Written By Thomas Perez. October 3, 2011 at 8:28pm. Copyright 2011.
Is History Repeating Itself?
Did anyone say, Rex 84? Did anyone say FEMA? Did anyone say, The Patriot Act?
At this moment I felt it necessary to side track, and fast forward a bit; but only for a moment: since paradigms shifts are often most difficult to identify in reference to its past, present, and future shiftings or agenda’s. It would appear that such a shift may indeed contain an ideology of its own.
As we have studied in Part 3, similar to the France’ Committee of Public Safety, the National Assembly and the National Convention, we have our own paradigm of realities guised in the form of a parental apparatus act known as Patriotism – as we adopt, without question; governmental executive orders. Orders which are delayed, but only for a season until it rears it ugly head. Orders, in the realm of what many would choose to call conspiratorial thories, that might become a reality. Orders such as; “Rex 84.”
Rex 84, short for Readiness Exercise 1984, was a secretive “scenario and drill” developed by the United States federal government to suspend the United States Constitution, declare martial law, place military commanders in charge of state and local governments, and detain large numbers of American citizens who are deemed to be “national security threats,” in the event that the President declares a “State of Domestic National Emergency.”
The plan allegedly states that events that might cause such a declaration would be widespread U.S. opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad, such as if the United States were to directly invade Central America. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). To combat what the government may perceive as “subversive activities,” the plan also authorizes the military to direct ordered movements of civilian populations at state and regional levels. (7).
Rex 84 was allegedly written by Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, who was both National Security Council White House Aide, and NSC liaison to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and John Brinkerhoff, the deputy director of “national preparedness” programs for FEMA. They allegedly patterned the plan on an alleged 1970 report written by FEMA chief Louis Giuffrida, at the Army War College, which allegedly proposed the detention of up to 21 million “American Negroes,” if there were a black militant uprising in the United States. (1 & 8). Existence of a master military contingency plan (of which REX-84 was a part), “Garden Plot” and a similar earlier exercise, “Lantern Spike” were originally revealed by journalist Ron Ridenhour, who summarized his findings in an article in CounterSpy. (9).
Some people believe that Rex 84 is the unknown “Continuity of Operations Plan” that was publicly mentioned during the Iran-Contra Hearings in 1987. (10). Transcripts from the hearing record the following dialogue between Congressman Jack Brooks, Oliver North’s attorney Brendan Sullivan and Senator Daniel Inouye, the Democratic Chair of the joint Senate-House Committee: (11).
Congressman Jack Brooks: “Colonel North, in your work at the N.S.C. were you not assigned, at one time, to work on plans for the continuity of government in the event of a major disaster?”
Brendan Sullivan (North’s counsel, agitatedly): “Mr. Chairman?”
Senator Daniel Inouye: “I believe that question touches upon a highly sensitive and classified area so may I request that you not touch upon that?”
Brooks: “I was particularly concerned, Mr. Chairman, because I read in Miami papers, and several others, that there had been a plan developed, by that same agency, a contingency plan in the event of emergency, that would suspend the American constitution. And I was deeply concerned about it and wondered if that was an area in which he had worked. I believe that it was and I wanted to get his confirmation.”
Inouye: “May I most respectfully request that that matter not be touched upon at this stage. If we wish to get into this, I’m certain arrangements can be made for an executive session.”
Exercises similar to Rex 84 happen regularly. (12) For example, from 1967 to 1971 the FBI kept a list of over 100,000 persons to be rounded up as subversive, dubbed the “ADEX” list. (13).
The basic facts about Rex 84 and other contingency planning readiness exercises – and the potential threat they pose to civil liberties, if fully implemented in a real operation, are taken seriously by scholars and civil libertarians. (14).
1. Smith, Christian (1996). Resisting Reagan: the U.S. Central America peace movement. University of Chicago Press. pp. 310.
2. Ross Gelbspan (1991). Break-ins, death threats and the FBI: the covert war against the central America movement. South End Press. p. 184.
3. Peter Dale Scott (2008). The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America. University of California Press. pp. 183–184.
4. Holly Sklar (1988). Washington’s war on Nicaragua. South End Press. pp. 357–359.
5. Ward Churchill; Jim Vander Wall (2002). The COINTELPRO papers: documents from the FBI’s secret wars against dissent in the United States. South End Press. pp. 410–411.
6. Cited by David Thoreen: The President’s Emergency War Powers And The Erosion Of Civil Liberties In Pynchon’s Vineland. In: Oklahoma City University Law Review. 24, No. 3, 1999, footnote 117
8. Miami Herald, 1987 July 5, “Reagan Aides and the Secret Government,” free archived copies at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/24621067/Reagan-Aides-and-the-Secret-Government-The-Miami-Herald-July-5-1987 and at: http://cantankerousbuddha.com/reagan-aides-and-the-secret-government-the-mi and at: http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=9877
9. Ridenhour, Ron (1975). “Garden Plot and the New Action Army”. CounterSpy.
10. Chip Berlet: The Right-Wing Roots of Sheehan’s “Secret Team” Theory. In: Right Woos Left. 1990/1999.
11. Transcript from the House Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran, New York Times, July 14, 1987]
12. Diana Reynolds, “The Rise of the National Security State: FEMA and the NSC,” CovertAction Information Bulletin, issue #33 (Winter 1990).
13. Donner, Frank (1980). The Age of Surveillance: The Aims & Methods of America’s Political Intelligence System. New York: Alfred Knopf. pp. 166.
14. Berlet and Reynolds
The advent of another change took place during the Reagan regime. America has been a presidential directive away from a civil security state of emergency which, if ever enacted, could create a constitutional crisis equal in severity to the American Civil War or the French Revolution – except this revolution won’t be for the benefit of the uprising people, but for its dictatorial executive propaganda of Deism and Patriotism.
A national state of emergency can be declared by a concurrent resolution of both houses of Congress or by the President in the case of natural disasters, nuclear war, a massive mobilization in anticipation of an enemy attack on U.S. territory, or domestic civil unrest.
A disturbing shift in policy occurred during the Reagan years which could have profound consequences with respect to civil liberties. Whereas civil defense planning in the past had focused on disaster relief, the national security focus of the Reagan administration meant implementing new ways to expand police powers in times of nuclear war, domestic unrest, or civil disorder.
Bending under pressure brought by the Reagan Administration, Congress gave the president and his executive agencies sweeping emergency powers. A possible scenario – the U.S. government’s war on drugs – in which these powers might be used.
Just before he left office, Reagan signed “Executive Order 12656” which assigned new emergency preparedness responsibilities. Reagan’s final national security legacy to civil defense planning puts the NSC clearly in charge. In Section 104, EO 12656 states that the NSC is the principal forum for consideration of national security emergency preparedness policy and will arrange for Executive branch liaison with, and assistance to, the Congress and the Federal judiciary on national security emergency preparedness matters.
The Director of FEMA has now been promoted to advisor to the NSC – (National Security Council) on mobilization preparedness, civil defense, continuity of government, technological disasters, “and other issues, as appropriate.” The Director of FEMA is also authorized to assist in the implementation of national security emergency preparedness policy by coordinating federal departments and agencies; as well as state and local governments. The exercise program is to continue and plans and procedures “will be designed and developed to provide maximum flexibility to the President for his implementation of emergency actions.”
On the same day that Reagan signed EO 12656 he also signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 which provided yet another in a series of get-tough-but-do-nothing drug policies produced by the Reagan Administration. If, and when, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act fails – a victim of under-funding and bureaucratic in-fighting, then Executive Order 12656 could become an historic document in the war on drugs.
One who may not understand, might ask the question; “What gives the government the right to such executive powers?” That answer lies with what is known as the “National Security Council.”
The White House National Security Council (NSC) in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. Since its inception under Harry S. Truman, the function of the Council has been to advise and assist the president on national security and foreign policies. The Council also serves as the president’s principal arm for coordinating these policies among various government agencies. The U.S. Council has counterparts in the national security councils of many other nations.
The National Security Council was created in 1947 by the National Security Act. It was created because policymakers felt that the diplomacy of the State Department was no longer adequate to contain the USSR in light of the tension between the Soviet Union and the United States. The intent was to ensure coordination and concurrence among the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force and other instruments of national security policy (such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), also created in the National Security Act).
On May 26, 2009, President Barack Obama merged the White House staff supporting the Homeland Security Council (HSC) and the National Security Council into one National Security Staff (NSS). The HSC and NSC each continue to exist by statute as bodies supporting the president.
The decision process inside the structure has become less and less formal, but influence of the Council has become stronger and stronger. Detailed history of the National Security Council under each Presidential administration since its inception can be found at researching the History of the United States National Security Council & their corresponding years;
For over 50 years, 11 Presidents have sought to use the National Security Council system to integrate foreign and defense policies in order to preserve the nation’s security and advance its interests abroad. Recurrent structural modifications over the years have reflected Presidential management style, changing requirements and personal relationships.
To Be Continued in Part 5
New Movements in Protestantism?