There is a new show on ABC this season called Designated Survivor. It is all about the secret preparations this country goes through in case of a disaster. We had a real life designated survivor during the 911 crisis. Each year one person is chosen yes chosen not voted on to assume the Presidency in case for some reason he or now she may not be able to be President. The whole concept would be used in the doomsday scenario. If all our top officials would die in a catastrophic event one person is chosen to lead our country. This would only occur if the President, Vice-President ,Congress and anyone in the upper levels of government were to die due to a bomb or attack on American soil, one would be chosen and protected to lead. Sounds like a fictional TV show but it is also real.
Kiefer Sullivan plays a meek low level cabinet member who suddenly becomes President. He is thrust fully unprepared into the Presidency. Although the ABC show is fictional our government does have a similar plan called the Continuity of Government classified plan. Richard Clarke a former Counter-terrorism official in our government for ten years ran the program. He is the only official who deployed the system in a crisis during 911. While President Bush was in the air Vice-President Cheney was rushed to an underground bunker. At that time they asked the Speaker of the House to leave Washington. They weren’t sure that the Capitol would be the next target by suicide planes. Our reality was like something out of a spy novel.
Using secret bunkers suddenly for shelter is a popular idea during a crisis. How about we stop all stupid wars where we don’t have to hide. And where does the ordinary citizen get to hide? Nowhere. We are expendable. There is a nuclear bunker under the posh Greenbrier Hotel in the mountains of West Virginia. It is a remnant from the Cold War but yet each year a cabinet member is asked to skip the State of the Union Address speech where all our top officials assemble. They are then put in a secure location before the speech and are then brought back a day after the State of the Union.
Former United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was asked to be the Designated Survivor during Bush’s 2007 speech to a joint session of Congress. He talks about his experience in his new book called True Faith and Allegiance. He got a ride in Air Force 7 and pretended to be President with a staff of people carrying black binders of information he may have to know. Mostly, he sat back and watched the speech on TV like the rest of us did. Is this enough drama to create a new TV show? Do we need to exploit our secret policies? They are no secret anymore just protected. We have enough of Hollywood showing our disasters.
The White House disaster was shown by Hollywood in the movie called Olympus has Fallen, double agents in the movie called Air Force One, we has alien invaders in the movie Independence Day. This time the TV show is a terror attack. Is life really that boring that we need these disaster movies and real life drama? Ugh!