Question for Commander of Army Brigade to Be Deployed for Domestic Operations: How Would You Have Handled the Protests at the Republican National Convention?

by on September 29, 2008 · 9 comments

in Civil Disobedience, Civil Rights, War and Peace

Reposted due to popular demand

I have questions for Col. Cloutier as he and I have special connections

Col. Roger Cloutier - commander of the Army brigade to be deployed within America.OCEAN BEACH, CA.  I have a question for the commander of the Army brigade that is being deployed within America for domestic operations, beginning October 1.  The commander of the Third Infantry Division, First Brigade, is actually Colonel Roger Cloutier. Now, Col. Cloutier and I have never met, but I feel a special affinity for the officer. We have special connections.

First, Col. Cloutier, may I call him ‘Roger’? – graduated from San Diego State University in 1988 as a Distinguished Military Graduate. I have never attended San Diego State U, but I also did graduate from college in San Diego (UCSD) and I live in San Diego now. Gee, just think of that, the officer who will be in charge of the troops deployed in America for the November elections, graduated from a San Diego college 20 years ago.

I was also in the US Army, briefly, but I’m not even counting that.

The second connection between Roger and me, was that we both lived at Fort Bragg, North Carolina – the largest US Army base in the country, if not the world. I was the son of an Army Lt. Colonel – years ago -, and Roger was assigned to the JFK Special Warfare Center at Ft. Bragg, where he served as operations officer. See, we both know what it’s like to live in a culture-free environment surrounded by pine forests.

Will 3d Division tanks be soon patrolling American cities?Secondly, Roger and I both lived at Fort Carson, Colorado, the Army post at the foot of the Rockies. Actually, that’s where I was born and lived until I was 2 years old. Roger, on the other hand, served as a battalion officer with the Fourth Infantry Division at Ft. Carson. We both had beautiful views of the snow-capped mountains.

So, you can see the strong links between us. See the web site of the Third Infantry Division here. And here. Hey, that’s another connection: we both have web sites! Check his out and you’re already on mine.

Questions for Col. Cloutier

So, Roger, here is my question: How would you have handled the protests at the Republican National Convention just held earlier this month in St. Paul, Minnesota?

Let me clarify:  specifically, would you have recruited individuals to become spies within those horrible groups, like peace organizations, animal rights cells, and student collectives?

Another question comes to mind: would you have staged pre-emptive raids on activist and peace houses and living quarters? Would you have arrested people at home, confiscated their computers, leaflets and other communication devices before they even did anything?

Okay, I have more. During the actual protests, would you outfitted your troops with helmets, shields, long batons and had them remove their name badges so no one could identify individual officers?

Would you have treated the demonstrators as potential terrorists or would you have treated them just simply as US citizens carrying out their civic duties and responsibilities of displaying militant dissent to an illegal war and haranguing the people who lied to us to get into the war – the war that you just returned from – ?

Roger, would you have used pepper spray, concussion grenades and tear gas to block marches of peaceful protesters?

Would you have arrested hundreds of kids for sitting down on a bridge that your troops blocked even after the kids had a permit to march?

Would you have charged many of those arrested with felonies?

Would you have arrested a dozen journalists and held them for hours, only to release them later with no charges?

Now, I know that your troops acted bravely in Iraq, and that you have a chestful of hard-earned metals. But I was wondering, whether, during the training that your troops are right now going through in order to prepare them for their domestic military duties, are they given the Bill of Rights to read and understand? How about you – have you read the Constitution?

Do you know what the Posse Comitatus Act was?

Did you know that up to now, the US military has been prohibited from deploying within our country?

And, just what is wrong with the National Guard, Roger? Have they been too shredded and demoralized by their Iraq war experiences to do their historic job?

Roger, I am sending this to you via your web page. And if it’s okay with you, I will post your responses. Hope to hear from ya soon.

[Go here to see our earlier post of the Third Div., First Brigade deployment.]

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Shawn Conrad September 23, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Look, we have to maintain order. If that means taking all your rights away so we can incarcerate you for whatever we want, what’s the harm?

It’s not like the powers that be want much to do with the Bill of Rights. The Constitution? Outdated imperialistic dogma to say the least.

So stop talking, thinking, and worshipping (minus Jesus, duh!), and get to being the mindless, ignorant, passive slaves that teh free people of the United States we re meant to be.

Roger has guns, and men with guns behind him. That trumps personal ideas and the want for a better life. And no, you may not call him Roger.

Colonel Cloutier is on the way to your house with his platoon. Each man weilds a towel with soap wrapped in it. Soon you will learn the importance of marshal law.

You’re welcome.


nunya September 25, 2008 at 6:40 pm

Uh Frank?

You went to UCSD, he went to SDSU. The only thing he remembers from school is “par-tay”. You didn’t miss the glazed donuts on this guy didja? He looks like he can’t remember what he did last night. Very important in a Bush appointee.


Frank Gormlie October 2, 2008 at 2:12 pm

Amy Goodman, top journalist on DemocracyNow! has stated that 50 journalists – not a dozen – were arrested during the RNC in St. Paul.


Dawn Robinson November 18, 2008 at 6:42 am

In looking for some news on an old friend, I happened upon your little site. You people are something else. I’m sure you amuse my friend, Roger. (and yes – I CAN call him that) Having been his neighbor in Fayetteville – the ‘culture-free environment surrounded by pine forests” – I can tell you that this man has more honor and character than you will ever understand. Roger, if you happen upon this idiotic site, please know that these airheads are definitely in the minority in this country and that those of us with a brain are behind you.


Frank Gormlie November 19, 2008 at 9:01 am

Sure, Dawn – to hell with those damn civilians questioning our military, right on! Forget that the deployment of US troops on US soil as law enforcement is against the law. Actually I hope your friend Roger does better than the cops at the Republican Convention.
Regarding “these airheads are definitely in the minority in this country” – yeah, right; for years the American majority has been against the Iraq war, and now apparently the majority have spoken with the election of Barack Obama – someone who has promised to restore the Constitution – and Bill of Rights – something I asked your friend Roger if he’d ever read. (maybe you should too – especially a little law called the Posse Comitatus Act.)


"Bill Murray" November 23, 2008 at 4:02 pm

*Sigh* The Posse Comitatus Act (herein referred to as ‘the act’) (1878) isn’t even in the Constitution of The United States of America (ratified June 21, 1788) nor is it in the Bill of Rights (1791).

It does not apply to Nation Guard forces or The Coast Guard which are subject to Title 32 of the U.S. Code, unless they are federalized pursuant to an exercise of presidential authority.

It does apply to the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and their respective reserve forces (herein referred to as ‘the military’ or ‘military’). These forces are subject to U.S.C. Title 10.

Originally designed to prevent over politicizing of military forces following the Civil War, and to prevent them from taking part in the “execution of laws”

The litmus test now applied is a determination between “passive” or “active” support. Per the act, the military may not take an active support role when interacting with civil law enforcement. This can be defined further as the arrest and detention of criminal suspects, search and seizure activities, restriction of civilian movement through the use of blockades or checkpoints, gathering evidence for use in court, and the use of undercover personnel in civilian drug enforcement activities. (See State v. Nelson, 298 NC 573, 260 SE 2d 629, cert den; 446 U.S. 929, 100 S. Ct. 1867, 64 L. Ed. 2d 282 (1980))

A passive support role is usually defined as a logistical support role. Recognizing that the military possesses unique equipment and uniquely trained personnel, the courts have held that providing supplies, equipment, training, facilities, and certain types of intelligence information does not violate the act. Military personnel may also be involved in planning law enforcement operations, as long as the actual arrest of suspects and seizure of evidence is carried out by civilian law enforcement personnel. (See United States v. Red Feather, 392 F. Supp. 916 (DC SD 1975))

While you’re doing some light reading, I suggest you also peruse Civil Disturbance Statutes: 10 U.S.C., sections 331–334 which authorizes use of Title 10 forces in the execution of laws in the event that a state requests said use or is unable to protect its citizens or property due to terrorist or criminal activities. These statutes allowed the use of the military in restoration of order following the early 1990’s L.A. Race Riots.

You might also want to review The Stafford Act, 42 U.S.C., section 5121. This authorized the use of federal troops in response to a natural disaster. This use is still subject to the passive vs. active test, and hinges on a state governor’s request.

To bring it full circle and back to the Constitution of The United States, Article 2, states that the President must preserve federal functions. Would you like to have invoked posse comitatus in the 1960s when Article 2 was used to justify the use of federalized forces to allow black children to attend public schools in Alabama?

In summation, before you cite a law and use it to slander an officer of the United States, I suggest you do your homework. Little else needs to be said. Except for this.

“Regarding “these airheads are definitely in the minority in this country” – yeah, right; for years the American majority has been against the Iraq war, and now apparently the majority have spoken with the election of Barack Obama ” …you do realize, don’t you, that President Elect Barack Obama (whom I am thrilled to see on his way to the position of Commander in Chief) has repeatedly stated that he is going to transition troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, not back to America and peace. “It is time to turn the page. It is time to write a new chapter in our response to 9/11. . . . When I am president, we will wage the war that has to be won, with a comprehensive strategy with five elements: getting out of Iraq and on to the right battlefield in Afghanistan and Pakistan; developing the capabilities and partnerships we need to take out the terrorists and the world’s most deadly weapons; gagging the world to dry up support for terror and extremism; restoring our values; and securing a more resilient homeland.” [President-Elect Barak Obama in a speech in Washington, DC, 08/01/07]. Or did you conveniently forget that? Hmmm…Maybe a little more homework for you?

Notes for further study

(Information on the history of The Posse Comitatus Act)
(The US Code, searchable for your enjoyment and dissection)
(Of special note, is the first point)


Frank Gormlie November 23, 2008 at 10:44 pm

Bill Murray – thanks for your comments. Obviously you’ve done some homework.
But your lesson in the history and meaning of the Posse Comitatus Act (PCA) seems to miss what I’m talking about, bro. And exactly what your general point is, except to wag your finger at the bad students, is not clear.
Your attitude is that I have slandered an officer of the United States by suggesting he read the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Posse Comitatus Act before he commits a violation of any. My issue is directed at Lt. Col. Coultier as he is the commander of the combat brigade that has just been assigned / deployed to the ‘homeland’ for, inter alia, civil disturbances, which is very disturbing “Bill Murray” or whatever your real name is. This is what is disturbing to real Americans – the use of the military in law enforcement. There is plenty of evidence out there, that while law enforcement is becoming more militarized, the military are being forced into more law enforcement duties – which is against our traditions, the Bill of Rights, The Posse Act, etc. despite what the current commander in chief says or wants.
I did review Trebilcock’s article in my study of the PCA, and it takes a rather conservative view.
I’m glad that you’re glad that Barack Obama is our new president-elect / commander in chief to be; I like to think of him as our civilian -community organizer. Perhaps you’re in the military, JAG, ? and you must relate to him as the Commander in chief, and I respect that. Most of us, however, will be viewing him as the President, a civilian post.
Yes, Obama has made several statements about carrying on war in Afghanistan & Pakistan, going after Bin Laden, the guy responsible for 9-11, getting out of Iraq – which we should never have been involved in, had nothing to do about who attacked us – I hope Bill you can agree to that. And as in any situation, we reserve the right to protest against any of Obama’s excursions.
Obama also is saying he’ll restore our credibility, our legitimacy, and system of justice. The Constitution has been damaged severely by your current commander in chief, and he’ll probably go down as the worst modern American president in history. But that doesn’t mean he has not sought to destroy our rights. And the military – as always – has to ensure that it is carrying out lawful orders, as the Nuremburg standards apply.


Frank Gormlie November 24, 2008 at 10:39 am

Bill Murray – I wanted to change my apparent attitude from last night’s rant in response to your finger-wagging. I don’t think I clarified the points I’m stressing. People in the military are part of the people- I was in, dude, went to West Point for a couple of years; my father, a Lt. Col., fought in 2 wars: WWII, and Korea. I’m familiar with the military.
The problem with the military is two-fold: one, its civilian leadership these past 8 years, and two, that the military is following illegal orders. The invasion and occupation of Iraq was illegal. Yes, the main fault lies with Bush & company, but the military followed orders that were improper. From Nurembeourg we know that’s not an excuse.
Don’t knock civilian concerns about the over-reach of the law enforcement / military forces that would like to see a military dictatorship here in this country. It does not sound like you’re in that place, and I appreciate that.
People in the military are our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters, our fathers and mothers. But problems arise when the over-professionalized brass think they know best for the country. So, on one hand, we see the militarization of the police – see what happened at the Republican Convention this past Sept in St. Paul. Dissent was being criminalized. These were kids. Lots of journalists were arrested! That is Un-American.
And then we have the civilian leadership pushing the military in the direction of law enforcement. Soldiers are NOT cops, and cops are NOT soldiers. Two different jobs, two different set of skills. There are allegations that NORTHCOM has been involved in spying on peace groups! Spying on peace groups! And there are allegations that NORTHCOM was in the loop during the GOP convention. What does this mean? The crackdown on dissent was known by your commanders. Where is that at?
SO, now , we’re in the midst of changing our civilian leadership for the better.
But for the past year, there has been a lot of doubt, fear, and anxiety of the military being used to crack down on dissent in this country, and now with this deployment – for the first time, an American combat unit has been assigned to the ‘homeland’, our civilian eyes are open. What is going on? Not until Bush came along, did we even use the term ‘homeland’ – which is something that Hitler popularized in Germany in the early 1930s.
I was in the military. Grunts are not trained in the Constitution and Bil of Rights. They should be. Remember the Red Coats? That’s why troops are barred from serving as cops.
People in the military need to understand the fears of the civilian population, as we are your people. Don’t pooh-pooh our concerns, brother. Understand them, and convince us that you will not be used to put us down. And don’t slander me either, as I am an Officer of the California and Federal Courts.


Michelle Loveland November 3, 2014 at 9:24 pm

I’m not sure who reads this but I’m pretty sure we found roger cloutier’s bording pass for Iraq in 2007 in my husbands ruck sack. I’m not sure if you care to have it or not but if you’re married maybe your wife would like to keep it in her box of memories. (idk if she has one, I have one and include my husbands stuff that he doesn’t really care to
keep at the moment bug I think he’ll care for later on) If you ever read this roger and would like to reply you can reach me at We just thought it would be cool to get this small memory back to you and your family


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