Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Reagan and Bush's Not-So-Secret War: Part Four

Conservative Christians, through its people in the military, first discovered the network of camps and its writers assumed that fundamentalist and evangelical leaders were to be rounded up brought to the detention centers by secular humanists in government. This eventually proved to be absurd.

Indeed, the builders of the camps were possibly expecting the evangelicals to round up secular humanists. Granted, some fundamentalists thought of themselves as strict constitutionalists and, so, they thought they could eventually reside in these places. Over time, information on the camps has become so widespread that FEMA has had to acknowledge that some existed for the continuity of government in a nuclear attack or other emergency.

Attorney General William French Smith attempted to reign in FEMA, and it was forced to turn over 12,000 dossiers on political dissidents to the F.B.I. REX-84 continued to constitute the basic plan for dealing with emergencies. North represented only a minority in the Reagan administration and, he was quickly severed from FEMA. Yet the infrastructure for dictatorship that he established remained in place, and two decades later his allies Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld held high positions in government. Unfortunately the evidence is clear that some conservatives still dream of rounding up opponents and that they manage to get into high places. There probably are not as many William French Smiths now as there were in the 1980s in the Republican party. Still, it is unlikely that these people can act on their dreams without something worse than another 9/11.

In the 1980s, Cheney had discussed COG with Donald Rumsfeld, then a former Secretary of Defense and head of a pharmaceuticals company. During Congressional recesses , Cheney would disappear from Washington leaving his wife only a telephone number for emergencies. With four or five dozen others, he participated in continuity of government exercises. He played the role of presidential chief of staff to someone designated as president during an emergency.1

The COG program, tied to the North plan, included surveillance of dissidents. North was most likely using PROMIS software to track dissidents in conjunction with both REX-84 and the COG. It was probably the use of PROMIS that made it necessary to defer the questioning of Congressman Jack Brooks to an executive session of the Iran/Contra Committee.

Overall responsibility for both plans was assigned to Vice President George H.W. Bush, who headed the administrations’ “anti-terrorism” efforts The Miami Herald speculated that many of the people occupying key positions in this secret government had been involved in the October Surprise as well as in the theft of President Carter’s debate briefing book in 1980. Clark was replaced by Robert McFarlane, essentially a staffer who seemed to be easily used by Bill Casey and Oliver North.
A series of Reagan executive orders placed covert activity under his Vice President George H.W. Bush in his capacity as head of the Task Force on Combatting Terrorism. Bush was also made head of the drugs task force, which placed him in a position to protect the C.I.A.’s drug running activities. During his time as chairman of the task force, the volume of drugs entering the United States tripled. Bush also headed the executive branch committee that pressed for the deregulation of the savings and loan banks, which left them open to subsequent plundering by the C.I.A. 2

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