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In 2004, George W spoke an unintentional truth: “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”
Last October, the Harmer-in-Chief quietly signed a provision into law that does real damage to our people by giving himself a free hand to declare martial law. This little nasty was slipped into the massive Pentagon budget bill with no hearings, no debate, and no public notice. Only the White House heavies and GOP congressional leaders knew the provision was even in there.
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They key section reads 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 public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in a state or possession of the United States, the president determines that domestic violence has occurred….”
Whew – so much usurpation of power in so few words! This stealth provision undermines an essential bulwark of our liberty, which is that the military is barred from being used by the executive as a domestic police force except in cases of outright insurrection or of states violating people’s constitutional rights. Now, with the secret manipulation of a bill and the stroke of his signing pen, Bush has eliminated these restraints and given himself sweeping autocratic authority to sic the military on our people whenever he “determines” that there is an undefined “incident” or “condition” that warrants it. Also, the provision lets him seize control of the state-based National Guard forces and deploy them for his martial law purposes.
This is Jim Hightower saying… A bipartisan bill, S.513, would repeal the harm that Bush’s sneak attack will do to us. To learn about it, call Sen. Patrick Leahy’s office: 202-224-4242.
“Making Martial Law Easier,” The New York Times, February 19, 2007.
“Bush Moves Toward Martial Law,” San Francisco Indymedia, October 28, 2006.
“The Imperial Presidency,” The Hightower Lowdown, August 2006.