Baseball91's Weblog

August 19, 2014

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Navy Seals And U S Army Helicopters Invade Minneapolis and St Paul

Filed under: Uncategorized — baseball91 @ 5:17 AM
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Military helicopters flew low Monday night over St. Paul and Minneapolis in Department of Defense exercises in goings-on which, a Minneapolis government official said, should not be shared with the general public. St. Paul police officials told the St Paul Pioneer Press a training exercise involving Homeland Security and local law enforcement – reportedly involving Navy Seals with Army pilots, engaging in rappelling exercises from helicopters onto the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank – began just before 8 p.m. and was scheduled to last until midnight.

Instructions to the media from the City of Minneapolis read, “Please call with locations or addresses you have questions about. These are Department of Defense exercises that should not be shared with the general public and security is of the utmost concern.”

In 2002 the Pentagon established the U.S. Northern Command, charged with carrying out military operations within the United States. Prior to this, under the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the U.S. armed forces had been barred from domestic operations, except in specific, limited circumstances.

With all the exercises originating in the City of Minneapolis, a City of Minneapolis written statement released within 15 minutes of the exercise said: “There will be some night training going on, which includes military helicopters.” Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder refused to answer additional questions from the St Paul Pioneer Press about the exercise. “It’s a training exercise.”

Watch commander of the St Paul Police Department initially had no information on the exercise. Those distant people from the Department of Defense didn’t have to tell the local people anything. Informed the exercise involved Navy Seals along with Army pilots from units in the southern states, St Paul City councilman Dave Thune told the St Paul Pioneer Press, “Apparently (local law enforcement) worked something out last March. Apparently they we are supposed to go through the city of Minneapolis PIO to let people know, but that didn’t work out so well. When you’ve got Blackhawk helicopters flying between buildings full of people in the middle of the night, it’s just not safe. … It’s absolutely wrong for us as a civilian police department to be engaging in military exercises. It shouldn’t happen here.”

Said a man named Bud from St Paul, “I live on the 7th floor of a condo building downtown St.Paul and to see a Blackhawk helicopter go spending by my window close enough to see the pilot with no warning is rather disturbing.”

The last of the helicopters flew over the Cathedral of St Paul at 11:55 pm on Monday night.

Said a woman named Betty who makes the 27th floor of a condominium her downtown Minneapolis home, “Watching Blackhawks weave in and out of the space between my building and the high-rise condo across the street was nerve-wracking. They were flying faster than scenes from action movies. Some of the helicopters had absolutely no lighting. I could see the faces of the military personnel hanging off the side of the helicopters, while holding their assault rifles. Don’t tell me that this is what I should expect because I live in downtown Minneapolis. The excuse that the public wasn’t given any warning about these maneuvers because of security reasons is hogwash. There should have been some kind of heads up.”

The New York Times reported in July 2009 that the Bush administration in 2002 considered sending U.S. troops into a Buffalo, N.Y., suburb to arrest a group of terror suspects in what would have been a nearly unprecedented use of military power. The Associated Press noted that dispatching U.S. army troops into the streets is virtually unheard of. “The Constitution and various laws restrict the military from being used to conduct domestic raids and seize property.”

A 1994 U.S. Defense Department Directive (DODD 3025) allegedly allows military commanders to take emergency actions in domestic situations to save lives, prevent suffering or mitigate great property damage. The Clinton administration had set up the Joint Task Force-Civil Support in October 1999 as a “homeland defense command.” Under the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the U.S. Armed Forces had been barred from domestic operations, except in specific, limited circumstances, to “enforce the laws of the United States” unless a separate statute provides otherwise. Even with existing exceptions, the Posse Comitatus Act continues to prohibit active duty military personnel from conducting searches, or engaging in seizures or arrests in the domestic arena.

Meanwhile, as protests continue in Missouri over what seems to have been an issue of arrogance of a police officer who could do whatever he wanted, President Obama called for calm: “While I understand the passions and anger that arise over the death of Michael Brown,” President Obama said from Washington in a two days interruption from his summer vacation, “giving in to that anger by looting or carrying guns and even attacking the police only serves to raise tensions.”

 

 

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2 Comments »

  1. Eric Holder said Wednesday that he understands why many black Americans distrust the police as ……. That distrust is going to grow when the both black and white Americans figure out what they have sacrificed in the way of liberty for greater “ease” and protection in their lives, as the next generation ages. Those kids of ours — black and white — will be unforgiving toward the previous generation. Because what you have lost is often never able to return.

    Comment by paperlessworld — August 21, 2014 @ 4:11 PM | Reply

  2. As a followup 12 months later, on how the military believes it is above the populace in this democratic elected representative government, read what has been uncovered from behind the scenes to this event, thanks to Public Access Media. As reported in the Startribune, “documents show that the exercises were directed by the Naval Special Warfare Development Group in Virginia Beach, Va., although a military spokesman told reporters that the helicopters belonged to an Army regiment based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.”

    http://www.startribune.com/twin-cities-chopper-exercise-was-long-planned-poorly-publicized-documents-show/315595841/

    Comment by baseball91 — July 17, 2015 @ 12:21 AM | Reply


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