BUSH’S PUSH FOR MARTIAL LAW!!
TASKING OF US ARMY 3ID 1CB ON AMERICAN SOIL UNDER NORTHCOM 1OCT08 AND THE FIGHT TO STOP ITS IMPLEMENTATION!!
EXCERPT FROM BUSH SIGNING STATEMENT:
The executive branch shall construe sections 914 and 1512 of the Act, which purport to make consultation with specified Members of Congress a precondition to the execution of the law, as calling for but not mandating such consultation, as is consistent with the Constitution's provisions concerning the separate powers of the Congress to legislate and the President to execute the laws.
Leahy Concerned about NorthCom’s New Army Unit
By Matthew Rothschild (I don’t like this name whatsoever, and he thinks 911 Truth isn’t so he sucks, but the article is fairly accurate!!) , October 7, 2008 http://www.progressive.org/mag/wx100708.html Senator Patrick Leahy is concerned about the Pentagon’s decision to designate an Army unit to Northern Command.
On October 1, the Pentagon, for the first time ever, dedicated an Army force specifically to NorthCom, which is in charge of securing not some foreign region but the United States of America. The unit it assigned is the 3rd Infantry, First Brigade Combat Team, which has spent three of the last five years in Iraq. It was one of the first units to get to Baghdad, and it was active in retaking and patrolling Fallujah. One of its specialties is counterinsurgency. This marks a change for NorthCom, which was established on October 1, 2002. Its website still says it “has few permanently assigned forces,” and that “the command is assigned forces whenever necessary to execute missions, as ordered by the President and the Secretary of Defense.” Leahy “asked for a briefing from his staff” on this development and “wants to monitor the situation,” an aide to Leahy said. Leahy was instrumental in getting Congress to repeal the “Insurrection Act Rider” in the 2006 defense appropriations bill. That rider had given the President sweeping power to use military troops in ways contrary to the Insurrection Act and Posse Comitatus Act. The rider authorized the President to have troops patrol our streets in response to disasters, epidemics, and any “condition” he might cite. Leahy said last December that this rider “made it easier for the President to take over the Guard and to declare martial law.” In a Senate statement on April 24, 2007, he cautioned against inserting the military “into domestic situations.” As he put it: “One of the distinguishing characteristics of the United States is that we do not use the military to patrol our communities and neighborhoods.” A few months before that, he warned that we must ensure that “the military is not used in a way that offends and endangers some of our most cherished values and liberties.” The repeal of the rider was signed by Bush on January 28, though Amy Goodman reports that “Bush attached a signing statement that he did not feel bound by the repeal.” The roles the 1st Brigade Combat Team will take on at NorthCom are a bit unclear. “They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control,” said the Army Times when it first reported on it. These duties would be in addition to dealing with “potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.” Soldiers in the unit “also will learn how to use ‘the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has field,’ 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them,” the article noted. Cloutier even bragged to the Army Times: “I was the first guy in the brigade to get Tasered.” The Army Times has since issued a correction, stating that the “non-lethal crowd control package” is “intended for use on deployments to the war zone, not in the U.S.”
NorthCom’s own press release of September 30 says, “This response force will not be called upon to help with law enforcement, civil disturbance, or crowd control.” The unit will have its regular weapons, however. It will store other weapons in “containers,” and will have access to tanks, as Amy Goodman has reported and the Pentagon has confirmed. The Army is taking a strong interest in this deployment. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey personally observed the combat team’s training exercise, entitled “Vibrant Response,” which was held at Fort Stewart, Georgia, last month. According to NorthCom’s public affairs department, Gen. Casey “pointed out that being part of the new force requires a shift in thinking for soldiers who are accustomed to taking charge.” One soldier in the exercise said he learned that the troops should “preposition containers and equipment.” NorthCom’s website, in a section on frequently asked questions about Joint Task Forces—Civil Support, cites “DoD Directive 3025.1” as laying out the criteria for how the Pentagon will respond in domestic situations. That directive talks about “military support in dealing with the actual or anticipated consequences of civil emergencies.” Those civil emergencies could be “arising during peace, war, or transition to war.” While it states that such support “does not include military support to local law enforcement,” there is a provision in the directive for the military to take over functions of the civilian government. Military personnel “shall not perform any function of civil government unless absolutely necessary on a temporary basis under conditions of Immediate Response. Any commander who is directed, or undertakes, to perform such functions shall facilitate the reestablishment of civil responsibility at the earliest possible time,” the document states. Under this “Immediate Response” exception, local military commanders can even act without prior approval from their superiors. “Imminently serious conditions resulting from any civil emergency or attack may require immediate action by military commanders, or by responsible officials of other DoD agencies, to save lives, prevent human suffering, or mitigate great property damage,” it says. “When such conditions exist and time does not permit prior approval from higher headquarters, local military commanders and responsible officials of other DoD Components are authorized by this Directive, subject to any supplemental direction that may be provide by their DoD Component, to take necessary action to respond to requests of civil authorities.” The Pentagon’s decision to dedicate the First Brigade Combat Team to NorthCom has raised alarms, especially in the context of the current economic crisis. In Bush’s National Security Presidential Directive 51, he lays out his authority in the event of a catastrophic emergency. In such an emergency, “the President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government” and will coordinate with state, local, and tribal governments, along with private sector owners of infrastructure.
NSPD 51 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.” Notice the use of the word “or” above. In our current circumstances, it might be more relevant to read the definition this way: “any incident . . . that results in extraordinary levels of . . . disruption severely affecting the U.S. . . . economy.” President Bush could declare a catastrophic emergency today. And he’d have the 3rd Infantry, First Brigade Combat Team, well trained from its years patrolling Iraq, at his disposal here at home. EDITOR'S NOTE: Matthew Rothschild was on Democracy Now! on October 7 debating Army Col. Michael Boatner, USNORTHCOM future operations division chief. Addendum: On the House floor, on October 1, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, 27th District, said the following about the threats that were being issued over the bailout bill: “The only way they can pass this bill is by creating and sustaining a panic atmosphere. That atmosphere is not justified. Many of us were told in private conversations that if we voted against this bill on Monday, the sky would fall, the market would drop two or three thousand points the first day and another couple thousand the second day, and a few members were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted no.”
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/10/20061017-9.html President's Statement on H.R. 5122, the "John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007"
Today, I have signed into law H.R. 5122, the "John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007" (the "Act"). The Act authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its White House News interests abroad, for military construction, for national security-related energy programs, and for maritime security-related transportation programs. Several provisions of the Act call for executive branch officials to submit to the Congress recommendations for legislation, or purport to regulate the manner in which the President formulates recommendations to the Congress for legislation. These provisions include sections 516(h), 575(g), 603(b), 705(d), 719(b), 721(e), 741(e), 813, 1008, 1016(d), 1035(b)(3), 1047(b), and 1102 of the Act, section 118(b)(4) of title 10, United States Code, as amended by section 1031 of the Act, section 2773b of title 10 as amended by section 1053 of the Act, and section 403 of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (Public Law 108-375) as amended by
section 403 of the Act. The executive branch shall construe these provisions in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to recommend for the consideration of the Congress such measures as the President deems necessary and expedient. The executive branch shall construe sections 914 and 1512 of the Act, which purport to make consultation with specified Members of Congress a precondition to the execution of the law, as calling for but not mandating such consultation, as is consistent with the Constitution's provisions concerning the separate powers of the Congress to legislate and the President to execute the laws. A number of provisions in the Act call for the executive branch to furnish information to the Congress or other entities on various subjects. These provisions include sections 219, 313, 360, 1211, 1212, 1213, 1227, 1402, and 3116 of the Act, section 427 of title 10, United States Code, as amended by section 932 of the Act, and section 1093 of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (Public Law 108-375) as amended by section 1061 of the Act. The executive branch shall construe such provisions in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to withhold information the disclosure of which could impair foreign relations, the national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive's constitutional duties. The executive branch shall construe as advisory section 1011(b)(2) of the Act, which purports to prohibit the Secretary of the Navy from retiring a specified warship from operational status unless, among other things, a treaty organization established by the U.S. and foreign nations gives formal notice that it does not desire to maintain and operate that warship. If construed as mandatory rather than advisory, the provision would impermissibly interfere with the President's constitutional authority to conduct the Nation's foreign affairs and as Commander in Chief. The executive branch shall construe section 1211, which purports to require the executive branch to undertake certain consultations with foreign governments and follow certain steps in formulating and executing U.S. foreign policy, in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authorities to conduct the Nation's foreign affairs and to supervise the unitary executive branch. As is consistent with the principle of statutory construction of giving effect to each of two statutes addressing the same subject whenever they can co-exist, the executive branch shall construe section 130d of title 10, as amended by section 1405 of the Act, which provides further protection against disclosure of certain homeland security information in certain circumstances, as in addition to, and not in derogation of, the broader protection against disclosure of information afforded by section 892 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and other law protecting broadly against disclosure of such information. GEORGE W. BUSH THE WHITE HOUSE, October 17, 2006.
The Warner Act: A Martial Law Enabling Act
I'm reposting an excellent article by Frank Morales that was written in October 2006 about the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007. This act was passed by Congress in October and signed by Bush the same day he signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006. The Warner Act, however, was signed in a
private ceremony and hardly anyone has even heard about it. When I speak to groups most of the time no one raises their hand when I ask if anyone knows about this law. In effect, the Warner Act enables martial law. It overrides the Posse Comitatus Act that dates from the civil war and that prohibits the use of military forces in domestic affairs. The Warner Act allows the President to take control over the National Guard units over the objections of state governors and use the guard to conduct roundups, mass detentions and anything else that might be justified by him upon his declaration of a "public emergency." The legislation specifies that should the President deem it necessary to declare a public emergency that he must consult with a select group of Congress members to tell them why he is doing this and what he is doing. In Bush's signing statement he declares in essence that he reserves the right not to consult with anyone: "The executive branch shall construe sections 914 and 1512 of the Act, which purport to make consultation with specified Members of Congress a precondition to the execution of the law, as calling for but not mandating such consultation, as is consistent with the Constitution's provisions concerning the separate powers of the Congress to legislate and the President to execute the laws." In other words, he can declare martial law and not tell anyone why he's doing it or what he's doing. There is a word for this: dictatorship. Yet, in spite of this outrageous law and his outrageous signing statement, the media have been silent on this. We, the people, however, cannot be silent in the face of these moves towards a fascist state. "Bush Moves Towards Martial Law" by Frank Morales October 26, 2006 In a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a provision which, according to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), will actually encourage the
President to declare federal martial law (1). It does so by revising the Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President's ability to deploy troops within the United States. The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement. With one cloaked swipe of his pen, Bush is seeking to undo those prohibitions. Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122) (2), which was signed by the commander in chief on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of statebased National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder." President Bush seized this unprecedented power on the very same day that he signed the equally odious Military Commissions Act of 2006. In a sense, the two laws complement one another. One allows for torture and detention abroad, while the other seeks to enforce acquiescence at home, preparing to order the military onto the streets of America. Remember, the term for putting an area under military law enforcement control is precise; the term is "martial law." Section 1076 of the massive Authorization Act, which grants the Pentagon another $500-plus-billion for its ill-advised adventures, is entitled, "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies." Section 333, "Major public emergencies; interference with State and Federal law" states that "the President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of ("refuse" or "fail" in) maintaining public order, "in order to suppress, in any State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy."
For the current President, "enforcement of the laws to restore public order" means to commandeer guardsmen from any state, over the objections of local governmental, military and local police entities; ship them off to another state; conscript them in a law enforcement mode; and set them loose against "disorderly" citizenry - protesters, possibly, or those who object to forced vaccinations and quarantines in the event of a bio-terror event. The law also facilitates militarized police round-ups and detention of protesters, so called "illegal aliens," "potential terrorists" and other "undesirables" for detention in facilities already contracted for and under construction by Halliburton. That's right. Under the cover of a trumped-up "immigration emergency" and the frenzied militarization of the southern border, detention camps are being constructed right under our noses, camps designed for anyone who resists the foreign and domestic agenda of the Bush administration. An article on "recent contract awards" in a recent issue of the slick, insider "Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International" reported that "global engineering and technical services powerhouse KBR [Kellog, Brown & Root] announced in January 2006 that its Government and Infrastructure division was awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to support U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities in the event of an emergency." "With a maximum total value of $385 million over a five year term," the report notes, "the contract is to be executed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers," "for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs." The report points out that "KBR is the engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton." (3) So, in addition to authorizing another $532.8 billion for the Pentagon, including a $70-billion "supplemental provision" which covers the cost of the ongoing, mad military maneuvers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places, the new law, signed by the president in a private White House ceremony, further collapses the historic
divide between the police and the military: a tell-tale sign of a rapidly consolidating police state in America, all accomplished amidst ongoing U.S. imperial pretensions of global domination, sold to an "emergency managed" and seemingly willfully gullible public as a "global war on terrorism." Make no mistake about it: the de-facto repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act (PCA) is an ominous assault on American democratic tradition and jurisprudence. The 1878 Act, which reads, "Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both," is the only U.S. criminal statute that outlaws military operations directed against the American people under the cover of 'law enforcement.' As such, it has been the best protection we've had against the power-hungry intentions of an unscrupulous and reckless executive, an executive intent on using force to enforce its will. Unfortunately, this past week, the president dealt posse comitatus, along with American democracy, a near fatal blow. Consequently, it will take an aroused citizenry to undo the damage wrought by this horrendous act, part and parcel, as we have seen, of a long train of abuses and outrages perpetrated by this authoritarian administration. Despite the unprecedented and shocking nature of this act, there has been no outcry in the American media, and little reaction from our elected officials in Congress. On September 19th, a lone Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) noted that 2007's Defense Authorization Act contained a "widely opposed provision to allow the President more control over the National Guard [adopting] changes to the Insurrection Act, which will make it easier for this or any future President to use the military to restore domestic order WITHOUT the consent of the nation's governors." Senator Leahy went on to stress that, "we certainly do not need to make it easier
for Presidents to declare martial law. Invoking the Insurrection Act and using the military for law enforcement activities goes against some of the central tenets of our democracy. One can easily envision governors and mayors in charge of an emergency having to constantly look over their shoulders while someone who has never visited their communities gives the orders." A few weeks later, on the 29th of September, Leahy entered into the Congressional Record that he had "grave reservations about certain provisions of the fiscal Year 2007 Defense Authorization Bill Conference Report," the language of which, he said, "subverts solid, longstanding posse comitatus statutes that limit the military's involvement in law enforcement, thereby making it easier for the President to declare martial law." This had been "slipped in," Leahy said, "as a rider with little study," while "other congressional committees with jurisdiction over these matters had no chance to comment, let alone hold hearings on, these proposals." In a telling bit of understatement, the Senator from Vermont noted that "the implications of changing the (Posse Comitatus) Act are enormous". "There is good reason," he said, "for the constructive friction in existing law when it comes to martial law declarations. Using the military for law enforcement goes against one of the founding tenets of our democracy. We fail our Constitution, neglecting the rights of the States, when we make it easier for the President to declare martial law and trample on local and state sovereignty." Senator Leahy's final ruminations: "Since hearing word a couple of weeks ago that this outcome was likely, I have wondered how Congress could have gotten to this point. It seems the changes to the Insurrection Act have survived the Conference because the Pentagon and the White House want it." The historic and ominous re-writing of the Insurrection Act, accomplished in the dead of night, which gives Bush the legal authority to declare martial law, is now an accomplished fact.
The Pentagon, as one might expect, plays an even more direct role in martial law operations. Title XIV of the new law, entitled, "Homeland Defense Technology Transfer Legislative Provisions," authorizes "the Secretary of Defense to create a Homeland Defense Technology Transfer Consortium to improve the effectiveness of the Department of Defense (DOD) processes for identifying and deploying relevant DOD technology to federal, State, and local first responders." In other words, the law facilitates the "transfer" of the newest in so-called "crowd control" technology and other weaponry designed to suppress dissent from the Pentagon to local militarized police units. The new law builds on and further codifies earlier "technology transfer" agreements, specifically the 1995 DODJustice Department memorandum of agreement achieved back during the Clinton-Reno regime.(4) It has become clear in recent months that a critical mass of the American people have seen through the lies of the Bush administration; with the president's polls at an historic low, growing resistance to the war Iraq, and the Democrats likely to take back the Congress in mid-term elections, the Bush administration is on the ropes. And so it is particularly worrying that President Bush has seen fit, at this juncture to, in effect, declare himself dictator. Source: (1) http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200609/091906a.html and http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200609/092906b.html See also, Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, "The Use of Federal Troops for Disaster Assistance: Legal Issues," by Jennifer K. Elsea, Legislative Attorney, August 14, 2006 (2) http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill+h109-5122 (3) Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International, "Recent Contract Awards", Summer 2006, Vol.12, No.2, pg.8; See also, Peter Dale Scott, "Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps," New American
Media, January 31, 2006. (4) "Technology Transfer from defense: Concealed Weapons Detection", National Institute of Justice Journal, No 229, August, 1995, pp.42-43.
Secret Bush Administration Plan to Suspend US Constitution "Continuity of Government" (COG) Provisions activated in 2001 by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, October 6, 2008 http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10473 Ten months before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld approved an updated version of the U.S. Army's secret operational Continuity of Government (COG) plans. A draft document published by the whistleblowing website Wikileaks entitled, "Army Regulation 500-3, Emergency Employment of Army and Other Resources. Army Continuity of Operations (COOP) Program," dated 19 January 2001, spells out changes in Army doctrine. Issued by Headquarters, Department of the Army and signed off by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the Secretary of the Army, the document is affixed with a warning: "Destruction Notice: Destroy by any method that will prevent disclosure of contents or reconstruction of the document." The restricted document as published by Wikileaks states: History. This regulation is a revision of the original regulation that was effective on 10 July 1989. Since that time, no changes have been published to amend the original. Summary. This regulation on the Army Continuity of Operations (COOP) Program has been revised to update Army COOP policy and extend the requirement for all-hazards COOP planning to all Army
organizations. Classified information contained in the 1989 version of this AR has been removed and placed in a classified HQDA Operations Plan (OPLAN). Applicability. This regulation applies to the Active Army, the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR), and when federalized to the Army National Guard (ARNG). In the event of conflict between this regulation and approved OSD or JCS publications, the provisions of the latter will apply. ("Army Regulation 500-3, Emergency Employment of Army and Other Resources. Army Continuity of Operations (COOP) Program," 19 January 2001, p. 3) [emphasis added] "All-hazards COOP planning" is described as the means by which "the Army remains capable of continuing mission-essential operations during any situation, including military attack, terrorist activities, and natural or man-made disasters." While the Army stresses the updates described in AR 500-3 relate to chemical, biological, nuclear attacks, "natural disasters" and "technical or man-made disasters or accidents," current Army doctrine is also heavily weighted towards contingency planning for "civil disturbances." Two national "civil disturbance" plans, Garden Plot and Cable Splicer have been operational since the 1960s. Researcher Frank Morales has detailed how, Under the heading of "civil disturbance planning," the U.S. military is training troops and police to suppress democratic opposition in America. The master plan, Department of Defense Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2, is code-named, "Operation Garden Plot". Originated in 1968, the "operational plan" has been updated over the last three decades, most recently in 1991, and was activated during the Los Angeles "riots" of 1992, and more than likely during the recent antiWTO "Battle in Seattle." ... Equipped with flexible "military operations in urban terrain" and "operations other than war" doctrine, lethal and "less-than-lethal" high-tech weaponry, US "armed forces" and "elite" militarized police units are being trained to eradicate "disorder", "disturbance" and "civil disobedience" in America. Further, it may very well be that police/military "civil disturbance" planning is the animating force and the overarching logic behind the incredible nationwide growth of police paramilitary units, a growth which coincidentally mirrors rising levels of police violence directed at the American people, particularly "nonwhite" poor and working people. (Frank Morales, "U.S. Military Civil
Disturbance Planning: The War at Home," in Police State America, ed. Tom Burghardt, Toronto/Montreal: Arm The Spirit/Solidarity, 2002, P. 59) AR 500-3 should be viewed in this context. Plans for Continuity of Government have been in place since the 1950s. Originally conceived during the Cold War when fears of a nuclear strike envisaged by atomic war-gamers at the RAND Corporation, believed that an immobilization of government functions and a breakdown of civilian rule would follow a nuclear attack. But from their inception, COG planning has been shrouded in secrecy. In addition to constructing nuclear-proof underground facilities where the civilian leadership could escape a decapitation strike, other COG provisions included a series of executive orders designating which officials would assume Cabinet-level posts and other Executive Branch positions. Officials so designated would constitute a "shadow government" should office holders be killed in an attack "or otherwise incapacitated." However, when these and other Pentagon "civil disturbance" plans surfaced in the 1980s during the Iran-Contra hearings, they were roundly criticized by members of Congress, civil liberties groups and the media before disappearing once again, down Orwell's "memory hole." The inherent dangers implicit in such plans are that unelected Executive Branch officers could assume the Presidency and other appointed offices subject neither to congressional scrutiny nor judicial oversight. Exercising sweeping emergency powers buried within Presidential Decision Directives (PDDs), unelected officials could suspend the Constitution, declare martial law and create an Executive Branch dictatorship that rests solely on the power of the U.S. military. Most troubling, Executive Branch officials under secret rules of a COG regime could suppress and usurp the lawful powers of Congress and the Judicial Branch (by force of arms if deemed necessary) as a means of ensuring "cooperation" under a "unitary executive." As we have seen, the "unitary executive" theory has been a salient feature of Bushist rule since the December 2000 judicial coup d'état, when the Supreme Court's Bush v. Gore decision handed a contested election to George W. Bush by stopping the vote count in Florida.
Since assuming office, the administration has ruthlessly wielded executive power in order to achieve their antidemocratic agenda: from the looting of the economy through "deregulation," massive deficit spending and tax cuts for their corporate "clients," to waging a preemptive war of conquest in Iraq, the "unitary executive" has systematically shredded America's constitutional system of checks and balances. The Bush administration put COG plans into operation for the first time in U.S. history in the hours directly following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. They have never been rescinded. Their implementation involves a rotating staff of 75-150 senior government officials and others from every Cabinet department in two "secure, undisclosed locations" on the East Coast. However, key congressional representatives have been kept out of the loop and House and Senate leaders have said they were not informed the "shadow government" had "gone live." So secretive are Bush administration plans that Peter DeFazio (D-OR), a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, was denied access in 2007 to the classified version of the COG plans contained in top secret Presidential Decision Directive annexes. This too, is unprecedented. While the Bush administration admitted that COG was activated in 2001, their disclosure came only after The Washington Post broke the story based on confidential administration sources troubled by the scope of the program and its secretive implementation. Since the late 1980s, Rumsfeld was a habitué of COG exercises along with Vice President Dick Cheney. Indeed early COG drills had been organized by the right-wing Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). As investigative journalist Andrew Cockburn revealed in his definitive political biography of the former Defense Secretary: This highly secret program was known as Project 908, and among the individuals earmarked to take power when disaster struck was Donald Rumsfeld. ... There, for several days, he would be immured in artificial caverns, staring at electronic displays streaming data of disaster and confusion, sleeping on cots and subsisting on the most austere rations. ...
Insofar as the COG games gave the illusion of reality, they taught Rumsfeld and his fellow players some dangerous lessons, particularly when the fall of the Soviet Union induced some changes in the usual scenarios. Although the exercises continued, still budgeted at over $200 million in the Clinton era, the vanished Soviets were now customarily replaced by terrorists. The terrorism envisaged however, was almost always state-sponsored. ... There were other changes, too. In earlier times the specialists selected to run the "shadow government" 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. (Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy, New York: Scribner, 2007, pp. 85-86, 88) As researcher Peter Dale Scott revealed, in early 2006 the Department of Homeland Security awarded a $385 million contract to a Halliburton subsidiary, KBR, to provide "temporary detention and processing facilities." Scott wrote, The contract--announced Jan. 24 by the engineering and construction firm KBR--calls for preparing for "an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs" in the event of other emergencies, such as "a natural disaster." The release offered no details about where Halliburton was to build these facilities, or when. ... After 9/11, new martial law plans began to surface similar to those of FEMA in the 1980s. In January 2002 the Pentagon submitted a proposal for deploying troops on American streets. One month later John Brinkerhoff, the author of the 1982 FEMA memo, published an article arguing for the legality of using U.S. troops for purposes of domestic security. (Peter Dale Scott, "Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps," Pacific News Service, February 8, 2006)
The DHS contract to KBR had been preceded by the April 2002 creation of the Pentagon's Northern Command (NORTHCOM), specifically empowered by the Bush administration for domestic U.S. military operations in direct violation of Posse Comitatus prohibitions forbidding the use of the military for domestic law enforcement. At the time, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld called NORTHCOM's launch "the
most sweeping set of changes since the unified command system was set up in 1946." Sweeping indeed! Last month Army Times reported that the Army's "3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team [BCT] has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys. Now they're training for the same mission--with a twist--at home." According to Army Times, Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-today control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks. ... But this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities. ... They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack. ... The 1st BCT's soldiers also will learn how to use "the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded," 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them. "It's a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that they're fielding. They've been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and because of this mission we're undertaking we were the first to get it." The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets. (Gina Cavallaro, "Brigade Homeland Tours Start Oct. 1," Army Times, September 8, 2008)
While senior Pentagon brass have downplayed the significance of deploying a BCT that has taken part in aggressive occupation duties to suppress the Iraqi people's resistance, Col. Lou Vogler, NORTHCOM's chief of future operations said in an interview that the military "will integrate with law enforcement to understand the situation and make sure we're aware of any threats." An article published by the Army News Service disclosed, During the exercise, commanders and staff of the force will train, rehearse and exercise--from academic classes to making decisions and executing orders--all to help prepare them for the mission they will assume on Oct. 1, said Vogler. "It's an opportunity for network building in an unprecedented assignment of forces," said [Marine Corps Lt. Col.] Shores. "DOD always had allocated contingency sourced forces--but this is precedent-setting network building with the forces that we ultimately will go out and execute with. It's an opportunity to get to know our forces, to see them in execution, to mission-orient them and be that much better--to be that much more responsive." One goal of the exercise is to exercise with partners from the civilian agencies they would support. To that end, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other interagency representatives are participating to ensure integration with civilian consequence managers who would lead a response, said Vogler. "The overall federal response builds on the local and state response in accordance with the incident command system and existing plans and processes that are out there," said Vogler. "The response force would supplement local efforts." ("Consequence Management Response Force to join Army Northern Command," Army News Service, September 15, 2008) Vogler and Shores were discussing an exercise code-named Vibrant Response, that took place September 8-19 at Fort Stewart in Georgia. Three brigades form the core of NORTHCOM's Consequence Management Response Force: the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Army Division; the 1st Medical Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas, and the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. All three units participated in Vibrant Response. As researcher and analyst Michel Chossudovsky comments:
The BCT is an army combat unit designed to confront an enemy within a war theater. With US forces overstretched in Iraq, why would the Pentagon decide to undertake this redeployment within the USA, barely one month before the presidential elections? The new mission of the 1st Brigade on US soil is to participate in "defense" efforts as well as provide "support to civilian authorities". What is significant in this redeployment of a US infantry unit is the presumption that North America could, in the case of a national emergency, constitute a "war theater" thereby justifying the deployment of combat units. The new skills to be imparted consist in training 1st BCT in repressing civil unrest, a task normally assumed by civilian law enforcement. What we are dealing with is a militarization of civilian police activities in derogation of the Posse Comitatus Act. ("Pre-election Militarization of the North American Homeland. US Combat Troops in Iraq repatriated to 'help with civil unrest'," Global Research, September 26, 2008) One scenario envisaged by Chossudovsky is that "civil unrest resulting from from the financial meltdown is a distinct possibility, given the broad impacts of financial collapse on lifelong savings, pension funds, homeownership, etc." One might reasonably inquire, what "precedent-setting network" does the Army have in mind that would "ensure integration" with "civilian agencies" such as FEMA (a branch of Homeland Security)? As the World Socialist Web Site reports: It is noteworthy that the deployment of US combat troops "as an oncall federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters"--in the words of the Army Times--coincides with the eruption of the greatest economic emergency and financial disaster since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Justified as a response to terrorist threats, the real source of the growing preparations for the use of US military force within America's borders lies not in the events of September 11, 2001 or the danger that they will be repeated. Rather, the domestic mobilization of the
armed forces is a response by the US ruling establishment to the growing threat to political stability. (Bill Van Auken, "Army deploys combat unit in U.S. for possible civil unrest," World Socialist Web Site, 25 September 2008) As the 2001 COOP planning document describes, a host of on-going Army plans and exercises have been revised by the Bush administration. In addition to Vibrant Response discussed above, they include: Plan EXCALIBUR, a COG Army training exercise; ADOBE, described by investigative journalist William M. Arkin as a "FEMA continuity of government special access program designation." Arkin describes special access programs or SAPs as, Classified research and development, acquisition program, operation, intelligence activity, or plan that is so sensitive or critical that the value of the information warrants enhanced protection beyond that normally provided for access to Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret information. (William M. Arkin, Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs, and Operations in the 9/11 World, Hanover, NH: Steerforth Press, 2005, p. 598) The impetus for revising Army COOP was, according to AR 500-3 primarily because, The end of the Cold War and the breakup of the former Soviet Union significantly reduced the probability of a major nuclear attack on CONUS but the probability of other threats has increased. Army organizations must be prepared for any contingency with a potential for interruption of normal operations. To emphasize that Army continuity of operations planning is now focused on the full all-hazards threat spectrum, the name "ASRRS" has been replaced by the more generic title "Continuity of Operations (COOP) Program." (p. 13) Towards this end, the Rumsfeld-era document states that the Army's new "mission-critical" functions will be restructured so that, "Army COOP plans must ensure that the Army remains capable of continuing mission-essential operations during any situation, including military attack, terrorist activities, and natural or man-made disasters." (p. 13) The Army, following various contingencies analyzed in the document will "coordinate with mission-essential external organizations and agencies." (p. 14) So sensitive are the political ramifications of these plans that under the heading, 3-12 Operational Security (OPSEC), the Army avers,
a. The success of COOP planning relies on denying access by unauthorized parties to information on COOP plans, procedures, capabilities and facilities. b. Overhead imagery, signals intelligence, human sources, and exploitation of open literature during peacetime are threat capabilities used to gain knowledge of Army emergency plans, command and control systems, and facilities. c. See Appendix B, Security Classification Guide, for guidance on the level of classification of COOP-related information. (COOP, op. cit., p. 20) Appendix A of AR 500-3 lists relevant references for changes included in the COOP planning document. These include: Section I Required Publications
HQDA Operations Plan EXCALIBUR, 30 April 1999 (Being Revised) HQDA Continuity of Operations Plan (cited in para 1-4.f)
Section II Related Publications a related publication is merely a source of additional information. The user does not have to read it to understand this publication. Executive Order 12656 National Security Emergency Preparedness (NSEP), 18 November 1988 DoD Directive (Dodd) 2000.12 DoD Antiterrorism/Force Protection (AT/FP) Program, 13 April 1999 CJCSM 3410.01
Continuity of Operations Plan for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (COOP-CJCS), 1 March 1999
Executive Order 12787 Prescribing the Order of Succession of Officers to Act as Secretary of Defense, 31 December 1991
DoDD 3020.26 Continuity of Operations (COOP) Policy and Planning, 26 May 1995
DoD 3020.26P Continuity of Operations Plan, 21 June 2000 (Classified SECRET)
DoDD 3020.36 Assignment of National Security Emergency Preparedness (NSEP) Responsibilities to DoD Components, 2 November 1988 DoDD 3025.15 Military Support to Civil Authorities (MSCA), 18 February 1997 The Federal Response Plan, April 1999 Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 67, (Top Secret) Enduring Constitutional Government (ECG) and Continuity of Government (COG) Operations, Oct 21, 1998 Federal Preparedness Circular 65, Federal Executive Branch Continuity of Operations, (COOP), July 26, 1999 As Peter Dale Scott reported in CounterPunch, apparently members of Congress are considered "unauthorized parties" to be denied access "to information on COOP plans, procedures, capabilities and facilities."
Congressman DeFazio had been denied access to the classified annexes of National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive (NSPD 51/HSPD 20) Scott wrote, NSPD 51 contains "classified Continuity Annexes" which shall "be protected from unauthorized disclosure." Congressman DeFazio twice requested to see these Annexes, the second time in a letter cosigned by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Christopher Carney. It was these requests that the White House denied. ... DeFazio's inability to get access to the NSPD Annexes is less than reassuring. If members of the Homeland Security Committee cannot enforce their right to read secret plans of the Executive Branch, then the systems of checks and balances established by the U.S. Constitution would seem to be failing. To put it another way, if the White House is successful in frustrating DeFazio, then Continuity of Government planning has arguably already superseded the Constitution as a higher authority. (Peter Dale Scott, "The Showdown," CounterPunch, March 31, 2008) With the stunning revelations published by Wikileaks, it is abundantly clear that top Bush administration officials were busily revising Continuity of Government plans, including "civil disturbance" contingencies for suspending the Constitution and imposing martial law, long before the 9/11 attacks. Since that fatal and tragic day seven long years ago, we have been told repeatedly by the government and their media sycophants that 9/11 was the day "when everything changed." We now know thanks to Wikileaks, that as with the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the unprecedented and lawless surveillance of Americans, the illegal detention and torture of prisoners of war, that Bush administration assertions are no more than a pack of murderous lies. One fact is abundantly clear from the mass of conflicting evidence and assertions made by proponents of various theories surrounding the 9/11 events: AR 500-3 demonstrates that from the very first moments after being installed in office, the Bush regime was involved in a "controlled demolition" of the U.S. Constitution.
Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military "Civil Disturbance" Planning, distributed by AK Press. Tom Burghardt is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Tom Burghardt