What happens in a national emergency?

[Conor Friedersdorf]

Radar Magazine has an interesting piece by Christopher Ketcham that asks, "Is the government compiling a secret list of citizens to detain under martial law?"

Usually a news consumer can safely assume that the answer to any question posed in a headline is "no". Hopefully that's the case here, though given the Bush Administration's track record on secret government programs it's hard to be sure.

What struck me about the article is that Americans haven't really had much political discussion about what should happen in a national emergency. I'd like to see that question raised in one of the upcoming presidential debates, though the risk is that asking about such matters will distract us from Rev. Wright and Televangelist Parsley.