17. OLIVER NORTH'S SECRET PLAN TO DECLARE MARTIAL
While caught up in exposing Fawn Hall's hairstyle, Ollie
North's heroic gap-toothed smile, and the soap opera ambience of the Congressional
Contragate hearings, most of America's media ignored the chilling constitutional
issue of Oliver North's secret plan to declare martial law.
Chardy, of THE MIAMI HERALD, was not deluded by North's charisma nor frightened
by North's earlier warning to him not to investigate the National Security Council's
(NSC) connection to the Nicaraguan resistance.
Unfortunately, Chardy's extraordinary
disclosures about North went unexplored and unreported by other major media.
July 5, 1987, Chardy reported over the KNT News Wire that Marine Lt. Col. Oliver
North helped draft a plan in 1984 to impose martial law in the United States in
event of an emergency.
According to Chardy, the secret plan called for suspension
of the Constitution, turning control of the government over to the little-known
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), appointment of military commanders
to run state and local governments, and the declaration of martial law in the
event of such a crisis as nuclear war, violent and widespread internal dissent
or national opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad.
draft the plan to impose martial law while serving as the NSC's liaison to FEMA.
Chardy reported that an administration official said the contingency plan was
written as part of an executive order or legislative package that Reagan would
sign and hold within NSC until such time as a severe crisis arose. "It is
not known whether Reagan signed the plan," Chardy added.
The plan was
extraordinary enough to even frighten then-Attorney General William French Smith
into protesting to Robert McFarlane, North's NSC boss at the time, that FEMA was
establishing itself as an "emergency czar" and "exceeding its proper
function as a coordinating agency for emergency preparedness."
secret plan to declare martial law in the event of internal dissent or national
opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad took on an added dimension as citizens
gathered to protest the nation's intervention in Honduras in March, 1988.
NENS WIRE, 7/5/87, "North linked to plan for martial law," by Alfonso
Chardy, p Al, SAN RAFAEL (CA) INDEPENDENT JOURNAL; THE NATION, 8/1/87, "Minority
Report," by Christopher Hitchens, p 80.