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Bunkering Down

The so-called "shadow government" set up by the Bush administration following Sept. 11 revives a plan first set in place by the Eisenhower presidency. About 100 senior government managers live and work in a secret bunker on the East Coast. They would take full control in case of a devastating attack on the nation's capital.

Known as Continuity of Government, or COG, this secret operation of essential government workers was revived after it became known that members of the Al Qaeda terrorist network were seeking a portable nuclear device.

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Setting up COG is another example of how the nation can be cautious without being fearful.

The location of the site should remain secret, although the Bush administration should also reveal more information about how COG would actually work in a crisis. At the very least, key members of Congress should be made more aware of COG plans. This would ensure that accountability of this plan, bolster public support, and allay criticism.


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