I just ran across this when I was looking at Bush's executive orders, and I have to say I find it a bit concerning:
National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Also, there is a classified "Annex A" which was not released when the executive order was published to the White House's website. Check this out:The presidential directive says that, when the president considers an emergency to have occurred, an "Enduring Constitutional Government", comprising "a cooperative effort among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government, coordinated by the President," will take the place of the nation's regular government, presumably without the oversight of Congress.
Conservative activist Jerome Corsi and Marjorie Cohn of the National Lawyers Guild have said that this is a violation of the Constitution of the United States in that the three branches of government are separate and equal, with no single branch coordinating the others. The directive, created by the president, claims that the president has the power to declare a catastrophic emergency.
Now I'm no conspiracy theorist, but this last bit is the strangest to me. Why would access to these documents be denied to a member of the Homeland Security Committee?After receiving concerned communications from constituents, in July 2007 U.S. Representative and Homeland Security Committee member Peter DeFazio made an official request to examine the classified Continuity Annexes described above in a secure "bubbleroom" in the United States Capitol, but his request was denied by the White House, which cited "national security concerns." This was the first time DeFazio has been denied access to documents... After this denial, DeFazio joined with two colleagues (Bennie Thompson, chairman of the committee; and Chris Carney, chairman of the Homeland Security oversight subcommittee) in a renewed effort to gain access to the documents.
EDIT: I've read some claims by conspiracy theorists that Bush might use some terrorist act + this executive order to refuse to leave office when he should on January 20, 2009. Sounds extreme to me.