This article is from the Conspiracy Theory Literature FAQ, by Xavier Poez email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
Thousands of "presidential directives" have been passed by various
presidents, and particular ones are highlighted by CTL as intending to
take away rights from the population in the event of emergencies. The
view is that a national emergency or economic collapse would be staged
and that the directives would then go into effect, allowing a
totalitarian government, or at least martial law, to take over.