I was getting ready to start my day early this morning when my phone rang. It was a friend of mine in DC who wanted to know if I had seen and/or blogged about a comment Barack Obama made recently at a speech in Colorado. I told him it was unlikely and asked what he said that was so earth shattering.
In a July 2 speech outlining plans to expand opportunities for people to serve in areas such as AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps, Obama makes the following statement with no explanation or amplification.
"We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."
When I read that, I furiously started looking for it on the web. Interestingly, I found only 3 references to it. The Chicago Tribune reported it. Joseph Farah at World Net Daily reported it. It's reported that Congressional Quarterly reported it as well but I can't find the article. Google searches reveal only blogs are covering it and none of the usual suspects have it. There are references to some discussion on Sean Hannity's forums.
As both my friend and Joseph Farah observed,
The U.S. Army alone has nearly 500,000 troops. That doesn't count reserves or National Guard. In 2007, the U.S. Defense budget was $439 billion.Is Obama serious about creating some kind of domestic security force bigger and more expensive than that?
The questions are legion and the implications of such an organization are staggering! What would it do? According to the title, it's a civilian force so how would it go about discharging "national security" issues? What are the Constitutional implications for such a group? How is this to be paid for? Is this accounted for in some of Obama's currently proposed tax increases or will we need more taxes to fund this enterprise? The statement was made in the context of youth service. Is this an organization for just the youth or are adults going to participate? How does one get away from the specter of other such "youth" organizations from Nazi Germany and the former Soviet Union when talking about it?
Joe Farah has, so far, been unsuccessful in getting any information out of the Obama camp on this. No MSM outlet is asking about it and the blogosphere is just ramping up. I'd like to see the rest of us get involved and get some clarity on exactly what Barack is proposing. At the least, it would seem a major expense that would have to be paid for. The 'at worst' options are pretty terrifying to contemplate. I've put in a request to the Obama campaign for some amplification and clarification. We'll see what they have to say. More on this later ...