I hadn’t written about the Presidential directive on continuity of power which sounded quite scary because I was not sure there was all that much there, there. TPM takes a look at with this post and found experts that seem to think that is the case…
When a presidential
directive appeared on the White House’s Web site on May 9, seemingly
expanding the president’s powers after a catastrophic attack, readers
began emailing us asking why there had been no uproar in the media or
amongst civil liberties groups.
The consensus amongst experts seems to be that
the directive, aimed at establishing “continuity of government” after a
major disaster, is not new nor does the policy seem to expand executive
What should scare folks and has received little attention except to perhaps those following Katrina news is that Bush already had expanded executive power in case of attacks or disasters with a provision included in the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act that allows him to take control of the military for law enforcement…
Under a provision included in the 2007 National Defense
Authorization Act, the president has greatly expanded authority to take
command of National Guard troops and use active-duty military units for
domestic law enforcement under the Insurrection Act.
Instead of limiting federal control to times of rebellion or to
enforce federal laws over the objections of state officials, the
president now has the authority to take control to restore public order
after a terrorist attack, a national disaster, a disease outbreak or
That increased and broad authority has drawn criticism from many in
Congress, the governors of all 50 states, the National Conference of
State Legislatures, generals and enlisted members of the National Guard
and the National Sheriffs’ Association, among others. They say guard
commanders and governors know the turf, the needs and the local
officials who call for help and how best to respond.
This ought to scare folks and deserves more attention.
Hopefully Sen Leahy will be successful in his attempt to repeal the provision.