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Is Bush Administration Planning Martial Law?

Congressman DeFazio Denied Access to Government Documents

By David Gutierrez

The Bush Administration shocked lawmakers and analysts two months ago when it denied a member of the House Homeland Security Committee permission to examine classified plans for maintaining the functioning of the government in the event of a major natural disaster or terrorist attack.

In order to alleviate concerns that the White House has plans for martial law, Representative Peter DeFazio, (D-OR), asked to see the plan for government continuity. As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, DeFazio has the required security clearance to view such a plan. In the past, he has entered what is known as a “bubble room” to view classified documents, and his requests have never been denied.

But in a break with tradition, DeFazio’s request, although initially approved, was later rejected. The congressman has not been informed who made the decision about his request, nor about the reason for it.

“We do not comment … on the process that this access entails,” said White House spokesperson Trey Bohn. “It is important to keep in mind that much of the information related to the continuity of government is highly classified.”

“I just can’t believe that they’re going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack,” DeFazio said. “I would think that would be relevant to any member of Congress, let alone a member of the Homeland Security Committee.”

“Maybe the people who think there’s a conspiracy out there are right,” he said.

Political scientist Norm Ornstein, a resident scholar at the conservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute, referred to the decision as “inexplicable,” saying he could not think of “one good reason” for it.

“I find it inexplicable and probably reflective of the usual knee-jerk overextension of executive power that we see from this White House,” Ornstein said.

  • Rick Venable

    Anyone and everyone who has spread this crap about President Bush declaring Martial Law and suspending the elections has lied to you. The fact that it did not happen should be a fairly "Smack in your ace" clue to the clueless idiots who will now have to face the new taxes that we will all be paying when the tax cuts signed into law in 2001 expire in a couple of years. For those who think that Obama's 95% will receive a tax cut lets do some 5th grade math. Try to keep up with me here. Only about 65% of the people in our country pay taxes to the federal government right now. With the Earned Income Credit, those who now get a check back for more than they pay into the system aren't paying taxes. In 2007 a family of 4 whose income was $30,000 actually got back $1498 more than they paid into the federal tax system. When those tax cuts expire an the tax rates return to those of 1999 (I couldn't find the ones for 2000)that same family of 4 sitll making $30,000 which puts them in the bottom 10% of the country will pay a total of $1644 in taxes. That is because Barack Obama has already said in his campaigning that he is going to let the tax cuts expire. He adds a few extra words in there like to richest 10% or 5%, which ever fits his fancy at the time to make it sound like he is going to help the poor and middle class. Allowing that tax cut to expire hurts every working person in the country. Eight years ago I made about $45,000 a year. In 2007 I made $87,000. The taxes I pay will actually increase by approximately $4,800 in 2011 if my income stays the same.