April 3, 2009
An Infowars reader has sent a page taken from the Hardeman County, Tennessee, Bulletin Times announcing a seat belt checkpoint to be conducted on April 4 “in conjunction with a Homeland Security training exercise by the 251st Military Police in Bolivar who recently returned from Iraq” (see a PDF version of the announcement here, on page two ).
Although uniformed military personnel will be visible at the checkpoint, the military participation will be strictly observation. The military police uses checkpoints to disseminate information and ensure safe movement in the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency.
|A clipping taken from the Hardeman County, Tennessee, Bulletin Times announcing seat belt checkpoint to be conducted on April 4.|
The operation in Tennessee is similar to one held last December in San Bernardino County, California, and reported by Branson Hunter of the Big Bear Observation Post blog and Infowars  on December 14, 2008. The California operation was a collaboration between the California Highway Patrol and the Marine Corps Air and Ground Combat Center. It did not include Homeland Security.
“Dispatching Marines on California highways is an obvious violation of the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C. § 1385) passed on June 16, 1878. The Act prohibits members of the federal uniformed services, including military police, from working with state and local police and law enforcement,” we reported in December. The seat belt checkpoint in Tennessee with the participation of military police is also a direct violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.
In response to an editorial critical of the operation in San Bernardino County broadcast by KCDZ-FM in Joshua Tree, California, the California Highway Patrol sent the radio station a fax indicating the action would not include military police. It was later reported that uniformed military police in marked military police vehicles teamed up with the California Highway Patrol in the town of Yucca Valley, California.
Gary Daigneault, News Director at KCDZ-FM, went on the Alex Jones Show on December 15 and said the CHP was less than forthcoming about their plans to set-up checkpoints. The California Highway Patrol is required to provide the location of its checkpoints to the media at least two hours prior. Although the CHP did provide the radio station with a telephone number to get this information, when the number was called there was no answer, Daigneault said in his radio editorial (listen to the editorial and view the faxes ).
“It should be obvious the Marines and the California Highway Patrol are engaged in a disinformation campaign against the media in order to cover up their illegal and unconstitutional behavior,” we wrote on December 15. “Not only do they want to entrap the residents of San Bernardino County in their ’sobriety/driver license checkpoint’ in violation of the Fourth Amendment protecting the people against unreasonable searches and seizures, they also want to send a message that the military will henceforth be involved in domestic law enforcement in direct violation of Posse Comitatus.”
The collaboration between Homeland Security, the military, and local law enforcement in Tennessee sets a dangerous new precedent. In the case U.S. v. Martinez-Fuerte, the Supreme Court ruled that DHS checkpoints could be set up to search for illegal immigrants and smugglers and so long as the checkpoints and searches were brief and for that purpose only they could be done anywhere within 100 miles of a US border. It appears DHS is now moving beyond U.S. v. Martinez-Fuerte and expanding operations beyond the 100 mile limit.
DHS will likely argue they are not conducting the checkpoints in Tennessee and are there only as monitors. However, this point will be lost on the victims of the checkpoints when they see uniformed military police and DHS personnel.
In California, the attention of the media put the CHP and the Marines on the defensive. Last month, the coverage of the MIAC documents in Missouri by Alex Jones  resulted in wide coverage of the issue in the corporate media. In response to the attention, the Missouri State Police and the governor of the state were obliged to repudiate the document and order an investigation into the Missouri Information Analysis Center’s practice of designating followers of political candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin as “militia” terrorists.
Attention placed on the operation in Tennessee will produce similar results.