The American Dictatorship Institute

by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

In response to Ron Paul’s phenomenal fundraising successes and his widespread, national popularity, the neocon establishment has commenced a smear campaign. One such smear artist is John C. Fortier, a “research fellow” at what Lew Rockwell has called the Supreme Soviet of Neoconservatism – the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Writing on the AEI website, Fortier complained that Congressman Paul “sometimes displays a sinister conspiratorial aspect, implying that those who disagree with him are the vanguard of dictatorial government.” The Congressman and his supporters, says Fortier, think they “are there to stop such a dictatorship.” Fortier is especially incensed at the fact that Congressman Paul asked him many hard questions, and opposed some of his recommendations, when he was executive director of something called the “Continuity in Government Commission.” In particular, the congressman was suspicious of the neocon commissioner’s recommendation that the president appoint members of Congress in the aftermath of some kind of “emergency” that incapacitates Congress. (Leaving the definition of “emergency” up to Washington, D.C. politicians is always dangerous to liberty, as anyone with any concern about constitutional government would know.)

Well, the work of Fortier’s Continuity in Government Commission is now finished, and the results of its efforts are seen in something called the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20/51, also known as the “National Continuity Policy.” This is another one of those presidential “directives” that was sneaked in under the media’s radar screen that does indeed grant the president dictatorial powers. Judge Andrew Napolitano describes the meaning of this “directive” in his brilliant new book, A Nation of Sheep (pp. 74–76).