An Obama executive order that creates a council of state governors who will work with the feds to expand military involvement in domestic security has stoked fears that the administration is stepping up preparations for martial law.
The order, which is entitled Establishment of the Council of Governors (PDF), creates a body of ten state governors directly appointed by Obama who will work with the federal government to help advance the “synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States”.
The governors will liaise with officials from Northcom, Homeland Security, the National Guard as well as DoD officials from the Pentagon “in order to strengthen further the partnership between the Federal Government and State governments,” according to the executive order.
In October 2008, Northcom, a Unified Combatant Command of the United States military based out of Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs, was assigned the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team returning from Iraq. An alarming September 8 Army Times report which was later denied after it sparked controversy stated that the troops would be used by Northcom to deal with “civil unrest and crowd control” in the aftermath of a national emergency.
The Obama executive order states that governors will help advise the feds on National Guard, homeland defense, and civil support activities.
The fact that the order further blurs the lines between state and federal power, as well as greasing the skids for more military involvement in domestic affairs has stoked fears that Obama may be laying the groundwork for his promised “national civilian security force”.
Conservatives and libertarians responded to the announcement by expressing their suspicion that Obama is preparing to give governors their marching orders in targeting “anti-government” types that have long been characterized as a terrorist threat by the feds in numerous reports stretching back over a decade.
“There is a definite purpose to this,” wrote one commenter on the popular Free Republic website, “The initial steps toward a domestic “Civilian Security Force” in each state, as called for by the fascisti during the campaign. It will be coordinated at the state level, under the authority of DHS and DoD and assorted agencies. The provision will be made for it to be “federalized” in an emergency, as is the National Guard.”
“This is a concrete step toward eliminating the independent authority and dissolving the sovereignty of the several States. It lays the groundwork for the end of the United States as a Republic,” she adds.
Others warn that Obama could be preparing to cancel elections under the justification of a national emergency, a fear that was often expressed when Bush was in office but one that never materialized.
However, the executive order clearly represents another assault on Posse Comitatus, the 1878 law that bars the military from exercising domestic police powers, which was temporarily annulled by the 2006 John Warner National Defense Authorization Act before parts of it were later repealed.