Part 3 Raven Rock. The government’s plans for after a nuclear holocaust

This is the third part of my book review of: Graff, G.M. 2018. Raven Rock. The Story of the U.S. Governments Secret Plan to Save Itself–While the Rest of Us Die. Simon and Schuster.

This book stresses that a full nuclear attack might destroy civilization at best, and drive humans extinct at worse.  So to spend hundreds of billions to strike back with even more nuclear weapons, as well as continue Democracy and the Non-negotiable Way of Life of America is bizarre, preposterous. America will have gone from amber waves of grain, a fruited plain, and purple mountain majesties to a vast radioactive scorched earth and nuclear winter.

The plans to carry on as usual are the Continuity of Government (COG), Continuity of Operations (COOP), and the most top secret level, Enduring Constitutional Government (ECG).

Here are just a few of the responsibilities government agencies will have after a nuclear apocalypse.  They range from the Truman administration to today, so some of these plans may have been discontinued or the responsibilities transferred d to the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA.

Defense Resources Act: This lays out a new structure and roles for how the government will function after a national emergency that suspends the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  In includes rationing, price controls, media censorship, property confiscation, the creation of emergency government agencies, the seizure of private industries, and other powers considered too politically toxic ever to be discussed in peacetime.

Department of Agriculture: distribute rationed food.

Department of Health, Education, and Welfare: handle civilian refugees from the war zone

Emergency Food Agency: vast powers to dictate the production and distribution of foodstuffs

Emergency Transport Agency: They were to seize control of all of the nation’s merchant vessel fleet and all of the nation’s highways—dictating who could drive on what roads when.  In addition local governments could supplement local stockpiles from any retail store.  And much more, the plans were hundreds of pages long.

FBI: attorney general’s always had an emergency briefcase nearby full of documents about the Emergency Detention Program, which included sections on the “Alien Control Program,” “Internment of Diplomatic Personnel of Enemy Nations Program,” “Handling of Dangerous Non-enemy Aliens Attached to International Organizations,” and much more. These documents gave the FBI the power to arrest, search, detain, and deport thousands of people.

Federal Civil Defense Administration (now FEMA).  Although the FCDA may no longer exist, perhaps their solution to the problem of not having enough medical aid to support attacked areas for more than three days is still in place.  They believed that unscathed states needed to be forced to help, by military force if necessary.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC): seize and shut down all the nation’s broadcasters.

FEMA, now a part of Homeland Security, would help the nation rebuild from regional bunkers in places like Denton, Texas, and Maynard, Massachusetts. Although the public believes their main role is aid after natural disasters, much of their budget goes to COG – the Continuation of Government — by tracking the 20 government officials in the presidential line of succession around the clock, and the helicopters and staff to whisk them away.

Highway Transport Division: coordinate the nation’s 10 million commercial vehicles in an attack.

Interior Department: ensure fuel supplies for attacked areas and restore electrical service to damaged cities.

Internal Revenue Service: After studying how taxes could be levied from the 1960s to 1980s, the IRS and treasury concluded it would be very hard to levy taxes after a Soviet Strike.  Aside from taxpayers being dead, finding W-2s for those still alive would be impossible, and it was unfair to assess taxpayers on the pre-attack value of their property, many of them reduced to ashes or other damage.  The IRS calculated that over $2 trillion in property might disappear after a large strike, and recommended that the government assume the underlying mortgages to keep the banking system from collapsing.  In the end, the only way to get taxes would be a national sales tax as high as 24 percent.

National Park Service: run refugee camps.

Pentagon and FEMA: alert the nation if a Soviet attack is underway, though as a civil defense expert pointed out, the people who hear the warnings will run into a building and still be turned into sand seconds later. FEMA attempted to rate how disastrous the aftermath would be and estimated about one out of six Americans would face the worst scenario known as BOS #9, HIRAD HIFIRE, which means severe radiation and uncontrollable fires.

Post Office: register the nation’s dead, and develop a national registration program to determine who was still alive, where refugees were located, and registering foreign aliens so government agencies could round up anyone who might be subversive.  In 2009 they were assigned the additional duty of distributing vaccines after a biological attack.

Private citizens: during the Eisenhower administration nine men were chosen to remake the private sector by seizing assets across the nation and starting new bureaucracies to control every aspect of American life until a recovery was made.

Selective Service System: mailing letters after a nuclear attack so the military could draft 84,600 new recruits within 30 days

Wartime Information Security Program (WISP) formerly the Office of Censorship: this agency would have a Press Division to oversee censorship of newspapers, magazines, books, and other publishers, a Broadcast Division to censor radio and TV, a Telecommunications Division to censor telephones and telegraph systems, and a Postal and Travelers Division to censor the mail, and the Special Analysis Division, which would be in charge of collecting and determining what information should be censored in the first place.  One of the Watergate burglars, James W. McCord Jr, worked with the Office of emergency planning to draft a national watch list of troublesome Americans.

Raven Rock parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Alice Friedemann  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer and “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers”. Podcasts: Derrick Jensen, Practical Prepping, KunstlerCast 253, KunstlerCast278, Peak Prosperity , XX2 report

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3 Responses to Part 3 Raven Rock. The government’s plans for after a nuclear holocaust

  1. Gregory Ross says:

    We know what problem the world faces. We know that radical measures have to be taken to avert a course to destruction that will bring the human species back to the stone age. What is missing is a political movement that will speak openly about this predicament and do what’s necessary to change things. I cannot agree with this fatalist philosophy and docile sense of powerlessness, even cult-like fascination with global ruin that pervades the broader peak-everything community.

    The so-call green movement obviously cannot be the movement we’re looking for. It places undue weight on things like recycling, animal rights, vegetarianism, climate change and green technology and continues to hold onto a castrated leftism which fantasizes about a world where thanks to clean energy, robots and automation, all lousy chores sort themselves out while we’re busy colonizing the next planet and sacrifices of any sort are made terminally redundant.

    I also reject the absolutely erroneous view that because of their brain chemistry, or because of their lack of scientific education people cannot be swayed to our point of view. People are actually very flexible and fluid beings and history screams to us that as long as there’s a voice speaking loudly and passionately, they are capable of believing virtually anything, regardless of its truth content. No collage degree, not even literacy is required to understand what’s going on. Indisputable data of the likes presented in this blog is all it takes.

    A global transnational political movement has to be born that will do whatever’s necessary to gain power in as many places as possible, end the absurd financial system and the mass-consumerist model of society, eliminate recalcitrant governments by any means, seize control of the world’s remaining resources, bring the majority of people back to the countryside and implement serious programs that will peacefully but effectively reduce the world’s population.

    As long as we’re handicapping ourselves with the thought that we cannot change the world, others that do not handicap themselves this way will do it.

    • energyskeptic says:

      Gregory, many people have been trying to do as you suggested, such as Richard Heinberg since 2005, and colin campbell and others since the first ASPO peak oil conference in 2002, but this has never gained any traction for reasons too numerous to put in a reply. But a big reason is human nature. We’re social animals wired to want status and “stuff”. Jeff Bridges recently made a movie called “Living in the Future’s Past” that has about 20 scientists, including Nate Hagens, talking about this, and the role of energy in society, perhaps available on netflix soon (though not yet). There would have to be massive government intervention at all levels to ration, implement birth control and abortion for free to any woman (in the world), and so on, individuals simply can’t create enough change on their own, they’re too embedded in the system that exists. But the government and other institutions are not likely to acknowledge this because:

      • Gregory Ross says:

        Hi Alice. What I suggested is a mass political movement that aspires to take control of the country. That’s because without concrete political power changing the world is impossible and the US is the only country in existence that has the potential to force such a radical worldwide shift. But the window of opportunity will be gone in about two decades or less.

        The plan would involve seizing with force a great deal of the world’s resources that currently are in corporate hands or foreign states and deciding who gets what, how much and for what purpose. In effect, waging a war for political control of the world’s resources. Only that way could we force policy changes in other nations. This is a very dangerous thing to do especially as regards the reactions of China and Russia and would require sacrifices and suffering but it is our only chance to prevent a new stone age for everyone.

        It would also involve abolishing the dumbed-down version of the 19th century education system that we have in favor of one where people acquire real-life skills that allow them to survive.

        To my knowledge, neither Richard Heinberg nor anybody else has tried to found such a radical political movement.

        Allow me to disagree that the problem is human nature. Most humans in history have subsisted on a rather meager caloric intake and nobody thought that was against human nature. It is not by accident that primitive societies had taboos and myths regarding the holiness of trees. Sure, there were civilization collapses where resource depletion played a greater or lesser role (I would argue lesser than what peakers usually suggest) but that was nothing compared to what we face today.

        Our true problem is that the environmentalist movement is spreading false hope, misinformation and wrong messages and hence it is making itself politically irrelevant. When you tell people to malnutrition themselves by giving up on meat, to give up coal for nuclear, to buy an electric car, mislead the people into thinking our future will be a hi-tech paradise with space colonization and pontificate about climate change without the slightest willingness to give up modern comforts then people’s instincts are right when they prove unwilling to trust you.

        When almost nobody in politics, business or entertainment makes a damn effort to inform the populace (or be informed) about how society is actually run then we can’t be surprised that delusions are seizing the day. Of course they do. They have a clear and open field.