Martial Law Executive Order: History Should Cause Concern, Not Comfort

Saturday, March 24, 2012
By Paul Martin


Last weekend The New American published an article about President Obama’s issuing of a new Executive Order granting himself power to seize control of America’s national resources during a time of “national emergency.”
The article was reprinted around the country and became the subject of debate among those who saw the edict as a pathway toward peacetime martial law and those who reckoned it was “no big deal.”

Some of those dismissing the content of the order as unimportant were pundits typically found criticizing the President. Ed Morrissey of, for example, told readers that the “the general impact of it is negligible” and that it was nothing more frightening than a regular restatement of previously promulgated emergency preparedness plans.

For those unfamiliar with the story, here is a brief summary of the Executive Order and its contents.

On March 16, the White House posted an Executive Order entitled the National Defense Resources Preparedness Order. In it, the President granted to himself the authority to approve the dispensing of all domestic energy, production, transportation, food, and water supplies as he deems necessary to protect national security.

Despite the national defense hurdle that ostensibly must be jumped in order for the order to take effect, the text of the document itself does not limit implementation to a time of war. In fact, the specific sections of the order make it clear that the President may take complete command and control of the country’s natural resources in peacetime, as well.

In fact, the President may invoke the powers of this order to “meet national defense requirements” in “the full spectrum of emergencies.” The relevant sections read:

The Rest…HERE

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