Hello, MSR faithful. This is another in our series of informative articles and essays from that archive of old info we received a few months back. This time, we’re going into detail on REX84, Ollie North’s secret plan for martial law. This is a series of essays and transcripts of the OpOrders themselves that was compiled by the good folks over at the Covert Action Quarterly (formerly the Covert Action Information Bulletin). Notice the list of FEMA regions? Look familiar?
I’m sure all of you know this already but your friends and family do not. REX84 is real and this is as close to an admission as we’re going to get. Tell the people! Tell everybody!
…also, stay tuned!
SECRET CONCENTRATION CAMPS
The September issue of THE OSTRICH reprinted a story from the
CBA BULLETIN which listed the following principal civilian concentra-
tion camps established in GULAG USA under the =Rex ’84= program:
Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas; Ft. Drum, New York; Ft. Indian Gap, Penn-
sylvania; Camp A. P. Hill, Virginia; Oakdale, California; Eglin
Air Force Base, Florida; Vendenberg AFB, California; Ft. Mc Coy,
Wisconsin; Ft. Benning, Georgia; Ft. Huachuca, Arizona; Camp
Krome, Florida. The February OSTRICH printed a map of the expanding
Gulag. Alhough this listing and map stirred considerable interest,
the report was not new. For at least 20 years, knowledgeable Patriots
have been warning of these sinister plots to incarcerate dissidents
opposing plans of the =Elitist Syndicate= for a totalitarian
=New World Order=. Indeed, the plot was recognized with the insidious
encroachment of “regionalism” back in the 1960′s. As early as 1968,
the “greatest land steal in history” leading to global corporate
socialism, was in a =”Master Land Plan”= for the United States
by =Executive Orders= involving water resource regions,
population movement and control, pollution control, zoning
and land use, navigation and environmental bills, etc. Indeed,
the real undercover aim of the so-called “Environmental Rennaissance”
has been the abolition of private property.
All prelude to the total grab of the =World Conservation Bank=,
as THE OSTRICH has been reporting. The map on this page and
the list of executive orders available for imposition of an “emergency”
are from 1970s files of the late Gen. =P. A. Del Valle’s= ALERT,
sent us by =Merritt Newby=, editor of the now defunct AMERICAN
=Wake up Americans!= The Bushoviks have approved =Gorbachev’s=
imposition of “Emergency” to suppress unrest. =Henry Kissinger=
and his clients hardly missed a day’s profits in their deals with
the butchers of Tiananmen Sqaure. Are you next?
SUBJECT: Executive Orders
APPLICABLE EXECUTIVE ORDERS
The following =Executive Orders=, now recorded in the Federal
Register, and therefore accepted by Congress as the law of the
land, can be put into effect at any time an emergency is declared:
10995–All communications media seized by the Federal Government.
10997–Seizure of all electrical power, fuels, including
gasoline and minerals.
10998–Seizure of all food resources, farms and farm equipment.
10999–Seizure of all kinds of transportation, including your
personal car, and control of all highways and seaports.
11000–Seizure of all civilians for work under Federal supervision.
11001–Federal takeover of all health, education and welfare.
11002–Postmaster General empowered to register every man, woman
and child in the U.S.A.
11003–Seizure of all aircraft and airports by the Federal
11004–Housing and Finance authority may shift population from
one locality to another. Complete integration.
11005–Seizure of railroads, inland waterways, and storage facilities.
11051–The Director of the Office of Emergency Planning authorized
to put Executive Orders into effect in “times of increased
international tension or financial crisis”. He is also to
perform such additional functions as the President
A Dangerous Fact Not Generally Known
THESE EXECUTIVE ORDERS GROSSLY AND FLAGRANTLY VIOLATE ARTICLE
4 SECTION 4 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES. “THE
UNITED STATES SHALL GUARANTEE TO EVERY STATE IN THIS UNION A
REPUBLICAN FORM OF GOVERNMENT, AND SHALL PROTECT EACH OF THEM
AGAINST INVASION; AND ON APPLICATION OF THE LEGISLATURE, OR OF THE
EXECUTIVE (WHEN THE LEGISLATURE CANNOT BE CONVENED) AGAINST
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.” “REGIONAL GOVERNMENT IS NOT A REPRESENTATIVE
REPUBLICAN FORM OF GOVERNMENT!”
When Government gets out of hand and can no longer be controlled
by the people, short of violent overthrow as in 1776, there are
two sources of power which are used by the dictatorial government
to keep the people in line: the Police Power and the Power of the
Purse (through which the necessities of life can be withheld).
And both of these powers are no longer balanced between the three
Federal Branches, and between the Federal and the State and
local Governments. These powers have been taken over, with the
permission of the Federal Legislature and the State Governments,
by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government and all attempts
to reclaim that lost power have been defeated.
Stated simply: the dictatorial power of the Executive rests primarily
on three basis: Executive Order 11490, Executive Order 11647, and
the Planning, Programming, Budgeting System which is operated
through the new and all-powerful Office of Management and
E. O. 11490 is a compilation of some 23 previous Executive Orders,
signed by Nixon on Oct. 28, 1969, and outlining emergency functions
which are to be performed by some 28 Executive Departments and
Agencies whenever the President of the United States declares
a national emergency (as in defiance of an impeachment edict,
for example). Under the terms of E. O. 11490, the President
can declare that a national emergency exists and the Executive
* Take over all communications media
* Seize all sources of power
* Take charge of all food resources
* Control all highways and seaports
* Seize all railroads, inland waterways, airports, storage facilities
* Commandeer all civilians to work under federal supervision
* Control all activities relating to health, education, and welfare
* Shift any segment of the population from one locality to another
* Take over farms, ranches, timberized properties
* Regulate the amount of your own money you may withdraw from
your bank, or savings and loan institution
All of these and many more items are listed in 32 pages incorporating
nearly 200,000 words, providing and absolute bureaucratic
dictatorship whenever the President gives the word.
–> Executive Order 11647 provides the regional and local mechanisms
–> and manpower for carrying out the provisions of E. O. 11490.
–> Signed by Richard Nixon on Feb. 10, 1972, this Order sets up Ten
–> Federal Regional Councils to govern Ten Federal Regions made up
–> of the fifty still existing States of the Union.
*Check out this book for the inside scoop on the “secret” Constitution.*
SUBJECT: – “The Proposed Constitutional Model” Pages 595-621
Book Title – The Emerging Constitution
Author – Rexford G. Tugwell
Publisher – Harpers Magazine Press,Harper and Row
Dewey Decimal – 342.73 T915E
ISBN – 0-06-128225-10
Note Chapter 14
The 10 Federal Regions
REGION I: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode
Regional Capitol: Boston
REGION II: New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, Virgin Island.
Regional Capitol: New York City
REGION III: Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West
Virginia, District of Columbia.
Regional Capitol: Philadelphia
REGION IV: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi,
North Carolina, Tennessee.
Regional Capitol: Atlanta
REGION V: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin.
Regional Capitol: Chicago
REGION VI: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas.
Regional Capitol: Dallas-Fort Worth
REGION VII: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska.
Regional Capitol: Kansas City
REGION VIII: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota,
Regional Capitol: Denver
REGION IX: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada.
Regional Capitol: San Fransisco
REGION X: Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho.
Regional Capitol: Seattle
Supplementing these Then Regions, each of the States is, or is to
be, divided into subregions, so that Federal Executive control
is provided over every community.
Then, controlling the bedgeting and the programming at every
level is that politico-economic system known as PPBS.
The President need not wait for some emergency such as an impeachment
ouster. He can declare a National Emergency at any time, and freeze
everything, just as he has already frozen wages and prices. And
the Congress, and the States, are powerless to prevent such an
Executive Dictatorship, unless Congress moves to revoke these
extraordinary powers before the Chief Executive moves to invoke
THESE EXECUTIVE ORDERS GROSSLY AND FLAGRANTLY VIOLATE THE INTENT AND
PURPOSE OF ARTICLE 4 SECTION 3. THERE IS NO PROVISION IN THIS
SECTION OR THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES FOR FORMING A
REGIONAL STATE OUT OF A GROUP OF STATES! FURTHER, THESE EXECUTIVE
ORDERS GROSSLY AND FLAGRANTLY VIOLATE THE 9TH AND 10TH
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION!
By Proclaiming and Putting Into Effect Executive Order No. 11490,
the President would put the United States under TOTAL MARTIAL LAW
AND MILITARY DICTATORSHIP! The Guns Of The American People Would
Be Forcibly Taken!
Bushie-Tail used the Gulf War Show to greatly expand the powers of the
presidency. During this shell game event, the Executive Orders signed
into “law” continued Bushie’s methodical and detailed program to bury
any residual traces of the constitutional rights and protections of U.S.
citizens. The Bill of Rights–[almost too late to] use ‘em or lose ‘em:
|| The record of Bush’s fast and loose approach to ||
|| constitutionally guaranteed civil rights is a history of ||
|| the erosion of liberty and the consolidation of an imperial ||
|| executive. ||
From “Covert Action Information Bulletin,” Number 37, Summer, 1991 (see
bottom 2 pages for subscription & back issues info on this quarterly):
Domestic Consequences of the Gulf War
Reprinted with permission of CAIB. Copyright 1991
Diana Reynolds is a Research Associate at the Edward R. Murrow Center,
Fletcher School for Public Policy, Tufts University. She is also an
Assistant Professor of Politics at Broadford College and a Lecturer at
A war, even the most victorious, is a national misfortune.
–Helmuth Von Moltke, Prussian field marshall
George Bush put the United States on the road to its second war in
two years by declaring a national emergency on August 2,1990. In
response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, Bush issued two Executive
Orders (12722 and 12723) which restricted trade and travel with Iraq
and froze Iraqi and Kuwaiti assets within the U.S. and those in the
possession of U.S. persons abroad. At least 15 other executive orders
followed these initial restrictions and enabled the President to
mobilize the country’s human and productive resources for war. Under
the national emergency, Bush was able unilaterally to break his 1991
budget agreement with Congress which had frozen defense spending, to
entrench further the U.S. economy in the mire of the military-
industrial complex, to override environmental protection regulations,
and to make free enterprise and civil liberties conditional upon an
executive determination of national security interests.
The State of Emergency
In time of war a president’s power derives from both constitutional
and statutory sources. Under Article II, Section 2 of the
Constitution, he is Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Although
Congress alone retains the right to declare war, this power has become
increasingly meaningless in the face of a succession of unilateral
decisions by the executive to mount invasions.
The president’s statutory authority, granted by Congress and
expanded by it under the 1988 National Emergencies Act (50 USC sec.
1601), confers special powers in time of war or national emergency.
He can invoke those special powers simply by declaring a national
emergency. First, however, he must specify the legal provisions under
which he proposes that he, or other officers, will act. Congress may
end a national emergency by enacting a joint resolution. Once invoked
by the president, emergency powers are directed by the National
Security Council and administered, where appropriate, under the
general umbrella of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
There is no requirement that Congress be consulted before an emergency
is declared or findings signed. The only restriction on Bush is that
he must inform Congress in a “timely” fashion–he being the sole
arbiter of timeliness.
Ultimately, the president’s perception of the severity of a
particular threat to national security and the integrity of his
appointed officers determine the nature of any state of emergency.
For this reason, those who were aware of the modern development of
presidential emergency powers were apprehensive about the domestic
ramifications of any national emergency declared by George Bush. In
light of Bush’s record (see “Bush Chips Away at Constitution” Box
below) and present performance, their fears appear well-founded.
The War at Home
It is too early to know all of the emergency powers, executive
orders and findings issued under classified National Security
Directives implemented by Bush in the name of the Gulf War. In
addition to the emergency powers necessary to the direct mobilization
of active and reserve armed forces of the United States, there are
some 120 additional emergency powers that can be used in a national
emergency or state of war (declared or undeclared by Congress). The
“Federal Register” records some 15 Executive Orders (EO) signed by
Bush from August 2,1990 to February 14,1991. (See “Bush’s Executive
Orders” box, below)
It may take many years before most of the executive findings and
use of powers come to light, if indeed they ever do. But evidence is
emerging that at least some of Bush’s emergency powers were activated
in secret. Although only five of the 15 EOs that were published were
directed at non-military personnel, the costs directly attributable to
the exercise of the authorities conferred by the declaration of
national emergency from August 2, 1990 to February 1, 1991 for non-
military activities are estimated at approximately $1.3 billion.
According to a February 11, 1991 letter from Bush to congressional
leaders reporting on the “National Emergency With Respect to Iraq,”
these costs represent wage and salary costs for the Departments of
Treasury, State, Agriculture, and Transportation, U.S. Customs,
Federal Reserve Board, and the National Security Council.
The fact that $1.3 billion was spent in non-military salaries alone
in this six month period suggests an unusual amount of government
resources utilized to direct the national emergency state. In
contrast, government salaries for one year of the state of emergency
with Iran cost only $430,000.
| Bush Chips Away at Constitution |
| George Bush, perhaps more than any other individual in |
| U.S. history, has expanded the emergency powers of |
| presidency. In 1976, as Director of Central Intelligence, |
| he convened Team B, a group of rabidly anti-communist |
| intellectuals and former government officials to reevaluate |
| CIA inhouse intelligence estimates on Soviet military |
| strength. The resulting report recommended draconian civil |
| defense measures which led to President Ford’s Executive |
| Order 11921 authorizing plans to establish government |
| control of the means of production, distribution, energy |
| sources, wages and salaries, credit and the flow of money |
| in U.S. financial institutions in a national emergency. |
| As Vice President, Bush headed the Task Force on |
| Combatting Terrorism, that recommended: extended and |
| flexible emergency presidential powers to combat terrorism; |
| restrictions on congressional oversight in counter- |
| terrorist planning; and curbing press coverage of |
| terrorist incidents. The report gave rise to the Anti- |
| Terrorism Act of 1986, that granted the President clear-cut |
| authority to respond to terrorism with all appropriate |
| means including deadly force. It authorized the |
| Immigration and Naturalization Service to control and |
| remove not only alien terrorists but potential terrorist |
| aliens and those “who are likely to be supportive of |
| terrorist activity within the U.S.” The bill superceded |
| the War Powers Act by imposing no time limit on the |
| President’s use of force in a terrorist situation, and |
| lifted the requirement that the President consult Congress |
| before sanctioning deadly force. |
| From 1982 to 1988, Bush led the Defense Mobilization |
| Planning Systems Agency (DMPSA), a secret government |
| organization, and spent more than $3 billion upgrading |
| command, control, and communications in FEMA’s continuity |
| of government infrastructures. Continuity of Government |
| (COG) was ostensibly created to assure government |
| functioning during war, especially nuclear war. The Agency |
| was so secret that even many members of the Pentagon were |
| unaware of its existence and most of its work was done |
| without congressional oversight. |
| Project 908, as the DMPSA was sometimes called, was |
| similar to its parent agency FEMA in that it came under |
| investigation for mismanagement and contract |
| irregularities. During this same period, FEMA had been |
| fraught with scandals including emergency planning with a |
| distinctly anti-constitutional flavor. The agency would |
| have sidestepped Congress and other federal agencies and |
| put the President and FEMA directly in charge of the U.S. |
| planning for martial rule. Under this state, the executive |
| would take upon itself powers far beyond those necessary to |
| address national emergency contingencies. |
| Bush’s “anything goes” anti-drug strategy, announced |
| on September 6, 1989, suggested that executive emergency |
| powers be used: to oust those suspected of associating |
| with drug users or sellers from public and private housing; |
| to mobilize the National Guard and U.S. military to fight |
| drugs in the continental U.S.; to confiscate private |
| property belonging to drug users, and to incarcerate first |
| time offenders in work camps. |
| The record of Bush’s fast and loose approach to |
| constitutionally guaranteed civil rights is a history of |
| the erosion of liberty and the consolidation of an imperial |
| executive. |
| 1. Executive Order 11921, “Emergency preparedness Functions, |
| June 11, 1976. Federal Register, vol. 41, no. 116. The |
| report was attacked by such notables as Ray Cline, the |
| CIA’s former Deputy Director, retired CIA intelligence |
| analyst Arthur Macy Cox, and the former head of the U.S. |
| Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Paul Warnke for |
| blatantly manipulating CIA intelligence to achieve the |
| political ends of Team B’s rightwing members. See Cline, |
| quoted in “Carter to Inherit Intense Dispute on Soviet |
| Intentions,” Mary Marder, “Washington Post,” January 2, |
| 1977; Arthur Macy Cox, “Why the U.S. Since 1977 Has |
| Been Mis-perceiving Soviet Military Strength,” “New York |
| Times,” October 20, 1980; Paul Warnke, “George Bush and |
| Team B,” “New York Times,” September 24, 1988. |
| 2. George Bush, “Public Report of the Vice President’s Task |
| Force On Combatting Terrorism” (Washington, D.C.: U.S. |
| Government Printing Office), February 1986. |
| 3. Robert J. Walsh, Assistant Commissioner, Investigations |
| Division, Immigration and Naturalization Service, “Alien |
| Border Control Committee” (Washington, DC), October 1, |
| 1988. |
| 4. Steven Emerson, “America’s Doomsday Project,” “U.S. News |
| & World Report,” August 7, 1989. |
| 5. See: Diana Reynolds, “FEMA and the NSC: The Rise of the |
| National Security State,” “CAIB,” Number 33 (Winter 1990); |
| Keenan Peck, “The Take-Charge Gang,” “The Progressive,” |
| May 1985; Jack Anderson, “FEMA Wants to Lead Economic |
| War,” “Washington Post,” January 10, 1985. |
| 6. These Presidential powers were authorized by the Anti- |
| Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Public Law 100-690: 100th |
| Congress. See also: Diana Reynolds, “The Golden Lie,” |
| “The Humanist,” September/October 1990; Michael Isikoff, |
| “Is This Determination or Using a Howitzer to Kill a |
| Fly?” “Washington Post National Weekly,” August 27-, |
| September 2, 1990; Bernard Weintraub, “Bush Considers |
| Calling Guard To Fight Drug Violence in Capital,” “New |
| York Times,” March 21, 1989. |
Even those Executive Orders which have been made public tend to
raise as many questions as they answer about what actions were
considered and actually implemented. On January 8, 1991, Bush signed
Executive Order 12742, National Security Industrial Responsiveness,
which ordered the rapid mobilization of resources such as food,
energy, construction materials and civil transportation to meet
national security requirements. There was, however, no mention in
this or any other EO of the National Defense Executive Reserve (NDER)
plan administered under FEMA. This plan, which had been activated
during World War II and the Korean War, permits the federal government
during a state of emergency to bring into government certain
unidentified individuals. On January 7, 1991 the “Wall Street Journal
Europe” reported that industry and government officials were studying
a plan which would permit the federal government to “borrow” as many
as 50 oil company executives and put them to work streamlining the
flow of energy in case of a prolonged engagement or disruption of
supply. Antitrust waivers were also being pursued and oil companies
were engaged in emergency preparedness exercises with the Department
Wasting the Environment
In one case the use of secret powers was discovered by a watchdog
group and revealed in the press. In August 1990, correspondence
passed between Colin McMillan, Assistant Secretary of Defense for
Production and Logistics and Michael Deland, Chair of the White House
Council on Environmental Quality. The letters responded to
presidential and National Security Council directives to deal with
increased industrial production and logistics arising from the
situation in the Middle East. The communications revealed that the
Pentagon had found it necessary to request emergency waivers to U.S.
The agreement to waive the National Environmental Policy Act (1970)
came in August. Because of it, the Pentagon was allowed to test new
weapons in the western U.S., increase production of materiel and
launch new activities at military bases without the complex public
review normally required. The information on the waiver was
eventually released by the Boston-based National Toxic Campaign Fund
(NTCF), an environmental group which investigates pollution on the
nation’s military bases. It was not until January 30, 1991, five
months after it went into effect, that the “New York Times,” acting
on the NTCF information, reported that the White House had bypassed
the usual legal requirement for environmental impact statements on
Pentagon projects. So far, no specific executive order or
presidential finding authorizing this waiver has been discovered.
Other environmental waivers could also have been enacted without
the public being informed. Under a state of national emergency, U.S.
warships can be exempted from international conventions on
pollution and public vessels can be allowed to dispose of
potentially infectious medical wastes into the oceans. The
President can also suspend any of the statutory provisions regarding
the production, testing, transportation, deployment, and disposal of
chemical and biological warfare agents (50 USC sec. 1515). He could
also defer destruction of up to 10 percent of lethal chemical agents
and munitions that existed on November 8, 1985.
One Executive Order which was made public dealt with “Chemical and
Biological Weapons Proliferation.” Signed by Bush on November 16,
1990, EO 12735 leaves the impression that Bush is ordering an
increased effort to end the proliferation of chemical and biological
weapons. The order states that these weapons “constitute a threat to
national security and foreign policy” and declares a national
emergency to deal with the threat. To confront this threat, Bush
ordered international negotiations, the imposition of controls,
licenses, and sanctions against foreign persons and countries for
proliferation. Conveniently, the order grants the Secretaries of
State and the Treasury the power to exempt the U.S. military.
In February of 1991, the Omnibus Export Amendments Act was passed
by Congress compatible with EO 12735. It imposed sanctions on
countries and companies developing or using chemical or biological
weapons. Bush signed the law, although he had rejected the identical
measure the year before because it did not give him the executive
power to waive all sanctions if he thought the national interest
required it. The new bill, however, met Bush’s requirements.
| BUSH’S EXECUTIVE ORDERS |
| * EO 12722 “Blocking Iraqi Government Property and |
| Prohibiting Transactions With Iraq,” Aug. 2, 1990. |
| * EO 12723 “Blocking Kuwaiti Government Property,” Aug. 2, |
| 1990. |
| * EO 12724 “Blocking Iraqi Government Property and |
| Prohibiting Transactions With Iraq,” Aug. 9, 1990. |
| * EO 12725 “Blocking Kuwaiti Government Property and |
| Prohibiting Transactions With Kuwait,” Aug. 9, 1990. |
| * EO 12727 “Ordering the Selected Reserve of the Armed |
| Forces to Active Duty,” Aug. 22, 1990. |
| * EO 12728 “Delegating the President’s Authority To |
| Suspend Any Provision of Law Relating to the Promotion, |
| Retirement, or Separation of Members of the Armed Forces,” |
| Aug. 22, 1990. |
| * EO 12733 “Authorizing the Extension of the Period of |
| Active Duty of Personnel of the Selected Reserve of the |
| Armed Forces,” Nov. 13, 1990. |
| * EO 12734 “National Emergency Construction Authority,” Nov. |
| 14, 1990. |
| * EO 12735 “Chemical and Biological Weapons Proliferation,” |
| Nov. 16, 1990. |
| * EO 12738 “Administration of Foreign Assistance and Related |
| Functions and Arms Export Control,” Dec. 14, 1990. |
| * EO 12742 “National Security Industrial Responsiveness,” |
| Jan. 8, 1991. |
| * EO 12743 “Ordering the Ready Reserve of the Armed Forces |
| to Active Duty,” Jan. 18, 1991. |
| * EO 12744 “Designation of Arabian Peninsula Areas, Airspace |
| and Adjacent Waters as a Combat Zone,” Jan. 21, 1991. |
| * EO 12750 “Designation of Arabian Peninsula Areas, Airspace |
| and Adjacent Waters as the Persian Gulf Desert Shield |
| Area,” Feb. 14, 1991. |
| * EO 12751 “Health Care Services for Operation Desert |
| Storm,” Feb. 14, 1991. |
Going Off Budget
Although some of the powers which Bush assumed in order to conduct
the Gulf War were taken openly, they received little public discussion
or reporting by the media.
In October, when the winds of the Gulf War were merely a breeze,
Bush used his executive emergency powers to extend his budget
authority. This action made the 1991 fiscal budget agreement between
Congress and the President one of the first U.S. casualties of the
war. While on one hand the deal froze arms spending through 1996, it
also allowed Bush to put the cost of the Gulf War “off budget.” Thus,
using its emergency powers, the Bush administration could:
* incur a deficit which exceeds congressional budget authority;
* prevent Congress from raising a point of order over the
* waive the requirement that the Secretary of Defense submit
estimates to Congress prior to deployment of a major defense
* and exempt the Pentagon from congressional restrictions on
hiring private contractors.
While there is no published evidence on which powers Bush actually
invoked, the administration was able to push through the 1990 Omnibus
Reconciliation Act. This legislation put a cap on domestic spending,
created a record $300 billion deficit, and undermined the Gramm-
Rudman-Hollings Act intended to reduce the federal deficit. Although
Congress agreed to pay for the war through supplemental appropriations
and approved a $42.2 billion supplemental bill and a $4.8 billion
companion “dire emergency supplemental appropriation,” it
specified that the supplemental budget should not be used to finance
costs the Pentagon would normally experience.
Lawrence Korb, a Pentagon official in the Reagan administration,
believes that the Pentagon has already violated the spirit of the 1990
Omnibus Reconciliation Act. It switched funding for the Patriot,
Tomahawk, Hellfire and HARM missiles from its regular budget to the
supplemental budget; added normal wear and tear of equipment to
supplemental appropriations; and made supplemental requests which
ignore a planned 25% reduction in the armed forces by 1995.
The Cost In Liberty Lost
Under emergency circumstances, using 50 USC sec. 1811, the
President could direct the Attorney General to authorize electronic
surveillance of aliens and American citizens in order to obtain
foreign intelligence information without a court order. No
Executive Order has been published which activates emergency powers to
wiretap or to engage in counter-terrorist activity. Nonetheless,
there is substantial evidence that such activities have taken place.
According to the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, the
FBI launched an anti-terrorist campaign which included a broad sweep
of Arab-Americans. Starting in August, the FBI questioned, detained,
and harassed Arab-Americans in California, New York, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and Colorado.
A CIA agent asked the University of Connecticut for a list of all
foreign students at the institution, along with their country of
origin, major field of study, and the names of their academic
advisers. He was particularly interested in students from the Middle
East and explained that the Agency intended to open a file on each of
the students. Anti-war groups have also reported several break-ins of
their offices and many suspected electronic surveillance of their
Pool of Disinformation
Emergency powers to control the means of communications in the U.S.
in the name of national security were never formally declared. There
was no need for Bush to do so since most of the media voluntarily and
even eagerly cooperated in their own censorship. Reporters covering
the Coalition forces in the Gulf region operated under restrictions
imposed by the U.S. military. They were, among other things, barred
from traveling without a military escort, limited in their forays into
the field to small escorted groups called “pools,” and required to
submit all reports and film to military censors for clearance. Some
reporters complained that the rules limited their ability to gather
information independently, thereby obstructing informed and objective
Three Pentagon press officials in the Gulf region admitted to James
LeMoyne of the “New York Times” that they spent significant time
analyzing reporters’ stories in order to shape the coverage in the
Pentagon’s favor. In the early days of the deployment, Pentagon press
officers warned reporters who asked hard questions that they were seen
as “anti-military” and that their requests for interviews with senior
commanders and visits to the field were in jeopardy. The military
often staged events solely for the cameras and would stop televised
interviews in progress when it did not like what was being portrayed.
Although filed soon after the beginning of the war, a lawsuit
challenging the constitutionality of press restrictions was not heard
until after the war ended. It was then dismissed when the judge ruled
that since the war had ended, the issues raised had become moot. The
legal status of the restrictions–initially tested during the U.S.
invasions of Grenada and Panama–remains unsettled.
A National Misfortune
It will be years before researchers and journalists are able to
ferret through the maze of government documents and give a full
appraisal of the impact of the President’s emergency powers on
domestic affairs. It is likely, however, that with a post-war
presidential approval rating exceeding 75 percent, the domestic
casualties will continue to mount with few objections. Paradoxically,
even though the U.S. public put pressure on Bush to send relief for
the 500,000 Iraqi Kurdish refugees, it is unlikely the same outcry
will be heard for the 37 million Americans without health insurance,
the 32 million living in poverty, or the country’s five million hungry
children. The U.S. may even help rebuild Kuwaiti and Iraqi civilian
infrastructures it destroyed during the war while leaving its own
education system in decay, domestic transportation infrastructures
crumbling, and inner city war zones uninhabitable. And, while the
U.S. assists Kuwait in cleaning up its environmental disaster, it will
increase pollution at home. Indeed, as the long-dead Prussian field
marshal prophesied, “a war, even the most victorious, is a national
1. The administrative guideline was established under Reagan in Executive
Order 12656, November 18,1988, “Federal Register,” vol. 23, no. 266.
2. For instance, National Security Council policy papers or National
Security Directives (NSD) or National Security Decision Directives
(NSDD) have today evolved into a network of shadowy, wide-ranging and
potent executive powers. These are secret instruments, maintained in
a top security classified state and are not shared with Congress. For
an excellent discussion see: Harold C. Relyea, The Coming of Secret
Law, “Government Information Quarterly,” Vol. 5, November 1988; see
also: Eve Pell, “The Backbone of Hidden Government,” “The Nation,”
3. “Letter to Congressional Leaders Reporting on the National Emergency
With Respect to Iraq,” February, 11, 1991, “Weekly Compilation of
Presidential Documents: Administration of George Bush,” (Washington,
DC: U.S. Government Printing Office), pp. 158-61.
4. The U.S. now has states of emergency with Iran, Iraq and Syria.
5. Allanna Sullivan, “U.S. Oil Concerns Confident Of Riding Out Short Gulf
War,” “Wall Street Journal Europe,” January 7, 1991.
6. Colin McMillan, Letter to Michael Deland, Chairman, Council on
Environmental Quality (Washington, DC: Executive Office of the
President), August 24, 1990; Michael R. Deland, Letter to Colin
McMillan, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Production and Logistics
(Washington, DC: Department of Defense), August 29,1990.
7. Keith Schneider, “Pentagon Wins Waiver Of Environmental Rule,” “New York
Times,” January 30, 1991.
8. 33 U.S. Code (USC) sec. 1902 9(b).
9. 33 USC sec. 2503 l(b).
10. 50 USC sec. 1521(b) (3)(A).
ll. Adam Clymer, “New Bill Mandates Sanctions On Makers of Chemical Arms,”
“New York Times,” February 22, 1991.
12. 31 USC O10005 (f); 2 USC O632 (i), 6419 (d), 907a (b); and Public
Law 101-508, Title X999, sec. 13101.
13. 10 USC sec. 2434/2461 9F.
14. When the Pentagon expected the war to last months and oil prices to
skyrocket, it projected the incremental cost of deploying and
redeploying the forces and waging war at about $70 billion. The
administration sought and received $56 billion in pledges from allies
such as Germany, Japan and Saudi Arabia. Although the military’s
estimates of casualties and the war’s duration were highly inflated,
today their budget estimates remain at around $70 billion even though
the Congressional Budget office estimates that cost at only $40
billion, $16 billion less than allied pledges.
15. Michael Kamish, “After The War: At Home, An Unconquered Recession,”
“Boston Globe,” March 6, 1991; Peter Passell, “The Big Spoils From a
Bargain War,” “New York Times,” March 3, 1991; and Alan Abelson, “A
War Dividend For The Defense Industry?” “Barron’s,” March 18, 1991.
16. Lawrence Korb, “The Pentagon’s Creative Budgetry Is Out of Line,”
“International Herald Tribune,” April 5, 199l.
17. Many of the powers against aliens are automatically invoked during a
national emergency or state of war. Under the Alien Enemies Act (50
USC sec. 21), the President can issue an order to apprehend, restrain,
secure and remove all subjects of a hostile nation over 13 years old.
Other statutes conferring special powers on the President with regard
to aliens that may be exercised in times of war or emergencies but are
not confined to such circumstances, are: exclusion of all or certain
classes of aliens from entry into the U.S. when their entry may be
“detrimental to the interests of the United States” (8 USC sec. 1182(f));
imposition of travel restrictions on aliens within the U.S. (8 USC sec.
1185); and requiring aliens to be fingerprinted (8 USC sec. 1302).
18. Ann Talamas, “FBI Targets Arab-Americans,” “CAIB,” Spring 1991, p. 4.
19. “Anti-Repression Project Bulletin” (New York: Center for
Constitutional Rights), January 23, 1991.
20. James DeParle, “Long Series of Military Decisions Led to Gulf War News
Censorship,” “New York Times,” May 5, 1991.
21. James LeMoyne, “A Correspondent’s Tale: Pentagon’s Strategy for the
Press: Good News or No News,” “New York Times,” February 17, 1991.
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yer friendly neighborhood ratman
ko.yan.nis.qatsi (from the Hopi Language) n. 1. crazy life. 2. life
in turmoil. 3. life out of balance. 4. life disintegrating.
5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.
ko.yan.nis.qatsi (from the Hopi Language) n. 1. crazy life. 2. life
in turmoil. 3. life out of balance. 4. life disintegrating.
5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.
[PeaceNet forward from AML (ACTIV-L) -- see bottom for more info]
/** mideast.forum: 216.5 **/
** Written 8:11 pm Jan 17, 1991 by nlgclc in cdp:mideast.forum **
An excellent book which deals with the REX 84 detention plan is:
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -
“Guts and Glory: The Rise and Fall of Oliver North,” by Ben
Bradlee Jr. (Donald I. Fine, $21.95. 573 pp.)
Reviewed by Dennis M. Culnan Copyright 1990, Gannett News Service All
Rights Reserved Short excerpt posted here under applicable copyright
[Oliver] North managed to network himself into the highest levels of
the CIA and power centers around the world. There he lied and
boastfully ignored the constitutional process, Bradlee writes.
Yet more terrifying is the plan hatched by North and other Reagan
people in the Federal Emergency Manpower Agency (FEMA): A blueprint
for the military takeover of the United States. The plan called for
FEMA to become “emergency czar” in the event of a national emergency
such as nuclear war or an American invasion of a foreign nation. FEMA
would also be a buffer between the president and his cabinet and other
civilian agencies, and would have broad powers to appoint military
commanders and run state and local governments. Finally, it would
have the authority to order suspect aliens into concentration camps
and seize their property.
When then-Attorney General William French Smith got wind of the plan,
he killed it. After Smith left the administration, North and his FEMA
cronies came up with the Defense Resource Act, designed to suspendend
the First Amendment by imposing censorship and banning strikes.
Where was it all heading? The book’s answer: “REX-84 Bravo, a
National Security Decision Directive 52 that would become operative
with the president’s declaration of a state of national emergency
concurrent with a mythical U.S. military invasion of an unspecified
Central American country, presumably Nicaragua.”
Bradlee writes that the Rex exercise was designed to test FEMA’s
readiness to assume authority over the Department of Defense, the
National Guard in all 50 states, and “a number of state defense
forces to be established by state legislatures.” The military would
then be “deputized,” thus making an end run around federal law
forbidding military involvement in domestic law enforcement.
Rex, which ran concurrently with the first annual U.S. show of force
in Honduras in April 1984, was also designed to test FEMA’s ability to
round up 400,000 undocumented Central American aliens in the United
States and its ability to distribute hundreds of tons of small arms to
“state defense forces.”
Incredibly, REX 84 was similar to a plan secretly adopted by Reagan
while governor of California. His two top henchmen then were Edwin
Meese, who recently resigned as U.S. attorney general, and Louis
Guiffrida, the FEMA director in 1984.
If the review makes you nervous, you should read the book!
–Chip Berlet ** End of text from cdp:mideast.forum **
[PeaceNet forward from AML (ACTIV-L) -- see bottom for more info]
This is the front-page article of the Jan. 16 issue of “The
Guardian,” which describes some of the U.S. government’s planning
for martial law in the event of the Gulf war. This is truly a
scary scenario that should concern all civil libertarians and
WILL GULF WAR LEAD TO REPRESSION AT HOME?
by Paul DeRienzo and Bill Weinberg
On August 2, 1990, as Saddam Hussein’s army was consolidating control
over Kuwait, President George Bush responded by signing two executive
orders that were the first step toward martial law in the United
States and suspending the Constitution.
On the surface, Executive Orders 12722 and 12723, declaring a
“national emergency,” merely invoked laws that allowed Bush to freeze
Iraqi assets in the United States.
The International Emergency Executive Powers Act permits the president
to freeze foreign assets after declaring a “national emergency,” a
move that has been made three times before — against Panama in 1987,
Nicaragua in 1985 and Iran in 1979.
According to Professor Diana Reynolds, of the Fletcher School of
Diplomacy at Boston’s Tufts University, when Bush declared a national
emergency he “activated one part of a contingency national security
emergency plan.” That plan is made up of a series of laws passed since
the presidency of Richard Nixon, which Reynolds says give the
president “boundless” powers.
According to Reynolds, such laws as the Defense Industrial
Revitalization and Disaster Relief Acts of 1983 “would permit the
president to do anything from seizing the means of production, to
conscripting a labor force, to relocating groups of citizens.”
Reynolds says the net effect of invoking these laws would be the
suspension of the Constitution.
She adds that national emergency powers “permit the stationing of the
military in cities and towns, closing off the U.S. borders, freezing
all imports and exports, allocating all resources on a national
security priority, monitoring and censoring the press, and warrantless
searches and seizures.”
The measures would allow military authorities to proclaim martial law
in the United States, asserts Reynolds. She defines martial law as the
“federal authority taking over for local authority when they are
unable to maintain law and order or to assure a republican form of
A report called “Post Attack Recovery Strategies,” about rebuilding
the country after a nuclear war, prepared by the right-wing Hudson
Institute in 1980, defines martial law as dealing “with the control of
civilians by their own military forces in time of emergency.”
The federal agency with the authority to organize and command the
government’s response to a national emergency is the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA). This super-secret and elite agency was
formed in 1979 under congressional measures that merged all federal
powers dealing with civilian and military emergencies under one
FEMA has its roots in the World War I partnership between government
and corporate leaders who helped mobilize the nation’s industries to
support the war effort. The idea of a central national response to
large-scale emergencies was reintroduced in the early 1970s by Louis
Giuffrida, a close associate of then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan and
his chief aide Edwin Meese.
Reagan appointed Giuffrida head of the California National Guard in
1969. With Meese, Giuffrida organized “war-games” to prepare for
“statewide martial law” in the event that Black nationalists and
anti-war protesters “challenged the authority of the state.” In 1981,
Reagan as president moved Giuffrida up to the big leagues, appointing
him director of FEMA.
According to Reynolds, however, it was the actions of George Bush in
1976, while he was the director of the Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA), that provided the stimulus for centralization of vast powers in
Bush assembled a group of hawkish outsiders, called Team B, that
released a report claiming the CIA (“Team A”) had underestimated the
dangers of Soviet nuclear attack. The report advised the development
of elaborate plans for “civil defense” and post-nuclear government.
Three years later, in 1979, FEMA was given ultimate responsibility for
developing these plans.
Aware of the bad publicity FEMA was getting because of its role in
organizing for a post-nuclear world, Reagan’s FEMA chief Giuffrida
publicly argued that the 1865 Posse Comitatus Act prohibited the
military from arresting civilians.
However, Reynolds says that Congress eroded the act by giving the
military reserves an exemption from Posse Comitatus and allowing them
to arrest civilians. The National Guard, under the control of state
governors in peace time, is also exempt from the act and can arrest
FEMA Inspector General John Brinkerhoff has written a memo contending
that the government doesn’t need to suspend the Constitution to use
the full range of powers Congress has given the agency. FEMA has
prepared legislation to be introduced in Congress in the event of a
national emergency that would give the agency sweeping powers. The
right to “deputize” National Guard and police forces is included in
the package. But Reynolds believes that actual martial law need not be
Giuffrida has written that “Martial Rule comes into existence upon a
determination (not a declaration) by the senior military commander
that the civil government must be replaced because it is no longer
functioning anyway.” He adds that “Martial Rule is limited only by the
principle of necessary force.”
According to Reynolds, it is possible for the president to make
declarations concerning a national emergency secretly in the form of a
Natioanl Security Decision Directive. Most such directives are
classified as so secret that Reynolds says “researchers don’t even
know how many are enacted.”
Throughout the 1980s, FEMA was prohibited from engaging in
intelligence gathering. But on July 6, 1989, Bush signed Executive
Order 12681, pronouncing that FEMA’s National Preparedness Directorate
would “have as a primary function intelligence, counterintelligence,
investigative, or national security work.” Recent events indicate that
domestic spying in response to the looming Middle East war is now
Reynolds reports that “the CIA is going to various campuses asking for
information on Middle Eastern students. I’m sure that there are
intelligence organizations monitoring peace demonstrations.”
According to the University of Connecticut student paper, the Daily
Campus, CIA officials have recently met there to discuss talking with
Middle Eastern students.
The New York Times reports that the FBI has ordered its agents around
the country to question Arab-American leaders and business people in
search of information on potential Iraqi “terrorist” attacks in
response to a Gulf war.
A 1986 Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) document entitled
“Alien Terrorists and Other Undesirables: A Contingency Plan” outlines
the potential round-up and incarceration in mass detainment camps of
U.S. residents who are citizens of “terrorist” countries, chiefly in
the Middle East. This plan echoed a 1984 FEMA nationwide “readiness
exercise code-named REX-84 ALPHA, which included the rehearsal of
joint operations with the INS to round up 40,000 Central American
refugees in the event of a U.S. invasion of the region. One of the 10
military bases established as detainment camps by REX-84 ALPHA, Camp
Krome, Fla., was designated a joint FEMA-Immigration service
Recently, FEMA has been criticized in the media for inadequate
response to the October, 1989 San Francisco earthquake. What the
mainstream press has failed to cover is the agency’s planned role in
repressing domestic dissent in the event of an invasion abroad.
Source: The Guardian, Jan 16 1991
The Guardian is an independent radical news weekly. Subscriptions are
available at $33.50 per year from The Guardian, 33 West 17th St., New
York, NY 10011
DATE OF UPLOAD: November 17, 1989
ORIGIN OF UPLOAD: Omni Magazine
CONTRIBUTED BY: Donald Goldberg
PARANET INFORMATION SERVICE BBS
Although this article does not deal directly with UFOs,
ParaNet felt it important as an offering to our readers who
depend so much upon communications as a way to stay informed.
This article raises some interesting implications for the future
THE NATIONAL GUARDS
(C) 1987 OMNI MAGAZINE MAY 1987
(Reprinted with permission and license to ParaNet Information
Service and its affiliates.)
By Donald Goldberg
The mountains bend as the fjord and the sea beyond stretch
out before the viewer’s eyes. First over the water, then a sharp
left turn, then a bank to the right between the peaks, and the
secret naval base unfolds upon the screen.
The scene is of a Soviet military installation on the Kola
Peninsula in the icy Barents Sea, a place usually off-limits to
the gaze of the Western world. It was captured by a small French
satellite called SPOT Image, orbiting at an altitude of 517 miles
above the hidden Russian outpost. On each of several passes –
made over a two-week period last fall — the satellite’s high-
resolution lens took its pictures at a different angle; the
images were then blended into a three-dimensional, computer-
generated video. Buildings, docks, vessels, and details of the
Artic landscape are all clearly visible.
Half a world away and thousands of feet under the sea,
sparkling-clear images are being made of the ocean floor. Using
the latest bathymetric technology and state-of-the-art systems
known as Seam Beam and Hydrochart, researchers are for the first
time assembling detailed underwater maps of the continental
shelves and the depths of the world’s oceans. These scenes of
the sea are as sophisticated as the photographs taken from the
From the three-dimensional images taken far above the earth
to the charts of the bottom of the oceans, these photographic
systems have three things in common: They both rely on the
latest technology to create accurate pictures never dreamed of
even 25 years ago; they are being made widely available by
commerical, nongovernmental enterprises; and the Pentagon is
trying desperately to keep them from the general public.
In 1985 the Navy classified the underwater charts, making
them available only to approved researchers whose needs are
evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Under a 1984 law the military
has been given a say in what cameras can be licensed to be used
on American satellites; and officials have already announced they
plan to limit the quality and resolution of photos made
available. The National Security Agency (NSA) — the secret arm
of the Pentagon in charge of gathering electronic intelligence as
well as protecting sensitive U.S. communications — has defeated
a move to keep it away from civilian and commercial computers and
That attitude has outraged those concerned with the
military’s increasing efforts to keep information not only from
the public but from industry experts, scientists, and even other
government officials as well. “That’s like classifying a road
map for fear of invasion,” says Paul Wolff, assistant
administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, of the attempted restrictions.
These attempts to keep unclassified data out of the hands of
scientists, researchers, the news media, and the public at large
are a part of an alarming trend that has seen the military take
an ever-increasing role in controlling the flow of information
and communications through American society, a role traditionally
– and almost exclusively — left to civilians. Under the
approving gaze of the Reagan administration, Department of
Defense (DoD) officials have quietly implemented a number of
policies, decisions, and orders that give the military
unprecedented control over both the content and public use of
data and communications. For example:
**The Pentagon has created a new category of “sensitive” but
unclassified information that allows it to keep from public
access huge quantities of data that were once widely accessible.
**Defense Department officials have attempted to rewrite key laws
that spell out when the president can and cannot appropriate
private communications facilities.
**The Pentagon has installed a system that enables it to seize
control of the nation’s entire communications network — the
phone system, data transmissions, and satellite transmissions of
all kinds — in the event of what it deems a “national
emergency.” As yet there is no single, universally agreed-upon
definition of what constitutes such a state. Usually such an
emergency is restricted to times of natural disaster, war, or
when national security is specifically threatened. Now the
military has attempted to redefine emergency.
The point man in the Pentagon’s onslaught on communications
is Assistant Defense Secretary Donald C. Latham, a former NSA
deputy chief. Latham now heads up an interagency committee in
charge of writing and implementing many of the policies that have
put the military in charge of the flow of civilian information
and communication. He is also the architect of National Security
Decision Directive 145 (NSDD 145), signed by Defense Secretary
Caspar Weinberger in 1984, which sets out the national policy on
telecommunications and computer-systems security.
First NSDD 145 set up a steering group of top-level
administration officials. Their job is to recommend ways to
protect information that is unclassified but has been designated
sensitive. Such information is held not only by government
agencies but by private companies as well. And last October the
steering group issued a memorandum that defined sensitive
information and gave federal agencies broad new powers to keep it
from the public.
According to Latham, this new category includes such data as
all medical records on government databases — from the files of
the National Cancer Institute to information on every veteran who
has ever applied for medical aid from the Veterans Administration
– and all the information on corporate and personal taxpayers in
the Internal Revenue Service’s computers. Even agricultural
statistics, he argues, can be used by a foreign power against the
In his oversize yet Spartan Pentagon office, Latham cuts
anything but an intimidating figure. Articulate and friendly, he
could pass for a network anchorman or a television game show
host. When asked how the government’s new definition of
sensitive information will be used, he defends the necessity for
it and tries to put to rest concerns about a new restrictiveness.
“The debate that somehow the DoD and NSA are going to
monitor or get into private databases isn’t the case at all,”
Latham insists. “The definition is just a guideline, just an
advisory. It does not give the DoD the right to go into private
Yet the Defense Department invoked the NSDD 145 guidelines
when it told the information industry it intends to restrict the
sale of data that are now unclassified and publicly available
from privately owned computer systems. The excuse if offered was
that these data often include technical information that might be
valuable to a foreign adversary like the Soviet Union.
Mead Data Central — which runs some of the nation’s largest
computer databases, such as Lexis and Nexis, and has nearly
200,000 users — says it has already been approached by a team of
agents from the Air Force and officials from the CIA and the FBI
who asked for the names of subscribers and inquired what Mead
officials might do if information restrictions were imposed. In
response to government pressure, Mead Data Central in effect
censured itself. It purged all unclassified government-supplied
technical data from its system and completely dropped the
National Technical Information System from its database rather
than risk a confrontation.
Representative Jack Brooks, a Texas Democrat who chairs the
House Government Operations Committee, is an outspoken critic of
the NSA’s role in restricting civilian information. He notes
that in 1985 the NSA — under the authority granted by NSDD 145
– investigated a computer program that was widely used in both
local and federal elections in 1984. The computer system was
used to count more than one third of all votes cast in the United
States. While probing the system’s vulnerability to outside
manipulation, the NSA obtained a detailed knowledge of that
computer program. “In my view,” Brooks says, “this is an
unprecedented and ill-advised expansion of the military’s
influence in our society.”
There are other NSA critics. “The computer systems used by
counties to collect and process votes have nothing to do with
national security, and I’m really concerned about the NSA’s
involvement,” says Democratic congressman Dan Glickman of Kansas,
chairman of the House science and technology subcommittee
concerned with computer security.
Also, under NSDD 145 the Pentagon has issued an order,
virtually unknown to all but a few industry executives, that
affects commercial communications satellites. The policy was
made official by Defense Secretary Weinberger in June of 1985 and
requires that all commercial satellite operators that carry such
unclassified government data traffic as routine Pentagon supply
information and payroll data (and that compete for lucrative
government contracts) install costly protective systems on all
satellites launched after 1990. The policy does not directly
affect the data over satellite channels, but it does make the NSA
privy to vital information about the essential signals needed to
operate a satellite. With this information it could take control
of any satellite it chooses.
Latham insists this, too, is a voluntary policy and that
only companies that wish to install protection will have their
systems evaluated by the NSA. He also says industry officials
are wholly behind the move, and argues that the protective
systems are necessary. With just a few thousand dollars’ worth
of equipment, a disgruntled employee could interfere with a
satellite’s control signals and disable or even wipe out a
hundred-million-dollar satellite carrying government information.
At best, his comments are misleading. First, the policy is
not voluntary. The NSA can cut off lucrative government
contracts to companies that do not comply with the plan. The
Pentagon alone spent more than a billion dollars leasing
commercial satellite channels last year; that’s a powerful
incentive for business to cooperate.
Second, the industry’s support is anything but total.
According to the minutes of one closed-door meeting between NSA
officials — along with representatives of other federal agencies
– and executives from AT&T, Comsat, GTE Sprint, and MCI, the
executives neither supported the move nor believed it was
necessary. The NSA defended the policy by arguing that a
satellite could be held for ransom if the command and control
links weren’t protected. But experts at the meeting were
“Why is the threat limited to accessing the satellite rather
than destroying it with lasers or high-powered signals?” one
industry executive wanted to know.
Most of the officials present objected to the high cost of
protecting the satellites. According to a 1983 study made at the
request of the Pentagon, the protection demanded by the NSA could
add as much as $3 million to the price of a satellite and $1
million more to annual operating costs. Costs like these, they
argue, could cripple a company competing against less expensive
Americans get much of their information through forms of
electronic communications, from the telephone, television and
radio, and information printed in many newspapers. Banks send
important financial data, businesses their spreadsheets, and
stockbrokers their investment portfolios, all over the same
channels, from satellite signals to computer hookups carried on
long distance telephone lines. To make sure that the federal
government helped to promote and protect the efficient use of
this advancing technology, Congress passed the massive
Communications Act of of 1934. It outlined the role and laws of
the communications structure in the United States.
The powers of the president are set out in Section 606 of
that law; basically it states that he has the authority to take
control of any communications facilities that he believes
“essential to the national defense.” In the language of the
trade this is known as a 606 emergency.
There have been a number of attempts in recent years by
Defense Department officials to redefine what qualifies as a 606
emergency and make it easier for the military to take over
In 1981 the Senate considered amendments to the 1934 act
that would allow the president, on Defense Department
recommendation, to require any communications company to provide
services, facilities, or equipment “to promote the national
defense and security or the emergency preparedness of the
nation,” even in peacetime and without a declared state of
emergency. The general language had been drafted by Defense
Department officials. (The bill failed to pass the House for
“I think it is quite clear that they have snuck in there
some powers that are dangerous for us as a company and for the
public at large,” said MCI vice president Kenneth Cox before the
Since President Reagan took office, the Pentagon has stepped
up its efforts to rewrite the definition of national emergency
and give the military expanded powers in the United States. “The
declaration of ‘emergency’ has always been vague,” says one
former administration official who left the government in 1982
after ten years in top policy posts. “Different presidents have
invoked it differently. This administration would declare a
convenient ‘emergency.’” In other words, what is a nuisance to
one administration might qualify as a burgeoning crisis to
another. For example, the Reagan administration might decide
that a series of protests on or near military bases constituted a
Should the Pentagon ever be given the green light, its base
for taking over the nation’s communications system would be a
nondescript yellow brick building within the maze of high rises,
government buildings, and apartment complexes that make up the
Washington suburb of Arlington, Virginia. Headquartered in a
dusty and aging structure surrounded by a barbed-wire fence is an
obscure branch of the military known as the Defense
Communications Agency (DCA). It does not have the spit and
polish of the National Security Agency or the dozens of other
government facilities that make up the nation’s capital. But its
lack of shine belies its critical mission: to make sure all of
America’s far-flung military units can communicate with one
another. It is in certain ways the nerve center of our nation’s
On the second floor of the DCA’s four-story headquarters is
a new addition called the National Coordinating Center (NCC).
Operated by the Pentagon, it is virtually unknown outside of a
handful of industry and government officials. The NCC is staffed
around the clock by representatives of a dozen of the nation’s
largest commercial communications companies — the so-called
“common carriers” — including AT&T, MCI, GTE, Comsat, and ITT.
Also on hand are officials from the State Department, the CIA,
the Federal Aviation Administration, and a number of other
federal agencies. During a 606 emergency the Pentagon can order
the companies that make up the National Coordinating Center to
turn over their satellite, fiberoptic, and land-line facilities
to the government.
On a long corridor in the front of the building is a series
of offices, each outfitted with a private phone, a telex machine,
and a combination safe. It’s known as “logo row” because each
office is occupied by an employee from one of the companies that
staff the NCC and because their corporate logos hand on the wall
outside. Each employee is on permanent standby, ready to
activate his company’s system should the Pentagon require it.
The National Coordinating Center’s mission is as grand as
its title is obscure: to make available to the Defense
Department all the facilities of the civilian communications
network in this country — the phone lines, the long-distance
satellite hookups, the data transmission lines — in times of
national emergency. If war breaks out and communications to a
key military base are cut, the Pentagon wants to make sure that
an alternate link can be set up as fast as possible. Company
employees assigned to the center are on call 24 hours a day; they
wear beepers outside the office, and when on vacation they must
be replaced by qualified colleagues.
The center formally opened on New Year’s Day, 1984, the same
day Ma Bell’s monopoly over the telephone network of the entire
United States was finally broken. The timing was no coincidence.
Pentagon officials had argued for years along with AT&T against
the divestiture of Ma Bell, on grounds of national security.
Defense Secretary Weinberger personally urged the attorney
general to block the lawsuit that resulted in the breakup, as had
his predecessor, Harold Brown. The reason was that rather than
construct its own communications network, the Pentagon had come
to rely extensively on the phone company. After the breakup the
dependence continued. The Pentagon still used commercial
companies to carry more than 90 percent of its communications
within the continental United States.
The 1984 divestiture put an end to AT&T’s monopoly over the
nation’s telephone service and increased the Pentagon’s obsession
with having its own nerve center. Now the brass had to contend
with several competing companies to acquire phone lines, and
communications was more than a matter of running a line from one
telephone to another. Satellites, microwave towers, fiberoptics,
and other technological breakthroughs never dreamed of by
Alexander Graham Bell were in extensive use, and not just for
phone conversations. Digital data streams for computers flowed
on the same networks.
These facts were not lost on the Defense Department or the
White House. According to documents obtained by Omni, beginning
on December 14, 1982, a number of secret meetings were held
between high-level administration officials and executives of the
commercial communications companies whose employees would later
staff the National Coordinating Center. The meetings, which
continued over the next three years, were held at the White
House, the State Department, the Strategic Air Command (SAC)
headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, and at the
North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in Colorado
The industry officials attending constituted the National
Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee — called NSTAC
(pronounced N-stack) — set up by President Reagan to address
those same problems that worried the Pentagon. It was at these
secret meetings, according to the minutes, that the idea of a
communications watch center for national emergencies — the NCC
– was born. Along with it came a whole set of plans that would
allow the military to take over commercial communications
“assets” — everything from ground stations and satellite dishes
to fiberoptic cables — across the country.
At a 1983 Federal Communications Commission meeting, a
ranking Defense Department official offered the following
explanation for the founding of the National Coordinating Center:
“We are looking at trying to make communications endurable for a
protracted conflict.” The phrase protracted conflict is a
military euphemism for nuclear war.
But could the NCC survive even the first volley in such a
Not likely. It’s located within a mile of the Pentagon,
itself an obvious early target of a Soviet nuclear barrage (or a
conventional strike, for that matter). And the Kremlin
undoubtedly knows its location and importance, and presumably has
included it on its priority target list. In sum, according to
one Pentagon official, “The NCC itself is not viewed as a
Furthermore, the NCC’s “Implementation Plan,” obtained by
Omni, lists four phases of emergencies and how the center should
respond to each. The first, Phase 0, is Peacetime, for which
there would be little to do outside of a handful of routine tasks
and exercises. Phase 1 is Pre Attack, in which alternate NCC
sites are alerted. Phase 2 is Post Attack, in which other NCC
locations are instructed to take over the center’s functions.
Phase 3 is known as Last Ditch, and in this phase whatever
facility survives becomes the de facto NCC.
So far there is no alternate National Coordinating Center to
which NCC officials could retreat to survive an attack.
According to NCC deputy director William Belford, no physical
sites have yet been chosen for a substitute NCC, and even whether
the NCC itself will survive a nuclear attack is still under
Of what use is a communications center that is not expected
to outlast even the first shots of a war and has no backup?
The answer appears to be that because of the Pentagon’s
concerns about the AT&T divestiture and the disruptive effects it
might have on national security, the NCC was to serve as the
military’s peacetime communications center.
The center is a powerful and unprecedented tool to assume
control over the nation’s vast communications and information
network. For years the Pentagon has been studying how to take
over the common carriers’ facilities. That research was prepared
by NSTAC at the DoD’s request and is contained in a series of
internal Pentagon documents obtained by Omni. Collectively this
series is known as the Satellite Survivability Report. Completed
in 1984, it is the only detailed analysis to date of the
vulnerabilities of the commercial satellite network. It was
begun as a way of examining how to protect the network of
communications facilities from attack and how to keep it intact
for the DoD.
A major part of the report also contains an analysis of how
to make commercial satellites “interoperable” with Defense
Department systems. While the report notes that current
technical differences such as varying frequencies make it
difficult for the Pentagon to use commercial satellites, it
recommends ways to resolve those problems. Much of the report is
a veritable blueprint for the government on how to take over
satellites in orbit above the United States. This information,
plus NSDD 145′s demand that satellite operators tell the NSA how
their satellites are controlled, guarantees the military ample
knowledge about operating commercial satellites.
The Pentagon now has an unprecedented access to the civilian
communications network: commercial databases, computer networks,
electronic links, telephone lines. All it needs is the legal
authority to use them. Then it could totally dominate the flow
of all information in the United States. As one high-ranking
White House communications official put it: “Whoever controls
communications, controls the country.” His remark was made after
our State Department could not communicate directly with our
embassy in Manila during the anti-Marcos revolution last year.
To get through, the State Department had to relay all its
messages through the Philippine government.
Government officials have offered all kinds of scenarios to
justify the National Coordinating Center, the Satellite
Survivability Report, new domains of authority for the Pentagon
and the NSA, and the creation of top-level government steering
groups to think of even more policies for the military. Most can
be reduced to the rationale that inspired NSDD 145: that our
enemies (presumably the Soviets) have to be prevented from
getting too much information from unclassified sources. And the
only way to do that is to step in and take control of those
Remarkably, the communications industry as a whole has not
been concerned about the overall scope of the Pentagon’s threat
to its freedom of operation. Most protests have been to
individual government actions. For example, a media coalition
that includes the Radio-Television Society of Newspaper Editors,
and the Turner Broadcasting System has been lobbying that before
the government can restrict the use of satellites, it must
demonstrate why such restrictions protect against a “threat to
distinct and compelling national security and foreign policy
interests.” But the whole policy of restrictiveness has not been
examined. That may change sometime this year, when the Office of
Technology Assessment issues a report on how the Pentagon’s
policy will affect communications in the United States. In the
meantime the military keeps trying to encroach on national
While it may seem unlikely that the Pentagon will ever get
total control of our information and communications systems, the
truth is that it can happen all too easily. The official
mechanisms are already in place; and few barriers remain to
guarantee that what we hear, see, and read will come to us
courtesy of our being members of a free and open society and not
courtesy of the Pentagon.