Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

07.20 Until Emissions Drop, Nothing Has Been Accomplished: The Climate Resistance Handbook Is Here. [Trump can't be bothered as the world turns into a large cinder. His laser focus is on personal greed.]

07.20 Babies Born Near Oil and Gas Wells Are Up to 70% More Likely to Have Congenital Heart Defects, New Study Shows

07.20 Giving 'Upper Hand to Corporate Polluters,' EPA Drops Surprise Inspections

07.20 With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System' [Realtime proactive response to reality—now and threatening—doesn't get attention in this greed focused administration]

07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

News Media Matters

07.19 Fox News’s star names excuse the inexcusable after Trump's latest racist attack

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.20 Puerto Rico: top US politicians join chorus calling for governor's resignation

07.20 Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction [If he opens his mouth, Trump's lying.]

07.20 "Trump Says Go Home, Ilhan's Community Says Welcome Home": Rep. Omar Greeted With Cheers of Love and Support in Return to Minnesota

07.20 WATCH: Amid Extreme Anti-Refugee Push, Trump Displays Neither Interest Nor Knowledge of Asylum Seekers' Plight in Oval Office Meeting

07.20 Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally [Not sure if Trump supporters 'get' satire, but here goes....]

07.19 Are progressives working on a climate plan for 2021? You bet.

07.19 House Democrats demand Hope Hicks clarify testimony after Cohen document dump

07.19 The 51 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's repugnant North Carolina rally

07.19 The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Breaking up Homeland Security

07.18 Deadly Delays in Jail Construction Cost Lives and Dollars Across California

07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]

07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]

07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]

07.18 "Can't Change a Corrupt System by Taking Its Money": Sanders Urges All 2020 Democrats to Reject Insurance, Big Pharma Cash [49:02 video w/ lousy sound]

Justice Matters

07.19 UN urged to act over 'purge' of Turkey's lawyers by Erdogan

07.19 DOJ Releases Strong Evidence of Trump’s Campaign Finance Violations But No Explanation of No Charges [The statement]

High Crimes vs. Human Rights

07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.20 US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats [Working with Osama bin Laden's godfathers, Trump wants to profit like Erik Prince (for-profit education secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) of Blackwater infamy (hurriedly renamed ‘Academi’), the U.S. taxpayer to pay inflated costs while Trump siphons off long-term emolument largesse]

07.20 Iran on 'dangerous path' with seizure of Stena Impero, says UK [Which is this, a tit or a tat?]

07.20 'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines [Too much CO2 air pollution makes you stupid, and turns your country into an “Idiocracy” (1:36 video clip)]

07.20 Bolsonaro declares 'the Amazon is ours' and calls deforestation data 'lies' [Lazy and willfully stupid whenever it serves his purpose, just like Trump. “And the rest of you can all go to hell.” Again, just like Trump. Has your country turned into an “Idiocracy”? (1:36 video clip)]

07.19 U.N.'s Bachelet says Congresswomen opposing Trump are 'fantastic'

07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]

07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]

07.18 Foreign purchases of American homes plunge 36% as Chinese buyers flee the market

07.18 There are 16 million slaves around the world making our stuff

07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]

07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Print view: Continuity of Government: Coup d'Etat Authority in America
A PLAN THAT “DR. EVIL” WOULD BE PROUD OF:

Continuity of Government: Coup d'Etat Authority in America

Much of what George W. Bush and Dick Cheney did remains in effect. Draw your own conclusions.

by Stephen Lendman
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
The Continuity Of Government Plan is open-ended, in violation of the Constitution's Separation of Powers—the document George Bush called "just a goddamn piece of paper," and governed accordingly throughout his tenure—a practice Obama continues.

This article reviews the historical roots and America's current Continuity of Government authority, initially planned and developed by Ronald Reagan. More on that below.

On March 1, 2002, Washington Post writers Barton Gellman and Susan Schmidt headlined, "Shadow Government Is at Work in Secret," saying:

"President Bush has dispatched a shadow government of about 100 senior civilian managers to live and work secretly outside Washington, activating for the first time longstanding plans to ensure survival of federal rule after a catastrophic attack on the nation's capital."

Shortly after 9/11, a classified "Continuity of Operations Plan" (aka "continuity of government") was implemented. Legal documents were then drafted, creating a shadow government in case of a catastrophe, George Bush saying:

"We take the continuity of government issue seriously because our nation was under attack. Until this country has routed out terrorists wherever they hid, we're not safe."

In other words, the plan, like the "war on terror," is open-ended, in violation of the Constitution's Separation of Powers, the document George Bush called "just a goddamn piece of paper," and governed accordingly throughout his tenure, a practice Obama continues. More on that below.

On April 4, 2007, the Bush administration issued a combined White House/Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Security/Homeland Security Presidential Directive NSPD 51/HSPD 20, extending for one year the 9/11 emergency for the sixth time, and establishing Continuity of Government (COG) procedures under Catastrophic Emergency conditions, defined as:

"any incident (such as a terrorist attack), regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the US population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions."

COG is then defined as:

"a coordinated effort within the Federal Government's executive branch to ensure that National Essential Functions continue to be performed during a Catastrophic Emergency."

The combined directive gave the president and DHS unprecedented police state powers to declare martial law without congressional approval, and be able to rule extrajudicially, free from constitutional constrains. It also let the vice-president assume dictatorial powers, George Bush left a figurehead by clever wording, saying:

NSPD 51 "shall be implemented in a manner that is consistent with, and facilitates effective implementation of, provisions of the Constitution concerning succession to the Presidency or the exercise of its powers, and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 (3 U.S.C. 19), with consultation of the Vice President and, as appropriate, others involved. Heads of executive departments and agencies shall ensure that appropriate support is available to the Vice President and others involved as necessary to be prepared at all times to implement those provisions."

Related to this was Dick Cheney's 2005 "Contingency Plan" in case of another 9/11 type attack, authorizing preemptive measures, including war, against suspected terrorists, individuals and/or sponsor states, depending on who's designated.

COG authority is renewed annually. Thus, on September 10, 2009, the White House extended the Bush administration's 9/11 national emergency, a press release saying:

"CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN TERRORIST ATTACKS

Consistent with sections 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1622(d), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency 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, 2009. Therefore, I am continuing in effect for an additional year the national emergency the former President 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."

On September 14, 1982, Ronald Reagan's (secret) National Security Decision Directive/NSDD 55 established a National Program Office (NPO), tasked with ensuring the federal government's survive in case of a national emergency, specifically a nuclear attack.

Reporting to Vice President Bush, NPO developed and coordinated secret plans with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), CIA, and Departments of State and Defense to maintain large underground bunkers, high-tech software, and procedures to let government function under emergency conditions - originally in case of nuclear attack, now terrorist ones or any "emergency," including natural disasters.

In 1988, Reagan's Executive Order 12656 authorized a COG response, including full-scale militarization in case of a "national security emergency," defined as:

"Any occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological or other emergency, that seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security of the United States."

The policy remained largely in place under GHW Bush's April 1990 National Security Directive (NSD) 37, June 1992 NSD 69 (both titled Enduring Constitutional Government), and Bill Clinton's October 1998 Presidential Decision Directive/National Security Council (PDD/NSC) 67, titled Enduring Constitutional Government and Continuity of Government Operations, stating:

It "relates to enduring constitutional government, continuity of operations (COOP) planning, and continuity of government (COG) operations....to ensure survival of a constitutional form of government and the continuity of essential Federal functions."

The earlier notion of "enduring" or "continuity" of government became changing it extrajudicially under George Bush, ideas secretly plotted in the 1980s and 1990s by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and other neocon extremists (so-called Project 908), implemented on 9/11.

According to the 9/11 Commission, it was without elaboration, but consider what followed - an array of police state actions by Executive Orders (EOs), National and Homeland Security Presidential Directives, legislation, and other disturbing measures, targeting designated domestic and foreign adversaries, dissent, civil liberties, human rights, and other democratic freedoms, including an assault on the Bill of Rights. What followed included:

  • the October 8, 2001 Executive Order (EO) 13228 establishing two Executive agencies: the Office of Homeland Security (OHS) "to develop and implement a national strategy to coordinate federal, state, and local counterterrorism efforts to secure the country from and respond to terrorist threats or attacks;" and the Homeland Security Council (HSC) "to advise the President on homeland security matters, mirroring the role the National Security Council (NSC) plays in national security;"
  • the October 2001 USA Patriot Act, eroding First, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment protections, including free association, due process, freedom from illegal searches and seizures, and privacy; the crime of "domestic terrorism" was also established, thereafter targeting animal and environmental activists and other US citizens; in February 2010, Obama extended the law with little notice;
  • the November 2001 Military Order Number 1, authorizing the president to capture, kidnap or otherwise arrest non-citizens (and later citizens) anywhere in the world for any reason, and detain them indefinitely without charge, evidence, due process or judicial fairness protections of law;
  • in April 2002, the US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) was established, militarizing the homeland for the first time, authorizing federal troops in American communities in case of emergencies, including terrorist attacks and civil unrest;
  • the November 2002 Homeland Security Act (HSA), creating the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), combining previously separate federal agencies under one authority to prepare for, prevent, and respond to domestic emergencies and give Washington new police state powers; the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) is its largest investigative and enforcement arm, targeting suspected criminal and terrorist threats, including undocumented immigrants by their presence, treating them repressively like common criminals;
  • the October 2006 Military Commissions Act authorized torture and sweeping unconstitutional powers to detain, interrogate, and prosecute alleged suspects and collaborators (including US citizens), detain them indefinitely in military prisons, and deny them habeas and other legal protections;
  • in October 2006, provisions in Sections 333 and 1076 of the FY 2007 Defense Authorization Act amended the 1807 Insurrection Act and 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, prohibiting federal or National Guard troops use for law enforcement unless congressionally authorized in emergencies like an insurrection; now the president can claim a public emergency, declare martial law, suspend the Constitution, and deploy military forces on US streets, including to suppress dissent;
  • extrajudicial domestic surveillance became institutionalized;
  • a vast, secret offshore gulag was established, besides the few known ones at Guantanamo, in Iraq, and Afghanistan;
  • indefinite preventive detentions were authorized for persons who can't be prosecuted, yet are claimed (without evidence) to endanger America;
  • torture became official policy;
  • In January 2009, HR 645: National Emergency Centers Establishment Act was introduced, referred to committee, but thus far not passed "To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish national emergency centers on military installations," six in major regions, modeled on Guantanamo, militarizing FEMA to run them; and
  • various other measures were enacted, hardening repressive domestic rule, heading for extrajudicial martial law to quell expected or ongoing civil disturbances.
Historical Roots of COG Authority

COG roots go back to the June 1947 National Security Act (as amended) that merged the Departments of War and Navy into the National Military Establishment (NME), including a separate Department of the Air Force headed by a Secretary of Defense - in August 1949, NME renamed the Department of Defense.

NSA also established the CIA, National Security Resources Board (NSRB), and National Security Council (NSC) to advise the president on domestic, foreign, and military policies at the onset of the Cold War.

In the early 1950s, Truman approved construction of a massive 200,000 square foot underground facility along the Maryland - Pennsylvania border, 65 miles north of Washington. Officially called the Alternate Joint Communications Center (Site-R at Raven Rock), it was one of 96 Federal Relocation Centers (or Federal Relocation Arc) around the nation's capital for government and Pentagon use in case of nuclear war.

Later, they became the "backbone" for COG operations, where Cheney and other top officials went after (or perhaps hours before) 9/11.

On December 1, 1950, Truman's EO 10186 established the Federal Civil Defense Administration (FCDA) within the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), to oversee federal emergency planning.

On December 16, 1950, EO 10193 created the Office of Defense Mobilization (ODM), to mobilize civilians, industries, and government agencies to defend the nation in an emergency. Other measures followed to establish procedures under emergency conditions if the country was attacked.

On April 17, 1952, Truman's EO 10346 ordered the FCDA to coordinate "continuity" plans within the federal government in case of nuclear war.

On July 1, 1958, Reorganization Plan No. 1 merged the FCDA and ODM into the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization (OCDM), to ensure continuation of essential government and industry functions under national emergency conditions.

On October 28, 1969, Nixon's EO 11490 directed government officials to ensure the continuation of "essential functions" in case of an emergency. It also directed department heads to develop succession of office plans, overseen by the Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) - called a thin line between government and dictatorship, according to some.

In 1970, future Reagan administration FEMA head, Louis O. Giuffrida, advocated martial law in case of mass civil unrest, specifically recommending placing millions of "American negroes" in "assembly centers or relocation camps."

On May 5, 1972, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) became the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency (DCPA) to "provide preparedness assistance planning in all areas of civil defense and natural disasters."

In March 1976, The Progressive published an article about Mount Weather, a secret underground facility, 50 miles north of Washington, to house a parallel executive branch ready to take over government under emergency conditions.

On April 1, 1979, FEMA was established to oversee federal planning for natural disasters, including nuclear and terrorist attacks. Purportedly to help victims, it, in fact, serves federal authorities, including administering continuity measures if needed. Its Office of National Continuity Programs (NCP) is the "Lead Agent for the Federal Executive Branch on matters concerning continuity of national operations under the gravest of conditions."

Measures in the 1980s and 1990s were reviewed above. On May 8, 2001 (four months before 9/11), George Bush established the Office of National Preparedness under FEMA - empowering Dick Cheney to oversee a "coordinated national effort" to integrate Washington's response to a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack.

On 9/11, from 9:45 - 9:56AM EDT, NSC counterterrorism adviser Richard A. Clarke activated COG, ordering all federal agencies "to activate an alternative command post, an alternative headquarters outside of Washington, DC, and to staff it as soon as possible."

In addition, key officials went to secure locations, including Dick Cheney, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, and other Republican and Democrat leaders, after which a "shadow government" was formed, perhaps still in ready to be reactivated under emergency conditions.

On July 27, 2009, The New York Times reported that its activation remained intact under Obama, saying:

White House officials draw "no distance between their own policies and those left behind by the Bush administration." The White House said only that current policy is "settled."

A Final Comment

Under the 1947 Presidential Succession Act, the Vice President becomes Chief Executive if a President dies, followed by the House Speaker, Senate President Pro Tempore, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, and 11 other cabinet officers in line of succession according to when their office was established, Secretary of Homeland Security the newest in 2001.

Key is who's empowered, not inaugurated - authority given Dick Cheney under George Bush's NSPD 51 as explained above. Most worrisome is if COG subverts constitutional protections, ends democratic freedoms, and makes America another banana republic ruled by wealthy, unelected, despotic, corrupted elites - a status largely descriptive of present day conditions.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on September 1, 2010.
 

Public Service Ads: