[FoRK] Big Plans?
Stephen D. Williams
<sdw at lig.net> on
Tue May 22 19:08:27 PDT 2007
COG's and COOPs are standard, and required of virtually every agency,
but the ECG ("Enduring Constitutional Government") is a potentially
scary concept. We already have one of those; declaring some new thing
that is "coordinated by the president" sounds like doublespeak for
another power grab. All imprecise language with regard to control of
US Government is bad. I wouldn't allow such language in an apartment lease.
Did anyone notice that we already had one of these in 1998? I've read
certain PDDs, but I missed that one.
> 22) Revocation. Presidential Decision Directive 67 of October 21, 1998
> ("Enduring Constitutional Government and Continuity of Government
> Operations"), including all Annexes thereto, is hereby revoked.
Bush Anoints Himself as the Insurer of Constitutional Government in
/By Matthew Rothschild May 18, 2007 /
With scarcely a mention in the mainstream media, President Bush has
ordered up a plan for responding to a catastrophic attack.
In a new National Security Presidential Directive, Bush lays out his
plans for dealing with a "catastrophic emergency."
Under that plan, he entrusts himself with leading the entire federal
government, not just the Executive Branch. And he gives himself the
responsibility "for ensuring constitutional government." He laid this
all out in a document entitled "National Security Presidential
"Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-20."
The White House released it on May 9. Other than a discussion on Daily
Kos <http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/5/11/0401/26667> led off by a
posting by Leo Fender, and a pro-forma notice in a couple of mainstream
newspapers, this document has gone unremarked upon. The subject of the
document is entitled "National Continuity Policy."
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 waves at the need to work closely with the other two
branches, saying there will be "a cooperative effort among the
executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal
Government." But this effort will be "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 efforts coordinated by the President would ensuring the
capability of the three branches of government to "provide for orderly
succession" and "appropriate transition of leadership."
The document designates a National Continuity Coordinator, who would be
the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and
Counterterrorism. Currently holding that post is Frances Fragos
Townsend. She is required to develop a National Continuity
Implementation Plan and submit it within 90 days. As part of that plan,
she is not only to devise procedures for the Executive Branch but also
give guidance to "state, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and
private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure."
The secretary of Homeland Security is also directed to develop planning
guidance for "private sector critical infrastructure owners and
operators," as well as state, local, territorial, and tribal governments.
The document gives the Vice President a role in implementing the
provisions of the contingency plans. "This directive shall be implanted
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 USC 19), with the consultation of the Vice
President and, as appropriate, others involved." The document also
contains "classified Continuity Annexes."
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