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Bush Homeland Security Officials to Stay on Till Weds.

By Spencer S. Hsu
At the request of Obama aides, Bush homeland security officials will stay on the job Tuesday night to allow their successors to enjoy the festivities around the inauguration of the 44th president.

Departing Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff agreed to stay at the helm until 9 a.m. Wednesday "to ensure a smooth transition," said a person close to Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, Obama's secretary-designate.

Chertoff and Federal Emergency Management Agency chief R. David Paulison, among others, will be at separate posts overseeing operations on Inauguration Day. The U.S. Secret Service is the lead agency for security operations, and will oversee the day from its Multi-Agency Coordination Center.

About 300 FEMA employees will also be on duty around the city and at FEMA's National Response Coordination Center just south of the Mall, where Paulison and his deputy, retired coast guard vice admiral Harvey E. Johnson Jr., will be overnighting in their offices before leaving them behind for good on Wednesday.

"I just don't want to walk out the door and say, 'You got it now.' We're going to make sure you've got it as smoothly as possible, keeping a handful of people here to hand it off, and then we'll go home," said Paulison.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 19, 2009; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Inauguration Week , National Security  
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For Reagan's 1981 State of the Union speech, the Secretary of Education (Terrell Bell) was the "designated survivor". It's not that big of a deal really:

Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse


You "black helicopter" types always (conveniently) forget that it was President Clinton who put ECHELON into place. Why no complaints about that at the time? On Oct. 21, 1998, President Clinton also signed Presidential Decision Directive 67, "Enduring Constitutional Government and Continuity of Government Operations." No longer would only the very few elite leaders responsible for national security be evacuated. Instead, every single government department and agency was directed to see to it that they could resume critical functions within 12 hours of a warning, and keep their operations running at emergency facilities for up to 30 days.

This is not all something brand new that only began with the "evil" George W. Bush.

Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse


Barack Obama is the greatest liar in history (no wonder he is an excellent lawyer!) During his campaign, he told lots of hope in future for America if he was elected, but now he warns Americans of oncoming darker economy and not to put too much hope in his promises. He promises a big plan to reduce budget deficit but his inauguration ceremony this January will be the most costly in history (50 millions) while the nation is in deep depression, as well as his presidential campaign (600 millions), which was far more than his opponent John McCain's. He swears to clean up Washington DC, but he failed to first clean up his homestate Illinois, one of the most corrupt state with the scandal of Governor Rod Blagojevich, who greatly helped Obama to win his state senate seat in 1996, 1998, and 2002. And his favorite slogan is "Yes, we CAN", yet he himself CANNOT quit smoking at all !!!

Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | January 19, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

LOL! I do collect Social Security payments, but, no, I do not have an "assigned mission" nor am I employed by any federal agency, covert operation, or other organization out to get you. Your "tin foil" hat is on too tight again.

Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Jake D:

Richardson was chosen by Clinton under the terms of succession outlined in the U.S. CONSTITUTION.

Gates was chosen designated successor under the terms of the Continuity in Government commission provisions.

Under the Constitution, the would-be successor might have been someone else, depending on who survived a catastrophe.

The constitutionality of the "Continuity in Government" provision has not been tested in court, to my knowledge...

I AM impressed by your resourcefulness and diligence...

...more convinced than ever that you come to these blogs with an assigned mission.

Not that there's anything wrong with that -- as long as you're not doing it on the public dime, that is.

Then it would be illegal.

That couldn't be the case -- could it?

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 19, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I am not the "designated defender", and the Bush Administration is not the FIRST to do so.

Clinton State of the Union (2001) Bill Richardson:

Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse


Jake D:

Excuse me, but the "designated successor" is a creation of the Bush administration's "Government Continuity" commission, which many of us believe violates the presidential succession provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

I suppose the reason it didn't register on me in 2005 was because Bush won the election (if you accept the Ohio results, which, of course, is another matter entirely...)

So Jake D... are all the pieces in place now?

Should I pack my bags for the FEMA camp (if I'm allowed to survive, that is)?

Since you're the "designated defender", here's one for you to answer:

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 19, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

You think that Ramos and Compean should be pardoned?!

Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Obama and his team are clearly more aware of the security threats to the U.S. now that they're getting the real briefings, etc.

But how about the border agent pardons? Bush dumping them the day before he's gone is at least a small controversy.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | January 19, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, on Tuesday;

Barack Swears:

" I Barack O'Bomba(Snicker),(Crosses fingers), to Up-Hold and Enforce(Gufaw!)(Snort-Snicker);
The Constitution, and the (LOL!) Federal Laws(LOL!);

of this Nation!"

As his Illegal Aunt LHFAO in the Stands! :-(

Posted by: SAINT---The | January 19, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

My dear scrivener:

There's a "designated successor" for ALL these major events (there was a similar announcement in 2005). Just because you've never heard of it, doesn't mean there's anything nefarious about it.

Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse


And if peace and calm prevails... what about the PARDONS?

Has there been an "understanding" reached that no pardons will be announced until some time after they are issued?

Has anyone asked the Bush or incoming Obama press people how the pardon issue will be handled?

We're taking bets as to the exact hour, sometime today or possibly tomorrow morning, that George. W. Bush's 11th hour presidential pardons will become publicly known.

Will he issue a blanket pardon that covers himself, Cheney, and the entire "war on terror" army?

Will his pardons steal the thunder from Obama's swearing in...

...or will the media become a willing accomplice in a calculated effort to slip the pardons by quietly, without fanfare, in the midst of "Obamamania"?

Some of us are pondering another disquieting possibility on this last full day of the Bush administration: whether George W. Bush's repeated warnings about a transition-timed terrorist attack could come to pass...

... and exactly what Bush meant by that comment at his final press conference that some people may "write off" his warnings by saying, in Bush's words, "you know, he's trying to set something up."

And what's with that announcement this morning from White House Press Secretary Dana Perino that Bush has named Defense Secretary Robert Gates as "designated successor" in the event of a national emergency?

Do you EVER recall such an announcement before any other inauguration in American history? I don't...


And, in a related matter...


• Extrajudicial targeting and punishment allows a calculated bypass of the judicial system -- paving the way for myriad abuses.

NOTE: An attempt to post this commentary here earlier this morning failed, and was met with a message that the post was "being held for the blog owner." I believe this message was NOT generated by The Washington Post, but by a third-party censor with an ideological agenda.

Here is a link to another article that SOMEONE does not want YOU to read:

OR (if link is disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 19, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know where the Multi-Agency Coordination Center (MACC) is located?

Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

At least SecDef Robert Gates will be safe.

Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

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