On March 31, Peter Dale Scott posted an informative piece on CounterPunch asking that very question. Why is Congress being sandbagged by the Bush administration on the thorniest of issues: the suspension of the U.S. Constitution and the potential declaration of martial law in the event of a "catastrophic national emergency." Scott writes,
In August 2007, Congressman Peter DeFazio, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, told the House that he and the rest of his Committee had been barred from reviewing parts of National Security Presidential Directive 51, the White House supersecret plans to implement so-called "Continuity of Government" in the event of a mass terror attack or natural disaster. (Peter Dale Scott, "Congress, the Bush Administration and Continuity of Government Planning: The Showdown," CounterPunch, Monday, March 31, 2008)
While it is certainly a reasonable proposition to most citizens that the federal government should be prepared for disasters, man-made or otherwise, throughout its history COG has been tainted by its proximity to repressive police measures directed against the population (viewed as a hostile force to be "contained"), up to, and including the use of the bluntest of instruments: martial law.
Yet the Bush administration, driven by its desire to maximize power within the Executive branch, has used COG as a cover for creating a "post-Constitutional" police state.
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