What Would Happen If Martial Law Was Declared In America?

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

In recent weeks, there has been a lot of concern that an upcoming eight week military exercise on U.S. soil known as “Jade Helm” is actually a dress rehearsal for the imposition of martial law in this country.  One of the reasons for the high level of concern is that we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of “urban warfare exercises” conducted by the U.S. military in major U.S. cities over the past decade – including exercises where “dissidents” are hunted down, arrested and hauled away.  As our world becomes increasingly unstable, and as our society rapidly decays from within, many believe that it is only a matter of time before the executive branch will have sufficient excuse to use the extensive martial law powers that it has been accumulating since 9/11.  When that day arrives, what will our nation look like?  What would actually happen if martial law was declared in America?

Well, the first thing that you need to know is that the U.S. Constitution would be “suspended”.

In other words, you would suddenly have no rights at all.

There would be no freedom of speech, no freedom of the press, no freedom of assembly and you could be arrested at any time for any reason whatsoever.

For the duration of the “emergency”, the military would be in control.  There would be troops in the streets, a curfew would almost certainly be imposed, and armed checkpoints would be set up.

If the “emergency” lasted long enough, we would probably see authorities go house to house confiscating firearms, ammunition and food supplies.

And perhaps most troubling of all, “dissidents” and “subversives” would likely be rounded up and imprisoned.

Perhaps you don’t think that this could ever happen in the United States in 2015.

Well, we do know that this is precisely what the FBI had a plan to do in the 1950s.  The following is an excerpt from a recent RT article

Documents show the FBI created a “Plan C” during the Cold War, which could have been triggered in the event the US underwent a nuclear attack. It included putting the nation under martial law, rounding up “subversives,” and interning enemy diplomats.


The documents, acquired by transparency journalism organization MuckRock, detail the FBI plan created in 1956, which was shared with several top officials from every governmental department. The FBI also distributed papers regarding the plan to its field offices. The plan would have gone into effect “after a war has begun in which the US is involved or may become involved and prior to an actual attack on the US itself,” according to the documents.


Under Plan C, martial law would be declared and the FBI would enact its ‘Emergency Detention Program,’ which entailed apprehending individuals whose affiliations with subversive organizations “are so pronounced that their continued liberty in the event of a national emergency would present a serious threat to the internal security of the country.” The document shows that as of April 1956, almost 13,000 people “were scheduled for apprehension in an emergency.”

Very sobering.

And we do know that the federal government had a list of at least 8 million names of people that were considered to be “threats to national security” back in the 1980s.  This list was known as Main Core, and it is not known whether this list still exists today.

I have a feeling that it does, and that it is probably much larger than it was back then.

We also know that government documents produced during the Obama administration openly discuss rounding up “dissidents” and taking them to internment camps.  Just consider the following example from Infowars

A leaked 2012 US Army Military Police training manual, entitled “Civil Disturbance Operations,” described how soldiers would be ordered to confiscate firearms and kill American “dissidents.” The manual also revealed that prisoners would be detained in temporary internment camps and “re-educated” to gain a new appreciation of “U.S. policies,” in accordance with U.S. Army FM 3-19.40 Internment/Resettlement Operations.

So who would those “dissidents” be exactly?

In “72 Types Of Americans That Are Considered ‘Potential Terrorists’ In Official Government Documents“, I detailed how official U.S. government documents specifically identify those that believe in “conspiracy theories” as possible threats.  Others that the government is concerned about include those opposed to abortion, globalism, communism, illegal immigration, the United Nations and “the New World Order”.

I wish that none of this was true.  Go check out the article for yourself.

Another very disturbing government document talks about the need for the U.S. Army to prepare to battle political dissidents in “megacities” and to neutralize groups “who can influence the lives of the population while undermining the authority of the state”.  Here is more from Infowars

The U.S. Army is preparing to fight political dissidents who challenge the power of the state as “megacities” become the battleground of the future, according to a new report in the Army Times.


The article details how the Army’s Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC) worked with US Army Special Operations Command, the chief of staff’s Strategic Studies Group and the UK’s Ministry of Defence earlier this year to wargame the future of armed combat, which will revolve around the neutralization of groups “who can influence the lives of the population while undermining the authority of the state,” a chillingly vague description which could easily be applied to political dissidents.


The plan foresees an unprecedented realignment of U.S. military strategy focused around putting “boots on the ground” in megacities to deal with “politically dispossessed” populations while relying on “more lethal and more autonomous” methods.

Very alarming stuff.

And if we did see martial law declared nationwide, it is likely that all elections would be suspended indefinitely.

That could also potentially include the 2016 presidential election.

Is it possible that Barack Obama could use his emergency powers to stay in the White House beyond his second term?  There are some out there that believe that this could actually happen under the right circumstances.  For example, check out what Dr. Ben Carson said during an appearance on the Alan Colmes radio show

COLMES: What do you mean though when you say there may not be an election in 2016?


DR. BEN CARSON: There may be so much anarchy going on.


COLMES: Anarchy? So you really think we risk risking an anarchic America to the point where elections might be put on hold, or some kind of emergency is declared with such anarchy that there wouldn’t be a Presidential election in a couple of years?


DR. BEN CARSON: I don’t want to find out. I really don’t want to find out, I don’t want to continue down this pathway that we’re going down.

And the groundwork has certainly been laid for such a scenario.

During his time in the White House, Barack Obama has signed a series of executive orders that give him and his minions an extraordinary amount of power in the event of a major national emergency.

For example, read the following excerpt from an executive order that Obama signed in March 2012

Sec. 201.  Priorities and Allocations Authorities.  (a)  The authority of the President conferred by section 101 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071, to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense, is delegated to the following agency heads:


(1)  the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer;


(2)  the Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy;


(3)  the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources;


(4)  the Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation;


(5)  the Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources; and


(6)  the Secretary of Commerce with respect to all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials.

That sounds like it covers just about everything.

Basically, during a time of martial law all of the things that you take for granted today would be out the window.

You would have no rights, and the federal government would be able to do just about anything that it wanted to do.

If that sounds really bad to you, then maybe now you are starting to understand why so many people get upset when they see preparations being made for the eventual imposition of martial law in this country.

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LetThemEatRand's picture

"What Would Happen If Martial Law Was Declared In America? . . . . There would be no freedom of speech, no freedom of the press, no freedom of assembly and you could be arrested at any time for any reason whatsoever."

Is this a rhetorical question?

Newsboy's picture

Martial Law in America?

I'll be screwed, as would most Hedgies, due to the stuff we look at and the comments we make.

Thought Criminals, we are...

UP Forester's picture

Wouldn't be a whole helluva lot of change, 'cept it'd be Black Moose season nationwide, I guess...

BLOTTO's picture

We meet by the giant red oak in the forest...

wee-weed up's picture

Obozo  -  "Oh shit, they've already figured out how I plan to become El Pesidente for life!"

Tom Servo's picture

Whoops, this went to the wrong place... 

Anecdotally, today in florida, 10 cops dressed in military style fatigues came into a Longhorn for beerski's and steaks after their shift... 

Skateboarder's picture

For the first time (for myself at least), I saw four MRAPs driving down 101 South in San Jose last weekend. I didn't know they brought that shit out here - looks like it's starting.

GetZeeGold's picture



A gun behind every blade of grass?


Welcome to Fightclub and Thunderdome....be careful what you wish for.

SWRichmond's picture

I am really getting sick of these scare-tactic "resistance is futile" articles.  They seem to be growing exponentially.

Submitted by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

Dear Michael Snyder,

Have you been alive for the past decade or so of invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan?  Did you live through the Vietnam War?  All of these scary fucking articles we are being treated to about martial law in the US are nothing more than a .gov psyop, to frighten ius into compliance.  Troops on the streets?  The MIC HAD TROOPS ON THE STREETS IN BAGHDAD; HOW'D THAT WORK OUT FOR THEM?  The MIC had troops on the streets in Saigon.  How'd they do?

You can go cower in your closet if that is your inclination.  But an examination of reality might argue for a different reaction.  Yes "they" can kill us all, but then there'd be no one for them to rule and rob, would there?  They rely on our voluntary compliance.  They're already having so much trouble recruiting that they're hiring foreigners to be cops, and the military has been recruiting foreigners for years.

The simple facts are these:

  1. "They" barely control anything.  An examination of economic conditions and world events shows this pretty clearly.
  2. The NYPD shooting incident showed us just how fast the cops will fold.  They are very very brave when they are in massed formations and outnumber unarmed civilians by ten to one.  But their top priority is always to go home at the end of the shift.  Some of them might have become cops to actually help people, but most of them appear to have signed up for the wrong reason, and bullies are, at heart, pussies.
  3. If / When the shit hits the fan here there will be mighty initial declarations, and an initial show of force.  Its purpose will be to cow the masses into fearful compliance.  Holes in the media narrative will begin to show almost immediately, and the whole thing will quickly degenerate into the shitshow that everything the government rouches always turns into.  535 Senators and Congresspeople can't, as a group, tie their fucking shoes.  And neither can the generals, who are all so completely focused on their careers and political infighting that they haven't a prayer.
  4. "They" are not awesome.  They are scared shitless.

Grow a pair, for Christs' sake.

KnightTakesKing's picture

@SWRichmond, +100. Well said, brother.

SumTing Wong's picture

All I know is that the 5-0 wouldn't want to come out here in the country. My neighbor gets a kick out of blowing shit up as often as possible. The amount of tannerite that guy uses needs to be measured in 55 gallon drums rather than in pounds. And I hear he has other armed neighbors too, not that any of us would know or even talk about it.

crazytechnician's picture

It would be lucky to go on for a week before all hell broke loose.

Crash Overide's picture

I thought the slaves in this colony were already under the law...?

Lock and load bitchez!   :)

mkkby's picture

I hope fear mongers like Mike Snyder swing from lamp posts right next to the banksters.

TPTB do NOT want martial law, or an end to elections.  They have control now, and the APPEARANCE of freedom is what is keeping the sheeple quiet.  An outlandish show of force like that would accomplish nothing, and it would wake everyone up the the red pill truth.  Subduing the sheeple with TV, video games and junk food works a lot better.

Fuck you, Mike Snyder.  Please get cancer and die a horrible death soon.

Citium's picture

I believe everyone is tired of Mike Snyder countdown articles on here, but i wouldn't wish death on him. He is no where near the criminal a banker, politician or an evil corporation is. But I do get your distress over these "bend over and take it" articles. I honestly don't know why he is linked so often on ZH. This site would be a lot better without his regurgitated lists. They say the same thing over and over without any clear thought or logic.

N0TME's picture

I wish I could upvote you 1000 times. Well, I just did unofficially. 

: )

y3maxx's picture

...whadaya mean......"....If Martial Law Was Declared In America?"

Don't look now.....it's already in place, just not yet officialized.

GetZeeGold's picture



Word up there dawg....I live in a town of 300 people.....and we've got about 50 tanks.


We also have about a million rounds of 22LR.....in case you're wondering where it's all going....now you know.

SumTing Wong's picture

Each of us here has a million rounds of 22LR. But that isn't going to hold up when SHTF. That's why we also have 50BMG!!!!

boattrash's picture

..and did Longhorn serve them?

barliman's picture


As good a plan as any ...

For the tin-foil, panty wearing azzhats like Michael Snyder who believe martial law is a cake walk - the simplest of questions:

  1. How many "troops" will it take to effect this martial law?
  2. How will these troops be selected for areas of deployment?
  3. How will the families of these troops be protected when they are all "out in the field" away from their homes bases and dependents?
  4. The current American military has outsourced a HUGE amount of it's functions to contracting services. How will martial law be imposed on these organizations?
  5. How many American troops were deployed at peak in Iraq? How many insurgents were required to drastically limit their operations in Iraq prior to the surge?

The list can go on and on ....

The "martial law" scenario is a liberal wet dream given creedence by imbeciles.

Could we come to civil war?

Absolutely ... and it will be short, ugly and make the worst of the genocides that have occurred in the last 40+ years look like a gentle Sunday afternoon asleep in a park.

And there won't be a Liberal left alive north of the Mexican border or south of the Canadian border when it's over.

Tom Servo's picture

I think the issue is that most of the sheep will stand down and comply, see: the watertown lockdown to find the boston bomber.  That is what they are expecting...


I will be locking and loading and crawling around on my elbows with a knife in my teeth, personally...

Freddie's picture

American sheep are pretty easily controlled with TV and Hollywood.  I would bet 70% of the posters here still watch TV and Hollywood's shit or frequent their theme parks like morons.

If you support it then stop complaining.

Crawdaddy's picture

Victory over the mediaman is a giant step for most provincials. We must help them break free and not judge because it wasn't long ago we ( or at least myself) were entangled in the media web.

macholatte's picture



Under Martial Law would any of the millions of illegals be deported?


boattrash's picture

Deport 'em hell?

Hire 'em as personal Mercs!

GetZeeGold's picture



So the boxcars with shackles are to deport illegal aliens?


Actually....now that makes sense.


Not sure Boehner is going to go for that....even with Pelosi's protection.

NoDecaf's picture

Deporting "illegals" under martial law? Wouldn't we all be in that same category? Same like the American revolutionaries once the line was crossed.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

tom don't think boston bomber reaction to militarized police means a meek obeying public forever..no sane person unprepared should resist overwhelming force using the tactic of surprise..if martial law is in effect for any length of time, then overwhelming force and surprise becomes the tactic of resistance.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

recently in DC a young mother caused a police vehicle to be destroyed on the road barriers buried in the capital street..and then a group of large men w automatic rifles shot her dead, she had no weapon other than a child in her car..these men did this murder on video ..to this day none have been held accountable..what we can learn from this is many security types are cowards and murderers and will kill any of us for the smallest of infractions and dis obeying them.

Refuse-Resist's picture

Good point.  And I think it's important to note that most of America is most certainly not Boston Strong.


The blue hives will comply with every mandate, because they're afraid of everything and look to big brother for their salvation.


Around my neck of the woods, not so much.  I suspect that outside the urban hives, most people own and know how to use the tools of self-defense.  And will defend themselves when the time comes.


From my perspective, the biggest challenge will be to organize. 

SumTing Wong's picture

You aren't already organizing? You don't do drills?

Out here in flyover country, it is happening regularly. These are reports I hear, at least. Not that I'm subversive in any way. 

I love Big Brobama.

Cloud9.5's picture

Watertown did not last long enough for the flaws to appear.  


Beowulf55's picture

So this is your escape and evade tactic.  What tactic will you use when you face off with 30 mercs?

Personally, i'm going to fire a couple of rounds to slow them down and then head toward my loaded canoe that will take me to my loaded plane which will get me to my loaded sailboat that will take me to my loaded private island.  From there I will call in an airstrike using the loaded rebel spaceforce and strategically nuke them from low earth orbit.  You could say my plan is more realistic.

chumbawamba's picture

How did the 1930s German population--probably more sophisticated than Americans today--allow their country to come under a martial law regime while waging war for continental/world domination on two fronts?

It's easy: you just offer good wages and benefits to those who will comply, and they will take care of the ones that won't.

I am Chumbawamba.

barliman's picture


You know what you left out of the equation, Chumba ...

In 1931, Weimar authorities discovered plans for a Nazi takeover in which Jews would be denied food and persons refusing to surrender their guns within 24 hours would be executed. They were written by Werner Best, a future Gestapo official. In reaction to such threats, the government authorized the registration of all firearms and the confiscation thereof, if required for “public safety.” The interior minister warned that the records must not fall into the hands of any extremist group.

In 1933, the ultimate extremist group, led by Adolf Hitler, seized power and used the records to identify, disarm, and attack political opponents and Jews. Constitutional rights were suspended, and mass searches for and seizures of guns and dissident publications ensued. Police revoked gun licenses of Social Democrats and others who were not “politically reliable.”

During the five years of repression that followed, society was “cleansed” by the National Socialist regime. Undesirables were placed in camps where labor made them “free,” and normal rights of citizenship were taken from Jews. The Gestapo banned independent gun clubs and arrested their leaders. Gestapo counsel Werner Best issued a directive to the police forbidding issuance of firearm permits to Jews.

The ban in New York and Connecticut on "assault weapons" have been over whelmingly ignored.

Seems like America has a lot less sheep even today than Germany did then ... plus we have GErmany as an example.

chumbawamba's picture

That's sort of non sequitur to my point, which is that martial law can always be implemented.  The people will police themselves.  The part of humanity that has statist tendencies will happily police the ones that aren't until the ones that aren't finally tire of the affair and the blood starts to let.

I am Chumbawamba.

barliman's picture


Which again references the differences between the Weimar Republic of 80 years ago and the America of today:

The Weimar Republic that spawned the Third Reich was the weakest government in Germany in centuries. It depended upon the statist tendencies inherent in the German culture to exist as long as it did. The Weimar Republic was a post economic collapse collection of incompetents and corrupt administrators - THEY did not impose martial law because the military would NOT have obeyed them.  Hitler's rise was out of chaos that does NOT exist in America - WE are not pushing wheelbarrows full of dollar bills to the store to buy one loaf of bread.

The Nazis were built around a core of ruthless individuals willing to exploit government weakness while gaining support among the elites who longed for a return to the German feudal/statist structure of the past. My point is that if every German citizen had owned guns, it would have been possible, thought by no means guaranteed, that an effective counter resistance to the Nazis could have been established.

I have never known a member of the military, much less a LEO, willing to take on 100:1 odds for ANY reason - much less because a narcissistic fuck up of a momma's boy is TELLING them to do it.

The counterpoint is ever since Clinton started making MASSIVELY stupid statements about guns in 1993, there have been people in this country preparing to FIGHT back against the Liberals.

"The part of humanity that has statist tendencies will happily" be SHOT in the head the first time they do ANYTHING to assist in the policing of the ones that aren't.

With all the technology and resources and time they have today, police forces don't solve the bulk of murders - how are they going to do BETTER when going anywhere as part of the STATE is a guarnatee of drawing sniper fire?

Caveat for the morons: I am NOT in favor of this civil war because 99% of the people can't conceive of the chaos that will follow on afterwards. Regardless, it could easily start very soon - so some of the current morons running things better politically crucify Obama before things explode and they discover the guys guarding them with the guns will abandon them to look after their own interests.

Major Malfunction's picture

The Small Arms Survey 2007 worked out "The largest civilian firearms arsenals for 178 countries", and - as you can imagine - the United States unambiguously ranks at #1, with the highest gun ownership rate, at 90%. 

Small Arms survey calculated how many guns were owned per 100 citizens.  And it's 90.  Sure, it's not neccessarily divided up. One of those 100 could be a prepper, and he might have 60 hizzzelf, say. 

90 guns per every 100 Americans ... so ... that gives the current population of 319 million American citizens ... a little over 287 MILLION guns.  Essentially, 90 out of every 100 citizens are packing.

This is why they drill.

  They've been stocking up the 'local' police with military-grade gear & weaponry for the past couple of years.

That phase is done.  It's now time to teach the newly gifted all the many things their new toys can do.

So begins Jade Helm.

nmewn's picture

Not to turn this away from the political classes deep paranoia about us...but I happened to be in a small restaurant in central Florida a few weeks back and as luck would have it I was standing behind a guy in street clothes and one of those dark clad commando-style local sheriffs who the civilian had met up with for lunch.

So I'm standing there eye-balling his kevlar vest with side panels and he can feel my presence behind him, he turns and nods at me, I respond in kind and silence with a nod. He then assumes a more defensible position sideways, then facing me as his buddy completed his order, they leave, find a table, him with his back to the wall, I place my oder and sit at the table next to them.

It just so happens someone else is "eye-balling" him as well and approaches his table and starts talking about various local laws being passed concerning guns & ammunition, part of the discussion centered around his understanding that he can no longer "legally" have a rifle or shotgun in the rack in the back window of his truck and asks if this is now illegal and will he be pulled over for it?

This cops exact words were "Not by me" and went on to carry the conversation in the most pro-Second Amendment terms I have ever heard coming from a cops mouth, I found his attitude...shall we say, refreshing. And as the conversation continued I also learned he was also ex-military.

I guess my point is you never know when sizing up the opposition, they just may turn out to be an ally when the shit starts, if they can't trust their own within their ranks they're the ones in deep trouble, not us.

gswifty's picture

Good story. I believe that after the initial shock and awe of ML being declared, which should last a week or two, there'll be a shake out within enforcement. The hardcore assholes will relish the mission while anyone with doubts or a conscience will abandon it. What percentage of the military and police forces that will not follow these orders constitutes an unknown known.

GeezerGeek's picture

In the current age, both police and soldiers are self-selected: no one is forced to become a LEO or a soldier. But when it comes to considering martial law, I would much prefer that the lower rankes of the military be filled with draftees.

I really think America should never have terminated the draft. (And that's not just because I was issued a draft notice in 1969 and want to 'get even'.) Having what are essentially civilians as the privates and corporals would put a certain limit to just what the military could do. It was, after all, domestic pressure from all the Moms and Dads that didn't want little Johnny to suffer lead poisoning that led to our eventual retreat from Viet Nam. True, our drafted soldiers did some nasty stuff over there once in a while, but those were just "little yellow people" (no, I'm not being racist; look at the US attitude toward Japanese during WW II) so it wasn't so bad (said I in a sarcastic manner). Whether a modern-day drafted soldier would be willing to oppress people that look like his parents or aunt and uncle is unknown, but I suspect there would be enhanced reluctance when compared to a totally volunteer army.

So I vote for reinstating the draft. This time, let's expand it to include women, and have it computerized to ensure no one is exempted. "What's that, you ask, Private Malia? Drop and give me 50!"

nmewn's picture

Well this guy was a volunteer, late 20's early 30's so he wasn't drafted but your point is well taken, more regular Joe's and less Rambo's are ultimately a good thing overall.

The flip side was these two burr-heads that had a young couple pulled over in a store parking lot, a couple of supreme dickweeds these two were. The couple (a Goth looking chick and a guy who looked around 18-20) were having their vehicle searched when I pulled up. You could see the one cop (probably no more than five years older than them) was workin on his Napolean boner complex going through the vehicle. I'm standing there watching them and all he comes out with is a knife.

He didn't find any dope (which is why they always attempt a search, profile much?) just the knife, so he makes this big production out of the blades length, impressing no one but himself with his authoritah ending with..."I'm gonna let you keep it."

I guess they heard me laugh at this bit of "law enforcement" shock & awe nonsense, a complete waste of time & effort as they all looked at me, so I just ambled off chuckling, got in my truck, took a sip of beer and left.

Takes all kinds to make the world go round, burr-heads will be cannon fodder in my opinion ;-)

whirling tword freedom's picture

To me.... I was thinking to myself during the Bundy Ranch standoff......  If these FEDs get in a gun fight with the militia..... what would happen if even 1% of Americans got mad enough to go packing to put the FED officers down?

That comes to almost 3 million angry guns going to Bundy Ranch.....   Of course, that was not the spark but, what happens when we do have "the" spark?

I HIGHLY doubt that our govt. could do anything or mobilize fast enough to do anything but run for the hills at that point......   To invade Iraq... how many months and how much planning did it take to go in in 1991?..... How could the govt. react to millions of it's own citizens reacting overnight to something like that???.... Not to mention that there would be chaos in the military ranks to even think about going to shoot Americans.... it simply would not happen and, if even it could happen, they would not react fast enough to stop the citizens.

Hope to never see it happen but, that is how I see it from here.

Lost Word's picture

According to my interpretation of Revelation 9:5, the five months there mentioned is interpreted as five years, and the five years refers to Nazi Germany 1934-1939.

Later verses of the prophecy then refer to World War 2.

By this type of interpretation, most of Revelation has already been fulfilled.

But most people think Revelation prophecy is still future.

Crawdaddy's picture

Chumbles - they were respecters of law and order. Fake law, fake order. But it was voted on, passed, adjudicated and therefore real. After all the high courts said so.

They turned from God and wanted a King Saul. They got one.