By Harry V. Martin
The Secret Government
Wed Dec 6, 2006 13:44


The Secret Government
By Harry V. Martin with research assistance from David Caul
Copyright FreeAmerica and Harry V. Martin, 1995

Some people have referred to it as the "secret government" of the
United States. It is not an elected body, it does not involve itself
in public disclosures, and it even has a quasi-secret budget in the
billions of dollars. This government organization has more power than
the President of the United States or the Congress, it has the power
to suspend laws, move entire populations, arrest and detain citizens
without a warrant and hold them without trial, it can seize property,
food supplies, transportation systems, and can suspend the

Not only is it the most powerful entity in the United States, but it
was not even created under Constitutional law by the Congress. It was
a product of a Presidential Executive Order. No, it is not the U.S.
military nor the Central Intelligence Agency, they are subject to
Congress. The organization is called FEMA, which stands for the
Federal Emergency Management Agency. Originally conceived in the
Richard Nixon Administration, it was refined by President Jimmy
Carter and given teeth in the Ronald Reagan and George Bush

FEMA had one original concept when it was created, to assure the
survivability of the United States government in the event of a
nuclear attack on this nation. It was also provided with the task of
being a federal coordinating body during times of domestic disasters,
such as earthquakes, floods and hurricanes. Its awesome powers grow
under the tutelage of people like Lt. Col. Oliver North and General
Richard Secord, the architects on the Iran-Contra scandal and the
looting of America's savings and loan institutions. FEMA has even
been given control of the State Defense Forces, a rag-tag, often
considered neo-Nazi, civilian army that will substitute for the
National Guard, if the Guard is called to duty overseas.


Though it may be the most powerful organization in the United States,
few people know it even exists. But it has crept into our private
lives. Even mortgage papers contain FEMA's name in small print if the
property in question is near a flood plain. FEMA was deeply involved
in the Los Angeles riots and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in the
San Francisco Bay Area. Some of the black helicopter traffic reported
throughout the United States, but mainly in the West, California,
Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Colorado, are flown by
FEMA personnel. FEMA has been given responsibility for many new
disasters including urban forest fires, home heating emergencies,
refugee situations, urban riots, and emergency planning for nuclear
and toxic incidents. In the West, it works in conjunction with the
Sixth Army.

FEMA was created in a series of Executive Orders. A Presidential
Executive Order, whether Constitutional or not, becomes law simply by
its publication in the Federal Registry. Congress is by-passed.
Executive Order Number 12148 created the Federal Emergency Management
Agency that is to interface with the Department of Defense for civil
defense planning and funding. An "emergency czar" was appointed. FEMA
has only spent about 6 percent of its budget on national emergencies,
the bulk of their funding has been used for the construction of
secret underground facilities to assure continuity of government in
case of a major emergency, foreign or domestic. Executive Order
Number 12656 appointed the National Security Council as the principal
body that should consider emergency powers. This allows the
government to increase domestic intelligence and surveillance of U.S.
citizens and would restrict the freedom of movement within the United
States and grant the government the right to isolate large groups of
civilians. The National Guard could be federalized to seal all
borders and take control of U.S. air space and all ports of entry.

Here are just a few Executive Orders associated with FEMA that would
suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These Executive
Orders have been on record for nearly 30 years and could be enacted
by the stroke of a Presidential pen:

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all modes of
transportation and control of highways and seaports.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 allows the government to seize and control the
communication media.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all
electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to take over all food
resources and farms.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians
into work brigades under government supervision.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 allows the government to take over all health,
education and welfare functions.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11002 designates the Postmaster General to operate a
national registration of all persons.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11003 allows the government to take over all airports
and aircraft, including commercial aircraft.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 allows the Housing and Finance Authority to
relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate
areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11005 allows the government to take over railroads,
inland waterways and public storage facilities.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11051 specifies the responsibility of the Office of
Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive
Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and
economic or financial crisis.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 grants authority to the Department of Justice
to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute
industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to
control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions,
and to advise and assist the President.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11049 assigns emergency preparedness function to
federal departments and agencies, consolidating 21 operative
Executive Orders issued over a fifteen year period.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11921 allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness
Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of
production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries,
credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any
undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of
emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the
action for six months.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has broad powers in every
aspect of the nation. General Frank Salzedo, chief of FEMA's Civil
Security Division stated in a 1983 conference that he saw FEMA's role
as a "new frontier in the protection of individual and governmental
leaders from assassination, and of civil and military installations
from sabotage and/or attack, as well as prevention of dissident
groups from gaining access to U.S. opinion, or a global audience in
times of crisis." FEMA's powers were consolidated by President Carter
to incorporate:

the National Security Act of 1947, which allows for the strategic
relocation of industries, services, government and other essential
economic activities, and to rationalize the requirements for
manpower, resources and production facilities;

the 1950 Defense Production Act, which gives the President sweeping
powers over all aspects of the economy;

the Act of August 29, 1916, which authorizes the Secretary of the
Army, in time of war, to take possession of any transportation system
for transporting troops, material, or any other purpose related to
the emergency; and

the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which enables the
President to seize the property of a foreign country or national.

These powers were transferred to FEMA in a sweeping consolidation in

FEMA's deceptive role really did not come to light with much of the Hurricane Andrew smashed into the U.S. mainland. As
Russell R. Dynes, director of the Disaster Research Center of the
University of Delaware, wrote in The World and I, "...The eye of the
political storm hovered over the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
FEMA became a convenient target for criticism." Because FEMA was
accused of dropping the ball in Florida, the media and Congress
commenced to study this agency. What came out of the critical look
was that FEMA was spending 12 times more for "black operations" than
for disaster relief. It spent $1.3 billion building secret bunkers
throughout the United States in anticipation of government disruption
by foreign or domestic upheaval. Yet fewer than 20 members of
Congress , only members with top security clearance, know of the $1.3
billion expenditure by FEMA for non-natural disaster situations.
These few Congressional leaders state that FEMA has a "black curtain"
around its operations. FEMA has worked on National Security programs
since 1979, and its predecessor, the Federal Emergency Preparedness
Agency, has secretly spent millions of dollars before being merged
into FEMA by President Carter in 1979.

FEMA has developed 300 sophisticated mobile units that are capable of
sustaining themselves for a month. The vehicles are located in five
areas of the United States. They have tremendous communication
systems and each contains a generator that would provide power to 120
homes each, but have never been used for disaster relief.

FEMA's enormous powers can be triggered easily. In any form of
domestic or foreign problem, perceived and not always actual,
emergency powers can be enacted. The President of the United States
now has broader powers to declare martial law, which activates FEMA's
extraordinary powers. Martial law can be declared during time of
increased tension overseas, economic problems within the United
States, such as a depression, civil unrest, such as demonstrations or
scenes like the Los Angeles riots, and in a drug crisis. These
Presidential powers have increased with successive Crime Bills,
particularly the 1991 and 1993 Crime Bills, which increase the power
to suspend the rights guaranteed under the Constitution and to seize
property of those suspected of being drug dealers, to individuals who
participate in a public protest or demonstration. Under emergency
plans already in existence, the power exists to suspend the
Constitution and turn over the reigns of government to FEMA and
appointing military commanders to run state and local governments.
FEMA then would have the right to order the detention of anyone whom
there is reasonable ground to believe...will engage in, or probably
conspire with others to engage in acts of espionage or sabotage. The
plan also authorized the establishment of concentration camps for
detaining the accused, but no trial.

Three times since 1984, FEMA stood on the threshold of taking control
of the nation. Once under President Reagan in 1984, and twice under
President Bush in 1990 and 1992. But under those three scenarios,
there was not a sufficient crisis to warrant risking martial law.
Most experts on the subject of FEMA and Martial Law insisted that a
crisis has to appear dangerous enough for the people of the United
States before they would tolerate or accept complete government
takeover. The typical crisis needed would be threat of imminent
nuclear war, rioting in several U.S. cites simultaneously, a series
of national disasters that affect widespread danger to the populous,
massive terrorist attacks, a depression in which tens of millions are
unemployed and without financial resources, or a major environmental


In April 1984, President Reagan signed Presidential Director Number
54 that allowed FEMA to engage in a secret national "readiness
exercise" under the code name of REX 84. The exercise was to test
FEMA's readiness to assume military authority in the event of
a "State of Domestic National Emergency" concurrent with the
launching of a direct United States military operation in Central
America. The plan called for the deputation of U.S. military and
National Guard units so that they could legally be used for domestic
law enforcement. These units would be assigned to conduct sweeps and
take into custody an estimated 400,000 undocumented Central American
immigrants in the United States. The immigrants would be interned at
10 detention centers to be set up at military bases throughout the

REX 84 was so highly guarded that special metal security doors were
placed on the fifth floor of the FEMA building in Washington, D.C.
Even long-standing employees of the Civil Defense of the Federal
Executive Department possessing the highest possible security
clearances were not being allowed through the newly installed metal
security doors. Only personnel wearing a special red Christian cross
or crucifix lapel pin were allowed into the premises. Lt. Col. North
was responsible for drawing up the emergency plan, which U.S.
Attorney General William French Smith opposed vehemently. The plan
called for the suspension of the Constitution, turning control of the
government over to FEMA, appointment of military commanders to run
state and local governments and the declaration of Martial Law. The
Presidential Executive Orders to support such a plan were already in
place. The plan also advocated the rounding up and transfer
to "assembly centers or relocation camps" of a least 21 million
American Negroes in the event of massive rioting or disorder, not
unlike the rounding up of the Jews in Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

The second known time that FEMA stood by was in 1990 when Desert
Storm was enacted. Prior to President Bush's invasion of Iraq, FEMA
began to draft new legislation to increase its already formidable
powers. One of the elements incorporated into the plan was to set up
operations within any state or locality without the prior permission
of local or state authorities. Such prior permission has always been
required in the past. Much of the mechanism being set into place was
in anticipation of the economic collapse of the Western World. The
war with Iraq may have been conceived as a ploy to boost the bankrupt
economy, but it only pushed the West into deeper recession.

The third scenario for FEMA came with the Los Angeles riots after the
Rodney King brutality verdict. Had the rioting spread to other
cities, FEMA would have been empowered to step in. As it was, major
rioting only occurred in the Los Angeles area, thus preventing a
pretext for a FEMA response.

On July 5, 1987, the Miami Herald published reports on FEMA's new
goals. The goal was to suspend the Constitution in the event of a
national crisis, such as nuclear war, violent and widespread internal
dissent, or national opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad.
Lt. Col. North was the architect. National Security Directive Number
52 issued in August 1982, pertains to the "Use of National Guard
Troops to Quell Disturbances."

The crux of the problem is that FEMA has the power to turn the United
States into a police state in time of a real crisis or a manufactured
crisis. Lt. Col. North virtually established the apparatus for
dictatorship. Only the criticism of the Attorney General prevented
the plans from being adopted. But intelligence reports indicate that
FEMA has a folder with 22 Executive Orders for the President to sign
in case of an emergency. It is believed those Executive Orders
contain the framework of North's concepts, delayed by criticism but
never truly abandoned.

The crisis, as the government now see it, is civil unrest. For
generations, the government was concerned with nuclear war, but the
violent and disruptive demonstrations that surrounded the Vietnam War
era prompted President Nixon

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