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To be brief, this is a HOAX based on incorrect information and conspiracy theorists’ wild imagination. Even the supposed phone call by a yootoober (this yootoober runs an alien-conspiracy website and of course there were aliens involved in creating Hurricane Sandy) is either a hoax or setup or worse, just completely wrong and the SHTF and TEOTWAWKI crowd has some real whakpots that don’t care if it’s wrong, they just need to be scared and to scare others. It does give one a nice sense of power, doesn’t it? Keep reading. I’ve linked my own phone call audio to this post.
Most people who use the term “Martial Law” have no clue what they’re talking about. From USLegal.com: “Martial law is a system of absolute miltary [sic] control over all military and civilian activities of a country, in a theoretical or actual war zone, during civil disorder, in occupied territory, after a coup d’etat, or during a state of emergency caused by a natural disaster such as an earthquake or flood. In the United States only the President as commander-in-chief has authority to impose martial law and it must be limited to the duration of the warfare or emergency.” [Emphasis mine] There are also instances where state laws allow for governors to declare Martial Law, but for federal troops to be used the President must still give the order to make it happen. There’s a common rant that New Orleans was under Martial Law after Hurricane Katrina. That is incorrect. Louisianan laws do not allow the governor to act in that way and the US President never ordered Martial Law to be put into effect. There was however an official State of Emergency which gives enhanced police power to authorities, but this is not Martial Law.
The ill-spoken claims in New Jersey and New York come from one particular news report made by an ABC affiliate station’s reporter, Nora Muchanic when reporting from Seaside Heights, NJ. She plainly said that the area was under Martial Law. I’m having trouble reaching WPVI TV for comment about the source of that statement and several attempts have been made. She may have mistaken this for a local mayoral or town council declaration of a State of Emergency, which does grant extra police power to authorities. There is also the possibility of the local law enforcement mistakenly using the term Martial Law, which was probably also the case in the alien conspiracy theorist’s prior phone call (I’m really trying to give the girl some big credit for just picking up the phone and trying which is WAY more than most people do. Good job on that, but your facts are based on error so they are NOT in fact, fact and you didn’t double check and now you’ve caused the situation to become even more ridiculous).
Most Americans just don’t understand the term. I would greatly welcome some clarification from WPVI and Ms. Muchanic. They are free to use the “Contact Me” links in the top menu.
Conclusion: The reports circulating around YooToob and in less-reputable blogs are most likely a gross exaggeration of a couple of misplaced words. As always, check the facts before posting. If we hear of any further news on this I’ll update this post.
201211021802: Well, it looks like Seaside Heights doesn’t need any help with their unionized mess. That’s just disgusting. Also, the official ᶡacebook page does not mention anything about either a State of Emergency or any other declaration. The posts by residents make no mention of it either. But there are plenty of people ticked off about the city not accepting non-union help.
201211022223: Residents of some areas have been forced to evacuate (something that they should have done on their own) and are not being permitted to go back unescorted. Here‘s the story. This however is not “Martial Law”. A state of Martial Law is when the United States military are called on to act as a police and administrative force. This has not been done. In the story you’ll note that the police chiefs and various local officials made the decision to restrict access to areas deemed too dangerous. This is not “Martial Law”, this is common sense.
201211031026 I have been in contact with authorities and confirmed that this is only a rumor. Martial Law is NOT in effect, in spite of rumors and hyperbole to the contrary. The audio can be found at the link below. It has been processed as little as possible. I removed my real name, compressed the peaks, and then leveled it so the other end was easier to hear.