Although the American people are not hearing the term martial law, the right to habeas corpus (1) has been indefinitely suspended. Habeas corpus literally means “you may have the body”. It is one of the most basic rights of law which essentially demands a person be brought before a judge. Without the right to habeas corpus, a person may be arrested on suspicion alone, whisked off to a secret prison, and held indefinitely. Although defenders of the National Defense Authorization Act (2) claim it is necessary to detain subversives, one must wonder exactly what a subversive is considered these days. Speaking against the National Defense Authorization Act, Rand Paul claimed that currently a US citizen who owns firearms or maintains more than seven days of food in his or her home can be considered a terrorist suspect. (3)
Although this might sound reasonable to an urban dweller, here in the foot hills of Kentucky you would be hard pressed to find a person without a few guns or seven days of food in their home. This time of the year, there is a coyote gun over the back door, the garden is put up in the root cellar, and I imagine most of my neighbors have also prepared for winter. Just the other year, we had an ice storm which took out our electricity and left us on our own for about two weeks. Evidently, being prepared for winter is now reasonable suspicion of terrorist activity.
“That’s right the military will now have the power to lock up anyone, even American citizens without due process and without being convicted of a crime.” (3)
Making matters scarier, the Army Times (4) reported that the ACLU has expressed concerns over US troop training and deployment. That report, written in 2008, details troop development and deployment within the United States for activation in late 2011. Their purpose is clearly for use against US citizens, crowd and riot control. The ACLU has demanded further information from the US Federal Government. (5)
So while the press might not be telling you we are now living under martial law, the military has been deployed to the United States for crowd control and your constitutional rights have suspended. If not the definition martial law (6), what is it? As the president of the United States is himself the commander in chief of the US armed forces, one might also use the term dictatorship. Time will tell how this plays out, but things are not looking good for the freedom and liberty that US citizens value so much.