Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Fear of Martial Law

By Alan Caruba

The President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama, has generated so much fear that the most common theme of posted comments and private communications is that he will refuse to relinquish power if defeated in November or that, under some pretext, he will declare a state of martial law.

Many, myself included, did not like the Patriot Act that was enacted following 9/11 but there is little evidence that this law has been abused to deprive Americans of their fundamental rights and freedom, though surely some suspected of being terrorists were detained.

An Executive Order posted on the White House website on Friday, March 16, 2012, has generated a wave of fear. It is officially about “National Defense Resources Preparedness” and its stated policy addresses “national defense resource policies and programs under the Defense Production Act of 1950.”

Its stated policy is that “The United States must have an industrial and technological base capable of meeting national defense requirements and capable of contributing to the technological superiority of its national defense equipment in peacetime and in times of national emergency.”  (Emphasis added)

In 1950 the nation was entering a new phase of history following World War II. It would be called the Cold War led by the then-Soviet Union, but 1950 is also important because on October 1, 1949, Mao Zedung had proclaimed the birth of the People’s Republic of China, instituting a Communist regime that continues to this day. With German and Japanese totalitarian threats vanquished, new ones were emerging.

The new EO evokes fear because it is occurring in peacetime and, more specifically, when the United States remains the strongest military power on Earth. There is no indication that an attack by any other nation is anticipated, so the implementation of the EO raises concerns that its purpose is not what it says.

In effect, the EO allows the federal government, directed by the President, to commandeer and control all aspects of the economy and the lives of all Americans. It centralizes control to an astonishing and frightening degree.

As just one example, it parcels out control to “ the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer” and thereafter to:

The Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy;

The Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources;

The Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation;

The Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources; and

The Secretary of Commerce with respect to all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials.

The obvious question is why is this EO necessary in the absence of any threat of an invasion or even an attack?

The obvious question is why should the President of the United States, in the run-up to a national election, feel that this is the time to issue such an EO?

I have frankly been dismissive of widely expressed fears that Obama would or could carry off a coup d’etat to establish himself as an American dictator. The problem, however, is that Obama has surrounded himself with Cabinet Secretaries and a shadow government of “czars” that would likely support him if he were to attempt such an audacious move.

The “legality” of such a move would be rubber-stamped by the Attorney General whose regard for the Constitution and laws of the nation is dubious at best, elastic at worst. The President’s views about the Constitution are well known and he resents the limits it puts on his powers.

Would Congress stand by and allow its powers be usurped? Imagine yourself a Senator or Representative fearful of arrest and detention. Rounding up all 435 members would not be a difficult task.

The nation’s media, with exceptions, has “covered” for this President regarding the legitimacy of his right to hold office, his absurd energy policies, and his takeover of various segments of the nation’s economic base; the auto industry, the insurance industry, and Obamacare’s attempt to takeover the healthcare sector.

That is why this EO has evoked such fear and concern and that is why Congress has to assert its Constitutional powers before this President is permitted to overthrow the legislative branch of government and seize control through an EO that is so broad that it is a breathtaking seizure of power that could only be considered if the nation was, in fact, under attack.

This EO is about “preparedness”, but for whom?

© Alan Caruba, 2012


AD said...

Alan Caruba: titan of journalism who hasn't bothered to read the topic of his column.

The section of the order that you assert "parcels out control" to the Cabinet (201a) explicitly states that this is in respect to "acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders" - i.e. an order for sandbags or bullets can be shifted past the ordinary appropriations schedule during a state of emergency or for the needs of national defense. It only goes on in (b) to specify that they should develop plans for such contingencies now and act expeditiously. And of course it is further limited in the next section, which explicitly specifies that such authority is limited to those programs specified in writing by Homeland Security, Defense, or Energy as being necessary for the listed reasons.

But all of this is quite beside the point because this executive order is only an altered version of much older yet similar orders. Do some tiny, tiny bit of real journalism and read E.O. 12919. I know that you are opposed to fact-finding before expressing your opinion, but it might help you.

TexasFred said...

I knew you'd eventually see Obama for MORE than you already had...

The man, and his entire cabal are the personification of EVIL...

It is my understanding that good, solid, sane German PATRIOTS tried to make those points prior to Hitler taking power, and we know how that turned out...

Fast forward to today and once again, sane, sincere PATRIOTS are sounding the warning, but America is too busy watching Dancing With the Stars and Survivor...

God help us all..

Donna Harris said...

Yes, I'm very concerned. He's creating a "national emergency" that will lead up to a suspension of elections at the last minute. His version of the burning of the Reichstag.

unclescott said...

exactly right Fred...a shame that Alex seems to fit the kool-aid drinker's denial mind set...afraid that we need to wake up and realize that BHO isn't like ANY other person who has occupied the office...where are our representatives? I did read the EO, word for word, and It terrified me to think that he felt the need to write it if things are going so well in Washington...fact finding goes both ways, Alex, try and do some fact finding on the "transparent" man who signed the EO and see if that doesn't make you a little skeptical of his motives...what we do know about him and his policies would make any patriot nervous...denial is a dangerous disease, and a national epidemic right now!

LarryOldtimer said...

Even so, Hitler banned all weapons except for his henchmen before he could act. Then it became a matter of "go along or be killed".

And, of course, Germany and other European nations were really small in area, with darned few roads and few owned automobiles or knew how to drive an automobile.

Here in the US we have a huge area, with many cities and a great number of highways and roads to choose from. In addition, a large number of Americans have deadly weapons, and know well how to fire them with great accuracy.

Too, there are few in our military as of now, and I hardly think that this would be acceptable by most of our military. Of course Obama railed about those many in this nation's "heart land" who were determined to "cling to their Bibles and weapons".

If Obama actually attempted this, it sure wouldn't go anywhere, IMHO. I may be 76 years old, but I sure can accurately shoot a target accurately with either my rifle or side arm.

Mama Mercy said...

Mr. Davis, I have the printed text of both orders in front of me and could go over some specific alarming differences but won't in the interest of space and time...what is perhaps the greatest problem which you fail to acknowledge is that it is one thing (bad enough) to have a President sign such an order who is a Democrat/Republican/whatever. It is quite another when you have a President signing such an order, and expanding such powers, who is a Marxist who not only cut his teeth on Communist/radical ideology and claims Communist/radicals as his mentors and heroes throughout his life. And who has lived his whole adult life courting and praising disciples of that ideology and has now filled the White House and those "Secretaryships" empowered within the order with likeminded Marxist ideologues. THAT is what is making our skin crawl this go round. Foxes guarding the henhouse - with new marching orders to truss and tie the hens and debeak them.