Who will run the country after the next 9/11? – By Ron Rosenbaum – Slate Magazine

Who Will Rule Us After the Next 9/11?
The reality of NSPD-51 is almost as bad as the paranoia.

By Ron Rosenbaum
Posted Friday, Oct. 19, 2007, at 2:23 PM ET

Oh, god. I’m reluctant to write this particular column. I’ve been scarred by this kind of story before. I’ve learned that it’s difficult to write about the sources of paranoia without spreading paranoia.

But the subject, NSPD-51-that’s National Security Presidential Directive 51-and the attendant explosion of blogospheric paranoia about it deserve attention. Even if you don’t believe, as I don’t, that NSPD-51 is a blueprint for a coup in the guise of plans for “continuity of government” in the event of a national emergency (such as a terrorist attack during an election campaign). Even if you don’t believe, as I don’t, that it will be used as a pretext for canceling the upcoming presidential election and preserving “continuity” of this administration in office.

Nonetheless, the specifics of the directive are a matter of legitimate concern that has not been given the urgent and sustained attention it deserves by Congress or the mainstream media.

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