Don Allen All FEMA part 3/1010 Feb 92 00:01:00 AREA:HUMAN
VIA: QEcho 2.66a
<<<<<<===FEMA part 3================================================>>>>
The State of Emergency
In time of war a president's power derives from both constitutional
and statutory sources. Under Article II, Section 2 of the
Constitution, he is Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Although
Congress alone retains the right to declare war, this power has become
increasingly meaningless in the face of a succession of unilateral
decisions by the executive to mount invasions.
The president's statutory authority, granted by Congress and
expanded by it under the 1988 National Emergencies Act (50 USC sec.
1601), confers special powers in time of war or national emergency.
He can invoke those special powers simply by declaring a national
emergency. First, however, he must specify the legal provisions under
which he proposes that he, or other officers, will act. Congress may
end a national emergency by enacting a joint resolution. Once invoked
by the president, emergency powers are directed by the National
Security Council and administered, where appropriate, under the
general umbrella of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
There is no requirement that Congress be consulted before an emergency
is declared or findings signed. The only restriction on Bush is that
he must inform Congress in a "timely" fashion--he being the sole
arbiter of timeliness.
Ultimately, the president's perception of the severity of a
particular threat to national security and the integrity of his
appointed officers determine the nature of any state of emergency.
For this reason, those who were aware of the modern development of
presidential emergency powers were apprehensive about the domestic
ramifications of any national emergency declared by George Bush. In
light of Bush's record (see "Bush Chips Away at Constitution" Box
below) and present performance, their fears appear well-founded.
The War at Home
It is too early to know all of the emergency powers, executive
orders and findings issued under classified National Security
Directives implemented by Bush in the name of the Gulf War. In
addition to the emergency powers necessary to the direct mobilization
of active and reserve armed forces of the United States, there are
some 120 additional emergency powers that can be used in a national
emergency or state of war (declared or undeclared by Congress). The
"Federal Register" records some 15 Executive Orders (EO) signed by
Bush from August 2,1990 to February 14,1991. (See "Bush's Executive
Orders" box, below)
It may take many years before most of the executive findings and
use of powers come to light, if indeed they ever do. But evidence is
emerging that at least some of Bush's emergency powers were activated
in secret. Although only five of the 15 EOs that were published were
directed at non-military personnel, the costs directly attributable to
the exercise of the authorities conferred by the declaration of
national emergency from August 2, 1990 to February 1, 1991 for non-
military activities are estimated at approximately $1.3 billion.
According to a February 11, 1991 letter from Bush to congressional
leaders reporting on the "National Emergency With Respect to Iraq,"
these costs represent wage and salary costs for the Departments of
Treasury, State, Agriculture, and Transportation, U.S. Customs,
Federal Reserve Board, and the National Security Council.
The fact that $1.3 billion was spent in non-military salaries alone
in this six month period suggests an unusual amount of government
resources utilized to direct the national emergency state. In
contrast, government salaries for one year of the state of emergency
with Iran cost only $430,000.
>>>>>>=======Continued in FEMA part 4================================>>>>>>
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