Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bush Becomes Monarch in Event of "Catastrophic Emergency"

Did you know the President of the United States is responsible for ensuring the continuity of all government functions in the case of a "catastrophic emergency"? One might assume the President in charge of ensuring Executive Branch functions continue, while the leaders of each House of Congress would ensure the Legislative Branch's ongoing operation. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court would work on the judiciary's continuation. Those assumptions would be in error according to the latest Presidential Directive on this topic.

What is a catastrophic emergency? It is any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.

What happens in such a case? In effect a subset of necessary government operations will be coordinated by the President with emphasis on (a partial list):

b. Providing leadership visible to the Nation and the world and maintaining the trust and confidence of the American people

President Bush's 30% approval rating means he's already lost the trust and confidence of the American people.

f. Providing rapid and effective response to and recovery from the domestic consequences of an attack or other incident.

Recall Hurricane Katrina? Besides letting hospital patients swelter in dead facilities for as long as 5 days, the President's Lessons Learned Report failed to mention the hospital with the largest number of patient deaths post landfall. Their owner, The Carlyle Group shares a Pennsylvania Avenue address with the President. Video shows "the Decider" asking FEMA Chief Michael Brown about hospital patients the day Katrina sideswiped New Orleans. And how's the Gulf Coast recovery coming nearly two years after the widespread destruction?

(6) The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government.

How do you feel about "the Decider" temporarily being the monarch in a catastrophic emergency? Who decides what is a catastrophic emergency and how long is temporary?

While our State Department cites backtracking from democracy in places like Russia and Venezuela, it misses our own backpedaling.

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