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The Armageddon Plan
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Atlantic Monthly

The Atlantic Monthly, March 1, 2004
Posted: June 2nd, 2007

At least once a year during the 1980s Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld vanished. Cheney was ... a [Republican] congressman. Rumsfeld [was] the head of G. D. Searle & Co.. Yet for periods of three or four days at a time no one in Congress knew where Cheney was, nor could anyone at Searle locate Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld and Cheney were principal actors in one of the most highly classified programs of the Reagan Administration. [It] called for setting aside the legal rules for presidential succession ... in favor of a secret procedure for putting in place a new "President" and his staff. The program is of particular interest today because it helps to explain the thinking and behavior of the second Bush Administration [since] September 11, 2001. The idea was to concentrate on speed, to preserve "continuity of government," and to avoid cumbersome procedures; the speaker of the House, the president pro tempore of the Senate, and the rest of Congress would play a greatly diminished role. "One of the awkward questions we faced ... was whether to reconstitute Congress after a nuclear attack. It was decided that no, it would be easier to operate without them." [Cheney's and Rumsfeld's] participation in the extra-constitutional continuity-of-government exercises ... also demonstrates a broad, underlying truth about these two men. For three decades ... even when they were out of the executive branch of government, they were never far away. They stayed in touch with defense, military, and intelligence officials, who regularly called upon them. They were ... a part of the permanent hidden national-security apparatus of the United States.

Note: If above link fails, click here. The author, James Mann, is a former Washington correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, and senior writer-in-residence at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in Washington, D.C. Apparently, Cheney and Rumsfeld don't find Congress to be very important.

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