles served in the Royal Navy, my father was awarded an OBE for his services but died before he received it, my uncle’s both reached middle to senior positions in the Navy.
    And yes I did consider a military career.
    And no I don’t consider a military career “below” me.
    Facts remain facts……George Bush has pissed away the Pentagon’s Budget ( Let me rephrase that, George w Bush has effectively bankrupted all of America) for as far ahead as we can see which means, like it or not, those troops abroad are coming home.
    That makes them available for “Other Duties”… and we know that those duties now include jailing American citizens ( You have read that link to the Army doc I posted haven’t you? For your further information… the money to build forty thousand prison cells for civilians, in American military bases has been allocated, and spent, KBR was awarded the contract and I’ve seen online photo’s of the “Facilities”… appear to be modular, portakabin type structures, stored off site but can be quickly shipped and assembled).
    And in my experience, Soldiers, by and large, are not exactly what the rest of the population regard as “Citizens” and they themselves take pride in identifying themselves as a breed apart from typical Citizens.
    For starters basic military training is designed and intended to break down the ” Citizen” ethic and replace it with the “Warrior” ethic.
    A “Soldier” is told he is “special”, different from and superior to any other profession or purpose a citizen can pursue, they are housed separately, in barracks, from citizens, they are taught that “Civilian\citizen” is something to at best to be protected, at worst to pitied or even despised.
    They are, as far as possible… kept away from citizens.
    And let’s face it Colonel… the finest soldiers are those who can induce within themselves a state of controlled murderous psychosis.
    All military training, especially that for infantry….is based on that.
    When brought to the point a soldier has to be able to kill total strangers ruthlesslly…. (something a “Citizen is absolutly barred from doing) but also be able to switch that off once the “objective” has been achieved.
    Thing is… all armies, all those who control or train armies, know how to Switch their soldiers on, but having done so, there is no reliable method for switching them off again.
    And therefore the Calley’s of the world far outnumber the Hugh Thompson Jr’s.

  30. Dana Jone says:

    “It is not possible to fund the Pentagon on anything like the level it’s got used too.” DaveGood
    Unfortunately, this may be true. I think that the Republicans have finally drowned the baby (“big” gov’mint) in the bathtub, now they realize that they have also drowned the goose & the golden eggs.
    The only branch of government left with any discretionary budget to cut is the Defense budget. At the current level of government spending, with all the various bailouts, there will be no money left. The Pentagon will have to make some sacrifices too.
    “And if the ” president” orders the Army to put down dissent… will the Army follow orders or not?”
    If there truly is panic and rioting in the streets, yes. But if it is of the kind of dissent as greeted Pres. Bush as he was driven to take the Oath of Office (do you recall? Eggs, tomatoes, etc thrown at the limo, people BOOing along the route, signs of protest.), as he leaves office, I feel that our soldiers will stand aside and respect the protesters.
    After all, how much respect has the CiC shown them? how many funerals of the fallen has he attended? None. That is about as much respect as he should get from them, but they should still respect the Office.

  31. Patrick Lang says:

    As you can see, I did read the AR that DaveGood cited and provided analysis of it,
    Either he did not bother to read my response or he is just not interested. pl

  32. Mark A. Gaughan says:

    I am an USACE army civilian working in a Power PRT in Texas in response to Hurricane Ike. We got generators installed at hospitals, assisted living facilities, temporary living quarters for first responders, police, Red Cross kitchens, etc. The 249th Engineering Battalion of the army did all the assessments. They’re known as Prime Power. You can’t get a better group of people. They were on top of their game and a pleasure to work with – the best!

  33. jonst says:

    Respectfully, I think you are clueless. I don’t mean to sound too pejorative but it may sound that way. I mean it to imply you simply don’t know what you are talking about. You may have read the docs…but you don’t know the personnel. You could sell me that Bush Cheney, Yoo, Addington et al are capable of just about anything. And I mean anything, including being able to justify in their minds the need for martial law, at some point in the future. But not American troops. Not yet. Not in the near future. I don’t know what the distant future holds for any of us. I just don’t think you know the men involved. That is all. And, why should you, you are overseas…the press has been, justifiably, harsh on American personnel. I don’t see either Iraq or Afghan as ‘our finest hour’. Nor the military’s ‘finest hour’. But that is a far cry from coming after their own citizens. You just have to know these men. My take, anyway.

  34. J says:

    Bacon sandwiches and Butternut Squash soup anyone? Man-O-Man, my wife can cook a mean meal. Sniff…..yum with a capital YUM.
    What was so great about transitioning between field and garrison activities was the feedbag my wife always had waiting for me at home.
    Have an enjoyable weekend everyone

  35. …the finest soldiers are those who can induce within themselves a state of controlled murderous psychosis.
    Others can speak for infantry better than I can, but I spent quite a few months in total sitting on top of an extinct volcano in Honduras with guys from various units such as the 10th Mountain Div.
    I just cannot for the life of me envision any of them inducing themselves into a state of “controlled murderous psychosis!” They were just normal people dealing with the boredom and frustration of constant deployments. They wanted to go home. They wanted to see their families. Many were planning to get out after their first term. They wanted the freedom to get wasted with their buddies on their time off. And they wanted us to fix their Mr. Coffee machine when it blew a fuse – there must *always* be coffee!
    I cannot imagine any of these soldiers pulling the trigger with fellow citizens in their sites.
    Someone has already mentioned Kent State. Well, I agree with Blue Girl who commented on the other thread – there’s going to be a small minority willing to pull the trigger, the vast majority of which would probably be enlisted ranks. But at Kent State there had already been three days of tensions leading up to the shootings, and as Col Lang implied these were not the most disciplined of troops. There are other issues of that time that don’t apply today, but that’s another topic.
    As far as I can tell, NORTHCOM is a formal way of organizing what used to be ad hoc civil defense activities.
    Enough on this topic. I’ve got lame economic predictions to foul up and retirement savings to flush down the toilet.

  36. bstr says:

    Dear Sir, in your response to Drongo you mention,”There is also the little matter of over 200 million guns in citizen hands.” Watching the growing rage at the McCain rallies,hearing them chastise McCain when he informs them Obama is not an Arab, realize that some of those showing the most anger, some of those, are the same people who driven by their inner disatisfactions are the most likely to view themselves as “battered wives” and are among the most likely to take up arms against the state. Two hundred million guns?

  37. srv says:

    While I agree this unit can’t control the US, this isn’t about capability. It’s about laying the groundwork. If Naomi has to whip some crazy talk to get people to even notice this stuff, I’ll give her plenty of slack.
    The Boykins and clones who rolled over when a VP inserted himself into the NCA chain are not going to jump on their swords when the time comes. Even if they wondered, they’re not going to have any deeper understanding of Addingtons Constitutional law footnotes in the Continuity of Operations manual. The Constitution is purely relative at this point.
    And no one could imagine someone getting a list of all the cell phones active near any unapproved protest and making short work of it. No, we’d have to barricade and wall in all the cities and take away 200 million guns to do that.
    Fascism won’t require 10M troops.

  38. m savoca says:

    bush reservesd the right to ignor the posse comitatus act…
    “HR5122 also known as the John Warner Defense Authorization Act was signed by the president on Oct 17, 2006 John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007. Section 1076 Text of Hr5122 is titled “Use of the Armed Forces in major public emergencies”. Removing the legalese from the text, and combining multiple sentences, it provides that: The President may employ the armed forces to restore public order in any state of the United States the president determines hinders the execution of laws or deprives people of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law or opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws. The actual text is on page 322-323 of the legislation. As of 2008, these changes were repealed, changing the text of the law back to the original 1878 wording, under Public Law 110-181 (H.R. 4986, Section 1068,) however in signing H.R. 4986 into law President Bush attached a signing statement which indicated that the Executive Branch did not feel bound by the changes enacted by the repeal.”
    from wikipedia

  39. Kevin says:

    Instead of deploying federal troops under title 10 orders inside the US, what about beefing up our civil defense force at state level? No I am not talking about the National Guard but our often neglected state guards, state militias, and state defense forces.

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