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White House can shut down internet in event of ‘apocalypse,’ secret filing reveals

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University of Law received a series of 500-page files of “Presidential Emergency Documents,” or PEADs, created during the George W. Bush administration

The files unearthed were made during the administration of George W. Bush
The files unearthed were made during the administration of George W. Bush

The US government’s secret plans for a variety of apocalyptic scenarios have been revealed in a previously unreleased series of files.

The newly released papers reveal White House strategies for nuclear strikes and other national emergencies, which could include shutting down all civilian communications — including the internet — and confiscating passports.

The 500-page filing was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act filing from the nonprofit Brennan Center for Justice at New York University of Law.

Another 6,000 pages remain classified.

The filings, filed in 2004, 2006 and 2008, were prepared by senior staffers of former President George W. Bush during holistic reviews of the POTUS’ emergency powers.

The goal was to refresh a series of secret plans known as Presidential Emergency Action Documents, or PEADs, originally created under President Dwight Eisenhower in response to the aftermath of World War II and the threat of nuclear war in the late 1950s.







The reviews began after 9/11
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The papers had been reviewed before Bush, but took on new meaning after 9/11.

As a result of the FOI, the George W. Bush Presidential Library turned over many of the papers to the bipartisan organization.

At least one of the documents reviewed was developed to implement emergency response agencies under Section 706 of the Communications Act, reported the Brennan Center.







Queen Elizabeth II meets Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957
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It states that “for the duration of any war” in which the United States is engaged, the President has the authority to shut down communications.

“He may give these instructions at and for the times he determines,” the filing, which originally dates from after World War II, continues.

“And may modify, change, suspend or cancel them and shall be authorized for any such purpose to give instructions, directly or through any person or persons he designates for that purpose.”







Demonstrators stage a sit-in during a demonstration against the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962
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At the time of the creation of power, Americans amounted to the use of telephone calls and telegrams.

But in this day and age, “wired communication” could theoretically include the Internet.

One of Bush’s officials reportedly scribbled on the documents that the statute was “very broad.”

Meanwhile, restricting travel outside the US from 2008 also seems to have remained on the table.







It is unclear if the filings have been discussed with Congress
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Records produced by the review highlighted a 1978 statute that allowed the White House to revoke civilians’ passports in times of “war,” “armed hostilities,” or “imminent threat to the public health or physical security of the United States.” to deprive travellers”.

There is also evidence that at least one document related to the suspension of habeas corpus was used to bring a prisoner or other detainee to court to determine whether the person’s detention or imprisonment was lawful.

This is believed to refer to a landmark ruling regarding the constitutional right of Guantanamo Bay detainees to challenge their detention in court.

The Brennan Center says the records unearthed do not show whether the Bush administration communicated with Congress during the review.







The barbed wire fence and watchtower at the abandoned Camp X-Ray detention facility at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay
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The article adds, “We have previously found that Presidents have kept PEADs secret, not only from the American public but from lawmakers as well.”

“This lack of disclosure effectively prevents an equal branch of government from overseeing emergency protocols.”

“With Congress unable to fulfill its constitutional role of overseeing the executive branch, the possibility remains that modern PEADs, like their historical predecessors, will sacrifice the constitutional rights and rule of law of Americans in the name of contingency planning.”

The center says Congress should pass the REIGN Act, part of the Protecting Our Democracy Act and the National Security Reforms and Accountability Act “to hold these shadow powers to account.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/white-house-shut-down-internet-27087878 White House can shut down internet in event of 'apocalypse,' secret filing reveals

Fry Electronics Team

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