Could Obama enforce Martial Law?

whitehall

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I had a discussion with a friend recently who claims that neither the Military nor federal law-enforcement would never fire on American citizens. Unfortunately, I beg to differ. As long as the media can convince Americans that a certain segment of society is the enemy anything is possible. FDR used the Military to place innocent American citizens behind barbed wire after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Federal law enforcement attacked an innocent US Army Veteran's family after a failed attempt to force him into being a federal informant. The legendary Ruby Ridge siege happened during a republican administration and an FBI sniper was indicted for shooting a woman in the face while she was holding an 18th month old baby in her arms.
Tanks and poison gas were used against an alleged subversive religious sect in Waco Tx. while breathless reporters claimed Koresch had secret weapons capable of shooting miles and he was engaging in child abuse at that very moment so the feds better invade quickly. The allegations were never proven and as a matter of fact Koresch lay dying from wounds at the time. Tanks and attack helicopters were called in and only a few Branch Dividians survived the invasion.
Recently the feds shipped over 2,000 illegal weapons to Mexico. Allegedly hundreds of Mexican citizens were killed as well as a US Border Patrol agent. The weapons are still in (rebel?) criminal hands and the media either ignores the crime or justifies the administration's action
My opinion is that it might be difficult for the left wing administration to get away with full scale Martial Law but it could be done in stages. We just saw the Mussolini looking head of the largest union in the Country standing next to the grinning president and shouting "we are your army and we are ready to march and take those SOB's (American citizens?) out, so there is support within the radical rank and file of union members. The media ignored Jesse Jackson Jr. recently when he suggested that the "states were in rebellion" so it justifies any action Obama might take and the Governor of N.C. offered a suggestion that the Constitution be tabled for a while and the 2012 elections be posponed. Anything is possible if the democrat party stands united and the media supports the action.
 
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Sallow

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You seem to forget, conveniently enough..Kent State.

Where National Guard fired upon college students.
 
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whitehall

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I think Kent State was a case of poorly led inexperienced young Guard Troops with live ammo being taunted by experienced mob leaders. The point is that Police and Military can be placed in a situation where they will willingly fire on American citizens. I'm not faulting the greatest Military in the world. Obama would have to get rid of a few generals along the way but the Troops will try to complete the mission just like they have always done. If the mission is to put down what the government claims is a rebellion they will do it.
 

Caroljo

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My son is a Sgt in the Army and we talked about this a couple times. He really doesn't believe the majority of military would go along with firing on American citizens....unless they're fired on first. Of course there are soldiers that will go along with it, just because their soldiers it doesn't mean they're all "good" people. But most of them would have a very hard time with this, especially the ones that want to see obama out of office, and there's MANY of them.
 

Paulie

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My son is a Sgt in the Army and we talked about this a couple times. He really doesn't believe the majority of military would go along with firing on American citizens....unless they're fired on first. Of course there are soldiers that will go along with it, just because their soldiers it doesn't mean they're all "good" people. But most of them would have a very hard time with this, especially the ones that want to see obama out of office, and there's MANY of them.
One well placed agent provacateur that engages military or police first can easily get the ball rolling.
 

zzzz

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In strict dictionary terms, martial law is the suspension of civil authority and the imposition of military authority. When we say a region or country is "under martial law," we mean to say that the military is in control of the area, that it acts as the police, as the courts, as the legislature. The degree of control might vary - a nation may have a civilian legislature but have the courts administered by the military. Or the legislature and courts may operate under civilian control with a military ruler. In each case, martial law is in effect, even if it is not called "martial law."
...
Article 1, Section 9 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 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.

Because of this connection of the two concepts, 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. In these times, Congress may decide not to act, effectively accepting martial law by failing to stop it; Congress may agree to the declaration, putting the official stamp of approval on the declaration; or it can reject the President's imposition of martial law, which could set up a power struggle between the Congress and the Executive that only the Judiciary would be able to resolve.

In the United States, there is precedent for martial law. Several times in the course of our history, martial law of varying degrees has been declared. The most obvious and often-cited example was when President Lincoln declared martial law during the Civil War. This instance provides us with most of the rules for martial law that we would use today, should the need arise.

ex parte Milligan

On September 15, 1863, Lincoln imposed Congressionally-authorized martial law. The authorizing act allowed the President to suspend habeas corpus throughout the entire United States. Lincoln imposed the suspension on "prisoners of war, spies, or aiders and abettors of the enemy," as well as on other classes of people, such as draft dodgers. The President's proclamation was challenged in ex parte Milligan (71 US 2 [1866]). The Supreme Court ruled that Lincoln's imposition of martial law (by way of suspension of habeas corpus) was unconstitutional.

In arguments before the Court, the counsel for the United States spoke to the question of "what is martial law?" "Martial law," it was argued, "is the will of the commanding officer of an armed force, or of a geographical military department, expressed in time of war within the limits of his military jurisdiction, as necessity demands and prudence dictates, restrained or enlarged by the orders of his military chief, or supreme executive ruler." In other words, martial law is imposed by a local commander on the region he controls, on an as-needed basis. Further, it was argued, "The officer executing martial law is at the same time supreme legislator, supreme judge, and supreme executive. As necessity makes his will the law, he only can define and declare it; and whether or not it is infringed, and of the extent of the infraction, he alone can judge; and his sole order punishes or acquits the alleged offender."

In this case, Lambden Milligan, for whom the case is named, was arrested in Indiana as a Confederate sympathizer. Indiana, like the rest of the United States, was part of a military district set up to help conduct the war. Milligan was tried by military commission and sentenced to die by hanging. After his conviction, Milligan petitioned the Circuit Court for habeas corpus, arguing that his arrest, trial, and conviction were all unconstitutional. What the Supreme Court had to decide, it said, was "Had [the military commission] the legal power and authority to try and punish [Milligan]?"

Resoundingly, the Court said no. The Court stated what is almost painfully obvious: "Martial law ... destroys every guarantee of the Constitution." The Court reminded the reader that such actions were taken by the King of Great Britain, which caused, in part, the Revolution. "Civil liberty and this kind of martial law cannot endure together; the antagonism is irreconcilable; and, in the conflict, one or the other must perish."

Did this mean that martial law could never be implemented? No, the Court said. The President can declare martial law when circumstances warrant it: When the civil authority cannot operate, then martial law is not only constitutional, but would be necessary: "If, in foreign invasion or civil war, the courts are actually closed, and it is impossible to administer criminal justice according to law, then, on the theatre of active military operations, where war really prevails, there is a necessity to furnish a substitute for the civil authority, thus overthrown, to preserve the safety of the army and society; and as no power is left but the military, it is allowed to govern by martial rule until the laws can have their free course. As necessity creates the rule, so it limits its duration; for, if this government is continued after the courts are reinstated, it is a gross usurpation of power. Martial rule can never exist where the courts are open, and in the proper and unobstructed exercise of their jurisdiction. It is also confined to the locality of actual war."
Constitutional Topic: Martial Law - The U.S. Constitution Online - USConstitution.net
 

zzzz

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Examples of Martial Law

Through out United States history are several examples of the imposition of martial law, aside from that during the Civil War.

During the war of 1812, General Andrew Jackson imposed martial law within his encampment at New Orleans, which he had recently liberated. Martial law was also imposed in a four mile radius around the camp. When word came of the end of the war, Jackson maintained martial law, contending that he had not gotten official word of the peace. A judge demanded habeas corpus for a man arrested for sedition. Rather than comply with the writ, Jackson had the judge arrested. After the civil authority was restored, the judge fined Jackson $1000, which he paid, and for which the Congress later reimbursed Jackson.

In 1892, at Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, rebellious mine workers blew up a mill and shot at strike-breaking workers. The explosion leveled a four-story building and killed one person. Mine owners asked the governor to declare martial law, which he did. At the same time, a request was made for federal troops to back guardsmen. Over 600 people were arrested. The list was whittled down to two dozen ring leaders who were tried in civil court. While in prison, the mine workers formed a new union, the Western Federation of Miners.

In 1914, imposition of martial law climaxed the so-called Coal Field Wars in Colorado. Dating back decades, the conflicts came to a head in Ludlow in 1913. The Colorado National Guard was called in to quell the strikers. For a time, the peace was kept, but it is reported that the make-up of the Guard stationed at the mines began to shift from impartial normal troops to companies of loyal mine guards. Clashes increased and the proclamation of martial law was made by the governor. President Wilson sent in federal troops, eventually ending the violence.

In 1934, California Governor Frank Merriam placed the docks of San Francisco under martial law, citing "riots and tumult" resulting from a dock worker's strike. The Governor threatened to place the entire city under martial law. The National Guard was called in to open the docks, and a city-wide institution of martial law was averted when goods began to flow. The guardsmen were empowered to make arrests and to then try detainees or turn them over to the civil courts.

Martial law and San Francisco were no strangers - following the earthquake of 1906, the troops stationed in the Presidio were pressed into service. Guards were posted throughout the city, and all dynamite was confiscated. The dynamite was used to destroy buildings in the path of fires, to prevent the fires from spreading. Troops were ordered to shoot looters. Though there was never an official declaration of martial law, the event is often cited as such. However, at all times it appears the troops took their orders indirectly from the civil authority.

Though not a state at the time, Hawaii was placed under martial law in 1941, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Many of the residents of Hawaii were, and are, of Asian descent, and the loyalty of these people was called into question. After the war, the federal judge for the islands condemned the conduct of martial law, saying, "Gov. Poindexter declared lawfully martial law but the Army went beyond the governor and set up that which was lawful only in conquered enemy territory namely, military government which is not bound by the Constitution. And they ... threw the Constitution into the discard and set up a military dictatorship."

On 8/26/2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was placed under martial law after widespread flooding rendered civil authority ineffective. The state of Louisiana does not have an actual legal construct called "martial law," but instead something quite like it: a state of public health emergency. The state of emergency allowed the governor can suspend laws, order evacuations, and limit the sales of items such as alcohol and firearms. The governor's order limited the state of emergency, to end on 9/25/2005, "unless terminated sooner."

There have been many instances of the use of the military within the borders of the United States, such as during the Whiskey Rebellion and in the South during the civil rights crises, but these acts are not tantamount to a declaration of martial law. The distinction must be made as clear as that between martial law and military justice: deployment of troops does not necessarily mean that the civil courts cannot function, and that is one of the keys, as the Supreme Court noted, to martial law.
Constitutional Topic: Martial Law - The U.S. Constitution Online - USConstitution.net
 

editec

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US troops will never fire on US citizens?

Yeah, right.

:doubt:
 

Ravi

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Fair warning: I have been deputized to run several FEMA camps in the interior swamplands of Central Florida. We will be rounding up anyone remotely supporting Republican policies and putting them to work in the sugar cane fields!!!

:)
 

zzzz

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Would Americans fire on Americans? History has shown that it has happened many times. It will happen again as history does repeat itself.

July 14, 1877, a general strike halted the movement of U.S. railroads. In the following days, strike riots spread across the United States. The next week, federal troops were called out to force an end to the nationwide strike. At the "Battle of the Viaduct" in Chicago, federal troops (recently returned from an Indian massacre) killed 30 workers and wounded over 10.

May 1886. The Bayview Massacre where seven people, including one child, were killed by state militia. On 1 May 1886 about 2,000 Polish workers walked off their jobs and gathered at Saint Stanislaus Church in Milwaukee, angrily denouncing the ten hour workday. They then marched through the city, calling on other workers to join them; as a result, all but one factory was closed down as sixteen thousand protesters gathered at Rolling Mills, prompting Wisconsin Govorner Jeremiah Rusk to call the state militia. The militia camped out at the mill while workers slept in nearby fields, and on the morning of May 5th, as protesters chanted for the eight hour workday, General Treaumer ordered his men to shoot into the crowd, some of whom were carrying sticks, bricks, and scythes, leaving seven dead at the scene. The Milwaukee Journal reported that eight more would die within twenty four hours, and without hesitation added that Governor Rusk was to be commended for his quick action in the matter


23 November 23, 1887, the Thibodaux Massacre. The Louisiana Militia, aided by bands of "prominent citizens," shot at least 35 unarmed black sugar workers striking to gain a dollar-per-day wage, and lynched two strike leaders

1894, Federal troops killed 34 American Railway Union members in the Chicago area attempting to break a strike, led by Eugene Debs, against the Pullman Company. Debs and several others were imprisoned for violating injunctions, causing disintegration of the union.

June 8, 1904, in a battle between the Colorado Militia and striking miners at Dunnville ended with six union members dead and 15 taken prisoner. Seventy-nine of the strikers were deported to Kansas two days later.

April 20, 1914, the "Ludlow Massacre." In an attempt to persuade strikers at Colorado's Ludlow Mine Field to return to work, company "guards," engaged by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and other mine operators and sworn into the State Militia just for the occasion, attacked a union tent camp with machine guns, then set it afire. Five men, two women and 12 children died as a result.
 
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Dot Com

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He might do it at the end of his 2nd- term then install Hillary before he departs from the Oval Office :)
 
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whitehall

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If the democrat party stays united in support of every Obama agenda and if the media continues to promote every Obama idea no matter how destructive it is to America the sky is the limit on what the president can do. The media promoted (and still does) FDR's agenda to lock up selected innocent American citizens behind barbed wire and armed guard towers and Americans ignored the terrible affront to the US Constitution. The media supported the invasion of a Waco Texas compound with tanks in spite of a law preventing the use of the Military against citizens and Americans went along with it. If (and I admit it's a big if) the media stirs up support for Jesse Jackson's and Gov Perdue's reasoning that the states are in revolt you can bet your ass(ets) that the Military will fire on American citizens if they are convinced that their actions will preserve the union and if they are ordered to do so.
 

HUGGY

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Fair warning: I have been deputized to run several FEMA camps in the interior swamplands of Central Florida. We will be rounding up anyone remotely supporting Republican policies and putting them to work in the sugar cane fields!!!

:)
good...we need more sugar to go into the Coca Cola we will be selling to the Chyneezers so we can kill em off with the diabetes!!!:lol:
 

Ravi

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Fair warning: I have been deputized to run several FEMA camps in the interior swamplands of Central Florida. We will be rounding up anyone remotely supporting Republican policies and putting them to work in the sugar cane fields!!!

:)
good...we need more sugar to go into the Coca Cola we will be selling to the Chyneezers so we can kill em off with the diabetes!!!:lol:
:thup:

We are on the same wavelength!
 

alan1

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Fair warning: I have been deputized to run several FEMA camps in the interior swamplands of Central Florida. We will be rounding up anyone remotely supporting Republican policies and putting them to work in the sugar cane fields!!!

:)
You have jobs available in Florida?

When the weather gets cold are you gonna hire any of the OWS crowd? I heard that they want jobs. Also, if they stay in the park during December, they may get hypothermia and die.

It's a win-win situation if you hire them.
 

Dont Taz Me Bro

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Herbert Hoover used the military to clear the Bonus Army from Washington D.C.
 

BDBoop

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Don't harsh my zen, Jen!
Fair warning: I have been deputized to run several FEMA camps in the interior swamplands of Central Florida. We will be rounding up anyone remotely supporting Republican policies and putting them to work in the sugar cane fields!!!

:)
And they shall be grateful!! GRATEFUL, I tell you!
 
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whitehall

whitehall

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Herbert Hoover used the military to clear the Bonus Army from Washington D.C.
As a matter of fact it was Douglas MacArthur who led the cavalry charge against his fellow Veterans and it was George Patton who smashed the camp with tanks.
 

Ravi

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Fair warning: I have been deputized to run several FEMA camps in the interior swamplands of Central Florida. We will be rounding up anyone remotely supporting Republican policies and putting them to work in the sugar cane fields!!!

:)
You have jobs available in Florida?

When the weather gets cold are you gonna hire any of the OWS crowd? I heard that they want jobs. Also, if they stay in the park during December, they may get hypothermia and die.

It's a win-win situation if you hire them.
These aren't jobs so much as forced work for no pay. We might let them chew on sugar cane.
 

Katzndogz

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You seem to forget, conveniently enough..Kent State.

Where National Guard fired upon college students.
That was accidental. Had the National Guard intended to shoot college students, they would have gotten many more.
 

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