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Fwd: Bush signs revision to "The Insurrections Act"

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  • law_self_help
    ... wrote: Bush Moves Toward Martial Law Frank Morales October 26, 2006 In a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 27, 2006
      --- In Legal_Self_Representation@yahoogroups.com, "law_self_help"
      <law_self_help@...> wrote:

      Bush Moves Toward Martial Law
      Frank Morales

      October 26, 2006

      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

      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

      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 administration.

      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

      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 will.

      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 proposals."

      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 state

      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 it."

      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.

      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


      (1) http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200609/091906a.html and
      http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200609/092906b.html See also,
      Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, "The Use of
      Federal Troops for Disaster Assistance: Legal Issues," by Jennifer K.
      Elsea, Legislative Attorney, August 14, 2006

      (2) http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill+h109-5122

      (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.

      --- End forwarded message ---
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