I am not saying that it is imminent, or indeed that it is going to happen at all. I am saying, however, that we need to be aware that it is possible. And, most importantly, that the legislation that would make martial law legal in The Amerika is already in place.
I wrote about Aaron Russo’s film, America: Freedom to Fascism, in August 2006. In that post, I included the film’s sample list of executive orders. As I trust no one, I had checked to make sure Russo wasn’t full of shit. I found that his list was correct – all of the executive orders are real.
President Bush has signed executive orders giving him sole authority to impose martial law and suspend habeas corpus. This gives him dictatorial power over the people…with no checks and balances.
All of the following orders were in place long before Bush took office.
Executive Order #11921 – provides that the President can declare a state of emergency that is not defined, and Congress cannot review the action for six months – signed by Gerald R. Ford, 11 June 1976.
Executive Order #10990 – allows the government to take over all modes of transportation – signed by John F. Kennedy, 2 February 1962.
Executive Order #10995 – allows the government to seize and control the communications media – signed by John F. Kennedy, 16 February 1962.
Executive Order #10997 – allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals – signed by John F. Kennedy, 16 February 1962.
Executive Order #10998 – allows the government to take over all food resources and farms – signed by John F. Kennedy, 16 February 1962.
Executive Order #11002 – Postmaster General to operate a national registration of all persons – signed by John F. Kennedy, 16 February 1962.
Executive Order #11000 – allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision – signed by John F. Kennedy, 16 February 1962.
The Huffington Post yesterday published a list of some of the rights that have been suspended in Pakistan:
- Protection of life and liberty.
- The right to free movement.
- The right of detainees to be informed of their offence and given access to lawyers.
- Protection of property rights.
- The right to assemble in public.
- The right to free speech.
- Equal rights for all citizens before law and equal legal protection.
- Media coverage of suicide bombings and militant activity is curtailed by new rules. Broadcasters also face a three-year jail term if they “ridicule” members of the government or armed forces.
I would like to review all of Bush’s executive orders to see exactly what powers he has already claimed, but he has signed literally hundreds and I already have a full-time job.
And in addition to the executive branch usurping powers, the legislative branch has happily handed additional powers to the president. As an example, Public Law 109-364, the “John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007” (HR 5122), which was signed into law on 17 October 2006. The Act gives the president the power to declare a public emergency and station troops anywhere in the Amerika and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities. Does anyone remember the Posse Comitatus Act?
And don’t forget another consequence of Pakistan’s state of emergency – the elections that were planned for January 2008 will be postponed until there is no longer a state of emergency. General Musharraf will therefore remain in power until further notice.
George W Bush – president for life. Has an interesting ring to it, doesn’t it?