Continuity of Government: Is the State of Emergency Superseding Our Constitution?

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by Peter Dale Scott: A
Long History of America’s Dark Side



Is the State
of Emergency Superseding our Constitution?
to Commonwealth Club, San Francisco, November 23, 2010)

In July 1987,
during the Iran-Contra Hearings grilling of Oliver North, the American
public got a glimpse of u201Chighly sensitiveu201D emergency planning North
had been involved in. Ostensibly North had been handling plans for
an emergency response to a nuclear attack (a legitimate concern).
But press accounts alleged that the planning was for a more generalized
suspension of the constitution at the president's determination.

As part of
its routine Iran-contra coverage, the following exchange was printed
in the New York Times, but without journalistic comment or

Jack] Brooks:
Colonel North, in your work at the N.S.C. were
you not assigned, at one time, to work on plans for the continuity
of government in the event of a major disaster?

Both North's
attorney and Sen. Daniel Inouye, the Democratic Chair of the Committee,
responded in a way that showed they were aware of the issue:

Sullivan [North’s counsel, agitatedly]:
Mr. Chairman?

Daniel] Inouye:
I believe that question touches upon a highly
sensitive and classified area so may I request that you not touch
upon that?

I was particularly concerned, Mr. Chairman, because I read in
Miami papers, and several others, that there had been a plan developed,
by that same agency, a contingency plan in the event of emergency,
that would suspend the American constitution. And I was deeply
concerned about it and wondered if that was an area in which he
had worked. I believe that it was and I wanted to get his confirmation.

May I most respectfully request that that matter not be touched
upon at this stage. If we wish to get into this, I’m certain arrangements
can be made for an executive session.[1]

Brooks was
responding to a story by Alfonzo Chardy in the Miami Herald.
about Oliver North's involvement with the Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) in planning for u201CContinuity of Governmentu201D (COG).
According to Chardy, the plans envisaged u201Csuspension of the Constitution,
turning control of the government over to the Federal Emergency
Management Agency, emergency appointment of military commanders
to run state and local governments and declaration of martial law
during a national crisis.u201D[2]

Reagan had
installed at FEMA a counterinsurgency team that he had already assembled
as governor of California. The team was headed by Army Col. Louis
Giuffrida, who had attracted Reagan's attention by a paper he had
written while at the US Army War College, advocating the forcible
warrantless detention of millions of black Americans in concentration
camps.u201C Reagan first installed Giuffrida as head of the California
National Guard, and called on him u201Cto design Operation Cable Splicer.
… martial law plans to legitimize the arrest and detention of anti-Vietnam
war activists and other political dissidents.u201D[3]
These plans were refined with the assistance of British counterinsurgency
expert Sir Robert Thompson, who had used massive detention and deportations
to deal with the 1950s Communist insurgency in what is now Malaysia.

At the time
few people (including myself) attached much importance to the Chardy
story about COG. Chardy himself suggested that Reagan's Attorney
General, William French Smith, had intervened to stop the COG plan
from being presented to the President, and in 1985 Giuffrida was
forced out of office for having spent government money to build
a private residence. But COG planning not only continued, it expanded.

Seven years
later, in 1994, Tim Weiner reported in the New York Times
that what he called u201CThe Doomsday Projectu201D — the search for u201Cways
to keep the Government running after a sustained nuclear attack
on Washingtonu201D –had u201Cless than six months to live.u201D[4]

Weiner's language
was technically correct, but also very misleading. In fact COG planning
now simply continued with a new target, terrorism. On the basis
of Weiner's article, the first two books to discuss COG planning,
by James Bamford and James Mann, both reported that COG planning
had been abandoned.[5] Recently
Tim Shorrock in 2008 repeated that u201Cthe COG program was abandoned
during the Clinton administration,u201D and Shirley Anne Warshaw in
2009 wrote that u201Cthe Clinton administration… shut down the super-secret
Project.u201D[6] But on this narrow
point, all these otherwise excellent and well-informed authors were

What Weiner
and these authors did not report was that in the final months of
Reagan's presidency the purpose of COG planning had officially changed:
it was no longer for arrangements u201Cafter a nuclear war,u201D but for
any “national security emergency.” This was defined in Executive
Order 12656 of 1988 as: u201Cany occurrence, including natural disaster,
military attack, technological emergency, or other emergency, that
seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security
of the United States.u201D[7] In
this way a totally legitimate program dating back to Eisenhower,
of planning extraordinary emergency measures for an America devastated
in a nuclear attack, was now converted to confer equivalent secret
powers on the White House, for anything it considered an emergency.

This expanded
application of COG was apparently envisaged as early as 1984, when,
according to Boston Globe reporter Ross Gelbspan,

Lt. Col.
Oliver North was working with officials of the Federal Emergency
Management Agency . . . to draw up a secret contingency plan to
surveil political dissenters and to arrange for the detention
of hundreds of thousands of undocumented aliens in case of an
unspecified national emergency. The plan, part of which was codenamed
Rex 84, called for the suspension of the Constitution under a
number of scenarios, including a U.S. invasion of Nicaragua.[8]

In other words,
extreme measures, designed originally to deal with an externally
directed and devastating nuclear attack, were being secretly modified
by a non-governmental group to deal with domestic dissenters: a
situation that still pertains today.[9]

The Implementation
of COG on 9/11

Clearly 9/11
met the conditions for the implementation of COG measures, and we
know for certain that COG plans were implemented on that day in
2001, before the last plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. The
9/11 Report confirms this twice, on pages 38 and 326.[10]
It was under the auspices of COG that Bush stayed out of Washington
on that day, and other government leaders like Paul Wolfowitz were
swiftly evacuated to Site R, inside a hollowed out mountain near
Camp David.[11]

But the implementation
of COG went beyond short-term responses, to the installation of
what Professor Shirley Anne Warshaw calls a ninety-day alternative
u201Cshadow governmentu201D outside Washington.

Cheney jumped
into action in his bunker beneath the east Wing to ensure continuity
in government. He immediately began to create his shadow government
by ordering one hundred mid-level executive officials to move
to specially designated underground bunkers and stay there
twenty-four hours a day. They would not be rotated out, he informed
them, for ninety days, since there was evidence, he hinted, that
the terrorist organization al-Qa'ida, which had masterminded the
attack, had nuclear weapons. The shadow government, as a result,
needed to be ready to take over the government from the bunkers.[12]

These ninety
days saw the swift implementation of the key features attributed
to COG planning by Gelbspan and Chardy in the 1980s: warrantless
warrantless deportations, and the warrantless
that is their logical counterpart. The clearest
example was the administration's Project Endgame — a ten-year plan,
initiated in September 2001, to expand detention camps, at a cost
of $400 million in Fiscal Year 2007 alone.[13]
This implemented the central feature of the massive detention exercise,
Rex 84, conducted by Louis Giuffrida and Oliver North in 1984.[14]

There was also
a flurry of other rapid moves to restructure America's external
and domestic structures — so many that today I can mention only
a few. Before doing so I should acknowledge the obvious: that enhanced
measures to deal with terrorism are needed, and for some of them
we should all be grateful. We should acknowledge also, however,
that the most significant achievements against terrorism have been
the result of traditional intelligence and police work. As for the
War on Terror, the most prominent achievement of Cheney's ninety
days, many experts have asserted that it has created far more terrorists
than it has disposed of.

On September
20, 2001, Bush launched the war on terror in a televised address
to a joint session of congress, when he said, “Our ‘war on terror’
begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end
until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped
and defeated.” Today we now have about 100,000 US troops
in Afghanistan, to deal with an officially estimated 60 members
of Al Qaeda. The predictable result has been an expansion of terrorist
activities in Somalia, Yemen, and above all Pakistan.

The war on
terror was administratively implemented in three National Security
Presidential Directives, NSPDs 7, 8, and 9. All three are classified,
and the topics of two of them are unknown. The third, NSPD 9 of
October 25, 2001, directed the Secretary of Defense to plan military
options against both Taliban and al Qaeda targets in Afghanistan.[15]

The October
date is misleading. A version of the directive calling for covert
action in Afghanistan had been approved by principals on September
4, 2001, one week before 9/11.[16]
An enhanced plan for military action in Afghanistan, had been approved
by Bush on September 17; and the same document u201Cdirected the Pentagon
to begin planning military options for an invasion of Iraq.u201D[17]

Perhaps the
most significant domestic product from Cheney's trimester mirabilis
was the Patriot Act of October 25, 2001. Congress was given only
one week to pass this 340-page bill, which in the opinion of researchers
u201Cwas already written and ready to go long before September 11th.u201D[18]
In 2007 the Justice Department acknowledged that FBI agents had
abused the Patriot Act more than 1000 times.

We should not
forget that the Patriot Act was only passed after lethal weapons-grade
anthrax letters were mailed to two crucial Democratic Senators —
Senators Daschle and Leahy — who had initially questioned the bill.
After the anthrax letters, however, they withdrew their initial
opposition.[19] Someone —
we still do not know who — must have planned those anthrax letters
well in advance.[20] This is
a fact most Americans do not want to think about.

is generally agreed that, of the three men in National Command Authority
on 9/11, Cheney was the ideologue most committed to restoring a
presidency that had been weakened by Watergate.[21]
Cheney had already declared in his Iran-Contra Minority Report of
1987 his belief that u201Cthe Chief Executive will on occasion feel
duty bound to assert monarchical notions of prerogative that
will permit him to exceed the law.u201D[22]
And as Vice-President Cheney, along with Cheney's assistant David
Addington and Cheney's appointee John Yoo, established the legal
apparatus for declaring that the President had the prerogative power
to u201Cdeploy military forces preemptively,u201D and that u201Cthe Geneva Conventions
and other international agreements against torture u2018do not protect
members of the al Qaeda organization.u201D[23]

By Executive
Order 13228 of October 8, 2001, the President established an Office
of Homeland Security within the presidential Executive Office. This
has engendered in turn the DHS, now the third largest US Cabinet
Department, and also a series of Homeland Security Presidential
Directives. For example Homeland Security Presidential Directive-6
(HSPD-6) of September 16, 2003, created a Terrorism Screening Center
(TSC), to u201Cconsolidate the Government's approach to terrorism screening.u201D[24]

Since then
we have become inured to repeated stories about nonviolent individuals
who are prevented from boarding airplanes, because their names are
in TSC computers on the No Fly List and the Terrorist Watch List.
Senator Ted Kennedy testified in Congress that he had been repeatedly
delayed at airports because a u201CT Kennedyu201D was on the No Fly List.
Until July 2008, Nelson Mandela was also on the list. CBC News in
Canada reported in 2008 that u201CA Quebec businessman whose name is
… on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s flight passenger
watch list has decided to change his name to avoid lengthy security
hassles at the airport.u201D[25]

In addition
to the No Fly List, with 4000 names in 2009 and 8000 today, some
people are prevented from flying because they are on the Terrorist
Watch List, a much longer list which contained over one million
names as of summer 2010. This is why Walter F. Murphy, a noted professor
of constitutional law, was detained in 2007 on his journey to lecture,
ironically, about his book Constitutional Democracy. According
to Professor Murphy, he was asked by an airline employee,

“Have you
been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying
because of that” ….u201DI explained,” said Murphy, “that I had not
so marched but had, in September 2006, given a lecture at Princeton,
televised and put on the web, highly critical of George Bush for
his many violations of the constitution.” “That’ll do it,” the
man said.[26]

In the end
these cases were resolved satisfactorily. But you risk permanent
deportation if you have an Arabic-sounding name. The ACLU is suing
on behalf of Ayman Latif, not just a U.S. citizen but a disabled
U.S. Marine veteran, who under Obama has been stranded in Egypt
for months, because, on orders from the U.S. Embassy, he has not
been able to board a plane to come home.

This is a real
hardship case: Latif told NPR that u201Cbecause I missed my appointments
in the U.S. to be evaluated [as a disabled vet], now the VA administration
is saying that they’re going to cut my benefits from what they are
now to zero.u201D On the same program Stewart Baker, a former assistant
secretary for policy with the Department of Homeland Security, vigorously
defended the No Fly List. But when asked if there is u201Cany legal
authority by which the United States can say to a citizen who
is abroad, you may not return to this country?u201D Baker replied, u201CI
know of none.u201D[27] This did
not seem to concern him.

Ayman Latif's
case is far from unique. According to the New York Times,

groups say they are trying to help Americans stranded in Yemen,
Egypt, Colombia and Croatia, among other countries. At least one
American, Raymond Earl Knaeble IV, who studied in Yemen and is
now in Colombia, was returned to Colombia by the Mexican authorities
after he sought to cross the border into the United States, the
groups say.[28]

The Militarization
of American Law Enforcement

Another post-9/11
innovation from the Giuffrida-Oliver North COG plans was the militarization
of domestic United States law enforcement
in 2002, under
a new military command, NORTHCOM.[29]
Through NORTHCOM the U.S. Army now is engaged with local enforcement
in the surveillance and counter-terrorism planning of America, in
the same way that through CENTCOM it is engaged with local enforcement
to police Iraq. Of course army platoons do not patrol roads and
break down the doors of homes, as they do in Iraq or Afghanistan.
But behind the scenes, in so-called fusion centers, the military,
the FBI, state police, along with private intelligence corporations
like SAIC, maintain and analyze data to identify potential threats
to those in power.[30]

These fusion
centers u201Chave been internally promoted by the US Army as means to
avoid restrictions preventing the military from spying on the domestic
population.u201D[31] In other words,
administrative arrangements have been used to fulfill Giuffrida's
plans of circumventing the Posse Comitatus Acts on the statute books,
without repealing them.

The Proclamation
of Permanent Emergencies

Finally, still
in the 90-day u201Cshadow governmentu201D period after 9/11, President Bush
proclaimed two important emergencies that are still in force today.

1) On September
14, 2001, Bush issued Proclamation 7463 (u201CDeclaration of National
Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacksu201D) together with
Executive Order 13223 (u201COrdering the Ready Reserve of the Armed
Forces To Active Dutyu201D). As we shall see, the terms of this proclamation
were significantly expanded when it was renewed in 2007.

2) u201COn September
23, 2001, by Executive Order 13224, the President declared a national
emergency with respect to persons who commit, threaten to commit,
or support terrorism, pursuant to the International Emergency
Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706).u201D[32]
This gave the president the power to confiscate without trial
or warning the property of individuals providing funds to entities,
such as charitable foundations, which were judged to be supporting
terrorism. The Executive Order initially blocked property of twenty-seven
designated terrorists. But the list has become enormous. When
I last looked at it, on November 18, 2010, the list included 87
pages just for the letter A.

A lawsuit has
been instituted, asserting that the designation of alleged terrorists
was arbitrary; and a lower court agreed that the president’s designation
authority is unconstitutionally vague.[33]
The case is under appeal.

Cheney and
Rumsfeld on the Secret Committee to Plan COG

From its beginning
in 1982, two of the key planners on the secret COG planning committee
were Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, the same two men who implemented
COG on 9/11.[34] The committee
had been established by Reagan under a secret executive order (NSDD
55 of September 14, 1982). Despite what Weiner implied, the committee
continued to meet without interruption until the George W. Bush
presidency in 2001.[35]

Thus Cheney
and Rumsfeld continued their secret planning when Clinton was president;
even after both men, both Republicans, were by that time heads of
major corporations and not in the government. Moreover, Andrew Cockburn
claims that the Clinton administration, according to a Pentagon
source, had u201Cno idea what was going on.u201D

the exercises continued, still budgeted at over $200 million a
year in the Clinton era, the vanished Soviets were now replaced
by terrorists. . . . There were other changes, too. In earlier
times the specialists selected to run the u201Cshadow governmentu201D
had been drawn from across the political spectrum, Democrats and
Republicans alike. But now, down in the bunkers, Rumsfeld found
himself in politically congenial company, the players' roster
being filled almost exclusively with Republican hawks. . . .u201CYou
could say this was a secret government-in-waiting. The Clinton
administration was extraordinarily inattentive, [they had] no
idea what was going on.u201D[36]

account requires some qualification. Richard Clarke, a Clinton Democrat,
makes it clear that he participated in the COG games in the 1990s
and indeed drafted Clinton's Presidential Decision Directive (PDD)
67 on u201CEnduring Constitutional Government and Continuity of Government.u201D[37]
But COG planning involved different teams for different purposes.
It is quite possible that the Pentagon official was describing the
Department of Defense team dealing with retaliation.

It is important
to understand that the COG u201CDoomsday Projectu201D in the 1980s involved
more than planning and exercises. It also oversaw u201CProject 908,u201D
the construction of a multibillion infrastructure for an alternative
government. The key element of this was an $8 billion communications
and logistics program headquartered at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, the
headquarters for Army Intelligence.[38]

Project 908
attracted the attention of Steve Emerson and other journalists in
1989, when it was revealed that there had been huge cost overruns,
double billing for the same work, and eventually destruction of
many key contracts documents in the course of an Army investigation.
The son of the Army general overseeing the project, former Congressman
Rick Renzi, was eventually indicted in 2008 on related charges of
extortion, fraud, money laundering and other crimes.[39]

But despite
initial failures in the communications network, it was ready to
be put into operation and utilized on September 11, 2001 by Vice-President
Cheney.[40] Key commands, including
the implementation of COG itself, appear to have been made over
this highest-classification security network.[41]
This may explain why a Boeing E-4B Advanced Airborne Command Post
or u201CDoomsday Plane,u201D the mobile communications center for the COG
shadow government, was seen around 10 AM in the prohibited air space
above the White House.[42]

There is no way to determine how many of the constitutional changes
since 9/11 can be traced to COG planning. However we do know that
new COG planning mea[43]sures
were still being introduced in 2007, when President Bush issued
National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51/HSPD-20). This
Directive set out what FEMA later called u201Ca new vision to ensure
the continuity of our Government,u201D and was followed in August by
a new National Continuity Policy Implementation Plan.[44]
NSPD-51 also nullified PDD 67, Richard Clarke's COG directive of
a decade earlier; and it referred to new “classified Continuity
Annexes” which shall “be protected from unauthorized disclosure.”

Under pressure
from his 911truth constituents, Congressman Peter DeFazio of the
Homeland Security Committee twice requested to see these Annexes.
His request was denied. DeFazio then requested a second time, in
a letter signed by the Chair of his committee. The request was denied

COG, The
National Emergency, and the National Emergencies Act

I mentioned
earlier that the Proclamation of a national emergency, issued by
Bush on September 14, 2001, and since renewed annually to this day,
changed significantly in 2007. All previous annual renewals had
enumerated the emergency measures that were being renewed, for example
u201Cthe measures taken on September 14, 2001, November 16, 2001, and
January 16, 2002.u201D After Bush issued NSPD-51 of 2007, with its u201Cnew
visionu201D and its new classified COG Annexes, the next renewal of
the Emergency proclamation replaced the previous specific enumerations
with a more sweeping general sentence:

Because the
terrorist threat continues, the national emergency declared on
September 14, 2001, last extended on September 5, 2006, and
the powers and authorities adopted to deal with that emergency,
must continue in effect beyond September 14, 2007.[46]

u201CThe powers
and authorities adopted to deal with that emergency.u201D This language
is so vague, it is hard to see how it could not cover the u201Cclassified
continuity annexesu201D of NSPD-51 as well. If so, the public proclamation
was now proclaiming the continuation of a secret. (The two renewals
of the Emergency by Barack Obama do not repeat this language from
2007, but likewise fail to enumerate just what powers are being

The National
Emergencies Act, one of the post-Watergate reforms that Vice-President
Cheney so abhorred, specifies that: u201CNot later than six months after
a national emergency is declared, and not later than the end of
each six-month period thereafter that such emergency continues,
each House of Congress shall meet to consider a vote on a joint
resolution to determine whether that emergency shall be terminatedu201D
(50 U.S.C. 1622, 2002).[48]
The law does not permit Congress to review an emergency;
it requires Congress to review it.

Yet in nine
years Congress has not once met to discuss the State of Emergency
declared by George W. Bush in response to 9/11, a State of Emergency
that remains in effect today. Appeals to the Congress to meet its
responsibilities to review COG have fallen on deaf ears, even now
that the Congress is dominated by Democrats.[49]

Former Congressman
Dan Hamburg and I appealed publicly in 2009, both to President Obama
to terminate the emergency, and to Congress to hold the hearings
required of them by statute.[50]
But Obama, without discussion, extended the 9/11 Emergency again
on September 10, 2009,[51]
and again a year later.[52]
Meanwhile Congress has continued to ignore its statutory obligations.

One Congressman
explained to a constituent that the provisions of the National Emergencies
Act have now been rendered inoperative by COG. If true, this would
indicate that the constitutional system of checks and balances no
longer applies, and also that secret decrees now override public

many people tend to repress the extraordinary facts that Cheney
and Rumsfeld were able to

1) help plan
successfully for constitutional modifications, when not in government,

2) implement
these same changes themselves when back in power.

The first of
these facts gives us a glimpse of an on-going power realm independent
of the publicly acknowledged state. In the words of James Mann,
u201CCheney and Rumsfeld were, in a sense, a part of the permanent,
though hidden, national security apparatus of the United States,
inhabitants of a world in which Presidents come and go, but America
always keeps on fighting.u201D[53]
A CNN Special Assignment assessment of the COG planners was even
more dramatic: u201Cu201CIn the United States of America there is a hidden
government about which you know nothing.u201D[54]

What is the
first step out of this current state of affairs, in which the constitution
appears to have been superseded by a higher, if less legitimate
authority? I submit that it is to get Congress to do what the law
requires, and determine whether our present proclamation of emergency
u201Cshall be terminatedu201D (50 U.S.C. 1622, 2002).

As part of
this procedure, Congress should find whether secret COG powers,
never submitted to Congress or seen by it, are among u201Cthe powers
and authoritiesu201D which Bush in 2007 included in his prolongation
of the 2001 emergency.

This is not
a technical or procedural detail. It is a test of whether the United
States continues to be governed by its laws and constitution, or
whether, as has been alleged, the laws and constitution have now
in places been superseded by COG.

And hopefully
Congress would look at the activities of Cheney's ninety days of
COG shadow government in 2001, and their relationship to the genesis
of the Patriot Act, the ten-year program for detention camps, and
the permanent militarization of US domestic law enforcement.

New York Times, July 14, 1987. We have never heard if there
was or was not an executive session, or if the rest of Congress
was ever aware of the matter. According to James Bamford, u201CThe existence
of the secret government was so closely held that Congress was completely
bypassed. Rather than through legislation, it was created by Top
Secret presidential fiat. In fact, Congress would have no role in
the new wartime administration. u2018One of the awkward questions we
faced,' said one of the participants, u2018was whether to reconstitute
Congress after a nuclear attack. It was decided that no, it would
be easier to operate without them.'u201D (James Bamford, A Pretext
for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies
[New York: Doubleday, 2004], 74); cf. James Mann, The Rise of
the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet [New York: Viking,
2004], 145). But key individuals in Congress were, such as Sen.
Inouye of the Senate Intelligence Committee, were certainly aware
of something.

Miami Herald, July 5, 1987. In October 1984 Jack Anderson
reported that FEMA's plans would u201Csuspend the Constitution and the
Bill of Rights, effectively eliminate private property, abolish
free enterprise, and generally clamp Americans in a totalitarian

Diana Reynolds, The Rise of the National Security State: FEMA and
the NSC, Political Research Associates,,Covert
Action Information Bulletin, #33 (Winter 1990). u201CEarlier, Governor
Reagan in California had authorized the development of a counterinsurgency
plan (known as Cable Splicer) and exercises to deal with such crises,
in conjunction with the U.S. Sixth Army and the Pentagon (Operation
Garden Plot). The cadres developing Cable Splicer (headed by Louis
Giuffrida), were with Reagan's elevation to the presidency transferred
into FEMA. As head of FEMA, Giuffrida pursued plans for massive
detention of dissidents; these became so extreme that even Reagan's
attorney general, William French Smith, raised objectionsu201D (Scott,
The Road to 9/11, 184; citing Gelbspan, Break-ins,

Tim Weiner, New York Times, April 17, 1994.

Bamford, A Pretext for War, 74; cf. James Mann, The Rise
of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet (New York:
Viking, 2004), 138-45.

Tim Shorrock, Spies for hire: the secret world of intelligence
outsourcing (New York : Simon & Schuster, 2008)., 78; Shirley
Anne Warshaw, The co-presidency of Bush and Cheney (Stanford, Calif.
: Stanford Politics and Policy, 2009), 162

The provisions of Executive Order 12656 of Nov. 18, 1988, appear
at 53 FR 47491, 3 CFR, 1988 Comp., p. 585,
The Washington Post (March 1, 2002) later claimed, falsely,
that Executive Order 12656 dealt only with u201Ca nuclear attack.u201D Earlier
there was a similar misrepresentation in the New York Times
(November 18, 1991).

Ross Gelbspan, Break-ins, Death Threats, and the FBI (Boston:
South End Press, 1991), 184; cf. New York Times, November 18,
1991. REX 84 (short for Readiness Exercise 84) turned out to be part
of a series of such exercises (now known as Continuity of Operations
Exercises) that have continued under FEMA down into the Obama era.
See for example the Department of Homeland Press Release, u201CDHS Conducts
Continuity of Operations Exercise,u201D June 17, 2009,

In stressing the alteration to our present political milieu by an
extra-governmental group, I do not intend to exonerate Congress.
In 1981 Congress passed the Military Cooperation with Civilian Law
Enforcement Agencies Act. According to a brilliant and prescient
essay written by an Air Force Colonel at the National War College,
the Act u201Cwas specifically intended to force reluctant military commanders
to actively collaborate in police worku201D (Air Force Lt. Col. Charles
E. Dunlap, u201CThe Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012;u201D
quoted in Harry G. Summers, The new world strategy : a military
policy for America’s future (New York: Simon & Schuster,
1995), 195.

9/11 Commission Report, 38, 326; Peter Dale Scott, The Road to
9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (Berkeley and
Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007), 228-29.

Alfred Goldberg et al., Pentagon 9/11 (Washington: Department
of Defense, 2007), 132.

Warshaw, The co-presidency of Bush and Cheney, 164-65; cf.
Washington Post, March 1, 2002; Scott, Road to 9/11, 237.
Warshaw took the characterization of u201Cshadow governmentu201D from earlier
reports by U.S. News and World Report in 1989, and CNN in
1991 (Warshaw, 162).

Scott, Road to 9/11, 238, 240-41.

u201CThe exercise anticipated civil disturbances, major demonstrations
and strikes that would affect continuity of government and/or resource
mobilization. To fight subversive activities, there was authorization
for the military to implement government ordered movements of civilian
populations at state and regional levels, the arrest of certain
unidentified segments of the population, and the imposition of martial
ruleu201D (Diana Reynolds, u201CThe Rise of the National Security State:
FEMA and the NSC,u201D Political Research Associates,,
Covert Action Information Bulletin, #33 (Winter 1990).

u201CNSPD-9: Combating Terrorism,u201D Federation of American Scientists,u201D
u201COn April 1, 2004, the White House released the following characterization
of this otherwise classified document: u201CThe NSPD called on the Secretary
of Defense to plan for military options u2018against Taliban targets
in Afghanistan, including leadership, command-control, air and air
defense, ground forces, and logistics.' The NSPD also called for
plans u2018against al Qaeda and associated terrorist facilities in Afghanistan,
including leadership, command-control-communications, training,
and logistics facilities.'”

u201CNSPD-9: Combating Terrorism,u201D Federation of American Scientists,u201D;
citing testimony of Donald Rumsfeld before 9/11 Commission, March
23, 2304. Cf. Richard Clarke, Against All Enemies, 237-38;
Steve Coll, Ghost Wars (New York: Penguin, 2004), 574-76;
9/11 Commission Report, 212-14. A draft of the presidential
directive had originally been circulated in June 2001 (9/11 Commission
Report, 208). But the directive approved on September 4 was
for covert action only (9/11 Commission Report, 213).

James Bamford, A Pretext for War, 287.

Jennifer Van Bergen, u201CThe USA PATRIOT Act Was Planned Before 9/11,u201D, May 20, 2002,
Van Bergen notes a parallel with the Patriot Act's predecessor,
the Antiterrorism Act of 1996: u201CJames X. Dempsey and David Cole
state in their book, u2018Terrorism & the Constitution: Sacrificing
Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security,' that the most
troubling provisions of the pre-USAPA anti-terrorism laws, enacted
in 1996 and expanded now by the USAPA, u2018were developed long before
the bombings [i.e. the Oklahoma bombing of 1995] that triggered
their final enactment.'”

Cf. Time, Nov. 26, 2001: “While Daschle, the Senate majority
leader, could have been chosen as a representative of all Democrats
or of the entire Senate, Leahy is a less obvious choice, most likely
targeted for a specific reason. He is head of the Senate Judiciary
Committee, which is involved in issues ranging from antitrust action
to antiterror legislationu201D [emphasis added]. See also Anthony
York, u201CWhy Daschle and Leahy?u201D Salon, November 21, 2001,

We should not forget either that some government experts initially
blamed the attacks on Iraq. Much later, referring to Fort Detrick,
Salon reporter Glenn Greenwald pointed out that u201Cthe same Government
lab where the anthrax attacks themselves came from was the same
place where the false reports originated that blamed those attacks
on Iraq.u201D

Lew Dubose and Jake Bernstein, Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking
of the American Presidency (New York: Random House, 2006), 28:
u201CDick Cheney…would spend the rest of his career working to restore
the Nixon vision of an all-powerful executive, by undoing the Watergate
reforms that came out of the early seventies.u201D

Schwarz and Huq, Unchecked and Unbalanced, 174; emphasis

Lew Dubose and Jake Bernstein, Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking
of the American Presidency (New York: Random House, 2006), 187-90;
citing John Yoo memos of September 25, 2001 (u201Cdeployu201D) and January
2002 (u201Cdo not protectu201D).

Department of Justice, u201CReview of the Terrorist Screening Center,u201D

u201CQuebec man changes name to dodge relentless airport screening,u201D
CBC News, September 11, 2008.

Naomi Wolf, u201CFascist America,u201D Guardian (London), April 24,

u201CFormer U.S. Marine Placed On u2018No Fly' List, Sues FBI,u201D NPR, August
5, 2010,
Even my two-year old grandson and his family were taken aside for
special questioning at the airport, because of0 his middle name,

Scott Shane, u201CAmerican Man in Limbo on No-Fly List,u201D New York
Times, June 16, 2010,

U.S. Department of Defense, u201CU.S. Northern Command,u201D
Cf. John R. Brinkerhoff, PBS, Online Newshour, 9/27/02: u201CThe United
States itself is now for the first time since the War of 1812 a
theater of war. That means that we should apply, in my view, the
same kind of command structure in the United States that we apply
in other theaters of war.u201D Brinkerhoff had earlier developed the
martial law provisions of REX 84 in the Reagan era.

Shorrock, Spies for Hire, 344.

Julian Assange, u201CThe spy who billed me twice,u201D Wikileaks,
The March 2009 Army manual u201CUS Army Concept of Operations for Police
Intelligence Operationsu201D contains phrases such as “It [fusion] does
not have constraints that are emplaced on MI [Military Intelligence]
activities within the US, because it operates under the auspice
and oversight of the police discipline and standards.”

u201CNotice-Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Persons
Who Commit, Threaten To Commit, or Support Terrorism,u201D Daily Compilation
Of Presidential Documentsu201D (u201CAuthor: Obama, Barack Hu201D), September
16, 2010,

Humanitarian Law Project v. United States Department of Treasury.

Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America
(Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007),

Mann, Rise of the Vulcans, 142 (order); (Boulder, CO: Westview
Press), pp. 59, 71, 102-104, and 158-178 (NSDD 55); Andrew Cockburn,
Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy (New York:
Scribner, 2007), 88 (2001).

Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy
(New York: Scribner, 2007), 88.

Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside
America's War on Terrorism (New York: Simon & Schuster,
2004), 8, 165-75.

Shorrock, Spies for hire,72-75. Warshaw and others have referred
to the whole COG operation as u201CProject 908;u201D but on the basis of
available evidence I believe that Project 908 was the construction
program only, as opposed to the planning and exercises which also
took place.

Shorrock, Spies for hire, 292-96; Steven Emerson, u201CAmerica's
Doomsday Project,u201D U.S. News & World Report, August 7,
1989, 26-31. As of this writing, Rick Renzi's trial, which was scheduled
to begin in March 2010, u201Chas been postponed indefinitelyu201D (Arizona
Republic, March 16, 2010,
Earlier secrecy had also led to scandalous budget abuses at FEMA,
the COG support agency, leading to the forced resignation of FEMA
director Louis Giuffrida in September 1985 [Christopher Cooper and
Robert Block. Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the failure of
Homeland Security (New York: Times Books, 2006], 54).

See e.g. Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies,

See discussion in Scott, Road to 9/11, 223-36. There were
reports that when Bush was airborne in Air force One on 9/11, there
were connectivity problems forcing the president to use an ordinary
cell phone (Paul Thompson, The Terror Timeline: Year by
Year, Day by Day, Minute by Minute [NewYork: HarperCollins/Regan
Books, 2004], 437). This may help explain why Air Force One eventually
flew to Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, where the E4-B u201CDoomsday
Planesu201D are based.

CNN, September 11, 2007,
On the CNN show 9/11 Commission Co-chair Lee Hamilton said he had
a vague memory of the mystery plane story, but that it was never
discussed by the 9/11 Commission. CNN promptly withdrew its 9/11
E-4B story from its website (u201CCNN Pulls 9/11 E4B ‘Doomsday’ Plane
Video Over White House,u201D digg, September 13, 2007,


Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Continuity Directive

Dennis Kucinich, David Swanson, Elizabeth De La Vega, The 35
Articles of Impeachment and the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush
([Port Townsend, Wash.] : Feral House, [2008]), 81; Peter Dale
Scott, u201CCongress, the Bush Administration and Continuity of Government
Planning: The Showdown,u201D CounterPunch, March 31, 2008,

u201CNotice: Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to
Certain Terrorist Attacks,u201D Federal Register, September 12, 2007,,
emphasis added.

u201CNotice from the President on the Continuation of the National Emergency
with Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks:….Consistent with section
202(d) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1622(d), I am continuing
for 1 year the national emergency previously declared on September
14, 2001, in Proclamation 7463, with respect to the terrorist attacks
of September 11, 2001, and the continuing and immediate threat of
further attacks on the United States. Because the terrorist threat
continues, the national emergency declared on September 14, 2001,
and the powers and authorities adopted to deal with that emergency
must continue in effect beyond September 14, 2010. Therefore, I am
continuing in effect for an additional year the national emergency
that was declared on September 14, 2001, with respect to the terrorist
threat. This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and
transmitted to the Congress. BARACK
OBAMA, THE WHITE HOUSE, September 10, 2010.u201D (

This language overruled the specification in President Ford's Executive
Order 11921 the same year, that, when a state of emergency was declared
by the President, Congress could not review the matter for
a period of six months.

Cf. Peter Dale Scott and Dam Hamburg, u201CTo All Readers: Help Force
Congress To Observe the Law on National Emergencies!!!,u201D,
March 24, 2009,

Peter Dale Scott, “To
All Readers: Help Force Congress To Observe the Law on National
(with Dan Hamburg), http.//,
March 24, 2009,

White House Press Release, September 10, 2009,
A press briefing by Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs the same day
did not mention the extension.

White House Press Release, September 10, 2010,

James Mann, Rise of the Vulcans, 145.

CNN Special Assignment, November 17, 1991.

from Global Research.

29, 2010

Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at
the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of Drugs
Oil and War
, The
Road to 9/11
, and The
War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War
His book, Fueling America’s War Machine: Deep Politics and the
CIA’s Global Drug Connection is in press, due Fall 2010
from Rowman & Littlefield.

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