October 26, 2009
Drew Zahn, writing for WorldNetDaily, takes issue with Infowars declaring Obama’s “national emergency” amounts to martial law. “An article by Kurt Nimmo of InfoWars took the worry a step further, wondering if the White House’s declaration engaged certain measures of the National Emergencies Act,” writes Zahn. “But even if there really is a plot to manipulate the H1N1 virus scare into enforcing a sweeping expansion of federal power, today’s ‘national emergency’ falls far short of martial law.”
|Only the American people, through their representatives in Congress, can declare a national emergency.|
Zahn writes that the laws enacted by the president’s proclamation merely clear administrative hurdles for processing of Medicare payments and that the provisions of the National Emergencies Act cited by Obama in his proclamation limit the power his administration can take. He then cites Section 301 that forbids the president from taking up any powers of the National Emergencies Act except those listed in the proclamation of emergency. The list deals with Medicare, Medicaid, HIPAA privacy regulations, and other bureaucratic functions of the department of Health and Human Services.
Infowars noted that Obama’s “national emergency” is likely a scare tactic designed to stampede people into getting the vaccine. The National Emergencies Act, however, is part of a larger framework designed specifically for the implementation of martial law. The law allows the president to revoke the right of habeas corpus under Article 1, Section 9. It also grants special powers to the executive in times of national emergency and underscores the threat the executive poses to the civil liberties of Americans, regardless of the stipulations in Section 301.
Revoking the right of habeas corpus is unconstitutional. So is declaring a national emergency without congressional approval. The Constitution declares, “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.”
It may be argued that Obama is invoking the Constitution for the sake of “public safety,” that is until you look at the facts — the H1N1 “pandemic” does not threaten the safety of most Americans. It is far less deadly than seasonal flu. When was the last time a president declared a national emergency over seasonal flu?
A state of emergency (regardless of the pretext) allows Obama to do a number of things. As Dr. Harold C. Relyea, a specialist in national government with the Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the Library of Congress, has written, “when the President formally declares a national emergency, he may seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, institute martial law, seize and control all transportation and communication, regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict travel, and, in a variety of ways, control the lives of United States citizens.”
Obama’s declaration, however, is incidental because the United States has been under a state of emergency since September 14, 2001. Bush extended this “emergency” (against a bogus terrorist threat) on August 28, 2008.
“Will President Obama allow the state of national emergency, first declared by President George W. Bush on 9/14/01 and re-declared seven times, to remain in effect?” asked Peter Dale Scott and Dan Hamburg on February 10, 2009.
On September 10 of this year, Obama reinstituted the national State of Emergency.
As Infowars noted on the weekend, once a National Emergency is declared the president has full authority to supersede Congress and the Constitution under the John Warner Act of 2007, passed by Congress and signed into law Oct 17, 2006. Warner expands the power of the president during national emergencies, specifically section 1076. [efoods]
Obama’s national emergency declaration — regardless of its emphasis on the bureaucratic functioning of HHS and Medicare — is simply another example of how the executive now functions as a dictatorship.
The declaration needs to be considered in a larger context of authoritarian laws and presidential directives that violate both the letter and the spirit of the law.
The USA Patriot Act allows “sneek and peek” searches without notification, the collection of information (medical, financial, and even library records) without showing probable cause. Roving “John Doe” wiretaps violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.
Executive Order 13438 allows the president and the Secretary of the Treasury to confiscate the assets of “certain persons” who oppose the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq (First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments violated).
The John Warner Defense Authorization Act, mentioned above, gives the president the authority to declare martial law and take control of National Guard troops without state governor authorization. If applied, Warner would x-out the entire Constitution and Bill of Rights. It would also violate Posse Comitatus.
NSP 51 and HSPD 20 (the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive) allow the president to declare a “national emergency” for any reason without congressional approval. These directives would result in the suspension of constitutional government and the militarization of justice and law enforcement. NSPD 51 supersedes the National Emergency Act and supposed congressional oversight. If applied, the Constitution would be null and void.
The Military Commissions Act trashes habeas corpus and allows the government to detain anyone (including U.S. citizens) by declaring them enemy combatants. It also allows torture and provides immunity for military and intelligence officials. The act violates the Sixth and Fourth Amendments, Article 1 Section 9, Clause 2 (covering habeas corpus) of the Constitution. It also violates the Geneva Convention.
Finally, the long-standing FISA (Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act) allows the Obama administration to spy on any American without court approval. It provides a meaningless and phony court review and secret procedures and a worthless report to Congress.
Obama’s “national emergency” in response to a pandemic that is nothing for the sort is another example of the executive wantonly violating the Constitution. It does not matter if the details of the so-called emergency declaration concern the bureaucratic operation of government. It is a violation of the principles our founders had in mind when they formulated our (now mostly moribund) constitutional republic.
Only the American people, through their representatives in Congress, can declare a national emergency.