February 10, 2010
WPXI in Pittsburgh reported on February 9 that the Army National Guard will remain in the city “indefinitely” in response to the weather. “The guardsmen are paired up with police and medics across town, turning dozens of humvees into welcome wagons,” the news channel reported.
This represents the de facto military occupation of Pennsylvania and martial law. Martial law is defined as the imposition of military rule by military authorities on an emergency basis when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively. This is apparently precisely the case in Pennsylvania. It remains to be seen if the military or the civilian government is in control there.
The Army National Guard is part of the National Guard, ostensibly under the control of state governors. However, members of the Army National Guard are federally recognized armed force members in the active or inactive service of the United States and are a reserve component of the United States Army.
The traditional role of the National Guard was abolished with the 2007 Defense Authorization Act (aka the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act). It increased the president’s powers to federalize National Guard units and to use federal troops in domestic situations.
Prior to the change, the nation’s governors protested the proposed unprecedented shift in authority from the states to the federal government. “This provision [the 2007 Defense Authorization Act] was drafted without consultation or input from governors and represents an unprecedented shift in authority from governors as commanders and chief of the Guard to the federal government,” the governors stated in a sharply worded letter that was transmitted to Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress in August, 2006.
51 governors, including some from U.S. territories, had signed the letter, an indication of broad bipartisan support that emphasized the depth of opposition among state executives to encroachments by the federal government in violation of the Tenth Amendment.
In January, Obama stepped up the ongoing process of federalization when he signed an executive order creating the Council of Governors. ““Obama signed an executive order establishing a panel to be known as the Council of Governors, which will be made up of 10 state governors, to be selected by the president to serve two-year terms. Members will review matters involving the National Guard; homeland defense; civil support; and synchronization and integration of state and federal military activities in the United States, the White House said in a statement,” the UPI reported on January 11.
In Pennsylvania and other eastern states hit by historically severe snowstorms are now experiencing “military activities” under the guise of helping citizens. Or maybe that should be civilians.
Citizens need to be warned that they are in essence under military occupation and if the above report is any indication the occupiers plan to stay “indefinitely.”
“Standing armies [are] inconsistent with [a people’s] freedom and subversive of their quiet.” said Thomas Jefferson in 1775. “The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force,” he said in 1807.
Maybe it was adverse in Jefferson’s day. Now? A lot of people seem to support deploying soldiers during snowstorms.