The Hysterical Debate over Federal Troops. Should National Guard help police

A vigorous argument has erupted over the proper way to restore order in the face of riots, arson, and looting following the death of George Floyd. Should local police be supplemented by the National Guard, or by the Army, or would that make things worse?

Tom Cotton led the charge for the “Send In the Troops” position in a much-debated op-ed for the New York Times. Cotton is right that federal law gives the president the authority to use military force against domestic disorder. That authority is explicitly laid out in the Constitution, has been invoked and incorporated in federal legislation dating all the way back to George Washington’s presidency, and is currently governed by the Insurrection Act passed in 1807 and signed into law by Thomas Jefferson. Abraham Lincoln used the army to restore order in New York’s draft riots in 1863, dispatching combat veterans directly from the battlefield in Gettysburg. In modern times, the Insurrection Act has been invoked by Dwight Eisenhower and Lyndon Johnson against resistance to racial integration, and by George H. W. Bush to restore order in the Los Angeles riots in 1992, whose origins were similar to today’s crisis.

There is nothing un-American or “fascist” about such a longstanding backstop against chaos. Our constitution itself was written in response to a rebellion in Massachusetts that had to be suppressed solely by state authorities because the federal government was too weak to help. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were not fascists for using military force when it was necessary to end rebellions and riots.

Reaching for the Army, however, should be a last resort. Prudence counsels against Cotton’s proposal, for now. Where police are unable to handle riots, states can call up the National Guard. Minneapolis, the center of the storm, has done this, with some success. Bill de Blasio has refused to do so, and New York City has paid the price. Only where the Guard proves inadequate to the task should the regular military be called in.

We therefore share some of the concerns aired by James Mattis, especially his view that only in the most extraordinary circumstances should the Army be called in over the objections of state and local officials. But Mattis is wrong to paint all military assistance to law enforcement as a mission to “violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens” that necessarily “erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect.” In fact, plenty of Americans support it. A Morning Consult poll found earlier this week that 58 percent of registered voters supported cities’ calling in the military “to supplement city police forces,” including 48 percent of Democrats and 37 percent of black voters. 71 percent supported their calling in the National Guard. A more recent poll found that support for a military presence has declined since then, but that most Americans still support calling in the Guard. Voters, even those who support the peaceful protests, want an end to riot and disorder.

We respect General Mattis’s military service and judgment and his desire to keep the military out of politics, but we think Dwight Eisenhower understood better that the Army’s mission cannot be completely detached from the domestic tranquility of the nation it serves. It may have been divisive for Eisenhower to send the 101st Airborne into Little Rock over the governor’s objections, but it was necessary.

As for the political fallout of Mattis’s broadsides against Donald Trump, the president now complains that the former secretary of defense is disloyal and incompetent and should never have been hired (and falsely says he fired him, when Mattis quit). Trump has said much the same about his own former secretary of state, attorney general, and White House chiefs of staff, among others. Even the best presidents take criticism from some disgruntled former advisers, but Trump has nobody to blame but himself for his own appointments, for his profligacy in hiring, firing, and insulting them, and for the justified reasons they have for criticizing him.

Finally, the Times is wrong about, well, adulthood. The publication of Cotton’s op-ed led the paper’s woke young staff to hit the fainting couches, shrieking that the mere appearance in their pages was a threat to their physical safety. Never mind that Cotton’s opinion is shared by broad swathes of the public and backed by two centuries of American law; the Times management was forced into an auto-da-fé of self-flagellation and confession of sin for publishing it. The campus culture of youthful tantrums, and adults too cowed to stand up to it, has now thoroughly infected major institutions such as the Times. How far it has fallen from 1863, when the Times itself defended its building from a lynch mob with three Gatling guns borrowed from the Union Army.

Just as ominously, the Times reported: “Three Times journalists, who declined to be identified by name, said they had informed their editors that sources told them they would no longer provide them with information because of the Op-Ed.” A newspaper run by its angriest staffers is bad enough; a newspaper that lets powerful sources dictate its opinions may as well fold up shop.

These are times that call for cooler heads. They are in short supply all around.

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Atlanta knows how to protest — with dancing soldiers!

There are protests — and then there are Atlanta protests, complete with Macarena-dancing National Guard soldiers.

Days of anti-police brutality demonstrations in the city have been marred by isolated looting and violence — but a positive, street-carnival atmosphere has prevailed overall.

Protesters have even convinced Georgia National Guard soldiers to join them in an impromptu dance party, as happened

Fifteen minutes before the 8 p.m. curfew, a line of soldiers in riot gear gave the Macarena their all, according to a clip tweeted by Los Angeles Times reporter Jenny Jarvie.

“But they left behind this one perfect moment,” the Fox report noted, below an aerial clip of the festivities.

A similar, protester-soldier dance-fest — this time featuring the Cha-Cha Slide and the Cupid Shuffle — happened Thursday, according to a clip tweeted by Atlanta-based 11Alive reporter Hope Ford.

“A woman brought out her loud speaker and said this was intentional,” Ford tweeted. “She wanted to play music and lift everyone’s spirits.”

That woman, protester Amisha Harding, told Ford through tears that she simply needed to cut through the darkness.

“The atmosphere was so heavy. People were screaming ‘eff the police,’” she said. “It was very dark … and we kept saying, ‘what can we do to change the energy?’”

That time protestors and the GA National Guard gathered together to dance in the street. A woman brought out her loud speaker and said this was intentional.

She wanted to play music and lift everyone’s spirits. #11Alive #Atlanta

On Saturday, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she is lifting the evening’s planned 8 p.m. curfew because there were no arrests on Friday.

The curfew had been instituted on the previous Friday after a downtown protest devolved into window-smashing, looting and arsons.

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Facebook removes nearly 200 accounts tied to hate groups

Facebook has removed nearly 200 social media accounts linked to white supremacy groups that planned to encourage members to attend protests over police killings of black people — in some cases with weapons, company officials said Friday.

The accounts on Facebook and Instagram were tied to the Proud Boys and the American Guard, two hate groups already banned on the platforms. Officials were already monitoring the accounts in preparation for removing them when they saw posts attempting to exploit the ongoing protests prompted by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“We saw that these groups were planning to rally supporters and members to physically go to the protests and in some cases were preparing to go with weapons,” said Brian Fishman, Facebook’s director of counterterrorism and dangerous organizations policy.

The company did not divulge details of the account users — such as their specific plans for protests or where in the U.S. they live. It said “approximately” 190 accounts were removed overall.

Both the Proud Boys and American Guard had been banned from Facebook for violating rules prohibiting hate speech. Facebook said it will continue to remove new pages, groups or accounts created by users trying to circumvent the ban.

Earlier this week, Facebook announced the removal of a “handful” of other accounts created by white supremacists who had been posing on Twitter as members of the far-left antifa movement.

Facebook announced two other actions on Friday to root out networks of fake accounts used in attempts to manipulate public opinion in Africa and Iraq:

— Hundreds of fake Instagram and Facebook accounts created in Tunisia in an alleged effort to influence elections in that country and other French-speaking nations in sub-Saharan Africa:

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The accounts and related pages were used to impersonate local citizens, politicians and news organizations. More than 3.8 million accounts followed one or more of the pages, and more than 171,000 people had followed one of the fake Instagram accounts.

The network of fake accounts and pages was uncovered by the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. In their report, researchers at the DFRL said they’ve noticed more and more PR firms dabbling in misinformation and online manipulation.

— Facebook also deactivated another network of 102 fake Instagram and Facebook accounts used to impersonate local politicians and news organizations in the Kurdish region in northern Iraq. Company officials said the fake accounts, which appeared to target domestic audiences in Kurdistan, were linked to Kurdish intelligence services.

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‘Law & Order: SVU’ will tackle George Floyd death, police brutality

NBC’s long-running crime drama “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” will take on police brutality to highlight the death of George Floyd and the anti-cop demonstrations engulfing America’s streets.

Executive producer Warren Leight laid out his plans on The Hollywood Reporter “TV’s Top 5” podcast, telling the hosts that Floyd’s death “has to come up and it will,” Fox News reported.

“There are ways, we will find our way in to tell the story,” Leight told listeners. “Presumably our cops will still be trying to do the right thing but it’s going to be harder for them and they’re going to understand why it’s hard for them.”

Leight also talked about how he will switch up the show’s writers “to bring in new voices, fresh voices, different voices.” He didn’t detail the changes.

He pointed out, though, that he suspects “‘really hard’ wasn’t enough,” Fox News reported.

“This has to be a moment where people make themselves uncomfortable — where people in power have to make themselves uncomfortable,” he said.

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Army generals from India and China hold talks on border tensions

New Delhi, Jun 6 (Prensa Latina) Top military officers from India and China met on Saturday to try to ease tensions arising from their month-long border standoff in eastern Ladakh.

The Indian delegation was headed by Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, the general officer commanding of Leh-based 14 Corps, while the Chinese side was headed by the Commander of the Tibet Military District.

Without specifically referring to Saturday’s talks, an Indian Army spokesperson said, ‘Indian and Chinese officers continue to be engaged through the established military and diplomatic channels to address the current situation on the India-China border areas.’

The Joint Secretary (East Asia) of the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Naveen Srivastava, met with the Director General of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wu Jianghao, via a video conference.

Both officials recalled the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries concerning that peaceful, stable and balanced relations between India and China are a positive factor for world stability.

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Cuba: attacker of police officers captured

Havana, Jun 6 (Prensa Latina) The Ministry of the Interior of Cuba informed about the arrest of an individual who attacked members of the National Revolutionary Police (PNR), as a result of which an officer was killed and two others were injured.

The serious incident occurred early on Friday, in the PNR substation in Calabazar, Havana, where an individual with an extremely bad social conduct and a criminal record attacked them with a knife and took the gun assigned to one of the officers, the Ministry said in a communiqué.

As a consequence of the attack, First Lieutenant Yoannis Rodriguez Rivero, 34, who was the officer on watch at the abovementioned unit and had been a police officer for 16 years, died of serious injuries in the neck.

First Non-Commission Officer Georvis Ley Cuenca, 30, a police car driver from the same PNR unit, was admitted at the Enrique Cabrera Hospital and is reported in a serious condition with risks for his life, the communiqué says.

It adds that First Non-Commission Officer Ariel Rojas Tomas, 48, a desk officer in the same PNR unit, was also wounded during the incident.

According to the press release, five hours after the attack, joint forces from the Ministry of the Interior and the community located and captured the perpetrator, who was identified as Yusniel Tirado Aldama, 27, a resident in the above-mentioned Havana municipality, who was in the possession of the stolen gun.

The citizen, who has no employment relationship, is a former inmate who was sentenced for the crime of attack, perpetrated the aggression individually. He also has a criminal record for burglary with forced entry, lesions, drug possession, damage to property and handling stolen goods.

The communiqué adds that immediately, anti-Cuba media reported on the incident and manipulated it, as traditionally, linking it to an alleged rejection of the measures being taken in the country to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Criminal acts like this will not remain unpunished. The forces of the National Revolutionary Police have and will always have the support of our legal rules and the revolutionary people that they defend, the communiqué says.

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