Christopher Ketcham: The Last Roundup

Originally published in the May/June 2008 Radar magazine.

The Last Roundup

by Christopher Ketcham - April 29, 2008

For decades the federal government has been developing a highly classified plan that would override the Constitution in the event of a terrorist attack. Is it also compiling a secret enemies list of citizens who could face detention under martial law?

In the spring of 2007, a retired senior official in the U.S. Justice Department sat before Congress and told a story so odd and ominous, it could have sprung from the pages of a pulp political thriller. It was about a principled bureaucrat struggling to protect his country from a highly classified program with sinister implications. Rife with high drama, it included a car chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., and a tense meeting at the White House, where the president’s henchmen made the bureaucrat so nervous that he demanded a neutral witness be present.

The bureaucrat was James Comey, John Ashcroft’s second-in-command at the Department of Justice during Bush’s first term. Comey had been a loyal political foot soldier of the Republican Party for many years. Yet in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he described how he had grown increasingly uneasy reviewing the Bush administration’s various domestic surveillance and spying programs. Much of his testimony centered on an operation so clandestine he wasn’t allowed to name it or even describe what it did. He did say, however, that he and Ashcroft had discussed the program in March 2004, trying to decide whether it was legal under federal statutes. Shortly before the certification deadline, Ashcroft fell ill with pancreatitis, making Comey acting attorney general, and Comey opted not to certify the program. When he communicated his decision to the White House, Bush’s men told him, in so many words, to take his concerns and stuff them in an undisclosed location.

Comey refused to knuckle under, and the dispute came to a head on the cold night of March 10, 2004, hours before the program’s authorization was to expire. At the time, Ashcroft was in intensive care at George Washington Hospital following emergency surgery. Apparently, at the behest of President Bush himself, the White House tried, in Comey’s words, “to take advantage of a very sick man,” sending Chief of Staff Andrew Card and then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales on a mission to Ashcroft’s sickroom to persuade the heavily doped attorney general to override his deputy. Apprised of their mission, Comey, accompanied by a full security detail, jumped in his car, raced through the streets of the capital, lights blazing, and “literally ran” up the hospital stairs to beat them there.

Minutes later, Gonzales and Card arrived with an envelope filled with the requisite forms. Ashcroft, even in his stupor, did not fall for their heavy-handed ploy. “I’m not the attorney general,” Ashcroft told Bush’s men. “There”—he pointed weakly to Comey—“is the attorney general.” Gonzales and Card were furious, departing without even acknowledging Comey’s presence in the room. The following day, the classified domestic spying program that Comey found so disturbing went forward at the demand of the White House—“without a signature from the Department of Justice attesting as to its legality,” he testified.


I'm writing an essay on this, and

would like to argue that the COG boys wouldn't be gathering all of the info on Americans, and modeling their behavior, unless they were doing it as part of police state/martial law type control.

I imagine that the retort from government apologists will be something like:

The government is only gathering info to prevent terrorism. If there is a huge terrorist attack, we've got to be able to figure out who else might be a terrorist out there...

Can anyone think of a way to refute such an argument????

dealing with martial law plans

Rather than have us give info which refutes their plans, lets go to the government and lovingly challenge them to prove or even just assert that truthers have no reason to fear roundup.

I'm not even talking about neocons.

Go to your own Mayor and get his assurances.

When 911:Press for Truth was about to be released, I visited the homeland security staffer at my Congressman's office to give him an advance copy. I told him," You don't know me. You don't owe me anything politically, but I believe that if there is a major terror attack I believe they round me and my friends up and put us in the camps. If I disappear, I'm going to have my people contact you."

His response," They don't call them camps."

The Last Roundup a must read for everyone!

The Last Roundup clearly unveils the megalomania behind such surveillance! It's an enemies list. There will be cleansing of dissidents from the ranks of patriotic citizens. It's already started with the First Roundup after 9/11. The latest is the polygamist cult. Homeschoolers in California may not be far behind.

It's so eerily similar to the thirties, these must be common beliefs by those in government that take such actions! It's possible Nazi refugees from WWII have left an indelible mark on our country. More likely, it's an elite who've always held fascist beliefs where hatred is cloaked as population control.

GW, it's of little matter if you can successfully refute their superficially reasonable-sounding arguments. Our leaders reside in a low oxygen psychosis where their concerns matter even if there is little to link them to reality. If you want to refute it directly, simply ask, why are there so many listed at DHS as a "terrorist threat" to the Bush administration? Why are there so many listed as opposing the U.S. government?

One major argument with real implication comes to mind. It's becoming clear, the Constitution must be suspended already! These are violations of it. It's the reason for all the terrorist threat fear-mongering as a justification for continued rule under COG. The parameters are secret and the contrived events like those "terrorists" near Buffalo, NY and Miami, FL have been used as justification on paper. There must be a time-frame for review and some set scale of events that have to be met to justify it? It's the only way it can remotely sound like a rational emergency plan.

The warrantless wiretapping, on paper at least, sounds like a response to the "terrorist threat". I suspect, it's more important, to reveal hints that the Constitution has already been suspended and unveil what level of COG/Marshall Law we are under?

...don't believe them!