13. Will a State of Emergency Be Used to Supersede Our Constitution?

by Project Censored
Published: Updated:

A program dating back to the Eisenhower era of emergency measures for an America devastated in a nuclear attack is now converted to bestow secret powers on the president for anything he considers an emergency. The National Emergency Centers Establishment Act (HR 645), recently introduced in Congress, calls for the establishment of “national emergency centers” in major regions in the US. The stated purpose of these centers is to provide “temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency, major disaster” or to “meet other appropriate needs” determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.

Recent “Continuity of Government” planning has quietly removed time-honored constitutional protections and increased the militarization of civilian law enforcement. For the first time in US history, military troops (as opposed to  local law enforcement) are allowed to conduct police actions in US cities. There is good reason in a democracy for the constructive friction between existing law enforcement agencies so that power is distributed and local law enforcement is responsible to local citizens.

Recently, the US Army established an active-duty brigade trained to manage civil unrest and crowd control. Historically this has been illegal, according to the longstanding Posse Comitatus statutes. It should concern us all that there has been a loss of local authority and sustained preparations for the possibility of martial law.


“‘Continuity of Government’ Planning: War, Terror and the Supplanting of the U.S. Constitution,” Peter Dale Scott, The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, March 24, 2010. http://japanfocus.org/-Peter_Dale-Scott/3362

“HR 645 / U.S.Preparing for Civil Unrest,” Allen Roland, Thepeoplesvoice.org, March 16, 2010. www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2010/03/16/hr-645-u-s-preparing-for-civil-unrest

“Establishing Martial Law in the US,” SourceWatch, Center for Media and Democracy.


“War, Martial Law, and the Economic Crisis,” excerpt from: “The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century,” Peter Dale Scott, Global Research, Feb. 23, 2011. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23354

Student Researchers: Robert Usher and Brittney Barsotti,  San Francisco State University

Faculty Evaluators: Kenn Burrows, San Francisco State University; Mickey Huff, Diablo Valley College