Apparently unsure that the USAPATRIOT Act(s) and the Military Commissions Act weren’t strong enough, Bush issued a document doubly titled National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 51″ and “Homeland Security Presidential Directive/ HSPD-20.” This document supposedly outlines the federal government’s plan for maintaining continuity in the face of a “catastrophic emergency” by implementing martial law. “Catastrophic emergency” is defined 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.” So, pretty much anything… 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.”
In the event of this improbable catastrophe, this unconstitutional legislation by the executive grants itself supreme power to ensure the continuity of Constitutional government. Good one.
In other words, NSPD 51/HSPD-20 would impose martial law under the authority of the White House through DHS. It would suspend constitutional government under the provisions of Continuity of Government (COG).
Since 2003, following the invasion of Iraq, Homeland Security (DHS) has contemplated time and again the possibility of a so-called code red alert “scenario” — using a potential or possible Al Qaeda terrorist attack on American soil — as a pretext for implementing martial law. At one time, Tommy Thompson Former Health and Human Services Secretary said that if we “went to” Code Red the entire civilian government would “shut down.” There are no known provisions for returning America from Code Red status, once it is invoked.
Michel Chosudovsky in “Bush Directive for a “Catastrophic Emergency” in America” writes:
“This Combined Directive NSPD /51 HSPD 20 grants unprecedented powers to the Presidency and the Department of Homeland Security, overriding the foundations of Constitutional government. NSPD 51 allows the sitting president to declare a “national emergency” without Congressional approval The adoption of NSPD 51 would lead to the de facto closing down of the Legislature and the militarization of justice and law enforcement:
The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government. In order to advise and assist the President in that function, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter terrorism (APHS/CT) is hereby designated as the National Continuity Coordinator. The National Continuity Coordinator, in coordination with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA), without exercising directive authority, shall coordinate the development and implementation of continuity policy for executive departments and agencies. The Continuity Policy Coordination Committee (CPCC), chaired by a Senior Director from the Homeland Security Council staff, designated by the National Continuity Coordinator, shall be the main day-to-day forum for such policy coordination. (National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive NSPD 51/HSPD 20, emphasis added)
NSPD 51 grants extraordinary Police State powers to the White House and Homeland Security (DHS), in the event of a “Catastrophic Emergency”. The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter terrorism (APHS/CT), who is slated to play a key role in the eventuality of Martial law, is a key White House adviser, Frances Fragos Townsend.”
Of course, preparations for emergency management of the U.S. Government has by this time become a tradition here in the Homeland.
According to William M. Arkin in “Shadow Government” in the Case of a “Second 9/11:”