Speaker Pelosi Says She’s Consulting with ‘The Military’—About What?
Oct. 4, 2020 (EIRNS)—Within less than 12 hours after President Donald Trump’s COVID infection became known at 1 a.m. Friday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was active presenting herself as disposing of various issues, in highly publicized interviews (at least) with MSNBC, CNBC, and CNN. After pronouncing on CNBC that, with Trump hospitalized, the Treasury and Senate would agree to a COVID relief bill to her specifications; and ordering the airlines to suspend layoffs because she was providing them new aid; Pelosi made the egregious statement to MSNBC, regarding continuity of government discussions: “But that is an ongoing—not with the White House but with the military, quite frankly, in terms of some officials in the government.”
The Constitution gives the military no role in ensuring continuity of government; neither does the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 which makes Pelosi third in line after Vice President Pence, nor the National Security Act of the same year. But sometime in late February or early March of this year, with the pandemic spreading to the United States, “For the first time in the modern history of the United States, the Department of Defense has been given standby orders to ensure the ‘continuity of government,’ in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” reported Joseph Fitsanakis, senior editor of IntelNews.org on March 18, 2020.
Fitsanakis cited Newsweek of the same date, as saying these were “above top-secret” contingencies if the constitutional holders of the top offices are incapacitated by the pandemic. He continued: “These operations are codenamed OCTAGON, FREEJACK and ZODIAC, said Newsweek, and include CONPLAN 3400 (homeland defense if the U.S. itself is the battlefield), CONPLAN 3500 (defending civil authorities in an emergency), and CONPLAN 3600 (defending the National Capital Region from an attack). Newsweek added that the Defense Secretary, Mark T. Esper, has authorized NORTHCOM to ‘prepare to deploy’ in support of these ‘potential extraordinary missions.’ These include ‘the possibility of some form of martial law,’ where military commanders would be given executive powers across the U.S. until a new civilian leadership would emerge.”
Furthermore, Fitsanakis writes in the first paragraph, without any other citation: “These extraordinary measures, which include evacuating White House officials to remote quarantined locations, and devolving the nation’s leadership to ‘second-tier officials,’ were originally meant for the aftermath of a nuclear war.”
These reports by IntelNews and/or Newsweek were themselves extraordinary, and EIR does not confirm them. But if such pandemic emergency orders from Esper do exist, they pose the danger behind the discussions Pelosi appeared to be referring to, “with the military” about continuity of government, since such discussions have no legal basis and are particularly unusual with a leader of the Legislative branch.