NSPD-51: Bush prepares martial law

Every president since FDR has drawn up such plans. The most notorious were Nixon’s “Operation Garden Plot” and Reagan’s “REX 84 Alpha”—a legacy we recalled when the Homeland Security Act passed in 2002. This latest incarnation has gone unnoticed by the New York Times and other major media. Leave it to the editorial page of Tennessee’s Chattanoogan, May 24:

Bush Makes Power Grab
President Bush, without so much as issuing a press statement, on May 9 signed a directive that granted near dictatorial powers to the office of the president in the event of a national emergency declared by the president.

The “National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive,” with the dual designation of NSPD-51, as a National Security Presidential Directive, and HSPD-20, as a Homeland Security Presidential Directive, establishes under the office of president a new National Continuity Coordinator.

That job, as the document describes, is to make plans for “National Essential Functions” of all federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments, as well as private sector organizations to continue functioning under the president’s directives in the event of a national emergency.

The directive loosely defines “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 functions.”

When the President determines a catastrophic emergency has occurred, the President can take over all government functions and direct all private sector activities to ensure we will emerge from the emergency with an “enduring constitutional government.”

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.

The directive specifies that the assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism will be designated as the National Continuity Coordinator. Further established is a Continuity Policy Coordination Committee, chaired by a senior director from the Homeland Security Council staff, designated by the National Continuity Coordinator, to be “the main day-to-day forum for such policy coordination.”

Currently, the assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism is Frances Fragos Townsend. Townsend spent 13 years at the Justice Department before moving to the U.S. Coast Guard where she served as assistant commandant for intelligence. She is a White House staff member in the executive office of the president who also chairs the Homeland Security Council, which as a counterpart to the National Security Council reports directly to the president.

The directive issued May 9 makes no attempt to reconcile the powers created there for the National Continuity Coordinator with the National Emergency Act. As specified by U.S. Code Title 50, Chapter 34, Subchapter II, Section 1621, the National Emergency Act allows that the president may declare a national emergency but requires that such proclamation “shall immediately be transmitted to the Congress and published in the Federal Register.”

A Congressional Research Service study notes that under the National Emergency Act, the President “may seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, institute martial law, seize and control all transportation and communication, regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict travel, and, in a variety of ways, control the lives of United States citizens.”

The CRS study notes that the National Emergency Act sets up congress as a balance empowered to “modify, rescind, or render dormant such delegated emergency authority,” if Congress believes the president has acted inappropriately.

NSPD-51/ HSPD-20 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.

NSPD-51/ HSPD-20 also makes no reference whatsoever to Congress. The language of the May 9 directive appears to negate any a requirement that the President submit to Congress a determination that a national emergency exists, suggesting instead that the powers of the executive order can be implemented without any congressional approval or oversight.

Homeland Security spokesperson Russ Knocke affirmed that the Homeland Security Department will be implementing the requirements of NSPD-51/HSPD-20 under Townsend’s direction.

The White House had no comment.

While we’re skeptical Bush will have the cojones to pull this off, NSPD-51 is particularly ominous in light of the draconian provisions of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act.

See our last post on the politics of the GWOT.

  1. And what happens when King
    And what happens when King George finds WMDs in Venezuela declares a National emergency so he can become Emperor Mega Decider and Haliburton scoops up their oil too? — Prairie Dog

    1. quote
      “How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.” -Hitler

      “If we don’t take action now, we’ll settle for nothing later.”
      -Zack De La Rocha

        1. What can we do?
          I wrote to my congressman and his response was that he did not agree. He said he thought bush was doing a good job.

          Please someone tell me…what can I do? He has pulled the plug on congress so what CAN we do?

        2. Courts Interpret Constitution differently than laymen
          What did we do to stop George Bush-Karl Rove-Dick Cheyney ???
          A Nation of laws goes both ways.
          You’d be better of with the Nancy Pelosi lies about Barrack Obama having provided a birth certificate (possible election procedural lie), but any court would interpret his birth as a citizen because of women’s rights (to have her son as being a citizen) being equal to a man’s rights since the suffragette issue of the ’20’s and subsequent case-law expounding the US Constitution as an evolving document.
          I have a problem with pleading policies and elements that have gotten so complex (“to protect all but the plainly incompetent or those who willfully disregard well-established law”), that the judges themselves don’t know how to interpret those requirements within their own rules.
          One Rule of pleading requires a short and plain statement of a claim while the next one makes it necessary that pleading of fraud be done with particularity, thus at odds with the former when fraud specificity takes more space and the defendants were very fraudulent and procedural incompetent or willfully disregarding events (and policies) were many.
          Do a recall petition for local politicians who won’t act on our issues.
          (fems2112 on YouTube)

          1. Thank God for that
            Would you want a right-wing crank with no specialized training to do your dental work? Then why would you want one to interpret the Constitution for you? This question was decided in 1803. That’s a whole lotta case law to argue with…

    2. Bush is the King of Terror
      The Bush Administration announced in 2002 their plans for a ‘Shadow Government’

      Washington sets up shadow government
      BBC Friday, 1 March, 2002, 12:13 GMT
      Contingency plan was originated by Bush’s predecessors

      An emergency parallel government has been set up in the United States to try to ensure that federal rule could continue in the event of a catastrophic attack on Washington, US officials say. The operation was activated after the 11 September attacks but planning dates back to the Cold War era.

      It is reported to involve 70 or more officials drawn from all departments, depending on the perceived level of threat. Those taking part live and work underground for long spells at secret fortified locations on the East Coast. The core group of federal managers would put into effect orders from the president or his constitutional successor.

      “Bunker duty”

      The plan for a shadow government has been implemented now because of heightened fears that Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network might obtain a portable nuclear weapon. An unnamed senior official told Associated Press news agency that while US intelligence had no specific knowledge of such a weapon, the risk was great enough to warrant activation of the plan.

      He said President George W Bush did not foresee ever needing to turn over government functions to the secret operation, but believed it was prudent to put the plan into action in the light of the war against terrorism and persistent threats of future attacks.

      Other officials, who spoke to the Washington Post newspaper, said the back-up government consisted of anything from 70 to 150 people at two principal locations on the East Coast.

      Once activated for what some call “bunker duty”, they live and work underground 24 hours a day, away from their families.

      Those deployed for the operation are not allowed to tell anyone where they are going or why. “They’re on a ‘business trip’, that’s all,” one official was quoted as saying.

      Out of touch

      Although it does not identify the sites, the Washington Post says they make use of geological features to render them highly secure. They are well stocked with food, water, medicine and other supplies and are capable of generating their own power.
      However, in their first significant operational use, managers discovered that computers were “several generations” behind current models and could not link to government databases. There were also too few telephone lines and secure audio and video links to the rest of government.

      The newspaper said that only the executive branch is represented in the full-time shadow administration. Other branches – such as Congress and the judiciary – have separate continuity plans but do not maintain a 24-hour presence in fortified facilities.

      The secret operation complements the absence of Vice President Dick Cheney for much of the last five months. One official said Mr. Cheney’s survival ensures constitutional succession “but he can’t run the country by himself”.

      “We take this issue extraordinarily seriously, and are committed to doing as thorough a job as possible to ensure the ongoing operations of the federal government,” said Joseph W Hagin, White House deputy chief of staff.

      “In the case of the use of a weapon of mass destruction, the federal government would be able to do its job and continue to provide key services and respond,” he said.

      This is the premise for the book you can read at http//:thekingofterror.com

      The book which began to be written twenty years ago, shows how Bush is the “King of Terror” Nostradamus prophesies of and how he is following the Mongol plan of conquering the Middle-East as well as taking dictatorial control to implement this plan and that was how he was envisioned to do so over 400 years ago by the French prophet. The book outlines and details these events way before 9/11 but shows through the various geostrategic planners that the U.S. is embarked on a Middle-Eastern grab following in the footsteps of the Mongols as Nostradamus foresaw:

      In the year 1999 and seven months
      a great King of terror will come from the sky
      he will bring back the great King of the Mongols
      before and after war rules
      (CenX Q72)

      Bush became the Republican nominee for President in 1999 and a Kingship is that which is passed from a father to his son…before and after war rules: Gulf War I and Gulf War II

      Its interesting in the light of this thread.

  2. Thank you Mr. President for NSPD-51 or Dallas Uber Allis
    Can you think of anyone better than Bush with whom to entrust the dictatorial powers enumerated in NSPD-51? And its such a relief to know he declared in NSPD-51 that he alone will decide when he must accept this burden, though surely only upon the advice and consent of his personal Savior.

    My guess would be early Spring of ’08, when he is forced to use nuclear weapons against Iran and it then fails to cooperate, attacking our fleets in the Gulf and Mediterranean instead of accepting our compassionate offers of assistance.

    Besides how could anyone resist the perfectly Orwellian logic of declaring a dictatorship to insure “Constitutional Continuity” for the homeland, while setting aside the actual Constitution of the United States. But in case a few dead-enders do object or the usual suspects might think to object, KBR is hard at work building detention centers around the nation to accommodate those incompatible with Constitutional Continuity.

    Congress, demonstrating its usual wisdom and courage, will no doubt express concern about the pace of the summary executions and outrage at being locked out of their capital offices due to a classified biological threat of undetermined duration.

    To demonstrate our determination to carry on, we should select the proper anthem for this new world order. I’m hoping for something stirring, with the right spiritual uplift, along the lines of “Deutschland Uber Allis,” except with a touch of Texas twang as in “Dallas Uber Allis.” However, since this is such an important decision, our new anthem, as well as the national prayer and corporate logo, should be selected by national referendum, putting those voting machines to work in November ’08 after all.

    1. Nuclear weapons against Iran?
      Gee, thanks. Just what we needed to hear. We certainly hope your predictions are no more accurate than your spelling of German. That should be über alles, dude.

      “Dallas Über Alles” is a cute line, but Bush is such an easy target that we are almost tired of seeing him get lampooned… Kinda like shooting fish in a barrel, ya know?

      1. Shave the Bush…or just impeach him!!
        Yes, Bush has become an easy target, but now he has the ability and power to appoint the next president/dictator. Congress doesn’t even have oversight powers anymore.
        Welcome to 1984, the NWO begins….

        1. NWO?
          New World Order? That’s pretty old hat, man. The phrase was coined by Bush pere in his Congressional address of (uh-oh) Sept. 11, 1990 specifically to denote an era of UN-brokered multilateralism (the model for Desert Storm). This model is now dead in the water, thanks to Dubya’s reckless unilateralism in “Iraqi Freedom,” which is why figures like Brent Scowcroft are now dissidents. We support impeachment wholeheartedly (if not very hopefully), but talk of the “NWO” frankly makes you sound like a conspiranoid wingnut.

          Furthermore, double-entendres on the word “Bush” are an insult to vaginas.

    2. Grand Plan
      OK. So he declares himself a dictator.
      Now, don’t forget that he has steadfastly insisted
      on the illegal tapping and monitoring of any
      communications they please “for national security reasons”,
      and don’t forget that there is no longer a valid writ of habeus corpus, which he is also responsible for. So now,
      under this trumped up “51”, he can ultimately monitor any underground swell of Bush rebellion, send the military police to their homes, cart them off to a secret detention camp and not have to tell anyone where these people have been “taken”.
      Is no one with any power paying any attention to this map of doom for America or are they all part of it?

      1. yes
        Keep an eye on the “war” between anonymous & $cientology. Various intel agencies have been keenly aware of this.
        Therein lay one of the keys to securing your liberty and safety.

  3. NWO & HSPD-51
    Bush Senior publicly called for a New World Order. And Bush Junior signed and posted on the White House web site Directive 51 (HSPD-51), granting himself dictatorial powers, without consent of Congress, at his discretion for any number of conveniently vague and/or all-encompassing national emergencies! Knowing that George W. Bush has the power to cancel the 2008 Presidential Elections and make himself a dictator should be enough to scare anyone.

    1. Happy Crappy
      You guys have watched too much Star Wars! George W. Palpatine (Bush to those of us who are still in Kansas) cannot assign himself these powers by the stroke of a pen. That would suggest that our entire existence as a constitutional republic has been but a carefully played 230+ year old Charade. I remember my grandmother worrying about the same Happy Crappy when Reagan was leaving office. If anyone could have made a case for remaining on the job another couple of years it was him. With the collapse of the U.S.S.R drawing near, I am sure he knew this, do you really think he wanted to leave the helm before it happenned?

      Anyway, grow up and get a life. Vote in November for whomever it is you all vote for and watche the winner sworn in in January…..just like always.

  4. What can we citizens do?
    Quickly wake up and wake up others at local government, community, grassroots and global level that a debt-free usury free sustainable self-balancing transparent currency of the people by the people can be created to transform tyranny of a few. Search for “Transforming capital in capitalism”: A citizen’s manifesto. All is not lost. This is our peaceful journey to freedom.