Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

August 19, 2014

What Law Enforcement Needs to Understand about Ferguson

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Christopher Bellavita on August 19, 2014

Today’s post was written by Max Geron


The tweet read:

“Honestly, of all the people that should be upset about #Ferguson, why aren’t the other police who actually do “protect & serve” speaking up?”

It came from one of the people who follows me on twitter and while not directed specifically at me, it was directed to me. It is an excellent question and speaks to what I think needs to change about law enforcement.

It’s not simply about social media use by law enforcement, although in my view that needs to improve. It’s actually how we talk about and how we respond to protest. Law enforcement officers are often quick to say that we are here to protect the rights of those who want to express dissent as well as the rights of those against whom the protest is directed. As true and simple as that statement is, the reality of it is exponentially more complicated.


The images from Ferguson, Missouri are disturbing and disappointing to those who recognize their role in law enforcement as servants of the public as opposed to strict enforcers of the law, maintainers of order or members of a paramilitary organization. While enforcing the law is a primary function and order maintenance is a part of that job, they are but components of the larger public servant role. Additionally, while police agencies are paramilitary in nature, law enforcement leaders now, more than ever, need to guard against the increase of militarization currently underway.

I’m disheartened that police unions and associations across the country are concerned about citizens photographing police while in public and have no qualms about speaking out against it. This adds to the concern of the public that we are moving more towards a police state and slowly eroding the freedoms we should cherish in this great nation.


So what?

Law enforcement leaders must guard against applying “best practices” to fluid and dynamic incidents with which they have only limited experience such as protests. They must also recognize that deploying a SWAT team is, in and of itself, a use of force and not appropriate in all circumstances – response to peaceful protests being one of those inappropriate uses.

Sometimes the most difficult thing for leaders, especially law enforcement leaders, to do is nothing or doing less. This is often what is called for, and now apparently happening in Ferguson. When the Missouri State Police reported to Ferguson, they did so reportedly without donning riot gear, which appears to have contributed to a much softer reception and peaceful march on Thursday evening.

Officers often point to the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle as justification for wearing riot gear. A segment of those demonstrators refused to engage in the negotiated management tactics employed at the time by Seattle police. Scholars have argued that a failure by Seattle PD to plan for that refusal is what added to the reasoning for the militarized response and therefore increased the resistance. [See Patrick F. Gillham and Gary T. Marx, “Complexity and Irony in Policing and Protesting: The World Trade Organization in Seattle,” Social Justice 27, no. 2 (80) (June 1, 2000): 212.]

Interspersed with the rioting came the reports of media personnel being threatened with arrest and being ordered to stop filming. Little does more to incense the media, especially the television media than ordering them to stop filming when that order is not based in the law. Compound that with arrests of some journalists and the problems were exacerbated. In very few circumstances can civilian police make such a demand of citizens (another blog post/topic altogether).


Long before Michael Brown was shot, the Ferguson police department seems not to have recognized that they were in a precarious position for several reasons. Their minority representation was not reflective of the community they were policing. In the language of social identity theory, the police in Ferguson, Missouri are a 53 person out-group with the ability to take not only the freedoms of the in-group but their lives as well. Much work must be done in that department and community to repair the perceived injustices. Police need to do more to recruit candidates that are more representative of the population they serve, while at the same time making inroads to the citizens with their current cadre of officers.

Their strategy for policing protest, if they had a formal one, seems to indicate a lack of understanding of the effect that a strong show of militarized force can have on a community that believes they have been disenfranchised by their police department. By being members of the “out group”, they were incapable of understanding the impact such a tactical display would have on the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri. Furthermore, their initial refusal to release the name of the involved officer supports the theory that they were unable to understand how that could be perceived as an inability to be objective and impartial in their investigation.

This repair effort must come not only from the police leaders in Ferguson but also from the civic and community leaders. They must come together and have the critical conversations necessary to establish expectations and understanding on how things must change to rebuild trust and increase transparency in their government.


Finally, do not make the mistake thinking this is solely a Ferguson issue, a Missouri issue or mid-West issue. This is a homeland security issue and was evidenced in the responses to the Occupy Movement in 2011 across the country. The increase in militarization is a national issue only thrust into the forefront of the American awareness by the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri. The withdrawal of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan has left thousands upon thousands of former soldiers looking for work. For law enforcement agencies looking to hire qualified candidates, former soldiers appear to be outstanding recruits.

We are only beginning to consider the implications of the flood of former military personnel joining the ranks of civilian policing. I submit that more study into this phenomenon is needed. The issue of militarization of American policing is not just the acquisition of military equipment; it is the infusion of so many former soldiers into the ranks of the civilian police.

For American police, retention of the “servant” mindset is more critical than that of the “warrior” mindset.


Max Geron is a senior executive in a major urban police department and, according to the Washington Post, a security studies scholar.”  He is the author of “21st Century Strategies for Policing Protest: What Major Cities’ Responses to the Occupy Movement Tell Us About the Future of Police Response to Public Protest,” which can be found at this link: https://www.hsdl.org/?abstract&did=753807 .  The views expressed in this post are Geron’s; they do not represent the opinions of any agency or organization.


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Comment by John Comiskey

August 19, 2014 @ 5:22 am

Perceptions, transitions, and professionalism

Society asks so much of the police. Early in my police career, I was told that the police are doctors, lawyers, and Indian chiefs. People in distress call the police when bad things happen. They expect the police to fix the things that distressed them or to at least make them better.

When people do really bad things, the police must sometimes do what would otherwise be considered bad things to prevent the bad things from getting even worse. This includes the use of physical and even deadly physical force.

The law is clear on this; the police are authorized to decide when someone is to be arrested. Redress comes afterwards. The police may use appropriate force to effect an arrest and/or to STOP someone from causing physical injury or death to another.

The police are justified in doing so when it is determined that a reasonable person in similar circumstances would do the same. The police are trained to stop the threat. What citizens must understand is that if you are perceived as a threat, appropriate force will be used.

Many issues including the mindset, mental capacity, and physical condition of suspects must be considered in an instant. The police must make split-second decisions.

The question that remains unanswered by pundits and opponents of the police is: what should the police do when faced with suspects that refuse to be arrested and/or threaten the police.

At the same time, we ask the police to be guardians of the community. They must transition from officers who arrest violent suspects into community advocates/organizers/benefactors. One of the problems is that there are so many bad people doing so many bad things that the second mission is often trumped by the law enforcement mission.

I agree, the post-9/11 militarization of the police should be checked. The mere display of officers donning flak jackets and long guns must be used judiciously.

Counterterrorism patrols are a security imperative, but again must be used judiciously.

SWAT teams require special weapons and uniforms, they need not be camouflaged. Exceptions might apply to game wardens.

BTW, uniformed officers should have name tags.

Every officer must understand that their actions represent both their department and then law enforcement community. Above all, the police must demonstrate the highest degrees of professionalism.

The role of the media in democratic government is absolute. While we may not like everything they say, we must respect their role.

Police departments must understand the role of public relations. Messaging must be consistent and to the degree possible transparent.

Police officers must understand that the media and citizens may video tape them so long as they are not interfering with police operations.

The media must understand their role -the objective reporting of the news.

Citizens must understand their role -civic minded citizens that follow the golden rule.

BTW, does anybody remember how much we honored the police in the aftermath of 9/11. FYI, they are the same people who confront violent suspects every day.

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 19, 2014 @ 6:31 am

Great post and comment! Thanks Max and John!

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 19, 2014 @ 7:12 am

Some may find this past technical note of interest!

[This technical note is not copyrighted and may be used for any purpose]

VLG Technical Note

Updated January 1, 2010


[Editor’s Note-The technical note series is designed to stimulate thinking about subjects for academic research and improvements in doctrine otherwise impacting current policy discussions and issue analysis. The principal intent is to highlight subjects for further study.]


Whether further militarization of domestic civil crisis management jeopardizes the governmental system and heritage of the United States?


Astoundingly, in the years of the administrations of President Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush only active or retired military officers, some of flag rank officer served as National Security Advisers but only one supported strengthening of civil agency capability and plans as opposed to preemptively trying to take over domestic civil response. Name of that General—Colin Powell. Before General Powell two officers one a retired field grade officer Marine Infantry and one a Vice Admiral in the Navy had served Reagan as NSC adviser- “Bud” Robert C.McFarlane and John Poindexter. Colin Powell was followed by General Brent Scowcroft as head of the NSC staff under George H. W. Bush. The NSC staff in the last three decades has been largely staffed by serving military officers on detail from DoD. The exact staffing of the NSC since its establishment in 1947 would be of interest as far as giving insight in military civil relationships. President Obama’s first NSC Adviser was retired Marine 4-star James Jones. I view that staffing pattern as eroding civilian control of the military.


1988 National Security Emergency Plan

Domestic Crisis Management and Response—

On the Road to All-Hazards Plans and Preparedness

One of the interesting areas for research is the development and background of the National Response Framework [NRF] issued in final January 2008 [now again under active revision]. The NRF also includes a biological incident annex published September 2008. The NRF supersedes the National Response Plan [NRP] that was mandated by the Homeland Security Strategy of 2002, the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the Reorganization Plan submitted on November 25, 2002, and HSPD-5 [February 28, 2003] and was thus a major Goal for DHS to accomplish. With its constant revisions and failure to integrate other strategies and plans it can now be concluded that that Goal was NOT met. Somewhat ironically, or perhaps even with elements of tragedy as experienced by NOLA, just as the Federal Response Plans issuance in May 1992 was soon calibrated by the reality of events of Hurricane Andrew in August 1992, the National Response Plan [widely reported to have been effective December 2004] made effective officially in April 2005 was shortly to be calibrated by the events of Hurricane Katrina. Homeland Security Presidential Directives HSPD 5 and 8 [issued fall 2003] reinforced the GOAL but again did not achieve the Goal of implementing these mandates. Implementation would of course have had to include extensive training and exercising in order for the NRP to achieve its purposes. FEMA has now contracted out a project to develop its “doctrines” with respect to its disaster operations. That efforts deliverables are due shortly. That effort is dominated by retired military officers. No known participation of STATE and LOCAL officials is part of the process.

In reality the foundation for an all-hazard civil response plan with military support had been in evolution since the administration of President Ronald Reagan. One key element of the evolution of the all-hazards planning concept had been FEMA’s National Security staff insisting on providing a separate National Security Emergency Plan throughout the early Reagan Administration. This backgrounder explains why that effort was eventually directed to incorporating into the Federal Response Plan issued in May 1992 all civil response elements for National Security Emergencies. The 1992 FRP contains a single paragraph concerning its application to National Security Emergencies. That term first appeared in EO 12472 and was defined in EO 12656 both of which are still extant. As always given the size of DOD resources the challenge to the civil agencies has been to effectively incorporate DOD support for civil agency programs, functions, and activities and not be overwhelmed or preempted by DOD at the same time.

The concept of a National Security Emergency Plan for large scale domestic catastrophic incidents/events was developed by National Security Council staff as early as 1983 and was derivative of early planning efforts mandated by the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950, Public Law 920 of the 81st Congress (hereinafter the “ FCDA”). That statute, which somewhat crudely tried to reconcile defense of the population from active warfare, both nuclear and conventional, mandated not only plans but a civil defense system that was to be implemented by those plans. Because the so-called Plan D and Plan Other than D was the end product, one to deal with nuclear warfare conducted at a strategic level and one to deal with conventional warfare, both classified and seldom shared with the State and Local governments, it was seen that some largely unclassified effort was needed to leverage state and local assets. President Eisenhower, when the Deputy Army Chief of Staff for Plans and in charge of war planning, had been attributed with saying “Planning is everything but the plan is nothing.” A relatively recent comprehensive discussion of civil emergency planning appears in “Facing the Unexpected-Disaster Preparedness and Response in the United States,” Kathleen J. Tierney, Michael L. Lindell, and Ronald W. Perry, Joseph Henry Press, Washington, D.C. (2001). It is certain that planning, and the coordination, collaboration, and cooperation needed to produce any plan has been identified as a key element of preparedness. It is significant that planning alone is not equivalent to preparedness, which also includes the verification of capability of the elements of logistics, personnel, equipment, training and exercises.

A very brief background discussion of federal planning efforts for both mobilization of resources and response to domestic disasters and emergencies as well as preparedness for may be helpful. A draft chart of federal civil response efforts is available from the author of this technical bulletin upon request.

On April 17, 1952, President Harry S. Truman in E.O. 10346 mandated that each federal department or agency should cooperate with the Federal Civil Defense Administration to prepare plans for providing its personnel, materials, facilities, and services during the existence of a Civil Defense Emergency (a term used in the FCDA). It should be noted that authority for declaration of a Civil Defense Emergency lapsed in 1974. The plans were to be designed to include continuity of department and agency operations and coordination of such arrangements with other national, state, and local civil defense plans. No consolidated emergency response plan appeared until 1958, the initial National Civil Defense Plan (really a preparedness plan and not a response plan), and then with final issuance of a document signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 under the auspices of the Office of Emergency Preparedness (originally, the Office of Emergency Management in WWII, and then the Office of Emergency Planning (1958-61), and the Office of Emergency Preparedness (1962-73). The 1964 OEP Plan [reviewed and signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson and available at http://www.vlg338.blogspot.com%5D assigned responsibilities to all the Federal departments and agencies without indicating what budget or resources were to be applied (a defect that still plagues the National Response Plan today.)

It should be noted that so-called Continuity of Government (COG) and resource mobilization plans were segregated by both funding and legal authority for their conduct as early as 1953. [No specific law or Executive Order mandates these functions although Section 404 of the National Security Act of 1947, as amended comes close and in addition the implications of such planning underlie the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended. That statute was recently extended for five years by the enactment of Public Law 111-67.] For a discussion of civil and military COG planning see Paul Bracken, Command and Control (Yale University Press, 1983). It should be noted that the bifurcated Constitutional role of the President, both as Commander-In-Chief and Chief Executive, have different requirements and nuances for development of COG systems and their implementation and operations. Additional civil government mobilization, including standby legislation (primarily the titles of the FCDA that lapsed in 1953 and the Defense Production Act of 1950) were incorporated in classified “Plan D” and “Other than D” to address nuclear attack related emergencies and conventional warfare. These plans were never signed off by the President or officially approved by the Attorney General or subordinate units of the Department of Justice and formally reviewed for legality. Telecommunications planning was also separately addressed as early as 1962. For a list of planning assignments as of 1962 see E.O. 11051 of September 27, 1962. That Executive Order was replaced by E.O. 11490 [1969].

Resource mobilization planning for a coordinated federal response to any national crisis was energized when on December 17, 1981, the President through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs signed a memorandum establishing the Emergency Preparedness Mobilization Board (hereinafter EMPB). This action was taken in response to a Memorandum by Edwin Meese, III, then Counselor to the President and later Attorney General to Frank C. Carlucci, Secretary of Defense and Louis O. Guiffrida, Director of FEMA, dated May 26, 1981.

Two National Security Decisions (NSDD 30 “Managing Terrorist Incidents” April 10, 1982 and NSDD 47 “Emergency Mobilization Preparedness” July 22, 1982) were soon issued that established several fundamental principles. All NSDD’s that are declassified in whole or in part can be found at the following URL:


First in the event of threatened or actual terrorist attacks lead agencies were designated by the Executive Order as responsible. Principally State Department was designated for international terrorism incidents/events, Justice for domestic terrorism, and FEMA for response to consequences of actual domestic/events. Second, the principal was established that even natural disasters could impact national security, and a single system was required for the national security community and its assets to respond. President Carter’s National Security Advisor when flying over the eruption of Mt. St. Helens with the President observed that a major earthquake impacting Silicon Valley could have vast national security impacts. President Carter order the NSC Advisor to prepare both a classified and unclassified analysis for him. The unclassified version was issued by FEMA as a FEMA document. Both were completed before January 1981 when Ronald Reagan became President. NSDD 47 in particular identified a large catastrophic earthquake (the placement of the principal research, development, and manufacturing capability of the nation for the technology sector in California was the specific catalyst) as potentially damaging national security. It therefore concluded that a single response system was necessary and empowered the Emergency Preparedness Mobilization Board [EMPB] to design such as system. By 1985, in NSDD 188 the EMPB was disestablished having completed a plan of action. It should be noted that the Los Angeles Olympics had energized the Department of Justice in the assigned lead role in domestic terrorism and DoJ was increasingly anxious to assert that role. The DoJ had created a concept called “Law Enforcement Emergencies” that was incorporated into the Omnibus Crime Control Act of 1984 and is presently implanted in 28 CFR Part 65. Unfortunately, DoJ has not sought funding for implementation of that concept in annual appropriations requests.

In a memorandum dated September 15, 1987, signed by Frank C. Carlucci, Secretary of Defense, on behalf of the National Security Council, the President directed implementation of a national security emergency plan to replace obsolete plans and update standby documents, specifically draft Executive Orders, for various emergencies.

Because of differing coordination systems and mandates, on January 19, 1988, with Presidential approval, the Domestic Policy Council (after 15 months of effort) adopted a National System for Emergency Coordination (NSEC) to provide timely, effective, and coordinated assistance to States and local governments in extreme catastrophic technological, natural or other domestic disasters of national significance.

The NSEC created functional groups in (1) communications; (2) economic affairs; (3) energy; (4) human services; (5) transportation; and other functions as needed. Confusingly, after establishing functional assignments, the system then adopted a lead Agency approach as follows:

(1) Natural Disasters-FEMA;

(2) Health or Medical-DHHS;

(3) Terrorism (less Airborne Hijacking)-DOJ;

(4) Accident at licensed nuclear power plant-NRC;

(5) Nuclear Weapon, reactor facility accident-DOD or DOE (“owner”);

(6) Environmental-EPA;

(7) Transportation-DOT;

(8) Economic disruption-Treasury;

(9) Telecommunications-OSTP/NCS.

A system of appointment of a FCO (Federal Coordinating Officer) was also adopted with the FCO to be from the lead agency.

On April 27, 1988, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, Colin l. Powell, assigned seven national security priorities to the civil agencies with the third highest priority the preparation of a National Security Emergency Plan to encompass both mobilization and response. In a memorandum to the President on June 27, 1988, the Secretary of Defense committed to full DOD support to the civil emergency planning process, including mobilization, continuity of government (the role of the President as Chief Executive (civil authority) as juxtaposed with that of Commander-In-Chief (military), and when assigned DOD support to civil agency response planning.

On June 27, 1988, the same day that the Secretary of Defense was pledging renewed cooperation in NSEP (National Security Emergency Preparedness Planning) to the President, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, Colin L. Powell, directed that an analogous system for responding to large-scale emergencies that could adversely affect national security be created. The Powell memorandum directed that a National Security Emergency Plan be created with a functionally oriented structure as a companion approach to the Plan for a Federal Response to a Catastrophic Earthquake (adopted in 1987 and predecessor to the Federal Response Plan) that had been mandated in the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977.

Until the promulgation of E.O. 12656, “Assignment of Emergency Preparedness Responsibilities” on November 18, 1988, [superseding EO 11490 (1969) efforts to create a National Security Emergency Plan continued. At that point the assignment of lead and support functions to the departments and agencies in the Order led to substantial fragmentation of various planning efforts and the hope of unified NSEP died. Interestingly, when offered the lead role on “terrorism” in EO 12656, DoJ insisted instead on being in a support role to other agencies.

It should also be noted that on November 23, 1988, DOD was authorized by statute to act on behalf of the President for a period of up to 10 days when a disaster is imminent (prior to declaration) in the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Pub.L.100-707. Of some interest is the DOD but not FEMA was mentioned in the original enactment of the Stafford Act [it should be noted that the Stafford Act modified and supplemented the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, with both codified at 42 U.S.C. Sections 5121 et seq.) Perhaps of some interest is that multiple efforts to amend the Stafford Act to specifically cover acts of terrorism have not succeeded.

It soon became evident that both for natural disasters and national security emergency events, a functional approach indicated substantial overlap in planning and plans. A concept implied in NSDD 47 in 1982. Because of progress in turning the Earthquake Plan into a Natural Hazards Response Plan (eventually the Federal Response Plan) the concept of a separate NSEP was dropped. (Separate COG and telecommunications plans remain, while Mobilization (resource preparedness) plans for the civil agencies with the exception of Defense Production Act authorities have ended (both Clinton and Bush administrations had no interest in mobilization of national resources for national needs. What is important to note is that NO governor ever considers that his/her needs at the STATE level will NOT be provided by the federal government when State and Local resources are exhausted or ineffective. For an example indicating the accuracy of this statement you can review Executive Order 12657 issued November 18. 1988. Executive Orders for each of the President’s may be found at the website of the National Archives and Records Administration, specifically http://www.NARA.gov

CONCLUSION: To make sure that at least one basic principle of federal organization for emergency response is made clear to readers of this paper, an overarching principle of the federal executive branch organizations, including DOD and the Armed Forces, is that with very few exceptions each of these organizations is primary lead responsible for incidents/events on their own facilities even though such incidents and events may impact the civilian population of the United States in a catastrophic fashion. The NRF and its predecessors have a patent defect in the opinion of the author of this technical bulletin in that it does not make clear that it has NO application to these federal facilities and bases. Thus, the thrust of civil emergency planning to date has been exclusive of issues arising from the immensely difficult issue of the disaster potential of federal facilities.

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 19, 2014 @ 7:25 am


The link in the sentence from the above comment copied here should now be changed to link at end of this comment!

“The 1964 OEP Plan [reviewed and signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson and available at http://www.vlg338.blogspot.com%5D assigned responsibilities to all the Federal departments and agencies without indicating what budget or resources were to be applied (a defect that still plagues the National Response Plan today.)”


Comment by Christopher Tingus

August 19, 2014 @ 7:32 am

Three seconds and six gun shots later….a WH administration prejudging an incident reminiscent of Cambridge (MA) and its involvement in another local police matter….how dare you?

….and to the tainted media, where greed and lust for audience viewers does not supersede the well being of our country’s stability and often fosters more shooting as we have seen….facts should be facts and the sensationalism of such incident is yes, what I refer to as anti-American!

Shut off your cameras, stop encouraging violence and allow peaceful protestors to walk and – prejudge – as this White House Executive resident by the way voted into office now twice by a majority of White voters so reason to believe, bias and discrimination and racism are not truly the core of the problem in the United States, however in predominantly Black areas, family values and jobs, in fact promised jobs by way of a campaign slogan, Change, when in fact, the Black community and its youth are reeling from unemployment….

The folks, Black and White have a right to peaceful protest, however instead of the community speaking out against a young man in especially seeing a young criminal whose gait and intimidation of store clerk should have been shown as it was and sooner and under the laws of Missouri was obligated to become public evidence and speaks volumes about this same young man knowingly walking with same arrogant gait disrupting traffic and causing this police officer to ask that he and his pal walk to the sidewalk, well….an AG, the top cop immediately attempting to suppress such release of video, how dare you? This was no 18 year old who was a law abiding citizen, he robbed a store and intimidated a clerk and had an accomplice with him via the video which was released and if this was a White kid, guess what, he and his accomplice would be locked up as well and if they were walking just as these two obviously knowingly disrupting traffic and asked to get off the street, well….

Enough blame towards our law enforcement community and it is time to immediately address these unfounded chants by those holding signs staying that cops are murderers and demanding that there be an arrest of the police officer who was physically attacked in his cruiser, where is the top cop and the resident of the WH stating and supporting our laws, laws which state clearly that no one is guilty until proven so….and to be so divisive, so tainted in your perspectives? How dare you and by the way, was the victim’s blood autopsy showing drugs and/or alcohol or what about the police officer’s blood content? Wash he subjected to any testing after the incident/why isn’t the accomplice of this young man who robbed the store arrested for disrupting traffic and helping to punch an officer? The law applies to everyone and no one AG is above the law! Not even you who seem to dismiss the enforcement of laws as so often reported….

What is Eric Holder doing in Ferguson Missouri today? Why hasn’t he and Barry and even Michelle Obama been in Chicago and in New York where violence is rampant within the Black community, where drugs and lack of family values and educational attainment and real jobs, manufacturing jobs made available, not hand outs and further “enslavement” of the populace to an ever imposing government promoting such negative behavior and disrespect to the police community serving the public.

Rather, it is time for the Black community to take a real look at itself in 2014, its attitudes and mannerisms. Rampant birth rates among youth w/o support.

It is time for the WH and Eric older and young black men to get over the pigment of their skin and buckle down and study and attain an education open to all and certainly in 2014, many, many who have done just that and have been achievement oriented and have understood that through education, knowledge is power that no one can take education away from anyone and is far more powerful than a hand gun or a young Black man whose arrogant gait suggests much about an individual, an obvious criminal walking into a store, stealing and then intimidating the store clerk! Unfortunately pointing to character and maybe to the lack of family and parenting….possibly?

As far as Ferguson, Missouri and Homeland Security and this administration which includes Barry Obama, the first lady, Michelle Obama, the illustrious AG, all have been ever so divisive and who many state have played the race card, the focused on the pigment of skin….rather than to promote family and values….

Instead of Barry and Michelle and Eric Holder and community leaders promoting and focusing on my neighbors, all young and successful Black Americans who have graduated with undergrad and graduate degrees, married and have children and Father and Mothers as terrific parents, no Eric Holder per the President’s directive and 50 FBI agents are en route to Ferguson…interesting when seven deaths occurred and more in Chicago and New York this past weekend and much like Barry Obama, a simple city street organizer who was voted into office by a majority of white voters depicting no such bias or racism, however when in this nation does this police officer become guilty of murder when all are presumed innocent until proven guilty and then convicted…

Also quite interesting, it took weeks and weeks, months to get FBI agents to the “Benghazi Massacre” when evidence was trampled on and again we see as we did here in Cambridge (MA) and the White House getting involved in a local police matter before knowing the facts because Barry Obama who is a resident of the White House and has been “entrusted” by all variations of the pigment of skin to be trusted to act appropriately and to allow local and state police as well as the FBI to objectively conduct an investigation, but heck no, Barry Obama ran to Cairo when first elected to point out what he perceived as the flaws of America and has added fuel to the fire in every instance, however prompting the question:

Where is Eric Holder, the illustrious AG, the top cop who like Barry Obama took an oath and pledged to uphold the laws of this country , where is Eric Holder and even Barry and Michelle Obama as I have not seen them run to Chicago or to New York with the many, many young Black people killing one another, but surely, it was expected that Eric Holder and Barry Obama would be in Ferguson, Missouri….such reverse bias and racism and a nation led by such examples fueling the fire instead of pointing to the Black community and the Black man in America and not only following through with what have been empty rhetoric, broken political promises to create meaningful jobs and to promote family and values, no an administration and an eight year resident of the White House who rather promotes late term abortion for instance….

Reverse bias and racism, you bet and a Black and White America who does not deserve such when in fact I hear that the Attorney General of the United States attempted by reports to block the release of a video of this young man whose character was clearly portrayed, a criminal and yes, maybe nothing to do with the incident where he lay dead in the roadway, however an AG and even Barry Obama agin rushing to the scene to interview who and to sensationalize a story for not only was this young man so arrogant in his gait intimidating a store clerk after his robbery, but walking and reportedly disrupting traffic and AG, when did this officer hear and maybe this young man over the police radio that a robbery had taken place with the victim holding the evidence of the robbery in hand…

…and further, when does an obvious thug, Black, EWhite, Blue or Green come up to a police officer and attack him in his B&W, how dare so many today have such little respect for police officers who are indeed to serve the public and arrest criminals….

Forensics evidence, a reconstruction of this scene and unfortunate incident and a police officer maybe guilty and maybe Not for reports now suggest that his arms were Not raised for if they were, the four shots on his arm would be different and was it is right arm or left arm and was he holding the officer down and ramming him with his criminal pal also participating as they grappled for the officer’s gun….

….who knows so in terms of Homeland Security, while we have seen Barry Obama and the AG and DHS release convicted felon onto our streets in the past, a resident and WH executive releasing known terrorists operatives who had our youth’s blood on their hands and a questionable relationship to the Muslim Brotherhood and a twenty year relationship w/the Rev Wright who stated clearly that Tehran has the right to WMD as long as the “Zionists” have same in hand, what bias and discrimination and all questionable when we do not hear Muslims peaking out against Christians being killed so and the AG and Barry Obama not speaking out and admitting that they failed the Black community by not providing jobs as promised in the “change” promised and none of these supposed leaders of the community speaking out to Black youth and promoting education, the importance of self-control and lessening pregnancies among youth and showing Black men and women as mentors who have truly overcome like many other cultures such bias and have excelled for after all, apparently we have the top two spots in this nation, the AG and the WH, portraying such success though unworthy of these positions….the divisiveness is not appreciated by the community-at-large for the Black community needs to take a hard look at itself and get over the color of skin and promote Black men attaining an education, pursuing not a life of criminal activity, but working hard and getting a job and marrying and raising children….

Let’s overcome untruths and bias and stick to the facts and allow local and state law enforcement to do their job w/an investigation by the FBI as well.

By the way, again I ask, who did Michelle Obama visit when she was in Spain with her daughter? The records of such visit and who she met with as paid by the taxpayer should be released as should Michelle Obama’s graduate thesis for I am not convinced that Barry Obama and the first lady of this nation are not in fact proponents of reverse discrimination, bias and while this is my personal opinion and have Right to such opinion because it is obvious that barry Obama, Michelle Obama and the AG do little to encourage Black youth to be tenacious in their perseverance of educational attainment, but rather enjoy stirring the pot for we clearly saw a Martha’s Vineyard pal of Barry’s who caused a stir here in Cambridge as just another example and Barry’s solution of holding a beerfest on the White House lawn is about the only solution to what is a seemingly questionable perception of the police who are performing their duties for the most part without any discrimination and are attempting to keep lawbreakers from harming the law abiding populace.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

August 19, 2014 @ 8:31 am

When it comes to Homeland Security and the wellness of our nation, this episode in ferguson and the response specially from the eight year resident at the Wh and the top cop, the illustrious AG who seemingly and reportedly appear to be so divisive, when discussing enforcement of laws and those who serve us every day w/o reservation and with pride wear a badge and have taken sworn oath like you both, the question evolves when we see you make comment and are en route and send 50 FBI agents to interview second and third hand accounts by those who never witnessed anything and may be prejudiced in their views much like what many think of you both, the question remains, is the value of a Black youth’s life so precious like anyone else’s as we are all children of God, the question, is the Life of a youth in Ferguson Missouri any more valued than the seven and the dozens and dozens of Black youth killing each other weekends and daily in Chicago and New York for instance as apparently you the present eight year resident at the WH and you the illustrious top cop so many say prefers to enforce only laws you prefer. well, when discussing Homeland Security and our wellness as a society, where are you both and even Michelle Obama as first lady who chose to make comment, where are you and your 50 FBI agents en route to New York and Chicago because We all believe every Black Life and every White Life are valued the same and we are all more similar than different and yet, YOU are today en route to Ferguson so my question, if a Black police officer had shot this young man, would you be en route to the incident and the response, No! You rap the Cambridge (MA) cop and now the Ferguson (MO) cop w/o knowing the facts, but civil rights and inciting and being so divisive as so many say about you both, the law is not different for White, Black or Blue and you always seem to prejudge, why is this and is it because you are biased and truly hold reverse racist views, are you?

Let’s now see you in Chicago more frequently w/your family and promoting values and family and creating all those jobs you promised, such empty and broken political rhetoric….

Allow law enforcement to do its job and again, no one needs your DOJ influence and intimidation which we hear you commenced such when you made every attempt to squelch the release of the video of a young man committing a crime, stealing and intimidating the store owner and later as witnesses said, seeing this young man and his pal disrupting traffic and disobeying the orders of a police officer, Black or White and well….

The youth in Chicago and in New York need your visitations and your mentoring, not as many believe your prejudgements and immediate blame towards law enforcement for values have been lost w/jobs and unemployment causing so many anguish and yes, enslavement to a bigger and every manipulative federal government….

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 19, 2014 @ 8:34 am

I am sure some are wondering why I keep mentioning the CIVIL DEFENSE era 1951-1994 and its impacts on HS and EP. Despite reversing the reforms of FEMA Director James Lee Witt’s concerning PERSONNEL SECURITY policy and issues to reduce secrecy and clearances in FEMA that has now been fully reversed by a FEMA management filled with self-importance.

was governed by unclassified PLAN GARDEN PLOT! Its replacement is now classified but since the NG in Ferguson, MO is not a federalized force not sure what NG plans are for deployments for riots and civil disorders. Hopefully no live ammunition locked and loaded.

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 19, 2014 @ 8:36 am


Not with a Bang but a Whimper; How the last CD NSDD accelerated all-hazards
The federal civil defense program had a statutory basis in Public Law 920 of the 81st Congress. Its repeal in 1994 under President Clinton might have covered up the fact that since the 1970’s and President Nixon civil defense was not a real factor in the strategic equation of nuclear weapons. MAD, however is still the US strategic doctrine. The US Congress after the 1970’s gave almost no oversight to the CD program and in fact accelerated its grant program as unrestricted revenue sharing.

Theoretically, the President’s did not want to deal with CD after JFK and in a series of PD’s and NSDD’s used that system to largely fig leaf a decrepit effort. It should be said however that honorable people ran the program and did worry and lose sleep over the survival of a substantial portion of the US population should an attack occur. Two policy adoptions would have facilitated CD. First, renunciation of the MAD doctrine and simultaneous renunciation of first use of nuclear weapons. Even President Obama seems held captive to the DoD and DoE nuclear priesthood even as costs of the cleanup of the bomb complex realistically are probably close to $1 trillion.

Even weaker than the statute itself as amended as of the date of NSDD-66 (U) the language adopts the all-hazards mantra that now even rules in DHS.

So here is the text annotated by me for readers!

Editors note- While copied from the original several
editorial highlights have been added to enhance emphasis.
It should also be noted that this was the last Presidential Directive/ National Security Directive issued to provide guidance on Civil Defense prior to portions of the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950, as amended being incorporated in the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. Essentially it mandates all-hazards preparedness and was reflected in a formal statutory amendment of the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950 by Public Law 103-160 in 1993]


March 16, 1992





The United States will have a civil defense capability as an element of our overall national
security posture. The objective of the civil defense program is to develop the required capabilities common to all catastrophic emergencies and those unique to attack emergencies in order to protect the population and vital infrastructure. Civil defense can contribute to deterrence by denying an enemy any confidence that he could prevent a concerted national response to attack. (U)

The civil defense program will support all-hazard integrated emergency management at State and local levels. In so doing, the civil defense program will: (U)

1) Recognize and respect the primary responsibility of State and local governments to provide for the safety and well being of their citizens in emergencies other than national security emergencies.

2) Provide a focal point within the Federal government to work with State and local governments on integrated multi-hazard response planning and operations to deal with the consequences of catastrophic emergencies. (U)

3) Continue to implement a policy of dual use of civil defense resources through the development and use of capabilities at Federal, State and local levels to perform emergency functions to respond to emergencies of all kinds including attack. (U)

4) Focus on the development, jointly with State and local governments, of the required capabilities common to all catastrophic emergencies and those unique to attack emergencies, thus ensuring that the use of civil defense funds is consistent with, contributes to, and does not detract from attack preparedness. (U)

5) Provide for the development of a civil defense infrastructure capable of expansion in a national security emergency involving the threat of all forms of attack on the United States which provide advanced warning. (U)

6) Utilize to the maximum extent the existing capabilities, facilities and resources of all appropriate departments and agencies of the Federal Government, in accordance with Executive Order 12656 and, with their consent, those of the States and political subdivisions thereof, and of private sector organizations and agencies. (U)

Disaster-specific programs such as hurricane or flood relief programs which may be incorporated into the civil defense program and which are currently funded within domestic discretionary accounts will continue to be budgeted in this manner. In addition, any equipment or programs not needed for the consequence management of national security emergencies will be funded within the domestic discretionary accounts.


The program under the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency with the support of heads of the Federal Departments and agencies, and under the general policy guidance of the National Security Council, will include: (U)

1) Population protection capabilities, with the Federal Government providing guidance and assistance to enable State and local governments to effectively support the population in all catastrophic emergencies. (U)

2) State and local government crisis management capabilities to effectively
support the population in all catastrophic emergencies. (U)

3) Information to promote a clear understanding by the public of the civil defense program, all threats which may affect their localities and actions they should take to minimize their effects. (U)

4) Information to assist U.S. business and industry in taking measures to protect their work forces and physical assets in all catastrophic emergencies and encouragement of the private sector to make maximum use of private sector capabilities. (U)

5) Voluntary participation by citizens and institutions in community civil defense activities and emphasis on citizen protective actions. (U)

6) Plans for sustaining survivors, for restoration of critical life support capabilities, and to establish a basis for recovery. (U)

7) Definition of and an assessment of the base capability necessary to respond to emergencies that do not provide warning, and the development of those base capabilities which are common to all catastrophic emergencies and unique to attack. (U)

8) Plans for a civil defense surge from the base capability to the total required capability in a national security crisis involving the threat of attack. These plans should assume advanced warning, adequate time to conduct the surge, and the required base capability form which to surge. Total required capability is that operational capability necessary to protect the population and vital infrastructure through preparedness measures common to all catastrophic emergencies and unique to attack emergencies. (U)

The Department of Defense will support civil authorities in civil defense, to include facilitating the use of the National Guard in each state for response in both peacetime disasters and national security emergencies. Subject to the direction of the President and the Secretary of Defense, readiness of the armed forces for military contingencies will have precedence and civil authorities should not rely exclusively on military support. Federal military resources will be employed in civil defense missions only if State and Federal civil resources are not sufficient. Nothing in this directive alters or otherwise affects the chain of command for the armed forces established by the Constitution and laws of the United States. (U)

Nothing in this directive provides for any new Federal responsibilities which are now the responsibility of State and local governments. (U)


National Security Decision Directive 259, dated February 4, 1987, is rescinded. (U)

/signed/ George H.W. Bush

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 19, 2014 @ 8:46 am

The point of several recent comments of mine is to reinforce what I stated in recent e-mails to this blogs contributors. THERE IS NO GOOD HISTORY OF THE FEDERAL CIVIL DEFENSE PROGRAM!

Even the contractor produced HISTORY OF PREPAREDNESS produced and published in 2006, and recent books concerning CD history by Garrison and Perrow are largely filled with errors.




Comment by Leisureguy

August 19, 2014 @ 8:51 am

You write: “Sometimes the most difficult thing for leaders, especially law enforcement leaders, to do is nothing or doing less.”

I have to disagree: I often see police officers doing nothing, particularly if their colleagues are brutally beating a suspect (Rodney King beating: many police officers stood buy watching); the spraying of pepper spray or chemical mace on peaceful protesters (on college campuses and in city streets: we have videos of such actions by a police officer while his fellows stood around doing nothing).

The police are quick to do nothing if one of them is violating the civil rights of civilians. And the police department that threw a flash-bang grenade on an infant? The family is trying to get restitution, and the police department will do nothing.

The police do not hesitate to do nothing when action is required to stop police misbehavior or report police misconduct. They do nothing repeatedly in such instances. They act like a gang.

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