The War at Home, part I title14.gif (1701 bytes)
An edited version of this article currently appears in CovertAction Quarterly, #69 Spring/Summer 2000.

U.S. MILITARY CIVIL DISTURBANCE PLANNING:  THE WAR AT HOME
By Frank Morales
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PART I
   ORIGINS OF OPERATION GARDEN PLOT:  THE KERNER COMMISSION
   THE ARMY AND CIVIL DISORDER
   U.S. AIR FORCE 55-2 - GARDEN PLOT
   FORCE STRUCTURE
PART II
   PENTAGON DIRECTIVES
   ARMY FIELD MANUAL
   MARTIAL RULE
   SOURCES

PART I

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.)

ORIGINS OF OPERATION GARDEN PLOT:  THE KERNER COMMISSION

"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."

THE ARMY AND CIVIL DISORDER

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 Force s 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 vaults.

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)

U.S. AIR FORCE 55-2 - GARDEN PLOT

"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, 1984.

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 (EEFI)."

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."

FORCE STRUCTURE

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."


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Source: http://cryptome.org/garden-plot.htm

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