- All United States communications facilities (EO 10995)
- Electrical power, petroleum, gas, fuels and minerals, public and private (10997)
- Food supplies, agricultural lands and facilities (10998)
- Transportation of any kind, including private, and control of seaports, waterways and highways (10999)
- Civilian labor forces without regard to financial remuneration as authorized under the "DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT OF 1950" (11000)
- Health, education and welfare institutions (11001)
- All airport and air transportation, public, private and commercial (11003)
- Railroads, inland waterways, and public storage facilities (11005)
Additionally, FEMA, under Executive Order #11002, can order the postmaster general to begin a national registration of all residents of the United States for purposes of control of population movement and relocation.
All of the aforementioned powers can be invoked with the stroke of a presidential pen and are free of congressional restrictions or intervention for a period of six months. The practical expression of these powers can be the equivalent of a sentence without trial or jury with no recourse to appeal for at least a half a year. Many legal and paralegal analysts have seen, in the powers delegated to FEMA during any declared national emergency, the authority to forcibly relocate entire families into federal work camps, even as to the dividing of families and of children from parents.
FEMA was created by President Carter under Executive Order #12148. Its legal authorization is Title 2, United States Code 5121 called the "Stafford Act." Within the text of that piece of "legislation" in Subchapter IV, section (B) is contained the wording:
"Measures to be undertaken during a hazard (including the enforcement of passive defense regulations prescribed by duly established military or civil authorities, the evacuation of personnel to shelter areas, the control of traffic and panic, and the control and use of lighting and civil communications)."emphasis supplied
In a telephone interview with FEMA attorneys, The Winds asked the legal definition of "passive defense regulations" as "prescribed by duly established military or civil authorities." Even FEMA's Counsel General, Michael Hirsh, was unable to give us any definition of those terms. The ambiguity of that wording veiled its meaning from even the highest ranking lawyer in the agency.
"...have twisted their interpretations so as to make them contradict each other. We have succeeded in erecting great and magnificent results by perverting the laws. The first result was that the interpretations of the laws actually masked their true intent. Afterwards, those laws were entirely hid from eyes of the governments because it became impossible to make anything out of the tangled web of legislation."emphasis supplied
The Winds also asked FEMA's public relations office the primary reasons for the forced evacuation of residents during the recent flooding in North Dakota and the orders (not requests) for some residents to remain in their homes following the recent hurricanes in the southeast. FEMA's response, strangely, did not indicate concern for the safety and well-being of the citizens involved, as one might expect of an agency tasked with the oversight of America's domestic security in time of disaster. Rather, their reasons for violating the constitutional rights of those citizens was a hedge against being sued by them or their survivors if they were injured or killed as a result of not being evacuated. Money, not lives, was their expressed justification for removing owners from their homes, in one instance, and commanding them not to leave them, in another.
Executive Order #11051 assigns responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning (later to become FEMA), and authorizes all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and economic or financial crisis or national emergency.emphasis supplied
Again, the vagueness of the wording leaves wide the door of interpretation. As to what constitutes an "emergency" the Stafford Act defines it as thus:
Former Chief of FEMA's Civil Security Division, General Frank Salzedo, once stated that his interpretation of FEMA's role is, among other things, "prevention of dissident groups from gaining access to U.S. opinion, or a global audience in times of crisis." The Constitution, on the other hand, states:
"Emergency--'Emergency' means any occasion or instance for which, in the determination of the President, Federal assistance is needed to supplement State and local efforts and capabilities to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States."emphasis supplied
KEEPING DISSIDENT GROUPS QUIET
"Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
The question arises as to how General Salzedo's statement could survive being filtered through the First Amendment. What he said amounts to "government-speak" for the potential of creating an American Tienanmen Square. One of the Executive Orders gathered into Clinton's EO #12919 was an Order signed by President Nixon known as the "Omnibus Emergency Preparedness Decree". Howard J. Ruff, economist and publisher of The Ruff Times says "Since the enactment of [that] Order, the only thing standing between us and dictatorship is the good character of the President, and the lack of a crisis severe enough that the public would stand still for it." The former slave and Civil War activist, Fredrick Douglas, once said that the limits of a tyrant's power are set by the willingness of the people to tolerate him.
During activation of these Executive Orders, FEMA answers only to the National Security Council which answers only to the President, and, as mentioned previously, once these powers are invoked even Congress cannot intervene or countermand them for six months.
Wallace Stickney, former FEMA director under George Bush, recalled that even the members of Congress approaching his agency to question some budget expenditures were not allowed access to the knowledge of where the money was directed--and they were the ones responsible for budgetary oversight. Even more astonishing is the fact that Stickney himself was denied such access. He said, "I was aware funding was being passed through but didn't know where it was going--nor did Congress, which demanded to know. Normally, as I understood it, nobody questioned the arithmetic."
If a nuclear attack occurred during Stickney's tenure in office, he was not to be included among those privileged to partake in the safety of the underground complex. He would have been required to remain at his post and, in the parlance of the nuclear disaster planners, be cindered. That insecurity for FEMA's current director, James Lee Witt, ended when President Clinton conferred cabinet status on him in February of 1996.
There is within government a quasi-legal concept called the "Rule of Necessity". Simply put, this doctrine says that whatever is necessary to preserve the nation against its foes, whether external or internal, will be done--apparently without regard to any violence done to the Constitution. It is to address the Rule of Necessity that Executive Orders are created. EOs did not have their beginnings in the desires of American presidents to transform the executive office into a de facto dictatorship. The first Presidential Executive Order was issued by George Washington in 1789, but no numbering system or uniformity was applied until 1907 when the Department of State retroactively designated an EO issued by Abraham Lincoln in 1862 as Executive Order 1.
What has become of this executive privilege since the Civil War has been rather like an insidiously introduced, systemic infection aimed at the total debilitation of the U.S. Constitution.. As to whether these extreme powers of the Executive Branch will actually be implemented--there is an old saying in the theatre that if there is a gun mounted over the fireplace mantle in the first act, it will be used before the end of the final act. It ain't hangin' up there for nothin'.
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