Ever hear about the Armageddon Plan? No? There's an article in the Atlantic I read a couple years ago which gives a tidy idea of what we're up against:
During the Reagan era Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were key players in a clandestine program designed to set aside the legal lines of succession and immediately install a new "President" in the event that a nuclear attack killed the country's leaders. The program helps explain the behavior of the Bush Administration on and after 9/11.
At least once a year during the 1980s Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld vanished. Cheney was working diligently on Capitol Hill, as a congressman rising through the ranks of the Republican leadership. Rumsfeld, who had served as Gerald Ford's Secretary of Defense, was a hard-driving business executive in the Chicago area—where, as the head of G. D. Searle & Co., he dedicated time and energy to the success of such commercial products as Nutra-Sweet, Equal, and Metamucil. Yet for periods of three or four days at a time no one in Congress knew where Cheney was, nor could anyone at Searle locate Rumsfeld. Even their wives were in the dark; they were handed only a mysterious Washington phone number to use in case of emergency.
After leaving their day jobs Cheney and Rumsfeld usually made their way to Andrews Air Force Base, outside Washington. From there, in the middle of the night, each man—joined by a team of forty to sixty federal officials and one member of Ronald Reagan's Cabinet—slipped away to some remote location in the United States, such as a disused military base or an underground bunker. A convoy of lead-lined trucks carrying sophisticated communications equipment and other gear would head to each of the locations.
Why would a Congressman from Wyoming and a CEO of a drug company be participating in succession-of-government nuclear attack drills? Cheney was Team Leader of the drills, and he invited Rummy to play the "Let's Run the Country, Everybody's Dead" game. For the past 30-plus years, the two have remained part of a hidden national-security apparatus. They started calling themselves the Vulcans, and they don't work for the Preznit. For the past five years, he's been their talking lap puppet, though that may be about to change.