Canada Free Press ran an article titled "Obama Executive Order: Peacetime Martial Law!" An Examiner.com article similarly declared that the order would "nationalize everything" and "allow for a civilian draft." And the Drudge Report ran a story headlined "Martial Law? Obama issues Executive Order: the National Defense Resources Preparedness."
On the other hand, mainstream media minions and others were quick to quell the hysteria as rumor. William A. Jacobson, associate clinical professor at Cornell Law School, warned: "If someone wants to make the argument that this is an expansion of presidential powers, then do so based on actual language. There is enough that Obama actually does wrong without creating claims which do not hold up to scrutiny." (Still, Jacobson offers this disclaimer: "I'm not ruling out the possibility that this is more than it seems, but unless and until someone does more than merely state that martial law is coming, I'll consider this to be routine.")
WorldNetDaily's Drew Zahn defended the president by noting that "Obama's executive order is nearly identical to EO 12919, issued by President Clinton on June 7, 1994, which itself was an amendment to EO 10789, issued in 1958 by President Eisenhower, and which in fact, was later amended by EO 13286, issued in 2003 by George W. Bush."
HotAir even conducted a side-by-side analysis of Obama's order and Clinton's and added that Obama's EO is, in Zahn's words, "essentially just an update to deal with changes in government agency structure."
So, case closed?
Not so fast.
First, I don't care how many presidents have issued EOs; if they are flagrant violations of the Constitution, they are wrong in any number or any form. "My predecessor did it, too" is no excuse for reckless unconstitutional conduct.
As you will read for yourself in a moment, the National Defense Resources Preparedness EO is a blatant desecration of our Constitution. It is a direct attack on the rule of law, our liberties and private property rights.
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