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Centre for Research on Globalisation

U.S. Plans for Martial Law, Tele‑Governance, Suspension of Elections

by John Stanton and Wayne Madsen

Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG), ,  14

May  2002



CRG's Global Outlook, premiere issue on  "Stop the War" provides

detailed documentation on the war and September 11 Order/subscribe.

Consult Table of Contents



Since September 11, 2001, the Bush Regime, the US Congress and senior

personnel in the U.S. military have been busy planning their escape

routes from Washington, D.C. and surrounding communities in the event

that the continental United States is attacked by another 19 global

insurgents possessing little more than wit, dedication, an

unrepentant animosity towards America, and an ample dose of

radioactive material packed inside an explosive‑laden metallic

suitcase. Corporate executives have ensured that they too will find a

place in the bunker along side their effete government colleagues

through organizations such as National Security Telecommunications

Advisory Committee (NSTAC). That group is composed of "up to 30

industry chief executives representing the major communications and

network service providers and information technology, finance, and

aerospace companies ¼ the NSTAC provides industry‑based advice and

expertise to the President on issues and problems related to

implementing national security and emergency preparedness ¼" Defense

contracting giants play a prominent role on the NSTAC and include

Lockheed Martin, SAIC, Oracle (the company that volunteered to

develop a post‑911 national identification database), Boeing,

Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and CSC. The chairman of the NSTAC also

conveniently serves as an ex‑officio member of Homeland Security czar

Tom Ridge's President's Homeland Security Advisory Council.

The U.S. government and its military and corporate officials are fond

of making the pitch to the American public that the U.S. Constitution

mandates that their survival, above all others, is absolutely

necessary to ensure that the government that emanates from that

document survives a debilitating attack. It is astonishing that the

American public believes such absurdities. But one has to admire the

boldly craven and callous "doomsday" planning of the Bush regime and

its military centurions and corporate nabobs, who take pleasure in

gutting the environment, the workforce, the economy, and the world in

general. These are the same people who played hide‑and‑seek with the

American public in September 2001.

We the People?

On September 11, 2001, one of the commercial aircraft commandeered by

suspected Saudi and Yemeni insurgents made its final approach to its

destination, the Pentagon ‑‑ located roughly three miles across the

Potomac River from the U.S. Capitol and White House in Washington, DC

‑‑ by following Columbia Pike, in Arlington, Virginia, to its target.

The Pentagon is located adjacent to the glitzy Pentagon City Mall in

Arlington, Virginia, not Washington, DC, as much of the media

conveniently fudged the geographic difference. Although not

Manhattan, Arlington is a densely packed and diverse community of

close to 200,000 people. It hosts five high schools and two notable

colleges: Marymount University and George Mason Law School. When the

aircraft slammed into the Pentagon, residents of Arlington ‑

including many in office buildings, stores, and schools in the "South

Side" ‑‑ felt the thud of the explosion as the aircraft incinerated a

block of the Pentagon and killed 123 employees and contractors on the

ground and 64 on the Boeing 757.

Arlington fire fighters, police and EMT units were on the scene at

the Pentagon ‑‑ as were their counterparts at the World Trade Centers

in New York City‑‑ within seconds of the aircraft's explosion. In

Arlington's case, the rapidity of response was due to alert

firefighters and police officers who noticed the aircraft off‑path as

it flew dangerously low over the heavily populated Columbia Pike

corridor in Arlington that leads directly to the Pentagon. They

alerted their colleagues in the Arlington Fire and Police Departments

that something was terribly wrong. Someone at the controls of the

aircraft knew to pick up the visual of the "Pike" as it is called by

Arlingtonians, the same way other pilots pick up the Potomac River on

visual to land at Reagan National Airport.

Local residents scrambled to get their youngsters out of schools

where the hallways were filled with the crying and unsettled.

Teachers, counselors, and coaches did all they could to calm

student's nerves. Local firefighters and police were busy trying to

give relief to the Pentagon structure and its mangled people. Local

hospitals were alerted to receive Pentagon injured. The same scene

was played out in New York City.

As mayhem broke loose in Arlington, Virginia, adjacent Washington,

and New York City, the response of those who are tasked with national

governance provides important clues as to who will live and die

during the next disaster. Prior to 911, the only insight into

continuity‑of‑government planning was provided by Stanley Kubrick's

Doctor Strangelove, which through its characters, portrayed dimwitted

"leaders" ‑ most un‑elected ‑‑ sheltering themselves ahead of their


911 Hide and Seek

Dick Cheney was hustled into a bunker and ultimately ended up in a

cave running the Shadow Government. U.S. Supreme Court‑anointed

George Bush II and staff was whisked from an elementary school class

‑ minus the children, teachers and school staff ‑‑‑ to undisclosed

locations scattered across the land. Military installations barricade

their gates. As F‑16s patrolled the skies, government officials

lauded the protection they were providing despite the fact that the

fighters were there to shoot down commercial passenger planes.

Leaders of both parties in Congress, and, in fact, all of Congress,

were escorted from Washington, DC as if Gort from the Hollywood

classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still" had gone on a rampage.

The Bush Regime's senior appointees and bureaucrats sprinted off to

hardened bunkers or were taken by helicopter, like their military

counterparts, to place like Site R in Pennsylvania to "monitor" the

situation. Many of the local corporate senior managers and local

newsreaders instructed the "public" to remain calm and not panic. A

commonplace refrain from this lot was to "keep busy, be productive".

The lone Superpower, with its arsenals and vaunted intelligence

agencies convulsed from the handiwork of 19 insurgents, became

enfeebled. In effect, the nation came under the rule of a tele‑

government. Undoubtedly, government and military planners ‑‑ and

their think tanks ‑ have discussed attack scenarios that include the

institution of a Federal government tele‑governing operation. Members

of the U.S. Congress, Supreme Court justices, and the President and

his cabinet could easily debate, vote, set policy, render legal

decisions via encrypted communications lines, from the comfort of

their protective bunkers, home shelters, and command posts on land,

sea, and air. In the eventuality of nationwide martial law, these

individuals, based on their cowardly performance on 911, would no

doubt prefer the safe confines of Hitleresque bunkers. Such was the

case on September 11, when, from the safety of a studio in a bunker

and a phone line from a basement, the nation's "leadership" sought to

govern in an ersatz manner.

The American public fell for this act from a "government" whose

inserted president and appointees are the wealthiest Americans ever

to oversee a US populace. And as the wealthiest and most corrupt

person ever to occupy the White House uttered his inanities, "average

people" were taking care of their post‑attack communities in

Arlington and New York City. As they suffered, the so‑called civilian

and military "leaders" ducked and covered in a classic CYA move.

These are America's leaders who ‑‑ through sheer arrogance and

stunning stupidity ‑‑ ignored reports from tireless FBI field agents

that involved suspicious flight school activities and similar reports

from gutsy Drug Enforcement Administration agents about the

activities of Israeli "art student" spies who happened to be living

in the same Florida and Texas neighborhoods as the future hijackers.

The same "leaders" would stand by and watch the state of California

get raped by Enron ‑‑ the Bush family's fund raising Ponzi scheme


Where was the Senator or Representative, or Cabinet official (save

for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld) who said, "I'm staying with

the people" and showed up in the bucket line? Where was the General

or Admiral who said I'm staying with my people and worked with the

body bags? Where was the Corporate Executive who, instead, was busy

turning "patriotism" into profiteering to gain market share and

recoup profits? Where will they be during the next attack?

As the U.S. military‑industrial complex sells more and more advanced

weaponry to Israel, Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Colombia,

Pakistan, India, and Nepal and as more and more ethnic and religious

minority groups, poor villagers, nomads, urban laborers, and

sustenance farmers are massacred by national armies in the pay of

ruling oligarchs and multinational corporations, will America's

leaders care? No, it's good for business. After U.S. snubbing of the

International Criminal Court (to protect war criminals like Henry

Kissinger), Conventions on child soldiers and land mines, long‑held

international nuclear test‑ban treaties, international protocols

involving HIV/AIDS and global warming, will America's leaders care?

No. When the Turkmens, Uzbeks, Afghans, Pakistanis, Azeris, Kurds,

Turks, and Georgians tire of the special treatment that US Special

Forces receive for guarding gas and oil pipelines ‑‑ and the young

troops are killed‑‑ will America's leaders notice? No.

Hand it to the CYA crowd, they now know that they can successfully

sell the American public a rotten barrel of apples (or oil) and they

will buy it gladly. Armed with that knowledge, the next attack may

trigger enactment of national martial law.

Martial Law: Coming to a Neighborhood Near You?

The U.S. government has used martial law on numerous occasions, most

often to quell domestic disturbances in specific locations around the

country. According to the United States Constitution Online, during

the War of 1812, Andrew Jackson imposed martial law in an area of New

Orleans. When a judge demanded Jackson produce, through the writ of

habeas corpus, a man arrested for sedition, Jackson ordered the

arrest of the judge. in 1892 at Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, rebellious mine

workers blew up a mill and shot at strike breaking workers. Mine

owners requested that the state's governor impose martial law and, to

no surprise, he did. In 1914, federal troops were ordered by Woodrow

Wilson to end the Coal Field Wars in Colorado. In 1934, dockworkers

in San Francisco initiated a strike and the governor declared the

dockyards subject to martial law empowering the National Guard to

make arrests and try detainees. The Supreme Court opined twice on

matters involving martial law in Ex Parte Milligan and Duncan v.

Kahanamoku. In 1866, Milligan's Supreme Court writers proclaimed that

Abraham Lincoln's imposition of martial law had been unconstitutional:

"Martial law¼destroys every guarantee of the Constitution and

effectually renders the military independent of an superior to the

civil power ‑ the attempt to do which by the King of Great Britain

was deemed by our fathers such an offense that they assigned it to

the world as one of the causes which impelled them to declare their

independence. Civil liberty and this kind of martial law cannot

endure together; the antagonism is irreconcilable, and, in the

conflict, one or the other must perish."

In 1946, the Supreme Court ruled that the military arrest of two

civilians in Hawaii during World War II and their subsequent trial by

military tribunals was unconstitutional.

In 2002, with the U.S. Supreme Court nothing more than a useful

machination of the Bush regime, it seems likely that if Americans

become subjected to a Bush declaration of martial law, any challenge

to it would fail miserably. With that thought in mind, its useful to

note that the Bush crowd has had plenty of experience with martial

law and states‑of‑emergency. In 1992, Bush the Elder issued Executive

Order 12804 in response to the Los Angeles riots. Hence, the US Army

7th Infantry Division and detachments of US Marines were deployed to

mop up Los Angeles. That order was only issued after the city's poor

had destroyed their neighborhoods. As an aside, that event would

expose the CIA's penchant for selling drugs to inner city youth to

raise funds for U.S. government covert operations in Central and

South America. Bush the Elder was the overseer of much of this

activity when he lorded over the Iran‑contra scandal while Vice

President under Ronald Reagan. One of Bush's underlings at the time,

Oliver North, came up with a secret plan, along with the fascist‑

oriented Federal Emergency Management Agency (the key‑masters for the

doors to the bunkers), to declare martial law in the event of a

"national crisis," including "violent and widespread internal dissent

or national opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad." Florida's

provincial ruler Jeb Bush signed Executive Order 01‑262 on September

11, 2001 declaring a State of Emergency in Florida. That was prior to

similar declarations in New York and Virginia where the action was.

"Jebbie" (that's what Bill Clinton calls him) also has the power to

suspend elections for 30 days in a county under a State of Emergency.

The Bush family has managed to involve the United States in two wars;

two invasions in Latin America, one that resulted in the fiery deaths

of thousands of poor Panamanian barrio residents and another that

resulted in the Bay of Pigs fiasco; aiding and abetting through murky

financial investments America's Teutonic enemy in the last world war;

corrupting the U.S. presidential election process; and making the

wealthiest Americans and U.S. corporations richer while at the same

cutting federal health, education, and welfare budgets and offloading

those tasks to the overburdened states.

As the economy sputters with real unemployment close to 8 percent and

as income disparity reaches astronomical proportions, it seems that

the Bush regime will begin another war. Will that war be against

Iraq, as Bush's neo‑conservative hawks want? Or will the Seven Days

in May crowd spin the Axis of Evil roulette wheel? Will the arrow

point to Cuba? North Korea? Venezuela? The Bush family's record of

death and destruction prompted one elderly couple in Baltimore,

Maryland (the husband being a highly decorated WW II U.S. Army

veteran) to say, " The Bush family should be barred from ever holding

political office. Look what they've done to this nation!"

And They Are Not Done Yet

An invasion of Iraq or any of the "Axis of Evil" or "Beyond Axis of

Evil" nations is likely to result in a response that means American

citizens will die here in the U.S. One incident, one aircraft

hijacked, a "dirty nuke" set off in a small town, may well prompt the

Bush regime, let's say during the election campaign of 2003‑2004, to

suspend national elections for a year while his government ensures

stability. The precedent for such thinking is now enshrined in GOP

politics. Another egotistical politician, Rudolph Giuliani, suggested

that he should stay on as Mayor of New York a while longer past his

term to make sure "New Yorkers would get through this thing". Would

it be any surprise to hear Bush II say the same thing late in 2003

after insurgents would have destroyed part of a city or a chemical

weapons cloud spreads over half of a small state?

Many closed‑door meetings have been held on these subjects and the

notices for these meetings have been closely monitored by the

definitive In the event of martial law, the Posse

Comitatus Act of 1878, which has already been largely gutted by the

USA Patriot Act and other Bush II actions, would cease to exist.

Posse Comitatus has, for over 100 years, served as an important

criminal law safeguard proscribing the use of the Army (later, the

Air Force and Navy) to "execute the laws," except where expressly

authorized by the Constitution or by Congress. With the abrogation of

Posse Comitatus and the imposition of martial law, the military

would, as it did during post‑Civil War Reconstruction in the South,

be able to arrest and detain civilians for any flimsy reason.

Civilian detainees consigned to federal prisons would be under the

control of the Bureau of Prisons while those detained by the military

would be subject to the regulations imposed by military commanders.

The writ of habeas corpus would be suspended and the family members

and legal representatives for detainees would not have a right to see

them. This situation has already occurred with those detained in the

wake of September 11 without a formal imposition of martial law.

Military tribunals could, as they did in Hawaii during the war, try

and convict U.S. civilians. If prisons could not hold all the

detainees, the government already has plans to create or reactivate

large prison camps in the South and West. Some of these were already

used to detain Cuban, Vietnamese, and Haitian "boat people."

In the event of martial law, Draconian censorship laws would be

implemented. Even now, the Patriot Act grants authority to obtain an

order from the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Court

requiring any person or business to produce any books, records,

documents, or items." That law would undoubtedly be extended to

encompass the Internet as well. It should be of little wonder why the

Pentagon has brought Iran‑contra felon Admiral John Poindexter back

from retirement to head the Office of Information Awareness. Coupled

with the Office of Information Exploitation, Poindexter's office is

seeking ways to identify, block, and determine the sources of

seditious material posted on the Internet. Blocked web sites,

confiscated computers and servers, and the arrest of non‑conforming

web site managers would become the rule of the day.

Not that it would need much in the way of pressure, but the broadcast

media would similarly be required to air only that which has been

approved by government censors. For example, U.S. Air Force

scientists are soon to meet with CNN to figure out how to gather and

disseminate information. During the war against Yugoslavia, CNN and

National Public Radio hosted as interns U.S. Army psychological

warfare operatives who worked on news stories concerning the war.

Similar closed‑door meetings for "Continuity of Government" have

taken place since September 11, 2001. Odd, it seems, that no "regular

U.S. citizen" and few first responders have had any input into this

process. Chalk that up to the fact that the entire process is

classified and a matter of "national security" ‑ the rubric that is

used to justify the constant whittling away of the Constitution and

its Bill of Rights. If the general public knew that "Continuity"

actually means that the abilities of the Internal Revenue Service to

continue to collect taxes, the Customs Service to continue to collect

duties, and the Environmental Protection Agency to continue to

collect fines actually outweigh the health and safety of American

citizens, they would be outraged. Hence the secrecy surrounding the

continuity plans.

James Madison had in right in 1794 when he wisely warned about "the

old trick of turning every contingency into a resource for

accumulating force in the government." The United States was founded

by political sages like Madison, Jefferson, and Franklin. It will

ultimately see its demise as a democracy through the likes of Bush

II, his father, and the Trent Lotts and Dick Armeys that pervade the

American body politic. ‑‑



John Stanton is a Virginia‑based writer on national security affairs

and Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC‑based investigative journalist

who writes and comments frequently on civil liberties and human

rights issues. Copyright John Stanton and Wayne Madsen ©  2002. For

fair use only



The URL of this article is:

CRG's Global Outlook, premiere issue on  "Stop the War" provides

detailed documentation on the war and the  September 11

Order/subscribe. Consult Table of Contents


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