According to National Journal's White House correspondent Marc Ambinder the U.S. already has a game plan in place. "If what happened in London ever happened in the US, the military has plans -- CONPLAN 3501 and 3502 -- to suppress the 'insurrection,' he tweeted (external - login to view).
The mysterious reference to a numbered military plan generated a flurry of interest (external - login to view) on Twitter as NPR hostMichele Norris (external - login to view) shot back:"I want to know more about the military's plan to suppress any potential 'insurrection.'-- CONPLAN 3501 and 3502????"
Interestingly, the CONPLAN (which stands for an "operation plan in concept format" at the Pentagon) Ambinder referenced is a popular subject among conspiracy theorists and critics of martial law. According to the public policy organization GlobalSecurity.org (external - login to view), CONPLAN 3502 is the U.S. military's plan for assisting state and local authorities in the event of a riot or major civil disturbance:
"Tasks performed by military forces may include joint patrolling with law enforcement officers; securing key buildings, memorials, intersections and bridges; and acting as a quick reaction force."
It derives its constitutional backing from Article I, Section 8 stating that "Congress shall have power... to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections, and repel Invasions" and is rumored to have been activated during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, during the 1999 Seattle WTO riots and during the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles (external - login to view).
But, according to Nate Jones (external - login to view) at the National Security Archive, "because historic Garden Plot activity was classified and current activity likely remains so, it is difficult to discern exactly how many times Garden Plot was evoked." What jarred Jones upon looking at internal military documents, were the "indicators of potential violence," which were especially racially oriented:
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