A few pundits that I have read are calling it martial law.

A new Executive Order issued by President Obama on March 16th, gives the government broad control of the nation’s resources not only in a time of war, but in a time of national emergency or even peace time.  The order is vague, so any interpretation of the order that may come off as alarming, is in part because of this.  But does it pass the, “How would the media react if George W. Bush issued this order”, test?  The answer is quite simply, they would have gone ballistic at the President’s brash power grab and usurpation of Congress to be given such authority.

Of course, we know that the media won’t make a peep about it because it’s President Obama.

The Executive Order (h/t Brian) can be read here, and includes such statements as:

Section 101.  Purpose.  This order delegates authorities and addresses national defense resource policies and programs under the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (the “Act”).
(b)  assess on an ongoing basis the capability of the domestic industrial and technological base to satisfy requirements in peacetime and times of national emergency, specifically evaluating the availability of the most critical resource and production sources, including subcontractors and suppliers, materials, skilled labor, and professional and technical personnel;

The order goes on to grant authority to assess the ‘capability’ and ‘availability’ of the nation’s ‘critical resources’. And based on that assessment,

The head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense is delegated the authority of the President under section 107(b)(1) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2077(b)(1), to take appropriate action to ensure that critical components, critical technology items, essential materials, and industrial resources are available from reliable sources when needed to meet defense requirements during peacetime, graduated mobilization, and national emergency.  Appropriate action may include restricting contract solicitations to reliable sources, restricting contract solicitations to domestic sources (pursuant to statutory authority), stockpiling critical components, and developing substitutes for critical components or critical technology items.

Kenneth Schortgen from Examiner reports:

Executive Orders created for national defense and national preparedness are not new in American history, but in each instance they brought about a Constitutional crisis that nearly led standing Presidents to hold dictatorial power over the citizenry.  During the Civil War, President Lincoln halted freedom of speech and freedom of the press, while at the same time revoking Habeas Corpus and the right to a fair trial under the sixth amendment.  During World War I, when Congress refused to grant Woodrow Wilson extended power over resources to help the war effort, he invoked an Executive Order which allowed him complete control over businesses, industry, transportation, food, and other economic policies.

In both cases, it was only after the death of each President that full Constitutional powers were restored to the citizens of the United States.

The economy of the United States is based on the free flow of resources, energy, and the rights of consumers to buy and sell as they see fit.  Any interference in this economic process quickly leads to shortages, rising prices, and civil unrest.  The purpose of President Obama signing this new Executive Order is yet unclear, however, it may coincide with information coming out of Israel yesterday that plans for a tactical or strategic strike on Iran are accelerating.  Oil prices in Europe rose over $3 a barrel for Brent crude after the Israeli actions, and US oil prices rose $2 for WTI.

The Obama administration appears to be preparing for a long drawn out war in the Middle East, or at the very least, an expected crisis that will require the need to override Constitutional authority and claim dominion over all resources in the United States under the guise of national defense.  With the rise in Disaster Preparedness growing for both individuals and states leading up to yesterday’s Executive Order, the mood of the nation points strongly towards some event or disaster that will require massive preparations on a national as well as local scale.

Pamela Geller delves further into the details of what this Executive Order entails:

Have you seen the latest totalitarian executive order der fuhrer signed yesterday? Check it out. It’s a jawdropper, but not for those who read The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America.

It calls for a draft, but not just a draft. A civilian draft, of “persons of outstanding experience or ability” without compensation. If they think they need you, they can compel you to work for the government for nothing.

They can, under this order, restrict civilian travel by any mode, including (probably) foot travel. They can ration food. They can restrict water usage, even from private wells. They can ration any and all drugs, including OTC and vitamins. They can collectivize farms. They can take over all energy production, including home solar units.

It also allows for drafting civilians. If they have need of your skills, they can compel you to work for no compensation.

All this not in a time of war, but in time of “National Emergency” (several EO national emergency states already in place) or even in Peacetime.

And he hasn’t even won re-election ……. yet. 

Is this business as usual, or has the President issued something completely overreaching?

Protein Wisdom writes:

… while I realize other Presidents have issued EOs with similar aims, I’m not sure authority for peacetime implementation was ever claimed, nor do I believe conscription of civilians “of outstanding experience or ability” — without compensation — has ever before been tried. That’s slavery, is it not? And the nationalization of every industry, well — you know.

Protein also found similar language in a Clinton era Executive Order but still believes the Obama order further expands the President’s authority through the expansion of administrative agencies that he controls.

What do you think?  Power grab, or more of the same?

Update:  Ed Morrisey at Hot Air responds to the order…

Barack Obama may be arrogant, and the timing of this release might have looked a little strange, but this is really nothing to worry about at all.

This EO simply updates another EO (12919) that had been in place since June 1994, and amended several times since.

I think it actually says something about the administration that another weekend document dump has the internet abuzz over what it truly means.  The distrust of the most transparent administration ever is extremely high.