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A Dawning Dictatorship? (911-2B & NSPD-51)
By Captain Eric H. May
A Piecemeal Prologue
Half of the American people believe that the Bush administration is on the hunt for Al-Qaeda for the 9/11 attacks. Another half believe that 9/11 was a Bush administration inside job, attributable not to Al-Qaeda, but to "Al-CIA-duh." Both halves, though, agree on one thing, and aren't shy about saying it: This summer we are likely to suffer another terror attack, a "911-2B."
The list of notables' quotables begins with the springtime warning of the vice president to NBC's Tim Russert on Meet the Press:
April 15, 2007, Dick Cheney: "The greatest threat now is 'a 9/11' occurring ... with a nuclear weapon in the middle of one of our own cities."
June 3, 2007, Dennis Milligan, Chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party: “I believe fully the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [Sept. 11, 2001]."
July 1, 2007, ABC News: “A secret U.S. law enforcement report, prepared for the Department of Homeland Security, warns that al Qaeda is planning a terror "spectacular" this summer."
July 11, 2007, Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security chief: "I believe we are entering a period this summer of increased risk."
July 20, 2007, Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury: "Whether authentic or orchestrated, an attack will activate Bush's new executive orders [NSPD-51], which create a dictatorial police state in event of national emergency."
July 24, 2007, Peter DeFazio, House Homeland Security Committee member: “I just can't believe they're going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack … Maybe the people who think there's a conspiracy out there are right.”
A Recess Review
As Congress goes home for August, opinion polls show that roughly two out of three American citizens either dislike or detest George W. Bush, and things are rapidly falling apart for him. More and more White House officials are invoking executive privilege to avoid answering the hard questions of an exasperated legislative branch about them and their "unitary executive." Alberto Gonzales is the object of a growing congressional impeachment movement, as is Dick Cheney -- and half of the public wants Bush impeached, too.
In the last two weeks the stock market has dropped by nearly a thousand points, and threatens a bearish mauling of the financial sector that has been the Bush administration's base and beneficiary.
His own Republicans are threatening to bail out on busted-down Iraq, unless they get strong reassurances from General David Petraeus in mid-September. The general's situation is hardly reassuring, though. Embattled Baghdad, which he was sent to secure, is currently under fire and without water, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is publicly calling for his removal.
Wednesday, August 1, could have been the worst day of all for the White House. In the morning came the news that the Iraqi government had fallen apart, with the Sunni faction quitting al-Maliki's cabinet. This disastrous development was likely to hold the headlines until the end of the week, when Congress would head home to discuss this latest war calamity with already war-weary constituents.
A Minnesota Miracle
Wednesday afternoon could have added even more woes to the White House. America's first and only Muslim congressman, Keith Ellison, appeared on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer to discuss some scorching anti-Bush comments he had made on July 8 to constituents in Minneapolis, in which he had compared 9/11 to the Reichstag Fire, and George Bush to Adolph Hitler. In 1933 Hitler used the Reichstag Fire, carried out under his orders, to establish a dictatorship in Germany.
Ellison's analysis is accepted by most of the Muslim world, much of the non-Muslim world, and a growing minority of Americans. Rather than defend it, though, Ellison backed down with apologies in his interview with Blitzer, saying that his remarks were a "rookie mistake," never to be repeated.
Perhaps Ellison's retreat from his remarks was an attempt to stave off the disaster that frequently befalls those who disrupt the political paradigm. If so, it didn't work. Two hours after Ellison's mea culpa, his congressional district suffered a freak disaster with the collapse of the I-35 bridge into the Mississippi River.
One man's loss is another's gain, though. In the news, the collapse of the Minneapolis bridge supplanted the collapse of the al-Maliki government and the Bush White House for the rest of Wednesday..., then Thursday..., then Friday. By Saturday the congressman who had accused the unitary executive of treason was with Bush himself, taking a tour of his afflicted district, and begging for the relief of federal funds.
A Cowardly Congress
It's hard to fathom why the Democratic Congress would bow down to the unitary executive before skipping town for summer vacation, but that's just what they have done.
Last week Congress gave the White House the gift of expanded executive power by its approval of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations, further extending the reach of the unitary executive.
Friday, the Senate voted 60-28 in favor of granting Bush and Gonzales more power to conduct domestic surveillance without the trouble of a court warrant. The House followed suit Saturday, with a vote of 227-183.
A Dodging DeFazio
On the same day that the Minneapolis bridge fell into the Mississippi, the White House refused a written request by House Homeland Security chairman Bernie Thompson and Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio to read classified annexes of NSPD-51, the presidential order, announced in May, by which Bush can declare himself dictator in the event of a natural catastrophe like Katrina -- or a terror attack like 9/11-2B.
DeFazio's Oregon is the target of "Noble Resolve," an upcoming 9/11-2B military exercise scheduled for August 20-24 that includes a nuclear attack on Portland. Pacific Northwesterners are increasingly alarmed that they may be the targets of a false flag nuclear attack, or the fallout from it. You can't blame them. After all, according to all sources, left and right, 911-2B is the only thing that can revitalize the war president and the war plan.
Oregon's DeFazio is unfazed by it all, or pretends to be. Penny Dodge, his chief of staff, refuses to answer questions from media about his failure. DeFazio has taken to the Internet and airwaves to urge his constituents to relax -- despite his inability to examine NSPD-51, and his unwillingness to examine the possibility that they may be targets for a military exercise. He urges trust in the motives of the unitary executive. In doing so DeFazio fails in his duty, and acts the part of Bush's buffoon in a comedy of terrors.
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Captain May is a former Army military intelligence and public affairs officer, as well as a former NBC editorial writer. His political and military analyses have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Houston Chronicle and Military Intelligence Magazine.