WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING - Law Change Allows Fed Takeover Of State's National Guard

(10/08/2007)

By Bob Weaver

President Bush has signed into law a provision which would allow future presidents to declare federal martial law using the USAs National Guard.

The law changes the federal Insurrection Act, a set of laws that has limited the president's ability to deploy troops within the United States.

The Insurrection Act has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act, helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement.

The Bush administration has undone those prohibitions.

Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007," was signed by Bush on October 17th, 2006, in a private oval office ceremony.

It 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.

The law says such takeover is 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, allowing the federal government to quickly order the military onto the streets of America.

Remember the term for putting an area under military law enforcement control is precise. It is martial law.

Section 1076 of the massive Authorization Act granted the Pentagon another $500-plus-billion, and is entitled "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies."

"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 (or they refuse or fail) in maintaining public order."

It further states the use of the nation's National Guard can be used "in order to suppress, in any State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy."

The law also facilitates militarized police round-ups and detention of protesters, for so called illegal aliens, potential terrorists and other "undesirables" for detention in "black" facilities already contracted for and under construction by Halliburton and other government contractors.

This government has ignored the international rules of Military Justice, to which this country agreed. While the administration has variously denied secret holding camps and stretched the limits of human torture, it continues to reinvent the practice that most Americans deplore, in the name of terrorism.

The historic and ominous re-writing around the US Constitution, civil rights and liberties, long held close to American citizens, has happened while you were sleeping.

Little of this has been reported in main steam media, now owned by less than six US corporations.


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