Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the Secret Government

Check out the following two recently added entries from the Complete 9/11 Timeline. These indicate how, prior to 9/11, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were part of a "secret government." As author James Mann says: "Cheney and Rumsfeld were, in a sense, a part of the permanent, though hidden, national security apparatus of the United States."

1981-1992: Cheney and Rumsfeld Practice Secret Continuity of Government Plan, Later Activated on 9/11
Throughout the 1980s, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are key players in one of the most highly classified programs of the Reagan administration. Presently, Cheney is working as a Republican congressman, while Rumsfeld is head of the pharmaceutical company G. D. Searle. At least once per year, they both leave their day jobs for periods of three or four days. They head to Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington, DC, and along with 40 to 60 federal officials and one member of the Reagan Cabinet are taken to a remote location within the US, such as an underground bunker. While they are gone, none of their work colleagues, or even their wives, knows where they are. They are participating in detailed planning exercises for keeping government running during and after a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. This highly secret "continuity of government" (COG) program is known as Project 908. The idea is that if the US were under a nuclear attack, three teams would be sent from Washington to separate locations around the US to prepare to take leadership of the country. If somehow one team was located and hit with a nuclear weapon, the second or third team could take its place. Each of the three teams includes representatives from the State Department, Defense Department, CIA, and various domestic-policy agencies. The program is run by a new government agency called the National Program Office. Based in the Washington area, it has a budget of hundreds of million dollars a year, which grows to $1 billion per year by the end of Reagan's first term in office. Within the National Security Council, the "action officer" involved in the COG program is Oliver North, who is a key figure in the mid-1980s Iran-Contra scandal. Reagan's Vice President George H. W. Bush also supervises some of the program's efforts. As well as Cheney and Rumsfeld, other known figures involved in the COG exercises include Kenneth Duberstein, who serves for a time as President Reagan's chief of staff, and future CIA Director James Woolsey. The program, though, is extraconstitutional, as it establishes a process for designating a new US president that is nowhere authorized in the US Constitution or federal law. After George H. W. Bush is elected president in 1988 and the effective end of the Soviet Union in 1989, the exercises continue. They will go on after Bill Clinton is elected president, but will then be based around the threat posed by terrorists, rather than the Soviet Union (see (1992-2000)). According to journalist James Mann, the participation of Rumsfeld and Cheney in these exercises demonstrates a broader truth about them: "Over three decades, from the Ford administration onward, even when they were out of the executive branch of government, they were never too far away; they stayed in touch with its defense, military, and intelligence officials and were regularly called upon by those officials. Cheney and Rumsfeld were, in a sense, a part of the permanent, though hidden, national security apparatus of the United States." [Mann, 2004, pp. 138-145; Atlantic Monthly, 3/2004; Cockburn, 2007, pp. 85] The plan they rehearse for in the COG exercises will be activated, supposedly for the first time, in the hours during and after the 9/11 attacks (see (Between 9:45-9:55 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [Washington Post, 3/1/2002] Mann subsequently comments, "The program is of particular interest today because it helps to explain the thinking and behavior of the second Bush Administration in the hours, days, and months after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001." [Atlantic Monthly, 3/2004]
Source: http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a81cogexercises&scale=0

(1992-2000): Secret Continuity of Government Exercises Prepare for Terrorist Threat
During the 1980s, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were regular participants in top-secret exercises, designed to test a program called continuity of government (COG) that would keep the federal government functioning during and after a nuclear war with the Soviet Union (see 1981-1992). Despite the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the COG exercises continue into the 1990s, being budgeted still at over $200 million per year. Now, terrorists replace the Soviet Union as the imagined threat. The terrorism envisaged is almost always state-sponsored, with the imagined terrorists acting on behalf of a government. According to journalist James Mann, the COG exercises are abandoned fairly early in the Clinton era, as the scenario is considered farfetched and outdated. However another journalist, Andrew Cockburn, suggests they continue for longer. He adds that, while the "shadow government" created in the exercises had previously been drawn from across the political spectrum, now the players are almost exclusively Republican hawks. A former Pentagon official with direct knowledge of the program will later say, "It was one way for these people to stay in touch. They'd meet, do the exercise, but also sit around and castigate the Clinton administration in the most extreme way. You could say this was a secret government-in-waiting. The Clinton administration was extraordinarily inattentive, [they had] no idea what was going on." [Atlantic Monthly, 3/2004; Cockburn, 2007, pp. 88] The continuity of government plan will be activated, supposedly for the first time, in the hours during and after the 9/11 attacks (see (Between 9:45-9:55 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [Washington Post, 3/1/2002]
Source: http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a92cogcontinues&scale=0

Nice

Nice find, nice work ...

Peter Dale Scott

has focused on this angle, and promises to make some typically astute connections in his upcoming book, The Road to 9/11. Don't forget to pre-order, everyone!