Short:  Speaks for itself.
Note from Eileen:
General prohibition in the Constitution against using the military on American soil.

Citation is Article I section 8  - the enumeration of Powers granted to Congress.  Congress is granted the power to declare War, to grant letters of Marque and Reprisal, and to make rules governing captures on Land or Water.

In Louisiana, Blackwater officials say they are on contract with the Department of Homeland Security and have been given the authority to use lethal force if necessary.

In Kentucky's Lexington Police Department contracted private Mercenary Army Blackwater Security International to provide what's described as homeland security training.


A letter of Marque or Reprisal was a document issued by a government that commissioned some private mercenary to retaliate on their behalf against some foreign nation or party for a wrong.   Example: a letter of Marque commissioning someone to go find a famous pirate, capture or kill him, sink his ship, in retaliation for previous piracies.

The problem about the Blackwater debacle is:
•    It is being done domestically, instead of outside the country
•    It is being done by states, not Congress

General prohibition in the Constitution against using the military on American soil.
The Army and police are separate. The Army is not to be used to keep the peace domestically.The Constitution allows for the Militia to be called up from the states to keep the peace, but the Militia and Army were two very different things to the Founders.  That distinction has been lost -- nowadays people think that the National Guard is the Militia. It's not - it's the Army National Guard - it's just a division of the Army. 



Eileen Dannemann
former director, National Coalition of Organized Women (NCOW)
917 804-0786

"It requires courage to utter truth; for the higher Truth lifts her voice, the louder will error scream, until its inarticulate sound is forever silenced in oblivion"…Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science

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