During the COVID crisis, the US military used contact tracing to identify individuals with a high risk of catching the virus and sent them and their families, with little warning to filthy barracks for 10 days.
A report coming out of Korea discussed the military’s tactics there to combat COVID. The result was a trampling of soldiers’ freedoms and privacy. A post at trmlx.com discussed what happened in the military when COVID hit.
A lot of things took place across the broad spectrum of the DOD during 2020 and 2021 which have been unethical at best and flat out illegal at worst…
…A system of surveillance rose up in South Korea during 2020 in a supposed effort to tackle the high volume of Covid positive individuals that were popping up all over the peninsula. Right out of the gate I’ll declare that it was illegal and runs afoul of a number of laws we have in place to protect American citizens from abuses at the hands of their own government.
Under the leadership of General Robert Abrams, a method of contact tracing involving the use of CCTV (closed circuit television, or security footage) was used to track the movement of personnel on Camp Humphreys, collect and store their information, then remove them from their homes and put them in isolation/quarantine facilities.
COL Tremblay (pictured on right and Garrison Commander of Camp Humphreys at the time) says, “we’re gonna find out who you are because we have other ways of finding you. Whether it’s through CCTV or a number of our other capabilities…”
The process for identifying and tracking personnel worked like this:
When people entered the PX (post exchange or mini mall) they would scan in with their CAC (common access card or ID) and sign their name along with the time.
If someone tested positive for Covid, they would use those sheets and CCTV footage to identify anyone who may have had close contact with the individual while out shopping.
Screenshots would be taken from the saved CCTV footage and posted to the Camp Humphrey’s official facebook page and pushed out for all to see.
The Covid tracking team was called the Covid Surveillance Cell. After personnel were identified and tracked based on the collected and stored information, a contact clean team, along with a team to collect the individual and/or that person’s family to send them into isolation, were sent out from the command.
TRMLX then discusses why this was illegal:
Executive Order 12333 dictates very clearly what is and isn’t allowed within the context of United States Intelligence Activities. This order is well known by commanders at every echelon due to the ramifications it holds if it’s broken.
Elements of the Intelligence Community are authorized to collect, retain, or disseminate information concerning United States persons only in accordance with procedures established by the head of the Intelligence Community element concerned or by the head of a department containing such element and approved by the Attorney General, consistent with the authorities provided by Part 1 of this Order, after consultation with the Director.
A document pertaining to Intelligence Oversight from Marine Corps Headquarters even states,
Generally you may not intentionally target, collect, retain, and disseminate information on U.S.
persons whether CONUS or OCONUS.
It goes on to clarify that law enforcement has the authority to retain information on U.S. persons for up to 90 days who pose a threat to DOD personnel, resources or activities, but I don’t think you could find a sober attorney alive who would argue that shopping at the PX poses a criminal threat to the DOD.
After individuals and their families were identified and teams came to collect them, it was often a hurried process to get them out of their domicile and into isolation.