Martial Law: Could It Happen Here?

January 21, 2014, by Ken Jorgustin

what-is-martial-law

Martial law can be used by governments to enforce their rule over the public.

Such incidents may occur after a coup d’état; when threatened by popular protest; to suppress political opposition; or to stabilize insurrections or perceived insurrections.

“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” -Barack Hussein Obama

Could it happen here?


 
Martial law may be imposed in a time of war, or in a time triggered by an event or events when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively and have broken down in maintaining order and security, or in providing essential services, or when there are extensive riots, or when the disobedience of the law becomes widespread.

In strict dictionary terms, martial law is the suspension of civil authority and the imposition of military authority. They act as the police, as the courts, as the legislature.

 
Martial law should not be confused with military justice. In the United States, each branch of the military has its own judicial structures in place. Members of the service are under the control of military law. But this is the normal course of business in the military.

Martial law is the exception to the rule.

In the United States, the military courts were created by the Congress, and cases can be appealed out of the military system to the Supreme Court in many cases. In addition, a civilian court can petition the military for habeas corpus.

Article 1, Section 9 of The Constitution states, “The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”

Habeas corpus is a concept of law, in which a person may not be held by the government without a valid reason for being held.

A writ (a formal written order) of habeas corpus can be issued by a court upon a government agency (such as a police force or the military). Such a writ compels the agency to produce the individual to the court, and to convince the court that the person is being reasonably held.

The suspension of habeas corpus allows an agency to hold a person without a charge. Suspension of habeas corpus is often equated with martial law.

It is often argued that only Congress can declare martial law, because Congress alone is granted the power to suspend the writ. The President, however, is commander-in-chief of the military, and it has been argued that the President can take it upon himself to declare martial law.

So, who can declare or impose martial law?
The President (the military as commander-in-chief) OR Congress.

 
Typically, martial law accompanies curfews, the suspension of civil law, civil rights, habeas corpus, and the application or extension of military law or military justice to civilians. Civilians defying martial law may be subjected to military tribunal (court-martial).

In United States law, martial law is limited by several court decisions that were handed down between the American Civil War and World War II. In 1878, Congress passed the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids military involvement in domestic law enforcement without congressional approval.

However, there are provisions in the current NDAA…

Several American lawmakers have stated on the record that, in their opinion, Section 1031 of the National Defense Authorization Act legalizes or authorizes martial law in the United States.

Senator Mark Udall stated “These provisions raise serious questions as to who we are as a society and what our Constitution seeks to protect…Section 1031 essentially repeals the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 by authorizing the U.S. military to perform law enforcement functions on American soil.”

In other words, the military could arrest any American citizen suspected of being a domestic terrorist and throw them into a military prison indefinitely.

During the end of 2013, President Obama signed into law the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a sweeping defense policy bill, which includes a number of troubling provisions that were first signed into law in 2012, which permits the military to detain individuals indefinitely without trial – and it remains on the books for 2014. Efforts to quash or reform the provision (especially with regard to the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens) have failed and have been fiercely fought by the administration.

 
Could it happen here?

Yes, it certainly could. It just needs a trigger event. Once that event occurs, and if they choose – they can round up and haul away anyone they wish. No probable-cause necessary. Period.

Do you think they have lists ready to go? Yes, I would think that they do.

Once martial law is implemented, you can expect to hear a deafening ‘silence’ with regards to any voice of challenge or opposition. They will be silenced and/or removed. You will be on your own. A prisoner, in effect.

Who will be rounded up? Who will be your captors? Your jailors? Who will be your enemies? Who will be in the right? How will you communicate? What will you do? How will you survive? Will you resist? Will you lie down? Lots of questions…