“Unbenownst to most Americans, the United States is presently under thirty
presidentially declared states of emergency. They confer vast powers on the Executive
Branch, including the ability to financially incapacitate any person or organization
in the United States, seize control of the nation’s communications infrastructure,
mobilize military forces, expand the permissible size of the military without
congressional authorization, and extend tours of duty without consent from service
personnel. Declared states of emergency may also activate Presidential Emergency
Action Documents and other continuity-of-government procedures, which confer
powers on the President—such as the unilateral suspension of habeas corpus—that
appear fundamentally opposed to the American constitutional order.” Thronson, Patrick, Toward Comprehensive Reform of America’s Emergency Law Regime (March 23, 2013). University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Vol. 46, No. 2. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2056822
The above is the opening quote in the paper “Toward Comprehensive Reform of America’s Emergency Law Regime” by Patrick Thronson-Give or take a few emergencies since it’s publication in 2013.
The United States of America no longer exists as it once did (and still does in the majority of the minds of it’s citizens.) The 13 year old news is that it has “legally” been replaced by the United States of “Emergency”. The war on terror that so many dismiss as patently imaginary is unfortunately real enough to have gutted the constitutionally created government “of the people, by the people, for the people” and replaced it with something akin to the threat that so many of our soldiers previously fought against, and died protecting us from.
From September 2001, to the present, that declared state of emergency formally put in writing on 9/14/2001 has continued. Simply by proclaiming a national emergency, President Bush activated some 500 dormant legal provisions, including those allowing him to impose censorship and martial law among others.
That declared state of emergency has continued in full force and effect from 9/11 to the present. President Bush kept it in place, as has every president since.
This year, the State of Emergency was again signed into law by President Obama on 9/4/14:
CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN TERRORIST ATTACKS
Consistent with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1622(d), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency previously declared on September 14, 2001, in Proclamation 7463, with respect to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States.
Because the terrorist threat continues, the national emergency declared on September 14, 2001, and the powers and authorities adopted to deal with that emergency must continue in effect beyond September 14, 2014. Therefore, I am continuing in effect for an additional year the national emergency that was declared on September 14, 2001, with respect to the terrorist threat.
This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.
Do you also wonder why we go from horror to horror and war to war with so little engagement with public opinion or debate? Perhaps the answer can be found here rather than in some ISIS, or Al Qaeda manifesto.
The full paper which details the problem and a solution can be found in PDF form at the link here: