Thank heavens! Bush is finally taking steps to secure the integrity of our Constitution after national disaster. And not a moment too soon. After all, Sept. 11th occurred over 5 1/2 years ago!
What is the policy? To quote the press release:
To maintain a comprehensive and effective continuity capability composed of Continuity of Operations and Continuity of Government programs in order to ensure the preservation of our form of government under the Constitution and the continuing performance of National Essential Functions under all conditions.
Did you get that? It's easier if you use the acronyms they provide. The policy basically maintains COOP and COG, thereby ensuring NEF and ECG (= "Enduring Constitutional Government").
The directive also does the following:
(1) CON CZAR: It names Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (APHS/CT) Frances Fragos Townsend the "National Continuity Coordinator." Let's call her the "Con Czar" for short.
[For those scoring at home, we've gained a Food Safety Czar, a War Czar, and a Con Czar just in the last month! Bush is really exploiting his constitutional powers under Article II, Section 5.]
(2) CON COMM: It establishes a Continuity Policy Coordination Committee (CPCC) as a daily forum for policy coordination.
(3) PLAN: The Con Czar will lead the development of a "National Continuity Implementation Plan" to improve our "continuity readiness."
(4) COGCON: It establishes a system of Continuity of Government Readiness Conditions (COGCON), which sets the "readiness levels" of the executive branch for threat conditions.
(5) PRACTICE: Adds a continuity training and exercise program, to be incorporated into the National Exercise Program.
[Because it's much easier to hold onto the reigns of government if you practice seizing them.]
In sum, this directive should silence any doubts post Katrina about the continuity of our government. Bush has named a Con Czar. She will join the Con Committee to formulate a plan. They will create a color-coded chart. They will also practice.
Rest assured, the next catastrophic emergency will not raise any doubts whether Bush is in charge and whether the Constitution's Unitary Executive endures.