Hmmm…. Just in time to be enacted after Democrats take over the House and Senate? Naw, that’s crazy talk. A President would never do anything to abridge his people’s hard won freedoms.

Bush Moves Toward Martial Law

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.”

In a telling bit of understatement, the Senator from Vermont noted that “the implications of changing the (Posse Comitatus) Act are enormous”. “There is good reason,” he said, “for the constructive friction in existing law when it comes to martial law declarations. Using the military for law enforcement goes against one of the founding tenets of our democracy. We fail our Constitution, neglecting the rights of the States, when we make it easier for the President to declare martial law and trample on local and state sovereignty.

  1. Franco says:

    Despite 60 years of intense propaganda, is there anything wrong with Fascism? The constitution and government of the US are so massively corrupt and moronic that Fascism will be a very nice change. Stop worrying. Things are developing just like history demands.

  2. Mike says:

    “Using the military for law enforcement goes against one of the founding tenets of our democracy. We fail our Constitution, neglecting the rights of the States, when we make it easier for the President to declare martial law and trample on local and state sovereignty.”

    What a funny claim, since it was George Washington who personally marched a federalized militia force into Pennsylvania to suppress the revolts during the Whiskey Rebellion.

    And even the most vocal advocates of States’ Rights would find it hard to honestly call them sovereign… much less the average liberal Democrat who thinks that states should always be made to yield to the aims of the federal government.

  3. doug says:

    #32. Every fascist government has been monstrously corrupt. Hermann Goering made Jack Abramoff look like St. Francis of Assissi. And authoritarian governments are typically highly moronic – with no free press to point out their foibles, they just keep pushing on.

    Like it or not, in our system we get the government we deserve.

    #33. Quite so. And the Posse Comitatus Act itself was passed after Reconstruction, during which the Union Army was used quite extensively as law enforcement. During the Guilded Age, the military frequently acted as strike-breakers, and lets not forget Douglas MacArthur dispersing the Bonus Army from D.C. using Federal troops.

    nothing new here.

  4. ECA says:

    can i ask about a senerio??

    What happens IF’ Martial Law is declared, during an election??

  5. 888 says:

    Thats the point of passing such law: Dubya for 3rd term! (or Dubya Forever!) 😉

  6. doug says:

    #35. We have an election, as scheduled.

    The same conspiracy theorists were predicting cancelled elections in 2002 and 2004, and will no doubt do so again in 2008.

  7. AB CD says:

    #28, I don’t know what you found so funny. Which party do you think is more likely to take away the 2nd amendment?

  8. noname says:

    The road to hell is paved with GW Bush good intentions.

  9. Lee says:

    How did this get through Congress, you ask?


    Just as the Patriot act was passed without even a reading, this bill went right through without even a mention of what it contained. If a defense appropriations bill went through congress with this line on page 1452:

    “All members of the House of Representatives and the Senate will hereby be summarily executed by firing squad in front of the Lincoln Memorial within three days of this bill’s passage. Thence, the capital building will be razed by thermite explosives.”

    . . . we would have one less branch of government within a week. If I were President my first act would be to write an executive order requiring members of Congress to read every word of every bill they intend to vote for, with non-complience being taken as a violation of their oath of office. At the least, we would have less law passed, and certainly less bad law like this.

  10. P.Henry says:

    Give me liberty or give me death.


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