Another step has been taken in the dismantling of our democracy. I will start with the history.
Our founding fathers studied previous democracies, and their collapse. One particular example that is relevant is that the Roman democracy effectively ended when Caesar, in violation to the long standing Senate prohibition, crossed the Rubicon while still commanding the military forces. Caesar tipped the balance of power away from the Senate. The ultimate consequence was the disappearance of democracy for seventeen centuries.
It was because of the study or history that our founding fathers put into place the three independent branches of government, and created the checks and balances.
“The constitution supposes, what the history of all governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the legislature.” James Madison in a letter to Thomas Jefferson
Prior to 2006 the Insurrection Act of 1807 state “Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more that two years, or both.”
On June 16, 1878 the Posse Comitatus Act was passed. This act prohibits federal military personnel and the United States National Guard under federal control from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the Untied States, except where expressly authorized by Congress. (The Coast Guard is exempt.)
In Oct. 2002 the Northern Command was created. The Northern Command is under the Secretary of Defense. Its mission is to protect the United States homeland and support local, state, and federal authorities, limited by the Posse Comitatus Act.
The Insurrection Act was amended in the 2007 Defense Authorization Bill to state the following.space
(1) The President may employ the armed forces,space
including the NationalGuard in Federal service, tospacespace
(A) restore public order and enforce thespacespace
laws of the United Stateswhen, as a resultspacespace
of a natural disaster, epidemic, or otherspacespace
serious public health emergency, terroristspacespace
attack or incident, or other condition in anyspacespace
State or possession of the United States, thespacespace
(i) domestic violence has occurred tospacespacespace
such an extent that the constitutedspacespacespace
authorities of the State or possessionspacespacespace
are incapable of maintaining publicspacespacespace
(ii) such violence results in a conditionspacespacespace
described in paragraph (2); orspacespace
(B) suppress, in a State, any insurrection,spacespace
domestic violence, unlawful combination,spacespace
or conspiracy if such insurrection, violation,spacespace
combination, or conspiracy results in aspacespace
condition described in paragraph (2).space
(2) A condition described in this paragraph isspace
a condition that—spacespace
(A) so hinders the execution of the lawsspacespace
of a State or possession, as applicable,spacespace
and of the United States within that State orspacespace
possession, that any part or class of itsspacespace
people is deprived of a right, privilege,spacespace
immunity, or protection named in thespacespace
Constitution and secured by law, andspacespace
the constituted authorities of thatspacespace
State or possession are unable, fail, orspacespace
refuse to protect that right privilege,spacespace
or immunity, or to give that protection;spacespace
(B) opposes or obstructs the executionspacespace
of the laws of the Unites States orspacespace
impedes the course of justice underspacespace
This amendment to the Insurrection Act was repealed in the 2008 Defense Authorization Bill, but President Bush, in a signing statement exempted himself.
This amendment to the law removes the requirement that the State request National Guard help in an emergency. Every member of the National Governors Association signed a letter stating “This provision was drafted without consultation or input from governors and represents an unprecedented shift in authority from governors … to the federal government.”
On May 4, 2007, after he gained the new-found authority in the Insurrection Act, President Bush sign the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive (often call Directive 51). Most of the document is classified. Unclassified sections state that in an emergency an “Enduring Constitutional Government” will take the place of the nation’s regular government. That is, the President can suspend our government. The emergency is construed as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting to U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy
, or government functions.” (emphasis added)
Recently the Army stationed The Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Team under the control of US Army North, the Army service component of the Northern Command.
This President has given himself the power to suspend our government in a national emergency such as a stock market meltdown, and armed himself to enforce that action. Mr. Bush has crossed the Rubicon.