Bush readies military--calls up 50 thousand reserves
September 14, 2001 11:27 AM   Subscribe

Bush readies military--calls up 50 thousand reserves Well that will take care of the job market. But just what is it they are to do? One suggestion is that they will stay in the U.S. to ensure our safety. Isn't that called a garrison state? And Carnivore now installed at Hotmail and just about all oter places. But Bush had warned us early on that sometimes you have to give up freedoms, even in a democracy.
posted by Postroad (12 comments total)
Link for the Carnivore inference, Postroad?
posted by scottandrew at 11:37 AM on September 14, 2001

And how many e-mails are going around right now with keywords like "Bin Laden" "bomb" "WTC"? This system is a joke. Any serious terrorist would use either encryption or simple phrases to mask true meanings. Now if Carnivore only monitors traffic inbound from say the middle east, that would be a different story.
posted by geoff. at 11:38 AM on September 14, 2001

Senator Pat Leahy (D, VT) was wondering the same thing yesterday evening. Perhaps it is a show of force, but I don't know whether whomever it is that attacked really thinks that the U.S. is weak. In any case, there is precious little (IMHO) that the reserves can do to prevent another terrorist attack above and beyond what is happening already.

And, if the intention is to mobilize the troops for war, are there already battle plans, or will the troops have to remain in a holding pattern until the brass knows what is what?
posted by Avogadro at 11:38 AM on September 14, 2001

"...sometimes you have to give up freedoms, even in a democracy"

Hmmm, sounds a lot like the aftermath of the Reichstag Fire to me.
posted by mathowie at 11:41 AM on September 14, 2001 [1 favorite]

Here is link for Carnivore:
http://wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,46747,00.html via Wired
posted by Postroad at 11:44 AM on September 14, 2001

I would guess that there were some very detailed plans already drawn up years ago on how to respond to an attack like this. I don't believe anyone ever expected something as traumatic as what has occurred, but there are people charged with coming up with scenarios and plans on how to act in these scenarios.

From my limited knowledge of the military I would guess that you will need staff, trainers, etc. in place were you to call for enlistment or, I hope not, the draft. Someone needs to ready bases, build housing, collect equipment, offer basic training and other necessary tasks. The reserves are probably the best people to start this process.
posted by dewelch at 11:44 AM on September 14, 2001

I think the idea is that the reserves will take over many of the day-to-day operations of the military bases as the full-timers head overseas to do the dirty work...
posted by conquistador at 11:45 AM on September 14, 2001

[Hmmm, sounds a lot like the aftermath of the Reichstag Fire to me.]

I was in a conversation on that very subject last evening. How far the similarities go remains to be seen...
posted by revbrian at 11:56 AM on September 14, 2001

A lot of reservists are being sent to NY to relieve rescue workers and bring in more supplies (additional body bags, etc).

My brother is a flight engineer for the Air Force and frequently gets sent overseas TDY on secret missions (spy plane stuff, mostly). He had a mission scheduled for the 11th, but they were all sent home the night before because there were "indications of an imminent attack on the president." He wasn't allowed to contact family for several days, so we had no idea what had happened to him. Now they're all home, but can only use thier phones/dial-up accounts for one-minute periods, as they're on high-alert.

I grew up in an air base town. They'll send over regular military personnel and reservists as needed depending on what they've been trained in. In the Gulf War, both were used. If the bases at home run shy of workers, they hire civilians to do the non-classified stuff (work the post office, commissary, BX, etc.). All bases have a significant percentage of civilian employees even during peacetime.
posted by jenwells at 11:57 AM on September 14, 2001

Events like these always beget cries of "Something must be done!". The problem then is that the "thing" that gets done is usually done with the broadest stroke of the brush.

On BBC Radio 5, yesterday, I heard a "represntative" of the US intelligence community was talking about terrorists using crypto to communicate. Snooping is going to increase, and I'm seriously considering Gnu Privacy Guard.

Though here in the UK, of course, you have to make the key available if required. Ladeez an' Gennelmen, _that_ is a free and democratic country.
posted by jackiemcghee at 11:59 AM on September 14, 2001

There's been an executive order signed.
posted by owillis at 12:06 PM on September 14, 2001

For one thing they'll relieve watchstanders at military bases. When something like this happens and we go to Threatcon Delta or Charlie they mobilize the auxiliary security forces which are comprised of base staff. Right now I'm ASF and have been advised I won't be returning to my regular duties for an indefinite period of time.
posted by tetsuo at 9:19 AM on September 15, 2001

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