"In a crisis and emergency situation, the free market may not be the best way to distribute resources. ... If there's a point in time where we have to take resources and make a judgment on an emergency basis, we will be prepared to do that." . . . .As farfetched as this may seem, the probability of State and Federal Government officials and generals declaring a form of ' martial law' is quite high in 2000. Unlike a bad Hollywood movie or edgy conspiracy plot, however, plans to do so are actually occurring and soberingly real.
Said John Koskinen, chairman of President Clinton's Y2K council
Given the infrastructure failures and civil disorder that will surely accompany y2k, a state of national emergency as declared by the President and state governors may occur shortly before (or after) 2000. The laws are on the books and militaries around the world are preparing for y2k.
The thought of soldiers marching in the streets and a suspension of our civil liberties is frightening to us freedom-loving Americans, but so is the thought of lawless gangs taking control, or an extended infrastructure/ power-grid outage . We may have to compromise our freedom until order is restored. In fact, given the alternatives in the midst of a crisis, the public may demand it!
Besides full deployment of troops in the major cities, the government may 'nationalize' --and therefore control one or more key industries as listed under the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection ( PCCIP ):
This may be done, for example, for "work arounds" to be accomplished in the power industry to keep the grid up, or to support mass transportation systems. Regulations, insurance rules, warranty and federal or local laws restricting the abilty to do so would be lifted. Co-ordinated national efforts may be required to ensure food and energy production and delivery, which would also include rationing to prevent hoarding and rioting.
For perceived risk of panicking the public , code names are used, such as "Cyber-terrorism" as listed under Presidential Directive 63 , (signed by Clinton on May 22,1998) which the NSA director has linked to y2k. Not surprisingly they hope to be ready " no later than 2000".
Many states' National Guard have been preparing for a massive mobilization in a testing of communications failures due to y2k This test turned out to be 96% successful . The Naval Reserve is also working with FEMA to provide "assistance." Washington state is preparing with half of its troops mobilized. The Wisconsin National Guard is ready to mobilize and awaiting authorization from the legislature. The National Guard is preparing for practice for training exercises for y2k ( World Net Daily ) confirmed by the National Guard's own report . A survey of 50 National Guards and the unit in the District of Columbia found plans in place in 19 states: Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Other countries have been more open than the US in reporting their plans. Leading the pack is Canada as it is mobilizing all 60,000 troops and considering invoking Martial Law under the Emergency Powers Act. New Zealand, Australia and Britain also have extensive plans underway.
The degree and extent of a Martial Law situation depends on the severity of the disruptions y2k will bring. They can probably be divided into three degrees:
Category #3 is a low probability event. This would be TEOTWAWKI, which the author is not predicting. If it ever did get this bad, these efforts would fail in the long-run.
"Martial Law" sounds so conspiracy theory-ish that many dismiss the whole concept out-right after hearing the term. Let's establish an objective definition for the term 'martial law.' According to Webster's Third New International Dictionary, 'martial law' is:
The Duke of Wellington's definition is more concise: "Martial law," he told the English Parliament, "is neither more nor less than the will of the General who commands the army. In fact, martial law means no law at all."
It doesn't matter what you call it, it's still the same. Y2K (naive) optimists and virtually every PR assurance routinely claim the following:
There's not going to be major power outages. There will be no food shortages. Telecommunications will work just fine. Everything that matters in the U.S. will be repaired. "We're well on our way".
HMMM...If that were undoubtedly correct, then why are extensive military plans being made to deal with widespread civil disorder and systemic infrastructure failures? Gee, if the consensus that everything will be A-OK in the United States is true then there would be no need for the DoD to do this, would there? What do they know that the rest of us don't? Here's a clue:
"We've gotten classified reports [on the Federal government and Y2K] that are so disturbing they had to be classified." - Said Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.)
I believe infrastructure failures will be so disruptive the military will have to step in and "control" certain sectors of the economy if it is to remain functional. This is in addition to general civil disorder and looting accompanying the y2k transition period. One or more of the following sectors are affected and may be subject to forced military "maintenance:"
The following is from the Department of Defense's new website and gives clear, undeniable evidence that such plans are underway. Read it very carefully:
Background DoD is preparing to respond to requests for assistance from civil authorities both domestically and overseas during the Y2K transition period. DoD recognizes:
Planning Guidance All requests by civil authorities for military assistance shall be evaluated by DoD approval authorities against their impact on DoD's ability to perform its primary national security missions.
- Within the U.S.: Commanders may take immediate, unilateral emergency response actions that involve measures to save lives, prevent human suffering, or mitigate great property damage only when time does not permit approval by higher headquarters.
- Overseas: Immediate response may be undertaken when time is of the essence and humanitarian considerations require action.
Mission Priorities: DoD's first Y2K mission priority is to maintain the capability to carry out its essential national security functions.
units and organizations will respond to Y2K request for assistance during
Y2K transition period (1 September 1999 through 31 March 2000) in accordance
with following priorities: Priority
a) Direct Support to National Command Authority
b) Conduct of ongoing or imminent military operations
c) Conduct of ongoing or imminent intelligence operations
d) Conduct of nuclear command and control
e) Maintenance of infrastructure necessary to above
Priority 1:National Security Missions. Units with assignments below require Secretary of Defense (or his designated representative) approval to divert resources that may compromise operational readiness:
Priority 2:Support for Standing Operations Plans - especially units in early deployment (first 60 days) status. Diversion of resources in this category require approval by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff or his designated representative.
Priority 3:Maintenance of domestic public health and safety.
4: Maintenance of the economy and the
nation's quality of life, such as support to local mass transit systems.
Maintenance of the economy and the nation's quality of life, such as support to local mass transit systems.
[ It is the last two "priorities, " as well as 1(e) and the ominous warning of "diversion of resources that can only be accomplished under military rule over private enterprise by commandeering means of production and delivery.] The recent Senate Y2K Committee Report had a passage dealing with this subject in its Emergency Preparedness section , but first read these two quotes:
"Never believe in anything until it has been officially denied" Otto von Bismarck, 1815-1898To the untrained reader the previous would give the impression, on the surface, of debunking all charges. This passage is laced with emotional rhetoric and many of what I call the 25 Rules of Disinformation as shown below.
"Nobody believes a rumor here until it's officially denied" Edward Cheyfitz, Washington D.C
"The public has voiced its concern to the Committee regarding the role that the federal government will play in responding to Y2K-related emergencies. Numerous misguided rumors and outright falsehoods are being circulated in some quarters on the Internet about the possibility that "martial law" will somehow be declared by the federal government in response to Y2K emergencies. These rumors and falsehoods will serve only to incite unwarranted public panic and to needlessly heighten public fear and misunderstanding about the Y2K problem. Such irresponsible and reckless speculation has no basis in fact, and it disregards the long history of our nation?s commitment to democracy and our own constitutional system of government, which is grounded in the rule of law."
2). Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the "How dare you!" gambit.
[The rhetoric of How dare you bring up such silly nonsense of "martial law!"]
3). Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method which works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such "arguable rumors". If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a "wild rumor" which can have no basis in fact.
[They do associate rumors with "some corners of the internet."]
4). Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent's argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.
[Here is the most prevalent tactic. The Senate's paragraph is using a technicality to use as a deflector of the real issue: that the military will be used for y2k, and that certain sectors of the economy will have to be under military control: ]
"...about the possibility that "martial law" will somehow be declared by the federal government in response to Y2K emergencies."
The technicality is the fact that "the Federal Government" will not do the actual "declaring" of a state of emergency. It is state governors and generals who do so after the President has declared a "state of emergency." The senate passage is merely playing on emotions to give the impression that will be no state of emergency at all.
"...Such irresponsible and reckless speculation has no basis in fact."
Again, in this case, "fact" is the technicality of the above mention (who does the declaring). So it is technically true and a fact that "the federal government" will not "declare martial law," but thrown in is more emotional rhetoric to make those who bring up the subject of y2k & martial law (presumably sites like this) as "reckless and irresponsible"
"...These rumors and falsehoods will serve only to incite unwarranted public panic." My response is this: If there is absolutely no basis for martial law -- which the above passage seems to be implying, emotionally-- and none of it is at all true, then there is no basis for "fear and worry", is there? If I told some one a meteorite was going to slam into the earth tomorrow, would he really believe it without evidence? Of course not. With Y2K, we DO have evidence that the military IS preparing for "martial law" (again, call it what you want) which is also evidence that officials know more than they lead us to believe, which is evidence that y2k WILL be a major disaster worth calling up the military for.
] Here is the technicality as explained in the Senate report:
Beginning in July 1998, the Committee staff began discussions with FEMA to determine what authority the federal government would have to act in case of serious Y2K disruptions, and how FEMA specifically plans to respond in the event that such disruptions do occur. In his testimony, Mr. Suiter emphasized that FEMA programs represent a "bottoms up" approach in which federal response comes "by invitation only," upon a specific request from the governor of an individual state, in response to specific and identifiable emergencies and disasters. This response is requested by and coordinated through the governor, and never independently by the federal government. This fact is in stark contrast to some of the reckless assertions appearing on the Internet, claiming that Y2K events would serve as an "excuse" for a massive marshaling of federal forces or the suspension of civil legal authority to deal with possible disruptions. [The last part of that sentence may be an outright lie]
Sufficient legal authority currently exists under the Stafford Act to allow federal resources to be utilized in response to a Y2K-related disruption if, upon application from a state?s governor, an "emergency declaration" is made by the President of the United States. While FEMA has no authority to respond to the causes of Y2K disruptions or to provide technical assistance for "Y2K fixes," it can respond to the physical consequences of Y2K disruptions if they constitute a threat to lives, property, public health and safety pursuant to the President?s "emergency declaration."
[Watch for the "emergency declaration" in December or January. Then the fun begins.]
United States Code TITLE 50 - WAR AND NATIONAL DEFENSE
Executive Order 10995
Assigning Telecommunications Management Functions