Saturday, 1 March 2008

The United States of America: On The Road To Martial Law

"Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees."

The above is an excerpt from a February 4th
article co-written by Dan Hamburg (a former Congressman and Executive Director of Voice of the Environment) and Lewis Seiler (President of Voice of the Environment) published in the San Fransisco Chronicle. The article, Rule by fear or rule by law?, is an all too rare instance of the corporate media acknowledging the threat the US government and its corporate masters are now more than ever posing to the US populous. The threat is clear: it's of the implimentation of martial law in the United States of America.
For the sake of clarity, martial law is defined as (according to my Collins dictionary): "Rule of law maintained by the military in the absence of civil law."

The camps refered to above (with the capacity to hold many hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions) are being built below the radar of the corporate press. So, too, is the legislation being brought in that gives the federal government the authoirty to detain pretty much anyone it likes, without trial, and to hold them indefinately:

"The Military Commissions Act of 2006, rammed through Congress just before the 2006 midterm elections, allows for the indefinite imprisonment of anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on a list of "terrorist" organizations, or who speaks out against the government's policies. The law calls for secret trials for citizens and noncitizens alike."


The threat of martial law being implimented in the US isn't a matter of opinion based on a biased interpretation of cherry picked facts. It's real and it's detailed in a plethora of laws and executive orders that, under the right conditions (such as after an attack on US soil), will grant the president all the authority and control of a military dictator; even the ability to launch nuclear strikes at will. Comparisons with Hitler and the Nazi's are simply accurate and factual. For instance consider the following, which were detailed in Aaron Russo's film America: Freedom to Fascism:-

1) Executive Order #11000, which gives the government the authority to force civilians to work in labour brigades under government supervision. Indeed the government has the authority to displace entire populations from towns or cities if it so wishes.
2) Executive Order #11921, giving the president the authority to declare a state of emergency that is neither named nor defined and that Congress cannot review for six months.
3) Senate Bill #1873, giving the government the authority to vaccinate people with untested vaccines against their will.
4) Congressman Sensenbrenner's Bill (HR 1528), a law which requires people to spy on their neighbours and/or wear a wire to this end. Refusal to obey carries a mandatory prison sentence of at least two years.


And before you start thinking, 'Well, at least this doesn't affect me'. Think again. In December 2007, as reported in The Times, the US said it has the legal authority to "kidnap" British citizens if they are wanted for crimes within the United States. Then there are FBI calls to have access to British identity data (as reported in The Guardian in January 2008) in keeping with plans to create an interational database of everyone.

What I'm suggesting is that the troubling prospect of martial law in the US seems to be part of a wider transnational momentom: a momentom geared towards extinguishing any hope we could have of living in a world where 'privacy' and 'liberty' mean anything. Both are under threat, in Britain as much as in the US. And unless this momentom is halted and indeed reversed, then prospects for the future look very bleak. Our government is literally taking liberties to such an extent that it would be quicker to detail the ones we still have rather than the ones that are now denied to us. I'll nevertheless remind you of one liberty that you've lost: the right to make private phone calls. Every conversation you have on your phone, every text message you send or receive, the government has lawful unrestricted access to the lot. This has to stop. We need to start demanding more of ourselves and of our government. There are historical precedents of governments and regimes that curbed liberties to this extent. We called them fascist and totalitarian and in the not too distant past we fought them. Today our government seems to be using them as a blueprint.

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