America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)
Support the Troops: US Troops to Be Quartered in Private Homes
By Dan Geddes
WASHINGTON - The Obama Administration announced today its new policy of quartering US troops and domestic security agents in private residences "for the safety of the people in these dangerous times."
Known as "Support the Troops," President Obama himself announced the new Executive Order.
"Let me be clear. This is a time of great national danger. The most effective way to stop another 9/11 or Newtown massacre before it starts is to move troops into private homes where they can protect the people right where they live."
"A large number of crimes are committed, planned and imagined in private residences every day. Why should we stand idly by while this happens? We must take pre-emptive action now, before it is too late."
Obama Administration spokesman Philip Frost provided more details: "The presence of troops and Stateside Security agents in private homes will deter people from crimes such as cheating on their taxes, illegally downloading videos, or planning to attend any future Occupy-style protests that may or may not occur."
Frost continued: "We would like to stress the voluntary nature of this program. When the US military and SWAT teams show up on your door requesting accommodation in full battle regalia, you may of course choose to opt out of the program."
People who choose to opt out of the "Support the Troops" program will have to walk through a mobile naked body scanner and submit to a search of their residence. The 'opt-out' individual must be able to produce receipts documenting the purchases of any firearms, gold, or silver found on the premises. Any undocumented firearms, gold and silver, illegal drugs, illegal videos, and raw milk will be confiscated and possible criminal sanctions or indefinite detention may result. Smart meters will be also installed in the opt-out's house to continuously monitor their well-being.
Because opt-outs will lack the normal protection of quartered troops, a dedicated police or military drone may also be assigned to fly around the perimeter of the residence for his or her protection.
"But no troops will be stationed in the opt-out's home," asserted spokesman Frost. "We want to stress that. We are confident that the 'opt out' option protects individuals' Constitutional rights under the Third Amendment."
The Third Amendment to the US Constitution specifies: "No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."
Before the American Revolution, the British Empire stationed troops in American colonists' homes.
"While it's true that the Third Amendment is probably the only right from the original Bill of Rights deal that hasn't been altered in recent years, we feel the time is now ripe for an update to this outdated Amendment."
People may also opt out of the program by forfeiting their home to the government and choosing to live in a refrigerator box.
"Persons living in cardboard structures are ineligible for the Support the Troops program," asserted Frost. "Unfortunately, they will not qualify for this extra level of protection."
Not everyone is enthusiastic about the "Support the Troops" program. Critics of the program feel the Administration has not worked out the program in enough detail.
Mary Voorman, a former civil liberties activist, stated: "It's not clear to what degree troops stationed in private residences will contribute to household chores. The Administration isn't clear about this. Will troops help take out the garbage, wash the dishes, or clean the toilet? I mean, will they get a free ride on household work? What about laundry? That's what I want to know. I've already submitted a FOIA request about this aspect of the program."
"I mean, I support the troops as much as the next gal. I'm certainly not an opt-out. But I hope the troops will keep their rooms clean, and not pee on the toilet seat or anything."
Troops will also enjoy certain privileges, like four hours of internet time per day, preferential parking, and the right to watch whatever they like on television. But the issue of household chores is not addressed in the Executive Order.
Despite this, Selma Holmes, 64, of Detroit welcomes the Support the Troops program. "In the last few years, the Detroit police department has been cut back so much that I am happy to have a few soldiers stay in my apartment. I will feel safer."
"After all these budget cuts, I can really understand the military's lack of funds. I think they're down to like $1.5 trillion per year now? I'm happy to help out in any way I can. It's no trouble for me to pick up some extra macaroni and cheese from the food bank and make it for them," said Holmes.
John Weston, 74, of Orange City, Florida supports "Support the Troops."
"I've already gotten used to the idea of police drones flying overhead. So having troops stay in my house seems like the next logical step. Just as long as they don't legalize gay marriage. That's what I'm most worried about."
"There aren't any gay troops, are there? I'm sorry, but I wouldn't want any gay troops in my home. I draw the line there."
Most Americans have no problem with the new program. Some municipalities have already embraced the "Support the Troops" directive by starting their own "Adopt a Battalion" programs.
Martha James, 54, of Atlanta, summed it up best: "If you really want to support the troops, then you should 'walk the walk.' You should have no problem with quartering troops in your house in this time of national crisis. It only makes sense."