President Barack Obama has been surrounded by lots of controversy and scandal, but perhaps none as big as this. Reports have accused Barack Obama of arguing that the country would be “better off” under martial law, and some even state Obama has already signed a bill into law. If the U.S. were under martial law, we’d know it, right?
Thankfully, Snopes.com cleared up this rumor for us. The rumor-reversal site reported that Barack Obama did not argue for martial law during an interview with the Washington Post. We can also logically conclude that Obama didn’t sign a bill into law effecting this, either. This is quite a relief given all the bad press Obama has been given for having a tight hold on the reins of the government and accusations of him being a socialist or a communist.
All this, of course, begs the question: How did the Obama rumors actually start? An undated post on conspiracy theorist site Disclose.TV claims that Barack Obama had already signed martial law into effect (which is false), presumably by using executive privilege. This handy little trick would let Barack or any president pass a bill without asking Congress’ opinion, thereby making it a law. This usually happens instantaneously, but some laws have a specific time frame within which they’ll become effective.
So, what exactly is martial law? The idea of a government crackdown has been tossed around since the Kent State University shootings in the 1960s, though martial law has never really been seen in full effect.
The policy of martial law has its origins in the American Civil War, when Congress ratified rules giving the union military the power to try and arrest citizens. Martial law has never been invoked in the United States, and there would likely be an outcry against Obama if it were.
While he did not speak on the martial law rumors, President Obama did address a group of police officers about the recent shootings of five police officers in Dallas, Texas. He discussed the need for the country to cooperate and put aside their differences while also praising police officers for their hard work and highlighting the struggles they’ve been going through lately. Obama also touched on the recent shootings of two men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, by police officers, pleading with each side to put themselves in the others’ shoes.
Dr. Ben Carson also had concerns about the rumored enactment of martial law. According to the left-leaning Blue Nation Review, the former GOP presidential candidate was concerned that the Obama White House was stirring unrest in order to justify a martial law scenario. Several Twitter users seemed to share Carson’s concerns, accusing Obama of deliberately planting the seeds of civil unrest and racial tensions for that purpose.
While Obama has not enacted martial law at the moment, he has signed bills into law which favor that policy. Mr. Conservative.com explains that an order known as National Resources Defense Preparedness, which was signed by Obama, allows the government to take control of any given resource during a time of emergency. The bill also makes it such that a state of martial law can be activated at any time on the President’s orders.
Some have also pointed out that the police force has grown more and more militarized in recent years, with local officers being equipped with military-grade riot shields, tear gas, and other equipment. Whether this trend is pure coincidence or not, it’s certainly turned a number of heads. Let us know what you think of the accusations against President Obama in the comments below.