Posted Nov. 13, 2008 – Georgia Congressman Paul Broun, pictured above, stood by his claim Wednesday that President-elect Barack Obama wants to set up a Gestapo-like civilian security force. His latest remark came a day after the Athens Republican told a radio talk show that he regretted calling Obama a "Marxist."
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His spokeswoman said, "We have not issued any official apology" for comparing Obama's proposals to the tactics of Hitler and the Soviet Union. What he said in the [radio] interview does not negate what he really feels — that he has questions and concerns regarding some of the statements Obama has made," said the spokeswoman, Jessica Morris.
She said Broun was sticking by a written statement issued Tuesday criticizing Obama for having "socialist views" and raising ominous concerns about a campaign proposal to build "a civilian national security force" to assist the military. "History shows that 'civilian national security forces' bode ill for citizens," Broun said in the statement.
The flap has been watched with particular interest inside the State Department, which already is building a civilian corps similar to the one which Obama described in a campaign speech.
The "Civilian Response Corps," as it is called, was launched two years ago by the Bush administration, after a bipartisan vote by Congress and the urging of Republicans including former Secretary of State Colin Powell. The civilian corps is now recruiting engineers, law enforcement personnel, health officers, city administrators and other specialists who could be sent overseas to help re-establish local governmental controls after a crisis. The corps would have 250 full-time federal employees and eventually train 2,000 more as "standby" corps members from eight federal agencies.
So far, Congress has voted $55 million to begin testing the idea.