Tuesday, July 24, 2007

How many pipe bombs might it take to end U.S. democracy?

[Click to enlarge]
by James Bovard

How many pipe bombs might it take to end U.S. democracy? Far fewer than it would have taken a year ago. The Defense Authorization Act of 2006, passed on September 30, empowers President George W. Bush to impose martial law in the event of a terrorist “incident” or if he or other federal officials perceive a shortfall of “public order” or even in response to antiwar protests that get unruly as a result of government provocations.

The media and most of Capitol Hill ignored or cheered on this grant of nearly boundless power. But now that the president’s arsenal of authority is swollen and consecrated, a few voices of complaint are being heard. Even the New York Times recently condemned the new law for “making martial law easier.”

It took a few paragraphs in a $500 billion, 591-page bill to destroy one of the most important limits on federal power. Congress passed the Insurrection Act in 1807 to severely restrict the president’s ability to deploy the military within the United States. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 tightened these restrictions, imposing a two-year prison sentence on anyone who used the military within the U.S. without the permission of Congress. But there was a loophole: Posse Comitatus is waived if the president invokes the Insurrection Act.



Blogger dskap said...

Bush, Cheney and all the other murderers will have an eterninty in hell to suffer and remember their actions.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Scott C. Haley said...

The lack of protest over this demonstrates very well how little most Americans are paying any attention at all to the loss of Freedom in this country.


6:37 AM  

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