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Mystery Executive Order Raises Specter of Martial Law

By    |   Monday, 19 March 2012 08:53 PM EDT

Some conservatives fear that a mysterious executive order from President Barack Obama regarding disaster preparedness is a troubling hint at the possibility of martial law in advance of a war with Iran.

White House press secretary Jay Carney dismisses the notion, saying at a press briefing on Monday: “Well, I cannot explain that reaction to it. I think it was a fairly standard and routine piece of business. The president's approach to our dealings with Iran, I think, has been made clear. He has made it clear, most recently, when he discussed it at length a couple of weeks ago.”

Some conservative groups are concerned that the order, which Obama signed on Friday, gives the president absolute control over all the country’s natural resources in case of a natural disaster or during a time of war, fueling speculation that the Obama administration is making preparations for war with Iran.

Editor's Note: Get the Truth About Obama.  Click Here.

“We are aggressively pursuing a policy focused on tightening sanctions against Iran, increasing the pressure on Iran, and increasing the isolation of the Iranian regime, because this president believes we have the time and space to do that, to see if that diplomatic approach and sanctions approach can produce the desired result,” Carney said. “As he said from this podium, it's easy to talk about war, but you need to talk about the potential implications and consequences of war.”

Insisting that the president “takes no option off the table” in dealing with Iran, Carney then went on to say that Obama is focused on a diplomatic solution “because not only do we have the time and space to do so, but it is ultimately the approach that has the best chance, if successful, of ensuring that Iran does not ever build a nuclear weapon. So that's the approach he's taking.”

Critics, however, have interpreted Obama’s National Defense Resources Preparedness order as giving the president authority to approve the dispensing of all domestic energy, production, transportation, food, and water supplies as he deems necessary to protect national security.

Indeed, the order conveys the authority of the president to “to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders [other than contracts of employment] to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense.”

Moreover, the order conveys such power to the heads of the following six federal agencies:

  • Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer
  • Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources
  • Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation
  • Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources.
  • Secretary of Commerce with respect to all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials.
Editor's Note: Get the Truth About Obama.  Click Here.

“The United States must have an industrial and technological base capable of meeting national defense requirements and capable of contributing to the technological superiority of its national defense equipment in peacetime and in times of national emergency,” the order states. “The domestic industrial and technological base is the foundation for national defense preparedness. The authorities provided in the act shall be used to strengthen this base and to ensure it is capable of responding to the national defense needs of the United States.”

An analysis of the document by finds that it is nearly identical to a similar executive order signed by President Bill Clinton.

“Why the update” the website asks. “The big change is in the Cabinet itself. In 1994, we didn’t have a Department of Homeland Security, for instance, and some of these functions would naturally fall to DHS.”

The original order dealing with national defense resources preparedness was issued in 1939, according to the website. “It has been superseded a number of times, starting in 1951 by nearly every president through Bill Clinton, and amended twice by George W. Bush.”

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Monday, 19 March 2012 08:53 PM
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