White House Revises Post-Disaster ProtocolTroubling? Troubling!? The leak from my cabin roof is troubling, this gaping hole in our ship of state is a disaster!
The Bush administration is writing a new plan to maintain governmental control in the wake of an apocalyptic terrorist attack or overwhelming natural disaster, moving such doomsday planning for the first time from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to officials inside the White House.
The policy replaces a Clinton-era "continuity in government" post-disaster plan. The old plan is classified, but security specialists and administration officials said the new policy centralizes control of such planning in the White House and puts a greater emphasis on terrorism spurring the catastrophe.
Bush quietly signed the new policy on May 4. The unclassified portion of his "homeland security-national security presidential directive" — a special kind of executive order that can be kept secret — was also posted on the White House website on May 9, without any further announcement or press briefings.
The unexpected arrival of the new policy has received little attention in the mainstream media, but it has prompted discussion among legal specialists, homeland security experts and Internet commentators — including concerns that the policy may be written in such a way that makes it too easy to invoke emergency presidential powers such as martial law.
The public portion of the new "National Continuity Policy" contains few details about how surviving officials would invoke emergency powers, or when emergency powers should be deemed to be no longer necessary so that the elected democracy can resume. The answers to such questions may be contained in a classified appendix which has not been made public.
White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said that because of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the American public needs no explanation of such plans.
The policy also does not contain a direct reference to statutes in which Congress has imposed checks and balances on the president's power to impose martial law or other extraordinary measures [...] the policy does not explicitly acknowledge the National Emergencies Act, a post-Watergate law that gives Congress the right to override the president's determination that a national emergency still exists, activating the president's emergency powers.
Because the Bush legal team has pushed a controversial theory that the Constitution gives the president an unwritten power to disobey laws at his own discretion to protect national security, some specialists said that the vagueness of the policy is troubling.
Who the f**k is Gordon Johndroe and why is he trying to tell us that we need no explanation!? There is no provision in the Constitution that lets a president assume dictatorship, in fact that's exactly the opposite of what the framers said.
We hold these truths to be self evident.
(Cross posted at Vidiotspeak)