Operation Garden Plot, The Army’s Emergency Plan to Restore “Law and Order” to America.


It’s the US Army’s 1968 “Civil Disturbance Plan,” codenamed Garden Plot. The plan –first posted by governmentattic.org— explains how the Army planned to “employ Federal forces to assist local authorities in the restoration and maintenance of law and order in the 50 states [and all other districts and territories].”Of course, for the “restoration of law and order” to be legal, the president must decree it. Planning ahead, the Army drafted Annex Five (pg. 59): a five-section executive order that authorized the Secretary of Defense to “take all appropriate steps” to quell the restive population… All the president needed to do to allow the military to operate domestically was sign the dotted line.The Garden Plot plan –drafted after the Watts, Newark, and Detroit riots– captures the acrimonious times when the document was drawn up. The section outlining the Army’s perception of the “situation” in America certainly insinuates an establishment that was afraid the disenfranchised. The Plot warns against “racial unrest,” as well as “anti-draft” and “anti-Vietnam” elements. It deserves a read in full (pgs. 36-37):What the Army considered “indicators of potential violence (pg. 37)” are also telling (if jarring):Garden Plot is a much larger and more broadly orchestrated operation than a governor “merely” calling in the Federal Guard (which happened 92 times from 1 July 1969-30 June 1970). And 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.The Los Angeles Times reported that until 1971, there were two brigades (4,800 troops) on permanent standby to quell unrest. The Times also reported that Governor Ronald Reagan once addressed 500 soldiers drilling for Garden Plot; he joked that if his political enemies saw him they would accuse him of “planning a military takeover.”Globalsecurity.org reports that Garden Plot deployments “were commonplace” in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Among other instances, deployments occurred after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, in response to the US invasion of Cambodia in 1970, and the Republican and Democratic conventions of 1972. There is speculation that Garden Plot was evoked after the 1992 Rodney King Riots and the 1999 Seattle WTO riots. The 1968 plan lists 25 “high priority” cities (pg. 177).Establishing a contingency plan for civil unrest may have been a prudent and constitutional action by the US military. But by cloaking Garden Plot in unnecessarily secrecy, the executive branch contributed to the erosion of the US public’s trust of its government.

The United States Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2

The following information was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. The original printing was of June 1, 1984. The information herein is UNCLASSIFIED and does not come within the scope of directions governing the protection of information affecting the national security.

It took a little more than three years to obtain a full copy of Operation Garden Plot from the U.S. Government, and was done so under the freedom of information act for unclassified documents. The implications within the full context of this document should make the hair on the back of your head stand on end!!!!!

In this document signed by the Secretary of the Army, is hereby assigned as DOD Executive Agent for civil disturbance control operations. Under Plan 55-2 he is to use airlift and logistical support, in assisting appropriate military commanders in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and US possessions and territories, or any political subdivision thereof.

The official name of this project is called “Operation Garden Plot.”

Under this plan for the deployment of Operation Garden Plot, the use of CIDCON-1 will be mandatory. This direct support of civil disturbance control operations is to be used by the Army, USAF, Navy, and Marine Corp. with an airlift force to be comprised of MAC Organic Airlift Resources, airlift capable aircraft of all other USAF major commands, and all other aerial reconnaissance and Airborne Psychological Operations. This is to include control communications systems, aeromedical evacuation, helicopter and Weather Support Systems.

If any civil disturbance by a resistance group, religious organization, or other persons considered to be non-conformist takes place, under Appendix 3 to Annex B of Plan 55-2 hereby gives all Federal forces total power over the situation if local and state authorities cannot put down said dissenters.

Annex A, section B of Operation Garden Plot defines tax protesters, militia groups, religious cults, and general anti-government dissenters as Disruptive Elements. This calls for the deadly force to be used against any extremist or dissident perpetrating any and all forms of civil disorder.

Under section D, a Presidential Executive Order will authorize and direct the Secretary of Defense to use the Armed Forces of the United States to restore order.

2 TAB A APPENDIX 1 TO ANNEX S USAF CIVIL DISTURBANCE PLAN 55-2 EXHIBIT POR:SGH, JCS Pub 6, Vol 5, AFR 160-5 hereby provides for America’s military and the National Guard State Partnership Program to join with United Nations personal in said operations. This links selected U.S. National Guard units with the Defense Ministries of “Partnership For Peace.” This was done in an effort to provide military support to civil authorities in response to civil emergencies.

Under Presidential Decision Directive No. 25, this program serves to cement people to relationships between the citizens of the United States, and the global military of the UN establishments of the emerging democracies of Central and Eastern European countries. This puts all of our National Guardsmen under the direct jurisdiction of the United Nations.

Section 3:
This plan could be implemented under any of the following situation:

(1) Spontaneous civil disturbances which involve large numbers of persons and/or which continue for a considerable period of time, may exceed the capacity of local civil law enforcement agencies to suppress. Although this type of activity can arise without warning as a result of sudden, unanticipated popular unrest (past riots), it may also result from more prolonged dissidence.

This would most likely be an outgrowth of serious social, political or economic issues which divide segments of the American population. Such factionalism could manifest itself through repeated demonstrations, protest marches and other forms of legitimate opposition but which would have the potential for erupting into spontaneous violence with little or no warning.

(2) Planned acts of violence or civil disobedience which, through arising from the same causes as (1) above, are seized upon by a dedicated group of dissidents who plan and incite purposeful acts designed to disrupt social order.

This may occur either because leaders of protest organizations intentionally induce their followers to perpetrate violent acts, or because a group of militants infiltrates an otherwise peaceful protest and seeks to divert it from its peaceful course.

Subsection C: (2) Environmental satellite products will be continue to be available. (d) Responsibilities. Meteorological support to civil disturbance operations will be arranged or provided by AWS wings.

The 7th. Weather Wing (7WW) is responsible for providing / arranging support for Military Airlift Command (MAC) airlift operations. The 5th Weather Wing (5WW) is responsible for supporting the United States Army Forces Command.

(3) SITUATION. Civil disturbance may threaten or erupt at any time in the CONUS and grow to such proportions as to require the use the Federal military forces to bring the situation under control.

A flexible weather support system is required under control. A flexible weather support system is required to support the many and varied options of this Plan.

ANNEX H: XXOW, AWSR 55-2, AWSR 23-6, AFR 23-31, AR 115-10, AFR 105-3.

Subsection B:

Concept of Environmental Support. Environmental support will be provided by elements of Air Weather Service (AWS) in accordance with refs a-f. The senior staff meteorologist deployed int the Task Force Headquarters (TFH) will be the staff weather officer (SWO) to the TFH.

Centralized environmental support products are requested in accordance with AWSR 105-18. (4) Weather support is provided by weather units located at existing CONUS bases or by deployed SWOs and / or weather teams to the objective areas.

(5) Support MAC source will be provide in accordance with the procedures in MARC 103-15. MAC forces will be provided in accordance with the procedures in AFR 105-3.

(a) Air Force Global Weather Central: Provides centralized products as requested.

REFERENCES : JCS Pub 18 – Doctrine for Operations Security AFR 55-30, Operations Security

1. GENERAL Opposition forces or groups may attempt to gain knowledge of this plan and ‘use that knowledge to prevent or degrade the effectiveness of the actions outlined in this plan. In order to protect operations undertaken to accomplish the mission, it is necessary to control sources of information that can be exploited by those opposition forces or groups.

OPSEC is the effort to protect operations by identifying and controlling intelligence indicators susceptible to exploitation. The objective of OPSEC, in the execution of this plan, is to assure the security of operations, mission effectiveness, and increase the probability of mission success.

2. RESPONSIBILITY FOR OPERATIONS SECURITY (OPSEC):

The denial of information to an enemy is inherently a command responsibility. However, since the operations Officer at any level of command is responsible to his commander for the Overall planning and execution of operations, he has the principal staff interest in assuring maximum protection of the operation and must assume primary responsibility instibility for ensuring that the efforts of all other staff elements are coordinated toward this
end. However, every other individual associated with, or aware of, the operation must assist in safeguarding the security of the operation.

3. OBJECTIVES:

a. The basic objective of OPSEC is to preserve the security of friendly forces and thereby to enhance the probability of successful mission accomplishment. “Security” in this context relates to the protection of friendly forces. It also includes the protection of operational information to prevent degradation of mission effectiveness through the disclosure of prior knowledge of friendly operations to the opposition.

b. OPSEC pervades the entire planning process and must be a matter of continuing concern from the conception of an operation, throughout the preparatory and execution phases, and during critiques, reports, press releases, and the like conducted during the post operation phase.

4. Specific operations orders and standard operating procedures “MUST be developed with the awareness that the opposition may be able to identify and exploit vulnerable activities.

Reference Material:

Released under Freedom of Information Act on March 30th, 1990. All material presented here has been declassified and supersedes USAD Operations Plan 355-10 of July 16, 1973. Information released by USAF under supervision of Alexander K. Davidson, BRIG. GEN, USAF, Dep. Director of Operations.

APPENDEX 5 TO ANNEX E TO USAF CIVIL DISTURBANCE PLAN 55-2 Annex Z. Other References: 10 United States Codes 331,332,333,8500,1385, MARC 105-1, MARC 105-18, AR 115-10, AFR 105-3, PDD-25.

Source: UNREDACTED

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