Category Archives: Continuity of Government
“Over the last two weeks I have encountered just such an apocalyptic situation, where I and the Department of Justice have been asked to be part of something that is fundamentally wrong.”
(Excerpt from Deputy Attorney General James Comey’s draft letter of resignation to President Bush, dated March 16, 2004, which Comey did not in the end send.)
“Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull”
(George Orwell: 1984)
I: Main Core and PROMIS
Suppose that the United States Government, or more likely an unaccountable privatized intelligence colossus empowered by the reaction to the 9/11 attacks and fueled by the rampant cronyism of a system long ago gone rotten had a surveillance tool capable of peering into the most private aspects of American lives on a whim. Now suppose that the new growth industry of a previously unthinkable futuristic police state was already in place, fully operational and has been online and has actively been being utilized for domestic spying for years before those two airplanes slammed into the World Trade Center. The ‘terrorist’ attacks were used as the justification for every unconstitutional reigning in of civil liberties ever since that heinous September morning seven years ago when the reset button was hit on two and a quarter centuries of American history and we all stepped forth into the brave new world of perpetual war, fear, suspicion and vengeance into a parallel reality in a place that would come to be known as The Homeland. What if this surveillance industrial complex was in possession of a database that was so large and so powerful that not only could it instantly process and retrieve the most minute or intimate aspects of a citizen’s lives but was also able to utilize extremely sophisticated artificial intelligence capabilities to actually predict likely patterns of future behavior.
Such a huge database would be able to use cutting edge technology funded with taxpayer dollars and awarded to unaccountable private corporations largely through ‘business as usual’ no bid contracts to create the most invasive tool of oppression this country has ever seen. This database would rely on software that was capable of performing social network analysis based on block modeling technology to monitor all forms of electronic communications, all internet searches, all debit and credit card transactions, all travel arrangements, all library records, all bank activity and all telephone records. It would then be able to use the data to not only find links between persons who already know and interact with each other but to categorize each individual into a particular group that possess similar behavioral and purchasing habits. These groups could then be further divided into subgroups and further analyzed in order to determine under some loosely defined and largely unknown guidelines whether they could potentially represent a threat. While all of this may sound like some sort of futuristic dystopian nightmare straight out of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report and “Precrime” it is very real and it goes by the name of Main Core. For example, if you are selling a bicycle and run an advertisement in your local newspaper and you happen to receive a call from a Muhammad who is interested in your bicycle and Muhammad happens to have certain friends who have relationships with an organization that is determined by some unknown criteria to be a potential terrorist organization then the call that you received from Muhammad would then in all likelihood place you in the database and subject to an increased level of scrutiny at best and at worst in jeopardy of being picked up and held indefinitely without any sort of judical review.
This techoology is being used today absent any form of legitimate oversight, with a Constitution that has been eviscerated by the Bush-Cheney-Rove Axis of Evil, a vast gulag network of top secret prisons and ‘detention facilities’ and the decidedly anti-American new phenomenon of state sanctioned torture. Throw in an overworked, systematically dumbed-down populace that has been propagandized by the corrupt institution that is the corporate media machine with it’s clever use of fear and loathing and scientific development of advanced mind control techniques who despite the infinite wisdom of our forefathers would gladly sacrifice their liberty for the any sort of temporary safety (no matter that it is fleeting) and there exists today in ‘The Homeland’ a perfect petri dish for an authoritarian fascist society.
It is though a very sophisticated form of fascism unlike more outwardly obvious regimes that we have known in the past. Author Bertram Gross published a book back in 1980 that was entitled Friendly Fascism, Jim Garrison once said that “fascism would come to America in the name of national security”, and author Kevin Phillips in his 1983 book Post-Conservative America warned of the potential of an “apple pie authoritarianism” and a coming society in which: “the Star Spangled Benner would wave with greater frequency and over many more parades; increased surveillance would crack down on urban outbreaks and extreme political dissidents”. This very accurately describes post 9/11 America where any semblance of reason has been abandoned for cheap flag-waving pimped off as patriotism, criticism of authority has made into potential treason by the highly paid shills for neoconservative doctrine, sloganeering and demagoguery have replaced discourse, critical thinking is becoming extinct and just as George Orwell so accurately predicted Big Brother is now watching over us, protecting us and ensuring that we understand that war is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength.
But I digress…
Main Core has received attention in two recent articles, one a piece by investigative journalist Christopher Ketcham entitled The Last Roundup (which also looks at Continuity of Government programs but more on that in a little while) and Tim Shorrock entitled Exposing Bush’s Historic Abuse of Power. Both articles tie Main Core to the now legendary PROMIS software, an extremely advanced program designed to aid federal prosecutors in case management tracking. PROMIS could pull and put together a wide range of data from disparate sources into a single record. The PROMIS software was created by INSLAW Inc., a company owned by a former NSA intelligence officer named William Hamilton. PROMIS was to have been licensed to the U.S. government in the early 1980’s before the technology boom became widespread but was then stolen by the seamy officials in Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department. The software was modified for espionage purposes to include a ‘back door’ that could be used for spying on those that it was sold to and in a detail that should be especially relevant with the economic crisis that threatens to crash the global financial system, the software could also be used to track in real time (in order to manipulate?) stock market transactions, once can certainly speculate as to how such a tool could have contributed to an economic catastrophe as we are now facing if it were used for such a thing. It is important to keep in mind the period when PROMIS was stolen in the early 1980’s and the fact that the techology boom was still years in the future which should give one an idea to just how far advanced and therefore how important that it was to those who would use it in order to promote a sinister agenda.
Mr. Shorock’s piece goes into the relationship between PROMIS and Main Core in some detail:
According to William Hamilton, a former NSA intelligence officer who left the agency in the 1970s, that description sounded a lot like Main Core, which he first heard about in detail in 1992. Hamilton, who is the president of Inslaw Inc., a computer services firm with many clients in government and the private sector, says there are strong indications that the Bush administration’s domestic surveillance operations use Main Core.
Hamilton’s company Inslaw is widely respected in the law enforcement community for creating a program called the Prosecutors’ Management Information System, or PROMIS. It keeps track of criminal investigations through a powerful search engine that can quickly access all stored data components of a case, from the name of the initial investigators to the telephone numbers of key suspects. PROMIS, also widely used in the insurance industry, can also sort through other databases fast, with results showing up almost instantly. “It operates just like Google,” Hamilton told me in an interview in his Washington office in May.
Since the late 1980s, Inslaw has been involved in a legal dispute over its claim that Justice Department officials in the Reagan administration appropriated the PROMIS software. Hamilton claims that Reagan officials gave PROMIS to the NSA and the CIA, which then adapted the software — and its outstanding ability to search other databases — to manage intelligence operations and track financial transactions. Over the years, Hamilton has employed prominent lawyers to pursue the case, including Elliot Richardson, the former attorney general and secretary of defense who died in 1999, and C. Boyden Gray, the former White House counsel to President George H.W. Bush. The dispute has never been settled. But based on the long-running case, Hamilton says he believes U.S. intelligence uses PROMIS as the primary software for searching the Main Core database.
Hamilton was first told about the connection between PROMIS and Main Core in the spring of 1992 by a U.S. intelligence official, and again in 1995 by a former NSA official. In July 2001, Hamilton says, he discussed his case with retired Adm. Dan Murphy, a former military advisor to Elliot Richardson who later served under President George H.W. Bush as deputy director of the CIA. Murphy, who died shortly after his meeting with Hamilton, did not specifically mention Main Core. But he informed Hamilton that the NSA’s use of PROMIS involved something “so seriously wrong that money alone cannot cure the problem,” Hamilton told me. He added, “I believe in retrospect that Murphy was alluding to Main Core.” Hamilton also provided copies of letters that Richardson and Gray sent to U.S. intelligence officials and the Justice Department on Inslaw’s behalf alleging that the NSA and the CIA had appropriated PROMIS for intelligence use.
Hamilton says James B. Comey’s congressional testimony in May 2007, in which he described a hospitalized John Ashcroft’s dramatic standoff with senior Bush officials Alberto Gonzales and Andrew Card, was another illuminating moment. “It was then that we [at Inslaw] started hearing again about the Main Core derivative of PROMIS for spying on Americans,” he told me.
Through a former senior Justice Department official with more than 25 years of government experience, Salon has learned of a high-level former national security official who reportedly has firsthand knowledge of the U.S. government’s use of Main Core. The official worked as a senior intelligence analyst for a large domestic law enforcement agency inside the Bush White House. He would not agree to an interview. But according to the former Justice Department official, the former intelligence analyst told her that while stationed at the White House after the 9/11 attacks, one day he accidentally walked into a restricted room and came across a computer system that was logged on to what he recognized to be the Main Core database. When she mentioned the specific name of the top-secret system during their conversation, she recalled, “he turned white as a sheet.”
An article in Radar magazine in May, citing three unnamed former government officials, reported that “8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect” and, in the event of a national emergency, “could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and even detention.”
The INSLAW/PROMIS story reached deep into the darkest bowels of an increasingly secretive and malevolent National Security State that had manifested itself in the Reagan administration, the arms for hostages ‘October Surprise’ deal that sank Jimmy Carter’s bid for re-election leading to the Reagan-Bush hostile takeover of America, Iran-Contra, BCCI, media manipulation (see Robert Parry’s excellent special report for Consortium News entitled Iran Contra’s ‘lost chapter’), Oliver North’s swashbuckling adventures with C.O.G., drugs for guns and subversion of Congress all were components of Reagan’s government, a government that he hypocritically railed against for its intrusiveness and yet presided over while the shadow government that would rise again with the Supreme Court installation of George W. Bush as president with many of the key operatives of Reagan and George H.W. Bush’s dark shops of oppression being given key positions in this brazenly lawless administration that has brought America to the brink of fascism.
Ketcham’s The Last Roundup is particulary of interest in that he examines the now infamous 2004 visit of Bush administration officials Alberto Gonzalez and Andrew Card to the hospital room of Attorney General John Ashcroft who had been stricken with pancreaitis after acting A.G. James Comey refused to sign off on the reauthorization of what was an illegal surveillance program related to Continuity of Government. The story is fascinating in that it not only illustrated the length to which the Bush-Cheney junta would go to in order to keep their dirty little programs in place but also for the high speed chase through the streets of Washington and the race up the hospital stairs that Comey engaged in to beat Gonzalez and Card to the sedated Ashcroft to take advantage of a sick man, when John Ashcroft actually comes out looking like a heroic figure it becomes very apparent of just how grossly un-American that this flagrantly criminal administration truly is. James Comey went on to give testimony to Congress over the hospital room showdown and more details are available from blogger Glenn Greenwald in his piece entitled What illegal “things” was the government doing in 2001-2004? and in Barton Gellman’s new book Angler and exerpts were recently published in the Washington Post which part one and part two can be read for more information on the back story behind the surveillance reauthorization. Murray Waas also has done a story on whether former Attorney General Gonzalez created a set of falsified notes to provide a cover story for what occurred while trying to bully Comey and Ashcroft into signing off on the obviously illegal surveillance program.
Excerpts from Ketcham’s story are chilling:
According to a senior government official who served with high-level security clearances in five administrations, “There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived ‘enemies of the state’ almost instantaneously.” He and other sources tell Radar that the database is sometimes referred to by the code name Main Core. One knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.
Of course, federal law is somewhat vague as to what might constitute a “national emergency.” Executive orders issued over the past three decades define it as a “natural disaster, military attack, [or] technological or other emergency,” while Department of Defense documents include eventualities like “riots, acts of violence, insurrections, unlawful obstructions or assemblages, [and] disorder prejudicial to public law and order.” According to one news report, even “national opposition to U.S. military invasion abroad” could be a trigger.
Let’s imagine a harrowing scenario: coordinated bombings in several American cities culminating in a major blast—say, a suitcase nuke—in New York City. Thousands of civilians are dead. Commerce is paralyzed. A state of emergency is declared by the president. Continuity of Governance plans that were developed during the Cold War and aggressively revised since 9/11 go into effect. Surviving government officials are shuttled to protected underground complexes carved into the hills of Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Power shifts to a “parallel government” that consists of scores of secretly preselected officials. (As far back as the 1980s, Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of a pharmaceutical company, and Dick Cheney, then a congressman from Wyoming, were slated to step into key positions during a declared emergency.) The executive branch is the sole and absolute seat of authority, with Congress and the judiciary relegated to advisory roles at best. The country becomes, within a matter of hours, a police state.
Under law, during a national emergency, FEMA and its parent organization, the Department of Homeland Security, would be empowered to seize private and public property, all forms of transport, and all food supplies. The agency could dispatch military commanders to run state and local governments, and it could order the arrest of citizens without a warrant, holding them without trial for as long as the acting government deems necessary. From the comfortable perspective of peaceful times, such behavior by the government may seem far-fetched. But it was not so very long ago that FDR ordered 120,000 Japanese Americans—everyone from infants to the elderly—be held in detention camps for the duration of World War II. This is widely regarded as a shameful moment in U.S. history, a lesson learned. But a long trail of federal documents indicates that the possibility of large-scale detention has never quite been abandoned by federal authorities. Around the time of the 1968 race riots, for instance, a paper drawn up at the U.S. Army War College detailed plans for rounding up millions of “militants” and “American negroes,” who were to be held at “assembly centers or relocation camps.” In the late 1980s, the Austin American-Statesman and other publications reported the existence of 10 detention camp sites on military facilities nationwide, where hundreds of thousands of people could be held in the event of domestic political upheaval. More such facilities were commissioned in 2006, when Kellogg Brown & Root—then a subsidiary of Halliburton—was handed a $385 million contract to establish “temporary detention and processing capabilities” for the Department of Homeland Security. The contract is short on details, stating only that the facilities would be used for “an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs.” Just what those “new programs” might be is not specified.
In the days after our hypothetical terror attack, events might play out like this: With the population gripped by fear and anger, authorities undertake unprecedented actions in the name of public safety. Officials at the Department of Homeland Security begin actively scrutinizing people who—for a tremendously broad set of reasons—have been flagged in Main Core as potential domestic threats. Some of these individuals might receive a letter or a phone call, others a request to register with local authorities. Still others might hear a knock on the door and find police or armed soldiers outside. In some instances, the authorities might just ask a few questions. Other suspects might be arrested and escorted to federal holding facilities, where they could be detained without counsel until the state of emergency is no longer in effect.
That Main Core and PROMIS are linked raises some extremely provocative questions in regards to intent on the subversion of the Constitution and the overthrow of the legitimate government by a shadow government using the Continuity of Government infrastructure. Ketcham also references a massive 1993 piece for Wired Magazine entitled The INSLAW Octopus that none other than the infamous rogue operative Lt. Col. Oliver North was using PROMIS for illegal surveillance purposes:
Lt. Col. Oliver North also may have been using the program. According to several intelligence community sources, PROMIS was in use at a 6,100-square-foot command center built on the sixth floor of the Justice Department. According to both a contractor who helped design the center and information disclosed during the Iran-Contra hearings, Oliver North had a similar, but smaller, White House operations room that was connected by computer link to the DOJ’s command center.
Using the computers in his command center, North tracked dissidents and potential troublemakers within the United States as part of a domestic emergency preparedness program, commissioned under Reagan’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), according to sources and published reports. Using PROMIS, sources point out, North could have drawn up lists of anyone ever arrested for a political protest, for example, or anyone who had ever refused to pay their taxes. Compared to PROMIS, Richard Nixon’s enemies list or Sen. Joe McCarthy’s blacklist look downright crude. This operation was so sensitive that when Rep. Jack Brooks asked North about it during the Iran-Contra hearings, the hearing was immediately suspended pending an executive (secret) conference. When the hearings were reconvened, the issue of North’s FEMA dealings was dropped.
North’s involvement with Continuity of Government programs including REX 84 has long been known and while Col. North no longer is active in such programs (at least not to the knowledge of anyone) a larger part of the C.O.G./shadow government infrastructure continued to breed in darkness and secrecy and on that most glorious day for American fascism, 9/11/2001 went live under the guidance of one of its most ardent and longtime architects, Vice President Richard B. Cheney.
The secrets of Main Core, PROMIS and other variations of the monstrous tools of an out of control shadow government are the veritable crown jewels of the police state and every effort has and will continue to be vigorously employed to stifle any investigations through the official channels. Is there really any doubt that these surveillance systems aren’t being used for raw political purposes and for blackmail? How much serious opposition has the Bush-Cheney-Rove Axis of Evil met in their systematic dismantling of the Constitution over the past eight years? In the ongoing exploitation of the ‘terrorist’ attacks of 9/11 that have been used to justify each and every incursion on American civil liberties and thugs like Dick Cheney and David Addington acting as the muscle for the shadow government (as is evident in the stories linked to above) the footfalls of those little cat feet grow louder and louder.
Now if PROMIS was being used by Colonel North as a part of Rex 84 back in the 1980’s when the Continuity of Government plans were being tweaked, FEMA being set up for the eventual incorporation into the Department of Homeland Security and financial transactions as well as communications already being monitored what does that say about the current state in which we all find ourselves in? Every new police state measure has been implemented largely after being conceived in secrecy under the premise of ‘national security’ and NSPD-51 has allowed for the executive branch to issue a declaration of martial law under which the roundup of dissidents for detention (or worse) will be conducted. And this has all been non-reviewable by Congress, a supposedly (at least according to the Constitution) a co-equal branch of government. When a Congressman named Peter DeFazio was last year denied access to the NSPD-51/C.O.G. plans by the Bush administration it was yet another example of what has been a disturbing pattern. The Main Core list of potential ‘enemies of the state’, the assignment of troops to NORTHCOM, the ongoing frantic efforts of the neocons to launch a war with Iran, the threat of the Cheney cabal being further exposed, the deteriorating economy and the growing public anger at government along with a loss of faith in public institutions all add up to something very dark that is about to come to fruition after decades of planning.
None of this is about terrorism at all, it never has been. It is all about the implementation of a fascist style dictatorship in America.
(This is the first installment of what will be an ongoing series)
“A coup consists of the infiltration of a small but critical segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder.”
On Memorial Day, a day that is intended to be one of somber remembrance and the recognition of our nation’s war dead although it is perversely come to be more associated with boozing barbecues, silly NASCAR races and the inevitable retail extravaganzas at the shopping emporiums throughout the land it is no longer necessary to most Americans to pay tribute. They are the type who just wear those stupid assed American flag pins as though they were some sort of star spangled merkin, festoon their gas guzzlers with yellow ribbon stickers that in and of themselves are gauche take offs on a lousy country western song and wrongly believe that they are being truly patriotic. Such garbage only serves to dishonor those who have sacrificed and perished in past conflicts and will continue to do so in the new American century due to the illegal wars of aggression and conquest that have been thrust upon us due to the criminal Bush regime and it’s neocon policy makers who conspire in secret to launch their schemes of global conquest all justified by that one great and fortuitous ‘terrorist’ attack that tore open a hole to a parallel universe where up is down, black is white, freedom is slavery, war is peace and most importantly: ignorance is strength.
September 11th 2001. The day that will forever live in infamy as the day when the reset button was hit on over two centuries of American history and allowed for the new doctrines of preemptive war, the domestic police state and the codifying of torture into the law of the land. The real meaning as well as the cause of 9/11 continues to resonate and be debated throughout the alternative media and the blogosphere despite the sanctimonious reverence given to it by the corporate, state controlled mainstream media where those who dare to even suggest that it was blowback are shouted down by angry demagogues standing atop their electronic soapboxes. That one single day more than anything else has been used as the justification the rise of the new American fascist state and the illegal wars of aggression that feed the colossus that is the military industrial complex.
Since that horror filled, pristine Tuesday morning that was abruptly shattered as no other day in the history of our republic had ever been prior to it (I omit Pearl Harbor for the obvious reasons that it was a military target and Hawaii in 1941 was not yet an official state) we as a society have been changed forever and changed for the worse. We now torture as a matter of official policy. We allow ourselves to be spied upon by a rogue government that increasingly views dissent as sedition and treason. We have seen Habeas Corpus which had been a bedrock principle of law since the days of the Magna Carta rendered null and void. There has been an unprecedented consolidation of power in the Executive Branch and the neutered Congress has been reduced to a chattering club of irrelevant partisans with no real power or the intestinal fortitude to reassert itself as per the intentions of the founders as put forth in The Constitution.
There has sprung up a permanent and highly lucrative industry of institutionalized surveillance that has rendered privacy a quaint thing of the past. Our national airports have become Soviet style checkpoints where citizens are treated as criminals by ill tempered and poorly trained goons and thugs. Our domestic police are becoming increasingly more aggressive and militarized with instances of brutality and bullying becoming commonplace, the saying “if you’re not cops you’re little people” has gone from a line in a dystopian science fiction movie to reality. Deaths by Taser have been steadily increasing with no oversight, our fascist packed courts are now ruling in favor of the manufacturer of this dangerous weapon. The United States has in the most perverse Orwellian way been transformed into something as antithetical to what America was supposed to have always stood for that is strangely called “The Homeland which conjures up memories of a certain mid 20th century European land gone insane.
I am not going to go into a further litany of all that has gone terribly wrong in the land of Jack Bauer and extremist right-wing apple pie authoritarianism but suffice it to say that NONE of what has been visited upon us would have been possible were in not for the events of that terrible Tuesday in September 2001. Hitler had his enabling act and the ‘terrorist’ attacks of 9/11 gave us the USAPATRIOT Act and both were made possible by a false flag attack, in 1933 in was the Reichstag Fire and in 2001 it was the World Trade Center/Pentagon attacks. While some may cringe at the comparison to history’s most infamous totalitarian regime’s actions to those of the neocon junta and the Bush-Cheney administration the comparison has merit in that both events forever changed societies for the worse in their aftermath. There has never been a legitimate, objective and conflict of interest free investigation of 9/11 despite the growing suspicion among the American and international communities that the official government story is riddled throughout with lies, propaganda, omissions and obfuscations.
With any crime it is imperative to look at who benefited or Cui Bono for those familiar with Latin and there have been many beneficiaries of 9/11, first and foremost there is the by now infamous Project For The New American Century, a policy organization for global/full spectrum U.S. military dominance whose members and contributors are a who’s who of fifth columnist fascist filth including none other than Richard B. Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. The PNAC’s reference to the need for a “New Pearl Harbor” to allow for their plans to be implemented should have been ample circumstantial evidence for major players to be subpoenaed and put under oath in front of the Kean-Hamilton Commission but any questioning of this most blatantly arrogant statement was as absent from the report as the collapse of WTC 7 or what Sibel Edmonds may have stumbled upon while translating communications while she was employed by the FBI.
While the official pocket press and what passes for government in this sham democracy has continued to ignore any serious investigation into 9/11 it has been investigated by thousands of citizen journalists and investigators who have used the internet as a resource and an organizing tool. The most success at working to get at the truth of the day when the fascist switch was tripped has been the so-called ‘9/11 Truth Movement’, a loosely affiliated and diverse group of activists which despite their progress is often impeded by factions or segments whose focus on differing highly controversial theories (missiles not planes, explosive pods, ghost flights etc) are often easily mocked or are intentional pieces of disinformation. In this essay for the purpose of clarity I do not seek to at this time address any of these theories on how the event was actually pulled off but rather the serendipitous happenstance that allowed for rogue elements of the intelligence community, the military industrial complex and the government itself to implement their plans for world domination starting in the Middle East.
Given that I have immersed myself in reading and research over the past five years since the day when an ugly little idea turned into a blow that hit me like a sucker punch to the solar plexus that something was terribly amiss with the official story I have slowly been working at doing an end around on the obviously corrupt corporate media that lies through omission to protect the oligarchy by assembling the pieces to the puzzle myself as I am certain that many readers of this particular essay of mine have also done. Suffice it to say that the official story as put forth by the Bush administration and their government is hogwash and the Kean-Hamilton Commission that was eventually seated despite protestations by the Bush-Cheney junta was a classic whitewash along the lines of the Warren Commission which also was used to cover up involvement by a government within a government or as President John F. Kennedy called it “a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy”.
A while back I found a piece of information that really gave credence to my strongest suspicions that the ‘terrorist’ attacks of 9/11/01 were used as cover for an actual coup d’etat by a rogue network of fifth columnists and their multi-national foreign allies who then utilized the (C.O.G) Continuity Of Government infrastructure to effectively seize control of the United States which would effectively render the actual attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon as not even the greatest crimes of that particular day. I discovered this piece on Edward Luttwak while plowing through the massive tome Neo-Conned! Again: Hypocrisy, Lawlessness, and the Rape of Iraq which is the second volume of a great collection of essays on the neoconservative pox on America that run the ideological gamut from Pat Buchanan to Noam Chomsky but all are consistently antiwar. The particular piece that I refer to is one that was written by Italian journalist Maurizio Blondet on neocon Edward Luttwak that references his seminal 1968 book Coup d’Etat: A Practical Handbook. In the essay (a postscript to Chapter 3) Blondet draws comparisons to the Luttwak blueprint and the ascension of the neocons by using 9/11 as a basis for their rise to power.
The necessary pieces were already in place within the bureaucracy, having slowly been installed ever since the heady days of the Iran-Contra affair where a shadow government was set up under the nose of the doddering and out of touch ‘product as president’ Ronald Reagan. Reagan’s administration was an incubator for dangerous right-wing extremists and the neocons who had been steadily asserting their influence within the government since the Cold War Team B days (a great resource on this along with other lies of the mythical ‘war on terror’ is Adam Curtis’ excellent documentary for the BBC: The Power Of Nightmares) on through the exploits of cowboys like Colonel Oliver North and his cohorts with their plan to subvert congress, trade arms with Iran and secretly supply the Contras in Latin America (by many accounts also trafficking in illegal narcotics which is a story for another time) to brutally crush resistance to the right-wing governments that used torture and death squads to protect American business interests.
Iran-Contra was exposed and while sending tremors throughout the system and resulting in many indictments and convictions which were then eventually largely covered up with some of the worst felons like Elliot Abrams (who figures prominently in Dick Cheney’s rogue shop of horrors to this day) were pardoned by George H.W. Bush, a man with a very sordid history of participation in covert and black ops himself as well as a long affiliation with the CIA which has long been a veritable secret police/paramilitary organization that exists largely for the benefit and protection of the interests of the oligarchy and American corporations. Many of the same players reemerged during this second Bush administration and this time they were going to ensure that their delusions of grandeur as exemplified through the neocon manifestos and white papers A Clean Break and the Project For A New American Century be implemented even if it they had to infiltrate and wait for their opportunity to overthrow the existing government in order to make it happen.
The essay by Mr. Blondet to which I refer may be interpreted to go some places that I choose not to go and before I get into this I want to make it perfectly clear up front that I by no means intend to imply that Luttwak was in any way tied to the actual plotters of the coup or of those who used the events of September, 11 2001 as a cover for their nefarious deeds. I do however assert that Luttwak’s playbook for a successful coup d’Etat was a major inspiration to the neocons who were obviously impressed enough to follow it with the same vigorous attention to detail that Karl Rove quite obviously devoted to the teachings of Joseph Goebbels who himself was inspired by American father of Public Relations (propaganda) Edward Bernays. Luttwak was no more personally responsible for the actions on 9/11 than Judas Priest was after some drug addled teen commits suicide after listening to their music or David Berkowitz’ dog was responsible for his Son of Sam killing spree. I just wanted to get that out front because some of the more imaginative bloggers/writers on the internet have made such a connection and it serves no use in addressing the very real problems of a regime run by madmen and are merely an unwelcome distraction. Now some excerpts first from a piece that ran in Time magazine back in 1969 entitled How To Seize A Country:
Unlike a revolutionary assault from the outside, Luttwak notes, a coup is an inside job, done by a government’s own members. It involves minimal manpower and bloodshed. As in judo, the secret is to use leverage and make a state overthrow itself. Bureaucracy facilitates this by severing the loyalties that once personally bound rulers and their servants. A modern bureaucrat follows impersonal orders; if his immediate boss is subverted, the bureaucrat tends to obey orders blindly, even orders designed to topple his own government. According to Luttwak, a coup requires three preconditions: 1) a highly centralized government with a seizable seat of power, 2) a passive people not likely to react to a takeover and 3) the assurance that no foreign power will intervene.
Now from Blondet’s piece:
The target State must have a political centre. If there are several centres these must be identifiable and they must be politically, rather than ethnically, structured. If the State is controlled by a non-politically organized unit [like the CFR, the representative of business] the coup can only be carried out with its consent or neutrality.
Already in the Preface, Luttwak underlined as essential the fact that the perpetrators of a coup must be able to count upon “the absence of a politicised community,” upon the apathy of the public. “The dialogue between the rulers and the ruled [upon which democratic legitimacy is founded] can only take place if there is a large enough section of society which is sufficiently literate, well fed and secure to ‘talk back.'” But “without a politicised population, the State is nothing other than a machine.
Then the coup d’état becomes feasible because, like every machine, one can take control of everything by grasping the essential levers.” [Now Luttwak identifies this “machine” in the Bureaucracy.]
The growth of modern bureaucracy has two implications which are crucial to the feasibility of the coup: the development of a clear distinction between the permanent machinery of State and the political leadership [which changes], and the fact is, like most large organizations, the bureaucracy has a structured hierarchy with definite chains of command….
The importance of this development lies in the fact that if the bureaucrats are linked to the political leadership, an illegal seizure of power must take the form of a ‘Palace Revolution,’ and it essentially concerns the manipulation of the person of the ruler. He can be forced to accept policies or advisers, he can be killed or held captive, but whatever happens the Palace Revolution can only be conducted from the ‘inside’ and by ‘insiders’ [in these pages, we have seen nothing but the work of insiders surrounding a weak President].
The State bureaucracy has to divide its work into clear-cut areas of competence, which are assigned to different departments. Within each department there must be an accepted chain of command, and standard procedures have to be followed. Thus a given piece of information, or a given order, is followed up in a stereotyped manner, and if the order comes from the appropriate source, at the appropriate level, it is carried out…. The apparatus of the State is therefore to some extent a ‘machine’ which will normally behave in a fairly predictable and automatic manner.
A coup operates by taking advantage of this machine-like behaviour; during the coup, because it uses parts of the State apparatus to seize the controlling levers; afterwards because the value of the ‘levers’ depends on the fact that the State is a machine.
With detailed planning, there will be no need for any sort of headquarters structure in the active stage of the coup: for if there is no scope for decision-making there is no need for decision-makers and their apparatus. In fact, having a headquarters would be a serious disadvantage: it would constitute a concrete target for the opposition and one which would be both vulnerable and easily identified…. We should avoid taking any action that will clarify the nature of the threat and thus reduce the confusion that is left in the defensive apparatus of the regime….
The leaders of the coup will be scattered among the various teams. [As we can see Luttwak is theoretically discussing an invisible coup d’état: the infiltrated coup participants speak with the voice of the legitimate government, of that which they have seized. On September 11, let’s remember, the immediate entourage of President Bush were not thinking of an Arab attack, but of a military coup d’état. It is for this reason that the President was taken to a secure location for 10 hours].
The masses have neither the weapons of the military nor the administrative facilities of the bureaucracy, but their attitude to the new government established after the coup will ultimately be decisive. Our immediate aim will be to enforce public order, but our long-term objective is to gain the acceptance of the masses so that physical coercion will not longer be needed…. Our far more flexible instrument will be our control over the means of mass communication…. In broadcasting over the radio and television services our purpose is not to provide information about the situation, but rather to affect its development by exploiting our monopoly of these media. [This is exactly what the American mass media has done since September 11.]
[The action of the media] will be achieved by conveying the reality and strength of the coup instead of trying to justify it [the emotional blow of the collapse of the World Trade Centre was presented with plenty of “reality” and “force” by CNN]. We will have fragmented the opposition so that each individual opponent would have to operate in isolation. In these circumstances, the news of any further resistance against us would act as a powerful stimulant to further resistance by breaking down this feeling of isolation. We must, therefore, make every effort to withhold such news. If there is in fact some resistance…we should strongly emphasize that it is isolated, the product of the obstinacy of a few misguided or dishonest individuals who are not affiliated to any party or group of significant membership. The constant working of the motif of isolation, and the emphasis on the fact that law and order have been re-established, should have the effect of making resistance appear as dangerous and useless.
There will arise, Luttwak says, “the inevitable suspicions that the coup is a product of the machinations of the Company [American slang for the CIA]. This can only be dispelled by making violent attacks on it…and the attacks should be all the more violent if these suspicions are in fact justified…. We shall make use of a suitable selection of unlovely phrases [for example, anti-Americanism? Anti-Semitism?]. Even if their meanings have been totally obscured by constant and deliberate misuse, they will be useful indicators of our impeccable nationalism.”
So who really runs America? The elected government or a parallel/shadow government that has existed in some shape or form essentially since the end of WW II? The evidence is beginning to strongly support the latter. Most importantly and absolutely essential to the successful execution of a hostile takeover is the secret/shadow government apparatus itself. Author Peter Dale Scott recently alluded to the execution of the C.O.G. plans that subvert the Constitution (originally implemented during the Cold War in the event of a Soviet decapitation strike) in both this easy to read Counterpunch article and in much more depth in his outstanding new book on the “Deep State” entitled: The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire and the Future of America. It is naive and childlike for thinking Americans to ignore the deep politics that represent the true power base in this and other countries for it not only exists but thrives in darkness and through it’s existence makes the ability to subvert the traditional processes possible.
Then there is that matter of inconsistent reports of what exactly was Dick Cheney up to while he was in the PEOC tunnel on the morning of the attacks. The history of Rumsfeld and Cheney’s involvement in Continuity of Government has been documented in articles in The Atlantic entitled The Armageddon Plan, Andrew Cockburn’s recent book on former SECDEF Donald Rumsfeld (Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall and Catastrophic Legacy) and in James Mann’s The Rise of the Vulcans. Alpfonso Chardy of The Miami Herald did a hard to find piece back in 1987 entitled Reagan Aides and the ‘Secret Government’ which talked of Colonel North’s REX 84 program that has been updated recently with the Bush administration’s revisions of C.O.G. plans in National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD 51) and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20 to facilitate the declaration of martial law if and when it becomes necessary. This all unfortunately gets little to no play in the corporatist media but it is far out of the realm of the ‘tin foil hatters’ that critics of such secretive actions are so easily dismissed as by professional debunkers and others who are simply in denial that such things just can’t happen here. I would like to recommend this piece by Lewis Seiler and Dan Hamburg of The San Francisco Chronicle that I find to be worth reading entitled Rule By Fear or Rule By Law.
The evidence strongly suggests that a rogue faction has seized control since 9/11 and may have even in some way been complicit in allowing the attacks to occur. There are just too many little inconsistencies, procedural changes (NORAD intercepts), multiple war games on 9/11 including simulated hijacks, a war game called Global Guardian that happened to utilize the same B4B Doomsday Planes that were used for C.O.G., the knowledge of the alleged hijackers by the government in Able Danger, the immediate information available to the news media on the ‘hijackers’ (could be that they were being tracked and monitored but for what exact purpose?) those mysterious Israeli art students who were thrown out of the country (why were they here? To prevent the attacks or ensure that the plan was going accordingly), the immediate availability of the USA PATRIOT Act to implement the police state, the unsolved military grade Anthrax attacks that only were targeted against influential Democrats and news anchors and the list goes on much longer than I can list here although I do want to mention the possibility that 9/11 may have been aided and abetted by the same nuclear blackmail ring that Sibel Edmonds spoke of in those three stories in the London Times earlier in 2008 (For Sale, West’s Deadly Nuclear Secrets , FBI Denies File Exposing Neclear Secrets Theft and Tip Off Thwarted Nuclear Spy Ring Probe) and while this is purely speculative may be connected to security of breaches in association to 9/11 as well as raises questions as to exactly who the recently suicided D.C. Madame Deborah Jeane Palfrey may have had on her client list and what they were being used for . It all adds up though to JFK’s “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy” and the neocons are as guilty as hell in all of it and especially those with ties to a traitor named Richard B. Cheney who did after all select himself as Vice President and then proceed to consolidate power in his office.
Especially telling was the award winning Washington Post series on Dick Cheney entitled Angler. Cheney has in the past unequivocally stated that his office is NOT a part of the executive branch and presumably functions as some sort of unaccountable fourth branch of the government. This is entirely consistent with the concept of the coup per Luttwak: “A coup consists of the infiltration of a small but critical segment of the State apparatus”. Power has been consolidated in Cheney’s shop since the beginning, Seymour Hersh in his great piece for the New Yorker entitled The Redirection wrote the following:
Iran-Contra was the subject of an informal “lessons learned” discussion two years ago among veterans of the scandal. Abrams led the discussion. One conclusion was that even though the program was eventually exposed, it had been possible to execute it without telling Congress. As to what the experience taught them, in terms of future covert operations, the participants found: “One, you can’t trust our friends. Two, the C.I.A. has got to be totally out of it. Three, you can’t trust the uniformed military, and four, it’s got to be run out of the Vice-President’s office”—a reference to Cheney’s role, the former senior intelligence official said.
And of course the Iran-Contra network survived to rise through the bureaucracy, the key players either pardoned by ‘Poppy’ Bush or let off the hook by the Clinton administration they were only hiding in the background like cockroaches couched in fetid dankness and awaiting their opportunity to feed. A key player who keeps turning up is none other than the son in law of ideologue Norman Podhoretz (the godfather of neoconservatism) Elliot Abrams a dangerous man who is connected with virtually every influential neocon and virtually every dirty deed undertaken during the Reagan years and thereafter. A veteran of secret government operations it would be highly unlikely if he were not a key component of the neocon coup and is another who stands to lose much if the Cheneyites were to be exposed and held accountable. With so much at stake they will throw everything but the kitchen sink into the works to ensure that 1: the plot is never exposed 2: that legitimate investigations into 9/11 and the decidedly anti-American assault on civil liberties are never undertaken 3: that come hell or high water that Iran will be the next stop on the neocon world destruction tour.
I mean when you really think about it there is not much of a reach in looking at 9/11 as an actual coup d’etat, I am not going to get into how the attacks actually were pulled off and who was involved but the neocon cabal and Cheney’s C.O.G. experience were sure as hell ready and waiting to put their own plans into action using the attacks as an opportunity. Rather than focus on such things as controlled demolition, missiles hitting buildings, ghost flights or any of that other happy horseshit, it is essential to look at exactly who benefited and why. Perhaps we should all be asking the other real question that is why do so many Americans doubt the official story on 9/11 to the extent that they would blame a government that holds the laws of the land in the utmost of contempt and cloaks every decision in a shroud of secrecy.
The real problem is that this neocon government is so pathologically psychotic, anti-American and criminally negligent in EVERY act that they engage in gives reason to believe that they would be capable of murdering 3,000 + American citizens in order to further their nefarious plans for global hegemony, the conquest of the Middle East through a war of civilizations in which the religious right shock troops could get behind and ultimately culminate in the encirclement of China. These guys think ahead, according to an insider named Stanley Hilton who just happened to go to school with neocons Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith such radical plots were discussed frequently. I think that any of us who went to school during the 60’s and 70’s know the type of little world leader pretends who gathered over their Avalon Hill board games and conjured up doomsday scenarios. The neocons are just those kids grown up and in highly influential foreign policy positions.
Stealing the 2000 election was essential, the neocons needed a useful idiot in George W. Bush to piggyback into the White House where Cheney and Rumsfeld could set up their shops in order to allow for the coup to be executed. Once Bush’s installation was ensured by the requisite political chicanery, black ops, a massive psyops media campaign and the assistance of the Federalist Society stooges on the Supreme Court all the pieces were in place. A weak and easily manipulated president who appealed to a certain segment of the population, a self-selected V.P., the necessary bureaucratic appointments and the stage was set for the catalyzing event that would set the plan into motion and the ensuing quashing of dissent when the power grab came. I wonder why any serious investigation of those nasty little anthrax letters has never taken place, and why the only recipients were influential media figures and key Democrats who could have potentially stopped the USA PATRIOT Act.
The neocons have too much to lose if they are removed from the White House, the implications of real investigations would be devastating, shocking and could very likely result in convictions on charges of treason and not that silly dittohead talking point style ‘treason’ which has become a common euphemism for dissent and criticism in the reich wing media but REAL treason.
Our immediate aim will be to enforce public order, but our long-term objective is to gain the acceptance of the masses so that physical coercion will not longer be needed…. Our far more flexible instrument will be our control over the means of mass communication…. In broadcasting over the radio and television services our purpose is not to provide information about the situation, but rather to affect its development by exploiting our monopoly of these media.
The shameful abrogation of the media is even more responsible for America’s tragic present and ugly future than even the neocons themselves and they spit on the graves of every American serviceman or woman who is killed in Iraq and Afghanistan every time that they cue up the saturation coverage of Paris Hilton, the missing white teenager of the week, the pervert of the day or the latest brushfire that is deemed worthy of national coverage. The media is despicable and the charlatans along with every big-haired, addle-brained bimbo with nice tits who can read a teleprompter like Paula Zahn or Katie Couric is a disgrace to truly dedicated journalists who once viewed their profession as that of integrity rather than of opportunity for career ladder climbing shills and corporate whores who are nothing more than charlatans masquerading as journalists.
About a week ago I was away for a trip with no access to the internet, satellite radio or any foreign news sources. All that I had was the network ‘news’ and CNN and it was quite a shocking experience. I really do not watch that crap when I am at home and the unbelievable spin, fixation on one story ad nauseum (for example Ted Kennedy) at the expense of anything at all meaningful and the complete disappearance of any thing at all on Iraq is stunning. It was travelling into some sort of bizarre parallel universe and yet the majority of Americans are trapped in that world with no way of knowing what is really going on. While understanding the problem with a population kept enshrouded in a cloaking device of enforced ignorance I am just in a state of disbelief of what life is like for those who aren’t online and informed on the real issues while the country goes fascist and the economy goes bankrupt.
As Orwell said:
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”
It’s no wonder that Dick Cheney, Joseph Lieberman and the rest of America hating neocons are trying to crack down on the internet by levelling scurillous ‘terrorist’ accusations to lock in their gains before the matrix of fear and ignorance is penetrated. The dumbing down of America has worked to perfection at least until now but the peasants are growing restive and the movements behind Barack Obama and Ron Paul are if nothing else encouraging first signs of a real resistance that is growing in this country against the neocon executors of the coup d’etat that stole away our legitimate government under the cover of the black smoke of burning jet fuel and the stench of scorched human flesh. Let us all begin the call for a REAL investigation of the events of 9/11, the day when our history was stolen from us by a pack of ruthless thugs who rightfully belong swinging at the end of a rope.
It’s far past time for that something very loud (In the words of William Rivers Pitt) to take place and a damned good start would be in pulling the chain and flushing the neocon toilet and then turning the hoses on Cheney’s office. Then how about a coup d’état using the existing bureaucracy to take over the government through the democratic processes that have been stolen from his country over the past seven and a half years by a power crazed anti-American junta that belongs in the dock at The Hague instead of in the White House, The Congress and The Pentagon.
I have blogged a bit lately on the Continuity Of Government (C.O.G.) programs that in my personal belief were intrumental in executing the coup d’etat by a secret/shadow government using the 9/11 ‘terrorist’ attacks as justification. These programs have been existence since the Cold War era and were ostensibly for protection of the U.S. government in the event of a Soviet nuclear attack/decapitation strike. They are highly secretive and very real despite the sort of paranoid, X Files connotations that will be made by those who dare not research them on their own lest they find their core beliefs of government and American society shaken to the very roots. I would like to take this opportunity to share with readers an article that I only ran across this morning on these extremely dangerous programs and the threat to the Constitution and life as we have known it that are only a signature from the pen of George W. Bush/Dick Cheney (who are becoming increasingly desperate) from being put into motion.
The article that I refer to is in Radar Magazine by Christopher Ketcham and is very apropriately entitled The Last Roundup. There is also an interview with Mr. Ketcham by Antiwar Radio’s Scott Horton that I provide the link to here for download. It is imperative for Americans to begin to understand the Continuity Of Government programs for it is the mechanisms that will be used if and when the time comes for the cornered rats of the Bush administration to avoid prosecution and accountability for their myriad of crimes against the republic by implementing martial law using NSPD-51 which is a descendent of Colonel Oliver North’s REX 84.
What should be most disconcerting in an America renamed HOMELAND where Habeas Corpus and Posse Comitatus have been rendered null and void through legal trickery enamating from the office of the Vice President (a hotbed for neocon traitors) and elements of the Pentagon which have also been infiltrated by neocons with questionable loyalty is that none other than Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were involved with C.O.G. during the Reagan era (see James Mann’s The Armageddon Plan as well as Miami Herald journalist Alfonso Chardy’s Reagan Aides and the ‘Secret Government’ and author Peter Dale Scott’s recent Counterpunch article). I personally speculated on how the C.O.G. infrastructure was used to execute an Edward Luttwak style textbook coup d’etat on 9/11 in my recent posting: 9/11: Cover for a Coup d’Etat? which while nowhere in the league of Christopher Ketcham (or anybody else for that matter) may be a useful guide for those seeking to do some of their own research.
What is a very important detail in Ketcham’s piece is the mention of PROMIS software as a tool to track and surveil potential dissidents and ‘terrorists’ (Homeland newspeak for dissidents) and has been likely been highly adapted from its already advanced 1980’s form:
Wired magazine turned up additional damaging information, revealing in 1993 that North, operating from a secure White House site, allegedly employed a software database program called PROMIS (ostensibly as part of the REX 84 plan). PROMIS, which has a strange and controversial history, was designed to track individuals—prisoners, for example—by pulling together information from disparate databases into a single record. According to Wired, “Using the computers in his command center, North tracked dissidents and potential troublemakers within the United States. Compared to PROMIS, Richard Nixon’s enemies list or Senator Joe McCarthy’s blacklist look downright crude.” Sources have suggested to Radar that government databases tracking Americans today, including Main Core, could still have PROMIS-based legacy code from the days when North was running his programs.
PROMIS software is the stuff of mystery and legend and apparently close scrutiny has resulted in mysterious suicides and deaths such as that of investigative journalist Danny Casolaro who was onto a global criminal syndicate that had merged with rogue elements of the government and is an important piece of the puzzle in any examination of today’s rising fascist police state. Casolaro called it The Octopus and his death should be reexamined in light of recent developments as well as the rise of the internet as a research tool.
All of the pieces begin to fit together once C.O.G. and those who have been involved are placed alongside other developments that have dramatically and tragically altered the course of America over the past several decades. It is time to shed some light on this rogue operation and to expose it to the scrutiny and oversight that is necessary in order to preserve a Constitution that has been under relentless siege from America hating fifth columnists.