Sunday, May 20, 2007

The coronation of King George

Going unnoticed by the mainstream media, president George W. Bush released a National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive earlier this month. The purpose of this directive is to set up a likely scenario for Bush to make a power grab giving him ultimate authority over all three branches of the Federal government. In effect, he has directed that he can proclaim himself the monarch of the USA in the event of a catastrophic emergency.

How does the directive define a catastrophic emergency? "'Catastrophic Emergency' means 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." That's ambiguous enough to encompass many types of events that one could imagine, even one less catastrophic than 9/11, and certainly one that is highly likely to occur some time during the remainder of Bush's term in office. It doesn't necessarily have to be a terrorist incident; it could simply be a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina or Global Warming, or it could be an economic incident like a major recession. In fact, it doesn't even have to occur in the USA -- an incident occurring anywhere on Earth could qualify.

This directive unilaterally grants the President authority to coordinate actions to establish an "Enduring Constitutional Government ... under which the Nation is governed." Considering that each branch of the Federal government is already responsible for its own continuity programs on such occasions, why would America need the President to have ultimate authority for such actions of the legislative and judicial branches? The Constitution only grants him such authority over the executive branch of the government.

The directive proclaims, "The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government." Considering Bush's flagrant disregard for the Constitution, this clause fails to provide the American patriot with the sense of security that was intended. On the contrary, it is perhaps the most disquieting clause in the directive. The clause goes on to designate the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security as the National Continuity Coordinator "to advise and assist the President in" ensuring constitutional government. After the Department of Homeland Security's response to Hurricane Katrina, and its performance securing our borders, this section of the directive is even more discomforting.

American patriots need to hope against odds that nothing happens before the end of Bush's term in office that he would declare a "catastrophic emergency." If something does, America will be sure to see him effectively crown himself King George. Then who knows when his term will actually end...

No comments: