Sunday, February 20, 2011

Public Service Announcement: The U.S. Has Been in a Declared State of Emergency Since September 2001

Color me shocked, but somehow not surprised: the U.S. has been in a declared state of emergency since September 2001 - you know, the same "state of emergency" used the world over by dictators and autocrats as an excuse to repress their citizens (such as all of those dictatorships in the Middle East that are currently teetering).

Technically, by declaring a state of emergency, the President claims the right to seize property; organize and control the means of production; seize commodities; assign military forces abroad; institute martial law; seize and control all transportation and communications; regulate the operation of private enterprise; restrict travel; and, in a plethora of particular ways, control the lives of all American citizens. It's unclear whether the judicial branch would go along with these powers if the President actually tried to exercise them, but the President is claiming them nonetheless.

This declared state of emergency began under Bush, and Obama has elected to continue it. In fact, it seems that there's no end date in sight for this declared state of emergency.

It seems to me that the Executive branch of the U.S. government has been systematically (and probably illegally) overstepping its bounds continuously since at least the Nixon Administration, if not earlier. The Founders created three branches of government so that no one branch could take over - what do you say, Congress and the Judicial Branch? Can you all start reigning in the Executive Branch a bit, please?

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