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The Open Door to Martial Law!

By David J. Smith
October 20, 2007

On October 17, 2006 President George Bush signed a provision, Public Law 109-364, called “Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies.”

On the surface, it appears to give the Federal Government a stronger opportunity in coordinating responses to hurricane Katrina-like disasters.

But the closer you look, its language also alters the two-centuries-old Insurrection Act, which Congress passed in 1807 to LIMIT the president’s power to deploy troops within the United States.

That law has long allowed the President to mobilize troops only “to suppress, in a State, any inresurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy.” But the amended law takes the cuffs off.

The new language adds “natural disaster, epidemic, or other public emergency, terrorist attack or incident” to the list of conditions permitting the President to take over local authority – particularly “if domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public law.”

Since the administration broadened what constitutes “conspiracy” in its definition of enemy combatants – anyone who “has purposely and materially supported hostilities against the United States,” in the language of the Military Commissions Act (Public Law 109-366) – critics say it is a formula for executive branch mischief. They seem to be correct. The new law gathered little dissent or even attention on Capitol Hill.

Senator Patrick J. Leahy, D-VT., warned that this new law virtually invites the White House to declare FEDERAL MARTIAL LAW.

Senator Leahy read into the Congressional Record on September 29, 2006, that the new law “subverts solid, longstanding posse comitatus statutes that LIMIT the military’s involvement in law enforcement, thereby making it easier for the President to declare martial law.” He continued, “The changes to the Insurrection Act will allow the President to USE the military, including the National Guard, to carry out law enforcement activities without the CONSENT of a governor.” He added that this new law breaks a long, fundamental tradition of federal restraint. Senator Leahy said: “Using the military for law enforcement goes AGAINST one of the founding tenets of our democracy [Republic].” Leahy said the new law was RAMMED through Congress.

Leahy said it “was just slipped in the defense bill as a rider with little study. Other congressional committees with jurisdiction over these matters had NO chance to comment, let alone hold hearings on these proposals.” Just like the United Nations Charter in 1945 was crammed down Congress’ throat that is helping to destroy our national sovereignty, this law will open the door for martial law being declared to finish the destruction of our once great Republic.

Public Law 109-364 runs over the 50 governors of the 50 States. Governors waved red flags in opposition to the new law on August 1, 2006, by sending letters of protest from their Washington office to the Republican chairs and ranking Democrats on the House and Senate Armed Services committees. In return, there was SILENCE. NO RESPONSE. The Governors petitioned the Republican and Democratic party heads on Capitol Hill – Senators Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Harry Reid, D-Nev., Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert, R-Il., and his Democratic opposite, Nancy Pelosi of California.

Every Governor that was a member of the National Governors Association signed an August 6, 2006, letter, stating that: “This provision was drafted WITHOUT consultation or input from governors, and represents an unprecedented shift in authority FROM governors…TO the federal government.” They wrote: “We urge you to drop provisions that would USURP governors’ authority over the National Guard during emergencies from the conference agreement of the National Defense Authorization Act.”

Again, NO RESPONSE from the leadership according to David Quan of the National Governors Association’s director of federal relations.

On August 31, 2006, the governors sent another letter to the congressional party leaders, as well as to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. The governor’s wrote the bill “could encroach on our constitutional authority to PROTECT the citizens of our states.”

America, get ready! President Bush has now cleared all obstacles that were in his way to declare martial law. He can now use the National Guard to patrol the streets of America. Could it happen? It was called in New Orleans and enforced!!! We have video footage to prove it!

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