Monday, October 30, 2006

Bush Prepares for Federal Martial Law

This link is from my brother Jim.

(1) IN GENERAL.--Section 333 of title 10, United States
Code, is amended to read as follows:
" 333. Major public emergencies; interference with State and
Federal law
(1) The President may employ the armed forces, including the
National Guard in Federal service, to--
"(A) restore public order and enforce the laws of the United
States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or
other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or
incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the
United States, the President determines that--
"(i) domestic violence has occurred to such an extent
that the constituted authorities of the State or possession
are incapable of maintaining public order; and
"(ii) such violence results in a condition described in
paragraph (2); or
"(B) suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic
violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy if such insurrec-
tion, violation, combination, or conspiracy results in a condition
described in paragraph (2).
"(2) A condition described in this paragraph is a condition
that-- "(A) so hinders the execution of the laws of a State or
possession, as applicable, and of the United States within that
State or possession, that any part or class of its people is
deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named
in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted
authorities of that State or possession are unable, fail, or refuse
to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that
protection; or
"(B) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the
United States or impedes the course of justice under those
"(3) In any situation covered by paragraph (1)(B), the State
shall be considered to have denied the equal protection of the
laws secured by the Constitution.
"(b) NOTICE TO CONGRESS.--The President shall notify Congress
of the determination to exercise the authority in subsection (a)(1)(A)
as soon as practicable after the determination and every 14 days
thereafter during the duration of the exercise of that authority.".

This is a license for dictatorship.

In a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a provision which, according to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), will actually encourage the President to declare federal martial law (1). It does so by revising the Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President's ability to deploy troops within the United States. The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement. With one cloaked swipe of his pen, Bush is seeking to undo those prohibitions.

Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122) (2), which was signed by the commander in chief on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."
Remarks Of Sen. Patrick Leahy:
...It seems the changes to the Insurrection Act have survived the Conference because the Pentagon and the White House want it. It is easy to see the attempts of the President and his advisors to avoid the debacle involving the National Guard after Hurricane Katrina, when Governor Blanco of Louisiana would not give control of the National Guard over to President and the federal chain of command. Governor Blanco rightfully insisted that she be closely consulted and remain largely in control of the military forces operating in the State during that emergency. This infuriated the White House, and now they are looking for some automatic triggers — natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or a disease epidemic — to avoid having to consult with the governors.

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