A video of a 2006 interview with now-Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for president-elect Barack Obama reveals plans for mandatory induction for all young adults into a civilian “force.”
“If you’re worried about, are you going to have to do 50 jumping jacks, the answer is yes,” Emanuel told the interviewer, a reporter who was podcasting for the New York Daily News at the time.
However, after a flurry of blogs protested children being drafted into Obama’s proposed youth corps, officials softened the website’s wording.
Originally, under the tab “America Serves,” Change.gov read, “President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in under served schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps.
“Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year,” the site announced.
WND previously reported on a video of a marching squad of Obama youth and Obama’s “civilian national security force,” which he said in July would be just as powerful and well-funded as the U.S. military.
Now comes the Emanuel video, which has been embedded here:
In the interview, Emanuel was questioned whether participants in the proposed force would live in barracks.
“Somewhere between the age of 18 to 25 you will do three months of training. You can do it at some point in your college time,” he said. “There can be nothing wrong with all Americans having a joint, similar experience of what we call civil defense training or civil service.”
Emanuel said the planned requiring service “will give people a sense of what it means to be an American.”
He said, of course, the plan at that point was flexible.
“We propose three months [but] at the end of the day [if] someone says it should be four … I’m not going sit here and hold up [plans],” Emanuel said.
When the reporter questioned the commitment, Emanuel responded, “Guess what. We have a lot more challenges. We are going to need a lot to do it. If you’re worried about are you going to have to do 50 jumping jacks the answer is yes.”
He chuckled at the reporters concerns.
“Rather than figure out if whether you take a train ride or a barrack. … Think of it this way, it will be a common experience.
“There will be a body of citizens who are ready, capable and trained,” he said.
But the plan, especially its demand that Americans participate in a domestic “force,” has been raising questions.
The blogger Gateway Pundit called Obama’s plan the “creation of his Marxist youth corps,” and DBKP commented, “‘Choosing’ to serve should be approved by parents – not required by the government. No amount of good intentions can sugar-coat words like ‘mandatory,’ ‘compulsory’ or ‘required.’”
Emanuel uses his book, “The Plan: Big Ideas for America,” to specify that he would propose, for all Americans ages 18 to 25, that they “serve their country by going through three months of basic training, civil defense preparation and community service.”
Obama, meanwhile, also has yet to clarify what he meant during his July “Call to Service” speech in Colorado Springs in which he insisted the U.S. “cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set” and needs a “civilian national security force.”
A video of his comments is here:
Joseph Farah, founder and editor of WND, used his daily column first to raise the issue and then to elevate it with a call to all reporters to start asking questions about it.
“If we’re going to create some kind of national police force as big, powerful and well-funded as our combined U.S. military forces, isn’t this rather a big deal?” Farah wrote. “I thought Democrats generally believed the U.S. spent too much on the military. How is it possible their candidate is seeking to create some kind of massive but secret national police force that will be even bigger than the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force put together?
“Is Obama serious about creating some kind of domestic security force bigger and more expensive than that? If not, why did he say it? What did he mean?” Farah wrote.
The Obama campaign has declined to respond to WND questions on the issue.
But Farah’s call generated intense Internet discussions.
The Blue Collar Muse blog commented, “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. … 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?”
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