Okay. First, read this.
Done? Good. I bought Jane Mayer’s book and found absolutely no sourcing whatsoever for Ronald Reagan’s supposed secret executive order establishing “a means of re-creating the executive branch” in the event of the death of the President and the Vice President. Nor is there such sourcing for a similar claim found in James Mann’s Rise of the Vulcans.
If Bruce Ackerman wants to engage in conspiracy theories, that’s his business. But Slate should have demanded a whole lot more in the way of proof and documentation before it published a column of his.