Peter Dale Scott and Dan Hamburg
On 9/11 the Bush administration declared a State of Emergency (SOE), which was formally proclaimed on September 14, 2001, and extended by Bush repeatedly thereafter, most recently on August 28, 2008.1 Under cover of this SOE, Bush secretly enacted many extreme measures, ranging from suspension of habeas corpus to preparations for martial law in America; all these were undertaken as part of secret so-called "Continuity of Government" (COG) procedures associated with the SOE, and first instituted on 9/11.
The National Emergencies Act, one of the post-Watergate reforms so detested by Vice-President Cheney, requires specifically that:
Not later than six months after a national emergency is declared, and not later than the end of each six-month period thereafter that such emergency continues, each House of Congress shall meet to consider a vote on a joint resolution to determine whether that emergency shall be terminated.
(50 U.S.C. 1622 (2002)
Last fall one of us appealed on the Internet for the Democrats in Congress to take this statutorily required step, and also to learn what secret COG measures were being enacted under the SOE. There was no response.
In February 2009 we sent to officials in Washington the following appeal to consider terminating the State of Emergency. The appeal was sent to President Obama's staff in the White House, and to the staff of Nancy Pelosi, Peter DeFazio, and Dennis Kucinich in Congress. Almost two months have passed, and there has not yet been any response from the addressees.
We are now appealing to the readers of this post to contact their representatives in Congress, and demand that they consider the termination of the State of Emergency, as is required of them by law.
This is the letter sent February 10, 2009 by Peter Dale Scott and Dan Hamburg:
Will Obama and Congress End the State of Emergency?
On September 11, 2001, the government declared a state of emergency. That state of emergency was formally put in writing on 9/14/2001 consistent with Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C.).
The state of emergency has continued in full force and effect from 9/11/01 to the present. It was most recently extended on August 28, 2008 for an additional year:
Notice: Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks
Consistent with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C.), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency I declared on September 14, 2001, in Proclamation 7463, with respect to the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, New York, New York, the Pentagon, and aboard United Airlines flight 93, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States.
Because the terrorist threat continues, the national emergency declared on September 14, 2001, and the powers and authorities adopted to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond September 14, 2008. Therefore, I am continuing in effect for an additional year the national emergency I declared on September 14, 2001, with respect to the terrorist threat.
This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
August 28, 2008.
Under a series of Presidential Decision Directives, the Bush administration enacted secret emergency powers, reportedly affecting the U.S. Constitution, which even the members of the House Homeland Security Committee have not been permitted to review.
Congress has a statutory obligation to address this situation. Section 1622(b) of the National Emergencies Act states that: "Not later than six months after a national emergency is declared, and not later than the end of each six-month period thereafter that such emergency continues, each House of Congress shall meet to consider a vote on a joint resolution to determine whether that emergency shall be terminated."
We now have a new President, supported by a new Congress, elected with a campaign promise of "Change." In this changed atmosphere, two questions need to be answered to satisfy the legitimate concerns of the American people:
Will President Obama allow the state of national emergency, first declared by President George W. Bush on 9/14/01 and re-declared seven times, to remain in effect?
Will Congress meet their statutory responsibilities under Section 1622(b) of the National Emergencies Act, and meet to determine whether that emergency shall be terminated?
Dan Hamburg, former US Representative (CA-01)
Peter Dale Scott, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley
Our appeal to readers: Please contact your Representative and Senators (with a copy to the Homeland Security Committee Chairs (contact info below), utilizing this information and requesting a specific response to these two questions. You may also wish to follow up with a phone call to their offices, asking to speak with the staffer who can answer your questions about national emergencies. Submit responses you receive and/or answers to the questions you ask, to firstname.lastname@example.org for posting here. Please also post this appeal to your websites, and forward to your email lists.
Find your reps' contact info here: votesmart.org
Congressman Bennie Thompson, Chairman
House Committee on Homeland Security
176 Ford House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5876
Fax: (202) 225-5898
Committee Membership Roster (Is your Rep on this Committee?)
Senator Joseph Lieberman, Chairman
Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs
340 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4041
Fax: (202) 224-9750
Committee Membership Roster(Is your Senator on this Committee?)
1 Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks, http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2008/08/20080828-7.html.
2 Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007), 9-11, 183-87, 210-14, 233-42.
3 Investigation into Whether America is Still a Constitutional Government, www.constitutionally.blogspot.com
4 National Emergencies Act, (50 U.S.C. 1622 (2002)), http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/50C34.txt
5Peter Dale Scott, "Bush Extends 9/11 National Emergency Yet Again," Global Research, September 4, 2008, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10065.
6 Declaration of National Emergency by Reason Of Certain Terrorist Attacks, http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2008/08/20080828-7.html.
More information on National Emergency Powers, from a Congressional Research Report last updated August 30, 2007, is available at OpenCRS.com. A related CRS Report, Martial Law and National Emergency, is available at www.fas.org
We wanted to tell everyone that due to DVD production and mastering delays, DVDs are shipping this week. We wanted to have them ship last week to be ontime for the release date, unfortunately they could not be shipped until this week. Your DVD will be shipped based on its order date on the list, all DVDs will be shipped by this Friday, some have already been sent. Everyday orders are going out right now. We are filling orders as we speak. Sorry for the delays and you can look forward to getting your copy of Core of Corruption: In the Shadows very soon! We are also throwing in some other free merchandise in the orders to make up for the delays.
Thank you so much for your support and all of your orders.
Director, Core of Corruption
Top Constitutional Scholar: Secret Bush Memos Reveal Plan For “Massive Military Takeover Of US”
Expert says Yoo memos instigate “Law by fiat”, “Fuhrer’s law”, “constitutes treason.”
A top constitutional scholar has said that recently released Justice Department memos prove that nefarious elements within the Bush Administration were planning a massive military takeover of the country and that the documents should be used to bring charges of treason.
In an interview with author Naomi Wolf, legal expert Michael Ratner explains how the move toward total elimination of First, Fourth and Fifth amendment rights, as outlined in the memos, cannot be taken in isolated relation to terrorism related prosecutions and instead represents a smoking gun of a larger intention toward the general population.
“The memos revealed how massive the takeover of our democracy was to be — that this wasn’t just going to be a few individuals here or there who suffered the arrows of a police state.” Ratner says.
“These memos lay the groundwork for a massive military takeover of the United States in cahoots with the president. And if that’s not a coup d’etat then, nothing is.”
The nine DOJ memos, released earlier this month, were mostly written by former assistant attorney general John Yoo. They reveal how the rights of all American citizens have been effectively stripped away under the auspices of the so called “war on terror”.
They argue for a broad range of powers under the office of the president that cannot be restricted by any law or constitutional right or treaty.
They argue that the legal rights of anyone considered a terrorist suspect can be completely rescinded by the president, that the president may order the military to operate in the U.S. without constitutional restrictions, that the prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure takes a back seat to fighting terrorism domestically, and that the president can, in the name of wartime restrictions, limit free speech.
Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, describes the legal arguments made in the memos as “Law by fiat”, underscoring the historical precedent of such attempts to subvert long established legal protections and processes.
“If you are familiar with the history of dictators, coups and fascism (as I know you are), they (the planners) prefer a veneer of legality.” Ratner explains.
“Hitler killed 6 million Jews with a veneer of legality — getting his dictatorial powers through the Reichstag and the courts. These memos gave the Bush administration’s [lawless] practices the veneer of legality.”
“Who has suspended the law this way in the past? It is like a Caesar’s law in Rome; a Mussolini’s law in Italy; a Fuhrer’s law in Germany; a Stalin’s law in the Soviet Union. It is right down the line. It is enforcing the will of the dictator through the military.”
Ratner believes that the memos provide ground for charges of treason against Bush Administration officials such as Dick Cheney and the president himself.
“I do think that a plan to control the military, use it in the United States contrary to law and the Constitution and employ it to levy a war or takeover that eliminates the democratic institutions of the country constitutes treason, even if done under the president of the United States.”
“The authority given by these memos that could be used to raid every congressional office, raid and search every home, detain tens of thousands, would certainly fit a definition of treason.”
Perhaps most importantly, Ratner acknowledges the fact that the details outlined in the memos were, to a great extent, actively implemented.
“Here they crept right up and actually implemented part of the plan, with Padilla, with the warrantless wiretapping. Yet they are saying in the White House and in Congress that it is looking backward to investigate the authors of these memos and those who instructed Yoo and others to write them.”
“But investigation and prosecutions are really looking forward — to say we need the deterrence of prosecution so this does not happen again.” Ratner states.
As we have previously outlined, we have not seen any deviation from the Bush-era war on terror policies by Obama.
There has been no repeal of Patriot Acts I and II by the Obama administration. Nor have we seen a reversal of Bush’s signing statement that would effectively repeal the John Warner Defense Authorization Act, legislation that stemmed directly from the opinions and counsel offered in the previously secret Justice Department memos.
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