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Author Topic: Where Would the U.S. Military Be If Push Comes to Shove?  (Read 309 times)

Vox Clamantis

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That question has been on my mind for a long time now. Where would the U.S. Military be if push comes to shove -- by which I mean, if it comes down to a civil war in the U.S. or to an attempted coup for the purpose of undermining U.S. sovereignty and the Constitution (what's left of it)? What if the blue helmets (the U.N.) are sicced on us? What if the military is commanded by a Hillary type who wants to institute martial law? What would most military people do? Are there plans and tactics in place to deal with such a situation? Would those plans involve militias? Are there -- enough -- many military leaders who are "hip" -- and, if so, would they be followed?

I'd love to hear opinions about this, especially the opinions of soldiers, airmen, marines, sailors, and members of the National Guard. This video gives me some hope:

Matthew 22:36-39: "Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

J Michael

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Wow, that's a lot of questions there, Vox! :O ???

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Where would the U.S. Military be if push comes to shove -- by which I mean, if it comes down to a civil war in the U.S. or to an attempted coup for the purpose of undermining U.S. sovereignty and the Constitution (what's left of it)?

I can't answer that.  So...I won't even try. :grin:

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What if the blue helmets (the U.N.) are sicced on us?

Who's gonna sic 'em on us?  Without U.S. military participation (heck, and even with it!!), the U.N. has been spectacularly ineffective with its blue helmet interventions.  I think, if anything, any such attempt would serve to unite Americans in trying to expel what would be seen as a foreign military invasion.  But...what do I know?

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What if the military is commanded by a Hillary type who wants to institute martial law?

Well, once Trump is inaugurated in 9 days, he can pretty much see to it who is in command of the U.S. military and eliminate any Hillary/Obama types.  Besides, the military cannot declare martial law, afaik.  On the national level it has to be done either by the POTUS or Congress.  See the following:
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Martial Law

The exercise of government and control by military authorities over the civilian population of a designated territory.

Martial law is an extreme and rare measure used to control society during war or periods of civil unrest or chaos. According to the Supreme Court, the term martial law carries no precise meaning (Duncan v. Kahanamoku, 327 U.S. 304, 66 S. Ct. 606, 90 L. Ed. 688 [1946]). However, most declarations of martial law have some common features. Generally, the institution of martial law contemplates some use of military force. To a varying extent, depending on the martial law order, government military personnel have the authority to make and enforce civil and criminal laws. Certain civil liberties may be suspended, such as the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, freedom of association, and freedom of movement. And the writ of Habeas Corpus may be suspended (this writ allows persons who are unlawfully imprisoned to gain freedom through a court proceeding).

In the United States, martial law has been instituted on the national level only once, during the Civil War, and on a regional level only once, during World War II. Otherwise, it has been limited to the states. Uprisings, political protests, labor strikes, and riots have, at various times, caused several state governors to declare some measure of martial law.

Martial law on the national level may be declared by Congress or the president. Under Article I, Section 8, Clause 15, of the Constitution, Congress has the power "[t]o provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel Invasions." Article II, Section 2, Clause 1, of the Constitution declares that "[t]he President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States." Neither constitutional provision includes a direct reference to martial law. However, the Supreme Court has interpreted both to allow the declaration of martial law by the president or Congress. On the state level, a governor may declare martial law within her or his own state. The power to do so usually is granted in the state constitution.

Congress has never declared martial law. However, at the outset of the Civil War, in July 1861, Congress ratified most of the martial law measures declared by President Abraham Lincoln. Its martial law declaration gave the Union military forces the authority to arrest persons and conduct trials. However, Congress initially refused to ratify Lincoln's suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. This refusal created friction between Congress and the president and raised the question of whether unilateral suspension of the writ under martial law was within the president's power. The Supreme Court reviewed the issue and ruled in Ex parte Merryman, 17 F. Cas. 144 (1861) (No. 487), that only Congress had the power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. After Congress approved Lincoln's suspension of the writ in 1863, Union forces were authorized to arrest and detain Confederate soldiers and sympathizers, but only until they could be tried by a court of law.

The martial law declared by Lincoln during the Civil War spawned another legal challenge, this one to the military courts: ex parte milligan, 71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 2, 18 L. Ed. 281 (1866). Lamdin Milligan, a civilian resident of Indiana, was arrested on October 5, 1864, by the Union military forces. Milligan was charged with five offenses: conspiring against the United States, affording Aid and Comfort to rebels, inciting insurrection, engaging in disloyal practices, and violating the laws of war. Milligan was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to prison by a military court.

Although the habeas corpus petition had been suspended, the Supreme Court accepted Milligan's petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The Supreme Court held that neither the president nor Congress could give federal military forces the power to try a civilian who lived in a state that had federal courts. Milligan firmly established the right of the U.S. Supreme Court to review the propriety of martial law declarations.

The next large-scale martial law declaration took place 80 years later. On December 7, 1941, the day that Japanese warplanes bombed Pearl Harbor in what was then the territory of Hawaii, Governor Joseph B. Poindexter, of Hawaii, declared martial law on the Hawaiian Islands. The governor also suspended the writ of habeas corpus. The commanding general of the Hawaiian military assumed the position of military governor. All courts were closed by order of the military governor, and the military was authorized to arrest, try, and convict persons. Under Poindexter's martial law order, approved by the president, the military courts were given the power to decide cases without following the rules of evidence of the courts of law, and were not limited by sentencing laws in determining penalties.

In February 1942 the Department of War appointed General John L. DeWitt to carry out martial law in California, Oregon, Washington, and the southern part of Arizona. In March 1942 DeWitt announced that the entire Pacific Coast of the United States would be subject to additional martial law measures. Later that month he declared that all alien Japanese, Germans, and Italians, and all persons of Japanese descent, on the Pacific Coast were to remain inside their home between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m..

These martial law measures were challenged by criminal defendants shortly after they were put in force. In Duncan v. Kahanamoku, 327 U.S. 304, 66 S. Ct. 606, 90 L. Ed. 688 (1946), the Supreme Court held that the military tribunals established under martial law in Hawaii did not have jurisdiction over common criminal cases because the Hawaiian Organic Act (31 Stat. 141 [48 U.S.C.A. § 532]) did not authorize the governor to close the courts of law when they were capable of functioning. In Duncan the Court ordered the release of two prisoners who had been tried and convicted of Embezzlement and assault by military courts.

In other cases the High Court was more tolerant of Civil Rights deprivations under martial law. In Hirabayashi v. United States, 320 U.S. 81, 63 S. Ct. 1375, 87 L. Ed. 1774 (1943), the Court upheld a curfew placed on Japanese Americans during the war, on the ground of military necessity, and in korematsu v. united states, 323 U.S. 214, 65 S. Ct. 193, 89 L. Ed. 194 (1944), the Court justified the random internment (imprisonment) of more than 110,000 Japanese Americans during the war.

At least one governor has used martial law to enforce state agency regulations. In 1931 Governor Ross S. Sterling, of Texas, sent Texas National Guard troops into east Texas oil fields to force compliance with limits on the production of oil and an increase in the minimum number of acres required between oil wells. The regulations had been drawn up by the Texas Railroad Commission with the approval of the Texas Legislature, but similar regulations had been enjoined (stopped) by a federal court just four months earlier. In 1932 the Supreme Court invalidated Sterling's use of martial law, holding that it violated the constitutional due process rights of the property owners (Sterling v. Constantin, 287 U.S. 378, 53 S. Ct. 190, 77 L. Ed. 375 [1932]).

Another governor declared martial law in response to an assassination and rumors of political corruption. In June 1954 Albert Patterson, a nominee for state attorney general in Alabama, was shot to death on a street in Phenix City. Alabama governor Gordon Persons declared martial law in Phenix City and dispatched General Walter J. ("Crack") Hanna and the Alabama National Guard to take over the city. Hanna appointed a military mayor, and the troops took control of the county courthouse and city hall. The troops physically removed certain officials from the courthouse and city hall, seized gambling equipment, and revoked liquor licenses.

Martial law usually is used to try to restore and maintain peace during civil unrest. It does not always yield the desired results. In May 1970, for example, Ohio governor James Rhodes declared limited martial law by sending in National Guard troops to contain a Kent State University protest against the Vietnam War. Four protestors were shot and killed by the troops. In a case brought by their survivors, the Supreme Court held that the governor and other state officials could be sued if they acted beyond the scope of state laws and the federal Constitution (Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 94 S. Ct. 1683, 40 L. Ed. 2d 90 [1974]).

Martial law is generally an act of last resort. Courts will uphold a decision to use troops only if it is necessary and proper.
Further readings

Currie, David P. 1987. "The Constitution in the Supreme Court: The Second World War, 1941–1946." Catholic University Law Review 37.

Davies, Kirk L. 2000. "The Imposition of Martial Law in the United States." Air Force Law Review (spring): 67.

Finder, Joseph. 1999. High Crimes. New York: Avon Books.

Garner, Anthony J. 1975. Hawaii under Army Rule. Honolulu, HI: Honolulu Univ. Press.

Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki and James D. Houston. 1974. Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story. New York: Bantam.

Koh, Harold Hongju. 1994. "America's Offshore Refugee Camps." University of Richmond Law Review 29.

McCleskey, Robert A. 1994. "Maybe Oil and Water Should Mix—At Least in Texas Law: An Analysis of Current Problems with Texas Ground Water Law and How Established Oil and Gas Law Could Provide Appropriate Solutions." Texas Wesleyan Law Review 1.

Mello, Michael A., and Donna Duffy. 1991. "Suspending Justice: The Unconstitutionality of the Proposed Six-month Time Limit on the Filing of Habeas Corpus Petitions by State Death Row Inmates." New York University Law Review 18.

Rumore, Samuel A., Jr. 1996. "Building Alabama's Courthouses: Russell County Courthouse." Alabama Lawyer 57.

Scheiber, Harry N., and Jane L. Scheiber. 1997. "Bayonets in Paradise: A Half-Century Retrospect on Martial Law in Hawai'i, 1941-1946." The University of Hawaii Law Review 19 (fall): 477–648.

Tateishi, John. 1984. And Justice for All. New York: Random House.
Cross-references

Habeas Corpus; Japanese American Evacuation Cases; Kent State Student Killings; Military Law; Military Occupation; Militia; National Guard.
West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
martial law

n. a system of complete control by a country's military over all activities, including civilian, in a theoretical or actual war zone, or during a period of emergency caused by a disaster such as an earthquake or flood, with the military commander having dictatorial powers. In the United States martial law must be ordered by the President as commander-in-chief and must be limited to the duration of the warfare or emergency. It cannot result in a long-term denial of constitutional rights, such as habeas corpus, the right to a trial, and to free press. Martial law was ordered in contested areas during the Civil War (but the Supreme Court ruled President Abraham Lincoln's suspension of the writ of habeas corpus was unconstitutional), and during the San Francisco earthquake and fire in 1906 when the city was in ruins, tens of thousands were homeless, and looting and disease posed great dangers to the public. Mis-use of martial law, such as destruction of the veteran's encampment in Washington D. C. under President Herbert Hoover, has proved unpopular in the United States. In many foreign countries martial law has become a method to establish and maintain dictatorships either by military leaders or politicians backed by the military. Martial law is not to be confused with "military law" which governs the conduct of the military services and applies only to service men and women.
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Martial+Law

On the state level martial law can only, I think, be declared by the governor of the state (and possibly the legislature??).

Of course, if the military somehow stages a coup....well....then it's anybody's guess I think.  I don't see it happening, though.


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What would most military people do?

Beats me?  I hope they'd uphold their oath of enlistment: "I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed ..."

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Are there plans and tactics in place to deal with such a situation?

Which situation?  A coup or attempted coup?  A civil war?  Invasion of the blue helmets?  I'd like to think that there are enough intelligent people in the military and the upper echelons of what will be the Trump executive branch of gummint that they will have come up with all manner of scenarios and plans regarding these kinds of events, even if they might be rather unlikely.  Preparedness and all that, ya know... :) ?

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Would those plans involve militias?

What do you mean by militias?  The National Guard of the various states?  If so, probably yes.  Those folks in compounds in Idaho and Montana, etc?  Hmmm....probably not  :) .  But....what do I know...?

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Are there -- enough -- many military leaders who are "hip"

"Hip" to what?  And in what situation?  (Oh yeah, I did NOT watch the video...too long)  So....I can't answer that.


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if so, would they be followed?

Depends very much, among other things, on what precisely is going on and the quality of their leadership, I would think.

So...there you have my 3-cents worth  :grin:.

"Sometimes you're the windshield.  Sometimes you're the bug."~Mark Knopfler (?)

"No matter who you are somebody thinks you're a heretic. Wear it like a badge of honor........... :LOL:"~Silouan

seanipie

From what I understand, being surrounded military family and friends, if SHTF, most would side with the civilians and bring enough weapons and hardware with them to have a significant fighting chance against an out of control government. The government knows this, the military knows this and the world elite know it all too well, which is exactly why big brother wants to dismantle the second amendment and disarm us.

There are military strategists tasked with coming up with contingency plans in case of a serious insurrection. In every scenario, the government is toppled sooner than later, largely due to two things: military defectors
 (as mentioned above) and military protocol. The defectors, will know how to outflank their own military using their protocol against them and be able to do so with surprising efficiency. The response time of the military against an armed (and angry) uprising of citizens will to be too long to successfully quell the insurrection. Aside from the fact that the military shooting it's own countrymen will light a fire under every patriots ass, once civilians get their hands on military hardware (i.e. tanks, Humvees and APCs) it's game over for the government.

I wish I still had this research bookmarked or saved, as it was very conclusive as to what would happen in these situations. Whenever I hear that poor excuse of an argument against 2A, "what are you gonna do with your rifle/shotgun/handgun against the government and the military?", I laugh my ass off. There are peope in America that legally own tanks and anti-aircraft guns. Me and my shotgun ain't doin sh*t, but Joe the vet with the 50mm AA gun and his squad of ultimate badasses will certainly be getting sh*t done.

That's my take lol.

karl

I've been out for over 20 years, but based on my limited personal experience I'd say about 50/50.  Some would just get off on the chance to "legally" wack people, and some would be too afraid not to follow orders.

The real question is are there currently any middle level and senior officers left in the ranks that would resist, or have they all been purged.  Without unified and high level leadership resistance would be much more difficult.

Just my $0.02

Dominicus

I don't know much about the military or politics so I can't really answer these questions. Whatever happens I feel that if there were another civil war type event then the US wouldn't have enough stability to hold itself together, eventually splintering off into mutiple groups which would form their own militias. Without the US, large scale democracies throughout the word might begin to crumble as well eventually ceding to more tenable forms of government. The exact form would vary from place to place.
Surréxit Dóminus vere, Alleluia!


Vox Clamantis

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Quote
What if the blue helmets (the U.N.) are sicced on us?

Who's gonna sic 'em on us?  Without U.S. military participation (heck, and even with it!!), the U.N. has been spectacularly ineffective with its blue helmet interventions.  I think, if anything, any such attempt would serve to unite Americans in trying to expel what would be seen as a foreign military invasion.  But...what do I know?

A Hillary type who's gained the Presidency could well sic them on us.

Well, once Trump is inaugurated in 9 days, he can pretty much see to it who is in command of the U.S. military and eliminate any Hillary/Obama types.  Besides, the military cannot declare martial law, afaik.  On the national level it has to be done either by the POTUS or Congress.  See the following: (snip)

The Commander in Chief of the military is the President; that's what I was referring to.


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Are there plans and tactics in place to deal with such a situation?

Which situation?  A coup or attempted coup?  A civil war?  Invasion of the blue helmets?

Any of the above.

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Would those plans involve militias?

What do you mean by militias?  The National Guard of the various states?  If so, probably yes.  Those folks in compounds in Idaho and Montana, etc?  Hmmm....probably not  :) .  But....what do I know...?

Citizen militias.

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Are there -- enough -- many military leaders who are "hip"

"Hip" to what?  (snip)

Hip to the fact that globalism is a threat, that we could be forced into a globalist system by a Hillary type, that civil war is a possibility, etc.
Matthew 22:36-39: "Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

Eric F

                                                              This is worth a read    United States vs Michael G New http://www.mikenew.com/thecase.html


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