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
Only the American people,
through their representatives in Congress,
can declare a national
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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).
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
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
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.