Bush's Terrible Idea:

President Bush and Senator John Warner (R-Vir.) are pushing to create additional loopholes in the Posse Comitatus Act, the law that prohibits use of the military in domestic law enforcement. The drug enforcement loopholes created in the 1980s have already led to the deaths of innocent Americans. A "disaster" loophole could be even more dangerous. The fact that local, state, and federal governments bungled some of the initial response to Hurricane Katrina is not a good reason to destroy the principle of separation of the military from civil law enforcement--a principle at least as important to civil liberties as the separation of church and state.

Gene Healy of the Cato Institute is the leading spokesman for the pro-liberty side on the Posee Comitatus issue. A chapter I wrote in a Cato book a few years ago provides some historical background, and details the terrible results of the drug war loophole in the Posse Comitatus Act. You can also watch a RealVideo/Audio of a 2002 Cato Institute panel on the PCA, in which Rep. Bob Barr, Stephen Halbrook, Paul Schott Stevens, and I discuss proposals to weaken or eliminate the PCA.