Just when you think it couldn’t get worse….

Imagine another 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina or a suitcase nuke going off in New York. That would be horrible, but compounding it is the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive, which would put the president in dictatorial control of the entire government. Goodbye three branches and checks and balances, you’ve troubled the Bush Administration too long:



Bush To Be Dictator In A Catastrophic Emergency:

The language written in the directive is disturbing because it doesn’t say that the President will work with the other branches of government equally to ensure a constitutional government is protected. It says clearly that there will be a cooperative effort among the three branches that will be coordinated by the President. If the President is coordinating these efforts it effectively puts him in charge of every branch

The president has authorized and announced his plans to forego all Constitutional checks in precisely the kinds of situations his foreign and domestic policy increase the likelihood of an event because of the sheer incompetence and unaccountability demonstrated at every other turn of history since 2001:

(b) “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.

(e) “Enduring Constitutional Government,” or “ECG,” means a cooperative effort among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government, coordinated by the President, as a matter of comity with respect to the legislative and judicial branches and with proper respect for the constitutional separation of powers among the branches, to preserve the constitutional framework under which the Nation is governed and the capability of all three branches of government to execute constitutional responsibilities and provide for orderly succession, appropriate transition of leadership, and interoperability and support of the National Essential Functions during a catastrophic emergency.

Read and reread the last paragraph. I merely nods (“proper respect”) to checks and balances while handing “coordination” to the president. The Bush Administration’s track record shows it defines the proper respect given to any opponent, dissenter or conflicting branch of government.

I can’t bring myself to imagine the “Heck of a job, Brownie,” moment this is going to produce. Oh, history, go easy on us.

Thanks to Ross Mayfield for his pointer to this.

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Author: Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and business model hacker. He operates this site, which is a collection of the blogs he's published over the years, as well as an archive of his professional publishing record. As always, this is a work in progress. Such is life.