Anyone hear about the MARTIAL LAW statement on CNN? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

A few of my sources mentioned to me that the czar of Clintons y2k two man task force said something to the effect that we needed to work on this problem quicker to avoid the possibility of martial law. Any truth to this????

Greg Wiatt

-- Greg Wiatt (, August 12, 1998


There's several EOs regarding martial law, one which was recently rescinded (EO 13083), but they are still going to work on it. I can't remember which EO, but there is one which goes into detail about illegal storage of food, etc. It's pretty scary.

-- JSierra (, August 12, 1998.

I believe those comments were made on C-SPAN, not CNN. But yes, he did skate around the question but did not deny it. I watched the entire program.

-- Pastor Chris (, August 12, 1998.

John Koskinen said on C-SPAN, when asked about the possibility of martial law that he "hoped that wouldn't be neccessary" and that he "didn't know of anyone in the government who thought that would be a good idea."


"In the event of a Y2K-induced breakdown of community services that might call for martial law," will the military be ready? asked Sen. Robert Bennett, R-UT, chairman of the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem, of Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre.

His reply? "We've got fundamental issues to deal with that go beyond just the Year 2000 contingency planning. And I think you're right to bring that up."

Later, Bennett added: "The world as a whole is almost doomed to have major problems because other countries are way behind, however badly prepared we are" to handle the problem. "It is entirely possible that every organization in America could get its own computers fixed ... and still have major problems. When people say to me, is the world going to come to an end, I say I don't know. I don't know whether this will be a bump in the road ... or whether this will in fact trigger a major worldwide recession with absolutely devastating economic consequences in some parts of the world."

On May 22, President Clinton issued Presidential Decision Directive 63.

Single-spaced, "The Clinton Administration's Policy on Critical Infrastructure Protection," prints out to some 15 pages. While it never explicitly mentions the Y2K bug, one can't help thinking it was in the mind of the authors, who dwell heavily on the importance of "cyber-based information systems."

"Critical infrastructures are those physical and cyber-based systems essential to the minimum operations of the economy and government," the white paper says. "They include, but are not limited to, telecommunications, energy, banking and finance, transportation, water systems and emergency services, both governmental and private. Many of the nation's critical infrastructures have historically been physically and logically separate systems that had little interdependence. As a result of advances in information technology and the necessity of improved efficiency, however, these infrastructures have become increasingly automated and interlinked. These same advances have created new vulnerabilities to equipment failures, human error, weather and other natural causes, and physical and cyber attacks. Addressing these vulnerabilities will necessarily require flexible, evolutionary approaches that span both the public and private sectors, and protect both domestic and international security."

So what does the White House have in mind?

Clinton is calling for a plan to ensure "essential national security missions" as well as general public health and safety by the year 2000. Interesting that he would pick that date. The plan must also provide ways for state and local governments to maintain order and deliver minimum essential services and the private sector to keep the economy humming.

The document states that "it is preferred that participation by owners and operators in a national infrastructure protection system be voluntary." Note that word "preferred."

The president's national security adviser will serve as the clearinghouse for developing the plans. The first drafts from federal agencies is due on his desk this November. The military plays a big role in the plans. The Defense Department serves as the "executive agent" through the end of this fiscal year, after which Commerce takes over.

The directive also creates the "National Infrastructure Protection Center, which includes the FBI, the Secret Service, other federal law enforcement agencies, the Department of Defense and the intelligence agencies. All federal agencies are ordered to cooperate fully with NIPC. Private businesses involved in critical infrastructure will be "strongly encouraged" to share information with NIPC.

Depending on the nature of the threat, "NIPC may be placed in a direct support role to either DOD (Department of Defense) or the Intelligence Community," the document states.

-- p shannon (, August 12, 1998.

I have a Marine friend that just returned to Virginia from leave. I had the chance to ask him about y2k. Before I brought up y2k, I asked him about urban warfare training. He said that normally, they practice urban control (the art of taking over a city while minimizing the damage to civilians and structures) 2 times a year, but now are doing it 2 time a month! He then asked me why I ashed about it. I then unloaded y2k on him and he made an additional statement: "I've been seeing a sharp increase in the moving around of military personnel vehicles". He knew something was up, but y2k was his missing link. He now has a whole new perspective.

-- James Chancellor (, August 12, 1998.

Ok, martial law. Where? Any ideas on how many troops it would take to enforce martial law in say 100 major cities?

I do not think we have enough troops to do that. Is this country going to bring home all troops and gear from overseas to help out? Very unlikely! Why do armies hate to operate in cities, because it is very tough and dangerous. Why do you think we shelled small european cities to the ground instead of trying to take them(WWII).

I think martial law is overhyped. However if Y2K is really bad then one might hope to live in one of the blessed cities.


-- j (, August 12, 1998.

Ok, found some numbers for everyone. 20% of the 1.44 mil. are combat troops. Everyone ready, that's 288,000 grunts. For the sake of this conversation we will leave in tankers and artillary units. I really do not see our troops shelling any American cities or using main battle tanks, I could be very wrong. I also did not factor in the troops overseas. I have not been able to find any #'s on those people.

If those forces are distributed over

100 cities = 2880 troops per city. No way. My third grade class could take that many troops.

75 cities = 3840 troops per city. Ha! We had more poeple show at my wife's x-mas party for the company she works for.

50 cities = 5760 troops per city. For a city of 100,000 that's .058 troops per person. Really poor odds in a combat zone.

25 cities = 11520 troops per city. Getting close. I hope the troops assinged to New York City get double combat pay.

10 cities = 28800 troops per city.

The numbers indicate to me that 10 major population centers(cities) are more than a match for the 1996 US armed forces.

DOD by the numbers

Active-duty military in 1996 1.44 mil.

Reduction since 1990 29%

Reduction in the number of admirals and generals since 1990 20%

Reduction in the number of DOD senior civilians 10%

Size of DOD headquarters staff More than 30,000

Average size of an assistant secretary's staff 600

Portion of active-duty force whose primary job is combat 20%

Whose primary job is maintenance or repair 27%

Number of DOD employees who do finance and accounting 26,000

Who do building maintenance 35,000

Sources: U.S. Department of Defense; Defense Science Board; William Brehm

Above stats found at:


-- j (, August 12, 1998.

And which cities might be martial law targets?

The following URL may provide some insight...

-- Geri I. (, August 12, 1998.

Wow, that list is very interesting. See the post above.

I cannot speak for all the cities but a lot of those cities have military airlift wings present or major military base's. It seems that the troops will not venture to far from the safety of the base. I keep going back to the numbers I found, the troops would be streached very very thin to keep up 24X7 protection. Once again, I think true martial law is not feasiable for more than a several large cities. We are talking occupation. It is one thing to say martial law and another to enforce it.

Hey, if things go bad I for one would want several people with m16's parked on my front porch. I do not feel the privlidge will be aforded to me.


-- j (, August 13, 1998.

If martial law were to be imposed, it seems likely that the National Guard would be activated and federalized, and all police forces would be placed under control of the military. This would greatly increase the number of enforcers. Also, very likely curfews would be imposed, with severe penalties for failure to observe them. The vast majority of the population would comply with martial law orders, so if any groups decided not to follow such orders, they would be in a relative position of weakness. If you think military personnel would not fire on American citizens, just think how police react when someone fires at them. When I went through basic infantry training many years ago, I wasn't taught crowd control, I was taught how to kill people. I would be surprised if basic military training has changed from that objective.

An interesting paper on this general subject is "Legal Aspects of Domestic Employment of the Army" by Col. Thomas R. Lujan, which can be found at


-- Dan Hunt (, August 13, 1998.

I have no doubt that the guard and the reserves would be deployed. I still tend to disagree about the capabilites of our government to enforce martial law over the entire country. Too many places to be at once. The majority of those forces would still need to be placed in 10 or so of the largest cities. Can you imagine the number of troops necessary to patrol the biggies LA, New York City, Boston, Detroit.

I do agree with you, that the majority of americans would comply with any curfew. I guess it would depend on the scale of the disaster(size) and the duration.


-- j (, August 13, 1998.

Of course, you are presupposing that there will be no movement of population to any degree. I assert that there will be mandatory movement of some of the populace to improve control, that is anyone who is still in good enough shape to move. I know, it sounds far out, but extreme times will call for extreme measures. Just adding theory to the flaming necessary.

-- Bingo (, August 18, 1998.

Where I live, any mention of the word "snow" between November and February will cause the shelves at the grocery stores to be empty in a matter of hours. This of course, is because very few people in this country could survive more that a week or so without a trip to the store. It would not take military patrols of every neighborhood in the nation to enact Martial Law. Controlling the flow of goods to and out of the supermarkets and walmart would do the trick just fine. What percentage of the people in the Soviet Union were communists and what percentage were under their control?

-- Karl Keller (, August 19, 1998.

To all concerned,

here is a URL for the Univ. of Michigan Library, which contains an on line archive of all Presidential Executive Orders. For the EO's concerning martial law, food and energy resources, etc. go down to the middle of the page for the link to President Kennedy's EO's, 1961-63.

Hope this helps.

-- kevin b. (, August 26, 1998.

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