A joint exercise of Fort Bragg special operations troops and sheriff’s deputies in Richland County, South Carolina that’s due to wrap Friday has set the Internet on fire, with bloggers and watchdogs – already upset with the looming Jade Helm 15 military training mission set for seven states this summer – decrying what they perceive as a Posse Comitatus violation. The Posse Comitatus Act was passed in 1878 to limit the federal government from using U.S. military forces to enforce laws against American citizens. As one blogger at D.C. Clothesline wrote, though: Many are concerned recent and upcoming military training exercises that pair the federal forces with civilian police officers are treading dangerously close to that Posse Comitatus line.

“The fact that the police and military are engaging in joint drill exercises in violation of Posse Comitatus and a long-standing American tradition of separation between domestic policing and military activity is concerning,” the blogger wrote. The comments come in context of discussing a Fort Bragg-initiated special forces training with Richland County civilian law enforcement officials that began a week ago. MORE