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Bush Signs Federal Legislation Expanding Power to Declare Martial Law Interview with Fran

Interview with Frank Morales, writer & activist, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Bush Signs Federal Legislation Expanding Power to Declare Martial Law

Interview with Frank Morales, writer and activist, conducted by Scott Harris

In a legislative maneuver that largely slipped below the media radar screen, Congress passed -- and president Bush signed into law in mid-October -- a measure that will make it easier for American presidents to declare federal marital law. Congress revised the Insurrection Act, bypassing existing prohibitions there and within the Posse Comitatus Act that had prevented the president from deploying U.S. military troops within the nation's borders.

The Defense Authorization Act of 2007 signed into law by Bush in a private White House ceremony, empowers the president to declare a "public emergency," 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." U. S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont warned that "the implications of changing the (Posse Comitatus) Act are enormous". "There is good reason," he said, "for the constructive friction in existing law when it comes to martial law declarations. Using the military for law enforcement goes against one of the founding tenets of our democracy."

The new law authorizes police to detain and imprison "illegal aliens," "potential terrorists," protesters and other "undesirables." Ominously, in January Congress awarded $385 million to Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, for the construction of temporary detention and processing facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S. Frank Morales, an Episcopalian priest at St. Mark's Church in New York City, is a writer and activist. His piece, "Bush Moves Toward Martial Law," is one of the few news stories on these new presidential powers. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Frank Morales about the potential consequences for civil liberties stemming from this change in federal law.

Read Frank Morales' piece, "Bush Moves Toward Martial Law," online at www.TowardFreedom.com

Related links:

"The 2007 Defense Authorization Act and the "Reform" of the Insurrection Act of 1807:Usurpation of Power," By Col. Dan Smith, Counterpunch.org, Nov. 20, 2006

Repeal Section 1076 at finger2006.com

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