WTP: The Commander Guy Edition

Um…seriously, WTP? This is nutz.

With scarcely a mention in the mainstream media, President Bush has ordered up a plan for responding to a catastrophic attack. 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 Directive/NSPD 51” and “Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-20.” The White House released it on May 9.

…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.”


I guess the obvious question here is why this directive is necessary if the president doesn’t intend to usurp real power from the other two branches of government, because it certainly sounds like what’s being suggested is a coup that keeps a pretty façade of constitutional government.

Or perhaps the only question we need to ask is: What the poop?!

With Bush down to 34% even in Rasmussen’s poll, which tends to be the high outlier, I can’t imagine that any attempt to take over would be successful, irrespective of the rationale. But, you know, I still can’t believe we actually went to war in Iraq and that something like 50% of Americans still think Saddam was a co-conspirator in 9/11, so what the fuck do I know?

There’s also the distinct possibility that this is just one of a million directives just like it, none of which have the remotest possibility of ever being realized—like NSPD 32 which purportedly directs the National Mall to be stocked with two dozen pink unicorns.

[H/T to Brynn, who saw it at C&L.]



Filed under 01_shakespeares_sister

26 responses to “WTP: The Commander Guy Edition

  1. I want my country back. Now.

  2. I want my country back. Now.

    You and me both, darling.

  3. Well, he said himself that life would be easier if he were a dictator….

  4. So am I reading right: when one more tornado levels part of the midwest, Bush takes over everything?

  5. PortlyDyke

    Please — it you are worried about this — send a link to original document to everyone you can think of.

    Knowledge is power.

  6. PortlyDyke

    Not “it” — “if”

    Going to bed with my cold now.

  7. me

    Sounds to me like he intends to create a catastrophic “attack”.

  8. Is it really such a stretch for this group to stage their own “catastrophic emergency” to make this all happen?

    Don’t laugh that off as tin-foil-hat shit. These guys have no shame, no humanity at all.

    Karl could make it happen.

  9. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    I can dash off a quick note before I turn to my duties at the Ministry of Silly Walks:

    I find one of the most irritating things about this administration to be that I must now take ideas seriously that, in the Clinton years, I would cheerfully have dismissed as tinfoil-hat stuff.

  10. Is it really such a stretch for this group to stage their own “catastrophic emergency” to make this all happen?
    That’s exactly what I was thinking. I feel sick thinking about all this. Can this be stopped?

  11. Ah, just in time for what has been predicted as a heavy hurrican season. Sweeeeeeet.

  12. oddjob

    Can this be stopped?

    I believe it’s an executive order, so yes, it can be stopped. Clinton was going to sign an executive order integrating homosexuals into the Armed Services, until Powell had a hissy fit. The bigots in Congress got involved and DADT was passed, making that not just internal executive policy, but federal law that only Congress can reverse.

    The same could be done here.

  13. oddjob

    (Oh, I forgot to add that since Shrub would almost certainly veto it Congress would have to pass the bill by veto-proof majorities.)

  14. The Handmaid’s Tale, here we come…

  15. christine

    What the hell is a ‘National Security Presidential Directive’??? Considering the numbers are so low, it’s something the Administration came up with. What’s wrong with using Executive Orders?? Not fancy enough of a name?? Jackasses the lot of them.

  16. Ron

    What the hell is a ‘National Security Presidential Directive’???

    National Security calls into play the ‘Unitary Executive.’ “I can do anythin’ I wanna an’ you can’ stop me.” This is definitely ‘Krystal Nacht’ type stuff. The Nation’s only hope is that military leaders or individual units will resist the putsch.

  17. Constant Comment

    Well, good to know we can count on competent leadership when we need to.

    Seriously, I need to find another country to move to… maybe Grumpy Old Man has extra room for all of us in Spain?

  18. TheCunningRunt

    These jokers have been dancing around the Shit-Hit-The-Fan, Martial-Law-‘Cause-I-Said-So pole for enough years that I’m almost bored with it. Expect a Big One on the eve of the Corprocans loosing control.

    That be 2008, for those of you keeping score.

  19. NnnnnoooooOOOOOOOO.

    (I cannot properly spell my agony.)

  20. jahf

    The same could be done here.

    Only in the fantasy where Congress is an independent branch of government. I hear that the war has already begun.

  21. Seriously, I need to find another country to move to… maybe Grumpy Old Man has extra room for all of us in Spain?

    Love to gang but………………Serious lack of funds pecludes pretty much all help once you arrive. But I do know all the good boozers and where to get the best wine at the best price, all the important shit and I’m more than willing to share that with you.

  22. Well, Bush has done such a bang-up job so far, why not let him take over everything?

    Seriously, there aren’t enough horrible things to say about these fuckers. Think the absolute worst of them and then multiply that by 100.

  23. I see a September “tragedy” — maybe October. What these jackboots won’t do for power…


  24. amish451

    “Krystal Nacht”
    Rhymes with:
    “National Security Presidential Directive”

    All the reasons this Liberal needs to be well-armed ….can we say revolution ….

  25. Arkades

    And he gives himself the responsibility “for ensuring constitutional government.”

    Someone tell Smirky McSmackwad that the Constitution provides the mechanisms by which constitutional government is maintained, and that it doesn’t contain sweeping Presidential powers for a $#%^ing reason!

    But for him, there’s no separating baby and bathwater on this issue. He’ll destroy the Constitution in order to save it.

    Because that’s just the kind of stand-up guy he is. Taking responsibility for all the tough stuff (at least until they find a new patsy czar to dump the blame on…)

    The 21st century has been like a horrific fever-dream. Please tell me we get to wake up, soon…

  26. Erin M

    The Handmaid’s Tale, here we come…

    History is much more instructive than fiction here.

    “Krystal Nacht”

    I believe the word you’re looking for is Ermächtigungsgesetz. Otherwise known as the “Enabling Act”.

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