OLIVER NORTH'S SECRET PLAN TO DECLARE MARTIAL LAW
While caught up in exposing Fawn Hall's hairstyle, Ollie North's
heroic gap-toothed smile, and the soap opera ambience of the
Congressional Contragate hearings, most of America's media ignored the
chilling constitutional issue of Oliver North's secret plan to declare
But Alfonso Chardy, of THE MIAMI HERALD, was not deluded by
North's charisma nor frightened by North's earlier warning to him not
to investigate the National Security Council's (NSC) connection to the
Unfortunately, Chardy's extraordinary disclosures about North
went unexplored and unreported by other major media.
On July 5, 1987, Chardy reported over the KNT News Wire that
Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North helped draft a plan in 1984 to impose
martial law in the United States in event of an emergency.
According to Chardy, the secret plan called for suspension of the
Constitution, turning control of the government over to the
little-known Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), appointment
of military commanders to run state and local governments, and the
declaration of martial law in the event of such a crisis as nuclear
war, violent and widespread internal dissent or national opposition to
a U.S. military invasion abroad.
North helped draft the plan to impose martial law while serving
as the NSC's laiason to FEMA. Chardy reported that an administration
official said the contingency plan was written as part of an executive
order or legislative package that Reagan would sign and hold within
NSC until such time as a severe crisis arose. "It is not known whether
Reagan signed the plan," Chardy added.
The plan was extraordinary enough to even frighten then-Attorney
General William French Smith into protesting to Robert McFarlane,
North's NSC boss at the time, that FEMA was establishing itself as an
"emergency czar" and "exceeding its proper function as a coordinating
agency for emergency preparedness."
This secret plan to declare martial law in the event of internal
dissent or national opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad took
on an added dimension as citizens gathered to protest the nation's
intervention in Honduras in March, 1988.
SOURCES: KNT NEWS WIRE, 7/5/87, "North linked to plan for
martial law," by Alfonso Chardy, p A1, SAN RAFAEL (CA) INDEPENDENT
JOURNAL; THE NATION, 8/1/87, "Minority Report," by Christopher
Hitchens, p 80.