I Don't Want A Shadow Puppet Government
Our Representatives on Capitol Hill need to be more involved in the selection process of any sort of "back-up governement" to ensure so that our country is not turned over to the wrong hands, which would only make things worse in a time of crisis.
The circumstances under which such a back-up government would take over also need to be clarified. Are we talking about when every last member of the House and Senate have been taken out by some huge cross-global conspiracy over a 24-hour period? To the extent where the existing chain of command rules would not be allowed to operate accordingly?
Would this back-up government be temporarily in charge? Or will our government effectively be dissolved irreversibly as a side-effect of the change-over, as the quote below would suggest?
Whatever it is, let's codify it explicitly and have the House and the Senate vote on it. Let's take advantage of the checks and balances that are still firmly in place and do this thing right after everyone agrees that it even needs to be done.
I don't want to find out, after the fact, who's been placed in charge of my country and why. In many ways, that's what happened during our last Presidential election. It wasn't okay then, and it wouldn't be okay now.
In a nutshell: who are these people and under what circumstances will they be placed in control of me and my country?
Or as a friend of mine put it when he heard the news: "Hey, who's picking 'em? What is this a dictatorship all of a sudden?"
For more information, please read:
Shadow Government Is at Work in Secret (By Barton Gellman and Susan Schmidt for the Washington Post)
Shadow Government Activated for U.S. (Associated Press)
This clip is from the Washington Post article:
Deployed "on the fly" in the first hours of turmoil on Sept. 11, one participant said, the shadow government has evolved into an indefinite precaution. For that reason, the high-ranking officials representing their departments have begun rotating in and out of the assignment at one of two fortified locations along the East Coast. Rotation is among several changes made in late October or early November, sources said, to the standing directive Bush inherited from a line of presidents reaching back to Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Officials who are activated for what some of them call "bunker duty" live and work underground 24 hours a day, away from their families. As it settles in for the long haul, the shadow government has sent home most of the first wave of deployed personnel, replacing them most commonly at 90-day intervals.
The civilian cadre present in the bunkers usually numbers 70 to 150, and "fluctuates based on intelligence" about terrorist threats, according to a senior official involved in managing the program. It draws from every Cabinet department and some independent agencies. Its first mission, in the event of a disabling blow to Washington, would be to prevent collapse of essential government functions.
Assuming command of regional federal offices, officials said, the underground government would try to contain disruptions of the nation's food and water supplies, transportation links, energy and telecommunications networks, public health and civil order. Later it would begin to reconstitute the government.