A trove of new documents exposes how Cleveland’s impending Republican National Convention will subject the public to a massive domestic military operation. Following decades of planning and millions of dollars spent, the RNC this July will amass into an unprecedented security state, constricting the constitutional rights of thousands of people.
As the panopticon descends on Cleveland, military forces will begin staging security operations at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, while other federal forces begin staffing a “Multi Agency Communications Center” (MACC), located at the International Exposition Center (IX) near the Hopkins International Airport.
Below is a map of the NSSE JTF-RNC-2016 support structure
The mechanics of America’s most distilled form of political lockdown, the National Special Security Event (NSSE), are spelled out in a series of posted PDFs, some from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (these have since been taken down). NSSEs are massive security operations managed by the Secret Service, which activate many supporting federal and military agencies, such as Homeland Response Forces, and tactical units from state and local police departments across the region.
Large event planning has evolved dramatically since the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention marshaled massive police, federal and military support. NSSEs were defined and systematized as perpetually repeating large activations by President Bill Clinton in 1998’s Presidential Decision Directive 62 (PDD-62). In 2016, the NSSE framework remixes the Incident Command System (ICS) for civilian law enforcement aided by FEMA, along with a “Dual Status” Joint Task Force military command.
NSSEs have regularly featured extreme abuses of human rights, combined with sophisticated messaging to bolster acceptance of authoritarian policies. At the 1999 WTO protests, FEMA operated a detention facility at Sand Point Naval Station. After the 2004 RNC, New York City paid out $18 million to settle lawsuits stemming from the mass detention of thousands of people inside Pier 57, which was contaminated with oil and asbestos. During the NATO Summit in Chicago in 2012, some anti-war protesters were taken to Homan Square, a notorious “black site” where people report being assaulted and tortured by local police and access to legal council was systematically denied.