Farah spends most of the column freaking out over a Department of Defense instruction establishing policies and procedures for how the DoD can support local and state law enforcement agencies. It's a 42-page document, but Farah cherry-picks a tiny section to declare that the Pentagon "altered U.S. law to allow the U.S. military to quell domestic 'civil disturbances' without so much as presidential authorization."
It's telling that Farah did not provide a link to the full instruction -- which, again, is 42 pages long -- because that would have negated his full frothing mode. The document explains how such military actions are regulated by the Posse Comitatus Act, and nowhere does Farah explain how this new instruction goes any farther than any previous DoD orders, or even if there is a rollback.
Indeed, Kevin Govern of the Ave Maria School of Law (not exactly a liberal institution) explains that DoD Instruction 3025.21 replaces several older directives on military assistance to civilian law enforcement and civil disturbances and permits nothing that wasn't already permitted before:
These policy changes must be read in light of an evolution, rather than revolution, involving over a century of federal troop deployments and 200-plus years of legal precedent. The Insurrection Act of 1807 [PDF] was one of the first and most important US laws on this subject, and was followed some 71 years later by the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which further limited executive authority to conduct military law enforcement on US soil. Each of those laws has evolved over time — consistent with the times and the popular will expressed through Congress.
But Farah's frothing must not be interrupted by facts:
Did Americans notice what happened in the wake of the marathon bombings? Did they see how a city was shut down by a military-style occupation? Did they care how difficult it was to distinguish between U.S. soldiers and civilian police forces? Was there any difference?
And before that came Barack Obama’s campaign pledge to create a “civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as the U.S. military.
Apparently no one else in the national press found that promise newsworthy, because I was the first to call it to the attention of the public days later. Interestingly, the pledge had been stricken from transcripts of the speech handed out to media.
What ever happened to the “civilian national security force” initiative? No one in the press has dared to ask that question.
As we've repeatedly documented, Obama's reference to a "civilian national security force" refers to an expansion of the foreign service, which Obama himself explained in 2008.
The fact that Farah has chosen to perpetuate his lies about the "civilian national security force" demonstrates his capacity for soulless mendacity.
Farah's column is headlined "Slouching toward a military junta," but Farah slouched his way to the Land of Mendacity a long time ago.