SIEGE MENTALITY

Bush Considered Invading N.Y.

Another day, another legally dubious Bush-era plan leaked to the press. According to the New York Times, White House officials in 2002 considered deploying U.S. forces into the suburbs of Buffalo, New York, to capture the "Lackawanna Six," a group of men suspected of running an al Qaeda cell, and declare them enemy combatants. Vice President Dick Cheney reportedly backed the idea, which may have violated the Fourth Amendment and the Posse Comitatus Act, a law that keeps the military out of domestic law enforcement. In the end, the FBI carried out the arrests instead, although a legal memo drafted by torture architect John Yoo argued that the military could have been used to attack terrorists domestically. The idea echoed the 1998 film The Siege, in which a fictional president suspends the Posse Comitatus Act and declares martial law in New York City in order to find and arrest a terrorist cell. Spoiler alert: it doesn't end well.