The Rise and Fall of Oliver North

[Oliver] North managed to network himself into the highest levels of
the CIA and power centers around the world.  There he lied and
boastfully ignored the constitutional process, Bradlee writes.

Yet more terrifying is the plan hatched by North and other Reagan
people in the Federal Emergency Manpower Agency (FEMA): A blueprint
for the military takeover of the United States.  The plan called for
FEMA to become ``emergency czar'' in the event of a national emergency
such as nuclear war or an American invasion of a foreign nation.  FEMA
would also be a buffer between the president and his cabinet and other
civilian agencies, and would have broad powers to appoint military
commanders and run state and local governments.  Finally, it would
have the authority to order suspect aliens into concentration camps
and seize their property.

When then-Attorney General William French Smith got wind of the plan,
he killed it.  After Smith left the administration, North and his FEMA
cronies came up with the Defense Resource Act, designed to suspendend
the First Amendment by imposing censorship and banning strikes.

Where was it all heading?  The book's answer: ``REX-84 Bravo, a
National Security Decision Directive 52 that would become operative
with the president's declaration of a state of national emergency
concurrent with a mythical U.S. military invasion of an unspecified
Central American country, presumably Nicaragua.''

Bradlee writes that the Rex exercise was designed to test FEMA's
readiness to assume authority over the Department of Defense, the
National Guard in all 50 states, and ``a number of state defense
forces to be established by state legislatures.''  The military would
then be ``deputized,'' thus making an end run around federal law
forbidding military involvement in domestic law enforcement.

Rex, which ran concurrently with the first annual U.S. show of force
in Honduras in April 1984, was also designed to test FEMA's ability to
round up 400,000 undocumented Central American aliens in the United
States and its ability to distribute hundreds of tons of small arms to
``state defense forces.''

Incredibly, REX 84 was similar to a plan secretly adopted by Reagan
while governor of California.  His two top henchmen then were Edwin
Meese, who recently resigned as U.S. attorney general, and Louis
Guiffrida, the FEMA director in 1984.

If the review makes you nervous, you should read the book!

--Chip Berlet ** End of text from **


[PeaceNet forward from AML (ACTIV-L) -- see bottom for more info]
This is the front-page article of the Jan. 16 issue of "The
Guardian," which describes some of the U.S. government's planning
for martial law in the event of the Gulf war. This is truly a
scary scenario that should concern all civil libertarians and

 by Paul DeRienzo and Bill Weinberg

On August 2, 1990, as Saddam Hussein's army was consolidating control
over Kuwait, President George Bush responded by signing two executive
orders that were the first step toward martial law in the United
States and suspending the Constitution.

On the surface, Executive Orders 12722 and 12723, declaring a
"national emergency," merely invoked laws that allowed Bush to freeze
Iraqi assets in the United States.

The International Emergency Executive Powers Act permits the president
to freeze foreign assets after declaring a "national emergency," a
move that has been made three times before -- against Panama in 1987,
Nicaragua in 1985 and Iran in 1979.

According to Professor Diana Reynolds, of the Fletcher School of
Diplomacy at Boston's Tufts University, when Bush declared a national
emergency he "activated one part of a contingency national security
emergency plan." That plan is made up of a series of laws passed since
the presidency of Richard Nixon, which Reynolds says give the
president "boundless" powers.

According to Reynolds, such laws as the Defense Industrial
Revitalization and Disaster Relief Acts of 1983 "would permit the
president to do anything from seizing the means of production, to
conscripting a labor force, to relocating groups of citizens."

Reynolds says the net effect of invoking these laws would be the
suspension of the Constitution.

She adds that national emergency powers "permit the stationing of the
military in cities and towns, closing off the U.S. borders, freezing
all imports and exports, allocating all resources on a national
security priority, monitoring and censoring the press, and warrantless
searches and seizures."

The measures would allow military authorities to proclaim martial law
in the United States, asserts Reynolds. She defines martial law as the
"federal authority taking over for local authority when they are
unable to maintain law and order or to assure a republican form of

A report called "Post Attack Recovery Strategies," about rebuilding
the country after a nuclear war, prepared by the right-wing Hudson
Institute in 1980, defines martial law as dealing "with the control of
civilians by their own military forces in time of emergency."

The federal agency with the authority to organize and command the
government's response to a national emergency is the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA). This super-secret and elite agency was
formed in 1979 under congressional measures that merged all federal
powers dealing with civilian and military emergencies under one

FEMA has its roots in the World War I partnership between government
and corporate leaders who helped mobilize the nation's industries to
support the war effort. The idea of a central national response to
large-scale emergencies was reintroduced in the early 1970s by Louis
Giuffrida, a close associate of then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan and
his chief aide Edwin Meese.

Reagan appointed Giuffrida head of the California National Guard in
1969. With Meese, Giuffrida organized "war-games" to prepare for
"statewide martial law" in the event that Black nationalists and
anti-war protesters "challenged the authority of the state."  In 1981,
Reagan as president moved Giuffrida up to the big leagues, appointing
him director of FEMA.

According to Reynolds, however, it was the actions of George Bush in
1976, while he was the director of the Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA), that provided the stimulus for centralization of vast powers in

Bush assembled a group of hawkish outsiders, called Team B, that
released a report claiming the CIA ("Team A") had underestimated the
dangers of Soviet nuclear attack. The report advised the development
of elaborate plans for "civil defense" and post-nuclear government.
Three years later, in 1979, FEMA was given ultimate responsibility for
developing these plans.

Aware of the bad publicity FEMA was getting because of its role in
organizing for a post-nuclear world, Reagan's FEMA chief Giuffrida
publicly argued that the 1865 Posse Comitatus Act prohibited the
military from arresting civilians.

However, Reynolds says that Congress eroded the act by giving the
military reserves an exemption from Posse Comitatus and allowing them
to arrest civilians. The National Guard, under the control of state
governors in peace time, is also exempt from the act and can arrest

FEMA Inspector General John Brinkerhoff has written a memo contending
that the government doesn't need to suspend the Constitution to use
the full range of powers Congress has given the agency. FEMA has
prepared legislation to be introduced in Congress in the event of a
national emergency that would give the agency sweeping powers. The
right to "deputize" National Guard and police forces is included in
the package. But Reynolds believes that actual martial law need not be
declared publicly.

Giuffrida has written that "Martial Rule comes into existence upon a
determination (not a declaration) by the senior military commander
that the civil government must be replaced because it is no longer
functioning anyway." He adds that "Martial Rule is limited only by the
principle of necessary force."

According to Reynolds, it is possible for the president to make
declarations concerning a national emergency secretly in the form of a
Natioanl Security Decision Directive. Most such directives are
classified as so secret that Reynolds says "researchers don't even
know how many are enacted."


Throughout the 1980s, FEMA was prohibited from engaging in
intelligence gathering. But on July 6, 1989, Bush signed Executive
Order 12681, pronouncing that FEMA's National Preparedness Directorate
would "have as a primary function intelligence, counterintelligence,
investigative, or national security work." Recent events indicate that
domestic spying in response to the looming Middle East war is now
under way.

Reynolds reports that "the CIA is going to various campuses asking for
information on Middle Eastern students. I'm sure that there are
intelligence organizations monitoring peace demonstrations."
According to the University of Connecticut student paper, the Daily
Campus, CIA officials have recently met there to discuss talking with
Middle Eastern students.

The New York Times reports that the FBI has ordered its agents around
the country to question Arab-American leaders and business people in
search of information on potential Iraqi "terrorist" attacks in
response to a Gulf war.

A 1986 Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) document entitled
"Alien Terrorists and Other Undesirables: A Contingency Plan" outlines
the potential round-up and incarceration in mass detainment camps of
U.S. residents who are citizens of "terrorist" countries, chiefly in
the Middle East. This plan echoed a 1984 FEMA nationwide "readiness
exercise code-named REX-84 ALPHA, which included the rehearsal of
joint operations with the INS to round up 40,000 Central American
refugees in the event of a U.S. invasion of the region. One of the 10
military bases established as detainment camps by REX-84 ALPHA, Camp
Krome, Fla., was designated a joint FEMA-Immigration service
interrogation center.

Recently, FEMA has been criticized in the media for inadequate
response to the October, 1989 San Francisco earthquake. What the
mainstream press has failed to cover is the agency's planned role in
repressing domestic dissent in the event of an invasion abroad.

Source: The Guardian, Jan 16 1991

 The Guardian is an independent radical news weekly. Subscriptions are
available at $33.50 per year from The Guardian, 33 West 17th St., New
York, NY 10011

----------------------------REF5:NSDD 145-------------------------------

DATE OF UPLOAD:  November 17, 1989
ORIGIN OF UPLOAD:  Omni Magazine
CONTRIBUTED BY: Donald Goldberg
     Although  this  article does not deal  directly  with  UFOs,
ParaNet  felt  it  important as an offering to  our  readers  who
depend  so  much upon communications as a way to  stay  informed.
This article raises some interesting implications for the  future
of communications.

(Reprinted  with  permission and license to  ParaNet  Information
Service and its affiliates.)

By Donald Goldberg

     The  mountains bend as the fjord and the sea beyond  stretch
out before the viewer's eyes.  First over the water, then a sharp
left  turn,  then a bank to the right between the peaks,  and the
secret naval base unfolds upon the screen.
     The  scene is of a Soviet military installation on the  Kola
Peninsula in the icy Barents Sea,  a place usually off-limits  to
the gaze of the Western world.  It was captured by a small French
satellite called SPOT Image, orbiting at an altitude of 517 miles
above  the hidden Russian outpost.   On each of several passes --
made  over a two-week period last fall -- the  satellite's  high-
resolution  lens  took  its pictures at a  different  angle;  the
images  were  then blended into  a  three-dimensional,  computer-
generated video.   Buildings,  docks, vessels, and details of the
Artic landscape are all clearly visible.
     Half  a  world  away and thousands of feet  under  the  sea,
sparkling-clear images are being made of the ocean floor.   Using
the  latest bathymetric technology and  state-of-the-art  systems
known as Seam Beam and Hydrochart,  researchers are for the first
time  assembling  detailed  underwater maps  of  the  continental
shelves  and the depths of the world's oceans.   These scenes  of
the  sea  are as sophisticated as the photographs taken from  the
     From  the three-dimensional images taken far above the earth
to  the charts of the bottom of the  oceans,  these  photographic
systems  have  three  things in common:   They both rely  on  the
latest  technology to create accurate pictures never  dreamed  of
even  25  years  ago;  they are being made  widely  available  by
commerical,  nongovernmental  enterprises;  and  the Pentagon  is
trying desperately to keep them from the general public.
     In  1985 the Navy classified the underwater  charts,  making
them  available  only  to approved researchers  whose  needs  are
evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  Under a 1984 law the military
has  been given a say in what cameras can be licensed to be  used
on American satellites; and officials have already announced they
plan  to  limit  the  quality  and  resolution  of  photos   made
available.   The National Security Agency (NSA) -- the secret arm
of the Pentagon in charge of gathering electronic intelligence as
well as protecting sensitive U.S.  communications -- has defeated
a move to keep it away from civilian and commercial computers and
     That   attitude  has  outraged  those  concerned  with   the
military's  increasing efforts to keep information not only  from
the public but from industry experts,  scientists, and even other
government  officials as well.   "That's like classifying a  road
map   for   fear  of  invasion,"  says  Paul   Wolff,   assistant
administrator   for   the  National   Oceanic   and   Atmospheric
Administration, of the attempted restrictions.
     These attempts to keep unclassified data out of the hands of
scientists,  researchers, the news media, and the public at large
are  a part of an alarming trend that has seen the military  take
an  ever-increasing  role in controlling the flow of  information
and communications through American society, a role traditionally
-- and  almost  exclusively  -- left  to  civilians.   Under  the
approving  gaze  of  the  Reagan  administration,  Department  of
Defense  (DoD)  officials have quietly implemented  a  number  of
policies,   decisions,   and   orders  that  give  the   military
unprecedented  control  over both the content and public  use  of
data and communications.  For example:

**The  Pentagon  has  created a new category of  "sensitive"  but
unclassified  information  that  allows it to  keep  from  public
access huge quantities of data that were once widely accessible.
**Defense Department officials have attempted to rewrite key laws
that  spell  out when the president can  and  cannot  appropriate
private communications facilities.
**The  Pentagon  has installed a system that enables it to  seize
control  of  the nation's entire  communications  network  -- the
phone system,  data transmissions, and satellite transmissions of
all   kinds  -- in  the  event  of  what  it  deems  a  "national
emergency."  As yet there is no single,  universally  agreed-upon
definition  of  what constitutes such a state.   Usually such  an
emergency  is restricted to times of natural  disaster,  war,  or
when  national  security is  specifically  threatened.   Now  the
military has attempted to redefine emergency.
     The  point man in the Pentagon's onslaught on communications
is  Assistant Defense Secretary Donald C.  Latham,  a former  NSA
deputy  chief.   Latham now heads up an interagency committee  in
charge of writing and implementing many of the policies that have
put  the military in charge of the flow of  civilian  information
and communication.  He is also the architect of National Security
Decision  Directive 145 (NSDD 145),  signed by Defense  Secretary
Caspar Weinberger in 1984,  which sets out the national policy on
telecommunications and computer-systems security.
     First  NSDD  145  set  up  a  steering  group  of  top-level
administration  officials.   Their job is to  recommend  ways  to
protect information that is unclassified but has been  designated
sensitive.   Such  information  is held not  only  by  government
agencies but by private companies as well.  And last October  the
steering  group  issued  a  memorandum  that  defined   sensitive
information and gave federal agencies broad new powers to keep it
from the public.
     According to Latham, this new category includes such data as
all medical records on government databases -- from the files  of
the National Cancer Institute to information on every veteran who
has ever applied for medical aid from the Veterans Administration
-- and all the information on corporate and personal taxpayers in
the  Internal  Revenue Service's  computers.   Even  agricultural
statistics, he argues, can be used by a foreign power against the
United States.
     In  his  oversize yet Spartan Pentagon office,  Latham  cuts
anything but an intimidating figure.  Articulate and friendly, he
could  pass  for a network anchorman or a  television  game  show
host.    When  asked  how  the  government's  new  definition  of
sensitive information will be used,  he defends the necessity for
it and tries to put to rest concerns about a new restrictiveness.
     "The  debate  that  somehow  the DoD and NSA  are  going  to
monitor  or  get into private databases isn't the case  at  all,"
Latham  insists.   "The definition is just a guideline,  just  an
advisory.   It does not give the DoD the right to go into private
     Yet  the Defense Department invoked the NSDD 145  guidelines
when it told the information industry it intends to restrict  the
sale  of  data that are now unclassified and  publicly  available
from privately owned computer systems.  The excuse if offered was
that these data often include technical information that might be
valuable to a foreign adversary like the Soviet Union.
     Mead Data Central -- which runs some of the nation's largest
computer  databases,  such  as Lexis and Nexis,  and  has  nearly
200,000 users -- says it has already been approached by a team of
agents  from the Air Force and officials from the CIA and the FBI
who  asked  for the names of subscribers and inquired  what  Mead
officials might do if information restrictions were imposed.   In
response  to  government pressure,  Mead Data Central  in  effect
censured itself.  It purged all unclassified  government-supplied
technical  data  from  its  system  and  completely  dropped  the
National  Technical Information System from its  database  rather
than risk a confrontation.
     Representative Jack Brooks,  a Texas Democrat who chairs the
House Government Operations Committee,  is an outspoken critic of
the  NSA's  role in restricting civilian information.   He  notes
that  in 1985 the NSA -- under the authority granted by NSDD  145
-- investigated  a computer program that was widely used in  both
local  and federal elections in 1984.   The computer  system  was
used to count more than one third of all votes cast in the United
States.   While  probing  the system's vulnerability  to  outside
manipulation,  the  NSA  obtained  a detailed knowledge  of  that
computer  program.   "In  my  view," Brooks  says,  "this  is  an
unprecedented   and  ill-advised  expansion  of  the   military's
influence in our society."
     There are other NSA critics.   "The computer systems used by
counties  to  collect and process votes have nothing to  do  with
national  security,  and  I'm really concerned  about  the  NSA's
involvement," says Democratic congressman Dan Glickman of Kansas,
chairman  of  the  House  science  and  technology   subcommittee
concerned with computer security.
     Also,  under  NSDD  145 the Pentagon has  issued  an  order,
virtually  unknown  to all  but a few industry  executives,  that
affects  commercial communications satellites.   The  policy  was
made official by Defense Secretary Weinberger in June of 1985 and
requires  that all commercial satellite operators that carry such
unclassified  government data traffic as routine Pentagon  supply
information  and  payroll data (and that  compete  for  lucrative
government  contracts)  install costly protective systems on  all
satellites  launched after 1990.   The policy does  not  directly
affect the data over satellite channels, but it does make the NSA
privy  to vital information about the essential signals needed to
operate a satellite.  With this information it could take control
of any satellite it chooses.
     Latham  insists this,  too,  is a voluntary policy and  that
only  companies that wish to install protection will  have  their
systems  evaluated by the NSA.   He also says industry  officials
are  wholly  behind  the move,  and argues  that  the  protective
systems  are necessary.  With just a few thousand dollars'  worth
of  equipment,  a  disgruntled employee could  interfere  with  a
satellite's  control  signals  and disable or  even  wipe  out  a
hundred-million-dollar satellite carrying government information.
     At best,  his comments are misleading.  First, the policy is
not  voluntary.    The  NSA  can  cut  off  lucrative  government
contracts  to companies that do not comply with  the  plan.   The
Pentagon   alone  spent  more  than  a  billion  dollars  leasing
commercial  satellite  channels  last  year;  that's  a  powerful
incentive for business to cooperate.
     Second,  the  industry's  support  is  anything  but  total.
According  to the minutes of one closed-door meeting between  NSA
officials -- along with representatives of other federal agencies
--  and  executives from AT&T, Comsat, GTE Sprint, and  MCI,  the
executives  neither  supported  the  move  nor  believed  it  was
necessary.   The  NSA  defended  the policy  by  arguing  that  a
satellite  could  be held for ransom if the command  and  control
links  weren't  protected.   But  experts  at  the  meeting  were
     "Why is the threat limited to accessing the satellite rather
than  destroying  it  with lasers or high-powered  signals?"  one
industry executive wanted to know.
     Most  of the officials present objected to the high cost  of
protecting the satellites.  According to a 1983 study made at the
request of the Pentagon, the protection demanded by the NSA could
add  as  much as $3 million to the price of a  satellite  and  $1
million  more to annual operating costs.  Costs like these,  they
argue,  could cripple a company competing against less  expensive
communications networks.
     Americans  get  much of their information through  forms  of
electronic  communications,  from the telephone,  television  and
radio,  and information printed in many newspapers.   Banks  send
important  financial  data,  businesses their  spreadsheets,  and
stockbrokers  their  investment portfolios,  all  over  the  same
channels,  from  satellite signals to computer hookups carried on
long  distance telephone lines.   To make sure that  the  federal
government  helped  to promote and protect the efficient  use  of
this   advancing   technology,   Congress  passed   the   massive
Communications Act of of 1934.   It outlined the role and laws of
the communications structure in the United States.
     The  powers  of the president are set out in Section 606  of
that law;  basically it states that he has the authority to  take
control   of  any  communications  facilities  that  he  believes
"essential  to  the national defense."  In the  language  of  the
trade this is known as a 606 emergency.
     There  have  been  a number of attempts in recent  years  by
Defense Department officials to redefine what qualifies as a  606
emergency  and  make  it  easier for the military  to  take  over
national communications.
     In  1981  the Senate considered amendments to the  1934  act
that   would   allow  the  president,   on   Defense   Department
recommendation,  to require any communications company to provide
services,  facilities,  or  equipment  "to promote  the  national
defense  and  security  or  the  emergency  preparedness  of  the
nation,"  even  in  peacetime and without  a  declared  state  of
emergency.   The  general  language had been drafted  by  Defense
Department  officials.   (The  bill failed to pass the House  for
unrelated reasons.)
     "I  think  it is quite clear that they have snuck  in  there
some  powers that are dangerous for us as a company and  for  the
public  at large," said MCI vice president Kenneth Cox before the
Senate vote.
     Since President Reagan took office, the Pentagon has stepped
up  its  efforts to rewrite the definition of national  emergency
and give the military expanded powers in the United States.  "The
declaration  of  'emergency'  has always been  vague,"  says  one
former  administration official who left the government  in  1982
after ten years in top policy posts.   "Different presidents have
invoked  it  differently.   This administration would  declare  a
convenient 'emergency.'"   In other words,  what is a nuisance to
one  administration  might  qualify  as a  burgeoning  crisis  to
another.   For  example,  the Reagan administration might  decide
that a series of protests on or near military bases constituted a
national emergency.
     Should the Pentagon ever be given the green light,  its base
for  taking  over the nation's communications system would  be  a
nondescript yellow brick building within the maze of high  rises,
government  buildings,  and apartment complexes that make up  the
Washington  suburb of Arlington,  Virginia.   Headquartered in  a
dusty and aging structure surrounded by a barbed-wire fence is an
obscure   branch   of   the  military  known   as   the   Defense
Communications  Agency  (DCA).   It  does not have the  spit  and
polish  of  the National Security Agency or the dozens  of  other
government facilities that make up the nation's capital.  But its
lack of shine belies its critical mission:   to make sure all  of
America's  far-flung  military  units can  communicate  with  one
another.   It is in certain ways the nerve center of our nation's
defense system.
     On  the second floor of the DCA's four-story headquarters is
a  new  addition called the National Coordinating  Center  (NCC).
Operated  by the Pentagon,  it is virtually unknown outside of  a
handful of industry and government officials.  The NCC is staffed
around  the clock by representatives of a dozen of  the  nation's
largest  commercial  communications  companies  -- the  so-called
"common  carriers" -- including AT&T, MCI, GTE, Comsat, and  ITT.
Also  on hand are officials from the State Department,  the  CIA,
the  Federal  Aviation  Administration, and  a  number  of  other
federal agencies.  During a 606 emergency the Pentagon can  order
the  companies that make up the National Coordinating  Center  to
turn  over their satellite, fiberoptic, and land-line  facilities
to the government.
     On a long corridor in the front of the building is a  series
of offices, each outfitted with a private phone, a telex machine,
and  a combination safe.   It's known as "logo row" because  each
office  is occupied by an employee from one of the companies that
staff the NCC and because their corporate logos hand on the  wall
outside.   Each  employee  is  on  permanent  standby,  ready  to
activate his company's system should the Pentagon require it.
     The  National Coordinating Center's mission is as  grand  as
its  title  is  obscure:    to  make  available  to  the  Defense
Department  all  the  facilities of the  civilian  communications
network  in this country -- the phone  lines,  the  long-distance
satellite  hookups,  the  data transmission lines -- in times  of
national  emergency.   If war breaks out and communications to  a
key military base are cut,  the Pentagon wants to make sure  that
an  alternate  link can be set up as fast as  possible.   Company
employees assigned to the center are on call 24 hours a day; they
wear beepers outside the office,  and when on vacation they  must
be replaced by qualified colleagues.
     The center formally opened on New Year's Day, 1984, the same
day  Ma Bell's monopoly over the telephone network of the  entire
United States was finally broken.  The timing was no coincidence.
Pentagon  officials had argued for years along with AT&T  against
the  divestiture  of Ma Bell,  on grounds of  national  security.
Defense   Secretary  Weinberger  personally  urged  the  attorney
general to block the lawsuit that resulted in the breakup, as had
his predecessor,  Harold Brown.   The reason was that rather than
construct its own communications network,  the Pentagon had  come
to rely extensively on the phone company.   After the breakup the
dependence   continued.    The  Pentagon  still  used  commercial
companies  to  carry more than 90 percent of  its  communications
within the continental United States.
     The 1984 divestiture put an end to AT&T's monopoly over  the
nation's telephone service and increased the Pentagon's obsession
with  having its own nerve center.   Now the brass had to contend
with  several  competing companies to acquire  phone  lines,  and
communications was more than a matter of running a line from  one
telephone to another.  Satellites, microwave towers, fiberoptics,
and  other  technological  breakthroughs  never  dreamed  of   by
Alexander  Graham  Bell were in extensive use, and not  just  for
phone  conversations.  Digital data streams for computers  flowed
on the same networks.
     These  facts were not lost on the Defense Department or  the
White House.   According to documents obtained by Omni, beginning
on  December  14,  1982,  a number of secret meetings  were  held
between high-level administration officials and executives of the
commercial  communications companies whose employees would  later
staff  the  National Coordinating Center.   The  meetings,  which
continued  over  the next three years,  were held  at  the  White
House,  the  State  Department,  the Strategic Air Command  (SAC)
headquarters  at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska,  and  at  the
North  American  Aerospace  Defense Command (NORAD)  in  Colorado
     The  industry officials attending constituted  the  National
Security  Telecommunications  Advisory Committee -- called  NSTAC
(pronounced  N-stack)  -- set up by President Reagan  to  address
those same problems that worried the Pentagon.   It was at  these
secret  meetings,  according to the minutes,  that the idea of  a
communications  watch center for national emergencies -- the  NCC
-- was born.   Along with it came a whole set of plans that would
allow   the  military  to  take  over  commercial  communications
"assets" -- everything from ground stations and satellite  dishes
to fiberoptic cables -- across the country.
     At  a  1983  Federal Communications  Commission  meeting,  a
ranking   Defense  Department  official  offered  the   following
explanation for the founding of the National Coordinating Center:
"We are looking at trying to make communications endurable for  a
protracted  conflict."   The  phrase  protracted  conflict  is  a
military euphemism for nuclear war.
     But  could  the NCC survive even the first volley in such  a
     Not  likely.   It's located within a mile of  the  Pentagon,
itself  an obvious early target of a Soviet nuclear barrage (or a
conventional  strike,   for  that  matter).    And  the   Kremlin
undoubtedly knows its location and importance, and presumably has
included  it on its priority target list.   In sum,  according to
one  Pentagon  official,  "The  NCC itself is  not  viewed  as  a
survivable facility."
     Furthermore,  the  NCC's "Implementation Plan," obtained  by
Omni,  lists four phases of emergencies and how the center should
respond to each.   The first,  Phase 0,  is Peacetime,  for which
there would be little to do outside of a handful of routine tasks
and  exercises.   Phase 1 is Pre Attack,  in which alternate  NCC
sites  are alerted.   Phase 2 is Post Attack,  in which other NCC
locations  are  instructed to take over the  center's  functions.
Phase  3  is  known as Last Ditch,  and in  this  phase  whatever
facility survives becomes the de facto NCC.
     So far there is no alternate National Coordinating Center to
which   NCC  officials  could  retreat  to  survive  an   attack.
According  to NCC deputy director William  Belford,  no  physical
sites have yet been chosen for a substitute NCC, and even whether
the  NCC  itself  will survive a nuclear attack  is  still  under
     Of  what use is a communications center that is not expected
to outlast even the first shots of a war and has no backup?
     The  answer  appears to be that because  of  the  Pentagon's
concerns about the AT&T divestiture and the disruptive effects it
might  have  on national security,  the NCC was to serve  as  the
military's peacetime communications center.
     The  center  is a powerful and unprecedented tool to  assume
control  over  the nation's vast communications  and  information
network.   For  years the Pentagon has been studying how to  take
over the common carriers' facilities.  That research was prepared
by  NSTAC  at the DoD's request and is contained in a  series  of
internal Pentagon documents obtained by Omni.   Collectively this
series is known as the Satellite Survivability Report.  Completed
in  1984,  it  is  the  only detailed analysis  to  date  of  the
vulnerabilities  of  the commercial satellite  network.   It  was
begun  as  a  way  of examining how to  protect  the  network  of
communications  facilities from attack and how to keep it  intact
for the DoD.
     A major part of the report also contains an analysis of  how
to   make  commercial  satellites  "interoperable"  with  Defense
Department  systems.    While  the  report  notes  that   current
technical   differences  such  as  varying  frequencies  make  it
difficult  for  the Pentagon to  use  commercial  satellites,  it
recommends ways to resolve those problems.  Much of the report is
a  veritable  blueprint  for the government on how to  take  over
satellites in orbit above the United States.   This  information,
plus  NSDD 145's demand that satellite operators tell the NSA how
their  satellites are controlled,  guarantees the military  ample
knowledge about operating commercial satellites.
     The Pentagon now has an unprecedented access to the civilian
communications network:  commercial databases, computer networks,
electronic  links,  telephone lines.   All it needs is the  legal
authority to use them.   Then it could totally dominate the  flow
of  all  information in the United States.   As one  high-ranking
White  House communications official put it:   "Whoever  controls
communications, controls the country."  His remark was made after
our  State  Department could not communicate  directly  with  our
embassy  in  Manila during the anti-Marcos revolution last  year.
To  get  through,  the  State Department had  to  relay  all  its
messages through the Philippine government.
     Government  officials have offered all kinds of scenarios to
justify   the  National  Coordinating   Center,   the   Satellite
Survivability  Report,  new domains of authority for the Pentagon
and  the NSA,  and the creation of top-level government  steering
groups to think of even more policies for the military.  Most can
be  reduced to the rationale that inspired NSDD  145:   that  our
enemies  (presumably  the  Soviets)  have to  be  prevented  from
getting too much information from unclassified sources.   And the
only  way  to  do that is to step in and take  control  of  those
     Remarkably,  the communications industry as a whole has  not
been  concerned about the overall scope of the Pentagon's  threat
to  its  freedom  of  operation.   Most  protests  have  been  to
individual  government actions.   For example,  a media coalition
that includes the Radio-Television Society of Newspaper  Editors,
and  the Turner Broadcasting System has been lobbying that before
the  government  can  restrict the use  of  satellites,  it  must
demonstrate  why such restrictions protect against a  "threat  to
distinct  and  compelling  national security and  foreign  policy
interests."  But the whole policy of restrictiveness has not been
examined.  That may change sometime this year, when the Office of
Technology  Assessment  issues  a report on  how  the  Pentagon's
policy  will affect communications in the United States.  In  the
meantime  the  military  keeps trying  to  encroach  on  national
     While  it may seem unlikely that the Pentagon will ever  get
total control of our information and communications systems,  the
truth  is  that  it  can happen all  too  easily.   The  official
mechanisms  are  already in place;  and few  barriers  remain  to
guarantee  that  what  we hear,  see,  and read will come  to  us
courtesy of our being members of a free and open society and  not
courtesy of the Pentagon.

Psi-Tech and alien brain-wave research -- Whats going on at Los Alamos?