Posted: October 24, 20097:00 pm Eastern
By Drew Zahn Â© 2009 WorldNetDaily
President Obama announced today that he has declared a "national emergency" over the H1N1 virus, a phrase with an ominous sound, but with little explanation offered by most of the news media.
The Associated Press, for example, merely stated that the declaration removes "bureaucratic roadblocks" and enables officials to "bypass federal rules." Other news outlets were even vaguer, saying the declaration waived federal requirements, but not saying what those requirements govern.
In the void of information, Internet rumors were quick to flame, centering on concerns over how the Obama administration might use the declared emergency to suddenly expand government power.
"Obama just declared H1N1 a national emergency," wrote a WND reader in an e-mail, "Here we go with martial law."
An article by Kurt Nimmo of InfoWars took the worry a step further, wondering if the White House's declaration engaged certain measures of the National Emergencies Act:
"In the weeks ahead," Nimmo writes, "we may witness a move toward martial law, forced vaccination and internment of those who refuse."
New diseases, pandemics, threats against civil liberties â€“ perhaps it's time you read "How To Overcome The Most Frightening Issues You Will Face This Century," available at the WND SuperStore!
But even if there really is a plot to manipulate the H1N1 virus scare into enforcing a sweeping expansion of federal power, today's "national emergency" falls far short of martial law.
In fact, the laws enacted by the president's proclamation do little more than clear administrative hurdles for quicker processing of Medicare payments, and the very provisions of the National Emergencies Act that the president cited in his proclamation actually limit the power his administration can take.
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