SECRET CONCENTRATION CAMPS Part 2
Even those Executive Orders which have been made public tend to
raise as many questions as they answer about what actions were
considered and actually implemented. On January 8, 1991, Bush signed
Executive Order 12742, National Security Industrial Responsiveness,
which ordered the rapid mobilization of resources such as food,
energy, construction materials and civil transportation to meet
national security requirements. There was, however, no mention in
this or any other EO of the National Defense Executive Reserve (NDER)
plan administered under FEMA. This plan, which had been activated
during World War II and the Korean War, permits the federal government
during a state of emergency to bring into government certain
unidentified individuals. On January 7, 1991 the "Wall Street Journal
Europe" reported that industry and government officials were studying
a plan which would permit the federal government to "borrow" as many
as 50 oil company executives and put them to work streamlining the
flow of energy in case of a prolonged engagement or disruption of
supply. Antitrust waivers were also being pursued and oil companies
were engaged in emergency preparedness exercises with the Department
Wasting the Environment
In one case the use of secret powers was discovered by a watchdog
group and revealed in the press. In August 1990, correspondence
passed between Colin McMillan, Assistant Secretary of Defense for
Production and Logistics and Michael Deland, Chair of the White House
Council on Environmental Quality. The letters responded to
presidential and National Security Council directives to deal with
increased industrial production and logistics arising from the
situation in the Middle East. The communications revealed that the
Pentagon had found it necessary to request emergency waivers to U.S.
The agreement to waive the National Environmental Policy Act (1970)
came in August. Because of it, the Pentagon was allowed to test new
weapons in the western U.S., increase production of materiel and
launch new activities at military bases without the complex public
review normally required. The information on the waiver was
eventually released by the Boston-based National Toxic Campaign Fund
(NTCF), an environmental group which investigates pollution on the
nation's military bases. It was not until January 30, 1991, five
months after it went into effect, that the "New York Times," acting
on the NTCF information, reported that the White House had bypassed
the usual legal requirement for environmental impact statements on
Pentagon projects. So far, no specific executive order or
presidential finding authorizing this waiver has been discovered.
Other environmental waivers could also have been enacted without
the public being informed. Under a state of national emergency, U.S.
warships can be exempted from international conventions on
pollution and public vessels can be allowed to dispose of
potentially infectious medical wastes into the oceans. The
President can also suspend any of the statutory provisions regarding
the production, testing, transportation, deployment, and disposal of
chemical and biological warfare agents (50 USC sec. 1515). He could
also defer destruction of up to 10 percent of lethal chemical agents
and munitions that existed on November 8, 1985.
One Executive Order which was made public dealt with "Chemical and
Biological Weapons Proliferation." Signed by Bush on November 16,
1990, EO 12735 leaves the impression that Bush is ordering an
increased effort to end the proliferation of chemical and biological
weapons. The order states that these weapons "constitute a threat to
national security and foreign policy" and declares a national
emergency to deal with the threat. To confront this threat, Bush
ordered international negotiations, the imposition of controls,
licenses, and sanctions against foreign persons and countries for
proliferation. Conveniently, the order grants the Secretaries of
State and the Treasury the power to exempt the U.S. military.
In February of 1991, the Omnibus Export Amendments Act was passed
by Congress compatible with EO 12735. It imposed sanctions on
countries and companies developing or using chemical or biological
weapons. Bush signed the law, although he had rejected the identical
measure the year before because it did not give him the executive
power to waive all sanctions if he thought the national interest
required it. The new bill, however, met Bush's requirements.
| BUSH'S EXECUTIVE ORDERS |
| * EO 12722 "Blocking Iraqi Government Property and |
| Prohibiting Transactions With Iraq," Aug. 2, 1990. |
| * EO 12723 "Blocking Kuwaiti Government Property," Aug. 2, |
| 1990. |
| * EO 12724 "Blocking Iraqi Government Property and |
| Prohibiting Transactions With Iraq," Aug. 9, 1990. |
| * EO 12725 "Blocking Kuwaiti Government Property and |
| Prohibiting Transactions With Kuwait," Aug. 9, 1990. |
| * EO 12727 "Ordering the Selected Reserve of the Armed |
| Forces to Active Duty," Aug. 22, 1990. |
| * EO 12728 "Delegating the President's Authority To |
| Suspend Any Provision of Law Relating to the Promotion, |
| Retirement, or Separation of Members of the Armed Forces," |
| Aug. 22, 1990. |
| * EO 12733 "Authorizing the Extension of the Period of |
| Active Duty of Personnel of the Selected Reserve of the |
| Armed Forces," Nov. 13, 1990. |
| * EO 12734 "National Emergency Construction Authority," Nov. |
| 14, 1990. |
| * EO 12735 "Chemical and Biological Weapons Proliferation," |
| Nov. 16, 1990. |
| * EO 12738 "Administration of Foreign Assistance and Related |
| Functions and Arms Export Control," Dec. 14, 1990. |
| * EO 12742 "National Security Industrial Responsiveness," |
| Jan. 8, 1991. |
| * EO 12743 "Ordering the Ready Reserve of the Armed Forces |
| to Active Duty," Jan. 18, 1991. |
| * EO 12744 "Designation of Arabian Peninsula Areas, Airspace |
| and Adjacent Waters as a Combat Zone," Jan. 21, 1991. |
| * EO 12750 "Designation of Arabian Peninsula Areas, Airspace |
| and Adjacent Waters as the Persian Gulf Desert Shield |
| Area," Feb. 14, 1991. |
| * EO 12751 "Health Care Services for Operation Desert |
| Storm," Feb. 14, 1991. |
Going Off Budget
Although some of the powers which Bush assumed in order to conduct
the Gulf War were taken openly, they received little public discussion
or reporting by the media.
In October, when the winds of the Gulf War were merely a breeze,
Bush used his executive emergency powers to extend his budget
authority. This action made the 1991 fiscal budget agreement between
Congress and the President one of the first U.S. casualties of the
war. While on one hand the deal froze arms spending through 1996, it
also allowed Bush to put the cost of the Gulf War "off budget." Thus,
using its emergency powers, the Bush administration could:
* incur a deficit which exceeds congressional budget authority;
* prevent Congress from raising a point of order over the
* waive the requirement that the Secretary of Defense submit
estimates to Congress prior to deployment of a major defense
* and exempt the Pentagon from congressional restrictions on
hiring private contractors.
While there is no published evidence on which powers Bush actually
invoked, the administration was able to push through the 1990 Omnibus
Reconciliation Act. This legislation put a cap on domestic spending,
created a record $300 billion deficit, and undermined the Gramm-
Rudman-Hollings Act intended to reduce the federal deficit. Although
Congress agreed to pay for the war through supplemental appropriations
and approved a $42.2 billion supplemental bill and a $4.8 billion
companion "dire emergency supplemental appropriation," it
specified that the supplemental budget should not be used to finance
costs the Pentagon would normally experience.
Lawrence Korb, a Pentagon official in the Reagan administration,
believes that the Pentagon has already violated the spirit of the 1990
Omnibus Reconciliation Act. It switched funding for the Patriot,
Tomahawk, Hellfire and HARM missiles from its regular budget to the
supplemental budget; added normal wear and tear of equipment to
supplemental appropriations; and made supplemental requests which
ignore a planned 25% reduction in the armed forces by 1995.
The Cost In Liberty Lost
Under emergency circumstances, using 50 USC sec. 1811, the
President could direct the Attorney General to authorize electronic
surveillance of aliens and American citizens in order to obtain
foreign intelligence information without a court order. No
Executive Order has been published which activates emergency powers to
wiretap or to engage in counter-terrorist activity. Nonetheless,
there is substantial evidence that such activities have taken place.
According to the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, the
FBI launched an anti-terrorist campaign which included a broad sweep
of Arab-Americans. Starting in August, the FBI questioned, detained,
and harassed Arab-Americans in California, New York, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and Colorado.
A CIA agent asked the University of Connecticut for a list of all
foreign students at the institution, along with their country of
origin, major field of study, and the names of their academic
advisers. He was particularly interested in students from the Middle
East and explained that the Agency intended to open a file on each of
the students. Anti-war groups have also reported several break-ins of
their offices and many suspected electronic surveillance of their
Pool of Disinformation
Emergency powers to control the means of communications in the U.S.
in the name of national security were never formally declared. There
was no need for Bush to do so since most of the media voluntarily and
even eagerly cooperated in their own censorship. Reporters covering
the Coalition forces in the Gulf region operated under restrictions
imposed by the U.S. military. They were, among other things, barred
from traveling without a military escort, limited in their forays into
the field to small escorted groups called "pools," and required to
submit all reports and film to military censors for clearance. Some
reporters complained that the rules limited their ability to gather
information independently, thereby obstructing informed and objective
Three Pentagon press officials in the Gulf region admitted to James
LeMoyne of the "New York Times" that they spent significant time
analyzing reporters' stories in order to shape the coverage in the
Pentagon's favor. In the early days of the deployment, Pentagon press
officers warned reporters who asked hard questions that they were seen
as "anti-military" and that their requests for interviews with senior
commanders and visits to the field were in jeopardy. The military
often staged events solely for the cameras and would stop televised
interviews in progress when it did not like what was being portrayed.
Although filed soon after the beginning of the war, a lawsuit
challenging the constitutionality of press restrictions was not heard
until after the war ended. It was then dismissed when the judge ruled
that since the war had ended, the issues raised had become moot. The
legal status of the restrictions--initially tested during the U.S.
invasions of Grenada and Panama--remains unsettled.
A National Misfortune
It will be years before researchers and journalists are able to
ferret through the maze of government documents and give a full
appraisal of the impact of the President's emergency powers on
domestic affairs. It is likely, however, that with a post-war
presidential approval rating exceeding 75 percent, the domestic
casualties will continue to mount with few objections. Paradoxically,
even though the U.S. public put pressure on Bush to send relief for
the 500,000 Iraqi Kurdish refugees, it is unlikely the same outcry
will be heard for the 37 million Americans without health insurance,
the 32 million living in poverty, or the country's five million hungry
children. The U.S. may even help rebuild Kuwaiti and Iraqi civilian
infrastructures it destroyed during the war while leaving its own
education system in decay, domestic transportation infrastructures
crumbling, and inner city war zones uninhabitable. And, while the
U.S. assists Kuwait in cleaning up its environmental disaster, it will
increase pollution at home. Indeed, as the long-dead Prussian field
marshal prophesied, "a war, even the most victorious, is a national
1. The administrative guideline was established under Reagan in Executive
Order 12656, November 18,1988, "Federal Register," vol. 23, no. 266.
2. For instance, National Security Council policy papers or National
Security Directives (NSD) or National Security Decision Directives
(NSDD) have today evolved into a network of shadowy, wide-ranging and
potent executive powers. These are secret instruments, maintained in
a top security classified state and are not shared with Congress. For
an excellent discussion see: Harold C. Relyea, The Coming of Secret
Law, "Government Information Quarterly," Vol. 5, November 1988; see
also: Eve Pell, "The Backbone of Hidden Government," "The Nation,"
3. "Letter to Congressional Leaders Reporting on the National Emergency
With Respect to Iraq," February, 11, 1991, "Weekly Compilation of
Presidential Documents: Administration of George Bush," (Washington,
DC: U.S. Government Printing Office), pp. 158-61.
4. The U.S. now has states of emergency with Iran, Iraq and Syria.
5. Allanna Sullivan, "U.S. Oil Concerns Confident Of Riding Out Short Gulf
War," "Wall Street Journal Europe," January 7, 1991.
6. Colin McMillan, Letter to Michael Deland, Chairman, Council on
Environmental Quality (Washington, DC: Executive Office of the
President), August 24, 1990; Michael R. Deland, Letter to Colin
McMillan, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Production and Logistics
(Washington, DC: Department of Defense), August 29,1990.
7. Keith Schneider, "Pentagon Wins Waiver Of Environmental Rule," "New York
Times," January 30, 1991.
8. 33 U.S. Code (USC) sec. 1902 9(b).
9. 33 USC sec. 2503 l(b).
10. 50 USC sec. 1521(b) (3)(A).
ll. Adam Clymer, "New Bill Mandates Sanctions On Makers of Chemical Arms,"
"New York Times," February 22, 1991.
12. 31 USC O10005 (f); 2 USC O632 (i), 6419 (d), 907a (b); and Public
Law 101-508, Title X999, sec. 13101.
13. 10 USC sec. 2434/2461 9F.
14. When the Pentagon expected the war to last months and oil prices to
skyrocket, it projected the incremental cost of deploying and
redeploying the forces and waging war at about $70 billion. The
administration sought and received $56 billion in pledges from allies
such as Germany, Japan and Saudi Arabia. Although the military's
estimates of casualties and the war's duration were highly inflated,
today their budget estimates remain at around $70 billion even though
the Congressional Budget office estimates that cost at only $40
billion, $16 billion less than allied pledges.
15. Michael Kamish, "After The War: At Home, An Unconquered Recession,"
"Boston Globe," March 6, 1991; Peter Passell, "The Big Spoils From a
Bargain War," "New York Times," March 3, 1991; and Alan Abelson, "A
War Dividend For The Defense Industry?" "Barron's," March 18, 1991.
16. Lawrence Korb, "The Pentagon's Creative Budgetry Is Out of Line,"
"International Herald Tribune," April 5, 199l.
17. Many of the powers against aliens are automatically invoked during a
national emergency or state of war. Under the Alien Enemies Act (50
USC sec. 21), the President can issue an order to apprehend, restrain,
secure and remove all subjects of a hostile nation over 13 years old.
Other statutes conferring special powers on the President with regard
to aliens that may be exercised in times of war or emergencies but are
not confined to such circumstances, are: exclusion of all or certain
classes of aliens from entry into the U.S. when their entry may be
"detrimental to the interests of the United States" (8 USC sec. 1182(f));
imposition of travel restrictions on aliens within the U.S. (8 USC sec.
1185); and requiring aliens to be fingerprinted (8 USC sec. 1302).
18. Ann Talamas, "FBI Targets Arab-Americans," "CAIB," Spring 1991, p. 4.
19. "Anti-Repression Project Bulletin" (New York: Center for
Constitutional Rights), January 23, 1991.
20. James DeParle, "Long Series of Military Decisions Led to Gulf War News
Censorship," "New York Times," May 5, 1991.
21. James LeMoyne, "A Correspondent's Tale: Pentagon's Strategy for the
Press: Good News or No News," "New York Times," February 17, 1991.
Covert Action INFORMATION BULLETIN
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No. 23 (Spring 1985): Special issue on "plot" to kill the Pope and the
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contra agents; Israel and South Africa; Duarte; media in Costa
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No. 32 (Summer 1989): Tenth Year Anniversary Issue: The Best of CAIB.
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No. 33 (Winter 1990): The Bush Issue: CIA agents for Bush; Terrorism Task
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No. 34 (Summer 1990): Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr; Nicaraguan
elections; South African death squads; U.S. and Pol Pot; Pan Am
Flight 103; Noriega and the CIA; Council for National Policy.
No. 35 (Fall 1990): Special: Eastern Europe; Analysis-Persian Gulf and
Cuba; massacres in Indonesia; CIA and Banks; Iran-contra
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Officials; Special: Destabilizing Africa: Chad, Uganda, S. Africa,
Angola, Mozambique, Zaire; Haiti; Panama; Gulf War; COINTELPRO "art."
No. 37 (Summer 1990): Special: Gulf War: Media; U.N.; Libya; Iran;
Domestic costs; North Korea Next? Illegal Arms Deals.
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yer friendly neighborhood ratman
ko.yan.nis.qatsi (from the Hopi Language) n. 1. crazy life. 2. life
in turmoil. 3. life out of balance. 4. life disintegrating.
5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.
ko.yan.nis.qatsi (from the Hopi Language) n. 1. crazy life. 2. life
in turmoil. 3. life out of balance. 4. life disintegrating.
5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.