Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Let Them Eat Cake?

from the American Conservative comes this:

"The Defense Authorization Act of 2006, passed on Sept. 30, empowers President George W. Bush to impose martial law in the event of a terrorist “incident,” if he or other federal officials perceive a shortfall of “public order,” or even in response to antiwar protests that get unruly as a result of government provocations."

this is a conservative publication weighing in on a matter of very heavy constitutional and legal precedent. our president and his handlers managed to pass a bill through Congress (100-0) that allows the president to declare martial law in almost any situation that he disagrees with politically.
senator patrick leahy is actively working to have it repealed, but he was one of the 100 who voted for it, because he and they evidently didn't have time to read it.

"Section 1076 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 changed the name of the key provision in the statute book from “Insurrection Act” to “Enforcement of the Laws to Restore Public Order Act.” The Insurrection Act of 1807 stated that the president could deploy troops within the United States only “to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy.” The new law expands the list to include “natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition”—and such “condition” is not defined or limited."

hey, you republicans. would you like this to stay in effect if hillary clinton is elected our next president? she could use this to arrest pro-lifers who try to block entrance to an abortion clinic.

we've already been told how the internet is now being used by terrorists to send messages and instructions. would it be too farfetched to imagine the internet being taken over by our government to "protect us"? especially in an election year?
i can see where martial law (in hindsight) might have been something to pull in new orleans after their hurricane, but that would have been a knee-jerk response to the fact that the government had no response to the warnings beforehand and the supposed emergency response system it was supposed to have in place.
seems to me that martial law is something a party in power puts into effect precisely because it has no power popularly. because it holds on to power illegally and through fear of arrest or worse. in a nation like ours we put our trust in the individual to stand tall when a disaster happens. we put our trust in the police to reestablish order. we put our trust in our government to provide leadership and aid.
we don't, however, expect or even hope that a president will take unilateral action to quell dissent. regardless of our political persuasion. because if one president can do it, then the next can as well. and don't forget that a presidential election can be postponed indefinately due to martial law.
the article may be from a journal i might ordinarily disagree with, but in this moment they caught something i hadn't yet heard about. and i thank them.


mintzworks said...

What do you perceive to be the inevitable future of this country should: A - A republic win election or B - a Democrat?

and thank the good Lord you've blogged again...

Katie :) said...

whatever happens with the next election there needs to be a balance with the Pres and congress. This lop sided crap has got to stop.

Mustang said...

I have found very disturbing similarities between the Patriot Act, and the Defense Authorization Act, when compared to the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.

The behaviour of the Federalists, and President Adams administration, are hauntingly familiar.