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State of Emergency

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State of Emergency

by Lewis Seiler & Dan Hamburg

Charlie Black, senior advisor to John McCain, caused a fluff by saying that a terrorist attack on U.S. soil would be a “big advantage” to his candidate.

No one mentioned that eight years ago the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) called for “a new Pearl Harbor.”   Such an event would move the American people to accept the neocon vision of militarized global domination. 

Then—presto!—9/11 happened right on schedule, lifting George W. Bush from the shadows of a disputed election to the heights of a “war presidency.”


McCain said he couldn’t understand why Black would say such a thing.  Really?  With the country primed to vote the Republicans, and particularly the neocons, out of office this November, a national security emergency is likely the best way to turn the tide.  Conservative pundit Patrick Buchanan wrote of the beneficial effect an attack on Iran would have for McCain, who is trailing in the polls. 


With master puppeteer Dick Cheney pulling his strings, George W. Bush has taken unprecedented powers since the events of 9/11.  On that day, the president issued his “Declaration of Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks” under the authority of the National Emergencies Act.  This declaration, which can be rescinded by joint resolution of Congress, has instead been extended six times. [1]  In 2007, the declaration was quietly strengthened with the issuance of National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51) which gave the president the authority to do whatever he deems necessary in a vaguely defined “catastrophic emergency” including everything from canceling elections to suspending the Constitution to launching a nuclear attack. [2]  Not a single congressional hearing was held on NSPD-51; members of Congress are not even allowed to read it!


A deadly struggle is going on within the US government.  On one side are the neocons, the true believers who led us into Iraq as the first step in ushering in their new American century.  On the other is the Republican Party “old guard” led by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. 

The conflict between these factions broke into the open in October of last year when the sixteen US intelligence agencies issued a consensus National Intelligence Estimate (NIE).  This NIE cut the legs out from under the administration’s argument that Iran was on the verge of developing a nuclear weapon.  The NIE stated that the Iranians had stopped work on the project in 2003.

A few weeks earlier, just before Labor Day, a B-52 Stratofortress bomber carrying six cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads flew an unauthorized mission from Minot AFB in North Dakota to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana.  This was the first time in 40 years that nuclear weapons had been flown over US soil.

Anonymous high-level tips to the Military Times, the newspaper of the US Armed Forces, led to recovery of the warheads. [3]  After several inconclusive and unsatisfactory investigations of the incident, Pentagon chief Gates fired Air Force Chief of Staff Michael Moseley and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne.  Given the volumes of evidence that this unprecedented transfer of live nuclear weapons was not an accident, the question remains:  who within the government has the authority to commandeer nuclear bombs?

On April 29, CIA veteran Roland V. Carnaby was shot dead by police officers after a high speed chase through the streets of Houston.  Carnaby, who had been the CIA’s Chief of Station for the Southeast Region headquartered in Houston, was conducting security surveys of the Port of Houston as part of a Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).  According to highly placed sources in the FBI and CIA, Carnaby was alarmed to discover that the Department of Homeland Security is tolerating “gaping holes in port security.”[4]  Carnaby believed that “a domestic security incident” could occur at the port as early as July 4. [5]   

The Houston ship channel is widely acknowledged as one of the most deadly and dangerous sites for a terror attack in the United States.  The twenty-five mile channel is the site of more explosive materials, toxic gases, and deadly petrochemicals than anywhere else in the country, and produces 49% of the oil products, including gasoline, used in the country.  An attack there  could create an environmental and economic catastrophe that could dwarf 9/11. [6] 

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Dan Hamburg has been active in northern California politics and community affairs for over 30 years. A graduate of Stanford University and the California Institute of Integral Studies, Dan has served as a Mendocino County supervisor and a US (more...)
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