Newsmax.com reports that a March 16, 2012 executive order, dubbed National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order, allows the president to essentially establish martial law if he found it to be warranted. The order gives Mr. Obama the power to:
“require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense.”
Those who are worried that this is just an excuse to impose martial law say that the concern is that, depending on how this Executive Order is interpreted, the President could have the ability to allocate all national resources, including food and water supplies, as he deems necessary. Pointing to the fact that this executive order is nearly identical to another executive order previously signed by President Bill Clinton, they are concerned about the apparent need for an update. Some think that the creation of the Department of Homeland Security has caused the update to be necessary,because the DHS didn’t exist when President Clinton’s version of the order was signed.
Other federal agencies will also receive expanded powers as a result of Mr. Obama’s Executive Order. Here is a list of the other expanded powers that will be bestowed:
- Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer
- Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy
- Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources
- Secretary of Transportation has expanded powers over the allocation of transportation
- Secretary of Defense will enjoy expanded control over all the water resources available
- Secretary of Commerce will have the ability to allocate all other materials, services, and facilities, including materials used in construction activities
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