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."
For the current President, "enforcement of the laws to restore public
order" means to commandeer guardsmen from any state, over the objections of
local governmental, military and local police entities; ship them off to
another state; conscript them in a law enforcement mode; and set them loose
against "disorderly" citizenry - protesters, possibly, or those who object
to forced vaccinations and quarantines in the event of a bio-terror event.
The law also facilitates militarized police round-ups and detention
of protesters, so called "illegal aliens," "potential terrorists" and other
"undesirables" for detention in facilities already contracted for and under
construction by Halliburton. That's right. Under the cover of a trumped-up
"immigration emergency" and the frenzied militarization of the southern
border, detention camps are being constructed right under our noses, camps
designed for anyone who resists the foreign and domestic agenda of the Bush
An article on "recent contract awards" in a recent issue of the
slick, insider "Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security
International" reported that "global engineering and technical services
powerhouse KBR [Kellog, Brown & Root] announced in January 2006 that its
Government and Infrastructure division was awarded an Indefinite
Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to support U.S. Immigration
and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities in the event of an emergency."
"With a maximum total value of $385 million over a five year term," the
report notes, "the contract is to be executed by the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers," "for establishing temporary detention and processing
capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO)
- in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to
support the rapid development of new programs." The report points out that
"KBR is the engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton." (3)
So, in addition to authorizing another $532.8 billion for the Pentagon,
including a $70-billion "supplemental provision" which covers the cost of
the ongoing, mad military maneuvers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places,
the new law, signed by the president in a private White House ceremony,
further collapses the historic divide between the police and the military:
a tell-tale sign of a rapidly consolidating police state in America, all
accomplished amidst ongoing U.S. imperial pretensions of global domination,
sold to an "emergency managed" and seemingly willfully gullible public as a
"global war on terrorism."
Make no mistake about it: the de-facto repeal of the Posse Comitatus
Act (PCA) is an ominous assault on American democratic tradition and
jurisprudence. The 1878 Act, which reads, "Whoever, except in cases and
under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of
Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or Air Force as a posse
comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title
or imprisoned not more than two years, or both," is the only U.S. criminal
statute that outlaws military operations directed against the American
people under the cover of 'law enforcement.' As such, it has been the best
protection we've had against the power-hungry intentions of an unscrupulous
and reckless executive, an executive intent on using force to enforce its
Unfortunately, this past week, the president dealt posse comitatus,
along with American democracy, a near fatal blow. Consequently, it will
take an aroused citizenry to undo the damage wrought by this horrendous
act, part and parcel, as we have seen, of a long train of abuses and
outrages perpetrated by this authoritarian administration.
Despite the unprecedented and shocking nature of this act, there has
been no outcry in the American media, and little reaction from our elected
officials in Congress. On September 19th, a lone Senator Patrick Leahy
(D-Vermont) noted that 2007's Defense Authorization Act contained a "widely
opposed provision to allow the President more control over the National
Guard [adopting] changes to the Insurrection Act, which will make it easier
for this or any future President to use the military to restore domestic
order WITHOUT the consent of the nation's governors."
Senator Leahy went on to stress that, "we certainly do not need to
make it easier for Presidents to declare martial law. Invoking the
Insurrection Act and using the military for law enforcement activities goes
against some of the central tenets of our democracy. One can easily
envision governors and mayors in charge of an emergency having to
constantly look over their shoulders while someone who has never visited
their communities gives the orders."
A few weeks later, on the 29th of September, Leahy entered into the
Congressional Record that he had "grave reservations about certain
provisions of the fiscal Year 2007 Defense Authorization Bill Conference
Report," the language of which, he said, "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." This had been "slipped in," Leahy said, "as a rider with little
study," while "other congressional committees with jurisdiction over these
matters had no chance to comment, let alone hold hearings on, these
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
Senator Leahy's final ruminations: "Since hearing word a couple of
weeks ago that this outcome was likely, I have wondered how Congress could
have gotten to this point. It seems the changes to the Insurrection Act
have survived the Conference because the Pentagon and the White House want
The historic and ominous re-writing of the Insurrection Act,
accomplished in the dead of night, which gives Bush the legal authority to
declare martial law, is now an accomplished fact.
The Pentagon, as one might expect, plays an even more direct role in
martial law operations. Title XIV of the new law, entitled, "Homeland
Defense Technology Transfer Legislative Provisions," authorizes "the
Secretary of Defense to create a Homeland Defense Technology Transfer
Consortium to improve the effectiveness of the Department of Defense (DOD)
processes for identifying and deploying relevant DOD technology to federal,
State, and local first responders."
In other words, the law facilitates the "transfer" of the newest in
so-called "crowd control" technology and other weaponry designed to
suppress dissent from the Pentagon to local militarized police units. The
new law builds on and further codifies earlier "technology transfer"
agreements, specifically the 1995 DOD-Justice Department memorandum of
agreement achieved back during the Clinton-Reno regime.(4)
It has become clear in recent months that a critical mass of the
American people have seen through the lies of the Bush administration; with
the president's polls at an historic low, growing resistance to the war
Iraq, and the Democrats likely to take back the Congress in mid-term
elections, the Bush administration is on the ropes. And so it is
particularly worrying that President Bush has seen fit, at this juncture
to, in effect, declare himself dictator.
(3) Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International,
"Recent Contract Awards", Summer 2006, Vol.12, No.2, pg.8; See also, Peter
Dale Scott, "Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps," New
American Media, January 31, 2006.
(4) "Technology Transfer from defense: Concealed Weapons Detection",
National Institute of Justice Journal, No 229, August, 1995, pp.42-43.
:: Article nr. 27769 sent on 27-oct-2006 03:18 ECT
The following articles from the October 30, 2006 issue of The New American are now available online.
President George W. Bush looks up as he signs the Military Commissions Act of 2006 in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The bill effectively nullifies nine of the first ten amendments to the U.S. constitution and ends the "great experiment" known as The United States of America.
The White House has made it perfectly clear that it will target American citizens for propagating information harmful to the interests of the U.S. government and classify them as enemy combatants. This is codified in sub-section 27 of section 950v. of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
In a speech given Monday, Homeland Security director Michael Chertoff identified the web as a "terror training camp," through which "disaffected people living in the United States" are developing "radical ideologies and potentially violent skills."
Chertoff has pledged to dispatch Homeland Security agents to local police departments in order to aid in the apprehension of domestic terrorists who use the Internet as a political tool.
How long before influential online writers, bloggers and journalists like Greg Palast, who was charged with aiding the terrorists when filming "critical U.S. infrastructure," are arbitrarily gunned down on the street like in Russia or the newly "free" Iraq?
The Bush administration's media mouthpieces have also been mobilized to stereotype any kind of critical thinking as "giving aid and comfort to the enemy," a recent case in point beingFox News' Bill O'Reilly calling for the FBI to investigate the 9/11 Scholars organization for possible ties to terrorist organizations.
Will we witness a "night of the long knives" to silence any and all dissent as the official dictatorship is announced or does the chilling effect of simply threatening to treat bloggers and journalists as terrorists go far enough to intimidate enough people to keep their mouths shut?
A combination of this chilling effect and moves to license websites, impose "hate speech" restrictions and kill off the old internet in favor of a government regulated, China-style "Internet 2" are the tools in the arsenal of the neo-fascists who wish to continue their domestic and imperial bloodletting under the mandated consensus of total obedience.
========================== NEW ARTICLE ==========================
Associated Press reports that the dastardly new terror plot is a re-hash of Operation Bojinka - a 1995 plot to blow up 10 Western airliners simultaneously. What they don't report is that its ringleader - Ramzi Youssef - was protected by the US government in 1992.
Ramzi Youssef is a US government agent and his Bojinka plot - supposedly foiled by his intelligence agency bosses - is now being used as the latest monster under the bed to scare US and UK citizens into surrendering what's left of their rights.
Isn't it amazing that US government officials claimed ignorance of any Bojinka style plans before 9/11 and yet now they re-hash one for a faux terror alert.
Government enforcers and frightened slaves are all hot and bothered about the latest supposed terror plot targeting UK flights inbound to the US.
Ridiculous restrictions have been slapped on travelers, with mother's having to taste baby milk before they board planes and all hand luggage, including liquid drinks, being banned.
The new alert arrives with the 9/11 truth movement on the cusp of a wave of media exposure.
Evidence of government sponsored terror and how they use the fear of terror to control society is bursting out at the seams as editorials nationwide in the US are uniform in attempting to debunk research that questions the official version of 9/11.
Statistical analysis has proven that every time Blair and Bush sag in approval ratings, a fresh terror alert gives them a bounce back up the charts.
Every single major terror alert issued by either the US, Canadian or UK governments has proven to be either a manufactured facade, an entrapment sting or an outright hoax.
Recently, a supposed plan to hijack planes and fly them into London landmarks was exposed as a concoction of UK government lobbyists and news chiefs.
PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY FOUNDATION August 9, 2006
Thank you. With your support, People For the American Way Foundation continues to help protect the vote in Ohio by registering new voters in historically disenfranchised communities and fighting back against Secretary of State Ken Blackwell's voter suppression tactics. The response so far has been overwhelming with donations topping $25,000. Thank you for your donations and your energy. Following your lead, the national press is also starting to turn its attention to the important voting issues in Ohio - and taking notice of PFAW Foundation's work in particular!
Rev. Tony Minor of East Cleveland's Community of Faith Assembly is heading up People For the American Way Foundation's Victory Through Voting efforts in Ohio, where the New York Times noted on Sunday, "new voter registration rules have meant spending two extra hours a day collecting half as many registration cards from new voters as he did in past years."
The Times also noted the chilling effect of Blackwell's rules that make paid canvassers criminally liable for any irregularities on voter registration cards they collect and that PFAW Foundation is challenging in court. By deterring people from working to register voters, the rules have a disproportionate impact on lower-income neighborhoods because unpaid volunteers in those neighborhoods are scarce.
With your continued support, we'll put an end this and other burdensome restrictions - like Sec. of State Blackwell's unreasonable requirement for an online training course that is not easily accessible by low-income registration workers in low-income communities who don't have top of the line computer equipment.
Thank you for sharing our commitment to democracy and our outrage at the voter suppression going on in Ohio, and for supporting our efforts to stop it.
Sharon J. Lettman Vice President for External Affairs and Director of Election Protection 365 People For the American Way Foundation
P.S. If you have not donated to these efforts already, please consider doing so today. Your tax-deductible gift will be used to expand democracy in Ohio by ending Blackwell's restrictive policies, registering voters in Ohio's most vulnerable voting communities and then protecting those voters' rights on Election Day.
You may have read headlines calling the Cheney-Specter bill on surveillance oversight a "compromise." But make no mistake, this deal is nothing short of a complete capitulation to the Bush administration.
The bill includes legalized assaults on our civil liberties worse even than the sweeping powers ceded to the government by the Patriot Act, and would write into law what is now the administration's belief that the president can wiretap any American he wants without any check.
From the Supreme Court to people on the street, America is starting to wake up to the Bush administration's abuse of power. Unfortunately, Congress hasn't gotten the message and is poised to rubber stamp a dangerous agenda that is doing real harm to our democracy.
Not only is Congress considering NSA "oversight" legislation that would hand the president vast new powers -- only days after the Defense Department stated that it will comply with the Geneva Conventions regarding the treatment of detainees -- a top Justice Department lawyer urged Congress to "ratify" the military commissions that the Supreme Court invalidated two weeks ago.
The headlines are full of White House spin claiming that Senator Arlen Specter's (R-PA) bill on surveillance is a successful compromise between Congress and the White House. Of course, Senator Specter would like you to believe he is taking a stand on the Bush administration's actions because he knows that is what most Americans want Congress to do. But in reality these ill-advised proposals give the president a blank check to spy on Americans without a warrant and without mandatory judicial review of his actions.
You can help us get out the truth about this bill and the dangers it poses to our basic rights. Please take a few minutes to contact your newspaper right now. Tell them that this "compromise" actually compromises our rights and gives a blank check to the president.
It is very important that the American people know that the bill that is supposed to rein in surveillance of innocent citizens actually includes:
-- Legalization of the president's program of warrantless surveillance on Americans, a program that is illegal under current law and unconstitutional.
-- A diminished role for the court that oversees the NSA's warrantless domestic spying, making oversight by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) optional -- and we know that when this administration doesn't believe in getting court warrants even when required; making them "optional" is making them non-existent.
-- A new, unconstitutional process for challenging surveillance, via a secret appeals court composed of judges hand-picked solely by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who supports expansive presidential powers.
-- An information blackout by the Executive Branch against the Congress or our courts when it comes to the names and number of Americans monitored by the spying program. Without any oversight, countless journalists, lawyers, hotel clerks and others will inevitably be swept into round-the-clock monitoring of their phone conversations, indefinitely.
We cannot allow the Executive Branch to weasel out of obeying the Supreme Court and federal law; and Congress is overdue in asserting and affirming its role of keeping the president in check and reining in the president's sweeping interpretation of power.
The ACLU will be keeping the pressure on all summer and into the fall, and we'll be calling on you and everyone across America who cares about our liberties to join us in the fight.
How these stories are characterized in the press plays an important role in our success. So, please take a few minutes right now to write your local paper with our easy-to-use letter to the editor tool.
As always, thank you for standing with us. It is absolutely essential that every one of us rallies to protect the freedoms that define our democracy.
Anthony D. Romero Executive Director ACLU
------------- Don't let the Cheney-Specter "compromise" succeed in expanding - rather than curtailing - the president's ability to spy on Americans without a warrant and without mandatory judicial review of his actions.
The greatest gift that you ever give is your own Happiness. When you are in a state of joy or appreciation, you are connected to the Stream of Source Energy that is truly who~you~are ... and anything or anyone that you are holding as your object of attention ~ benefits from your attention!!
~~~~Abraham (Esther Hicks)
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