PDD 51

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'Source' [1]

'Details' The presidential directive says that, when the president considers an emergency to have occurred, an "Enduring Constitutional Government" comprising "a cooperative effort among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government, coordinated by the President," will take the place of the nation's regular government. The source text indicates that during a catastrophic emergency the federal government will cooperate as a matter of comity in order to protect the constitution: (e) "Enduring Constitutional Government," or "ECG," means a cooperative effort among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government, coordinated by the President, as a matter of comity with respect to the legislative and judicial branches and with proper respect for the constitutional separation of powers among the branches, to preserve the constitutional framework under which the Nation is governed and the capability of all three branches of government to execute constitutional responsibilities and provide for orderly succession, appropriate transition of leadership, and interoperability and support of the National Essential Functions during a catastrophic emergency. Unclear is the phrase "matter of comity" but the language supports the constitution, including separation of powers. The source text for NSPD51 repeatedly reaffirms constitutionality and specifically states that "(9) Recognizing that each branch of the Federal Government is responsible for its own continuity programs, an official designated by the Chief of Staff to the President shall ensure that the executive branch's Continuity of Operations and Continuity of Government policies in support of Enduring Constitutional Government efforts are appropriately coordinated with those of the legislative and judicial branches in order to ensure interoperability and allocate national assets efficiently to maintain a functioning Federal Government." Conservative activist Jerome Corsi and Marjorie Cohn of the National Lawyers Guild have said that this is a violation of the Constitution of the United States in that the three branches of government are separate and equal, with no single branch coordinating the others. The directive, created by the president, claims that the president has the power to declare a catastrophic emergency. It does not specify who has the power to declare the emergency over. The directive further says that, in the case of such an emergency, the new position of "National Continuity Coordinator" would be filled by the assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (this position was held under the Bush Administration by Frances Townsend, until her resignation on November 19, 2007, and Kenneth L. Wainstein; the position is presently held by John O. Brennan.) The directive also specifies that a "Continuity Policy Coordination Committee", to be chaired by a senior director of the Homeland Security Council staff, and selected by the National Continuity Coordinator, shall be "the main day-to-day forum for such policy coordination". The directive ends by describing a number of "annexes", of which Annex A is described as being not classified but which does not appear on the directive's Web page: "(23) Annex A and the classified Continuity Annexes, attached hereto, are hereby incorporated into and made a part of this directive. "(24) Security. This directive and the information contained herein shall be protected from unauthorized disclosure, provided that, except for Annex A, the Annexes attached to this directive are classified and shall be accorded appropriate handling, consistent with applicable Executive Orders." The "National Continuity Policy, Annex A, Categories of Departments and Agencies", available from the Financial and Banking Information Infrastructure Committee website, indicates that "executive departments and agencies are assigned to one of four categories commensurate with their COOP/COG/ECG responsibilities during an emergency".

                                                            George Bush Jr.