05/10/04 RED ALERT MEANS MARTIAL LAW By Mike Whitney

    A “massive, casualty producing event” might cause “our population to question our own Constitution and begin to militarize our country.”— General Tommy Franks

    “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.” — David Rockefeller, UN Business Council 1994

    “If we go red…it basically shuts down the country.” — Homeland Security Chief, Tom Ridge

The primary function of the “color-coded” alert system is to prepare the nation for martial law. Whether the threat level will be raised to red is unknown, but the system that has been put in place is designed to activate those conditions. When the system was first announced it was greeted with widespread derision. Criticism came from all corners including political pundits and the media. Since then, however, the Dept of Homeland Security has issued five “orange alerts” (just below the highest “red” alert) at least two of which were fabricated.

During the last and most theatrical alert the media discovered that Homeland Security was operating from information that was at least four years old. The entire event was a well staged sham. This forced the Bush Administration to take reckless steps to prop up its shaky credibility. They chose to blow the cover of agents operating in Pakistan who were providing vital information on terrorist activity around the world to save themselves further embarrassment. An entire clandestine network was exposed simply to meet the damage control needs of Homeland Security. Most Americans remain unaware of the great cost of Tom Ridge's hoax even though the details were fairly well documented in the media.

A CNN poll taken during the event (when soldiers were still protecting Wall Street, the IMF and the World Bank) showed that more than 80% of the people questioned believed that “terror alerts” were being manipulated for political purposes. Undoubtedly, these polls are unreliable, but they do offer some insight into how the public is reacting to the manipulation of fear by the administration.

The colored alerts are implemented as a form of psychological warfare to acclimate the public to the idea of seeing military personnel deployed to their city streets. Cultivating fear is not an overnight project. It requires a policy of gradual saturation; of surprise announcements and increasing threat levels. The ultimate objective is to create a compliant public who will submit to the radical agenda of their leaders. The survival of the current administration depends entirely on this cynical assessment of human psychology.

Just one week after the last orange alert the Associated Press reported; “The Bush Administration has found no evidence of imminent plans by terrorists to attack US financial buildings, a White House source said.” There was no threat, it was a complete fraud. The alert was simply used to instill fear and lower public resistance to the further “militarization” of America.

The fact that this bungling performance preceded the upcoming presidential elections is not coincidental. Tom Ridge has already stated that there is “credible evidence” that Al Qaida is “planning attacks to disrupt the November elections.” It's more likely, however, that the administration is considering strategies for aborting the democratic process and has been manufacturing “phony” alerts for that purpose.

If that's the case, we would be well advised to know what happens when the system goes from orange to “red alert”.

Simply put, “red alert” signals the “suspension of civilian government”. It is the de facto initiation of martial law. According to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) a code red alert would create the conditions for “the suspension of the normal functions of civilian government, implying the cancellation or postponement of state and federal elections.” (Global Research) It would also “close public and government facilities not critical for continuity of essential operations.” (FEMA)

Northern Command would assume control and under “ the classified 'Continuity of Operations Plan' (COG) a secret 'shadow government' would become functional, redeploying key staff to secret locations.” (Global Research) (Ironically, the head of North Com is Air Force General Ralph Eberhart; the same man who was previously in charge of NORAD during the attacks of Sept. 11. Apparently, his massive failure to protect America on 9-11 earned him a promotion to the top of Northern Command. Certainly this “promotion” suggests complicity in a 9-11 cover up and should provoke greater congressional scrutiny)

“Code red would, according to FEMA, also preclude and repress any form of public gathering or citizen's protest which questions the legitimacy of the emergency procedures and the installation of a police state.” (ibid)

In such a scenario, the military would be able to eschew the Posse Comitatus act of 1878 and carry out “police and judicial” functions. Sound farfetched?

Not according to General Tommy Franks who said in an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine: A “massive, casualty producing event” might cause “our population to question our own Constitution and begin to militarize our country.”

Is this an observation that Franks conjured up by himself or is he just summarizing the remarks he heard from political leaders higher up the chain of command?

The more likely conclusion is that General Franks is merely reflecting the views of Donald Rumsfeld and those close to him.

Would the American public really be that surprised to know that Rumsfeld is mulling over the possibility of military rule?

The notion of martial law seems absurd to Americans who have images of US Marines “goose stepping” through our neighborhoods. Admittedly, that is a remote and ridiculous prospect. Martial law in the US would be applied with the utmost attention to public sensibilities and perceptions, avoiding the garish display of force we see in Iraq. It would be a “kinder and gentler” martial law with a limited number of military personnel on the streets (just enough to remind us that things have changed) and an emphasis on “preemptive” policing operations. (Rolling up potential threats to the state) It would probably unfold as a carefully crafted public relations ploy with a predictably whimsical moniker, such as, “The Security Enhancement and Homeland Fortification Act”. The possibilities are limitless.

The administration has already put most of the levers in place to insure a smooth transition and to dupe the public into believing that the measures are being taken for their own safety. In this way, Bush and co. can be comfortable knowing that the “homeland” is satisfactorily controlled while the imperial interventions continue abroad. (Iraq and Afghanistan representing just the first of these projected crusades).

Any plan to deploy the military within the US requires raising the level to “red alert”. That means that if the administration is contemplating such an action, they would have to do something rather quickly; something that would potentially disrupt the elections and possibly justify a resumption of the draft.

Operation Northwoods

I won't speculate on the likelihood of the present regime implicating itself in a “massive, casualty producing event” (as Franks put it). Such an event, however, would have historical precedents. In 1962 the Joint Chiefs of Staff approved a secret plan called “Operation Northwoods” that would have involved the intentional killing of American citizens (by blowing up a ship in Guantanamo bay) to instigate hostilities with Cuba. This provides us with some historical context for the fact that government elites have long considered sacrificing the lives of American citizens as a pretext for military action.

Still, “putting Americans at risk” to undermine an election has no historical precedent. It is purely conjecture. Never the less, theories abound about the upcoming elections fueled by comments from many reliable and normally cautious sources. Recently, 27 year CIA analyst Ray McGovern was asked about the possibility of the elections being postponed. He responded that, “There might be a real or staged terrorist attack in order to postpone the elections. This might seem outlandish; I hope it is.” We can see that the possibility of the government tampering with the electoral process hasn't escaped the notice of ex-members of the Intelligence community. Surely, this is worth noting.

We should also consider Bush's comments in his 2003 State of the Union Address:

“All told, more than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many countries, and many others have met a different fate…Let's put it this way. They are no longer a problem for the United States and our friends and allies.”

Here, Bush is clearly boasting that the US has deployed global assassination squads to illegally kill or detain terror suspects. Does this sound like a man who would have great reservations about “disrupting” an election? Comments like these reveal a great deal about the character of the people presently steering the ship of state. It's fair to notice that they operate by a more “flexible” moral standard than most citizens.

Does that mean that they would do something intention to cancel the balloting or to harm Americans?

In a Chris Floyd article entitled “Into the Dark”, Floyd provides some useful clues. Floyd notes Rumsfeld's plan to create “a super-Intelligence Support Activity” that will “bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence and cover and deception.”

“According to a classified document prepared for Rumsfeld by his Defense Science Board, the new organization — the “Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG)” — will carry out secret missions designed to “stimulate reactions” among terrorist groups, provoking them into committing violent acts which would then expose them to “counterattack” by U.S. forces.” Floyd sees this new organization as a sign that “the United States government is planning to use “cover and deception” and secret military operations to provoke murderous terrorist attacks on innocent people.” His interpretation is “dead on”; these new Pentagon warriors (perhaps, independent contractors to avoid the “messy” paper trail) could easily be deployed to create chaotic events across the country that would preclude the November balloting.

Sound unbelievable?

Even a cursory review of the photos and literature that have emerged from Abu Ghraib should convince the most “hardened idealist” that the current administration is quite different from any of its predecessors. Only a fool would assign to them any of the qualities that we normally associate with human decency.

Would they willfully authorize a plan that intentionally involves the killing of American citizens?

The Bush administration has simply left too many corpses lying about to leave office according to the normal protocols. A little digging by the next administration into 9-11, or the Cheney energy papers, or the Iraq weapons fiasco and “viola” who knows what sort of criminal evidence might pop up. Stepping down from power is no longer an option.

Time is running out for Bush and his friends. Whatever plan they have in mind will have to be executed in October.

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