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Dick Cheney, John Yoo and COG on 9/11 ---- Peter Dale Scott
#1
For me a most important essay that lays out the deep political and deep legal architecture that enabled how a small cabal of insiders under the command of a meglomaniac to take over control of the US government on 9/11 --- with all the concomitant fallout since that day.

The emergency measures that PDS references to in the article, and which continue to authorize COG have been regularly renewed by Obama, the last time being in 2015. This will come up for renewal in 2017.

Quote: Journal of 9/11 Studies Letters, September 2016


Dick Cheney, John Yoo, and COG on 9/11:
A letter to readers of the Journal of 9/11 Studies
In 1993 I wrote a book, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, in which I said at theoutset I was not going to try to solve the mystery of JFK's murder but to examinethe politics of it.
I wish to argue here for similar research into the politics of 9/11. For the politicalconsequences of 9/11 have been toxic, regardless of how the towers fell or whowas responsible. The unusual process of their implementation deserves close study,a study which I believe will cast more light on 9/11 itself.
I hope in this paper to show that Dick Cheney responded to 9/11 by using deviousmeans to install a small cabal of lawyers most notoriously John Yoo whoproceeded conspiratorially in the next weeks to exclude their superiors, whilesecretly authorizing measures ranging from warrantless surveillance and detentionto torture.
Some of these were measures which Cheney and Rumsfeld had previously beenpreparing for almost two decades, as central figures in the secret agency planningfor so-called Continuity of Government (COG). On 9/11, the 9/11 Reportconfirms, COG was implemented. As we shall see, Cheney promptly ordered thethree top figures in the Justice Department out of Washington to a designated COGsite buried deep underground.
This allowed Cheney's cabal to deal instead, starting that same afternoon, withJohn Yoo in the Justice Department command center. At that time John Yoo, a 34-year-old distinguished chiefly for his repeated defense of Cheney's eccentric viewson presidential authority, had only been in the government for two months.
As a consequence, since 9/11 we have seen warrantless surveillance, suspension ofhabeas corpus, and the militarization of homeland security, on an unprecedentedscale that is not just illegal but an erasure of rights specified in the U.S.constitution.1
1 There was also heightened surveillance of Americans as a consequence of Dallas, but far less obtrusively than whatwe have today.


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Furthermore, the secrecy and speed of the manner in which our rights weredrastically subverted is itself an affront to the ideals of America as an open society:one in which major changes to our political fabric are only made throughauthorized channels, and after debate.
The Background: Continuity of Government Planning
The origin of many of these measures both their content and their secret planningoutside of channels was the secret Continuity of Government (COG) planningthat Rumsfeld and Cheney had been engaged in since 1982.
In the 1980s three secret COG provisions were roughly identified by AlfonsoChardy of the Miami News and Ross Gelbspan of the Boston Globe. According toChardy in 1987,
the plans envisaged suspension of the Constitution, turning control of thegovernment over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA],emergency appointment of military commanders to run state and localgovernments and declaration of martial law during a national crisis."2
Gelbspan added that North was also working with FEMA officials on
a secret contingency plan to surveil political dissenters and to arrange for thedetention of hundreds of thousands of undocumented aliens in case of anunspecified national emergency.3
Between them, the two journalists thus pointed to the content of the surveillance,detention, and militarization measures which, after over a decade of furtherrefinement, was finally implemented on 9/11.
They also indicated how secret, extra-constitutional, and unaccountable was theprocess of the COG planning. Chardy accurately referred to North's network as "avirtual parallel government outside the traditional Cabinet departments andagencies almost from the day Reagan took office."4
2Alfonso Chardy, "Reagan Aides and the Secret Government," Miami Herald, July 5, 1987,[COLOR=rgb(1.960784%, 38.823530%, 75.686280%)]http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=9877[/COLOR], emphasis added.
3 Ross Gelbspan, Break-Ins, Death Threats, and the FBI: The Covert War against the Central America Movement(Boston: South End Press, 1991), 184.
4 Chardy, "Reagan Aides and the Secret Government," Miami Herald, July 5, 1987.


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Four years later, in 1991, CNN revealed for the first time that North and FEMAwere under a secret National Program Office (NPO) in charge of Continuity ofGovernment (COG) planning, known in the Pentagon as "the Doomsday Project."It called the NPO a "shadow government . . . about which you know nothing."5And in 2004 two authors, James Mann and James Bamford, wrote that in the 1980stwo central figures guiding North in the Doomsday planning, which Mann called"extralegal and extraconstitutional," had been Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.6
The new details from Bamford and Mann about this multi-billion program wereinvaluable. But unfortunately both men believed, because of a very misleadingstory in the New York Times, that under Clinton "officials decided to abandon theprogram as an outdated legacy of the cold war."7
Both men were wrong: all that had been abandoned was the original andcompletely honorable purpose of COG planning under Truman and Eisenhower to deal with the catastrophe of an atomic attack. Under Reagan the planning, fromthe outset, had shifted to dealing with any emergency.8 Not only did the planningby Rumsfeld and Cheney continue under Clinton, it was augmented.9
How very true, then, was Mann's observation that
Cheney and Rumsfeld were, in a sense, a part of the permanent hiddennational-security apparatus of the United Statesinhabitants of a world inwhich Presidents come and go, but America keeps on fighting.10
5 CNN Special Assignment, November 17, 1991. Cf, AP, "CNN reveals plans for Doomsday Government,'" RacineJournal Times, November 17, 1991, http://journaltimes.com/news/local/cnn-r...4970b.html.
6 James Bamford, A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence
Agencies (New York: Doubleday, 2004), 74; cf. James Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's WarCabinet (New York: Viking, 2004), 13845; James Mann, "The Armageddon Plan," Atlantic, March 2004,http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arch...an/302902/.
7 Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans, 144; citing Tim Weiner, "Pentagon Book for Doomsday to Be Closed," New YorkTimes, April 18, 1994; cf. Bamford, A Pretext for War, 74. Cf. discussion in Peter Dale Scott, The American DeepState (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), 32.
8 One of Reagan's last Executive Orders, 12676 of 18 November 1988, decreed that COG planning was not just todeal with "a nuclear war," but for "any national security emergency" (Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11 [Berkeley,CA: University of California Press, 2007], 186). This merely confirmed six years of NPO practice from the time ofits establishment by another Reagan Executive Order in September 1982.
9 Scott, The American Deep State, 33. Cf. Peter Dale Scott, "Systemic Destabilization in Recent American History:9/11, the JFK Assassination, and the Oklahoma City Bombing as a Strategy of Tension," The Asia-Pacific Journal:Japan Focus, September 23, 2012, http://japanfocus.org/-Peter_Dale-Scott/3835.
10 Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans, 145.


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This situation was particularly disturbing under Clinton, when Rumsfeld (andpossibly Cheney) continued to plan for subordination of the constitution, eventhough at this time neither man was in the government.11 Both men were nowCEOs of large private corporations (as Rumsfeld had been since recruited in 1982for the task).12 And one of the planners told Andrew Cockburn that the Clintonadministration had "no idea what was going on."13 (Such phenomena persuaded meto analyze 9/11 as a deep event, to be analyzed in the context of the American deepstate.)14
Private corporation leaders had been brought into COG planning underEisenhower, because recovery from a nuclear attack would have required acorporate as well as government response.15 Ike could hardly have foreseen thatunder Reagan private people would begin to plan for the extralegal surveillanceand detention of their fellow citizens, still less that these plans would finally beimplemented by two of the central planners -- Rumsfeld and Cheney -- onSeptember 11, 2001.
The Implementation of COG Measures on 9/11
As the 9/11 Report confirms (pp. 38, 226), on 9/11 COG plans were indeedimplemented, before the last plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. It was under theauspices of COG that Bush stayed out of Washington on that day, and othergovernment leaders like Paul Wolfowitz were swiftly evacuated to COG's Site R,inside a hollowed out mountain near Camp David.16
These emergency measures were soon followed by two White House Declarationsof Emergency: Executive Order 13223 of September 14, 2001 ("Ordering the
11 Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy (New York:
Scribner, 2007), 88: "In earlier times the... shadow government' had [included] the political spectrum, Democratsand Republicans alike. But now, down in the bunkers, Rumsfeld found himself if politically congenial company, theplayers' roster being filled almost exclusively with Republican hawks." I have written in the past that Cheney wasalso there, but cannot now verify whether or not he was still part of COG planning.
12 For five years in the 1990s Cheney was CEO of the Halliburton Company, an oil extraction firm with a directstake in opening up Iraqi and other central Asian oilfields to American development.
13 Cockburn, Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy, 88; quoted in Scott, Road to 9/11, 187.
14 Scott, The American Deep State; Mike Lofgren's The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of aShadow Government (New York: Viking, 2016)
15 Bamford, A Pretext for War, 71; Matthew L. Conaty, "The Atomic Midwife: The Eisenhower Administration'sContinuity-of-Government Plans and the Legacy of Constitutional Dictatorship,'" Rutgers Law Review, 62, no. 3(Spring 2010), 7.
16 Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans, 139. Cf. Robert J. Darling, 24 Hours Inside the President's Bunker (iUniverse,2010), 57. 67. Bush himself was directed on 9/11 to an underground COG site at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska(Bill Kelly, "Military insiders recall Bush's 9/11 stop at Stratcom," KVNO News, September 7, 2011,http://www.kvnonews.com/2011/09/military...-stratcom/).


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Ready Reserve of the Armed Forces to Active Duty"), and Executive Order 13224of September 23, 2001 ("with respect to persons who commit, threaten to commit,or support terrorism").17
There was much more to come.
Within hours of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon onSept. 11, 2001, Dick Cheney in effect took command of the national securityoperations of the federal government. Quickly and instinctively, he began toact in response to two longstanding beliefs: that the great dangers facing theUnited States justified almost any response, whether or not legal; and thatthe presidency needed vastly to enhance its authority, which had beenunjustifiably and dangerously weakened in the post-Vietnam, post-Watergate years.18
James Mann has argued that COG implementation was the "hidden backdrop" toCheney's actions on 9/11, when he "urged President Bush to stay out ofWashington," and later removed himself to more than one "'undisclosedlocation'".19
According to Jane Mayer, Cheney's chief aide that day in revamping governmentwas his long-time legal assistant David Addington (a veteran with Cheney of COGplanning). All sources follow the Washington Post in asserting that Addingtoninitially walked away when the order was given to vacate the White House, thenwas summoned back by Cheney.20 Yet Mayer writes that "Within minutes of theSeptember 11 terrorist attacks, Addington began to assert himself as the war onterror's indispensable man."21
How Cheney's Lawyers Subordinated US Law
According to Barton Gellman in the Washington Post,
17 This gave the president the power to confiscate without trial or warning the property of individuals providingfunds to entities, such as charitable foundations, which were judged to be supporting terrorism. The executive orderinitially blocked property of twenty-seven designated terrorists. But the list has become enormous. By November18, 2010, the list included eighty-seven pages just for the letter A. By August 2016 the letter A took 192 pages.
18 Alan Brinkley, "Black Sites," New York Times, August 3, 2008,http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/books/....html?_r=0.
19 Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans, 145.
20 Barton Gellman and Jo Becker, "'A Different Understanding with the President',"
Washington Post, June 24, 2007, [COLOR=rgb(1.960784%, 38.823530%, 75.686280%)]http://voices.washingtonpost.com/cheney/...chapter_1/
[/COLOR]21 Jane Mayer, The Dark Side: The Inside Story on How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals(New York: Anchor, 2009), 49.


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Before the day ended, Cheney's lawyer [Addington] joined forces withTimothy E. Flanigan, the deputy White House counsel, linked by securevideo from the Situation Room. Flanigan patched in John C. Yoo at theJustice Department's fourth-floor command center. White House counselAlberto R. Gonzales joined later.
Thus formed the core legal team that Cheney oversaw, directly andindirectly, after the terrorist attacks.22
In addition, Flanigan was in touch by about 10:30 AM with the fifth member of theWar Council, William Haynes, Pentagon general counsel.23 This War Council"explicitly excluded the State Department's general counsel and other military andJustice Department lawyers who had historically been included in reviewing legalstructures for combating terrorism."24
In the next months this five-man team, who called themselves "the War Council,"issued secret directives, sometimes without notifying their nominal superiors, thatcontinued to implement COG plans and up-end established constitutional restraintson executive power.
One of the first instances was to authorize the use of military force domestically,something that Congress, when passing the Authorization for Use of MilitaryForce (AUMF) on September 14, had refused to do. Before passage, RepublicanSenate Minority leader Trent Lott delivered to his Democrat counterpart, TomDaschle, a special request from White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez. This wasthat the proposed language defining the area for military action be expanded, byadding the words "in the United States." Daschle refused to give the president thepower to round up US citizens in this country, and the AUMF passedunamended.25
On the lawbooks, that is. However,
Within a week, the Justice Department delivered a secret answer [submittedon September 21 by John Yoo] that would shock Daschle when he found outabout it [three years later]. The memo argued that in times of national
22 Gellman and Becker, "'A Different Understanding with the President',"
Washington Post, June 24, 2007.
23 Kurt Eichenwald, 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars [QQ: Touchstone, 2012], 35.24 Jeremy Scahill, Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield (New York: Nation Books, 2013), 24.25 Mayer, The Dark Side, 44-45.


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emergency, which had been declared since September 11, "If the presidentdecided the threat justified deploying the military inside the country, thefederal government could legally "raid or attack dwellings where terroristswere thought to be, despite risks that third parties could be killed ...." .... Inthis and related memos, the Justice Department said that the executivebranch could ignore both Fourth Amendment protections against illegitimatesearches and, without court warrants, specific laws passed by Congressprohibiting wiretaps and other surreptitious surveillance.26
So what Cheney, Gonzalez, and Flanigan had failed to obtain from Congress, theygot instead from their own small group.27
The War Council's secret rulings were often kept hidden from other administrationlawyers, as well as Congress. In October, for example, John Yoo, the young deputyat the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department, drafted a memo, quicklyapproved by Cheney and Addington, that ruled that the NSA could surveilwhomever it wished without an order from the Foreign Intelligence SurveillanceCourt (FISC).28
This memo granted the NSA a power which Michael Hayden had requested andalready exercised. Yet many other administration lawyers were not consulted,including
the top lawyer for Condoleezza Rice's National Security Council, JohnBellinger III. In fact, Bellinger was not told about the Terrorist SurveillanceProgram at all. This was strange, because unlike Addington, who had no lineauthority over national security matters, Bellinger was the ranking lawyer inthe White House on intelligence affairs, with statutory purview over the
26 Mayer, The Dark Side, 46; cf. Tim Golden, "Threats and Responses: Tough Justice; After Terror, a SecretRewriting of Military Law, New York Times, October 24, 2004, [COLOR=rgb(1.960784%, 38.823530%, 75.686280%)]http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/24/us/thr....html?_r=0 [/COLOR]("September 21, Yoo"). Jeremy Scahill alsowrites of a War Council opinion leading to a Bush presidential finding of September 17. This finding was used tocreate Greystone, a highly classified program outside of Congressional oversight that effectively "declared all covert[CIA] actions to be pre-authorized and legal" (Scahill, Dirty Wars, 24). Cf. Dana Priest and William M. Arkin, TopSecret America: The Rise of the New American Security State (New York: Little, Brown, 2011), 19-20 ("CIA").
27 Later Yoo would argue that "Congress not only did not forbid but actually invited warrantless
domestic surveillance when it passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Barton
Gellman, Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency [New York: Penguin Press, 2008], 152).
28 Mayer, The Dark Side, 69; Gellman, Angler, 141-43. After the warrantless surveillance program was revealed in2005, Bush justified it, linking it to "


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subject.... Richard Shiffrin was also not informed about the domestic spyingprogram, which was remarkable, because Shiffrin was the Pentagon lawyerin charge of supervising the legality of the NSA's programs.... Ashcroft'sdeputy attorney general, Larry Thompson, the second-ranking lawyer in theDepartment of Justice, was excluded... too.... This was phenomenal, giventhat he was John Yoo's boss.29
This cabal-like behavior by Cheney and the War Council the team that wouldsubsequently produce the notorious torture memos -- was repeated on othermatters. In the decision to use military commissions to try the Guantanamodetainees, for example, those left out of the loop included Defense SecretaryPowell, National Security Adviser Rice, Rice's lawyer John Bellinger III, andMichael Chertoff, head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division.
Attorney General Ashcroft had only learned of the military commission plantwo days earlier, when he discovered to his outrage that John Yoo, hissubordinate, had vouched for a confidential legal memorandum cutting theJustice Department and U.S. Courts out of the picture.30
It would be wrong to think that all of the post-9/11 changes can be attributed to thelegal team of the War Council. According to Professor Shirley Anne Warshaw, inthis period
Cheney jumped into action in his bunker beneath the East Wing to ensurecontinuity in government. He immediately began to create his shadowgovernment by ordering one hundred mid-level executive officials to moveto specially designated underground bunkers and stay there twenty-fourhours a day. They would not be rotated out, he informed them, for ninetydays.31
The Washington Post revealed this "shadow government" under Cheney in March
29 Mayer, The Dark Side, 68-70.
30 Mayer, The Dark Side, 82. Cf, Tom Lasseter, "Secret Tactics Dictated Treatment of Detainees," Seattle Times,June 18, 2008: "When military lawyers protested, the War Council shut them out. We were absolutelymarginalized,' said Donald Guter, a rear admiral who served as the Navy's judge advocate general from 2000 to2002. I think it was intentional, because so many military JAGs spoke up about the rule of law.'"
31 Shirley Anne Warshaw, The Co-Presidency of Bush and Cheney (Stanford, CA: Stanford Politics and Policy,2009), 16465. Cf. Scott, The American Deep State, 34; Scott, Road to 9/11, 237; Gellman, Angler, 157: "JosephHagin, the deputy White House chief of operations, kept a rotating cadre of 70 to 150 senior managers from acrossthe executive branch on twenty-four hour bunker duty in a hollowed-out mountain away from Washington."


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Journal of 9/11 Studies Letters, September 20162002, and described it as still on-going.32
What this parallel government did for three or more months is not known. But Ihave noted elsewhere a number of other new COG measures, such as permanentdetention centers and the militarization of homeland security, that date back to thispost-9/11 period.33
How Cheney and Addington Used COG to Empower Yoo
Given the speed and determination with which the War Council acted to rewriteU.S laws and procedures, one needs to look more closely at circumstances underwhich they sprang into action on the afternoon of 9/11. According to allmainstream accounts, the five members of the War Council were thrown togetherthat day by accident. Addington spoke to Flanigan, the deputy White Housecounsel, because "Flanigan's boss, Alberto Gonzalez, was stranded in Norfolk."34
On 9/11 Findley (to quote the mainstream account by Barton Gellman), "found ayoung attorney named John C. Yoo."35 But this was not by accident. Yoo, thedeputy assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel with two monthsof government experience, was presiding at the Justice command center. This wasbecause attorney general Ashcroft and those directly under him (his deputy LarryThompson, and his assistant David Ayres) had been ordered by the PEOC underCOG rules to go elsewhere. 36
(The Ashcroft team were not Cheney's only targets on 9/11. On that day Cheneyalso evacuated to Site R the second and third in line to succeed to the presidency,House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senate President Pro Tem Robert Byrd.37 Thiswas consistent with the COG priority of ensuring that the US Government was not
32 Barton Gellman and Susan Schmidt, "Shadow Government Is at Work in Secret," Washington Post, March 1,2002, [COLOR=rgb(1.960784%, 38.823530%, 75.686280%)]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con...00891.html[/COLOR].
33 Scott, The American Deep State, 34-38.
34 Gellman, Angler, 133.
35 Gellman, Angler, 134.
36 Attorney General Ashcroft had been airborne for most of the morning. On his belated return to Washington, hewas told by Rice in the PEOC to join his deputy, Larry Thompson, and his assistant, David Ayres, who had alreadybeen sent out of Washington to a classified COG site. Because of traffic conditions, Ashcroft was ultimatelyredirected that afternoon to the FBI Crisis Management Center. See John Ashcroft, Never Again: Securing Americaand Restoring Justice (New York: Center Street, 2006)[COLOR=rgb(6.666667%, 6.666667%, 6.666667%)]. Yoo's eventual boss at the OLC, Jay Bybee, had not yetbeen appointed. [/COLOR]Bybee's position, as assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, requiredCongressional approval. His name had been submitted to Congress on September 4, 2011, one week before 9/11. Hewas confirmed by the Senate on October 23, and began to serve in November.
37 Gellman, Angler, 156; Chris Simpson, on Democracy Now, NPR, March 22, 2002,[COLOR=rgb(1.960784%, 38.823530%, 75.686280%)]http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2002/03/8187.shtml [/COLOR]("Site R").


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decapitated. And in the weeks after 9/11, when Site R became so busy underCheney that substantial upgrades to its equipment had to be ordered by AndrewCard in the White House, someone from the line of succession was always there.However, never once again was that person either Hastert or Byrd.38 This suggeststhat Hastert and Byrd may have also been banished to Site R on 9/11, and excludedfrom Site R thereafter, for political reasons.)
Cheney had compelling ideological reasons on 9/11 to decapitate the JusticeDepartment on that day and leave Yoo in command. Both men shared the eccentriclegal belief, repudiated by most Bush administration lawyers, that a president intimes of emergency had almost unrestricted powers. Back in 1980 Cheney hadadvised incoming presidential chief of staff James Baker that it was important toget rid of the War Powers Act and restore the president's independent rights.39 Inhis Iran-Contra Minority Report of 1987, Cheney declared his belief, drafted forhim by Addington, that "the Chief Executive will on occasion feel duty bound toassert monarchical notions of prerogative that will permit him to exceed thelaws."40 Yoo was one of the few academics to share that opinion: "For years, [Yoo]had written articles for law reviews... arguing that in a time of war, the executivehad a sweeping claim to act independently from the other branches ofgovernment."41
As in the COG planning of previous decades, the implementation of new measuresunder Cheney proceeded with what Barton Gellman called
near hermetic secrecy. Not only the conduct of policy but even the law itself,as Yoo and Addington and Flanigan rewrote it, was classified. The new legalframework was meant to be invisible, unreviewable its very existenceunknown by legislative or judicial actors who might fight back.42
Andrew Bacevich, reviewing The Dark Side for the Washington Post,characterized the behavior of the War Council as that of a small, secretive
38 Gellman, Angler, 157; citing interview with Norman Ornstein, senior counselor to the Continuity of GovernmentCommission. Cf. Barton Gellman and Susan Schmidt, "Shadow Government Is at Work in Secret," WashingtonPost, March 1, 2002, [COLOR=rgb(1.960784%, 38.823530%, 75.686280%)]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con...00891.html[/COLOR]("substantial upgrades").
39 Charlie Savage, Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy(2008), 43,
40 Mayer, The Dark Side, 60.
41 Kurt Eichenwald, 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror War, 38. Yoo, unlike Cheney and Addington, used thecommon law term "prerogative" sparingly in his articles. Yet the effect of the War Council was to create, in JaneMayer's words, "a doctrine of presidential prerogative" (Mayer, The Dark Side, 47).
42 Gellman, Angler, 138.


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"conspiracy... made up chiefly of lawyers contemptuous of the Constitution andthe rule of law."43 I agree that the War Council's plots to evade existing lawsconstituted conspiratorial behavior; and would argue further that Cheney's role increating the War Council on 9/11, by exiling the three top Justice officials whomight have thwarted them, was also conspiratorial.44
But the key to the emergence of the ideological War Council cabal may go back toCheney's position as chief of the Bush transition team which selected John Yoo tobe Office of Legal Counsel deputy assistant attorney general. Cheney was alsoresponsible for locating Findley as a deputy legal counsel in the White House (aconsiderable demotion from his position a decade earlier as assistant attorneygeneral for the OLC). According to Bernard Weiner,
Cheney began meddling with the all-important White House Office of LegalCounsel .... Cheney made sure Bush's lightweight consiglieri AlbertoGonzales didn't get the OLC post; instead, Cheney eased in a trusted aide,Tim Flanigan. With Flanigan in the White House under the influence ofCheney and David Addington, .... there was no real countervailing power inthe Administration's legal departments to stop the reckless policies ontorture, violation of habeas corpus, extraordinary rendition and so on.45
Other authors have raised questions about the absence from Washington, at thetime of the 9/11 attacks, of such leaders as Defense Secretary Powell (in Peru),Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Henry Shelton (airborne en route to Europe),Attorney General Ashcroft (en route to Milwaukee), presidential counsel AlbertoGonzalez (in Norfolk, Va.), and others.46
43 Andrew Bacevich, "Collateral Damage," Washington Post, July 13, 2008, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con...01354.html.
44 When the warrantless Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP) came up for renewal in March 2004, Ashcroft,supported by his new deputy James Comey and his new OLC Chief Jack Goldsmith, refused to approve it. This ledto a notorious confrontation in Ashcroft's hospital bedroom, where Gonzalez and Andrew Card arrived from theWhite House with a renewal order for Ashcroft to sign. Ashcroft, who was under intensive care after surgery forgallstone pancreatitis, "lifted his head off the pillows and delivered a strong denunciation of the TSP's legalframework". His temporary replacement, deputy attorney general Comey, refused to sign. In the room Ashcroft andComey were supported by Goldsmith and FBI Director Robert Mueller, both of whom Comey had summonedurgently to join him at the hospital after "a frantic call from Ashcroft's wife" (Mayer, The Dark Side, 289-91; cf.Gellman, Angler, 302-05).
45 Bernard Weiner: "Review of Barton Gellman's Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency," HistoryNewsNetwork,May 9, 2009, http://historynewsnetwork.org/blog/6666.
46 E.g. Paul Thompson, The Terror Timeline: Year by Year, Day by Day, Minute by Minute: A ComprehensiveChronicle of the Road to 9/11--and America's Response (New York: HarperCollins, 2004), 364.


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Journal of 9/11 Studies Letters, September 2016


I am not in this article suggesting that all these absences were pre-planned as partof a larger 9/11 conspiracy.47 In contrast, the order from the PEOC after the attacksto exile Ashcroft, Thompson, and Ayres to a COG website thus putting Yoo in acommand position falls into a quite different category. If as I believe Cheneymade this order with Yoo in mind, it would indicate only that Cheney's behaviorwas in response to a planned terrorist attack, not as part of that attack plan itself.48
It is a mark of how much our knowledge of 9/11 has evolved that in PaulThompson's The Terror Timeline (2004), once the indispensable bible of 9/11researchers, none of the five War Council members Addington, Gonzalez,Flanigan, Yoo, and Haynes are mentioned. Unquestionably the questions of whoplotted the plane attacks, who directed the planes into their targets, who caused thethree WTC towers to fall, continue to be of great historical interest.49
But the greatest plot of all to subordinate the U.S. constitution to new proceduresdating back to COG planning in the 1980s has created an on-going emergencyunder which we still live. To understand this plot, in order to reverse its effects,may be a still more urgent research task.


[IMG]file:///page12image12000[/IMG] 47 Some have used these absences to suggest that the "state" itself planned 9/11, a simplistic notion I haveconsistently opposed.
48 I believe that Cheney and Addington did indeed have a pre-planned agenda, dating from before 9/11, for responseto the next terrorist attack; and that these plans, as I have suggested elsewhere, grew out of their years of secretplanning for COG. But to say this does not imply that Cheney and Addington were involved in the attack itself.Some researchers believe that the fourth hijacked plane which crashed in Pennsylvania may have crashed because ithad been shot down on Cheney's orders, a gruesome possibility which would however indicate that Cheney on thatday was dealing with a dangerous enemy not under his control. See e.g. Mark H. Gaffney, Black 9/11: Money,Motive and Technology (Walterville, OR: Trine Day, 2012), 175-202.
49 I have suggested elsewhere that these may be separable issues, attributable to separate plots piggy-backed on otherplots (Scott, The American Deep State, 253n58).


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The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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#2
https://off-guardian.org/2016/09/11/15-y...on-terror/
“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.”
― Leo Tolstoy,
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#3
Saw this today, says live nukes on the tarmac for exercise on 9/11. Also says who did, and who didn't, follow the COG rules. Also says that Air Force 1 couldn't communicate with the ground...a rather striking contrast to the civilian planes used in the attacks that apparently had no such difficulty.

http://www.aol.com/article/2016/09/11/se.../21469698/
"All that is necessary for tyranny to succeed is for good men to do nothing." (unknown)

James Tracy: "There is sometimes an undue amount of paranoia among some conspiracy researchers that can contribute to flawed observations and analysis."

Gary Cornwell (Dept. Chief Counsel HSCA): "A fact merely marks the point at which we have agreed to let investigation cease."

Alan Ford: "Just because you believe it, that doesn't make it so."
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