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Where would you draw the line?

Discussion in 'US Army Forum' started by Kevin17, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. Kevin17


    Sep 25, 2008
    I'm curious to know where active Army or Marines on this forum would draw the line against enforcing martial law within the US.

    For instance, would you comply with orders to quell 'rebellions'? What kind of force would you find acceptable to accomplish this?

    If you were ordered as part of a training exercise to stop citizens cars for no reason to practice searches, would you do so?
    Would you oppose the confiscation of legally purchased and owned firearms of fellow citizens? What if this included the confiscation of your own relatives or friends weapons?

    At what point would you refuse orders by your superiors because you knew that they were unconstitutional and supported a 'police state'?

    Here's an interesting video that explains a little more about some of the changes that could occur. Thanks for any replies.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2008
  2. Biscuitsjam


    Jan 10, 2004
    I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic, and to bear true faith and allegience to the same. And, also, to obey the orders of the officers who may be appointed over me, in accordance with law and regulations.

    That's really all I need to say.

  3. Kevin17


    Sep 25, 2008
    Well, that's really by the book.

    So if you heard an order from a superior officer that is contradictory to upholding the rights of U.S. citizens granted by the Constitution, then you would immediately arrest the offending officer as an enemy of the USA? After all you were sworn to protect your country against all enemies; foreign and domestic.
  4. Biscuitsjam


    Jan 10, 2004
    By the book? Maybe, but the oath really spells out all the nuances that we need to get into. There are countless variations on "orders to quell 'rebellions'" - some are illegal and others are perfectly fine. If an order clearly contradicts the Constitution, then it is not "in accordance with law and regulation," is it?

    Here's the legal direction we were given:
    1. When given an order you believe to be unlawful, ask for clarification.
    2. If the officer persists, inform the officer that you believe the order to be unlawful, and ask if he still wants to order you to do it.
    3a. If following the order will cause no lasting harm, then obey and report. (example: washing the lieutenant's personal car)
    -if you KNOW the order is unlawful, you can safely refuse, but if you aren't sure, don't risk it.
    3b. If following the order will cause harm, then refuse and report. (example: shooting prisoners)
    -if you BELIEVE the order is unlawful and you obey, you are subject to criminal prosecution

    There are instances where a soldier may be legally or morally obligated to do more than simply refuse to obey. However, I don't think it's useful to speculate about such abstract and unlikely scenarios.

    Look up Little v Barreme (1804) for an example of a presidential order that was unlawful.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2008
  5. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

    For those who are interested, I did some research on the flag in his avatar.

    I work in a prison where I have been acquainted with various movements, prison gangs, street gangs, separatist movements, etcetera. The flag avatar is that of the North West Aryan Migration Movement, to what they refer to as the Northwest Homeland. This is located in Washington State as for their preferred area, and parts of the surrounding states. This is the website for the organization:

    This is where I found information on the organization:

    This is not an attempt to poke accusations at anyone, but this is to tell you possibly where he is coming from.

    Kevin17, I am not putting this out there to do anything but to ask and to wonder, are you someone who is anti US or secessionist? If so, what is your purpose on this site. I am not mad at you. However, my curiosity is up there.

    As US military and Army veteran I serve the US presently, including people who have various opinions concerning this country, although in a different capacity then when I was in the military. You have a right to your opinion, and I am not mad at you for it, whether we agree or not.
  6. chuckman


    Nov 9, 2006
    Durham, NC
    Biscuitsjam is spot on. The UCMJ spells out legal vs. illegal orders. No one can blindly follow orders if they are illegal, and there is a lot of precedent for that. If it comes down to me having to be in a position here in the US to question whether I should or should not be following orders, there are bigger problems.
  7. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

    I see Kevin17 hasn't showed back up to clarify matters concerning his avatar. I guess he didn't want to say anything about it. I'm not mad at him. Most of the ones I have dealt with as inmates are actually fairly well behaved, for the most part; they usually don't look for trouble. For that matter he has a right to his opinion, just like anyone else in this country, whether it is agreeable to other folks are not.