America gets a Council of Governors – for what? 3

The president has established by executive order a new body called The Council of Governors whose stated functions are vague: to ‘exchange views, information and advice’ on ‘matters involving the National Guard  of the various states’, ‘homeland defense’,  ‘civil support’, ‘the integration of State and Federal and military activities’ and ‘other matters’ pertaining to …  well, again, ‘the National Guard’, ‘homeland defense’, and ‘civil support’.

Its composition (see the Order below) strongly suggests that this is an incipient federal internal security authority which, to have any real function beyond ‘the exchange of views, information and advice’, might be intended to prepare a cover for the formation, with apparent states’ approval, of a national armed force for internal deployment. Didn’t candidate Obama speak of his wish to create something of the sort?

Or is it more innocently to spread responsibility for dealing with domestic terrorism, or another Katrina?

It is certainly a move further to centralize power, and must surely raise serious constitutional issues.

From Canada Free Press:

Quietly — even stealthily — in the opening days of the New Year, President Barack Obama has set up a “Council of Governors”. Like the 30-plus czars running America with neither the people’s nor the congress’s blessings, the Council of Governors is already a done deal….

“Is this a first step towards Martial Law, or a tie to the InterPol, RAND National Police Force stuff we’ve been hearing about,” asked a Texas patriot who tipped off Canada Free Press (CFP) after finding news of the new Council of Governors on Twitter. “Is this a sort of Homeland Security Politburo?”

Checking the Net on the Council of Governors, CFP found …  only UPI.com had the story as of this morning:

“President Barack Obama Monday established a panel of state governors to collaborate with Washington on a variety of potential emergencies, the White House said.” (UPI.com, Jan. 11, 2010 at 11:54 p.m.). “Obama signed an executive order establishing a panel to be known as the Council of Governors, which will be made up of 10 state governors, to be selected by the president to serve two-year terms. Members will review matters involving the National Guard; homeland defense; civil support; and synchronization and integration of state and federal military activities in the United States, the White House said in a statement…”

EXECUTIVE ORDER

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COUNCIL OF GOVERNORS

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America,including section 1822 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-181), and in order to strengthen further the partnership between the Federal Government and State governments to protect our Nation and its people and property, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Council of Governors.

(a) There is established a Council of Governors (Council).The Council shall consist of 10 State Governors appointed by the President (Members), of whom no more than five shall be of the same political party. The term of service for each Member appointed to serve on the Council shall be 2 years, but a Member may be reappointed for additional terms.

(b) The President shall designate two Members, who shall not be members of the same political party, to serve as Co-Chairs of the Council.

Sec. 2. Functions. The Council shall meet at the call of the Secretary of Defense or the Co-Chairs of the Council to exchange views, information, or advice with the Secretary of Defense; the Secretary of Homeland Security; the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism; the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement; the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs; the Commander,United States Northern Command; the Chief, National Guard Bureau; the Commandant of the Coast Guard; and other appropriate officials of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, and appropriate officials of other executive departments or agencies as may be designated by the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of Homeland Security. Such views, information, or advice shall concern:

(a) matters involving the National Guard of the various States;

(b) homeland defense;

(c) civil support;

(d) synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States; and

(e) other matters of mutual interest pertaining to National Guard, homeland defense, and civil support activities.

Sec. 3. Administration.

(a) The Secretary of Defense shall designate an Executive Director to coordinate the work of the Council.

(b) Members shall serve without compensation for their work on the Council. However, Members shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by law.

(c) Upon the joint request of the Co-Chairs of the Council, the Secretary of Defense shall, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, provide the Council with administrative support, assignment or detail of personnel, and information as may be necessary for the performance of the Council’s functions.

(d) The Council may establish subcommittees of the Council. These subcommittees shall consist exclusively of Members of the Council and any designated employees of a Member with authority to act on the Member’s behalf, as appropriate to aid the Council in carrying out its functions under this order.

(e) The Council may establish a charter that is consistent with the terms of this order to refine further its purpose,scope, and objectives and to allocate duties, as appropriate,among members.

Sec. 4. Definitions. As used in this order:

(a) the term “State” has the meaning provided in paragraph (15) of section 2 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002(6 U.S.C. 101(15)); and

(b) the term “Governor” has the meaning provided in paragraph (5) of section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122(5)).

Sec. 5. General Provisions.

(a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

– (1) the authority granted by law to a department, agency, or the head thereof; or

– (2) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary,administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,January 11, 2010.

  • C. Gee

    A brand new wee community has just been organized by the community-organizer -in-chief. Perfectly formed – ten fingers, five on each hand. Congratulations, Obama. You must be so proud. Have a cigar.

    What it will be when it grows up? I bet it will get an early start on making sub-committees.

    Query: Why 10 states? Which 10 states? Selected how (other than 5 of each party)? Border states? I am too bemused by the number 10 even to ponder the meaning of “synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States”. I notice that the baby organization is given the power to “refine” its purpose, scope and objectives in a charter. How can the terms “exchange views, information and advice” be refined? And is there any precedent for the use of the word “partnership” to designate a relationship between the States and the Federal government? What is the meaning of this term? Does it have constitutional significance?

  • Neitrick

    Even scarier…..a coworker of my husband's just this week said that one of the reasons he chose to leave the military after two tours in Iraq was the shift in training exercises. According to him they had been doing training exercises in replicas of Iraqi villages but in April switched. They are now training US military in replicas of US suburbs. I found that information terrifying of not all that surprising. In light of this article, all I can do is hope people wake up to what's coming.

  • philabor

    “the Secretary of Defense shall, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, provide the Council with administrative support, assignment or detail of personnel, and information as may be necessary for the performance of the Council’s functions.”
    Scary stuff. …assignment or detail of personnel…as in US soldiers to keep “order” in the US. Reminds me of the Cheyenne government and RavenWood in the Jericho TV series.