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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 07:56 AM
Original message
Bush Moves Toward Martial Law
This article is from last Thursday but I just found it and thought is should be shared.

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."

President Bush seized this unprecedented power on the very same day that he signed the equally odious Military Commissions Act of 2006. In a sense, the two laws complement one another. One allows for torture and detention abroad, while the other seeks to enforce acquiescence at home, preparing to order the military onto the streets of America. Remember, the term for putting an area under military law enforcement control is precise; the term is "martial law."

Section 1076 of the massive Authorization Act, which grants the Pentagon another $500-plus-billion for its ill-advised adventures, is entitled, "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies." Section 333, "Major public emergencies; interference with State and Federal law" states that "the President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to 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 domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of ("refuse" or "fail" in) maintaining public order, "in order to suppress, in any State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy."
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
1. Everyone should read the entire article. Kick. And CRY !
My Fellow Americans. Cry with me.

This is it.

Prisons already set up and more to be built.

Do I understand this correctly - a multi-billion contract goes to Halliburton-KBR and the Army Corp of Engineers does the work?

Prisons for us - right wing dissentors - made up of peoploe who have received and provided abortions, same sex partners, protestors, environmental activists, congressional crime fighters?

Our kids in the National Guard will join Blackwell, CIA, and police to fight us and imprison us for any little reason the right wing political operatives declare?

I've always said they are more keen on control of the people and the profits because they can't gain or keep the profits if the citizens rise up. Control us first, then take the rest of what we have.

Do I understand that what he signed will prepare the way to do this - rather than waiting to signe it for a legitimate reason (if there is a legitimate reason with these people running everything for their own purposes and riches)?

Yes, just see how they have preserved the freedoms of this country and kept it a democracy.

Democracy rhetoric is what we export. We are the United States of Hypocrisy.


NOW, DO WE UNDERSTAND THE SNEARS on the faces AND LIES from the mouths of Cheney, Kristol, Rumsfeld, Wolfkowitz, and all the other signers and facilitators of PNAC on behalf of the barons?

Recommend. Kick.
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itsmesgd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. A reminder to law enforcement, military, and citizens
First off, I want to thank the members of our military as well as local, state, and federal law enforcement officers for their daily service.

I would like to remind all of the oathes that they have taken. I myself took an oath to defend the Constitution (not the prez, nor his buddies' corporations)against all enemies foreign and domestic. I do not recall the oath having an expiration date or a signing statement.

I would like to remind you that in the event that you (military) are given orders to patrol the streets of America and arrest the unruly, that the people on the other end of your rifle are your brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers.

I would like to remind you (employees of evil corporations, you know who you are and what justifications you tell yourself daily so that you can go to work) that all the money in the world will not keep you safe from the fascists when you no longer serve a purpose to them. You are merely a tool to them, to be discarded after use.

I would like to ask everyone to remember that if the time should come to take to the streets that those soldiers and police are your fellow Americans, brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers. Give them the chance to put down their guns and join the movement. If they refuse, they become the enemy; potential jailers, storm troopers, and baby killers.

We must give them the opportunity to join us, but we must also remember that in the end it's up to each of us to defend ourselves and our families against any and all threats.

peace, but prepared
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Great post and welcome to DU....

that's the only kind of talk the administration will understand.
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Zensea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 08:47 AM
Response to Original message
2. Overstated and not unprecedented at all
something of a dupe also, although I know that only applies to LBN

This law is not new. It is an amendment to existing law. The power to do this has been existent since at least 1956. All this current law does is amend existing language slightly. Congress overwhelmingly voted for this, so it is not really accurate to say that Bush moves towards martial law, it would be more accurate to say Congress has & even that is an overstatement since the power was already there and codified since 1956.

This is not a new problem.

Also I think something that people forget is that the executive branch does have certain responsibilities and duties. Just because there is an executive in power who oversteps is no reason to strip the executive branch of all power. Public emergencies consist of things like Hurricane Katrina also and one of the justified criticisms of Bush is that he did not use the executive power sufficiently in that case.

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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Awww. You're spoiling our fun. Being a drama queen is so much more interesting.
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Zensea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Sorry, I just get tired of scare tactics
. :)

They're just as bad coming from the left as coming from the right
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Are you referring to Leahy - as the drama queen.? Or do you
have an assignment this morning?
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 06:28 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. my question: why didn't Leahy vote against it?
Yes, it was part of a much larger bill. But if it truly was as odious as Leahy says -- and he did speak out against it -- why didn't he object? The legislation containing this provision passed the Senate on several occasions, each time unanimously.

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tjwash Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. Thank you. You saved me the keystrokes I was going to use for this post.
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 04:20 PM by tjwash
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 04:52 AM
Response to Reply #2
11. What do you mean all this does is "amend existing language slightly"?
"Amending existing language slightly" is all it takes to shatter a law. And yes, posse comitatus had been suspended momentarily in the past. Just as habeus corpus had been suspended in US history 4 times previous to the MCA. However, precedent and *gutting a law* are entirely different animals.

Furthermore, George Bush did not fail to use the executive power suffienctly in the case of Katrina because he had no intention of doing anything. Come on. Let's not be absurd here. We're talking about a man who put a horse salesman at the head of FEMA...AFTER 9-11. There is nothing to suggest that George Bush has any interest in shifting authority towards the executive branch for the purpose of *helping* Americans in a time of crisis-- although that possibility is most likely why so many Dem representatives felt obligated to vote yea.

While this is no suspension of habeus corpus (is that all chicken littling too?) it will have profound effects if used unwisely. And I cannot imagine Bush acting wisely under any circumstances. Sending the Idaho National Guard to a massive protest in NYC could have disastrous effects without proper training beforehand. It is not the guard's function to police the citizenry.

This gives Bush that much more ability to call for martial law. Rationalization and false skepticism will not protect you from delusional leaders and their disastrous ideas. I agree that there is no reason to shriek about it-- high emotions are a big turn off for many people. But just because people are emotional about the implications of the John Warner Act doesn't mean they are wrong.

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Zensea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. Go read the changes in the link I provided
Here's the original
and the changes are in post 5 below it.

Sure, amending existing language slightly is all it takes to shatter a law in the abstract.
But how does it shatter the law in the specific case here?
Be specific and don't repeat your overheated rhetoric. That's all you really did in your post, engage in rhetoric.
If it's so dangerous you should be able to provide some examples of how this amendment to the language changes in any significant way the already previously existing law.
I don't see it giving him any more power than he already had or again, to be accurate, more power than the executive branch already had.
I'm no fan of Bush, but I'm also no fan of scare tactics. And I am not engaging in rationalization and "false" skepticism. I am genuinely skeptical.

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negativenihil Donating Member (772 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
4. k&r
this is some heavy stuff...
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Fovea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
5. General Sir John Hackett
and the other NATO generals wrote a book back in 1980 titled
"World War Three, August 1985"

In it, the war ends when an Ukraine politburo member disolves the Soviet government with a machine gun.
It was a reminder to the Soviets that their government ruled over a totalitarian dictatorship, devoid
of the consent of the governed.

There is a lesson there that the decider would do well to consider, assuming he reads books.
By invoking this act in a martial law declaration, Dubya would turn the military on itself,
as units of the National Guard and the mainline military cleft down support for the rule of law versus the cult of personality.
The result, as they say, would be ugly.

"people should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people."

This is particularly true when the people involved are piloting a B2 bomber.
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Bad Penny Donating Member (392 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 06:00 AM
Response to Original message
12. ~~~
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