One terror attack or tornado and it could be a whole new U.S. – again

All it will take is one incident. A terrorist attack on a major city. A tornado wiping out some coastline. Just one incident. And we will be living in an entirely different world.

When the documents “National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 51” and “Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-20” were released, it gave President George W. Bush responsibility “for ensuring constitutional government” in the case of catastrophic attack.

“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,’ ” wrote Matthew Rothschild for The Progressive.

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.

“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,” wrote Melissa McEwan on the subject.

One incident. Look how the U.S. has changed fundamentally since 9/11. We are a nation that treats the Constitution with scorn, despises rule of law, spies on its citizens, condones torture and denies habeas corpus, among other things.

Our leaders quickly ushered in clamps on civil liberties and geared up the war machine for their own purposes as the dust from 9/11 was still settling. More than five years later, with a failure of historical proportions going on in Iraq, President Bush looked at the American public and again invoked 9/11. And again. And again. After gaining the war funding he wanted from an impotent Congress, the President looked at the nation and told them to be afraid.

And nearly six years after the fact, the Patriot Act still remains. And we’re still being spied on. And they have more plans on deck for the next attack.

Just one incident and it all changes even more. Shout “panic” if you will, but there’s nothing panicky about looking to history as a guide. The U.S. is a fundamentally changed nation since 9/11. And they have plans to change it even more, and now have experience in slamming through their agenda while the public remains agog. It will just take one incident.


Crossposted at


Filed under 07_wolfrum

12 responses to “One terror attack or tornado and it could be a whole new U.S. – again

  1. oddjob

    Last night I sent email requests to my representative and senators asking them to revoke this.

    It’s not a law and a law will repeal it (although it would have to survive a certain veto first).

  2. Of all the things I hate the Bush administration for, it’s the paranoia I feel toward government now I think I hate the most. Who would have ever thought that an administration could make my cousin the conspiracy theorist seem remarkably sane?

  3. somewhere in my lizard brain i hear jimmy durante saying

    dis is a cat ass trophy!

  4. What scares the jeebus out of me is that this group of ass-clowns is going to create the “catastrophe” themselves.

    They are evil enough to do it.

  5. “A funny thing happened on the way to the forum” or to put it into more modern terms, I posted on this very same subject just this morning.

  6. MrMtyzptlk

    Aww, c’mon. What could possible go wrong with bush controlling all three branches of government. I thought he did that already and look how swimmingly things are going.

    (yes, yes, this is snark)

  7. PortlyDyke

    create the “catastrophe” themselves

    Yes, and right before the election, no doubt — otherwise, why is there a need for the “provide for orderly succession” clause?


    GOM, I can’t stop giggling at “Deacon Dipshit.”

  9. puellasolis

    otherwise, why is there a need for the “provide for orderly succession” clause?

    It’s a sickening thought. I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared about the future of the country.

  10. Nadai

    I don’t see how this could possibly be legal. Of course, I’ve been saying that for 6+ years now, and it hasn’t done me any good so far.

    I’m waiting for the Presidential Directive ordering that every full moon a virgin shall be cast into a volcano in Bush’s name. That’s about all that’s left.

  11. LO-freakin’-L, Nadai!

    This is nothing new, y’know. It’s similar to the shit that Team Reagan tried to pull, in the event that the Cuban tanks rolled into Harlingen TX from Nicaragua.

  12. Imagine this scenario…

    Five terrorists (foreign or domestic) set out across the U.S. in separate vehicles. Each places ten simple incendiary devices in various wilderness fire zones.

    The result would be dozens of wildfires burning throughout the country.

    My point is that it won’t take a complicated plan like the hijacking of jets to cause a major catastrophy.

    Frankly, I am surprised that this type of arson attack hasn’t already taken place. All that is needed are some butane cigarette lighters, a few automobiles, and some handy maps that are published by the U.S. government that show the best places to set fires:

    Right now, it looks like Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, So. California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Western Texas are the prime locations. We don’t have the resources to fight fires of this magnitude. Millions of arces would burn unchecked.

    And, if you don’t think the terrorists haven’t already thought about this, you’re greatly underestimating them — like our government always has.

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