The American Civil Liberties Union is raising questions about why the Pentagon has assigned a fighting unit to the United States itself.
On October 1, the Northern Command (NorthCom), for the first time ever, got its own dedicated Army force. And not just any force. The unit the Pentagon assigned to NorthCom is the 3rd Infantry, First Brigade Combat Team, which has spent three of the last five years in Iraq. One of its specialties is counterinsurgency.
“This is a radical departure from separation of civilian law enforcement and military authority and could, quite possibly, represent a violation of law,” said Mike German, ACLU national security policy counsel. “Our Founding Fathers understood the threat that a standing army could pose to American liberty.”
German also noted that Congress has “passed statutory protections to ensure that the Army could not be turned against the American people,” he said in the ACLU’s press release. “The erosion of these protections should concern every American,” German said. The ACLU is seeking documents from the Justice Department, the Pentagon, and Homeland Security that “authorize the deployment of military troops for domestic purposes.”