Whinery: Is Martial Law Ever OK?

martial-law-in-boston-april-19-2013What happened in Boston last week was both shocking and horrific
to say the least…

People were killed and several were maimed during the running of the Boston Marathon. It was definitely a crisis situation. The bombers had to be caught so justice could be served – but at what cost?

I know this may sound a little paranoid and that my viewpoint is
definitely in the minority, but do people realize that Boston was just
subjected to Martial Law?

Most of the citizens of that great City, which gave birth to the American Revolution- seemed to welcome being told to stay in their homes, to not go to work, having the military roam the streets and being subjected to door-to-door searches.

It all happened so quickly and in the name of “public safety,” so it
must be OK, right?

Boston-martial-law1And, once again, maybe I’m over-reacting, but I believe a very dangerous precedent was set last week in Boston.

Three people murdered and a couple of hundred wounded was enough to cause the lockdown of 100 or so square miles which are home to millions of people.

What will be the threshold for the next martial-law response and where
are we going as a Nation?

If you use the same criteria that was used in Boston, Chicago, with its 500+ murders a year and its stratospheric levels of violent crime- should be under PERMANENT LOCKDOWN.

Shouldn’t it?

Or was what happened in Boston different somehow? Different because a bomb was involved and detonated to cause maximum damage? Or because it was done in a random and terroristic manner, as opposed to the “garden-variety” street crime in Chicago.

Another question is how long might the lockdown have lasted?

This one went on for just a scant amount of time before the other suspect was apprehended. But what if he had not been found in such a timely manner? Would martial law have dragged on for days, weeks or even months?

I’m not necessarily suggesting that people would have not been allowed to leave their homes or go to work eventually, but would there have been armed check points set up and manned by uniformed and heavily
armed military personnel and/or maybe a curfew put in place?

wile-e-coyote-beep-beep-wilee-quixote-7263942-800-600And if something like this happens again, will authorities invoke the
“Boston Rule” and shut down another city until the terrorists are
found?

That makes us look very weak in my humble opinion. If there was ever a time a city should have been shut down, it was New York during 9/11- when thousands were killed and injured.

With what has happened in Boston, have we sent a message to terrorists everywhere that “all” they need to do is set off a crude bomb at a public event and they can shut down an entire city?

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26 Responses to Whinery: Is Martial Law Ever OK?

  1. chuck says:

    Everyone is familiar with Lincoln suspending Habeas Corpus during the Civil War with his refusal to release from custody a troublesome State Legislator (John Merryman).

    “Federal judge Roger Taney, the chief justice of the Supreme Court (and also the author of the infamous Dred Scott decision), issued a ruling that President Lincoln did not have the authority to suspend habeas corpus. Lincoln didn’t respond, appeal, or order the release of Merryman. But during a July 4 speech, Lincoln was defiant, insisting that he needed to suspend the rules in order to put down the rebellion in the South.

    Five years later, a new Supreme Court essentially backed Justice Taney’s ruling: In an unrelated case, the court held that only Congress could suspend habeas corpus and that civilians were not subject to military courts, even in times of war.”

    The “Gulf of Tonkin Resolution”, subsequently followed by the “War Powers resolution” is another example of rules being broken when expediency is needed in the face of percieved threats.

    Those two examples do not mirror Martial Law, but would seem to indicate the ability of the Feds and States to act first and apologise later.

    Obvioulsy the Gulf of Tonkin” resolution and the machinations of our government in bringing us to war in 2002 were galactic blunders, but it would seem forgivable in a legal sense.

    By that I mean, in criminal law, as I understand it, there MUST be intent.

    Sorry, I thought that Vietnam was the first domino.

    Sorry, I really thought there were weapons of mass destruction.

    Built in Plausible Deniability?

  2. Super Dave says:

    Ok Mr. Whiny Whinery, instead of saying negative things or questioning tactics used to protect people and capture who ever in Boston, how about instead lay it all out in here how it should have been done instead and how that would have lead to the exact or a better outcome. Since you seem to think it wasn’t handled right then by all means please show us how it should have been done.

    • chuck says:

      I got the impression he was just bringing it up Dave, for discussion.

      Yes?

      No?

      • Super Dave says:

        No I really think he has an opinion but is testing the waters before saying something instead of coming right out and saying what he feels first and take any heat from it that may arise. Always so easy after the fact to tear apart or question what happened in events such as this when nobody is an expert on them. An expert is one who knows everything and a true expert does not exist in any field.

        • Richard Cranium says:

          If no expert exists, why protest the idea of bringing up the subject for discussion. Seems the person with an agenda here is you Super Dave.

          • Super Dave says:

            Whinery said.”And, once again, maybe I’m over-reacting, but I believe a very dangerous precedent was set last week in Boston.

            So by saying that he has in my opinion, an opinion of his own, but won’t put that out for discussion.

          • Markus Aurelius says:

            Touche. +1

  3. smartman says:

    Just another step up the rung of the ladder to anarchy in the US. 10,000 rounds of ammo and six months worth of food, water, medicine, fuel and cash is what you’ll need to survive.

    Are you ready?

    • the dude says:

      Are you ever truly ready for that? Anarchy won’t happen, it will be us against the government and the armed forces when the showdown takes place. Are you ready for that?

      • smartman says:

        Hell yeah I’m ready and getting more ready with each passing day. I don’t ever see a time when the military or even local law enforcement will rise up against well meaning US citizens.

        I do see a time when they will not do anything to stand in the way of an insurrection intended to restore some common sense to our system of governance.

        Those who serve to protect and defend us are firmly ensconced on the right.

        Just waiting for Roger Ailes to give the go signal.

        • the dude says:

          Ailes, you crack me up Smarty.

        • Markus Aurelius says:

          Smartman, I wish I could say I agree that “I don’t ever see a time when the military or even local law enforcement will rise up against well meaning US citizens” but I no longer do. Too many cops are like DMV-workers with guns. There is no injection of common sense into how they react and respond. FAR TOO MANY of them are not civil servants but rather egotistical meatheads on a power trip.

          Cop: “Sir, you were speeding please step out of the vehicle.”

          Citizen (over the wailing in the back seat): “I’m sorry sir but my 3-year old daughter fell and is bleeding badly and I’m trying to get her to the hospital as quickly as possible.”

          Cop (louder this time): “Sir, I said, ‘please step out of the vehicle.”

          Citizen: “But sir you don’t understand I need to get my daughter to the hospital as soon as possible. See? (starts to roll down back window)?

          Cop (yelling): “Get out of the vehicle NOW!” (opens door and drags father out of vehicle as the citizen tries to do so.)

          Citizen tries to stand up and Cop considers it to be resisting the officer and slams the citizen against the side of the minivan cuffing him.

          This kind of interchange is unequivocally inexcusable from our local law enforcement and if you don’t think it happens then you’re sticking your head in the sand.

          Smartman, perhaps the catch in your statement is “well meaning US citizens” In other words, I’m fairly confident that local law enforcement will have no problem saying that 99% of us are not “well-meaning US citizens” as defined by them or the Feds and, as a result, will have no qualms chucking the constitution out the window. As they did in Boston.

          • smartman says:

            Have had my share of run ins with Barney Fife. In one particular incident a friend of mine who is a PI was able to get me some incriminating photos of the speeding ticket writing officer with a woman who was not his wife prior to the court date. Amazing how quickly that problem went away. Was I guilty? Hell yeah, but in the process of being stopped the cop was just an absolute fucking roidhead, douchebag prick. I was courteous and respectful and DESERVED the same treatment.

            As for the situation you mentioned. The correct protocol, and they differ by jurisdiction, is for the driver,(you), to call 911, explain you have an injured child in the car are headed to the hospital and are being followed by a police officer.

            SOP is then for the pursuing officer, through the dispatcher, to offer to escort you to the nearest hospital, call for additional emergency medical services, stop pursuit, or follow you to make sure you’re not bullshitting them. If you lie in that instance your ass is in big, big trouble.

            If you’re alone best thing to do is fake a heart attack, tell the dispatcher you’re having chest pains, pull to the side of the road and have the officer drive you. Better for some people to have an ER bill than a speeding ticket or DUI.

            Being a cop today is a shitty job. I’ve done ride alongs and see the crap they have to deal with. If anybody is gonna support a political uprising in this country it’s cops. They know that we’ll do the dirty work that they can’t do.

  4. Orphan of the Road says:

    DUI checkpoints, forfeiture laws, no tolerance laws and other “it’s for the children”-laws have been embraced by a populace who are afraid of their own shadow. People worrying about things which have a small statistical chance of ever happening to a person just to have the illusion of safety.

    Martial law will be embraced by the both the left and the right sheeple.

    “Civilization, in fact, grows more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. Wars are no longer waged by the will of superior men, capable of judging dispassionately and intelligently the causes behind them and the effects flowing out of them. The are now begun by first throwing a mob into a panic; they are ended only when it has spent its ferine fury.”
    ― H.L. Mencken

  5. the dude says:

    In extreme cases like force majeure or other specific cases, yes. I do not think this event qualified for martial law, they were after 2, maybe 4 people and they shut down an entire major city to apprehend them. The law abusing authorata would argue different I am sure.

  6. Mysterious J says:

    I am pretty sure if this had gone down after 9/11 during the previous administration the author’s concerns would be significantly diminished.

    • the dude says:

      Probably, but that does help the fact that we are in an ever increasing police state that had definite roots going back to that administration and before. Giving up liberty for a little perceived security helps nobody.

    • DSW-ESQ. says:

      FYI- I am a Conservative Libertarian who marched in anti-war rallies during the Bush Administration and have been active in a lot of causes which are against the rising “police state”- who or what is President does not change my views on issues or Constitutional values…

      • the dude says:

        Good answer. Do you feel martial law was justified in this case?

        • DSW-ESQ. says:

          I think what happened in Boston is a dangerous precedent- But its quite obvious that the American People are more concerned with safety than freedom… And for that reason, I don’t necessarily blame Obama for doing what he had to do to catch the bombers. Politicians are gonna give the people what they want. To quote Devo: “Freedom of choice is what you’ve got, freedom from choice is what you want.” And how does Mr. Aurelius know me?

      • Mysterious J says:

        But you also plumped for Romney who was ready to bring many of the war mongers from the previous administration back into power.

    • Markus Aurelius says:

      I call BS on Mysterious J’s comment. I know Whinery (or perhaps I should say knew him long ago when we were both pups) and I am pretty sure that his righteous indignation regarding the abuse of civil liberties and the constitution is like my own and knows no party bounds. For example, W’s trashing of civil liberties via warrantless wiretaps was just as inexcusable as when Obama does it.

      What the cops and feds did in Boston would be inexcusable no matter the party in power.

      • Mysterious J says:

        I don’t find myself able to vouch for the political leaning of people I went to grade school with and haven’t seen since, but maybe you have super powers or something.

        I am sure there are MANY people who are outraged about the abuse of civil liberties regardless of who is in power…perhaps the author is one, I don’t know. I am also not prepared to say the right thing was done in this case, not at all.

        However, can we all agree that if this kid had made it to NY with another bomb (as was apparently the original plan) Obama would also be slammed right now as weak?

  7. Guido says:

    I think they did what they had to do, given this situation. I don’t think there is a master playbook yet for this kind of stuff. We are still in our infancy with regards to these types of attacks. And I feel it will be proven these guys acted alone, albeit provoked by religious beliefs.

    I think reading anything more into it is a bit foolish. They did not know if more trouble was imminent or if others were involved.

    I don’t see a damn thing wrong with how that went down. And the fact that they had just said it was “safe to go out” again and THEN caught suspect #2 proves that there was no intent to proclaim “martial law”. They simply wanted to protect the citizens.

    And they ended this without killing #2 which I thought showed AMAZING restraint by law enforcement.

    I, for one, do not feel they were out of line. Anarchy? Hardly. Grave New World? Absolutely.

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