Blog Flux Directory Subscribe in NewsGator Online Subscribe with Bloglines Blog directory
And, yes, I DO take it personally: As Bushco grows desperate, don't forget Section 1076 of the Defense Authorization Act
Mandy: Great blog!
Mark: Thanks to all the contributors on this blog. When I want to get information on the events that really matter, I come here.
Penny: I'm glad I found your blog (from a comment on Think Progress), it's comprehensive and very insightful.
Eric: Nice site....I enjoyed it and will be back.
nora kelly: I enjoy your site. Keep it up! I particularly like your insights on Latin America.
Alison: Loquacious as ever with a touch of elegance -- & right on target as usual!
"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
- Noam Chomsky
Send tips and other comments to: /* ---- overrides for post page ---- */ .post { padding: 0; border: none; }

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

As Bushco grows desperate, don't forget Section 1076 of the Defense Authorization Act

i remember patrick leahy's lonely cry (see below) when this was coming up for a vote... it passed and it's still out there, ticking like a time bomb...

taken from "Working for the Clampdown," written by james bovard in the american conservative...

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.


“Martial law” is a euphemism for military dictatorship. When foreign democracies are overthrown and a junta establishes martial law, Americans usually recognize that a fundamental change has occurred. Perhaps some conservatives believe that the only change when martial law is declared is that people are no longer read their Miranda rights when they are locked away. “Martial law” means obey soldiers’ commands or be shot. The abuses of military rule in southern states during Reconstruction were legendary, but they have been swept under the historical rug.

Section 1076 is Enabling Act-type legislation—something that purports to preserve law-and-order while formally empowering the president to rule by decree. The Bush team is rarely remiss in stretching power beyond reasonable bounds. Bush talks as if any constraint on his war-making prerogative or budget is “aiding and abetting the enemy.” Can such a man be trusted to reasonably define insurrection or disorder? Can Hillary Clinton?

Bush can commandeer a state’s National Guard any time he declares a “state has refused to enforce applicable laws.” Does this refer to the laws as they are commonly understood—or the laws after Bush fixes them with a signing statement?

so, how could things play out...?
These new pretexts are even more expansive than they appear. FEMA proclaims the equivalent of a natural disaster when bad snowstorms occur, and Congress routinely proclaims a natural disaster (and awards more farm subsidies) when there is a shortfall of rain in states with upcoming elections. A terrorist “incident” could be something as stupid as the flashing toys scattered around Boston last fall.

The new law also empowers the president to commandeer the National Guard of one state to send to another state for up to 365 days. Bush could send the Alabama National Guard to suppress antiwar protests in Boston. Or the next president could send the New York National Guard to disarm the residents of Mississippi if they resisted a federal law that prohibited private ownership of semiautomatic weapons. Governors’ control of the National Guard can be trumped with a simple presidential declaration.

leahy understood the implications, but either his colleagues didn't or they didn't care enough to stop the bill's passage...
Mr. President, I rise to express my grave reservations about certain provisions of the Fiscal Year 2007 Defense Authorization Bill Conference Report. This legislation poorly handles key provisions related to the National Guard, which — as the events since September 11th have highlighted — is critical to our Nations’ defense. The final conference report drops the reforms known as the National Guard Empowerment Act, a bill that would have given the National Guard more bureaucratic muscle inside the Pentagon. It would have cleared away some of these administrative cobwebs and given the Guard the seat at the decision-making table that it needs and deserves. It also should concern us all that the Conference agreement includes language that 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.

as bushco becomes increasingly desperate, the likelihood that they will resort to desperate measures increases dramatically...

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Submit To Propeller

And, yes, I DO take it personally home page