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from here on March 07, 2009




posted at: Guerrilla News Network



In this exclusive excerpt from his powerful new book, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press), UC Berkeley professor emeritus Peter Dale Scott asks whether there is a connection between America’s historical use of terror as a political weapon and the recent moves by the Bush administration to suspend the Constitution and create a “shadow government” in the wake of the next terrorist attack:

The strategy of tension in Europe and America

The idea that sectors of government might sponsor extremists in acts of terrorism against their own people is, initially, almost unthinkable. Yet this unthinkable possibility has clearly happened in Italy, with the celebrated bombings of Milan’s Piazza Fontana in 1969 and the Bologna railway station in 1980. (Sixteen people were killed in Milan, and eighty-five in Bologna.) Although anarchists took part in these bombings, and were initially blamed for them, it developed that the bombings were part of a “strategy of tension” orchestrated by Italian military intelligence.1

The responsibility of Italian intelligence services has been definitively established by Italian courts and parliamentary investigations. As Stanford historian Thomas Sheehan wrote in the New York Review of Books, “Later the [Piazza Fontana] massacre was traced to two neofascists, Franco Freda and Giovanni Ventura, and to an agent of the Secret Services (SID) named Guido Giannettini. Giannettini fled the country, but continued to receive checks from SID for a full year. He and three high SID officials were eventually jailed for conspiracy in the massacre.”2

But the Italians found responsible have implicated U.S. covert actions in Italy, beginning with the efforts by the Office of Policy Coordination to defeat the Communists in the 1948 Italian elections. General Vito Miceli, the Italian head of military intelligence, after his arrest in 1974 on a charge of conspiring to overthrow the government, testified “that the incriminated organization, which became known as the ‘Parallel SID,’ was formed under a secret agreement with the United States and within the framework of NATO.”3

Former Italian defense minister Paulo Taviani told Magistrate Casson during a 1990 investigation “that during his time in office (1955–58), the Italian secret services were bossed and financed by ‘the boys in Via Veneto’—i.e. the CIA agents in the U.S. Embassy in the heart of Rome.”4 In 2000 “an Italian secret service general said . . . that the CIA gave its tacit approval to a series of bombings in Italy in the 1970s to sow instability and keep communists from taking power. . . . ‘The CIA wanted, through the birth of an extreme nationalism and the contribution of the far right, particularly Ordine Nuovo, to stop (Italy) sliding to the left,’ he said.”5

The evidence for some degree of U.S. involvement is massive but also problematic.6 There is no doubt that the United States, operating partly through NATO, sponsored and funded so-called stay-behind paramilitary groups in Italy and other NATO countries (in Operation Gladio); and there is no doubt also that the cadres and munitions of these groups were used in the strategy of tension. For some time critics of U.S foreign policy have stressed the role of CIA assets and Gladio terrorism in the Greek Colonels’ coup of 1967: “The Gladio ‘Sheepskin’ group was involved in a campaign of terrorist bombings, which were blamed on the left, and two days before the election campaign was to begin, a military coup brought to power a junta led by George Papadopoulos, a member of the Greek intelligence service KYP [who had been on CIA payroll since 1952].”7 This was the climax of a period in which Greece was afflicted with “an intelligence service gone wild” and “a shadow government with powers beyond the control of the nation’s nominal leaders.”8

Even clearer is the continuous U.S. intervention in Italian politics after 1948, to block the formation of any government supported by the Communist Party. In 1972, for example, CIA disbursed $10 million to political parties, affiliated organizations, and twenty-one candidates, mostly Christian Democrats. Ambassador Graham Martin, against CIA advice, gave a further $800,000 to General Miceli, the Italian head of military intelligence.9 Miceli would be tried two years later for his involvement in the 1970 Borghese coup attempt, which the Piazza Fontana bombing of 1969 was designed to assist. Eventually he and all other defendants would be acquitted.10

What is not yet clear, at least to me, is the degree and level of conscious U.S. direction for Italian state violence against civilians. The official Italian Senate investigation into Gladio concluded “without the shadow of a doubt that elements of the CIA started in the second half of the 1960s to counter by the use of all means the spreading . . . of the left.”11

But at what level were these elements, and with what central authorization? Undoubtedly Gladio units contributed to the Eurofascism of the 1980s, but by then many if not most Eurofascists were anti-American as well as anti-Soviet. Whatever the details, the perversion of Operation Gladio into sanctioned attacks on innocent civilians illustrates the dangers of top-down power, especially when it is off-shored and removed from the checks and balances of an open public state.12

At least some Americans believed themselves in the strategy of tension. William Harvey, when CIA station chief in Rome, reportedly recruited his own “action squads” and suggested that the head of the Italian intelligence service SIFAR (later SID) “use his ‘action squads’ to ‘carry out bombings against Christian Democrat Party offices and certain newspapers in the north, which were to be attributed to the left.’”13

More important, European sources allege that one of the masterminds of the 1969 plot, Guido Giannettini, was invited in late 1961 to give a three-day lecture course to U.S. military officers in Annapolis, on “Techniques and Possibilities of a Coup d’Etat in Europe.”14 A few weeks later Pentagon officials began drafting the plans known as Operation Northwoods, the first known American application of a strategy of tension. As summarized by ABC News, “the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.”15 This was at a time of developing U.S. Army interest in so-called counterterror as a technique in counterinsurgency, as developed by Nazis, French theorists of guerre révolutionnaire, and East European émigrés now attached to the U.S. Army.

Thus one cannot clearly distinguish between the managed violence advocated by Italian strategists of tension and those aping them in the United States. International security analyst John Prados has put the issue very forcibly: “In this age of global concern with terrorism it is especially upsetting to discover that Western Europe and the United States collaborated in creating networks that took up terrorism. In the United States such nations are called ‘state sponsors’ and are the object of hostility and sanction. Can it be the United States itself, Britain, France, Italy, and others who should be on the list of state sponsors?”16 It is alarming moreover to note that the Piazza Fontana bombing was planned by a “parallel” structure, outside government control, as a prelude for a military coup.17

Cheney, Rumsfeld and COG Planning in the 1980s

Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld have been associated since the 1980s with a parallel planning structure in the United States. The formal goal of this planned parallel structure was called “continuity of government” (COG), but the name is misleading. The Progressive Review referred more descriptively to plans for “a possible military/civilian coup.”18

The plans for what journalist James Bamford has called the “secret government” of COG had been slowly developing, chiefly but not only under Republican administrations, since the 1950s.19 As mentioned in chapter 4, a major step was the creation in 1979 of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). But FEMA’s emergency planning was radically politicized under President Reagan. By 1984, in the words of journalist Ross Gelbspan, “Lt. Col. Oliver North was working with officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency . . . to draw up a secret contingency plan to surveil political dissenters and to arrange for the detention of hundreds of thousands of undocumented aliens in case of an unspecified national emergency. The plan, part of which was codenamed Rex 84, called for the suspension of the Constitution under a number of scenarios, including a U.S. invasion of Nicaragua. . . . But in addition to groups opposing United States policies in Central America, the FEMA plan reportedly included environmental activists, opponents of nuclear energy and refugee assistance activists.”20

Earlier, Governor Reagan in California had authorized the development of a counterinsurgency plan (known as Cable Splicer) and exercises to deal with such crises, in conjunction with the U.S. Sixth Army and the Pentagon (Operation Garden Plot). The cadres developing Cable Splicer (headed by Louis Giuffrida), were with Reagan’s elevation to the presidency transferred into FEMA. As head of FEMA, Giuffrida pursued plans for massive detention of dissidents; these became so extreme that even Reagan’s attorney general, William French Smith, raised objections.21

As developed in the mid-1980s by Oliver North in the White House, the plans called for not just the surveillance but also the potential detention of large numbers of American citizens. During the Iran-Contra hearings North was asked by the congressman Jack Brooks about his work on “a contingency plan in the event of emergency, that would suspend the American constitution.” The chairman, Democratic senator Daniel Inouye, ruled that this was a “highly sensitive and classified” matter, not to be dealt with in an open hearing. This dramatic exchange was virtually ignored by the establishment media.22

In the wake of Brooks’s question in Congress, the public was told how attorney general William French Smith, in an August 1984 letter to NSC chair Robert McFarlane, had written that FEMA’s proposed executive order “exceeds its proper function as a coordinating agency for emergency preparedness.”23 To this day it is usually reported that “Smith’s objections apparently killed the draft executive order.”24 But the authorizing National Security Decision Directive (NSDD 55 of September 14, 1982, on “Enduring National Leadership”) continued in effect for a decade. It was augmented by President Reagan on September 16, 1985, with National Security Decision Directive 188 (NSDD 188, “Government Coordination for National Security Emergency Preparedness”). The directives were part of a series, augmented by additional executive orders, that authorized ongoing “continuity planning.”25

Some of the highest-level planning for COG was conducted by a parallel extragovernmental group. This parallel structure, operating outside normal government channels, included the head of G. D. Searle & Co., Donald Rumsfeld, and then congressman from Wyoming Dick Cheney.26 Overall responsibility for the program, hidden under the innocuously named National Program Office, was assigned to Vice President George H.W. Bush, “with Lt. Col. Oliver North . . . as the National Security Council action officer.”27

It is not fanciful to link this private parallel government to 9/11. As detailed in chapter 12, Cheney and FEMA were reunited in May 2001: President George W. Bush appointed Cheney to head a terrorism task force and created a new office within FEMA, the innocuously named Office of National Preparedness, to assist him. In effect, Bush was authorizing a resumption of the kind of planning that Cheney and FEMA had conducted under the heading of COG. And on September 11 the planning bore fruit: a classified “continuity of operations plan” was implemented, at least partially, for the first time.28

This chapter and especially the next explore the consequences of this arresting coincidence: that the COG planning team of the 1980s was essentially reconstituted by Bush the younger in May 2001 as a terrorism task force, and then (after planning activities of which we know next to nothing) a major attack on the United States (of which we also still know next to nothing) resulted in implementation of COG. The public also knows next to nothing about COG, except that its powers to disrupt constitutional government are considerable.
“Continuity of government” is a reassuring title. It would be more honest, however, to call it a “change of government” plan, since according to Alfonso Chardy of the Miami Herald, the plan called for “suspension of the Constitution, turning control of the government over to FEMA, emergency appointment of military commanders to run state and local governments and declaration of martial law during a national crisis.”29 The plan also gave the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which had been involved in drafting it, sweeping new powers, including internment.30

The team was planning, in effect, for the supplanting in a major crisis of the public state by an alternative one. According to author and journalist James Mann: “Rumsfeld and Cheney were principal actors in one of the most highly classified programs of the Reagan Administration. Under it U.S. officials furtively carried out detailed planning exercises for keeping the federal government running during and after a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. The program called for setting aside the legal rules for presidential succession in some circumstances, in favor of a secret procedure for putting in place a new ‘President’ and his staff. The idea was to concentrate on speed, to preserve ‘continuity of government,’ and to avoid cumbersome procedures; the speaker of the House, the president pro tempore of the Senate, and the rest of Congress would play a greatly diminished role.”31

But the planning eventually called for suspension of the Constitution, not just “after a nuclear war” but for any “national security emergency.” This was defined in Executive Order 12656 of 1988 as “any occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological emergency, or other emergency, that seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security of the United States.”32 Clearly 9/11 met this definition.

COG planning was eventually integrated into planning by a number of groups corresponding to different departments, dealing with different functions. One group, the Continuity of Government Interagency Group, dealt with devolution and relocation of government leaders, to prevent decapitation of the government in a crisis. Another group dealt with “command and control” problems, to ensure security for communications and computers so that decisions could be made and implemented. Another group, focused on the Department of Defense, planned for retaliation against the nation’s attackers.33

In April 1994, Tim Weiner announced in The New York Times that in the post-Soviet Clinton era, “the Doomsday Project, as it was known” was to be closed. “The nuclear tensions of that era having subsided, the project has less than six months to live. ‘On Oct. 1, it’s history,’ a Pentagon official said.” Weiner added that “while some ‘continuity of government’ programs continue under the aegis of Pentagon planners, they are pale versions of the vision laid out by President Reagan in 1983. ‘They are realizing these requirements are throwbacks to the cold war,’ [nuclear analyst Bruce] Blair said. ‘They are not relevant to today’s world.’”34

This article persuaded authors James Mann and James Bamford that Reagan’s COG plans had now been abandoned, because “there was, it seemed, no longer any enemy in the world capable of . . . decapitating America’s leadership.”35 In fact, however, only one phase of COG planning had been terminated, a Pentagon program for response to a nuclear attack. Instead, according to author Andrew Cockburn, a new target was found:

Although the exercises continued, still budgeted at over $200 million a year in the Clinton era, the vanished Soviets were now replaced by terrorists. . . .There were other changes, too. In earlier times the specialists selected to run the “shadow government” had been drawn from across the political spectrum, Democrats and Republicans alike. But now, down in the bunkers, Rumsfeld found himself in politically congenial company, the players’ roster being filled almost exclusively with Republican hawks. “It was one way for these people to stay in touch. They’d meet, do the exercise, but also sit around and castigate the Clinton administration in the most extreme way,” a former Pentagon official with direct knowledge of the phenomenon told me. “You could say this was a secret government-in-waiting. The Clinton administration was extraordinarily inattentive, [they had] no idea what was going on.”36

Cockburn’s account requires some qualification. Richard Clarke, a Clinton Democrat, makes it clear that he participated in the COG games in the 1990s and indeed drafted Clinton’s Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 67 on “Enduring Constitutional Government and Continuity of Government.”37 But COG planning involved different teams for different purposes. It is quite possible that the Pentagon official was describing the Department of Defense team dealing with retaliation.

The Pentagon official’s description of a “secret government-in-waiting” (which still included both Cheney and Rumsfeld) is very close to the standard definition of a cabal, as a group of persons secretly united to bring about a change or overthrow of government. In the same era Cheney and Rumsfeld projected change also by their public lobbying, through the Project for the New American Century, for a more militant Middle East policy. In light of how COG was actually implemented in 2001, one can legitimately suspect that, however interested this group had been in continuity of government under Reagan, under Clinton the focus of Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s COG planning was now a change of government.

So we should not be surprised that with the implementation of COG came the warrantless detentions that Oliver North had planned two decades earlier, and the warrantless eavesdropping that is their logical counterpart. The only question is this: Were these practices decided on after 9/11, as the Bush administration maintains? Or were they already being prepared for as part of the COG planning revived by Cheney and FEMA in May 2001? I return to this question in chapters 12 through 14.

Oil and Cheney’s Energy Task Force

There is the same impression of preparation for 9/11 and its consequent war from Cheney’s other task force, the Energy Task Force. By May 2001 it had already set out, urgently and in some detail, plans for taking control over Iraqi oil. As many observers have pointed out, the second Bush administration was the first in which the vice president and his own national security staff wielded powers comparable to, perhaps even surpassing, those of the president. Some have gone even a step further, as journalist Steve Perry wrote in 2005: “Cheney’s office is the Pandora’s Box of the Bush administration campaign to invade Iraq. Most of the planning as to both the waging and selling of the war occurred under his direction, along with that of Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz at the Pentagon. It was Cheney who played the point in beating up CIA for its unhelpful analysis of the non-threat posed by Saddam, and Cheney along with his Defense Department pals who effectively circumvented CIA by setting up the Office of Special Plans at the Pentagon to funnel the administration the kind of intelligence it wanted, largely courtesy of their longtime double-dealing stooge, Ahmed Chalabi.”38

Perry also quotes an op-ed by former Powell chief of staff Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson (U.S. Army, retired): “In President Bush’s first term, some of the most important decisions about U.S. national security —including vital decisions about postwar Iraq—were made by a secretive, little-known cabal. It was made up of a very small group of people led by Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. . . . I believe that the decisions of this cabal were sometimes made with the full and witting support of the president and sometimes with something less. . . . It’s a disaster. Given the choice, I’d choose a frustrating bureaucracy over an efficient cabal every time.”39

The vice president’s first major assignment was to discuss energy policy in his Energy Task Force, which brought in leaders from the petroleum industry. In fact, Cheney could be called an oil industry leader himself. As reported in The New Yorker, he served “immediately before becoming Vice-President, as chief executive of Halliburton, the world’s largest oil-and-gas-services company. The conglomerate, which is based in Houston, is now [2004] the biggest private contractor for American forces in Iraq; it has received contracts worth some eleven billion dollars for its work there. Cheney earned forty-four million dollars during his tenure at Halliburton. Although he has said that he ‘severed all my ties with the company,’ he continues to collect deferred compensation worth approximately a hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year.”40

It is clear that from at least February 2001 Cheney’s task force discussions extended to the “capture” of oil resources in Iraq: “One intriguing piece of evidence pointing in this direction was a National Security Council document, dated February 2001, directing NSC staff to cooperate fully with Cheney’s task force. The NSC document, reported in The New Yorker, noted that the task force would be considering the ‘melding’ of two policy areas: ‘the review of operational policies towards rogue states’ and ‘actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields.’ This certainly implies that the Cheney task force was considering geopolitical questions about actions related to the capture of oil and gas reserves in ‘rogue’ states, including presumably Iraq.”41

The task force’s concerns are well illustrated by two documents, released to the public-interest law firm Judicial Watch only after a fierce court struggle. The first document is a map of Iraq, whose “detail is all about Iraq’s oil. The southwest is neatly divided, for instance, into nine ‘Exploration Blocks.’ Stripped of political trappings, this map shows a naked Iraq, with only its ample natural assets in view. It’s like a supermarket meat chart, which identifies the various parts of a slab of beef so customers can see the most desirable cuts. . . . Block 1 might be the striploin, Blocks 2 and 3 are perhaps some juicy tenderloin, but Block 8— ahh, that could be the filet mignon.”

The second “task force document, also released under court order, was a two-page chart titled ‘Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfields.’ It identifies 63 oil companies from 30 countries and specifies which Iraqi oil fields each company is interested in and the status of the company’s negotiations with Saddam Hussein’s regime. Among the companies are Royal Dutch/Shell of the Netherlands, Russia’s Lukoil and France’s Total Elf Aquitaine, which was identified as being interested in the fabulous, 25-billion-barrel Majnoon oil field. Baghdad had ‘agreed in principle’ to the French company’s plans to develop this succulent slab of Iraq. There goes the filet mignon into the mouths of the French!”42

Cheney’s task force was the final stage in a lobbying process by the oil majors that had begun under Clinton. As early as April 1997, a report from the James A. Baker Institute of Public Policy at Rice University addressed the problem of “energy security” for the United States, noting that the country was increasingly threatened by oil shortages. It concluded that Saddam Hussein was still a threat to Middle Eastern security and still had the military capability to exercise force beyond Iraq’s borders. The second Bush administration returned to this theme as soon as it took office in 2001, by following the lead of a second report from the same institute. This task force report was cosponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, another group historically concerned about U.S. access to overseas oil resources.43 The report, Strategic Energy Policy: Challenges for the 21st Century, concluded that “the U.S. should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq including military, energy, economic and political/diplomatic assessments.”44

Meanwhile, the BBC heard from State Department insiders that planning for regime change in Iraq “began ‘within weeks’ of Bush’s first taking office in 2001, long before the September 11th attack on the U.S.”45 The administration’s concern for controlling oil in the Middle East intermingled with strategic concerns in the area, especially with increasing uncertainty about the future of U.S. bases in Saudi Arabia. The White House was also impressed by the report of an AEI-based discussion group, commissioned by Paul Wolfowitz, that a strategy to deal with Middle East terrorism would require two generations of conflict, in which ‘Iran is more important. . . . But Saddam Hussein was . . . weaker, more vulnerable.’”46


1. Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies, 63–83; Willan, Puppetmasters, 122–31, 160–67.

2. Thomas Sheehan, “Italy: Terror on the Right,” New York Review of Books, January 22, 1981, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/7178.

3. Willan, Puppetmasters, 26.

4. William Scobie, Observer, August 11, 1990. For a detailed analysis, see Calvi and Laurent, Piazza Fontana.

5. “Italian General Alleges CIA Link to Bombings,” Reuters, August 4, 2000: “‘We cannot say that the CIA had an active and direct role in the bombings, but it is true that they knew the targets and culprits,’ General Gianadelio Maletti told la Repubblica newspaper in an interview from Johannesburg, where the former spy is in self-imposed exile.”

6. One of the alleged documents, “U.S. Field Manual 30-31B,” turned up in a number of countries and was claimed by CIA to be a KGB forgery. See House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Hearing, “Soviet Covert Action (The Forgery Offensive),” February 1980, 12, 13, and appendix: “CIA Study: Soviet Covert Action and Propaganda,” 66, 67; cf. Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies, 234–35. Ganser has again argued for the authenticity of Annex 30-31B in “The CIA in Western Europe and the Abuse of Human Rights,” Intelligence & National Security (fall 2006), 760–81; I remain unconvinced.

7. The CIA in Western Europe, http://www.wakeupmag.co.uk/articles/cia6.htm, viewed October 2005; cf. Wikipedia, s.v., “Greek military junta of 1967–1974,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_military_junta_of_1967-1974 Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies, 215–23; Blum, Killing Hope, 215–21.

8. Blum, Killing Hope, 217.

9. Rising Criticism of the Leaks, Time, February 9, 1976, Arthur E. Rowse claims the money came from Kissinger; see Rowse, “Gladio,” http://www.mega.nu:8080/ampp/gladio.html, citing Pike Report (unavailable at my library). “The [CIA] advised [Martin] against giving money to SID director Vito Miceli and warned of Miceli’s links to Pino Rauti, the Ordine Nuovo founder” (Willan, Puppetmasters, 116).

10. Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies, 76–78.

11. Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies, 81.

12. A similar attack is the campaign of violence and murder sanctioned by General Douglas MacArthur against the left in Japan, using forces allied with the Japanese organized criminal societies known as yakuza.

13. Rowse, “Gladio”; Willan, Puppetmasters, 38, quoting Roberto Faenza and Marco Fini, Gli Americani in Italia (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1976), 276.

14. Calvi and Laurent, Piazza Fontana, 109; Laurent, L’orchestre noir, 193; cf. Jeffrey M. Bale, “The ‘Black’ Terrorist International: Neo-Fascist Paramilitary Networks and the ‘Strategy of Tension’ in Italy, 1968–1974,” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Berkeley), 177. There is confusion both about the lecturer and more important the date. Bale identifies as the lecturer Giannettini’s coconspirator the Ordine Nuovo founder Pino Rauti, and 1962 as the date. It is possible that there were two different lectures given.

15. David Ruppe, “U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba,” ABC News, January 5, 2001; cf. Bamford, Body of Secrets, 82. The documents are in the National Archive as document RIF #202-10002-10104, pp. 128–41, accessible from the Mary Ferrell Foundation web site. They are reprinted in Ruppert, Crossing the Rubicon, 595–608. There are other unpublished Northwoods documents in the same file, from February 7 to July 25, 1962.

16. John Prados, foreword to Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies, xiii.

17. Willan, Puppetmasters, 26–27, 100–101. General Vito Miceli, who later headed Italy’s secret service (SID), said he set up the separate structure “at the request of the Americans and NATO” (Rowse, “Gladio”).

18. “News from Post-Constitutional America” Progressive Review.

19. Bamford, Pretext for War, 70–72. According to Bamford (_Pretext for War_, 72), “the Eisenhower White House failed to pass on details of their secret government to the incoming Kennedy administration, which discovered it by accident.” On October 30, 1969 President Nixon issued Executive Order 11490, consolidating twenty-one executive orders and two defense mobilization orders, assigning emergency preparedness functions to federal departments and agencies. In 1976, with Executive Order 11921, President Ford further consolidated these functions in the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency (FEPA).

20. Gelbspan, Break-ins, Death Threats, and the FBI, 184.

21. Gelbspan, Break-ins, Death Threats, and the FBI, 184; Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen, The 80 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time (New York: Citadel Press, 2004), 32.

22. For text of the exchange, see transcript of hearing in The New York Times, July 14, 1987. Although the Times reproduced the transcript of Congressman Brooks’s exchange with Senator Inouye, the accompanying eleven-hundred-word story by R.W. Apple did not mention it. Neither did the Washington Post on the same day (or, according to Lexis-Nexis, any other newspaper). Congressional Quarterly’s 480-page volume, The Iran-Contra Puzzle, reprints only Brooks’s subsequent angry exchange with Sullivan. Brooks was referring to an article by Alfonso Chardy in the Miami Herald on July 5, 1987. It “revealed Oliver North’s involvement in plans for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to take over federal, state and local functions during an ill-defined national emergency” (“The Ronald Reagan Myth,” Progressive Review).

23. Gelbspan, Break-ins, Death Threats, and the FBI, 184.

24. Vankin and Whalen, 80 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time, 32. Cf. Peter
Dale Scott, “Northwards without North: Bush, Counterterrorism, and the Continuation of Secret Power,”_Social Justice_ (San Francisco) 16, no. 2 (summer 1989): 1–30; Bradlee, Guts and Glory, 132.

25. Barton Gellman and Susan Schmidt, “Shadow Government Is at Work in Secret,” Washington Post, March 1, 2002, reporting in part on National Security Decision Directive 188, “Government Coordination for National Security Emergency Preparedness.” For the text of NSDD-188, go to www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/nsdd/nsdd-188.htm. The planning took the place of an earlier Emergency Mobilization Preparedness Board established by President Reagan in a December 1981 announcement (“Announcement of Establishment of the Emergency Mobilization Preparedness Board,” December 29, 1981, www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1981/122981a.htm).

26. James Mann, “The Armageddon Plan,” Atlantic Monthly (March 2004), http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/prem/200403/mann Mann, Rise of the Vulcans, 138–45. Mann in his book also names as team leaders in COG planning James Woolsey, later head of CIA, and Kenneth Duberstein, Reagan’s final chief of staff.

27. Bamford, Pretext for War, 72. According to CNN, the list eventually grew to seventeen names and also included Howard Baker, Richard Helms, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, James Schlesinger, Richard Thornberg, Edwin Meese, and Tip O’Neill (“Undernews: The Amazing, Scary History of FEMA,” Progressive Review, September 11, 2005, prorev.com/2005/09/amazing-scary-history-of-fema.htm). Schlesinger was also president of Mitre Corporation, a defense industry that some have suspected of a role in 9/11 because of its collaboration with Ptech on the command and control systems of the Department of Defense, NORAD, the Air Force, and the FAA. Those who, like myself, have known Schlesinger personally find the notion of his possible involvement highly unlikely.

28. Gellman and Schmidt, “Shadow Government Is at Work in Secret,” Washington Post, March 1, 2002.

29. “Some Secret Activities,” Miami Herald, July 5, 1987. In October 1984 columnist Jack Anderson is said to have reported that FEMA’s plans would “suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, effectively eliminate private property, abolish free enterprise, and generally clamp Americans in a totalitarian vise.”

30. Singapore Straits-Times, July 17, 2002; Rodger Herbst, “Poised for a COUP: Bush Regime Struggles to Retain Power in an Increasingly Alienated America,” Washington Free Press, no. 70 (July–August 2004): “‘The Mysterious Mountain,’ an article appearing in the March 1976 issue of The Progressive, was based on the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights hearings in 1975, and several off-the-record interviews. The article noted that Mount Weather [the home of one of the COG alternative government sites] at that time contained a parallel ‘government-in-waiting’ ready to take control of the United States upon word from the President or his successor. The subcommittee learned that Congress has almost no knowledge and no oversight—budgetary or otherwise—on Mount Weather, and that the ‘facility held dossiers on at least 100,000 Americans’” Cf. Richard Pollack, “The Mysterious Mountain,” The Progressive, March 1976, 12–16.

31. Mann, “Armageddon Plan”; cf. Mann, Rise of the Vulcans, 145; Bamford, Pretext for War, 74: “The existence of the secret government was so closely held that Congress was completely bypassed. Rather than through legislation, it was created by Top Secret presidential fiat. In fact, Congress would have no role in the new wartime administration. ‘One of the awkward questions we faced,’ said one of the participants, ‘was whether to reconstitute Congress after a nuclear attack. It was decided that no, it would be easier to operate without them.’”

32. The provisions of Executive Order 12656 of November 18, 1988, appear at 53 FR 47491, 3 CFR, 1988 Comp., p. 585, “Executive Order 12656—Assignment of Emergency Preparedness Responsibilities,” www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/12656.html. The Washington Post (Gellman and Schmidt, “Shadow Government Is at Work in Secret,” March 1, 2002) later claimed, incorrectly, that Executive Order 12656 dealt only with “a nuclear attack.”

33.Clarke, Against All Enemies, 165–75.

34. Tim Weiner, “Pentagon Book for Doomsday Is to Be Closed,” The New York Times, April 17, 1994.

35. Mann, Rise of the Vulcans, 144. Cf. Bamford, Pretext for War, 74: “The existence of the secret government was so closely held that Congress was completely bypassed . . . but with the Cold War over, President Bill Clinton decided to end it.”

36. Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy (New York: Scribner, 2007), 88.

37. Clarke, Against All Enemies, 8, 165–75.

38. Steve Perry, The CIA Leak Investigation: Bigger Fish, Deeper Water, Minneapolis/St. Paul City Pages, November 2, 2005

39. Lawrence B. Wilkerson, Cheney Cabal Runs Foreign Policy, Ex-aide to Powell Reiterates, Los Angeles Times, October 25, 2005.

40. Jane Mayer, Contract Sport: What Did the Vice-President Do for Halliburton?, New Yorker, February 16–23, 2004.

41. Linda McCuaig, “Crude Dudes,” Toronto Star, September 20, 2004; cf. McQuaig, It’s the Crude, Dude, 84–85, quoting Mayer, “Contract Sport.”

42. McQuaig, “Crude Dudes”; cf. McQuaig, It’s the Crude, Dude, 79–80. The documents can be seen on-line at “Maps and Charts of Iraqi Oil Fields,” www.judicialwatch.org/printer_iraqi-oil-maps.shtml.

43. One of the Baker task force members was Kenneth Lay, the former chief executive of Enron, which went bankrupt after carrying out massive accountancy fraud. The report begins with references to “recent energy price spikes” and “electricity outages in California,” which are now known to have been engineered by Enron market manipulations for which two Enron energy traders later pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges (_Forbes_, February 5, 2003).

44. “Strategic Energy Policy: Challenges for the Twenty-first Century,” 40; http://www.rice.edu/energy/publications/docs/TaskForceReport_Final.pdf. In an earlier draft of a Web site essay I quoted extensively (as have many other writers) from an October 6, 2002, news story by Neil Mackay in the Scotland Sunday Herald. This story claimed that Vice President Cheney himself commissioned the second task force report, and that former secretary of state James Baker delivered the report to Cheney. I have since been assured that neither claim is true.

45. Greg Palast, Secret U.S. Plans for Iraq’s Oil, BBC News, March 17, 2005.

46. AEI chairman Christopher Demuth, quoted in Woodward, State of Denial, 84.


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