According to the press release: "The President today [January 11, 2009] signed an Executive Order establishing a Council of Governors to strengthen further the partnership between the Federal Government and State Governments to protect our Nation against all types of hazards. When appointed, the Council will be reviewing such matters as involving the National Guard of the various States; homeland defense; civil support; synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States; and other matters of mutual interest pertaining to National Guard, homeland defense, and civil support activities."
According to the report, the Council will be composed of "ten State Governors who will be selected by the President to serve two year terms.... Once chosen, the Council will have no more than five members from the same party and represent the Nation as a whole."
The press release also states: "Federal members of the Council include the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas' Security Affairs, the U.S. Northern Command Commander, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau. The Secretary of Defense will designate an Executive Director for the Council."
As with most Presidential Directives or Executive Orders that have the potential to swallow our liberties and expand federal — or even international — police powers, the mainstream media conveniently fails to inform the American people as to what is happening. Such is the case with Obama's EO establishing a Council of Governors (COG). Therefore, it is left to independent writers to issue the alert. Thank God for the Internet!
As with any expansion of the federal government, this new Council of Governors needs to be monitored very carefully by freedom lovers. One blog rightly noted that the COG "clearly represents another assault on Posse Comitatus, the 1878 law that bars the military from exercising domestic police powers, which was temporarily annulled by the 2006 John Warner National Defense Authorization Act before parts of it were later repealed."
Another blogger wisely stated, "As with most government powers, there is always the potential for abuse. In this case, there is cause for serious concern because every bit of this entails expanding traditional Command in Chief powers to the DOD [Department of Defense], spreading troops around the US (potentially not American troops at that...) and deciding who has ultimate tactical command over reserves and Guard in the event of 'emergencies,' terrorist attacks, or natural disasters."
Actually, this EO is simply the latest in a series of events going back to the Bush and Clinton years, in which the federal government has taken steps to lay the foundation for extensive military police action within the United States.
Back in 2008, retired lawman Jim Kouri wrote:
In a political move that received little if any attention by the American news media, the United States and Canada entered into a military agreement on February 14, 2008, allowing the armed forces from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a domestic civil emergency, even one that does not involve a cross-border crisis, according to a police commander involved in homeland security planning and implementation.
It is an initiative of the Bi-National Planning Group whose final report, issued in June 2006, called for the creation of a "Comprehensive Defense and Security Agreement," or a "continental approach" to Canada-US defense and security.
The law enforcement executive told Newswithviews.com that the agreement — defined as a Civil Assistance Plan--was not submitted to Congress for debate and approval, nor did Congress pass any law or treaty specifically authorizing this military agreement to combine the operations of the armed forces of the United States and Canada in the event of domestic civil disturbances ranging from violent storms, to health epidemics, to civil riots or terrorists attacks.
"This is a military plan that's designed to bypass the Posse Comitatus Act that traditionally prohibited the US military from operating within the borders of the United States. Not only will American soldiers be deployed at the discretion of whomever is sitting in the Oval Office, but foreign soldiers will also be deployed in American cities," warns Lt. Steven Rodgers, commander of the Nutley, NJ Police Department's detective bureau.
Of course, the groundwork for this US-Canadian agreement occurred in 2002 when President G.W. Bush created USNORTHCOM. For the first time in U.S. history, an entire Army division has been tasked with "homeland defense efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities." (Source: USNORTHCOM official website) Plus, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, which passed with almost unanimous bipartisan support, and was signed into law in January 2008 by then-President Bush, required the implementation of the COG.
Then, in June of 2009, USNORTHCOM sent a legislative proposal to Congress requesting "amending Title 10 of USC, expanding the Secretary of Defense's powers to mobilization of the Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Navy Reserve, and Marine Corps Reserve to assist civil authorities in disasters and emergencies ... 'thus enabling a truly Total Force approach to disaster response.'" (To see the full report, click here.)
Matthew Rothschild at The Progressive penned, "The Pentagon has approached Congress to grant the Secretary of Defense the authority to post almost 400,000 military personnel throughout the United States in times of emergency or a major disaster."
Concerning this, David Mundy at the Texas National Press commented:
If granted, the move would further erode the authority of the states and would minimize the role played by the states' militia . . . in handling domestic issues.
More ominously, nothing in the Pentagon's request specifies that the troops to be posted in U.S. cities would necessarily be Americans.
The report notes that in September of 2009 USNORTHCOM released its 32-page initial framework for the "Tri Command," referring to NORAD, NORTHCOM, and Canada COM. It is noted that while NORTHCOM and Canada COM are national organizations, NORAD is set up as a binational force.
It is largely understood, therefore, that the Council of Governors has been established for the purpose of getting the governors' blessing on this newly accumulated power. In other words, the COG is Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Stockton's effort to establish a liaison between the governors, DHS, DOD, and the National Guard.
Of course, as the report suggests, what is not being disclosed is what powers will be conferred upon the 10 gubernatorial council members and what authorities they will be required to cede to the federal government.
Anyone who is not concerned about the ever-increasing encroachment of federal power upon the states and citizenry at large is either not paying attention, or is already a slave at heart. Instead of worrying about whether a gubernatorial or State legislative candidate is a conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, we need to be focusing on whether or not our State governors and legislators have the historical and constitutional acumen and resolve to resist the current dismantling of State sovereignty and personal liberty being orchestrated by this federal leviathan that is known as Washington, D.C.
We can survive hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, looters and thugs, blackouts, and even Muslim terrorists. What we cannot survive — at least not without great cost and effort — is tyranny at the hands of our own government. In this regard, our greatest threat is not foreign terrorists or natural disasters; our greatest threat is Washington, D.C.
So, while D.C. has an eye on this new Council of Governors, you'd better keep an eye on your governor as well — and keep the other eye on what's left of your liberties, because if those federal foxes come in the middle of the night and run off with them, it will be your governor that opened the door.
This column is archived at http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/c2009/cbarchive_20090721.html
Dr. Baldwin is the founder and pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. His sermons are LIVE every Sunday morning and people can tune in and watch the sermon at http://crossroadbaptist.net/live.html. He is a prolific writer/columnist whose articles and political commentaries are carried by a host of Internet sites, newspapers, and news magazines. Dr. Baldwin can be heard 49 times each week, on 15 different radio stations in Northwest Florida, lower Alabama, Central Florida, and parts of Virginia, Texas, and Utah. He has written two books, and he was the 2008 Presidential candidate for the Constitution Party.
© Chuck Baldwin