FEMA prison camp?
As more and more of our privacy rights go down the drain, it looks like the president may have accrued another prerogative: the right to declare us enemy combatants and have (wait for it) the National Guard (!) throw us in concentration camps, said camps being under construction as we speak.
Ted Rall informs us (via smirkingchimp) of the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007, or Public Law 109-364:
"The [military] Secretary [of the Army, Navy or Air Force] concerned may order a member of a reserve component under the Secretary's jurisdiction to active duty...The training or duty ordered to be performed...may include...support of operations or missions undertaken by the member's unit at the request of the President or Secretary of Defense."
The National Guard, used to maintain order during natural disasters and civil disturbances and the sole vehicle available under U.S. law to enforce a declaration of martial law, has previously been controlled by state governors. They have now been stripped of that control. Thanks to the JWDAA, Bush or Rumsfeld can now deploy National Guardsmen in American cities without obtaining permission from state governors.
Section 526 of the Warner Act goes further still. It states that the "Governor of a State...with the consent of the [military] Secretary concerned, may order a member of the National Guard to perform Active Guard and Reserve duty..." The key word is "may." A governor can no longer deploy the Guard in his or her state without first getting Rumsfeld's permission.
Patrick Leahy (D-VT) sounded the alarm during senatorial debate, but U.S. state-controlled media ignored him. The Warner Act, he said, "includes language that subverts solid, longstanding posse comitatus statutes that limit the military's involvement in law enforcement, thereby making it easier for the President to declare martial law...We fail our Constitution, neglecting the rights of the states, when we make it easier for the president to declare martial law and trample on local and state sovereignty."
Only one governor, Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana, made a fuss over the Warner Act. A spokesman for the National Governors Association requested a wimpy "clarification" concerning what circumstances might prompt Bush to impose martial law. As far as I can determine this column marks the first time the JWDAA has been mentioned in the mainstream media.
Now the dark men who engineered America's post-9/11 police state have watched the public reject their policies. The incoming Democratic majority Congress will be able to hold hearings and launch investigations that could lead to their indictments and removal from office. John Dingell, the liberal incoming chairman of the Commerce Committee did nothing to dissuade GOP fears of "a blizzard of subpoenas": "As the Lord High Executioner said in 'The Mikado,'" Dingell recently joked, "I have a little list."
On the other hand, the law may not in fact be a law after all.
tobefree posts at democraticunderground.com, (in response to an article by Jeff Stein, CQ National Security Editor at cq.com):
15. It's not actually a real law!!!
I've been lurking on DU for a year or more and only recently registered to join in order to have an active voice. This subject is one that I feel there is solid ground on which to actually render the law null and void immediately.
From the U.S. Constitution Article 1, Section 7: “If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevents its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.”
Since Congress cannot vote while in adjournment, a pocket veto cannot be overridden. A pocket veto is a legislative maneuver in American federal lawmaking. The U.S. Constitution requires the President to sign or veto any legislation placed on his desk within ten days (not including Sundays). If he does not, then it becomes law by default. The one exception to this rule is if Congress adjourns before the ten days are up. In such a case, the bill does not become law; it is effectively, if not actually, vetoed. Ignoring legislation, or “putting a bill in one’s pocket” until Congress adjourns is thus called a pocket veto.
Case Point 1: Congress passed H.R. 6166, the Military Commissions Act, on September 29th, presented it to the President on October 10th, and adjourned on October 13th. Bush signed it on October 17th, the week after Congress had adjourned, thereby rendering it vetoed by constitutional standards.
Case Point 2: Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122) (2), which was also signed by Bush on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."
President Bush seized this unprecedented power on the very same day that he signed the equally odious Military Commissions Act of 2006 noted above.Both of these laws are constitutionally NULL and VOID right now, as we speak. At least that's my humble opinion.
So there you have it: is it a law, is it a signing statement, is a jet plane? One thing for sure: it’s a puzzler.