Articles & Interviews
I. Another 9/11 Intrigue: Dick Cheney, John Yoo, and “Continuity in Government” (COG) Measures on 9/11
September 20, 2016 TLB Staff COMMENTARY, GOVERNMENT, Tyranny 0
Prof Peter Dale Scott
In 1993 I wrote a book, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, in which I said at the outset I was not going to try to solve the mystery of JFK’s murder but to examine the politics of it.
I wish to argue here for similar research into the politics of 9/11. For the political consequences of 9/11 have been toxic, regardless of how the towers fell or who was responsible. The unusual process of their implementation deserves close study, a study which I believe will cast more light on 9/11 itself.
I hope in this paper to show that Dick Cheney responded to 9/11 by using devious means to install a small cabal of lawyers – most notoriously John Yoo – who proceeded conspiratorially in the next weeks to exclude their superiors, while secretly authorizing measures ranging from warrantless surveillance and detention to torture.
Some of these were measures which Cheney and Rumsfeld had previously been preparing for almost two decades, as central figures in the secret agency planning for so-called Continuity of Government (COG). It was revealed in the 1980s that these plans aimed at granting a president emergency powers, uncurbed by congressional restraints, to intervene abroad, and also to detain large numbers of those who might protest such actions.
On 9/11, the 9/11 Report confirms, COG was implemented. As we shall see, Cheney promptly ordered the three top figures in the Justice Department out of Washington to a designated COG site buried deep underground.
This allowed Cheney’s cabal to deal instead, starting that same afternoon, with John Yoo in the Justice Department command center. At that time John Yoo, a 34-year-old distinguished chiefly for his repeated defense of Cheney’s eccentric views on presidential authority, had only been in the government for two months.
As a consequence, since 9/11 we have seen warrantless surveillance, suspension of habeas corpus, and the militarization of homeland security, on an unprecedented scale that is not just illegal but an erasure of rights specified in the U.S. constitution.
Furthermore, the secrecy and speed of the manner in which our rights were drastically subverted is itself an affront to the ideals of America as an open society: one in which major changes to our political fabric are only made through authorized channels, and after debate.
The Background: Continuity of Government Planning
The origin of many of these measures – both their content and their secret planning outside of channels – was the secret Continuity of Government (COG) planning that Rumsfeld and Cheney had been engaged in since 1982.
In the 1980s three secret COG provisions were roughly identified by Alfonso Chardy of the Miami News and Ross Gelbspan of the Boston Globe. According to Chardy in 1987,
the plans envisaged suspension of the Constitution, turning control of the government over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA], emergency appointment of military commanders to run state and local governments and declaration of martial law during a national crisis.”
Gelbspan added that North was also working with FEMA officials on 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 detention planning was clearly aimed at protesters, many of them Hispanic, who objected to Reagan’s policies in Nicaragua and El Salvador. (Col. Oliver North, who coordinated the planning, was also at the center of a “three-year operation aimed at monitoring the activities of U.S.-based opponents of Reagan’s Central America policies.”)
Between them, the two journalists thus pointed to the content of the surveillance, detention, and militarization measures which, after over a decade of further refinement, were finally implemented on 9/11.
They also indicated how secret, extra-constitutional, and unaccountable was the process of the COG planning. Chardy accurately referred to North’s network as “a virtual parallel government outside the traditional Cabinet departments and agencies almost from the day Reagan took office.”
Four years later, in 1991, CNN revealed for the first time that North and FEMA were under a secret National Program Office (NPO) in charge of Continuity of Government (COG) planning, known in the Pentagon as “the Doomsday Project.” It called the NPO a “shadow government . . . about which you know nothing.” And in 2004 two authors, James Mann and James Bamford, wrote that in the 1980s two central figures guiding North in the Doomsday planning, which Mann called “extralegal and extraconstitutional,” had been Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.
Col. Oliver North
The new details from Bamford and Mann about this multi-billion program were invaluable. But unfortunately both men believed, because of a very misleading story in the New York Times, that under Clinton “officials decided to abandon the program as an outdated legacy of the cold war.”
Both men were wrong: all that had been abandoned was the original and completely honorable purpose of COG planning under Truman and Eisenhower – to deal with the catastrophe of an atomic attack. Under Reagan the planning, from the outset, had shifted to dealing with any emergency. Not only did the planning by Rumsfeld and Cheney continue under Clinton, it was augmented.
How very true, then, was Mann’s observation that
Cheney and Rumsfeld were, in a sense, a part of the permanent hidden national-security apparatus of the United States—inhabitants of a world in which Presidents come and go, but America keeps on fighting.
This situation was particularly disturbing under Clinton, when Rumsfeld (and possibly Cheney) continued to plan for subordination of the constitution, even though at this time neither man was in the government. Both men were now CEOs of large private corporations (as Rumsfeld had been since recruited in 1982 for the task). And one of the planners told Andrew Cockburn that the Clinton administration had “no idea what was going on.” (Such phenomena persuaded me to analyze 9/11 as a deep event, to be analyzed in the context of the American deep state.)
Private corporation leaders had been brought into COG planning under Eisenhower, because recovery from a nuclear attack would have required a corporate as well as government response. Ike could hardly have foreseen that under Reagan private people would begin to plan for the extralegal surveillance and detention of their fellow citizens, still less that these plans would finally be implemented by two of the central planners — Rumsfeld and Cheney — on September 11, 2001.
Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld
The Implementation of COG Measures on 9/11
As the 9/11 Report confirms (pp. 38, 226), on 9/11 COG plans were indeed implemented, before the last plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. It was under the auspices of COG that Bush stayed out of Washington on that day, and other government leaders like Paul Wolfowitz were swiftly evacuated to COG’s Site R, inside a hollowed out mountain near Camp David.
These emergency measures were soon followed by two White House Declarations of Emergency: Executive Order 13223 of September 14, 2001 (“Ordering the Ready Reserve of the Armed Forces to Active Duty”), and Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001 (“with respect to persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism”).
There was much more to come.
Within hours of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, Dick Cheney in effect took command of the national security operations of the federal government. Quickly and instinctively, he began to act in response to two longstanding beliefs: that the great dangers facing the United States justified almost any response, whether or not legal; and that the presidency needed vastly to enhance its authority, which had been unjustifiably and dangerously weakened in the post-Vietnam, post-Watergate years.
James Mann has argued that COG implementation was the “hidden backdrop” to Cheney’s actions on 9/11, when he “urged President Bush to stay out of Washington,” and later removed himself to more than one “’undisclosed location’”.
According to Jane Mayer, Cheney’s chief aide that day in revamping government was his long-time legal assistant David Addington (a veteran with Cheney of COG planning). All sources follow the Washington Post in asserting that Addington initially walked away when the order was given to vacate the White House, then was summoned back by Cheney. Yet Mayer writes that “Within minutes of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Addington began to assert himself as the war on terror’s indispensable man.”
How Cheney’s Lawyers Subordinated US Law
According to Barton Gellman in the Washington Post,
Before the day ended, Cheney’s lawyer [Addington] joined forces with Timothy E. Flanigan, the deputy White House counsel, linked by secure video from the Situation Room. Flanigan patched in John C. Yoo at the Justice Department’s fourth-floor command center. White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales joined later.
Thus formed the core legal team that Cheney oversaw, directly and indirectly, after the terrorist attacks.
In addition, Flanigan was in touch by about 10:30 AM with the fifth member of the War Council, William Haynes, Pentagon general counsel. This War Council “explicitly excluded the State Department’s general counsel and other military and Justice Department lawyers who had historically been included in reviewing legal structures for combating terrorism.”
In the next months this five-man team, who called themselves “the War Council,” issued secret directives, sometimes without notifying their nominal superiors, that continued to implement COG plans and up-end established constitutional restraints on executive power.
One of the first instances was to authorize the use of military force domestically, something that Congress, when passing the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) on September 14, had refused to do. Before passage, Republican Senate Minority leader Trent Lott delivered to his Democrat counterpart, Tom Daschle, a special request from White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez. This was that the proposed language defining the area for military action be expanded, by adding the words “in the United States.” Daschle refused to give the president the power to round up US citizens in this country, and the AUMF passed unamended.
On the lawbooks, that is. However,
Within a week, the Justice Department delivered a secret answer [submitted on September 21 by John Yoo] that would shock Daschle when he found out about it [three years later]. The memo argued that in times of national emergency, which had been declared since September 11, “If the president decided the threat justified deploying the military inside the country, the federal government could legally “raid or attack dwellings where terrorists were thought to be, despite risks that third parties could be killed ….” …. In this and related memos, the Justice Department said that the executive branch could ignore both Fourth Amendment protections against illegitimate searches and, without court warrants, specific laws passed by Congress prohibiting wiretaps and other surreptitious surveillance.
So what Cheney, Gonzalez, and Flanigan had failed to obtain from Congress, they got instead from their own small group.
The War Council’s secret rulings were often kept hidden from other administration lawyers, as well as Congress. In October, for example, John Yoo, the young deputy at the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department, drafted a memo, quickly approved by Cheney and Addington, that ruled that the NSA could surveil whomever it wished without an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).
This memo granted the NSA a power which Michael Hayden had requested and already exercised. Yet many other administration lawyers were not consulted, including
the top lawyer for Condoleezza Rice’s National Security Council, John Bellinger III. In fact, Bellinger was not told about the Terrorist Surveillance Program at all. This was strange, because unlike Addington, who had no line authority over national security matters, Bellinger was the ranking lawyer in the White House on intelligence affairs, with statutory purview over the subject…. Richard Shiffrin was also not informed about the domestic spying program, which was remarkable, because Shiffrin was the Pentagon lawyer in charge of supervising the legality of the NSA’s programs…. Ashcroft’s deputy attorney general, Larry Thompson, the second-ranking lawyer in the Department of Justice, was excluded… too…. This was phenomenal, given that he was John Yoo’s boss.
This cabal-like behavior by Cheney and the War Council – the team that would subsequently produce the notorious torture memos — was repeated on other matters. In the decision to use military commissions to try the Guantanamo detainees, for example, those left out of the loop included Defense Secretary Powell, National Security Adviser Rice, Rice’s lawyer John Bellinger III, and Michael Chertoff, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Attorney General Ashcroft had only learned of the military commission plan two days earlier, when he discovered to his outrage that John Yoo, his subordinate, had vouched for a confidential legal memorandum cutting the Justice Department and U.S. Courts out of the picture.
It would be wrong to think that all of the post-9/11 changes can be attributed to the legal team of the War Council. According to Professor Shirley Anne Warshaw, in this period
Cheney jumped into action in his bunker beneath the East Wing to ensure continuity in government. He immediately began to create his shadow government by ordering one hundred mid-level executive officials to move to specially designated underground bunkers and stay there twenty-four hours a day. They would not be rotated out, he informed them, for ninety days.
The Washington Post revealed this “shadow government” under Cheney in March 2002, and described it as still on-going.
What this parallel government did for three or more months is not known. But I have noted elsewhere a number of other new COG measures, such as permanent detention centers and the militarization of homeland security, that date back to this post-9/11 period.
How Cheney and Addington Used COG to Empower Yoo
Given the speed and determination with which the War Council acted to rewrite U.S laws and procedures, one needs to look more closely at circumstances under which they sprang into action on the afternoon of 9/11. According to all mainstream accounts, the five members of the War Council were thrown together that day by accident. Addington spoke to Flanigan, the deputy White House counsel, because “Flanigan’s boss, Alberto Gonzalez, was stranded in Norfolk.”
On 9/11 Findley (to quote the mainstream account by Barton Gellman), “found a young attorney named John C. Yoo.” But this was not by accident. Yoo, the deputy assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel with two months of government experience, was presiding at the Justice command center. This was because attorney general Ashcroft and those directly under him (his deputy Larry Thompson, and his assistant David Ayres) had been ordered by the PEOC under COG rules to go elsewhere. 
(The Ashcroft team were not Cheney’s only targets on 9/11. On that day Cheney also evacuated to Site R the second and third in line to succeed to the presidency, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senate President Pro Tem Robert Byrd. This was consistent with the COG priority of ensuring that the US Government was not decapitated. And in the weeks after 9/11, when Site R became so busy under Cheney that substantial upgrades to its equipment had to be ordered by Andrew Card in the White House, someone from the line of succession was always there. However, never once again was that person either Hastert or Byrd. This suggests that Hastert and Byrd may have also been banished to Site R on 9/11, and excluded from Site R thereafter, for political reasons.)
Cheney had compelling ideological reasons on 9/11 to decapitate the Justice Department on that day and leave Yoo in command. Both men shared the eccentric legal belief, repudiated by most Bush administration lawyers, that a president in times of emergency had almost unrestricted powers. Back in 1980 Cheney had advised incoming presidential chief of staff James Baker that it was important to get rid of the War Powers Act and restore the president’s independent rights. In his Iran-Contra Minority Report of 1987, Cheney declared his belief, drafted for him by Addington, that “the Chief Executive will on occasion feel duty bound to assert monarchical notions of prerogative that will permit him to exceed the laws.” Yoo was one of the few academics to share that opinion: “For years, [Yoo] had written articles for law reviews… arguing that in a time of war, the executive had a sweeping claim to act independently from the other branches of government.”
As in the COG planning of previous decades, the implementation of new measures under Cheney proceeded with what Barton Gellman called near hermetic secrecy. Not only the conduct of policy but even the law itself, as Yoo and Addington and Flanigan rewrote it, was classified. The new legal framework was meant to be invisible, unreviewable – its very existence unknown by legislative or judicial actors who might fight back.
Andrew Bacevich, reviewing The Dark Side for the Washington Post, characterized the behavior of the War Council as that of a small, secretive “conspiracy… made up chiefly of lawyers contemptuous of the Constitution and the rule of law.” I agree that the War Council’s plots to evade existing laws constituted conspiratorial behavior; and would argue further that Cheney’s role in creating the War Council on 9/11, by exiling the three top Justice officials who might have thwarted them, was also conspiratorial.
But the key to the emergence of the ideological War Council cabal may go back to Cheney’s position as chief of the Bush transition team which selected John Yoo to be Office of Legal Counsel deputy assistant attorney general. Cheney was also responsible for locating Findley as a deputy legal counsel in the White House (a considerable demotion from his position a decade earlier as assistant attorney general for the OLC). According to Bernard Weiner,
Cheney began meddling with the all-important White House Office of Legal Counsel …. Cheney made sure Bush’s lightweight consiglieri Alberto Gonzales didn’t get the OLC post; instead, Cheney eased in a trusted aide, Tim Flanigan. With Flanigan in the White House under the influence of Cheney and David Addington, …. there was no real countervailing power in the Administration’s legal departments to stop the reckless policies on torture, violation of habeas corpus, extraordinary rendition and so on.
Other authors have raised questions about the absence from Washington, at the time of the 9/11 attacks, of such leaders as Defense Secretary Powell (in Peru), Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Henry Shelton (airborne en route to Europe), Attorney General Ashcroft (en route to Milwaukee), presidential counsel Alberto Gonzalez (in Norfolk, Va.), and others.
Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush
I am not in this article suggesting that all these absences were pre-planned as part of a larger 9/11 conspiracy. In contrast, the order from the PEOC after the attacks to exile Ashcroft, Thompson, and Ayres to a COG website – thus putting Yoo in a command position – falls into a quite different category. If as I believe Cheney made this order with Yoo in mind, it would indicate only that Cheney’s behavior was in response to a planned terrorist attack, not as part of that attack plan itself.
But I believe we should see all the disparate plotting of 9/11 in the context of an older plot – to modify the U.S. constitution with procedures dating back to COG planning in the 1980s. This “emergency planning” has in fact created a real and on-going emergency, one under which we still live.
Today the extra-legal practices of warrantless detention and surveillance, inaugurated by Cheney and Yoo, are still used to crush protest, most dramatically in the case of the incipient Occupy movement. But this emergency does more than threaten to extinguish the culture of democratic protest which sixty years ago gained significant victories against racial segregation and the Vietnam War. It has radically impaired such fundamental American rights as habeas corpus and the Fourth Amendment guarding against unreasonable searches and seizures.
It is time, I suggest, to end the “war on terror”. As a first step, we should launch a campaign to terminate the State of Emergency instituted by Bush three days after 9/11, and since renewed annually – most recently by Obama on August 30, 2016.
The anti-war movement in the 1970s empowered Senator Charles Mathias, [and] Senator Frank Church… to establish a Senate special committee to study the implications of terminating the 1950 proclamation of national emergency [for Korea!] that was being used to prosecute the Vietnam war.
Their initial success in this limited endeavor led, as some of us can remember, to the whole host of post-Watergate reforms that were explicitly and successfully targeted by Vice-President Dick Cheney – the same reforms that need to be restored and enhanced today.
ER recommends other articles by Global Research and Journal of 9/11 Studies, the original source of this article
About the author
Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is a poet, writer, and researcher. Among his prose books are The War Conspiracy (1972), The Assassinations: Dallas and Beyond (1976), The Iran-Contra Connection (1987), Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1993), Deep Politics Two (1994), Drugs Oil and War (2003), The Iran-Contra Connection (1987), The Road to 9/11 (2007), and The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War (2008), American War Machine (2010), and The American Deep State, 2014.
 There was also heightened surveillance of Americans as a consequence of Dallas, but far less obtrusively than what we have today.
Alfonso Chardy, “Reagan Aides and the Secret Government,” Miami Herald, July 5, 1987, http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=9877, emphasis added.
 Ross Gelbspan, Break-Ins, Death Threats, and the FBI: The Covert War against the Central America Movement (Boston: South End Press, 1991), 184.
 Alfonso Chardy, Philadephia Inquirer, November 16, 1986, http://articles.philly.com/1986-11-16/news/26094395_1_covert-action-covert-programs-covert-operations.
 Chardy, “Reagan Aides and the Secret Government,” Miami Herald, July 5, 1987.
 CNN Special Assignment, November 17, 1991. Cf, AP, “CNN reveals plans for ‘Doomsday Government,’” Racine Journal Times, November 17, 1991, http://journaltimes.com/news/local/cnn-reveals-plans-for-doomsday-government/article_02c0bd0d-bdfd-5429-b1da-49e3ccc4970b.html.
 James Bamford, A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America’s Intelligence
Agencies (New York: Doubleday, 2004), 74; cf. James Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet (New York: Viking, 2004), 138–45; James Mann, “The Armageddon Plan,” Atlantic, March 2004, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2004/03/the-armageddon-plan/302902/.
 Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans, 144; citing Tim Weiner, “Pentagon Book for Doomsday to Be Closed,” New York Times, April 18, 1994; cf. Bamford, A Pretext for War, 74. Cf. discussion in Peter Dale Scott, The American Deep State (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), 32.
 One of Reagan’s last Executive Orders, 12676 of 18 November 1988, decreed that COG planning was not just to deal with “a nuclear war,” but for “any national security emergency” (Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11 [Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2007], 186). This merely confirmed six years of NPO practice from the time of its establishment by another Reagan Executive Order in September 1982.
 Scott, The American Deep State, 33. Cf. Peter Dale Scott, “Systemic Destabilization in Recent American History: 9/11, the JFK Assassination, and the Oklahoma City Bombing as a Strategy of Tension,” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, September 23, 2012, http://japanfocus.org/-Peter_Dale-Scott/3835.
 Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans, 145.
 Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy (New York:
Scribner, 2007), 88: “In earlier times the… ‘shadow government’ had [included] the political spectrum, Democrats and Republicans alike. But now, down in the bunkers, Rumsfeld found himself if politically congenial company, the players’ roster being filled almost exclusively with Republican hawks.” I have written in the past that Cheney was also there, but cannot now verify whether or not he was still part of COG planning.
 For five years in the 1990s Cheney was CEO of the Halliburton Company, an oil extraction firm with a direct stake in opening up Iraqi and other central Asian oilfields to American development.
 Cockburn, Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy, 88; quoted in Scott, Road to 9/11, 187.
 Scott, The American Deep State; Mike Lofgren’s The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government (New York: Viking, 2016)
 Bamford, A Pretext for War, 71; Matthew L. Conaty, “The Atomic Midwife: The Eisenhower Administration’s Continuity-of-Government Plans and the Legacy of ‘Constitutional Dictatorship,’” Rutgers Law Review, 62, no. 3 (Spring 2010), 7.
 Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans, 139. Cf. Robert J. Darling, 24 Hours Inside the President’s Bunker (iUniverse, 2010), 57. 67. Bush himself was directed on 9/11 to an underground COG site at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska (Bill Kelly, “Military insiders recall Bush’s 9/11 stop at Stratcom,” KVNO News, September 7, 2011, http://www.kvnonews.com/2011/09/military-insiders-recall-bushs-911-stop-at-stratcom/).
 This gave the president the power to confiscate without trial or warning the property of individuals providing funds to entities, such as charitable foundations, which were judged to be supporting terrorism. The executive order initially blocked property of twenty-seven designated terrorists. But the list has become enormous. By November 18, 2010, the list included eighty-seven pages just for the letter A. By August 2016 the letter A took 192 pages.
 Alan Brinkley, “Black Sites,” New York Times, August 3, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/books/review/Brinkley-t.html?_r=0.
 Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans, 145.
 Barton Gellman and Jo Becker, “’A Different Understanding with the President’,”
Washington Post, June 24, 2007, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/cheney/chapters/chapter_1/
 Jane Mayer, The Dark Side: The Inside Story on How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals (New York: Anchor, 2009), 49.
 Gellman and Becker, “’A Different Understanding with the President’,”
Washington Post, June 24, 2007.
 Kurt Eichenwald, 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars [QQ: Touchstone, 2012], 35.
 Jeremy Scahill, Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield (New York: Nation Books, 2013), 24.
 Mayer, The Dark Side, 44-45.
 Mayer, The Dark Side, 46; cf. Tim Golden, “Threats and Responses: Tough Justice; After Terror, a Secret Rewriting of Military Law, New York Times, October 24, 2004, http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/24/us/threats-and-responses-tough-justice-after-terror-a-secret-rewriting-of.html?_r=0 (“September 21, Yoo”). Jeremy Scahill also writes of a War Council opinion leading to a Bush presidential finding of September 17. This finding was used to create Greystone, a highly classified program outside of Congressional oversight that effectively “declared all covert [CIA] actions to be pre-authorized and legal” (Scahill, Dirty Wars, 24). Cf. Dana Priest and William M. Arkin, Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State (New York: Little, Brown, 2011), 19-20 (“CIA”).
 Later Yoo would argue that “Congress not only did not forbid but actually invited warrantless domestic surveillance when it passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Barton Gellman, Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency [New York: Penguin Press, 2008], 152).
 Mayer, The Dark Side, 69; Gellman, Angler, 141-43. After the warrantless surveillance program was revealed in 2005, Bush justified it, linking it to “terrorist threats to the continuity of our government” (David E. Sanger, “Bush Says He Ordered Domestic Spying,” New York Times, December 18, 2005, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/18/politics/bush-says-he-ordered-domestic-spying.html.)
 Mayer, The Dark Side, 68-70.
 Mayer, The Dark Side, 82. Cf, Tom Lasseter, “Secret Tactics Dictated Treatment of Detainees,” Seattle Times, June 18, 2008: “When military lawyers protested, the War Council shut them out. ‘We were absolutely marginalized,’ said Donald Guter, a rear admiral who served as the Navy’s judge advocate general from 2000 to 2002. ‘I think it was intentional, because so many military JAGs spoke up about the rule of law.’”
 Shirley Anne Warshaw, The Co-Presidency of Bush and Cheney (Stanford, CA: Stanford Politics and Policy, 2009), 164–65. Cf. Scott, The American Deep State, 34; Scott, Road to 9/11, 237; Gellman, Angler, 157: “Joseph Hagin, the deputy White House chief of operations, kept a rotating cadre of 70 to 150 senior managers from across the executive branch on twenty-four hour bunker duty in a hollowed-out mountain away from Washington.”
 Barton Gellman and Susan Schmidt, “Shadow Government Is at Work in Secret,” Washington Post, March 1, 2002, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/09/AR2006060900891.html.
 Scott, The American Deep State, 34-38.
 Gellman, Angler, 133.
 Gellman, Angler, 134.
 Attorney General Ashcroft had been airborne for most of the morning. On his belated return to Washington, he was told by Rice in the PEOC to join his deputy, Larry Thompson, and his assistant, David Ayres, who had already been sent out of Washington to a classified COG site. Because of traffic conditions, Ashcroft was ultimately redirected that afternoon to the FBI Crisis Management Center. See John Ashcroft, Never Again: Securing America and Restoring Justice (New York: Center Street, 2006). Yoo’s eventual boss at the OLC, Jay Bybee, had not yet been appointed. Bybee’s position, as assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, required Congressional approval. His name had been submitted to Congress on September 4, 2011, one week before 9/11. He was confirmed by the Senate on October 23, and began to serve in November.
 Gellman, Angler, 156; Chris Simpson, on Democracy Now, NPR, March 22, 2002, http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2002/03/8187.shtml (“Site R”).
 Gellman, Angler, 157; citing interview with Norman Ornstein, senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission. Cf. Barton Gellman and Susan Schmidt, “Shadow Government Is at Work in Secret,” Washington Post, March 1, 2002, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/09/AR2006060900891.html
 Charlie Savage, Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy (2008), 43,
 Mayer, The Dark Side, 60.
 Kurt Eichenwald, 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror War, 38. Yoo, unlike Cheney and Addington, used the common law term “prerogative” sparingly in his articles. Yet the effect of the War Council was to create, in Jane Mayer’s words, “a doctrine of presidential prerogative” (Mayer, The Dark Side, 47).
 Gellman, Angler, 138.
 Andrew Bacevich, “Collateral Damage,” Washington Post, July 13, 2008, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/07/11/ST2008071101354.html.
 When the warrantless Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP) came up for renewal in March 2004, Ashcroft, supported by his new deputy James Comey and his new OLC Chief Jack Goldsmith, refused to approve it. This led to a notorious confrontation in Ashcroft’s hospital bedroom, where Gonzalez and Andrew Card arrived from the White House with a renewal order for Ashcroft to sign. Ashcroft, who was under intensive care after surgery for gallstone pancreatitis, “lifted his head off the pillows and delivered a strong denunciation of the TSP’s legal framework”. His temporary replacement, deputy attorney general Comey, refused to sign. In the room Ashcroft and Comey were supported by Goldsmith and FBI Director Robert Mueller, both of whom Comey had summoned urgently to join him at the hospital after “a frantic call from Ashcroft’s wife” (Mayer, The Dark Side, 289-91; cf. Gellman, Angler, 302-05).
 Bernard Weiner: “Review of Barton Gellman’s Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency,” HistoryNewsNetwork, May 9, 2009, http://historynewsnetwork.org/blog/6666.
 E.g. Paul Thompson, The Terror Timeline: Year by Year, Day by Day, Minute by Minute: A Comprehensive Chronicle of the Road to 9/11–and America’s Response (New York: HarperCollins, 2004), 364.
 Some have used these absences to suggest that the “state” itself planned 9/11, a simplistic notion I have consistently opposed.
 I believe that Cheney and Addington did indeed have a pre-planned agenda, dating from before 9/11, for response to the next terrorist attack; and that these plans, as I have suggested elsewhere, grew out of their years of secret planning for COG. But to say this does not imply that Cheney and Addington were involved in the attack itself. Some researchers believe that the fourth hijacked plane which crashed in Pennsylvania may have crashed because it had been shot down on Cheney’s orders, a gruesome possibility which would however indicate that Cheney on that day was dealing with a dangerous enemy not under his control. See e.g. Mark H. Gaffney, Black 9/11: Money, Motive and Technology (Walterville, OR: Trine Day, 2012), 175-202.
 “Notice — Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks,” White House, August 30, 2016, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/08/30/notice-continuation-national-emergency-respect-certain-terrorist-attacks.
 Congressional Research Service, “Report for Congress, National Emergency Powers.” updated August 30, 2007, https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/98-505.pdf.
The original source of this article is Journal of 9/11 Studies
Copyright © Prof Peter Dale Scott, Journal of 9/11 Studies, 2016
Published to The Liberty Beacon from EuropeReloaded.com
II. How the Doomsday Project Led to Warrantless Surveillance and Detention after 9/11
Peter Dale Scott
One nation, under watch.
How did the deep state, in one fell swoop after 9/11, hand the government powers of warrantless surveillance and detention? Easy: it substituted “terrorism” for “nuclear attack” to activate the Atomic-Age machinery created to help the government operate after a catastrophic nuclear strike.
In this third exclusive excerpt from author Peter Dale Scott’s new book “The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil and the Attack on U.S. Democracy,” the professor emeritus of English at Berkeley and former Canadian diplomat details a power grab so fantastic in scope that it could easily pass off as fiction. But it isn’t.
Scott is considered the father of “deep politics”—the study of hidden permanent institutions and interests whose influence on the political realm transcends the elected. In “American Deep State,” he painstakingly details the facts lurking behind the official histories to uncover the real dynamics in play.
Here, he details the resurgence of the so-called “Doomsday Project” after 9/11. For more, please take a look at this excerpt detailing the hidden hands of the Doomsday Project, also known as Continuity of Government group, and this analysis of how the revolving door between the CIA and Wall Street shapes global events.
Since World War II, secrecy has been used to accumulate new covert bureaucratic powers under the guise of emergency planning for disasters, planning known inside and outside the government as the “Doomsday Project.”
Known officially (and misleadingly) as “Continuity of Government” (COG) planning, the Doomsday Project, under the guiding hands in the 1980s of Oliver North, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and others, on 9/11 became the vehicle for a significant change of government. The extreme repressive powers accumulated under the guise of the Doomsday Project were first developed to control the rest of the world. Now, to an unprecedented extent, America itself is being treated as an occupied territory.
In 1994, Tim Weiner reported in The New York Times that “The Doomsday Project” had “less than six months to live.” (1) Weiner’s language was technically justifiable, but also very misleading. In fact COG planning now simply continued with a new target: terrorism. On the basis of Weiner’s article, the first two books to discuss COG planning, by James Bamford and James Mann, both reported that COG planning had been abandoned. (2)
What Weiner and these authors did not report was that in the final months of Reagan’s presidency the purpose of COG planning had officially changed: it was no longer for arrangements “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.” (3)
In this way a totally legitimate program dating back to Eisenhower, of planning extraordinary emergency measures for an America devastated in a nuclear attack, was now converted to confer equivalent secret powers on the White House for anything it considered an emergency.
Cheney and Rumsfeld in from the Start
From its beginning in 1982, two of the key planners on the secret COG planning committee were Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, the same two men who implemented COG on 9/11. (4) The committee had been established by Reagan under a secret executive order, NSDD 55 of September 14, 1982. Despite what Weiner implied, the committee continued to meet without interruption until the George W. Bush presidency in 2001. (5)
An expanded application of COG was apparently envisaged as early as 1984, when, according to Boston Globe reporter 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 un-documented 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. (6)
In other words, extreme measures, designed originally to deal with an externally directed and devastating nuclear attack, were being secretly modified to deal whenever desired with domestic dissenters: a situation that still pertains to today. (7)
The revival of Doomsday Project planning under Reagan was an important but invisible part of the Reagan Revolution. It was explicitly designed to roll back what some of the Doomsday planners, notably Richard Cheney, regarded as the mistakes committed after Watergate.
COG plans were implemented on 9/11, before the last plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. The 9/11 Report confirms this twice, on pages 38 and 326. (8) It was under the auspices of COG that Bush stayed out of Washington on that day, and other government leaders like Paul Wolfowitz were swiftly evacuated to Site R, inside a hollowed out mountain near Camp David. (9)
But the implementation of COG went beyond short-term responses, to the installation of what Professor Shirley Anne Warshaw calls a 90-day alternative “shadow government” outside Washington.
Cheney jumped into action in his bunker beneath the East Wing to ensure continuity in government. He immediately began to create his shadow government by ordering one hundred mid-level executive officials to move to specially designated underground bunkers and stay there twenty-four hours a day. They would not be rotated out, he informed them, for ninety days, since there was evidence, he hinted, that the terrorist organization al-Qa’ida, which had masterminded the attack, had nuclear weapons. The shadow government, as a result, needed to be ready to take over the government from the bunkers. (10)
In the President’s absence, Cheney secured legal authorization for his actions by a path of deputies that would later arouse controversy:
To accomplish these goals, the vice president and his lawyer [David Addington] had to set the government’s legal direction. . . . By the afternoon of September 11, Addington had made contact with Timothy Flanigan, the deputy White House counsel. Flanigan’s boss, Alberto Gonzalez, was stranded in Norfolk . . . . Flanigan was in the [White House] Situation Room on September 11. When Addington reached him from the [underground] bunker, Flanigan patched in the Justice Department Command Center across town. There he found [sic] a young attorney named John C. Yoo . . . [who] had taken leave from university life to join the [Justice Department’s] Office of Legal Counsel as a deputy. (11)
Apparently by accident, Cheney and his legal counsel had set in motion on 9/11 the ongoing secret back channel of deputies that would later produce the notorious memos justifying torture and warrantless surveillance. (On surveillance, “among those kept out of the circle were Jay Bybee, ostensibly John Yoo’s boss . . . and two successive deputy attorneys general”.) (12)
The next 90 days after 9/11 saw the swift implementation of the key features attributed to COG planning by Gelbspan and Chardy in the 1980s: militarization of homeland security, warrantless detentions, warrantless deportations, and the warrantless surveillance that is their logical counterpart. The clearest example was the administration’s Project Endgame—a 10-year plan, initiated in September 2001, to expand detention camps, at a cost of $400 million in Fiscal Year 2007 alone. (13) This implemented the central feature of the massive detention exercise, Rex 84, conducted by Louis Giuffrida and Oliver North in 1984. (14)
1. Tim Weiner, New York Times, April 17, 1994. The first public reference to the “Doomsday Project” (the Pentagon in-house term for COG procedures) was apparently Steven Emerson, “America’s Doomsday Project,” U.S. News & World Report, August 7, 1989.
2. James Bamford, A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America’s Intelligence Agencies (New York: Doubleday, 2004), 74; cf. James Mann, he Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet (New York: Viking, 2004), 138–45.
3. “The provisions of Executive Order 12656 of Nov. 18, 1988, appear at 53 FR 47491, 3 CFR, 1988 Comp., p. 585,” http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codifica tion/executive-order/12656.html. Washington Post (March 1, 2002) later claimed, falsely, that Executive Order 12656 dealt only with “a nuclear attack.” Earlier there was a similar misrepresentation in The New York Times (November 18, 1991).
4. Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007), 183–87.
5. Mann, Rise of the Vulcans, 142 (order); John Fass Morton, Next-Generation Homeland Security: Network Federalism and the Course to National Preparedness (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2012), 57 (NSDD 55); Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy (New York: Scribner, 2007), 88 (2001).
6. Ross Gelbspan, Break-Ins, Death Threats, and the FBI: The Covert War against the Central America Movement (Boston: South End Press, 1991), 184; cf. New York Times, November 18, 1991. REX 84 (short for Readiness Exercise 1984) turned out to be part of a series of such exercises (now known as Continuity of Operations Exercises) that have continued under FEMA down into the Obama era. See for example the Department of Homeland Security Press Release, “DHS Conducts Continuity of Operations Exercise,” June 17, 2009, http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/releases/ pr_1245258718688.shtm.
7. In stressing the alteration of our present political milieu by an extragovernmental group, I do not intend to exonerate Congress. In 1981 Congress passed the Military Cooperation with Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies Act. According to a brilliant and prescient essay written by an Air Force Colonel at the National War College, the Act “was specifically intended to force reluctant military commanders to actively collaborate in police work” (Air Force Lt. Col. Charles E. Dunlap, “The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012”; quoted in Harry G. Summers, The New World Strategy: A Military Policy for America’s Future [New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995], 195).
8. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, The 9/11 Commission Report (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004), http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf, 38, 326; Scott, The Road to 9/11, 228–29.
9. Alfred Goldberg et al., Pentagon 9/11 (Washington, DC: Department of Defense, 2007), 132.
10. Shirley Anne Warshaw, The Co-Presidency of Bush and Cheney (Stanford, CA: Stanford Politics and Policy, 2009), 164–65; cf. Washington Post, March 1, 2002; Scott, Road to 9/11, Warshaw took the characterization of “shadow government” from earlier reports by U.S. News and World Report in 1989, and CNN in 1991 (Warshaw, The Co-Presidency of Bush and Cheney, 162).
11. Barton Gellman, Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency (New York: Penguin Press, 2008), 133–35.
12. Gellman, Angler, The same channel was used for Yoo’s still-withheld fifty-page memo on torture: “In an interview after leaving government, Yoo said Addington and Flanigan assisted in the preparation of that memo” (Gellman, Angler, 191).
13. Scott, Road to 9/11, 238, 240–41.
14. “The exercise anticipated civil disturbances, major demonstrations and strikes that would affect continuity of government and/or resource mobilization. To fight subversive activities, there was authorization for the military to implement government-ordered movements of civilian populations at state and regional levels, the arrest of certain unidentified segments of the population, and the imposition of martial rule” (Reynolds, “The Rise of the National Security State,” http:// www.publiceye.org/liberty/fema/Fema_3.html).
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The Original Inconvenient Truth
The Man Who Fought City Hall
Was Trump a Russian Asset?
7 years ago
Big boys playing out their little boy fantasies with the lives of billions hanging in the balance. The patients have indeed taken over the asylum.
7 years ago
7 years ago
I began reading but decided to stop as I pre ordered Scott’s book and will read this in context. What I get after reading one of Scott’s books is a feeling that I’ve just read fiction; a LeCarre saga or some such….except Scott’s revelations are true life and deadly serious.
7 years ago
Also of great concern is National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) #51, 9/14/01, which brought 400 dormant laws to life. Strange that it shares the same date as NSDD #55, only 19 years apart.(9/14/1982 & 9/14/2001). Congress is supposed to review every 6 months & it takes a Joint Resolution to bring us out of it- but it’s been classified & no one even gets to review NSPD #51. Thank you, Mr. Scott & WWW for bringing this info into the light.
III. After ‘Torture Report’, The Legacy Of The CIA
Dec. 10, 2014
Tuesday’s Senate report on Central Intelligence Agency abuses in the years following the 9/11 terror attacks cast a sweeping indictment, but many are still refuting the report’s clearest assertions.
Members of the intelligence field say the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation tactics” were not in fact illegal, as the report concluded. Michael Hayden, director of the CIA from 2006 to 2009, also denied the assessment that he mislead Congress.
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Tim Weiner has chronicled the agency’s mixed past. He spoke with Here & Now’s Robin Young about the intelligence community’s reactions and how the report and response fit into the legacy of the CIA.
Related: See our interview with former senior CIA intelligence officer Paul Pillar
Interview Highlights: Tim Weiner
On his takeaway from the report
“The CIA has considerable experience in its files with these secret prisons, torture — or enhanced interrogation techniques, if you prefer — and that based on this experience, stretching back to the 1950s, the CIA had concluded at the end of the 20th century that torture doesn’t work, that it is not an effective means of gathering intelligence, that people will say anything to stop torture. And the fact that the CIA knew this perfectly well from its own experience and then went out and tortured people and acted on false information garnered from torture, and then misrepresented the value of the intelligence it gained through torture is, to me, what really shocks the conscience here.”
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On the CIA policies in the context of 9/11
“All of us who lived through 9/11 remember how scared we were that there would be a follow-on attack. And it is quite clear that the president of the United States, George W. Bush, told his senior intelligence officers, including Mike Hayden, then the head of the NSA, and George Tenet, then the head of the CIA, to do anything to stop a follow-on attack. And anything meant anything. Now, what they did in response to that may shock the conscience of Americans, or it may seem perfectly reasonable to Americans that we would sweep people up and torture them in the hope of gaining advance knowledge of a second 9/11. But there was no second 9/11. What there was was a decade — a low, dishonorable decade — in which we stained our honor by our conduct in the war on terror.”
On what can really be learned from the report
“What’s new in this report is not that people were waterboarded or tortured. It is that the CIA misrepresented the value of intelligence garnered from torture and that it continues to represent that it saved thousands of lives by subjecting people to torture. And this report suggests that that is self-deception — which is very dangerous in a government — and a damnable lie. We will always have a tug-of-war in this country between liberty and security, between secrecy and democracy. We now have a moment when openness and disclosure have the upper hand and I think that is a good thing for democracy.”
Tim Weiner, former national security reporter for The New York Times and author of “Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA.”
IV. The Bush Administration’s Secret Biowarfare Agenda
by Stephen Lendman
July 28, 2008
When it comes to observing US and international laws, treaties and norms, the Bush administration is a serial offender. Since 2001, it’s:
— spurned efforts for nuclear disarmament to advance its weapons program and retain current stockpiles;
— renounced the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and asserted the right to develop and test new weapons;
— abandoned the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) because it expressly forbids the development, testing and deployment of missile defenses like its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and other programs;
— refuses to adopt a proposed Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) that would prohibit further weapons-grade uranium and plutonium production and prevent new nuclear weapons to be added to present stockpiles – already dangerously too high;
— spends more on the military than the rest of the world combined plus multi-billions off-the-books, for secret programs, and for agencies like the CIA;
— advocates preventive, preemptive and “proactive” wars globally with first-strike nuclear and other weapons under the nihilistic doctrines of “anticipatory self-defense” and remaking the world to be like America;
— rescinded and subverted the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) to illegally develop new biowarfare weapons; in November 1969 and February 1970, Richard Nixon issued National Security Decision Memoranda (NSDM) 35 and 44; they renounced the use of lethal and other types of biological warfare and ordered existing weapons stockpiles destroyed, save for small amounts for research – a huge exploitable loophole; the Reagan and Clinton administrations took advantage; GHW Bush to a lesser degree;
— GW Bush went further by renouncing the US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 that prohibits “the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons….;” on May 22, 1990, GHW Bush signed it into law to complete the 1972 Convention’s implementation; what the father and Nixon established, GW Bush rendered null and void; “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” is his central policy document for unchallengeable US hegemony; among other provisions, it illegally advocates advanced forms of biowarfare that can target specific genotypes – the genetic constitution of individual organisms.
A Brief Modern History of Biowarfare
— the Hague Convention of 1907 bans chemical weapons;
— WW I use of poison gas causes 100,000 deaths and 900,000 injuries;
— Britain uses poison gas against Iraqis in the 1920s; as Secretary of State for War in 1919, Winston Churchill advocates it in a secret memo stating: “I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes;”
— the 1928 Geneva Protocol prohibits gas and bacteriological warfare;
— in 1931, Dr. Cornelius Rhoads infects human subjects with cancer cells – under the auspices of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Investigations; Rhoads later conducts radiation exposure experiments on American soldiers and civilian hospital patients;
— in 1932, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study begins on 200 black men; they’re not told of their illness, are denied treatment, and are used as human guinea pigs to follow their disease symptoms and progression; they all subsequently die;
— in 1935, the Pellagra Incident occurs; after millions die over two decades, the US Public Health Service finally acts to stem the disease;
— In 1935 – 1936, Italy uses mustard gas in conquering Ethiopia;
— In its 1936 invasion, Japan uses chemical weapons against China; in the same year, a German chemical lab produces the first nerve agent, Tabun;
— in 1940, 400 Chicago prisoners are infected with malaria to study the effects of new and experimental drugs;
— the US has had an active biological warfare program since at least the 1940s; in 1941, it implements a secret program to develop offensive and allegedly defensive bioweapons using controversial testing methods; most research and development is at Fort Detrick, MD; beginning in 2008, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore labs will also conduct it; production and testing are at Pine Bluff, AR and Dugway Proving Ground, UT;
— from 1942 – 1945, (US) Chemical Warfare Services begins mustard gas experiments on about 4000 servicemen;
— in 1943, the US begins biological weapons research at Fort Detrick, MD;
— in 1944, the US Navy uses human subjects (locked in chambers) to test gas masks and clothing;
— during WW II, Germany uses lethal Zyklon-B gas in concentration camp exterminations; the Japanese (in Unit 731) conduct biowarfare experiments on civilians;
— in 1945, German offenders get immunity under Project Paperclip; Japanese ones as well – in exchange for their data and (for Germans at least) to work on top secret government projects in the US;
— in 1945, the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) implements “Program F;” it’s the most extensive US study of the health effects of fluoride – a key chemical component in atomic bomb production; it’s one of the most toxic chemicals known and causes marked adverse central nervous system effects; in the interest of national security and not undermining full-scale nuclear weapons production, the information is suppressed; fluoride is found naturally in low concentration in drinking water and foods; compounds of the substance are also commonly used for cavity-prevention, but few people understand its toxicity;
— in 1946, VA hospital patients become guinea pigs for medical experiments;
— in 1947, the US has germ warfare weapons; Truman withdraws the 1928 Geneva Protocol from Senate consideration; it’s not ratified until 1974 and is now null and void under George Bush;
— in 1947, the AEC’s Colonel EE Kirkpatrick issues secret document #07075001; it states that the agency will begin administering intravenous doses of radioactive substances to human subjects;
— in July 1947, the CIA is established; it begins LSD experiments on civilian and military subjects with and without their knowledge – to learn its use as an intelligence weapon;
— in 1949, the US Army releases biological agents in US cities to learn the effects of a real germ warfare attack; tests continue secretly through at least the 1960s in San Francisco, New York, Washington, DC, Panama City and Key West, Florida, Minnesota, other midwest locations, along the Pennsylvania turnpike and elsewhere; more on outdoor testing below;
— after the (official) 1950 Korean War outbreak, North Korea and China accuse the US of waging germ warfare; an outbreak of disease the same year in San Francisco apparently is from Army bacteria released in the city; residents become ill with pneumonia-like symptoms;
— in 1950, the DOD begins open-air nuclear weapons detonations in desert areas, then monitors downwind residents for medical problems and mortality rates;
— in 1951, African-Americans are exposed to potentially fatal stimulants as part of a race-specific fungal weapons test in Virginia;
— in 1953, the US military releases clouds of zinc cadium sulfide gas over Winnipeg, Canada, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Fort Wayne, the Monocacy River Valley in Maryland, and Leesburg, VA – to determine how efficiently chemical agents can be dispersed;
— in 1953, joint Army-Navy-CIA experiments are conducted in New York and San Francisco – exposing tens of thousands of people to the airborne germs Serratia marcescens and Bacillus glogigii;
— in 1953, the CIA initiates Project MKULTRA – an 11 year research program to produce and test drugs and biological agents that can be used for mind control and behavior modification; unwitting human subjects are used;
— in 1955, the CIA releases bacteria from the Army’s Tampa, FL biological warfare arsenal – to test its ability to infect human populations;
— from 1955 – 1958, the Army Chemical Corps continues LSD research (on over 1000 subjects) – to study its effect as an incapacitating agent;
— in 1956, the US military releases mosquitoes infected with Yellow Fever over Savannah, GA and Avon Park, FL – to test the health effects on victims;
— in 1956, Army Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, specifically states bio-chemical warfare isn’t banned;
— in 1960, the Army Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence authorizes LSD field tested in Europe and the Far East;
— in 1961, the Kennedy administration increases chemical spending from $75 – $330 million; it authorizes Project 112 – a secret program (from 1962 – 1973) to test the effects of biological and chemical weapons on thousands of unwitting US servicemen; Project SHAD was a related project; subjects were exposed to VX, tabun, sarin and soman nerve gases plus other toxic agents;
— in 1962, chemical weapons are loaded on planes for possible use during the Cuban missile crisis;
— in 1966, the New York subway system is used for a germ warfare experiment;
— in 1968, the Pentagon considers using some of its chemical weapons (including nerve gas) against civil rights and anti-war protesters;
— in 1969, an apparent nerve agent kills thousands of sheep in Utah; Nixon issues two National Security Memoranda in 1969 and 1970; the first (in November 1969) ends production and offensive use of lethal and other type biological and chemical weapons; it confines “bacteriological/biological programs….to research for defensive purposes” and has other loopholes as well; the second (in February 1970) orders existing stockpiles destroyed, confines “toxins….research and development (to) defensive purposes only,” and declares only small quantities will be maintained to develop vaccines, drugs and diagnostics – a huge exploitable loophole;
— in 1969, the General Assembly bans herbicide plant killers and tear gases in warfare; the US is one of three opposing votes; despite being banned, open-air testing intermittently continues to the present, and the Pentagon apparently authorized it in its most recent annual report; it calls for developmental and operational “field testing of (CBW) full systems,” not just simulations, and followed it up in a recent March 2008 test; in Crystal City, VA, it released perflourocarbon tracers and sulfur hexaflouride assuring residents it’s safe; it’s not and may harm persons with asthma, emphysema and other respiratory ailments;
— in 1969, DOD’s Dr. Robert MacMahan requests $10 million to develop a synthetic biological agent for which no natural immunity exists;
— from the 1960s through at least the 1980s, the US assaults Cuba with biological agent attacks;
— in 1970, US Southeast Asian forces conduct Operation Tailwind using sarin nerve gas in Laos; many die, including civilians; Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Joint Chiefs Chairman, confirmes the raid on CNN in 1998; under Pentagon pressure, CNN retracts the report and fires award-winning journalist Peter Arnett and co-producers April Oliver and Jack Smith because they refuse to disavow their report;
— in 1971, US forces end direct use of Agent Orange in Southeast Asia; also in 1971 with CIA help, an anti-Castro paramilitary group introduces African swine fever into Cuba; it infects a half a million pigs and results in their destruction; a few months later a similar attack fails against Cuban poultry; in 1981, a covert US operation unleashes a type 2 dengue fever outbreak – the first in the Caribbean since the turn of the century involving hemorrhagic shock on a massive scale; over 300,000 cases are reported, including 158 fatalities;
— in 1975, the Senate Church Committee confirms from a CIA memorandum that US “defensive” bioweapons are stockpiled at Fort Detrick, MD – including anthrax, encephalitis, tuberculosis, shellfish toxin, and food poisons;
— in 1980, Congress approves a nerve gas facility in Pine Bluff, Arkansas;
— during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, the US supplies Iraq with toxic biological and chemical agents; Ronald Reagan signs a secret order to do “whatever (is) necessary and ‘legal’ ” to prevent Iraq from losing the war;” a 1994 congressional inquiry later finds that dozens of biological agents were shipped, including various strains of anthrax and precursors of nerve gas (like sarin), gangrene, and West Nile virus;
— in 1984, Reagan orders M55 rockets retooled to contain high-yield explosives and VX gas; his administration begins researching and developing biological agents allegedly for “defensive purposes;”
— in 1985 and 1986, the US resumes open-air biological agents testing; it likely never stopped;
— in 1987, Congress votes to resume chemical weapons production;
— in 1989, 149 nations at the Paris Chemical Weapons Conference condemn these weapons; after signing the treaty, it’s revealed that the US plans to produce poison gas; at the UN, GHW Bush reaffirms the US commitment to eliminate chemical weapons in 10 years; the US implements the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 – “to implement….the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and Their Destruction….;”
— in 1990, GHW Bush signs the 1989 act making it illegal for the US to develop, possess or use biological weapons; Bush also signs Executive Order 12735 stating: the spread of chemical and biological weapons constitutes an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States;”
— following the Gulf War, reports surface about US forces’ health problems – later called Gulf War Syndrome; the likely cause – widespread use of depleted uranium, other toxic substances, and the illegal use (on nearly 700,000 theater forces) of experimental vaccines in violation of the Nuremberg Code on medical experimentation; over 12,000 have since died and over 30% are now ill from non-combat-related factors; they’ve since filed claims with the VA for medical care, compensation, and pension benefits;
— in 1997, Cuba accuses the US of spraying crops with biological agents;
— in 1997, the US ratifies the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) banning the production, stockpile and use of these substances;
— in 2001, the Bush administration rejects the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) citing 38 problems with it, some called serious; claiming a need to counter chemical and biological weapons threats, it’s spending multi-billions illegally to develop, test and stockpile “first-strike” chemical and biological weapons that endanger homeland security and threaten good relations with other countries;
— all along, a BWC loophole allows appropriate types and amounts of biological agents to be used for “prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes” – construed to be defensive; it also permits “research,” not “development;” the CIA took full advantage to conduct programs for offense, not defense or to further peace; further, the BWC includes nothing about genetic engineering because it didn’t exist at the time.
The US Secret Bioweapons Program
In November 2001, Michel Chossudovsky used this title for his Global Research.ca article. It was when “an impressive military arsenal of aircraft carriers and gun-boats” was building up in the Persian Gulf in preparation for “a major bombing operation….against Iraq” at a future designated time.
Back home, the administration used the 2001 anthrax attacks as “justification for extending the ‘campaign against international terrorism’ to Iraq….Washington singled out Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Syria and Libya of violating the international treaty banning weapons of germ warfare.”
At the same time, ample evidence “confirms that the US has built an extensive arsenal of biological weapons (in blatant violation) of international laws and covenants.” It was enlarged in the 1980s and 1990s but significantly expanded under George Bush on the pretext of being strictly “defensive” and to “curb the use of germ warfare by ‘rogue states.’ ”
On October 29, 2002, the London Guardian reported that “Respected scientists on both sides of the Atlantic warned that the US is (illegally) developing a new generation of weapons that undermine and possibly violate international treaties on biological and chemical warfare” – ironically at the same time it accused Iraq of these same type violations.
University of Bradford international security professor Malcolm Dando and University of California microbiology lecturer Mark Wheelis accused the Bush administration of “encouraging a breakdown in arms control” treaties by secretly conducting these programs. Dando said they include:
— developing a cluster bomb to disperse bioweapons;
— building a bioweapons plant from commercially available materials to prove “terrorists” can do it;
— genetically engineering a more potent anthrax strain;
— producing dried and weaponized anthrax spores in quantities far larger than for research;
— researching and producing hallucinogenic weapons such as BZ gas; and
— developing “non-lethal” weapons similar to the gas Russia used to end the 2002 Moscow theater siege that killed around 170 people and injured hundreds.
In February 2008, the Sunshine Project suspended operations, but its website is still accessible. It was an NGO dedicated to banning and “avert(ing) the dangers of” bioweapons. In 2001, it accused the Bush administration of advancing “a plan to undermine international controls on biological weapons.”
On May 8, 2002, it issued a press release titled “US Armed Forces Push for Offensive Biological Weapons Development – genetically engineered microbes that attack items such as fuel, plastics and asphalt” in violation of international law. The proposals date from 1997 and involve the (Washington, DC) Naval Research Laboratory and the (Brooks Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas) Armstrong Laboratory. They come at a time when the US rejected “legally-binding” UN inspections of “suspected” facilities producing weapons “explicitly for offense.”
Additional documents have been suppressed and those known “are probably only the tip of the iceberg….The National Academies are also concealing related documents. After the Sunshine Project requested copies….on March 12, 2002, (they) placed a ‘security hold’ on the public file” without explanation. “The research proposed by the Air Force and Navy raises serious legal questions. Under the (1989) US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act, development of biological weapons, including those that attack materials, is subject to federal criminal and civil penalties.” It also prohibits development, acquisition and stockpiling of agents intended as bioweapons.
On May 21, 2004, AP reported that arms control advocates warned the Bush administration that “proposed research for a new (Fort Detrick) Homeland Security center may violate an international ban on biological weapons and encourage other countries to follow.” Experts said proposals for the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) flout bioweapons prohibitions by crossing the line between “defensive” research and banned weapons development.
On July 31, 2007 the London Guardian reported that the US is “Building (a) Treaty-Breaching Germ War Defence Centre” near Washington, DC” – NBACC. It’s to be completed in 2008 and will be a “vast germ warfare laboratory intended to help protect the US against an attack with biological weapons, but critics say the laboratory’s work will violate international law and its extreme secrecy will exacerbate a biological arms race (by) accelerat(ing) work on similar facilities around the world.”
It will house “heavily guarded and hermetically sealed chambers….to produce and stockpile the world’s most lethal bacteria and viruses” – forbidden by the 1972 BWC and 1989 US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act. The Fort Detrick facility will be used for the new 160,000 square foot lab, and it’s authorization coincided with the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people, and along with 9/11, unleashed everything that followed.
DHS calls Fort Detrick the home of “The National Interagency Biodefense Campus.” Besides NBACC, other agencies there include:
— the Health and Human Services’ (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID);
— the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit (FDWSRU); and
— the Department of Defense’s US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID).
DHS says USAMRIID “conduct(s) basic and applied research on biological threats (to provide) cutting-edge medical research for the warfighter against biological threats.” International law and bioweapons expert, Francis Boyle, disagrees. He says the “program constitutes clear violations of the international (1972 BWC) arms control treaty….ratified by the United States in 1975.” He also cites BWC’s preamble that states in part:
“….Parties to this Convention (are) Determined to act with a view to achieving effective progress towards general and complete disarmament, including the prohibition and elimination of all types of weapons of mass destruction, and convinced that the prohibition of the development, production and stockpiling of chemical and bacteriological (biological) weapons and their elimination, through effective measures, will facilitate the achievement of general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control….” The BWC goes on to say that use of these weapons are so “repugnant to the conscience of mankind….that no effort should be spared to minimize this risk.”
In Boyle’s view, Fort Detrick’s NBACC and USAMRIID heighten risks because their work involves: “acquiring, growing, modifying, storing, packaging and dispersing classical, emerging and genetically engineered pathogens.” This work is an “unmistakable hallmark of an offensive weapons program” in violation of the 1989 Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act that he authored. Even worse according to Edward Hammond, former director of the Sunshine Project: Recreating the deadly 1918 “Spanish flu” germ that killed an estimated 40 million worldwide (or other dangerous pathogens) increases “the possibility of (a) man-made disaster, either accidental or deliberate….for the entire world.” If a single viral particle or cell escapes or is unleashed, an enormous outbreak may result with potentially catastrophic consequences.
The Fort Detrick plan derives from a Bush Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-10) written April 28, 2004. It states: “Among our many initiatives we are continuing to develop more forward-looking analyses, to include Red Teaming efforts, to understand new scientific trends that may be exploited by our adversaries to develop biological weapons and to help position intelligence collectors ahead of the problem.” Boyle calls it “a smoking gun” aimed at the BWC.
“Red Teaming means that we actually have people out there on a Red Team plotting, planning, scheming and conspiring how to use biowarfare” and sooner or later will unleash it using living organisms for military purposes. They may be viral, bacterial, fungal, or other forms that can spread over a vast terrain by wind, water, insect, animal, or humans, according to Jeremy Rifkin, author of “The Biotech Century.” Rifkin also asserts it’s “impossible to distinguish between defensive and offensive research in the field,” and given this administration’s penchant for lying and secrecy, other nations will be justifiably suspicious.
The Bush administration proceeded anyway. Since 9/11, it spent or allocated around $50 billion on bioweapons development through 11 federal departments and agencies, including DOD and DHS. For FY 2009, it wants an additional $8.1 billion or $2.5 billion more than in FY2008. It calls its program preventive and defensive and cites Project BioShield as an example. It became law in July 2004 as a 10 year program to develop countermeasures to biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents. It was, in fact, a gift to companies like Gilead Sciences, the company Donald Rumsfeld led as chairman from 1997 to 2001 (and remains a major shareholder) until he left to become George Bush’s Defense Secretary.
It would have also required every American to be vaccinated under the Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2005. It passed the Senate but not the House and would have, under a public emergency, allowed experimental or approved drugs to be used with insufficient knowledge of their safety – in violation of the Nuremburg Code on medical experimentation. It also would have immunized companies from liability and denied those harmed the right to sue.
Private Bioweapons Labs Cashing In
According to the Sunshine Project, “scores of US universities and biotechnology companies (since 2001) have benefitted handsomely from billions of dollars in ‘biodefense’ cash. Across the country, ‘biodefense’ labs are sprouting up like weeds. The unrelenting spigot of federal money (has) thousands of scientists and technicians” doing bioweapons research on some of the deadliest pathogens. But the problem is much greater than that:
— projects underway are illegal;
— immense secrecy enshrouds them; and
— federal oversight is so lax that NIH safety guidelines aren’t enforced and CDC poorly identifies problems it should address; as a result, “accidents are popping up everywhere” amidst a “pervasive cover-up culture” that hides them – in direct violation of federal rules and responsible practice that:
(1) require government agencies to protect the public from dangerous pathogens, and
(2) obligate research labs to disclose the nature of their work; failure to do so suggests alleged biodefense research is, in fact, cover for offensive biowarfare programs to complement Fort Detrick and other government site efforts.
The Sunshine Project believes about 400 private bioweapons labs now operate around the country with no public disclosure of their activities – and plenty of reasons to worry Francis Boyle that the Bush administration is up to mischief. It “sabotaged the Verification Protocol for the BWC (and) fully intend(s) to (engage in) research, development and testing of illegal and criminal offensive biowarfare programs.” That prospect should frighten everyone.
Reporter Sherwood Ross for sure. He calls the administration’s project “the costliest, most grandiose research scheme ever attempted (with) germ warfare capability….going forward under President Bush and in defiance of” US and international laws. Far worse, where once “germ warfare was an isolated happenstance, (today’s efforts elevate it) to an instrument of (deadly and loathsome) policy.
Other Recent Developments
On February 21, 2008, the Sidney Morning Herald reported that the Bush administration rejected claims made by Indonesian Health Minister, Siti Fadilah Supari, in her book titled: “It Is Time for the World to Change! God’s Hand Behind Bird Flu Virus.” She questions whether the US is using bird flu samples collected from developing nations to develop biological weapons, not new vaccines as claimed.
On July 20, 2008, the Jakarta Post reported: “If there were a “National Darling Award” contest….Supari would probably win it. (Her) supporters praise her as a great third world heroine who dares challenge the global structure of injustice and inequality perpetrated by powerful states (like the US) and networks of international institutions. Most of the praise is based on opinions” from her new book mentioned above.
She claims the US is transferring virus samples to the Los Alamos National Laboratory. It’s one of two US nuclear weapons labs that will operate new biological research facilities capable of researching and developing dangerous pathogens in violation of the BWC and US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989. California-based Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is the other one. On January 25, it began operating a new Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) lab. In August, Los Alamos is scheduled to complete a federally mandated environmental study for a similar lab to begin operations shortly thereafter. Given the Bush administration’s penchant for secrecy, Supari’s accusations may be justified.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) establishes biosafety classifications. BLS-4 ones, like for Ebola, are the most dangerous, in part, because no known cures exist. Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore currently operate BLS-2 labs. They’ll now have BLS-3 ones to study infectious agents able to cause serious or fatal illnesses if inhaled. But there’s no way to know if both labs, Fort Detrick, others like the former Edgewood Arsenal (now the Edgewood Area at the Aberdeen Proving Ground), Oak Ridge Ridge National Laboratory, and still more we don’t know about will secretly research any type pathogens, including the most dangerous ones, for any purpose – offense or defense.
What is known is that government labs will study pathogens posing serious public health and safety threats. Ones like anthrax, botulism, brucellosis, plague, Rickettsia, tularemia, Avian influenza, H5N1 (the recent strain reported and called the most dangerous), and valley fever plus whatever others are planned but kept secret.
Most important is this. These labs conduct weapons research, so they’ll likely focus on bioweapons and not follow BWC “prophylactic, protective, or other peaceful purposes” guidelines. For example, vaccines and potential biological weapons defenses may, in fact, be for offense. Distinguishing between the two is impossible so other nations and figures like Supari are suspicious.
They’re not comforted by Lawrence Livermore’s Lynda Seaver. On February 12, she told Arms Control Today that the US is “a signatory to the Biowarfare Convention and does not conduct bioweapons research.” She also said most work there will be unclassified. On February 15, however, a CDC spokesperson suggested otherwise and informed Arms Control Today that Lawrence Livermore security restrictions are tight as they are at Los Alamos, Fort Detrick and other US weapons research facilities. They bar transparency and place strict limits on sharing select agents research to prevent other nations from knowing it exists or its purpose.
Further, later this year DHS will complete construction of the new Fort Detrick lab (NBACC), and a new $500 million animal research facility is planned. Both will have BLS-3 and 4 capabilities. They’ll work on the most dangerous known pathogens and conduct controversial type threat assessment research – to develop and produce new biological weapons and develop defenses against them. Once again, differentiating between offense and defense is impossible, and given their penchant for deception and secrecy, no one takes Bush administration officials at their word nor should they.
Francis Boyle’s “Biowarfare and Terrorism”
Boyle drafted the 1989 Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act and covers it in his 2006 book. It’s now codified in Title 18 of the US Code, sections 175 – 178 and was the implementing legislation for the landmark 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).
MIT molecular biology professor Jonathan King wrote this about the book in its forward:
It “outlines how and why the United States government initiated, sustained and then dramatically expanded an illegal biological arms buildup….Boyle reveals how the new (multi-) billion-dollar US Chemical and Biological Defense Program has been reoriented (endorsing “first strike” CBW use in war) to accord with the Neo-Conservative pre-emptive strike agenda – this time by (illegal) biological and chemical warfare.” This “represent(s) a significant emerging danger to our population (and) threaten(s) international relations among nations.” These programs “are always called defensive (but) with biological weapons, defensive and offensive programs overlap almost completely.”
“Boyle (also) sheds new light on the motives for the (2001) anthrax attacks, the media black hole of silence (about them), and why the FBI may never apprehended the perpetrators of this seminal crime of the 21st century.” They killed five people, injured 17 others, and temporarily shut down Congress, the Supreme Court, and other federal operations. Army scientist Dr. Steven Hatfill was unfairly implicated as a “person of interest” but was never charged. He sued the Justice Department and in June was awarded $2.8 million and a $150,000 annuity for violating his privacy, leaking false and inflammatory information, costing him his job and reputation, and blasting his name all over the media for days. It was the beginning of the frightening events that followed.
Boyle is currently a leading proponent of an effort to impeach George Bush, Dick Cheney and other high-level administration figures for their crimes of war, against humanity and other grievous violations of domestic and international law. In his “Biowarfare and Terrorism,” he sounds an alarm about the administration’s bioweapons program and what it means for humanity. He fears “a catastrophic biowarfare or bioterrorist incident or accident (is) a statistical certainty.” It highlights enormous new risks plus other frightening ones like the possibility of nuclear war and catastrophic fallout from it. That, permanent wars, a potential Andromeda Strain, police state justice, and destroying the republic are but five among other threats since the advent of George Bush and his roguish team.
In “Biowarfare and Terrorism,” Boyle addresses the bioweapons threat as an expert on the subject and gives readers an historical perspective. He asserts that the US government dramatically expanded an illegal biological arms development, production, and buildup that endangers all humanity with its potential. It’s part of an extremist agenda for unchallengeable power and right to unleash “proactive” wars with the most aggressive weapons in its arsensal – nuclear, chemical, biological, others, space-based ones, and new ones in development.
Since WW II, America has actively developed, tested, and used terror weapons, including biological ones. Even after Nixon ended the nation’s biowarfare programs, they never stopped. The CIA remained active through a loophole in the law, then the Reagan administration reactivated what Nixon slowed down. It acted much like the current regime with many of the same officials espousing similar extremist views – that America must exploit its technological superiority and not let laws, norms, or the greater good deter them.
The Bush administration raised the stakes and threatens all humanity. Boyle believes it used 9/11 and the anthrax attacks to stampede Congress and the public into aggressive wars and a menu of repressive laws. He also thinks the FBI knows who’s behind the anthrax attacks: criminal US government elements planning a police state and another frightening enterprise – to fight and win a future biowar. A possible nuclear one as well. Boyle sounds the alarm about what may lie ahead and its potential consequences.
In October 2003, the National Academy of Sciences did as well. It warned about the “misuse of tools, technology, or knowledge base of (bioweapons) research for offensive military or terrorist purposes.” That’s the present risk. It makes everyone unwitting subjects of a recklessly endangering experiment.
STEPHEN LENDMAN is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.