Bush orders contingency plans for
attack on U.S.
From the Washington Post
May 10, 2007
http://www.latimes.com/news/ (check out
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WASHINGTON — President Bush issued a formal national
security directive Wednesday ordering agencies to
prepare contingency plans for a surprise,
"decapitating" attack on the federal government, and
assigned responsibility for coordinating such plans
to the White House.
The prospect of a nuclear bomb being detonated in
Washington without warning, whether smuggled in by
terrorists or a foreign government, has been cited
by many security analysts as a rising concern since
the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The order makes explicit that the focus of federal
worst-case planning involves a covert nuclear attack
against the capital, in contrast with Cold War
beliefs that a long-range strike would be preceded
by a notice of minutes or hours as missiles were
fueled and launched.
"As a result of the asymmetric threat environment,
adequate warning of potential emergencies that could
pose a significant risk to the homeland might not be
available, and therefore all continuity planning
shall be based on the assumption that no such
warning will be received," states the 72-paragraph
The statement added, "Emphasis will be placed upon
geographic dispersion of leadership, staff, and
infrastructure in order to increase survivability
and maintain uninterrupted Government Functions."
After the 2001 attacks, Bush assigned about 100
senior civilian managers to secretly rotate to
locations outside of Washington for weeks or months
at a time to ensure the nation's survival, a shadow
government that evolved based on long-standing
"continuity of operations plans."
Since then, other agencies including the Pentagon,
the office of the Director of National Intelligence
and CIA have taken steps to relocate facilities or
key functions outside of Washington, citing factors
such as economics or the importance of avoiding