Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

The New York National Guard seems to be having an identity crisis. They just don’t know where to go to carry out their mission of “defending” New York State. Like most National Guard troops, they’re now playing double duty:  fighting on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan while also trying to keep the streets of Albany clear of drugs.

Employing new technology to sweep your car for drugs or weapons, the National Guard has recently been assisting the local police conduct checkpoints though Albany. According to this article, they use “ionization, counterdrug’s machines can detect chemicals, explosives, narcotics on money, weapons, even fabric.” So now with out even having to ask to open a door, they can scan your car and see if you’re packing. The Guard must be trying to keep up its track record of “2,000 arrests last year, and …almost $150 million in drug, property, and weapon seizures.”

In addition to the flagrant violations to the 4th Amendment that these tactics pose, there’s a clear contrast with current military policy of allowing of Afghan opium production. Here are photos of Marines allegedly involved in the production of the poppies that eventually will be turned into opium which, somehow without knowledge of the military, ends up on our streets.  Hence the government talking points linking terrorism to the international drug trade. Even Geraldo knows about this.

These two connections between the military and drugs raise many questions as to the role of the National Guard as the state militias. If they were completely the state militias, as many claim the National Guard is, then the Federal Government could only call on them to “execute the laws or the union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions.” This would basically deny the use of the National Guard for foreign wars, something the Feds have relied upon to keep up enlistment for both Iraq and Afghanistan. On the other hand, if they were completely federal then fighting the drug war at home would violate their use under the Posse Commitatus Act, which bars military from acting as law enforcement.

Apparently it’s this grey area which the current system loves. The statists of both Washington and New York are getting what they want despite clear legal protections against this. Apparently they can have their cake and eat it too, while people both domestically and abroad are harassed and killed to promote failed policies.

Published in

Post a comment