First, a few tiny milestones, a mere sampling:
- Military Commissions Act (aka BushCo's Power Grab)
- Signing Statements (aka Bypass Laws by Fiat) (aka Above The Law)
- H.R. 5122 (aka Martial Law Made Easy)
On May 9, 2007...
National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive
NATIONAL SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/NSPD 51
HOMELAND SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/HSPD-20
Subject: National Continuity Policy
Highlights (all emphases mine):
- 1: This directive establishes a comprehensive national policy on the continuity of Federal Government structures and operations and a single National Continuity Coordinator responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of Federal continuity policies... to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program that will enhance the credibility of our national security posture and enable a more rapid and effective response to and recovery from a national emergency.
- 2b: "Catastrophic Emergency" means any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions
- 2c: "Continuity of Government," or "COG," means a coordinated effort within the Federal Government's executive branch to ensure that National Essential Functions continue to be performed during a Catastrophic Emergency;
- 2e: "Enduring Constitutional Government," or "ECG," means a cooperative effort among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government, coordinated by the President, as a matter of comity with respect to the legislative and judicial branches and with proper respect for the constitutional separation of powers among the branches, to preserve the constitutional framework under which the Nation is governed and the capability of all three branches of government to execute constitutional responsibilities and provide for orderly succession, appropriate transition of leadership, and interoperability and support of the National Essential Functions during a catastrophic emergency
- 4: Continuity requirements shall be incorporated into daily operations of all executive departments and agencies. As a result of the asymmetric threat environment, adequate warning of potential emergencies that could pose a significant risk to the homeland might not be available, and therefore all continuity planning shall be based on the assumption that no such warning will be received. Emphasis will be placed upon geographic dispersion of leadership, staff, and infrastructure in order to increase survivability and maintain uninterrupted Government Functions. Risk management principles shall be applied to ensure that appropriate operational readiness decisions are based on the probability of an attack or other incident and its consequences.
- 11b: Succession orders and pre-planned devolution of authorities that ensure the emergency delegation of authority must be planned and documented in advance in accordance with applicable law
- 12: In order to provide a coordinated response to escalating threat levels or actual emergencies, the Continuity of Government Readiness Conditions (COGCON) system establishes executive branch continuity program readiness levels, focusing on possible threats to the National Capital Region. The President will determine and issue the COGCON Level. Executive departments and agencies shall comply with the requirements and assigned responsibilities under the COGCON program. During COOP activation, executive departments and agencies shall report their readiness status to the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Secretary's designee.
- 23: Annex A and the classified Continuity Annexes, attached hereto, are hereby incorporated into and made a part of this directive.
- 24: Security. This directive and the information contained herein shall be protected from unauthorized disclosure, provided that, except for Annex A, the Annexes attached to this directive are classified and shall be accorded appropriate handling, consistent with applicable Executive Orders.
Some thoughts from the peanut gallery...
- Bush grants presidency extraordinary powers
But the new directive appears to supersede the National Emergency Act by creating the new position of national continuity coordinator without any specific act of Congress authorizing the position, Corsi says.
The directive also makes no reference to Congress and its language appears to negate any requirement that the president submit to Congress a determination that a national emergency exists.
It suggests instead that the powers of the directive can be implemented without any congressional approval or oversight.
- Bush makes power grab
- Bush To Be Dictator In A Catastrophic Emergency
The language written in the directive is disturbing because it doesn't say that the President will work with the other branches of government equally to ensure a constitutional government is protected. It says clearly that there will be a cooperative effort among the three branches that will be coordinated by the President. If the President is coordinating these efforts it effectively puts him in charge of every branch. The language in the directive is entirely Orwellian in nature making it seem that it is a cooperative effort between all three branches but than it says that the President is in charge of the cooperative effort.
⋅ ⋅ ⋅
The directive itself recognizes that each branch is already responsible for directing their own continuity of government procedures. If that's the case than why does the President need to coordinate these procedures for all of the branches? This is nothing more than a power grab that centralizes power and will make the President a dictator in the case of a so called Catastrophic Emergency.
- Bush Anoints Himself as the Insurer of Constitutional Government in Emergency
It defines a "catastrophic emergency" as "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government function."
This could mean another 9/11, or another Katrina, or a major earthquake in California, I imagine, since it says it would include "localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack-related emergencies."
The document emphasizes the need to ensure "the continued function of our form of government under the Constitution, including the functioning of the three separate branches of government," it states.
But it says flat out: "The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government."
⋅ ⋅ ⋅
The document also contains "classified Continuity Annexes."
Translated into layman's terms, when the president determines a national emergency has occurred, the president can declare to the office of the presidency powers usually assumed by dictators to direct any and all government and business activities until the emergency is declared over.
Ironically, the directive sees no contradiction in the assumption of dictatorial powers by the president with the goal of maintaining constitutional continuity through an emergency.
Plus, it appears I'm not the only one who sees how it might unfold.
It is so over...
If the constitution of a state is democratic, then every exceptional negation of democratic principles, every exercise of state power independent of the approval of the majority, can be called dictatorship.
The Senate and the Empire
The Senate lived on for a while after the fall of the Republic, technically maintaining its old powers, but the Emperor had the support of the military, and the Senate's powers were ultimately doomed. As soon as the Senate bowed to the Emperor Augustus, it was a downhill trend. The Roman Senate became a pathetic rubber-stamp body. When it tried to oppose some of the emperors, the emperors often relied on intimidation and brute force to get their way. In one famous incident, soldiers were ominously marched into the senate; they did nothing, but the terrified Senators backed away from challenging the emperor's dictates. At other times, there were active purges and slaughters of the Senatorial families, and the senate was stacked with nobility reliant on the Emperor for their positions and support.
The Senate was one of the few remaining Republican political institutions that survived into the Empire. By Tacitus' time, the Senate was almost completely dominated by the various emperors. The proud and aristocratic Senators, who had never been champions of the common Roman in any case, bristled under the murderous authority of the Emperor as subjects themselves.
The rich and powerful had contempt for "average" Roman. The elites' greedy attempts to undermine the few freedoms enjoyed by the Republicans resulted in their own ultimate enslavement to a succession of corrupt families and brutal emperors.
—The Roman Senate
Note: The following added May 31, 2007 [again, all em. mine]
As of December 22, 2006, Bush had used the words "unitary executive" 145 times in his signing statements and executive orders. [former deputy assistant attorney general John] Yoo, one of the chief architects of Bush's doctrine of unfettered executive power, wrote memoranda advising Bush that because he was commander in chief, he could make war any time he thought there was a threat, and he didn't have to comply with the Geneva Conventions.
In a 2005 debate with Notre Dame professor Doug Cassel, Yoo argued there is no law that could prevent the President from ordering that a young child of a suspect in custody be tortured, even by crushing the child's testicles.
⋅ ⋅ ⋅
One wonders what Bush & Co. are setting up with the new Presidential Directive. What if, heaven forbid, some sort of catastrophic event were to occur just before the 2008 election? Bush could use this directive to suspend the election. This administration has gone to great lengths to remain in Iraq. It has built huge permanent military bases and pushed to privatize Iraq's oil. Bush and Cheney may be unwilling to relinquish power to a successor administration.
(This is what I've been saying all along. Glad others are starting to ken this.)
So... is it conceivable that the following horrific threat could be preparing us for the inevitable catastrophic emergency? It sure would provide a convenient excuse to help BushCo finally alleviate their hegemonic blueballs from all that Iranian nuclear cockteasing, wouldn't it?
By ANNA JOHNSON; Associated Press; May 31, 2007
CAIRO, Egypt An American member of Al Qaeda warned President Bush to end American involvement in all Islamic lands or face an attack worse than the September 11, 2001, assault, according to a new videotape.
Here's a snippet from the video:
In other words, you're losing on all fronts and losing big time.
Bush, the die has been cast and the blood has been spilled and there is no way to undo what you have done.
⋅ ⋅ ⋅
This is not a call for negotiations. We don't negotiate with baby killers and war criminals like you. No, these are legitimate demands which must be met. And your failure to heed our demands and the demands of reason means that you and your people will — Allah willing — experience things which will make you forget all about the horrors of September 11th, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Virginia Tech.
No? Too obvious? (But when did that ever stop them from anything?)
How about this one — it's a bit more subtle, and has had a much longer gestation period to help us get used to the idea:
The US military has begun to plan for a possible avian flu pandemic that could kill as many as three million people in the United States in as little as six weeks, a Pentagon planning document said.
The Defense Department's "Implementation Plan for Pandemic Influenza," which was posted Wednesday on a Pentagon website, lays out guidelines and planning assumptions for US military services and combatant commands.
Possible scenarios include US troops being called in to put down riots, guard pharmaceutical plants and shipments, and help restrict the movement of people inside the country and across its borders.
The plan envisions fast moving, catastrophic waves of disease that would overwhelm health facilities and cripple the ability of state and local authorities to provide even basic commodities or services.
"A pandemic in the United States could result in 20-35 percent of the population becoming ill, three percent being hospitalized, and a fatality rate of one percent," the document said in a section on "planning assumptions."
⋅ ⋅ ⋅
Transportation within states or internationally will be restricted to contain the spread of the virus, and communities may voluntarily close schools and limit public gatherings.
Additionally, the Defense Department will develop a plan to ensure the continuity of operations of the US government and be prepared to support civilian authorities with medical supplies, airlift and security forces.
⋅ ⋅ ⋅
"When directed by the president, DoD will provide support to civil authorities in the event of a civil disturbance," the document said. "DoD will augment civilian law enforcement efforts to restore and maintain order in accordance with existing statutes."
(This, too, is what I've been saying.)
Keep your eyes open... there are probably some more PR-promulgated apocalyptic scenarios coming soon to a meme near you!
Note: Read this for more signs of the impending Engineered Catastrophic Event.