Bush Changes Continuity Plan
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Washington Post
Posted: May 25th, 2007
President Bush issued a formal national security directive yesterday ordering agencies to prepare contingency plans for a surprise, "decapitating" attack on the federal government, and assigned responsibility for coordinating such plans to the White House. The prospect of a nuclear bomb being detonated in Washington without warning ... has been cited by many security analysts as a rising concern since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The order makes explicit that the focus of federal worst-case planning involves a covert nuclear attack against the nation's capital. "Adequate warning of potential emergencies that could pose a significant risk to the homeland might not be available, and therefore all continuity planning shall be based on the assumption that no such warning will be received," states the 72-paragraph order. The statement added, "Emphasis will be placed upon geographic dispersion of leadership, staff, and infrastructure in order to increase survivability and maintain uninterrupted Government Functions." After the 2001 attacks, Bush assigned about 100 senior civilian managers to rotate secretly to locations outside of Washington for weeks or months at a time [forming] a shadow government that evolved based on long-standing "continuity of operations plans." Since then, other agencies including the Pentagon, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA have taken steps to relocate facilities or key functions outside of Washington for their own reasons, citing factors such as economics or the importance of avoiding Beltway "group-think."
Note: Why isn't Congress making these absolutely vital decisions? What gives these organizations authority to determine what will happen in the case of a major attack?