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President George W Bush acknowledged on March 1 2002 that the administration had taken comprehensive measures to guarantee the continuity of government or COG as it has internally been labeled after it was revealed that about 100 top officials spanning every executive branch department have been sent to live and work in two fortified locations on the East Coast This system in which high-ranking administrators are rotating in and out of the two sites represents the first time a president has activated the contingency plan which was devised during the Cold War of the 1950s so that federal government activities could continue if Washington were struck by a catastrophic attack Bush ordered the precautions in the hours after the September 11 strikes and has left them in place because of continuing US intelligence suggesting a possible threat Only the executive branch is represented in the full-time shadow administration The other branches of constitutional government Congress House and Senate and the judiciary have separate continuity plans but do not maintain a 24-hour presence in fortified facilities The two sites of the shadow government make use of local geological features to render them highly secure They are well stocked with food water medicine and other consumable supplies and are capable of generating their own power But with their first significant operational use the facilities are showing their age Top managers arrived at one of them to find computers several generations behind those now in use incapable of connecting to current government databases There were far too few phone lines Not many work areas had secure audio and video links to the rest of government Officials said Card who runs the program from the White House has been obliged to order substantial upgrades The Pentagon has a separate operation to ensure continuity of operations Bush visited one of its secure command and control bunkers -- at an Air Force base in Nebraska -- as he took a
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