NorthCom Is Going to the Conventions
Already there are 60 law enforcement agencies involved in providing security at the upcoming Republican Convention in Tampa.
Well, you better make that 61 because the U.S. Northern Command is also getting involved.
NorthCom, as it’s called, was put in place by George W. Bush as the Pentagon’s own arm for patrolling the United States. Its website says “the command is assigned forces whenever necessary to execute missions, as ordered by the President and the Secretary of Defense.”
An enterprising reporter with Tampa Tribune contacted NorthCom recently about any plans it has for the conventions.
And the reporter got this response:
"During the Democratic/Republican National Conventions, Department of Defense personnel will support the U.S. Secret Service,” which is in charge, said the spokesman.
But then the NorthCom spokesman got all mum.
"For operational security reasons we do not discuss the numbers of military personnel and resources that are involved," U.S. Navy Lt. Cdr. William G. Lewis said. "Additionally, we do not share our operational plans."
Tampa won’t be NorthCom’s first political rodeo. It was at the Republican Convention in St. Paul in 2008, screening and scanning the area, a NorthCom official told me a couple of years ago.
(See “What Is NorthCom Up To?”in the February 2009 issue of The Progressive.)
Under the Posse Comitatus Act, the U.S. military is not supposed to be doing domestic law enforcement.
But don’t kid yourself. It already is. And somehow that doesn’t make me feel more safe – or more free.
Matthew Rothschild is the editor of The Progressive magazine. For a related story on how drivers for the Waste Management Company are also part of the law enforcement effort in Tampa, please click here.
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter
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