WASHINGTON President Joe Biden met with the parents of Austin Tice, an American journalist who went missing in Syria in 2012, at the White House on Monday after journalists encouraged him over the weekend to prioritize Tices case.
The president reiterated his commitment to continue to work through all available avenues to secure Austins long overdue return to his family, Psaki said in a statement, and further emphasized that his administration will work relentlessly until Austin and other Americans held hostage and wrongfully detained worldwide are safely at home with their loved ones.
Todays meeting built on multiple meetings and conversations between the Tice family and the presidents national security team, she added, which will remain in regular contact with the Tices and other families of Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad.
Both Biden and Tices mother, Debra, attended the annual dinner of the White House Correspondents Association on Saturday where Tices story was told. Biden said over the weekend that he hoped to meet with the Tices, prompting his aides to set up the meeting, Psaki said.
The United States does not recognize the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and the Biden administration will not say whether it is willing to engage with it directly to secure Tices freedom.
But the administration has made a push to free Americans unjustly detained abroad in recent months, granting its special envoy for hostage affairs, Roger Carstens, the freedom to engage with hostile foreign governments, such as the regime of Nicols Maduro in Venezuela.
We have an entire apparatus and effort through the interagency to work to do everything we can to engage with leaders, with countries, even some we certainly do not have diplomatic relations with, to bring Americans home, Psaki said.
What is martial law? While there is no universal definition, the term often refers to the use of the military for law enforcement. But contrary to popular belief, simply calling up federal or state military members to assist during times of natural emergency or civil unrest is not necessarily the same thing as implementing martial law.
While not specifically defined in the U.S. Constitution, many legal experts consider martial law to be the use of military personnel to dramatically assist or completely replace a nation's normal legal system in times of emergency. Whether any given use of the military rises to the level of martial law is tied to exactly how much military support or action is used.
Under total martial law, the normal American law enforcement and legal system is replaced by a stricter set of laws and punishments that is completely controlled by the military or executive branch of the government. The normal checks and balances system built into the Constitution is suspended.
Though debated in some legal discussions, martial law can also occur in stages, without ever getting to total takeover by the military. Under current U.S. law, the president, Congress or a local military commander may impose degrees of martial law under specific situations.
All told, martial law has been declared in the U.S. about 68 times, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan law and policy institute. Most of those 68 cases of federal troops being deployed within the U.S. borders involved labor unrest (29 times), and those 68 invocations of martial law have resulted in about 33 separate legal challenges to the declaration. Martial law was last officially declared in the U.S. in 1963.
Martial law has twice been implemented nationally by a president during wartime, first by Abraham Lincoln in border states between the North and South during the Civil War, and then again by local military officials in Hawaii during World War II. This was later approved and expanded by Franklin Roosevelt's executive order to include the incarceration of Japanese-Americans on the West Coast. Both martial law declarations were challenged in court, and both times, the courts ended up ruling that at least a portion of those implementations were unconstitutional or too broadly applied.
In several examples of martial law -- such as when President George W. Bush placed foreign detainees in a prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, outside of U.S. court jurisdiction and was later overruled by the Supreme Court, or a loophole in current law that gave President Donald Trump control of all D.C. National Guard troops deployed to the district during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol -- Congress and the courts have usually reacted swiftly and strongly to any domestic military deployments. Since martial law sidesteps the constitutional division of powers and grants additional, emergency powers to the executive branch, such events do not usually sit well with the other branches of government.
Two laws enacted as the result of previous actions include the Insurrection Act and the Posse Comitatus Act. Both are now widely used in emergency situations, even though their constitutionality is still often called into question more than 100 years after they were enacted. The Insurrection Act spells out the only times that federal forces may be used in a domestic role while the Posse Comitatus Act limits their use in those circumstances.
Federal troops can be used to enforce law and order without an official declaration of martial law. In the U.S., they have been utilized at least 14 times under the Insurrection Act before the 1990s and 23 times since 1992 under the Posse Comitatus Act, according to the Congressional Research Service.
In 1932, President Herbert Hoover famously directed the military to clear protesting veterans and their families from an encampment near the U.S. Capitol, where they were protesting delays in payments of their war bonus. Douglas MacArthur and George Patton were both involved in the operation, which involved tanks and soldiers with fixed bayonets clearing a camp full of veterans and their families. It did not sit well in the court of public opinion.
The Posse Comitatus Act, first enacted in 1878, basically prohibits federal forces from assisting in domestic law enforcement unless the president has directed operations under the Insurrection Act or related laws. It is the legal precedent in use during most military involvements in civilian activities today.
It was originally enacted as both a reaction to Lincoln's invocation of martial law during the Civil War to use military courts to try civilians, and to protect freed slaves from mistreatment in the newly liberated post-secession states.
The act allows military personnel to only assist civilian police in enforcing existing laws, while granting authority for the federal government to ensure federal rights are unilaterally provided and enforced nationwide.
Most state constitutions allow for the state's government to mobilize their National Guard troops in a law enforcement activity within their state. States often also have agreements with each other that allow troop deployments to neighboring states during emergencies. When serving in either a state or Title 32 status, typically reserved for activations around natural disasters, Guard members may enforce their state's laws.
Normally, active-duty troops may only perform domestic duties related to national defense. That includes such things like counterterrorism, drug interdiction or dealing with weapons of mass destruction. If a situation exists that requires the military to serve in a law enforcement role, it must be authorized in writing by the president or, in an emergency, by the local military commander.
Federal troops acting under the Posse Comitatus Act are limited to only performing the duties of a deputized posse to assist civilian police in enforcing existing laws. In fact, the military is severely limited in exactly what duties it may perform when assisting civilian police, rules spelled out in DoD Instruction 3025.21. Army Doctrine ADP 3-28 also details defense support of civilian authorities.
Local military commanders also have the authority to temporarily deploy federal troops to keep the order during large-scale unexpected civil disturbances that threaten order or may cause significant loss of life or destruction of property.
Law enforcement support during martial law falls into two broad categories: direct and indirect. Direct support involves enforcing the law and engaging in physical contact with offenders. Indirect support consists of aid to civilian law enforcement agencies, but not enforcement of the law or direct contact with offenders.
Military members in a Title 10 federal activation status may not be involved in direct civilian law enforcement activities unless expressly authorized by the president, U.S. constitution or act of Congress. There are very specific rules for use of force by military personnel.
Laws even exist preventing DoD from using unmanned aircraft systems (drones) to assist civil authorities without specific approval from the secretary of defense and preventing troops from conducting any operations at a polling place unless it is necessary to 'repel armed enemies of the United States.'
While the executive branch of the government may often rely on the military to assist civilian law enforcement, Congress and the judicial branch tend to frown upon these actions and, depending on the situation, move to prevent that from happening. For example: see Rasul v. Bush.
'Our system of government is the antithesis of total military rule, and its founders are not likely to have contemplated complete military dominance within the limits of a territory made a part of this country.'
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I 've met two or three military spouses in my time who could not be appreciated enough around the clock, much less onMilitary Spouse Appreciation Day. I had the feeling I could put diamond tiaras on their heads and roll up a red, white and blue Corvette convertible to take them home and they would sniff, 'Is this all?'
No matter what you are struggling with (and you've shown us that everyone has something) we see you holding onto the kind of optimism that allows you to keep trying. That not only makes all the difference in the world for your family, and keeps us moving forward, too.
Yet you still dare to envision a future for your family where everything turns out OK. Where the kids all go to college. Where the right job opens up for you. Where your service member leaves the military and finds new work that satisfies. You are the transition plan the whole country is counting upon.
Somehow, when we are the ones with the three-day flu, we become help blind. We cannot possibly think of anyone we could ask for help. While we appreciate this trait so many of us share, we really gotta realize that the help highway goes in both directions.
But you know from experience that everyone is a stranger only once. We so appreciate your ability to boldly go up to a stranger, introduce yourself and start talking. And if you are the kind of military spouse who doesn't approach strangers, we really appreciate it if you smile when we talk to you first. Woo boy.
You deal with what is on your plate. You use your constant lists to keep track of what has to be fixed and what has to be done and what has to be turned in and what has to be paid for. You control the uncontrollable. Prodigious.
Hate to tell you this, but not everyone thinks of combat boots as sexy. They don't look at someone in cammies or khakis and think, va-va-va-voom. Strangely, you do. And you keep thinking that no matter how long you are together. Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard -- the uniform doesn't matter. The person inside does.
You know the command can't demand you show up (cuz you don't work for them). But you let yourself have the wisdom of understanding that often the presence of a real person makes all the difference in the world. Thanks for that.
No matter where they live or how crazy their service member's schedule might be, they create rituals around mealtime and bedtime and holidays that make kids feel safe. They set up their household goods and make homes in the plainest places in the world. They become someone worth coming home to.
Spouses come in an infinite variety. We usually have only one thing in common -- that we love someone in uniform and that we would sacrifice what we want in order to make sure they have what they need.