Backside of the Dollar: Bringing the War Home

The owners of the media as well as the rest of the planet have long prepared for the catastrophe that they’ve so carefully and assiduously engineered. This article was published in Covert Action Information Bulletin in 2000. Just another detail (like the empire’s decades-long infatuation with torture as a form of entertainment, since it serves no investigative purpose) which wasn’t and will never be covered on the likes of CNN and MSNBC. After all, the problem is trump, or conservatives or men, or white people or christians or jews etc.  Anything other than the luciferians, the ancient religion which is all inclusive and accepting of any and all psychopaths.

From: an…
Subject: Archived U.S. Military Civil Disturbance Planning: The War at Home
Message-ID: <ch8r62$1mg9$>
Date: 2 Sep 2004 23:16:02 -0500

Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2000 16:31:07 -0700 (PDT)
From: MichaelP <pap…>

Basically this item was published in the CovertAction Quarterly, and was placed on-line by the …

750 La Playa # 730
San Francisco, California 94121
To subscribe: afib-su…
To unsubscribe: afib-uns…
Inquiries: tburg…





By Frank Morales, f…

AFIB Editor’s Note: An edited version of this article currently
appears in CovertAction Quarterly, Number 69, Spring/Summer 2000; it
appears in Antifa Info-Bulletin with the author’s permission. For CAQ
subscription information see below.

Under the heading of “civil disturbance planning”, the U.S. military is
training troops and police to suppress democratic opposition in America.
The master plan, Department of Defense Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2, is
code-named, “Operation Garden Plot”. Originated in 1968, the “operational
plan” has been updated over the last three decades, most recently in 1991,
and was activated during the Los Angeles “riots” of 1992, and more than
likely during the recent anti-WTO “Battle in Seattle.” Current U.S.
military preparations for suppressing domestic civil disturbance,
including the training of National Guard troops and police, are actually
part of a long history of American “internal security” measures dating
back to the first American Revolution. Generally, these measures have
sought to thwart the aims of social justice movements, embodying the
concept that within the civilian body politic lurks an enemy that one day
the military might have to fight, or at least be ordered to fight.
Equipped with flexible “military operations in urban terrain” and
“operations other than war” doctrine, lethal and “less-than-lethal”
high-tech weaponry, US “armed forces” and “elite” militarized police units
are being trained to eradicate “disorder”, “disturbance” and “civil
disobedience” in America. Further, it may very well be that
police/military “civil disturbance” planning is the animating force and
the overarching logic behind the incredible nationwide growth of police
paramilitary units, a growth which coincidentally mirrors rising levels of
police violence directed at the American people, particularly “non-white”
poor and working people.

Military spokespeople, “judge advocates” (lawyers) and their congressional
supporters aggressively take the position that legal obstacles to military
involvement in domestic law enforcement civil disturbance operations, such
as the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, have been nullified. Legislated
“exceptions” and private commercialization of various aspects of U.S.
military-law enforcement efforts have supposedly removed their activities
from the legal reach of the “public domain”. Possibly illegal, ostensible
“training” scenarios like the recent “Operation Urban Warrior” no-notice
“urban terrain” war games, which took place in dozens of American cities,
are thinly disguised “civil disturbance suppression” exercises. In
addition, President Clinton recently appointed a “domestic military czar”,
a sort of national chief of police. You can bet that he is well versed in
Garden Plot requirements involved in “homeland defense”. Ominously, many
assume that the training of military and police forces to suppress
“outlawed” behavior of citizens, along with the creation of extensive and
sophisticated “emergency” social response networks set to spring into
action in the event of “civil unrest”, is prudent and acceptable in a
democracy. And yet, does not this assumption beg the question as to what
civil unrest is? One could argue for example, that civil disturbance is
nothing less than democracy in action, a message to the powers-that-be
that the people want change. In this instance “disturbing behavior” may
actually be the exercising of ones’ right to resist oppression.
Unfortunately, the American corporate/military directorship, which has the
power to enforce its’ definition of “disorder”, sees democracy as a threat
and permanent counter-revolution as a “national security” requirement. The
elite military/corporate sponsors of Garden Plot have their reasons for
civil disturbance contingency planning. Lets’ call it the paranoia of the
thief. Their rationale is simple: self-preservation. Fostering severe and
targeted “austerity”, massive inequality and unbridled greed, while
shifting more and more billions to the generals and the rich, the
de-regulated “entities of force” and their interlocking corporate
directors know quite well what their policies are engendering, namely, a
growing resistance. Consequently, they are systematically organizing to
protect their interests, their profits, and their criminal conspiracies.
To this end, they are rapidly consolidating an infrastructure of
repression designed to “suppress rebellion” against their “authority”. Or
more conveniently put, to suppress “rebellion against the authority of the
United States.” And so, as the Pentagon Incorporated increases its’
imperialist violence around the world, the chickens have indeed come home
to roost here in America in the form of a national security doctrine
obsessed with domestic “insurgency” and the need to pre-emptively
neutralize it. Its’ code-name: “Garden Plot”.

Recently, Pentagon spokesman Kenneth H. Bacon “acknowledged that the Air
Force wrongfully started and financed a highly classified, still-secret
project, known as a black program without informing Congress last year.”
The costs and nature of these projects “are the most classified secrets in
the Pentagon.”(1) Could it be that the current United States Air Force
Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2 Garden Plot is one such program financed from
this secret budget? We have a right to know. And following Seattle, we
have the need to know.

As this and numerous other documents reveal, U.S. military training in
civil disturbance “suppression”, which targets the American public, is in
full operation today. The formulation of legitimizing doctrine, the
training in the “tactics and techniques” of “civil disturbance
suppression”, and the use of “abusable”, “non-lethal” weaponry, are
ongoing, financed by tax dollars. According to the Pentagon, “US forces
deployed to assist federal and local authorities during times if civil
disturbance…will follow use-of-force policy found in Department of
Defense Civil Disturbance Plan-Garden Plot.” (Joint Chiefs of Staff,
Standing Rules of Engagement, Appendix A, 1 October 1994.)


“Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.” — Frederick Douglass,

Rochester, New York is the former home of Frederick Douglass’s, North Star
newspaper. In 1964, it erupted in one of the first large-scale urban
outbursts of the decade. Precipitated by white police violence against the
black community, the July uprising lasted several days, subsiding only
after the arrival of 1500 National Guardsmen. In “the fall of 1964, the
FBI, at the direction of President Johnson, began to make riot control
training available to local police departments, and by mid-1967 such
training assistance had been extended to more than 70,000 officials and
civilians.” (2)

On July 29, 1967, President Johnson issued Executive Order 11365,
establishing the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders. It is
more commonly known as the Kerner Commission, named for it’s chair, former
Major General, and then Governor of Illinois, Otto Kerner. The creation of
the commission came hot on the heels of the violence in Detroit, a
conflict which left 43 dead, several hundred wounded and over 5,000 people
homeless. Johnson sent troubleshooter Cyrus Vance, later Secretary of
Defense, as his personal observer to Detroit. The commission issued its’
final report, completed in less than a year, on March 1, 1968.

Although the Kerner Commission has over the years become associated with a
somewhat benign, if not benevolent character, codifying the obvious, “we
live in two increasingly separate America’s” etc., the fact is that the
commission itself was but one manifestation of a massive military/police
counter-insurgency effort directed against US citizens, hatched in an era
of emergent post-Vietnam “syndrome” coupled with elite fears of domestic
insurrection.While the movement chanted for peace and revolution,
rebellious, angry and destructive urban uprisings were occurring with
alarming frequency, usually the result of the usual spark, police
brutality, white on black crime. The so-called urban riots of 1967-1968
were the zenith, during this period, of social and class conflict. “More
than 160 disorders occurred in some 128 American cities in the first nine
months of 1967.”(3)

The executive order establishing the commission called for an
investigation of “the origins of the recent major civil disorders and the
influence, if any, of organizations or individuals dedicated to the
incitement or encouragement of violence.”(4) The work of the commission
was funded from President Johnson’s “Emergency Fund.” The executive order
sought recommendations in three general areas: “short term measures to
prevent riots, better measures to contain riots once they begin, and long
term measures to eliminate riots in the future.”(5) Their two immediate
aims were “to control and repress black rioters using almost any available
means”, (6) and to assure white America that everything was in hand.
Commission members included Charles B. Thorton, Chairman and CEO, Litton
Industries, member of the Defense Industry Advisory Council to the DoD and
the National Security Industrial Association, John L. Atwood, President
and CEO, North American Rockwell Corporation (“Commission Advisor on
Private Enterprise”), and Herbert Jenkins, Atlanta Chief of Police and
President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

During the early stages of staff recruitment, commission Deputy Executive
Director Victor H. Palmieri “described the process as a war strategy”(7)
and so he might given the overwhelming presence within the commission and
its’ consultants of military and police officials. One quarter of over 200
consultants listed were big-city police chiefs, like Daryl F. Gates,
former chief LAPD. Numerous police organizations, including the heavily
funded Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (financiers of SWAT),
guided the commission’s deliberations. No less than 30 police departments
were represented on or before the commission by their chiefs or deputy
chiefs. A key player within the commission, “consultant” Anthony Downs,
stated at the time that, “it would be far cheaper to repress future
large-scale urban violence through police and military action than to pay
for effective programs against remaining poverty.” (8) As for the
military, twelve generals, representing various branches of the armed
services appeared before the commission or served as contractors. The
commission’s “Director of Investigations”, Milan C. Miskovsky, was “on
leave as assistant general counsel of the treasury, and formerly connected
to the Central Intelligence Agency.”(9)

The Kerner Commission’s “study” of “civil disorder” lead directly to
(civilian) recommendations regarding the role of the military in domestic
affairs. The report dutifully “commends the Army for the advanced status
of its training.” Further, it states that “the Department of the Army
should participate fully in efforts to develop nonlethal weapons and
personal protective equipment appropriate for use in civil disorders.” In
addition, “the Army should investigate the possibility of utilizing
psychological techniques to ventilate hostility and lessen tension in riot
control, and incorporate feasible techniques in training the Army and
National Guard units.”


Under the heading, “Army Response To Civil Disorders”, the commission
report states that “the commitment of federal troops to aid state and
local forces in controlling a disorder is an extraordinary act…An Army
staff task group has recently examined and reviewed a wide range of topics
relating to military operations to control urban disorders: command and
control, logistics, training, planning, doctrine, personnel, public
information, intelligence, and legal aspects.” The results of the Army
brass’s study was subsequently, “made known to the National Guard and to
top state and local civil and law enforcement officers in order to
stimulate review at the state and local level.”(10)

The Army Task Force which assisted the Kerner Commission issued its’ own
report in early 1968. In it, the Pentagon took a multi-pronged approach to
solving the civil disturbance problem. “Expanding the suggestion of Cyrus
Vance, Military Intelligence – working with the FBI, local, county and
state police forces – undertook a massive domestic intelligence gathering
operation…the Senior Officers Civil Disturbance Course was instituted at
the Military Police Academy in Georgia…Security forces ranging from Army
troops to local police were trained to implement their contingency
plans…Contingency plans, called planning packets, were prepared for
every city in the country that had a potential for student, minority or
labor unrest.”(11)

In addition, “the Army Task Force that had designed this program took on a
new name, the Directorate of Civil Disturbance Planning and Operations.
The Army Task Force transformation into the Directorate occurred during
the massive rioting that broke out in black ghettos of 19 cities after the
assassination of Martin Luther King in April 1968.”(12) At that time
“seven army infantry brigades, totaling 21,000 troops were available for
riot duty. And a hugh, sophisticated computer center kept track of all
public outbursts of political dissent, thereby furnishing the first of the
Army Task Forces prescribed remedies: intelligence.”(13)

By June of 1968, the Directorate had become the Directorate of Military
Support, setting up shop in the basement of the Pentagon. “Better known as
the domestic war room, the Directorate had 150 officials to carry out
around-the-clock monitoring of civil disorders, as well as to oversee
federal troop deployments when necessary. At the cost of $2.7 million,
this massive directorate also developed policy advice for the secretary of
the Army on all disturbances and maintained intelligence packets on all
major U.S. cities.”(14)

Even though the full extent of US military intelligence activities during
this period is far from generally known, “by 1968, many Justice Department
personnel knew that the military was preparing to move in massively if
needed to quash urban riots, and some officials feared the development of
a large national military riot force. It was well known among top
officials that the Department of Defense was spending far more funds than
the Justice Department on civil disorder preparations…indicative of the
growing trend at the federal level toward repression and control of the
urban black rioters.”(15)

By 1971, Senator Sam Ervin, later of Watergate reknown, had convened his
Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights which “revealed that Military
Intelligence had established an intricate surveillance system covering
hundreds of thousands of American citizens. Committee staff members had
seen a master plan – Garden Plot – that gave an eagle eye view of the
Army-National Guard-police strategy.”(16) “At first, the Garden Plot
exercises focused primarily on racial conflict. But beginning in 1970, the
scenarios took a different twist. The joint teams, made up of cops,
soldiers and spies, began practicing battle with large groups of
protesters. California, under the leadership of Ronald Reagan, was among
the most enthusiastic participants in Garden Plot war games.”(17) As time
went on, “Garden Plot evolved into a series of annual training exercises
based on contingency plans to undercut riots and demonstrations,
ultimately developed for every major city in the United States.
Participants in the exercises included key officials from all law
enforcement agencies in the nation, as well as the National Guard, the
military, and representatives of the intelligence community…According to
the plan, joint teams would react to a variety of scenarios based on
information gathered through political espionage and informants. The
object was to quell urban unrest…”(18) Unrest of a different sort took
place on the evening of February 27th 1973. At that time, a group of
Native Americans occupied a trading post in the village of Wounded Knee on
the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. By the 2nd of March the
takeover had “triggered the army contingency plan for domestic
disturbances. Emergency Plans White – now coded as Garden Plot – brought
the Army into South Dakota…Three army colonels, disguised as civilians,
and reconnaissance planes assisted”, while “the Justice Department used
the army to conduct intelligence for civilian law enforcement around
Wounded Knee.”(19) Information on other instances in which Garden Plot was
“triggered” over the intervening years is presently locked in Pentagon

In essence, the contemporary roots of militarized efforts to suppress
domestic rebellion lie in the US Army’s master plan, Department of Defense
Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2, Garden Plot. Since at least 1968, the
military has expended billions of dollars in this effort. The plan is
operative right now, most recently during and after the Los Angeles
uprising of 1992. A view into details of this plan is possible by way of
an examination of United States Air Force Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2,
Garden Plot which is the “implementing” and “supporting plan for the
Department of the Army (DA) Civil Disturbance Plan – GARDEN PLOT – dated 1
March 1984 (which) provides for the employment of USAF forces in civil
disturbances.” It is specifically drawn up “to support the Secretary of
the Army, as DOD Executive Agent for civil disturbance control operations
(nicknamed GARDEN PLOT), with airlift and logistical support, in assisting
civil authorities in the restoration of law and order through appropriate
military commanders in the 50 States, District of Columbia, the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and US possessions and territories, or any
political subdivision thereof.” The plan “is effective for planning on
receipt and for execution on order.”(20)


“The long title of the plan is United States Air Force Civil Disturbance
Plan 55-2, Employment of USAF Forces in Civil Disturbances. The short
title of this document is USAF Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2. The nickname
assigned by Department of the Army is GARDEN PLOT.” It’s dated July 11,

The plan opens with some basic “assumptions”, namely that “civil
disturbances requiring intervention with military forces may occur
simultaneously in any of the 50 States, District of Columbia, Commonwealth
of Puerto Rico, US possessions and territories.” And like the current
situation in Vieques, Puerto Rico, “civil disturbances will normally
develop over a period of time.” In the event it evolves into a
confrontational situation, under Garden Plot, it is a “presidential
executive order” that “will authorize and direct the Secretary of Defense
to use the Armed Forces of the United States to restore law and order.”
According to the Air Force plan, the military will attempt “to suppress
rebellion whenever the President considers that unlawful obstructions,
combinations, or assemblages, or rebellion against the authority of the
United States, make it impractical to enforce the laws of the United
States in any state or territory by the ordinary course of judicial
proceedings…(10 USC 332)”. Applying its’ own version of equal protection
under the law, the military can intervene “when insurrection, domestic
violence, unlawful combinations, or conspiracies in a state so hinder or
obstruct the execution of the laws as to deprive individuals of their
Constitutional rights, privileges, and immunities or when the insurrection
impedes the due course of justice, and only when the constituted
authorities of the state are unable, fail or refuse to protect that right,
privilege, immunity, or to give that protection (10 USC 333).” In other
words, the Army makes an offer of “protection” that the citizenry can’t
refuse. T. Alden Williams, in a sympathetic 1969 treatment of the Army in
civil disturbances, put it this way: “Where officials have not shown
determination, or have invited violence by predicting it, violence has
developed. Hence, it follows that with few exceptions, serious riots are
evidence of police failure and that, implicitly, it is at the point of
police failure that states and their cities redeem their national
constitutional guarantees and the Regular Army may be asked to intervene.”
(21) Some redemption.

According to the Air Force plan’s “Classification Guidance”, the roughly
200 page document “is UNCLASSIFIED and does not come within the scope of
direction governing the protection of information affecting national
security. Although it is UNCLASSIFIED, it is FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY as
directed by AFR 12-30. This plan contains information that is of internal
use to DOD and, through disclosure, would tend to allow persons to violate
the law or hinder enforcement of the law.” Consequently, the plan’s
“operations orders and operating procedures must be designed to provide
the highest degree of security possible.” Therefore “the entire staff
should identify known or suspected opposition awareness of previous
operations and operations plans”, while “procedures should be designed to
eliminate the suspect sources to the degree possible.” And “in the event
of organized opposition…some sort of advisory intelligence gathering
capability should be assumed.”

The Air Force document warns, under the heading of “Open Literature
Threat”, presaging current military discourse on “info-war”, that “any
information/document, though seemingly unclassified, which reveals
information concerning this Plan is a threat to OPSEC (operational
security).” This is especially true given the nature of the “Human
Intelligence (HUMINT) Threat.” Recognizing that, “prior to and during
sustained military operations in Support of the Plan, the potential HUMINT
threat could be considerable”, the plan recommends that “every effort
should be made to reduce vulnerability to this threat by adhering to OPSEC
procedures and safeguarding Essential Elements of Friendly Information

Under “Operations to be Conducted: Deployment”, the Air Force plan states
that “a civil disturbance condition (CIDCON) system which has been
established to provide an orderly and timely increase in preparedness for
designated forces to deploy for civil disturbances control operations,
will be on an as required basis for USAF resources for such operations as
aerial resupply, aerial reconnaisance, airborn psychological operations,
command and control communications systems, aeromedical evacuation,
helicopter and weather support.” The Air Force does have some experience
in this area. “In response to the US invasion of Cambodia, student unrest
broke out. Under Operation Garden Plot, from 30 April through May 4, 1970,
9th Air Force airlift units transported civil disturbance control forces
from Ft. Bragg to various locations throughout the eastern US.”(22) In
fact, two years earlier, “Air Force Reserve C-119 and C-124 units
participated in Garden Plot operations set up to quell domestic strife
that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King.”(23) Although the
section on “Counterintelligence Targets and Requirements” is “omitted”,
the plan does specify its’ targets, namely, those “disruptive elements,
extremists or dissidents perpetrating civil disorder.” A “civil
disturbance” is defined as a “riot, acts of violence, insurrections,
unlawful obstructions or assemblages, or other disorders prejudicial to
public law and order. The term civil disturbance includes all domestic
conditions requiring the use of federal armed forces pursuant to the
provisions of Chapter 15, Title 10, United States Code.” Conditions
precipitating Garden Plot activation are “those that threaten to reach or
have reached such proportions that civil authorities cannot or will not
maintain public order.” As for legal authority, “the Constitution of the
United States and numerous statutes provide the President with the
authority to commit Federal military forces within the United States…DOD
Directive 3025.12 provides guidance in committing Federal armed forces.”


The “application of forces should be in the following order: local and
state police, Army and (in support role) Air National Guard under State
control, Federal civil law enforcement officials, federal military forces
to include Army and (in support role) Air National Guard.” According to
the plan, “State Adjutants General prepare civil disturbance plans for the
employment of National Guard units under state control.” Specifically, “as
a general rule for planning purposes, the minimum forces to be supported
in any single objective area is 5,000. The maximum to be supported is
12,000 for any objective area other than Washington, DC and 18,000 for
Washington, DC.” The “objective areas” are “those specified by the
Presidential Proclamation and Executive Order in which the Secretary of
Defense has been directed to restore law and order”, and as “further
defined by the Letter of Instruction issued to Task Force Commanders by
the Chief of Staff, US Army.” In order to avoid the unseemly implications
of “martial law”, “requirements for the commitment of Federal military
forces will not result in the declaration of a National Emergency”. In
this regard, the “Public Affairs Objectives” include the development of
“procedures for the public release of appropriate information
regarding…civil disturbance control operations.” Media and other queries
“concerning employment of control forces…may be locally answered by an
interim statement that the: Department of Defense policy is not to comment
on plans concerning the possible employment of military units and
resources to carry out assigned missions.” Concerning “Force
Requirements”, the plan states that, “US Army and Marine Corps units
designated for civil disturbance operations will be trained, equipped and
maintained in readiness for rapid deployment, (with) ten brigades,
prepared for rapid deployment anywhere in CONUS. A Quick Reaction Force
(QRF) will be considered to be on a 24-hour alert status and capable of
attaining a CIDCON 4 status in 12 hours…” Upon receipt of orders, “the
Task Force Commander assumes operational control of the military ground
forces assigned for employment in the objective area”, including “specials
operations assets.” In case the soldiers are unfamiliar with “urban
terrain”, the “Defense Mapping Agency Topographic Center provides map
services in support of civil disturbance planning and operations.”

The “Summary of the Counterintelligence and Security Situation” states
that “spontaneous civil disturbances which involve large numbers of
persons and/or which continue for a considerable period of time, may
exceed the capacity of local civil law enforcement agencies to suppress.
Although this type of activity can arise without warning as a result of
sudden, unanticipated popular unrest (past riots in such cities as Miami,
Detroit and Los Angeles serve as examples) it may also result from more
prolonged dissidence.” USAF Garden Plot advises that “if military forces
are called upon to restore order, they must expect to have only limited
information available regarding the perpetrators, their motives,
capabilities, and intentions. On the other hand, such events which occur
as part of a prolonged series of dissident acts will usually permit the
advance collection of that type of information…” The United States Army
Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), “provides training programs and
doctrine for civil disturbance operations to military services.” The US
Army Force Command (FORSCOM), “organizes, trains, and maintains in
readiness Army forces for civil disturbance operations”, while the
Director of Military Support (DOMS), “conducts, on a no-notice basis,
exercises which direct headquarters of uniformed services, appropriate
CONUS command, and other DOD components, having GARDEN PLOT
responsibilities to assume a simulated increased preparedness for
specified forces.” In addition, the DOMS, “maintains an around-the-clock
civil disturbance command center to monitor incipient and on-going
disturbances.” The document, the United States Air Force’s “implementing
plan” for the US Army’s Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2, Garden Plot, goes on
to detail every aspect of military “suppression” of “rebellion against the
authority of the United States”, including who pays, who bills and how to
secure “loans” to cover the costs “attributable to GARDEN PLOT.”
Ominously, under “Resources Employed Without Presidential Directive”, the
document states that when the “immediate employment of military resources
is required in cases of sudden and unexpected civil disturbances or other
emergencies endangering life or federal property, or disrupting the normal
processes of Government, expenses incurred will be financed as a mission
responsibility of the DOD component employing the military resources.”


Department of Defense Directive 3025.12, Military Assistance for Civil
Disturbances (MACDIS) became effective on February 4, 1994 when signed by
then Defense Secretary William Perry. It states that, “the President is
authorized by the Constitution and laws of the United States to suppress
insurrections, rebellions, and domestic violence under various conditions
and circumstances. Planning and preparedness by the Federal Government and
the Department of Defense for civil disturbances are important, do to the
potential severity of the consequences of such events for the Nation and
the population.” Further, “the Secretary of the Army, as DoD Executive
Agent, shall provide guidance to the other DoD Components, through DoD
3025.12-R, the DoD Civil Disturbance Plan (GARDEN PLOT), or both, in
accordance with this Directive”.

DoDD 3025.12 makes it clear that “MACDIS operations are unprogrammed
emergency requirements for the Department of Defense”, and that in order
to “ensure essential control and sound management of all military forces
employed in MACDIS operations, centralized direction from the DoD
Executive Agent (the Army) shall guide planning by the DoD component.”
Thus, “MACDIS missions shall be decentralized through the DoD Planning
Agents or other Joint Task Force Commanders only when specifically
directed by the DoD Executive Agent.”

According to the directive, the “Army and Air National Guard forces have
primary responsibility for providing military assistance to state and
local governments in civil disturbances.” Accordingly, “the Army National
Guard State Area Commands (STARCs) shall plan for contingency use of
non-Federalized National Guard forces for civil disturbance operations.”
The directive further outlines policy, guidelines, and legal justification
for “military assistance for civil disturbances”, including policy
regarding domestic law enforcement, designating the Army as “the principle
point of contact between the Department of Defense (DoD) and the
Department of Justice (DoJ) for planning and executing MACDIS.” (24) The
militarization of domestic “law enforcement” is founded, in part, upon
Department of Defense Directive 5525.5, DoD Cooperation with Civilian Law
Enforcement Officials, dated January 15, 1986, five years after
Congressional “drug warriors” passed the Military Cooperation with
Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies Act. Referencing the 1971 version of
DODD 3025.12 (above), the directive states that, “it is DoD policy to
cooperate with civilian law enforcement officials to the extent
practical…consistent with the needs of national security and military
preparedness.” In addition, “the Military Departments and Defense Agencies
may provide training to Federal, State, and local civilian law enforcement
officials.” Apparently, military Judge Advocates (lawyers) have no problem
with the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, (18 U.S.C.1385) which states that:
“Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by
the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army
or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws
shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than two years
or both.” Nor is there much concern shown for “the historic tradition of
limiting direct military involvement in civilian law enforcement
activities.” For even though the Act is cited within the directive as “the
primary restriction on military participation in civilian law enforcement
activities”, it is rendered null and void in deference to “actions that
are taken for the primary purpose of furthering a military or foreign
affairs function.” In fact, “under guidance established by the Secretaries
of the Military Departments and the Directors of the Defense Agencies
concerned, the planning and execution of compatible military training and
operations may take into account the needs of civilian law enforcement
officials for information when the collection of the information is an
incidental aspect of training performed for a military purpose.”(25)


United States Army Field Manual 19-15, Civil Disturbances, dated November
1985, is designed to provide hands-on “guidance for the commander and his
staff in preparing for and providing assistance to civil authorities in
civil disturbance control operations.” The Army manual opens by noting
that, “the DA Civil Disturbance Plan, known as Garden Plot, provides
guidance to all DOD components in planning civil disturbance missions.”
Its’ thirteen chapters cover, in depth, every aspect of military “tasks
and techniques employed to control civil disturbances and neutralize
special threats.” Subjects include the nature of civil disturbances,
participants (“the crowd”), federal intervention, information planning
(“intelligence”), control force operations, crowd control operations,
threat analysis (“criminal activists”), about which “law enforcement
sources can provide useful information”, riot control agents, extreme
force options, apprehension, detention, and training.

According to the Army manual, “civil disturbances in any form are
prejudicial to public law and order.” They “arise from acts of civil
disobedience”, and “occur most often when participants in mass acts of
civil disobedience become antagonistic toward authority, and authorities
must struggle to wrest the initiative from an unruly crowd.” They are
caused by “political grievances” and “urban economic conflicts”, or maybe
even by “agents of foreign nations”, but mostly, “urban conflicts and
community unrest arise from highly emotional social and economic issues.”
And in a statement that resonates with the “benign neglect” of some years
ago, the manual points out that disturbances may arise because
“economically deprived inner-city residents may perceive themselves
treated unjustly or ignored by the people in power.”

Utilizing Garden Plot language, the manual states that “the president can
employ armed federal troops to suppress insurrection, domestic violence,
unlawful assemblies, and conspiracy if such acts deprive the people of
their constitutional rights and a state’s civil authorities cannot or will
not provide adequate protection.” Never mind the Congress or Constitution,
“federal intervention in civil disturbances begins with the issuance of a
presidential proclamation to the citizens engaged in the disturbance.” In
other words, the President reads “the riot act” and “a control force” is
sent in to “isolate the disturbance area.” The goal is to “isolate the
people creating the disturbance from those who have not yet become
actively involved.”

According to FM 19-15, the Army can gather intelligence on civilians if
their “activities can be linked directly to a distinct threat of a civil
disturbance that may involve federal forces.” This is especially
important, given that “during civil disturbances many people engage in
unlawful behavior.” Therefore, “when at all possible, civil law
enforcement agents are integrated with the military control force team
making apprehensions”, and “if police are not available, military
personnel may search people incident to an apprehension.” Useful measures
for “isolating an area include barriers, patrols, pass and ID systems, and
control of public utilities.” Also, “imposing a curfew is a highly
effective control measure in many civil disturbances.” Army “saturation
patrols”, “integrated with civil police patrols”, blanket the area,
creating “the psychological impression of the control force being
everywhere at once.” The Army field manual points out that when “control
forces” resort to “forceful measures” they can turn to a host of weaponry,
including “the M234, which is a nondeadly force measure, to the machine
gun, which is the most deadly force measure.” The manual states that
“machine guns, 7.62 millimeter and below, may accompany units on civil
disturbance missions.” In addition, the “control forces” can utilize the
M234 launcher, which is “a riot control weapon” mounted on an M16 rifle
which “fires a projectile that causes pain on impact.” In addition, “the
riot shotgun is an extremely versatile weapon. Its appearance and
capability have a strong psychological effect on rioters.”


The concept of martial rule, as distinct from martial law, is not written,
and therefore is an eminently more workable arrangement for “law
enforcement forces”. That’s because, as FM 19-15 points out, “martial rule
is based on public necessity. Public necessity in this sense means public
safety.” According to the manual, U.S. state authorities “may take such
action within their own jurisdictions.” And yet, “whether or not martial
rule has been proclaimed, commanders must weigh each proposed action
against the threat to public order and safety. If the need for martial
rule arises, the military commander at the scene must so inform the Army
Chief of Staff and await instructions. If martial rule is imposed, the
civilian population must be informed of the restrictions and rules of
conduct that the military can enforce.” Realizing the power of free
speech, the manual suggests that “during a civil disturbance, it may be
advisable to prevent people from assembling. Civil law can make it
unlawful for people to meet to plan an act of violence, rioting, or civil
disturbance. Prohibitions on assembly may forbid gatherings at any place
and time.” And don’t forget, “making hostile or inflammatory speeches
advocating the overthrow of the lawful government and threats against
public officials, if it endangered public safety, could violate such law.”

During civil disturbance operations, “authorities must be prepared to
detain large numbers of people”, forcing them into existing, though
expanded “detention facilities.” Cautioning that “if there are more
detainees than civil detention facilities can handle, civil authorities
may ask the control forces to set up and operate temporary facilities.”
Pending the approval of the Army Chief of Staff, the military can detain
and jail citizens en masse. “The temporary facilities are set up on the
nearest military installation or on suitable property under federal
control.” These “temporary facilities” are “supervised and controlled by
MP officers and NCOs trained and experienced in Army correctional
operations. Guards and support personnel under direct supervision and
control of MP officers and NCOs need not be trained or experienced in Army
correctional operations. But they must be specifically instructed and
closely supervised in the proper use of force…” According to the Army,
the detention facilities are situated near to the “disturbance area”, but
far enough away “not to be endangered by riotous acts.” Given the large
numbers of potential detainees, the logistics (holding, searching,
processing areas) of such an undertaking, new construction of such
facilities “may be needed to provide the segregation for ensuring
effective control and administration.” It must be designed and “organized
for a smooth flow of traffic”, while a medical “treatment area” would be
utilized as a “separate holding area for injured detainees.” After a
“detainee is logged in and searched”, “a file is initiated”, and a “case
number” identifies the prisoner. In addition, “facility personnel also may
use hospital ID tags. Using indelible ink, they write the case number and
attach the tag to the detainees’ wrist. Different colors may be used to
identify different offender classifications…” Finally, if and when it
should occur, “release procedures must be coordinated with civil
authorities and appropriate legal counsel.” If the “detainee” should
produce a writ of habeas corpus issued by a state court, thereby demanding
ones’ day in court, the Army will “respectfully reply that the prisoner is
being held by authority of the United States.”

Training under FM 19-15/Garden Plot must be “continuous” and must “develop
personnel who are able to perform distasteful and dangerous duties with
discipline and objectivity.” Dangerous to the local citizenry given that
“every member of the control force must be trained to use his weapon and
special equipment (including) riot batons, riot control agent dispersers
and CS grenades, grenade launchers, shotguns, sniper rifles, cameras,
portable videotape recorders, portable public address systems, night
illumination devices, firefighting apparatus, grappling hooks, ladders,
ropes, bulldozers, Army aircraft, armored personnel carriers, and
roadblock and barricade materials.” Sounding a lot like recent Urban
Warrior war-games, the manual makes note that although unit training must
address “the sensitivity and high visibility of civil disturbance
operations”, the “unit training must be realistic.” In this regard, “the
unit commander should try to include local government officials in field
training exercises. The officials can be either witnesses or participants.
But care must be taken to prevent adverse psychological effects on the
local populace, especially if tension is high.”(26)


1. New York Times, “Pentagon Misused Millions in Funds, House Panel Says”,
July 22,1999, pg. A-1. See also, on the subject of “unacknowledged Special
Access Programs” wherein “the USAF’s $7.4 billion budget for classified
procurement is more than a third of the service’s total budget”, Bill
Sweetman, “In search of the Pentagon’s billion dollar hidden budgets – how
the US keeps its R&D spending under wraps”, International Defense Review,
Jane’s Defense Weekly, January 2000,

2. James W. Button, Black Violence, The Political Impact of the 1960’s
Riots, Princeton University Press, 1978, pg. 116.

3. Button, pg.121. Also, see, Cyrus R.Vance, Final Report of Cyrus
R.Vance, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, Concerning the
Detroit Riots, July 23 Through August 2, 1967.

4. Michael Lipsky and David J. Olson, Commission Politics: The Processing
of Racial Crisis in America, Transaction Books, 1971, pg. 161. The
Executive Order is reprinted in US Riot Commission Report, Bantam Books,
1968, pgs. 534-535.

5. Lipsky and Olson, pg.163, citing pg.198 of a transcription of Lyndon B.
Johnson, “Statement by the President”, July 29, 1967.

6. Button, pg. 107.

7. Lipsky and Olson, pg.165.

8. Anthony Downs, Opening Up the Suburbs: An Urban Strategy for America,
Yale University Press, 1973, pg.176. Downs, a leading “housing expert”,
believed that the key to effective urban based counter-insurgency was the
notion of “spatial deconcentration”, or the “adequate outmigration of the
poor” from the cities. Downs wrote Chapters 16 and 17 of the Kerner Report
which deal with “housing”. He is the leading exponent of “deliberate
dispersal policies” designed to “disperse the urban poor more
effectively”. The origins of “homelessness” (state repression) lie here.

9. Lipsky and Olson, pg.168.

10. Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders,
Washington, DC, March 1, 1968, pgs.279-281.

11. Ron Ridenhour and Arthur Lubow, “Bringing the War Home”, New Times
Magazine, 1975, pg. 20.

12. Ridenhour and Lubow, pg. 20.

13. Ridenhour and Lubow, pg. 20.

14. Button, pg. 133.

15. Button, pg. 133.

16. Ridenhour and Lubow, pg.18.

17. Donald Goldberg and Indy Badhwar, “Blueprint for Tyranny”, Penthouse
Magazine, August 1985, pg. 72.

18. Goldberg and Badhwar, pg. 72.

19. Joan M. Jensen, Army Surveillance in America, 1775-1980, Yale
University Press, 1991, pgs. 257-258. This excellent historical account
actually does what it says, tracing American “internal security measures”
right back to the “founders”.

20. United States Air Force Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2, Garden Plot,
Headquarters, United States Air Force, June 1, 1984. (roughly 200 pages,
not paginated)

21. T. Alden Williams, “The Army in Civil Disturbance: A Profound
Dilemma?”, pg. 161, in ed. Robin Higham, Bayonets in the Streets,
University of Kansas Press, 1969.

22. Federation of American Scientists, Military Analysis Network, “Garden
Plot”, Nov. 1998.

23. US Air Force News Service, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, “Air Force
50th Anniversary: April History”, March 25, 1997, pg. 2. In fact, Garden
Plot may have been operative prior and during the assassination of Martin
Luther King Jr. William F. Pepper, attorney for the late James Earl Ray,
as well as the King family in their current attempts to get to the bottom
of the murder, claims (Orders To Kill, Carroll and Graf Publishers, 1995,
pg. 424) that the orders to kill King, which were delivered to special
forces operatives in Memphis were tied to Garden Plot. Pepper states that
the orders to kill King “appeared to come from the office of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff and were issued under the umbrella of the anti-black
terrorist operation Garden Plot which was a part of the overall U.S.
Command antiriot operation CINCSTRIKE which was activated with the
outbreak of any major riot.”

24. Department of Defense Directive 3025.12, Military Assistance for Civil
Disturbances (MACDIS), February 4,1994.
( Note: DoDD 3025.12 is one
quarter of 4 correlated directives that deal with civil disturbance. The
others include DoDD 3025.1, Military Support to Civil Authorities (Jan.
93), DoDD 3025.15, Military Assistance for Civil Authorities (Feb.97), and
DoDD 3025.1-M, Manual for Civil Emergencies (June 94).

25. Department of Defense Directive 5525.5, DoD Cooperation With Civilian
Law Enforcement Officials, January 15, 1986.
withCi vili anLawEnforcementOfficials.htm

26. United States Army Field Manual 19-15, Civil Disturbances,
Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington, DC, November 25, 1985.

Copyright 2000 Frank Morales. All rights reserved.

CovertAction Quarterly
1500 Massachusetts Avenue NW #732
Washington, D.C. 20005

One thought on “Backside of the Dollar: Bringing the War Home”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.