Is Martial Law likely for the U.S.?

photo by US Army Africa on Flickr 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
My take on all this is that it is basically fear-mongering, and martial law is not on the way, but I could be wrong.  I’ll be watching!


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5 Responses to Is Martial Law likely for the U.S.?

  1. Mary John says:

    Yea, interesting. And also, some of our Larger U.S Railroad companies are wanting to get back in the business of hauling Passenger and not just freight and military hardware.

  2. Dave RN says:

    Martial law is coming, but it won’t be called that. It will be implemented one small step at a time, so the general (stupid) population doesn’t know, or care, that there rights are being taken away.

    Take the TSA. We are subject to illegal searches each time we fly. No probable cause needed. One small right taken. And if you want to fly, you WILL be searched. Period. Don’t pass go, don’t collect $200.

    Next it will be sporting events. Wait, they’ve already started that. Then there will be roadside searches. Then business searches. Then home searches. All without warrants or cause.

    All for our safety, of course.

  3. Georgene says:

    Hi, and thanks for your comment. We don’t really know how all this will come down, of course, but it’s definitely better to anticipate the worst and be ready for it, than to stick our heads in the sand!

  4. Belle says:

    Martial Law sounds very intriguing and a little bit alarming. I guess, what we really need to do now is to make ourselves ready for anything that might happen. Thanks for this article.

  5. Scott says:

    I am new to “prepperdom” It took me decades of education, analysis, and discussions those holding a wide spectrum of opinions to get here. Just recently began looking over this web domain. I want to share a few comments on how likely or unlikely “Martial Law” is in Uncle Sam’s community. (By the way, Marshall Law is essentially the broad scale replacement of laws and individual rights with the decisions and commands of any person or persons “in authority” at the time.

    I agree that the executive order mentioned is not cause for alarm as a stand alone document, especially in the context of similar previous documents Though the vagueness of what constitutes a national emergency is most important, this is not the first time that authority was established.

    What concerns me and some others is the context of the last decade of events and developments. What has developed in the last few years increases that concern (and NO, these concerns are not only about what person is in the executive mansion.) There is and has been throughout history the risk of any government creeping toward what some people consider marshal law. That fact and the experiences of the colonists are the very reasons for the Declaration of Independence and the limitations of our Constitution.

    No one can absolutely predict events or conditions that may develop in the years ahead. It is the severity of possible events that will determine whether martial law will be declared and where it is implemented. I mentioned before that I became a prepper only after decades of analysis. At this point, I have decided that, in my opinion, the complexity of our dependence on a fabulously frail web of technologies increases the probability of a crippling emergency prompting martial law or near marshal law. I believe the probability has now increased to slightly above 50%.

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