- Well, not exactly. In fact, he renewed, for the second,
time, the Bush administration's 9/11 one, a White House press release saying:
- "Letter from the President on the Continuation of
the National Emergency with Respect to Certain Terrorist Attack"
- "Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act,
50 USC 1622(d), provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency
unless, prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President
publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice
stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary
date. Consistent with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register
the enclosed notice, stating that the emergency declared with respect to
the terrorist attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, is to
continue in effect for an additional year."
- "The terrorist threat that led to the declaration
on September 14, 2001, of a national emergency continues. For this reason,
I have determined that it is necessary to continue (it) in effect after
September 14, 2010, the national emergency with respect to the terrorist
- In fact, no threat existed nine years ago or today. Declaring
one, however, lets Washington maraud globally and at home, committing state
terror. It's the only kind that matters, given America's destructive power
and intent to wage it as part of the nation's permanent war agenda. Peace
for this country is anathema, a topic two previous articles addressed,
accessed through the following links:
- Continuity of Government (COG) Authority
- An earlier article explained it in detail, including
its historical roots, accessed through the following link:
- Initially planned and developed under Ronald Reagan,
it's renewed annually, Obama's 9/10/10 "Continuation" extending
it another year, a process repeating ad infinitum despite no justification
for doing it.
- COG created coup d'etat authority in America, its pretext
- "a coordinated effort within the Federal Government's
executive branch to ensure that National Essential Functions continue to
be performed during a Catastrophic Emergency."
- If implemented, the president and Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) will have unprecedented police state powers to declare martial
law without congressional approval - to rule extrajudicially, free from
constitutional constraints. As a result, personal freedoms will be suppressed
for our own good, replaced by tyranny, the kind of America no one wants
but one day may arrive full blown, ready or not.
- Other Obama-Declared National Emergencies
- Remember last year's Swine Flu "threat." The
World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic affecting "as
many as two billion people (over) the next two years," calling the
virus "unstoppable." It was falsified hype. Yet, on April 26,
2009, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a "Determination
that a Public Emergency Exists," and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano
"issued a public health emergency declaration" on April 27.
- Then on October 24, Obama declared a "National Emergency
with Respect to the 2009 H1N1 Influenza Pandemic," although none existed.
Though none of what was feared happened, it gave Washington, state and
local governments unprecedented power to order mass inoculations, those
refusing subject quarantines, fines, or imprisonment.
- In June 2010, S. 3480: Protecting Cyberspace as a National
Asset Act was introduced, referred to committee, approved unanimously,
but so far not enacted. Called an Internet Kill Switch bill, it empowers
the president (on national security grounds) to shut down the Internet,
disconnect its networks, and force web sites, blogs, providers, search
engines and software companies to "immediately comply with any (DHS)
emergency measure or action," or face fines or closure.
- In other words, on the pretext of a national emergency,
true or false, the Executive may shut down the media's last free and open
space, quashing First Amendment freedoms, Obama in May 2009 saying:
- "In this information age, one of your greatest assets
- in our case, our ability to communicate to a wide range of supporters
through the Internet - could also be one of your greatest vulnerabilities,
(adding that) America's economic prosperity....depend(s) on cybersecurity,
(at the same time claiming) Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups (might)
unleash a cyber attack on our country (by) a few key strokes on a computer
- a weapon of mass destruction."
- The Kill Switch threat remains, perhaps only after declaring
a cyber emergency. Anyone disobeying will be fined or imprisoned, even
if no danger exists. It shows presidential excesses greatly imperil our
freedoms, a risk always to remember and fear. Here's why.
- National Emergency Powers
- In August 2007, the Congressional Research Service (CRS)
prepared a "National Emergency Powers" report for members of
Congress, explaining what can be used in times of "crisis, exigency,
or emergency circumstances (other than natural disasters, war, or near-war
- These powers may be explicit or implied by the Constitution,
or "inferred from or specified by statute." Yet limits exist,
or should, the Constitution allowing no suspension of its provisions at
times of crisis, even though, in fact, presidents are de facto dictators
during wars. It was true for Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, and others
who followed, especially post-9/11.
- Yet, since 1976, presidents have been subject to procedural
formalities in using statutorily delegated emergency authority. Or that's
how it's supposed to be by law, if not in fact.
- Under the National Emergencies Act (50 USC 1601-1651),
Congress may check open-ended presidential national emergency powers, limiting
them to two years, subject to renewal. It also requires the formal declaration
of an emergency, specifying under what statutory authority, Congress then
has final say on whether it's implemented. Again, that's how it's supposed
- If exercised, presidents may:
- -- seize property;
- -- organize and control the means of production;
- -- seize commodities;
- -- deploy military forces abroad and now at home;
- -- declare martial law;
- -- seize and control all transportation, communications,
- -- restrict travel, and
- -- in most ways control the lives of US citizens, including
arresting and detaining them.
- Some analysts say the Constitution only delegates Congress
emergency powers under Article I, section 8, granting it authority to "provide
for the common Defense and general Welfare....regulate Commerce....declare
War, (organize and arm a) Militia," as well as the "necessary
and proper" clause empowering it to enact laws required to exercise
these powers, and all others.
- Yet presidents have assumed them on their own despite
legislative constraints, most recently post-9/11 through Executive Orders,
National Security Presidential Directives, and other means, including George
Bush claiming "Unitary Executive" powers, what Chalmers Johnson
called a "ball-faced assertion of presidential supremacy dressed up
in legal mumbo jumbo," but getting away with it because Congress and
the courts didn't constrain him.
- What then is an emergency? In simplest terms, whatever
the president says it is, having broad latitude to take advantage without
implemented checks and balances countermanding him. Merriam-Webster calls
it "an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state
that calls for immediate action."
- During 1973 congressional hearings, the following description
- "It denotes the existence of conditions of varying
nature, intensity and duration, which are perceived to threaten life or
well-being beyond tolerable limits."
- Fair enough, but who's to decide or prove if true, and
if so, does it warrant supreme presidential power to address? Laws exist
for a reason - to maintain order, curb excesses, and prevent abuses of
authority. No emergency should dismiss them for expediency. Doing so risks
an even greater one, dictatorial rule over democratic freedoms, too valued
to let one leader subvert, especially if the declared threat is bogus.
- Post-9/11, police state powers seized and enacted are
a reminder of what never should be allowed to happen but did. They continue
to haunt us, threaten to worsen, and Obama's September 10 COG authority
renewal should alert everyone to the danger.
- Perhaps martial law and suspension of constitutional
protections will follow the next declared emergency, whether or not it's
real. Abuses of power beget greater ones. It's just a matter of time until
the worst arrive unless an alert public is aroused enough to stop them.
Once in place, it's too late.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the
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