Bush discussed imposing martial law on American streets in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by activating "national security initiatives" put in place by Ronald Reagan during the 1980s.
These "national security initiatives," hatched in 1982 by controversial Marine Colonel Oliver North, later one of the key players in the Iran-Contra Scandal, charged the Federal Emergency Management Agency with administering executive orders that allowed suspension of the Constitution, implementation of martial law, establishment of internment camps, and the turning the government over to the President.
John Brinkerhoff, deputy director of FEMA, developed the martial law implementation plan, following a template originally developed by former FEMA director Louis Guiffrida to battle a "national uprising of black militants." Gifuffrida's implementation of martial law called for jailing at least 21 million African Americans in "relocation camps." Brinkerhoff later admitted in an interview with the Miami Herald that President Reagan signed off on the initiatives and they remained in place, dormant, until George W. Bush took office.
Brinkerhoff wrote that intentions of Posse Comitatus are "misunderstood and misapplied" and that the U.S. has in times of national emergency the "full and absolute authority" to send troops into American streets to "enforce order and maintain the peace."
Bush used parts of the plan to send troops into the streets of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. In addition, FEMA hired former special forces personnel from the mercenary firm Blackwater USA to "enforce security."
Blackwater is also a major U.S. contractor in Iraq and has a contract with the Bush White House to provide additional security work "on an as-needed basis."
The Department of Homeland Security established the "Northern Command for National Defense," a wide-ranging program that includes FEMA, the Pentagon, the FBI and the National Security Agency. Executive orders already signed by Bush allow the Northern Command to send troops into American streets, seize control of radio and television stations and networks and impose martial law "in times of national emergency."
The authority to declare what is or is not a national emergency rests entirely with Bush who does not have to either consult or seek the approval of Congress for permission to assume absolute control over the government of the United States.
The White House press office would neither confirm nor deny existence of Bush's executive orders or the existence of the Northern Command for National Defense. Neither would the Department of Homeland Security.
But my sources within the White House and DHS tell me the plans are in place, ready for implementation when the command comes from the man who keeps telling the American public that he is a "war time president" who will "do anything in my power" to impose his will on the people of the United States.
And he has made sure that power will be absolute when he chooses to use it.
First Published at and ę Copyright 2006 by Capitol Hill Blue