There were military drills in LA and Chicago last year and more recently drills in Miami, Austin, Houston, and Galveston among other places. Can someone please tell me why such drills, with simulated gunfire and explosions, need to be conducted in densely populated civilian areas when there are plenty of military bases where such drills could be conducted (1) without alarming or annoying the public (i.e. gunfire on city streets?) and (2) without creating risk to the public (e.g. possible helicopter crash during low flyovers of areas of heavy traffic congestion or over crowds dispersing from a Miami Heat game)? There's the stated purpose but I question that. Comments?
Notice the obligatory "for the children" propaganda statement at 1:20 to punctuate the report. Classic.
Nasty stuff if the whole area isn't made aware of the drill. ... Well I might be mistaken but the military seems to want an element of surprise , so the question is why? Does it want to see how the lab rats reacts to this? A one time thing, or is it going to continue doing this every so often so that the lab rats becomes numb. Like an everyday occurence. Shock Doctrine. Then the military state? Doesn't look good. We don't get this in Canada ....hope not!
I have had the same questions in my mind. Like you, I can think of no GOOD reason to do this. I can think of plenty of bad reasons. In Houston a school was locked down because of the terror of the unannounced exercises. It seems pretty close to yelling fire in a crowded theater to me. Do you think they really care if they crash a copter into a civilian crowd? I know you don't. The people running these actions are accountable to nobody.
Is it desensitization of the public to military action in our cities? A show of force, much like parking aircraft carriers off the coast of a non-compliant country? Time will tell. Any way you slice it, it is chilling and wrong and any questions about it will be answered with lies.
"If it keeps our children safe, I'm all for it."
Okay, some initial thoughts.
The first thing I like to do is determine who I'm dealing with.
There are some strong indicators that can be seen with regards to the soldiers, so lets examine the MO and discernable elements of this really fast:
1. Insertion was by little bird. This was, more likely than not, an HR drill. That's Hostage Rescue. Only two agencies that I know of use the MH/AH-6 series of helos - the FBI's HRT and the U.S. Army (Various SOCOM units).
2. The Operators were in Multi-Cam - which is a camo pattern reserved for OEF (Afghanistan). They were not wearing boots, but shoes, and their pants weren't tucked in. They were carrying M4's with camo paint, as well, though that's pretty common these days in the field, unless you're part of a SOCOM unit, they need to be returned to "rack" standards upon return to garrison (demobilized). This all leads me to believe they were not military.
If the military was involved, it's as a training liason. Many police departments are now using Multi-cam and emulating military special operations forces. My bet is that this is a SWAT or FBI HRT unit. Coupled with point 1, I'm guessing this was an FBI move - they've allocated a strong percent of their resources to the Anti-Terror/COIN operations. The major they talked to was probably the J2 OIC (joint intelligence section officer in charge) and he was probably guard, or reserve component, though it's possible if this was just HR training that it could have been active duty.
3. I don't see blank firing adaptors on those weapons, and blanks/SimFX are not loud. This was a live fire exercise inside the school. This small detail gives us a good bit of information:
a. It was pre-planned, and pre-arranged - bullets will travel through walls, so precautionary measures would have had to be in place.
b. This was a "big deal". It wasn't something that was routine. It was probably a vetting process for a multi-prong, multi-agency response. I've participated in similar before, where DHS, FBI, National Guard and FEMA were all 'teamed up' for an excercise. However, this does not look like the usual "disaster prep" drill - though it's entirely possible that aspect of the excercize WAS conducted on a small camp/fort somewhere.
c. They cared more about the operation than its visibility. I'm not sure what to make of this...
4. If you look at ~1:02-1:05, there's a man in a flanel shirt and orange vest. This guy isn't checking fiber optic cables. He's got a radio and is probably an exercise controller/evaluator.
And... dark black sunglasses. Good God do they love their dark black sunglasses.
The U.S. Military is not allowed to conduct operations against U.S. Citizens as per the Posse Comitatus Act, but that doesn't stop them from filling roles as technical and tactical advisors.
As to why they're operating in densely populated areas, I can only guess that they "found" something that fit their training requirements. I know that this probably looks and sounds neferious, and no doubt, there is some element of this training that's specifically giving the FBI practice killing "insurgents" (who probably are American citizens, rewritten as "criminals") after a simulated disaster, it's likely that this is just an exercise that gives all the involved agencies a role in what they would "normally" do in an emergency...
For example, this might have been a drill in which a hurricane hits the Gulf, and knocks out a chemical plant that's spilling toxins into the groundwater. Some certain number of citizens will have been exposed and need to be relocated while the mess is cleaned. At the same time, sections of road will be destroyed, and people will be trapped in the rubble. For the sake of validation, some terrorist organization will have used the chaos to further their agenda (and this is me making inferences here) to take a school full of kids hostage. They'll almost indefinately be middle-aged, anglo gun-owners who are pushing some sort of anti-government agenda. Seen it before, so if that's something you suspect, yes. It's being planned for and rehearsed right now by various agencies.
This gives military assets a CERF-P role in cleaning and decontamination, some medical assets training in rescuing and performing triage under austere conditions, Civil Engineering assets practice clearing roads and rebuilding or clearing debris and law enforcement assets pulling trigger and providing security.
That's all I've got.
I for one really appreciate your gracing us with your expertise on this subject... Thank you!
I second Jim's appreciation. It's nice to have an expert opinion on something that could otherwise be interpreted as troubling.
The answer is "Yes" to al the above.
Thanks for your insights, as always. I'm not so sure there was a live fire drill in the school though. I just don't see that type of activity occurring in that type of setting.
With the Miami drill that someone else posted before my post (MarkM, I think), there were rounds going off from the helicopters flying over civilian areas.
Obviously, those rounds weren't live (at least I would hope they weren't). I'm not sure how those blanks rounds work since it just wouldn't be cool to have shell casings showering down on civilian cars and such. From the low cyclic rate, I would guess it's a larger caliber weapon (not 5.56 or 7.62 mm. but perhaps 30 mm chain gun or 40 mm. grenade launcher). I know someone who has a 50 BMG mounted on a military jeep that he drives in our 4th of July parade and he fires off blanks. They are quite loud but not quite as loud as a live round. However, there are no ejected shell casings so I assume in these drills, the same kind of blank rounds are used.
With regards to who uses the Little Birds, I'll defer to your knowledge in this matter since I have only superficial knowledge of their military applications. I do know that this same basic helicopter design, the Hughes 500, is widely used in many civilian roles and have flown in one myself so their use may not be that limited..
As to US troops and posse comitatus, we know of the Army brigade trained for domestic operations. We also know of agreements that the US government has with 15 other nations to provide troops to us in the event of widespread domestic disturbance, whatever that might be.
Also, athough there is only one source of this information, this report, if true, should concern us greatly.
" "The new litmus test of leadership in the military is if they will fire on US citizens or not," the unnamed military officer reportedly said. Dr. Garrow also wrote that those who do not meet this litmus test are being removed."
Composed of FBI agents, some of whom have prior military experience, the team is deployed quickly to trouble spots and provides assistance to local FBI offices during hostage situations. It has participated in hostage situations more than 800 times in the U.S. and elsewhere since 1983, the FBI said.
"As an elite counterterrorism tactical team for law enforcement, the HRT is one of the best, if not the best, in the United States," Sean Joyce, deputy FBI director, said in a statement released during the Alabama standoff.
In addition to employing its counterterrorism unit, the FBI brought out a full array of military-style equipment, including armored personnel carriers and combat rifles. Many were visible at the scene during the standoff.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/02/07/alabama-kidnapper-was-killed-in-firefight-during-storming-bunker-fbi-says/?test=latestnews#ixzz2KFkeJT3R
"Army special-operations helicopters on a training exercise buzzed the Port Angeles area late Thursday night in an episode that the mayor says “terrorized my city.”
An Army official apologized Friday for the unannounced training mission."
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