On July 1, 1958, Reorganization Plan No. 1 merged the FCDA and ODM into the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization (OCDM), to ensure continuation of essential government and industry functions under national emergency conditions.
On October 28, 1969, Nixon's EO 11490 directed government officials to ensure the continuation of "essential functions" in case of an emergency. It also directed department heads to develop succession of office plans, overseen by the Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) - called a thin line between government and dictatorship, according to some.
In 1970, future Reagan administration FEMA head, Louis O. Giuffrida, advocated martial law in case of mass civil unrest, specifically recommending placing millions of "American negroes" in "assembly centers or relocation camps."
On May 5, 1972, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) became the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency (DCPA) to "provide preparedness assistance planning in all areas of civil defense and natural disasters."
In March 1976, The Progressive published an article about Mount Weather, a secret underground facility, 50 miles north of Washington, to house a parallel executive branch ready to take over government under emergency conditions.
On April 1, 1979, FEMA was established to oversee federal planning for natural disasters, including nuclear and terrorist attacks. Purportedly to help victims, it, in fact, serves federal authorities, including administering continuity measures if needed. Its Office of National Continuity Programs (NCP) is the "Lead Agent for the Federal Executive Branch on matters concerning continuity of national operations under the gravest of conditions."
Measures in the 1980s and 1990s were reviewed above. On May 8, 2001 (four months before 9/11), George Bush established the Office of National Preparedness under FEMA - empowering Dick Cheney to oversee a "coordinated national effort" to integrate Washington's response to a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack.
On 9/11, from 9:45 - 9:56AM EDT, NSC counterterrorism adviser Richard A. Clarke activated COG, ordering all federal agencies "to activate an alternative command post, an alternative headquarters outside of Washington, DC, and to staff it as soon as possible."
In addition, key officials went to secure locations, including Dick Cheney, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, and other Republican and Democrat leaders, after which a "shadow government" was formed, perhaps still in ready to be reactivated under emergency conditions.
On July 27, 2009, The New York Times reported that its activation remained intact under Obama, saying:
White House officials draw "no distance between their own policies and those left behind by the Bush administration." The White House said only that current policy is "settled." The full article can be accessed through the following link:
A Final Comment
Under the 1947 Presidential Succession Act, the Vice President becomes Chief Executive if a President dies, followed by the House Speaker, Senate President Pro Tempore, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, and 11 other cabinet officers in line of succession according to when their office was established, Secretary of Homeland Security the newest in 2001.
Key is who's empowered, not inaugurated - authority given Dick Cheney under George Bush's NSPD 51 as explained above. Most worrisome is if COG subverts constitutional protections, ends democratic freedoms, and makes America another banana republic ruled by wealthy, unelected, despotic, corrupted elites - a status largely descriptive of present day conditions.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.