Martial Law?


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Seven High
May 30, 2005, 09:03 PM
I noticed that General Tommy Franks said that if there is one more terrorist attack in America, martial law will be imposed. What exactly is the 2005 version of martial law? It is my understanding that if, say a riot broke out in a major city, martial law was imposed, meaning no one was to be on the streets after dark. This was lifted after several days of peace. Is this still considered martial law?

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itgoesboom
May 30, 2005, 09:43 PM
Do you have a link to where he said that?

I honestly don't think the country could survive the entire country being under martial law, but I could be wrong.

I.G.B.

jefnvk
May 30, 2005, 09:49 PM
Yeah, even if that is the plan, I doubt he would have came out and said that. Kinda an open invitation to attack America. And just the logistics of placing the entire country under martial law is mind-boggling. Couldn't be done.

And what exactly is a terrorist attack? Many here (myself included) consider the DC shooters to be terrorists.

Biker
May 30, 2005, 09:58 PM
Actually, he made that statement in an interview with Cigar Afficienaddo (sp) magazine a year or two back. He was fairly clear about it, too.
Biker

P95Carry
May 30, 2005, 10:00 PM
As I understood it - IF martial law were to be imposed - the constitution as we know it goes into limbo for the duration. I will happily stand corrected.

R.H. Lee
May 30, 2005, 10:03 PM
eh. It would hurt others far worse than it would hurt me. I'm not on the streets after dark anyway. Business and commerce would seriously suffer, so you can bet any martial law duration would be short.

Biker
May 30, 2005, 10:05 PM
Could be you're right, P95. It's been awhile since I read the interview. However, it appears that martial law is a step or two closer to reality than it used to be, thanks to a patriot act or two. Anyway, I'm sure that one of our computer savy members will dig up the quotes and/or interview.
Biker

Baba Louie
May 30, 2005, 10:07 PM
Read all about it here... Lot's of scary imponderables lie in that website's info.
http://www.infowars.com/print/ps/franks_martial.htm

When living in a Police State... it's probably wise to become a Policeman, neh?

Or a Rebel???
Hmmm another imponderable scenario.

"Gosh Wally... Couldn't the President just call out the militia and deputize them?"

"I dunno Beave. I guess he COULD... but he probably won't. Let's go ask Mom and Dad. They probably know the right thing to do."

TallPine
May 30, 2005, 10:47 PM
Like the feral govt has any self-interest in preventing "terrorist attacks" ... :rolleyes:

They just have to space them out to the desired intervals. :scrutiny:

DMF
May 30, 2005, 11:02 PM
Ah yes, martial law. Have you noticed the gold fringed flags at the courthouse? :evil:

Seriously. though, if you're concerned about the federal government imposing martial law, rest easy there are other things to worry about. You see a little research into the subject reveals that a few people in the federal government realized ole Abe Lincoln got a bit out of line during the Civil War, so this issue was addressed following that mess.

Some points about martial law:

1- I suggest reading Title 50 Chapter 34 which deals with National Emergencies, and you will see what the checks and balances are: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/50/chapters/34/toc.html Unlike, unlike war the President can declare a national emergency, however Congress can shut him off at ANY time they choose, and are required by their own statute to periodically vote on whether to maintain a state of emergency declared by the President.

2- The president cannot just declare martial law anytime he chooses. You may want to read the Supreme Court decision in Milligan v. US (1866), in which the court ruled, "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 proper and unobstructed exercise of their jurisdiction. It is also confined to the locality of actual war."
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=us&vol=71&invol=2

Anyone wonder why some people, like me, are so particular about whether we are at war or not? The above controls on martial law is one of the reasons. Congress hasn't declared war, and courts are still operating, so two of the requirements for martial law haven't been met.

TallPine
May 31, 2005, 10:03 AM
Yeah, the judges will just call out their armies and put the POTUS back in his place :p

ABE tried to have a Supreme Court Justice arrested IIRC.

And Andy Jackson said "the court has ruled, now let them enforce it."

Control Group
May 31, 2005, 10:13 AM
DMF: First, I agree that martial law shouldn't be high on the list of things to worry about. However, there's little traction to the idea that martial law will go away due to previous legislation/court ruling after it's been imposed. If - and this is the big if, and it's the protection upon which I depend - nationwide martial law were to be declared, all bets are off.

I would venture a guess that in virtually none (if not absolutely none) of the historical cases where a government has been replaced by a military government was the replacement legally permanent prior to martial law being declared. The very idea of martial law is that the normal rule of law has been suspended; appealing to said rule of law to end martial law is sort of pointless.

This is why it's so important that martial law be enormously difficult to impose: once it's begun, only the good faith of those in charge will ever let it die. Historically speaking, trust in those with all the guns to protect your liberties hasn't been a successful political strategy.

You're quite right, though, in that martial is extraordinarily difficult to actually get rolling in this country, and that's why it isn't a serious concern at this point. Even the days immediately after 9/11 didn't see true nationwide martial law (i.e., courts are closed, elections aren't held, the pres starts wearing an olive-drab officer's cap embroidered with seven stars and "El Presidente" on it, etc.).

WT
May 31, 2005, 10:13 AM
I believe martial law was last declared in the Territory of Hawaii during World War II, just after Pearl Harbor. It lasted a few years and then went back to civil authorities. There was some Supreme Court decision back then dealing with civilians who came under military rule.

2nd Amendment
May 31, 2005, 11:53 AM
Sorry, DMF, but when the choice is between you or Franks most will have to go with Franks interpretation of potential events. While he may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer we at least know he's for real.

Vernal45
May 31, 2005, 01:54 PM
What exactly is the 2005 version of martial law?


SHTF. :what:

thereisnospoon
May 31, 2005, 02:03 PM
Is Marshall Law when the Governor is out of the state and the Marshall is in charge???? Or is it when the bad guys have killed the Sherriff and someone goes to get the Marshall?

I always get those two confused... :neener:

rick_reno
May 31, 2005, 02:49 PM
As I understood it - IF martial law were to be imposed - the constitution as we know it goes into limbo for the duration. I will happily stand corrected.

Given recent legislation and court rulings, is it possible they've already imposed martial law and just forgot to tell us?

MechAg94
May 31, 2005, 07:00 PM
Do we have enough troops to declare Martial Law nationally and enforce it?

javafiend
May 31, 2005, 07:45 PM
http://www.abovetopsecret.com/pages/camps.html

Barbara
May 31, 2005, 07:46 PM
Not in my county. :D

kel
May 31, 2005, 10:01 PM
This is martial law

DMF
May 31, 2005, 10:19 PM
Sorry, DMF, but when the choice is between you or Franks most will have to go with Franks interpretation of potential events. While he may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer we at least know he's for real. Let's see I cited the US Code, and a Supreme Court case, the first dealing with National Emergencies, the second specifically dealing with martial law. Yet you would rather give more credence to a post that "alleges" Gen Franks said something, but for which there is no proof, than the US Code and the rulings of the Supreme Court. :rolleyes:

What was it you said on another thread about things being absurd. :neener:

FeebMaster
May 31, 2005, 10:27 PM
IF martial law were to be imposed - the constitution as we know it goes into limbo for the duration.

Who would notice the difference?

jefnvk
May 31, 2005, 10:41 PM
Like I said above, I have a hard time believing there are enough troops to lock down the entire country.

And no, we are not in martial law.

2nd Amendment
June 1, 2005, 01:01 AM
IF martial law comes it won't be our troops enforcing it anyway. You'll all have your chance to peg those little blue helmets at several hundred yards.

DMF, look, fact is I haven't slept for about 24 hours now for various reasons, so here's the short version: IF martial law happens it will happen without concern for the Constitution or any SCOTUS decision because the "powers that be" will feel confident enough at that point to do as they please. And the final point in regards to that is: What are you or I going to do about it? Cite the relevant facts? Like "they" care.

The difference between you and I is you apparently still believe in the honorability of people and I don't. They'll do what they want and screw any reality to the contrary... OTOH I hope you're right but I don't really believe that either. *shrug*

Vernal45
June 1, 2005, 01:18 AM
http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node=martial%20law

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/RS21024.pdf

Good reading.

dustind
June 1, 2005, 01:25 AM
If playing road side lawyer does not work during traffic stops how would it work during martial law?

DMF
June 1, 2005, 01:53 AM
IF martial law comes it won't be our troops enforcing it anyway. You'll all have your chance to peg those little blue helmets at several hundred yards.Oh so you think UN troops will somehow be able to best our military, and our LE personnel? http://glocktalk.com/images/smilies/tinfoil.gif

. . . I haven't slept for about 24 hours now for various reasons . . .Hey for all our differences, I mean this sincerely, get some sleep, and take care of yourself, that's not healthy.

The difference between you and I is you apparently still believe in the honorability of people and I don't. True, but keep this in mind: For the last few years I've been dealing with some of the least honorable, most thoroughly despicable people in our society, on a daily basis, yet even though I must deal with those people and see the evil they do, I still believe most people in our society are honest people, who try to do the right thing - Even misguided people like you. :D

2nd Amendment
June 1, 2005, 11:38 AM
Oh so you think UN troops will somehow be able to best our military, and our LE personnel?

No, no, no, that's not what I even implied. If one believes the law is relatively immaterial to what "government" does, especially in extreme cases such as the subject here, then using the UN while the main bulk of our troops are out of the US is a given. Such troops would simply be better for the job anyway. As for LEO, good, bad or indifferent they'll do what they are told because they have families and debts and such just like everyone else.

Oh, I got 4 hrs sleep this AM. I feel all healthy now. :D

*thud*

Art Eatman
June 1, 2005, 11:39 AM
Seems to me that any formal declaration of Martial Law is highly unlikely. There are many powers given the President by the various "state of emergency" laws/rules. These make it possible for the federal government to impose its will as the Administration sees fit.

Some of these powers are still on the books from the WW II era, with more added through the following decades. I've seen lists of them from time to time, although I've never "saved" them to any files. (Come to think of it, I guess it was mostly back in the days of pre-computer, "hard copy" only. :) )

Purely my opinion: Given the willingness on the part of Congress to pass the Patriot Act as it did, with the climate of fear under which it was written, I'm dubious that the Congress would be more than hesitant to restrain a President who claimed a State of Emergency. Again, IMO, their fear is more for themselves than for us. Pardon my cynicism...

Art

gc70
June 1, 2005, 12:12 PM
Art, +1

9/11 - nobody declared martial law, but every non-military aircraft over the US was grounded for several days.

Consider just two terrorist scenarios - a suitcase nuke in a major city or an outbreak of a virulent communicable disease (i.e. Ebola with aerosol transmission). The members of Congress would dirty their drawers agreeing with whatever the President might suggest as a defense.

Control Group
June 1, 2005, 12:17 PM
9/11 - nobody declared martial law, but every non-military aircraft over the US was grounded for several days
But that's a long, long way from real martial law. Martial law, as far as I'm concerned, is when the courts shut down and the politicians don't stand for re-election. These are just "for the duration of the emergency," of course.

As long as we have functioning courts and elected representatives, we don't have martial law.

gc70
June 1, 2005, 01:29 PM
Correct, the aircraft grounding following 9-11 was WAY short of general martial law. OTOH, Art is correct that the government has lots of plans (and an entire agency - FEMA - to carry them out) for "emergency actions" short of declaring "real" martial law.

BigG
June 1, 2005, 01:44 PM
I'm just waiting for the first beevus to type marital law, as they invariably do in these type of threads. ;)

CAS700850
June 1, 2005, 02:18 PM
Don't we think that the more likely scenario is that martial law would be declared in a limited area, say the area of the attack? Logistically, it is simply impossible to enforce a nationwide curfew, restriction on travel, etc. There are not enough military and LEO's to enforce such measures on a nationwide basis. There may, however, be enough to seal off a large city. Ever see The Seige? It was frighteningly realistic when I saw it, probably more so today.

Do I worry about it? Not until someone brings it up...

Although, this thread brings to mind the best line from the new Star Wars movie: "So this is how liberty dies, to thunderous applause."

TallPine
June 1, 2005, 04:14 PM
I'm just waiting for the first beevus to type marital law
Now that is scary, and something to be really worried about :D

at least if you are a guy :uhoh:

Cosmoline
June 1, 2005, 06:20 PM
The most recent case of de facto martial law in the US was in Alaska during WWII. After fleeing the sate and leaving the citizens to fend for themselves, the military came back in large numbers and basically took over the state. I don't know that there was a formal declaration of martial law, but the Army became the de facto civil authority for Alaska during that period. While the white citizens fared pretty well, the natives did not. The military forced mass relocations of natives off the Aleutians and enforced brutal segregation policies. Instead of bothering to use the centuries of knowledge the Aleuts had built up living on those rough islands, the Army shipped all of them to SE and proceded to get mired down. The conditions were so terrible that the entire military force occupying the islands was deemed combat ineffective when it came time to re-take Attu and Kiska. The 7th Infantry had to be flown up from California to do the job instead.

jefnvk
June 1, 2005, 06:42 PM
Ummm...

Alaska wasn't a state during WWII. Can it be declared martial law still?

ceetee
June 1, 2005, 08:58 PM
If you can suppose a "suitcase" or other tactical nuke destroying Manhattan, taking the center of our financial world with it, then it's just a short step to foresee a response by the government that would include:

Governors calling up their state's National Guard.
Curfews for "major metropolitan areas" (such as state capitols, and urban areas, spreading out to suburban areas, for safety, of course).
Activating any reservists available, because you just never know if another set of eyes may spot Osama.
Locking down all air and sea ports, for safety, of course.
Curtailing interstate travel... for safety, of course.
Demanding valid reasons for intra-state travel, just to be on the safe side...

Banks would be closed "while we evaluate our losses" or "while we get our computer systems back online."
ATMs and credit cards would be worth just the plastic they're printed on.
Cash would be King... at ten cents on the dollar. Honest men would feed their families via barter, or turn to theivery.
Anyone caught violating the new rules would not be held for civilian trial, but instead would be confined pending the outcome of a military tribunal.
With most criminals going to tribunals, courts would close...

If it looks like martial law, and it smells like martial law...

slowworm
June 2, 2005, 07:39 AM
No, no, no, that's not what I even implied. If one believes the law is relatively immaterial to what "government" does, especially in extreme cases such as the subject here, then using the UN while the main bulk of our troops are out of the US is a given.

So tell me then,

How many countries in the world have a coherent heavy lift capacity to import enough troops to enforce this martial law?

Last time I did a quick check of worldwide military capabilities there was just one, with 2 others looking to build such a heavy lift capability.

Like to gues what these countries are? The only country with a coherent heavy lift is the US. The other countries are China and Russia.

So how will all that heavy lift arrive unchallenged? Because it will be our own heavy lift that is doing it. In other words our military.

Of course that last statement is an oxymoron. If martial law ever happens it will not be Blue Helmets unless they are blue helmets on US troops. (Sorry, that's another oxymoron).

It doesn't take much to sink an invasion fleet that sails without the support of massive naval superiority and air superiority. Since we have both right now a few warships and a handful of aircraft could sink the invasion fleet mid-stride. Our troops not stopping the invasion is little different to them crushing the populace under their boots.

Our dominance of the sky and sea will not change for at least another 20 or so years. What heavy lift China and Russia have by then remains to be seen but I fully expect that the US will be the leader for the next 50 years or so, although during that time the the edge we hold will be eroded. I like to think that in the event of a large scale government sell-out the military will actually do what it is tasked to do first and foremost- defend the constitution.

So if martial law happens before then it will be our troops opressing our citizens.

If you want to set the scenario in 2045 I might think differently.

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