Martial law may be on the way.
A series of presidential directives and legislative acts since 9/11 could quickly transform the United States government from a constitutional republic into a system that resembles fascism.
George W. Bush declared a national state of emergency on September 14, 2001. He has renewed this declaration annually, most recently on August 28, 2008.
According to the National Emergencies Act of 2002, Congress shall review a declared state of emergency every six months “to consider a vote on a joint resolution to determine whether that emergency shall be terminated.” In the past seven years, Congress has not once met this statutory responsibility, perhaps because it, like the general public, is unaware of the situation.
Last October, the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT), was deployed at Fort Carson, Colorado. Scantly reported, this marked the first time in two hundred years that the president has commanded an army within the borders of the United States of America.
This time, the WWI division proudly nicknamed the “Rock of the Marne” is being called upon to hold back American, not German, citizens. The 1st BCT has served three Baghdad tours; their domestic assignment will be to “help with civil unrest and crowd control.”
So there you have it. U.S. soldiers on U.S. soil poised to control U.S. citizens.
On October 3, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) stated on the floor of the House of Representatives that “a few members were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted no [on the $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill].” Under National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51), the president has sole discretion to invoke martial law in case of a “catastrophic emergency” defined as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.”
Full implementation of martial law would include the invocation of a series of executive orders (10990-11921) which entail government control of all modes of transportation, communication, utilities, food, health, education, and welfare functions. The statutes also allow for the mobilization of civilians into work brigades, the relocation of communities, and control over all U.S. financial institutions.
It has been widely reported, including on this page, that the Army Corps of Engineers has contracted with Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR), a Halliburton subsidiary, for the construction of civilian detention centers throughout the United States. While the government claims that these centers are for the purpose of dealing with an “influx of immigrants,” whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg is among those who warn these camps could also be utililized to incarcerate thousands, if not millions, of civilian dissidents.
As author Naomi Wolf has pointed out, preemptive war, torture, arbitrary detention, the creation of an extra-legal prison system, the conflation of dissent with treason, unlawful surveillance, the weakening of century-old posse comitatus statutes— all these signs point toward an authoritarian state.
This country is in the throes of two major emergencies; one declared and redeclared annually by the president regarding terrorism, and the second a financial meltdown of epic proportions.
Both of these emergencies have stretched the trust and patience of the American people. Less than one in five Americans believes the country is headed in the right direction. The so-called War on Terror has been the single most important factor in doubling U.S. debt over the past eight years. The Wall Street/subprime meltdown will lay trillions more debt on taxpayers, once again transferring massive amounts of cash from the middle class to the corporate elite.
Last year on this page we asked: What could the government be contemplating that leads it to make contingency plans to detain without recourse millions of its own citizens?
The question remains. But with public anxiety over the economy at an all-time high, and intelligent, forthright leadership at an all-time low, the answers may be coming into focus.
Six months ago on this page we asked whether the United States has the capacity to lawfully and peacefully transition from the most unpopular administration in a lifetime to the installation of a new executive in the White House.
Demand that Congress review and repeal the state of emergency before it’s too late. The future of the republic literally depends upon it.