Thursday, August 02, 2007

8/2/07: Bush Hiding Secrets of "Dictator Act" from HomeSecCom


Bush Hiding Secrets of "Dictator Act" from HomeSecCom Chairman

By Captain Eric H. May
Military Correspondent

Crawford, Texas -- In a move certain to generate more alarm, the
Bush Administration's Frances Townsend yesterday denied House
Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bernie Thompson's July 27
written request for access to National Security Presidential
Directive 51 (NSPD-51), the so-called "Dictator Act," which allows
Bush to control federal, state and local governments -- as well as
key private industries -- in case of a catastrophic event.

Critics point out that NSPD-51, which Bush signed May 9, allows him
to determine what does and doesn't constitute a catastrophe, and
opens the door to dictatorship.

This weekend I will write and publish a comprehensive update to
this developing story via Internet publications, and it will run in
the Iconoclast's next issue Tuesday. For more details, see my last
two articles:

Next 9/11, Summer 2007?

Peter DeFazio and the Portland Nuke

Below is the letter of refusal from the White House.

The White House

August 1, 2007

The Honorable Bennie G Thompson
Committee on Homeland Security
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Christopher P. Carney
Subcommittee on Management, Investigations, and Oversight
Committee on Homeland Security
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Peter A. DeFazio
Committee on Homeland Security
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20525

Dear Chairman Thompson, Chairman Carney, and Representative DeFazio:

I am writing to respond to your letter of July 27, 2007, concerning
the classified annexes to National Security Presidential Directive-
51/Homeland Security Presidential Directive-20 (NSPD-51/HSPD-20) of
May 4 2007 ("National Continuity Policy").

One of the overriding goals of NSPD-51/HSPD-20 was to describe, for
the first time in an unclassified manner, actions that the executive
branch is taking to ensure the effectiveness of our national
continuity capability. As the National Continuity Coordinator, I
understand the important work done by those at all levels of
government to ensure the preservation of our form of government under
the Constitution and the continuing performance of National Essential
Functions under all conditions. NSPD-51/HSPD-20 represents the most
information ever publicly provided by the executive on continuity

As you know, NSPD-51/HSPD-20 directs that an implementation plan be
submitted to the President for approval this month. The
implementation plan will provide further direction to executive
branch departments and agencies to promote coordination of continuity
programs with our partners at the Federal, State, and local levels
and in the private sector.

Regarding the highly sensitive classified annexes to NSPD-51/HSPD-
20 that you requested, we are unable to share them with the
membership and staff of the Committee. It has long been the policy of
the executive branch -- predating the current Administration -- to
treat specific continuity operational details as extremely sensitive.
Traditionally, the executive branch has briefed the most senior
congressional leadership on sensitive continuity information. For the
House of Representative, we remain in regular contact with the
Offices of the Speaker, the Majority Leader, and the Republican
Leader on specific continuity plans. We are committed to continuing
to work with congressional leadership on these issues and are
sensitive to respecting their prerogatives in coordinating continuity
issues between the legislative and executive branches.


Frances F. Townsend
Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and

Hon. Nancy Pelosi
Hon. Steny Hoyer
Hon. John Boehner

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