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Constitution to be suspended
November 21, 2003 9:17 AM   Subscribe

Gen. Franks Doubts Constitution Will Survive WMD Attack Gen. Tommy Franks says that if the United States is hit with a weapon of mass destruction that inflicts large casualties, the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government.
posted by mfoight (84 comments total)

 
Encouragement for even anti-gun lobbyists to start stockpiling now....
posted by rushmc at 9:20 AM on November 21, 2003


You've got to be kidding me...

If this thinking becomes wide spread, than (sadly) the terrorists have already won.
posted by Stynxno at 9:26 AM on November 21, 2003


Did you just link to Newsmax?



Seriously?
posted by dhoyt at 9:26 AM on November 21, 2003


Yes but the ultimate source was an interview from....
Cigar Aficionado. Great picture of Franks. Sometimes a cigar is a cigar ... other times it is prelude to a coupe.
posted by mfoight at 9:36 AM on November 21, 2003


Keep your hands off mfoight.
I have the utmost respect for anyone who ever successfully dragged Babylon 5 into a MeFi post.
posted by wendell at 9:36 AM on November 21, 2003


There are those who say this has already happened.

4000 tons of jet fuel? That's a WMD, no?
posted by baylink at 9:36 AM on November 21, 2003


And on what legal basis would this constitutional suspension occur?

IF there is none --- and ironically any such legal basis would have to have the constitution at the end of its chain of precedence --- then anybody who attempts to enact such a suspension would be prosecutable for treason.
posted by yesster at 9:38 AM on November 21, 2003


See also Brazil.

"Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating."
posted by inksyndicate at 9:41 AM on November 21, 2003


Now hold on a second. Don't soldiers swear an oath to 'support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic?' Isn't our cigar-smoking general being a little cavalier about that?
posted by inksyndicate at 9:46 AM on November 21, 2003


That is the most un-American thing I have heard in a while. He's got a lot of faith in our system, doesn't he?
posted by wsg at 9:47 AM on November 21, 2003


anybody who attempts to enact such a suspension would be prosecutable for treason.

Yeah? By you and what army?

The constitution isn't some magic force field that hovers over this country. It's a piece of paper, and it's only as strong as the will of those who enforce it.

Which is why we've all been bitching about how the sky is falling for the last two years. IMO, the Constitution has already been seriously weakened. I tend to agree with Franks that we're hanging by a thread here.

If this thinking becomes wide spread, than (sadly) the terrorists have already won.

The terrorists absolutely HAVE already won. Or at least they're winning. They've terrorized us into abandoning much of what makes the US great. The way to defeat them is not to fuck up our economy, piss on our Bill of Rights, and send Americans to the desert to die. The only way to win is to preserve our freedom, focus on staying economically strong, and STOP BOMBING OTHER PEOPLE'S COUNTRIES.
posted by jpoulos at 9:47 AM on November 21, 2003


What jpoulos said!
posted by wsg at 9:49 AM on November 21, 2003


I am really happy to hear this, personally. As a 'liberal', I am also against gun control laws. Most every person I know who is pro gun control has an inherent belief that the government can be trusted. After all, we live in a democracy, don't we? Our government represents us, doesn't it?

No one seems to realize that the very foundation of our society is based on simple trust in some pieces of paper. All it would take is for that trust to be shattered and we'd be right back to anarchy or dictatorship (in this case military).

All of human history has been the story of regime-change. The timespan between regime changes has varied from place to place and time to time, but regime change is inevitable. When that comes, I trust democracy has a better chance of preserving itself when the people have a means of defending it.

Perhaps hearing someone who is so important in the military will shake some people up and realize that our holy-god-given-perfect-democracy isn't really invincible. People fought and died to give us democracy, and we may have to fight and die in the future to preserve it.

Incidentally, it sickens me beyond belief to hear President Bush get up and say that we are 'lucky' to live in a country where we can dissent. We are not 'lucky'! Americans fought and died to give ourselves that freedom and to imply that it is 'luck' is to degrade the memory of those who fought and died, unlike our cowardly awol President, who wants to constantly extol the bravery of our troops.
posted by PigAlien at 9:51 AM on November 21, 2003


The threat of nuclear destruction has been with us for many years. From the 1960s through the 1980s, however, the prevailing wisdom was that there was no such thing as a "limited" nuclear war; any war that invovled nuclear weapons would be complete, and would destroy most of the United States, the Soviet Union and Europe. Thus, I don't remember that there was much discussion about what type of civil liberties we would have after a nuclear war.

I worry about what would happen to the world today if the radical terrorists actually succeed in blowing up one of our cities with a nuclear bomb. Of course, right now I worry about how we would deliver food and water to affected areas, how we would treat all of the injured, and how we would dispose of the dead. General Clark is correct; civil liberties will suffer if this happens. The terrorists must stopped.
posted by Durwood at 9:52 AM on November 21, 2003


... and what jpoulos said!
posted by PigAlien at 9:53 AM on November 21, 2003


Durwood, that was said by General Franks, not General Clark.
posted by PigAlien at 9:54 AM on November 21, 2003


"It means the potential of a weapon of mass destruction and a terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event somewhere in the Western world – it may be in the United States of America – that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country . . ."

That seems a bit of a leap. He's suggesting if we were to be hit with another serious attack, citizens of this country would turn, en masse, to the Constitution sitting on the couch next to them watching Fox News and say, "That's it. I'm sick of you and your do-nothing attitude. I'm getting some more guns and you're getting out!" Are we talking about the same people? 'Cause in my neck of the woods, the first terrorist attack caused everyone to put giant American Flag-with-eagle-in-profile decals on the back of their cars and drive around advertising their love for the U S of A.
posted by yerfatma at 9:56 AM on November 21, 2003


Well, If life imitates Babylon 5, I sure wouldn't want General Clark to be my vice-president :)

Seriously though, this is scary shit, and I suspect Franks is right. If there's a true WMD attack, We could see a real change in government, not just some liberties being curtailed. Remember, Rome started out as a Republic as well, before Sulla and eventually the Caesars took power...
posted by unreason at 9:56 AM on November 21, 2003


"Gen. Franks Doubts Constitution Will Survive WMD Attack" -

And he's just drooling to be the one in charge!
posted by troutfishing at 9:57 AM on November 21, 2003


JPoulos - would you please list for me which civil liberties have been trampled and what parts of the constitution have been torn up? Thanks.

(Please constrain your remarks to citizens, noncitizen status in many instances in a cause yet to be addressed by the Supreme Court)

Which part of the bill of rights has been, in your words, pissed on?

Freedom of press? Religion? Guns? Speech? Search and seizure? States rights?

Any specifics at all would help me figure out whether you've got a point or are just spouting.
posted by swerdloff at 9:57 AM on November 21, 2003


Fear on.
posted by the fire you left me at 9:59 AM on November 21, 2003


FUD.
posted by Foosnark at 10:03 AM on November 21, 2003


We are not 'lucky'! Americans fought and died to give ourselves that freedom and to imply that it is 'luck' is to degrade the memory of those who fought and died, unlike our cowardly awol President, who wants to constantly extol the bravery of our troops.

PigAlien, the overwhelming majority of us are lucky to live under in a country for whose constitution other people have fought and died. Either you have fought yourself, or you have indeed been fortunate. (Or, both).

Just a reminder: General Franks is retired. He is NOT "[...] the first high-ranking official to openly speculate that the Constitution could be scrapped". As noted above, he's talking to a CIGAR MAGAZINE.
posted by coelecanth at 10:08 AM on November 21, 2003


what troutfishing said--and maybe that'll be the October surprise next year? (nothing else could absolutely ensure that Bush and his pals stay in power)
posted by amberglow at 10:09 AM on November 21, 2003


i don't know why mobs of americans are not already surging in front of the white house, demanding the ouster of the stupidest, most arrogant, incredibly corrupt regime in my lifetime. Nixon was a kid stealing penny candy, Bush is a consciousless, looting, murderous psychopath cynically playing the faith and beliefs (however misguided or uninformed i may think those beliefs are) of millions of americans. it is beyond time to show the world what americans are made of, what those pieces of paper we supposedly venerate really mean.
posted by quonsar at 10:10 AM on November 21, 2003


Coelecanth:

There is 'fighting' and there is 'dying'. It is not necessary to do both. Many people 'fought' and 'died' to give us the liberties and freedoms we have today, but the fight goes on every single day.

I fight for it every day by speaking out on forums like this against those who would tell me I'm lucky. I fight for it every day that I vote. My boyfriend fights for it every time he represents the Mayor of our city at a Community Relations Committee, of which he is a member.

We are not lucky and I'll say 'FUCK YOU' to anyone who claims that. Our fight for freedom goes on to this very day. Just like Jpoulos said, there is no 'magic force field' protecting our democracy. Democracy requires we speak out, and if necessary, fight.

Luck has nothing to do with it.
posted by PigAlien at 10:16 AM on November 21, 2003


I'm with quonsar. LET'S GO!






.... or maybe today is a bad day. How about in a coupla' weeks? That good for you guys?...
posted by Domain Master 666 at 10:19 AM on November 21, 2003


Does anyone know what it looks like as democracies become into totalitarian regimes? Does it look anything like this?

Do people just wake up one morning, after years of rumor and squashed media coverage and realize that something has changed? Do we find out six months after the election that it was rigged for "the fight against terror" and then hear announcements that the military is behind the President despite the rigged election? What then?
posted by VulcanMike at 10:27 AM on November 21, 2003


Domain Master 666, I think you meant to say, "Let's roll."
posted by keswick at 10:35 AM on November 21, 2003


VulcanMike...........................!
posted by troutfishing at 10:38 AM on November 21, 2003


If that happens, Franks said, “... the Western world, the free world, loses what it cherishes most, and that is freedom and liberty we’ve seen for a couple of hundred years

The idea that you can blow up freedom is this immense mental framework that has been put into place so that just such a military state would seem the natural choice if someone should attack us. The idea that terrorists are invading us is another.

JPoulos - would you please list for me which civil liberties have been trampled and what parts of the constitution have been torn up? Thanks.

Why should jpoulos have to make up for your ignorance? Check out the metafilter archives if you want to see a pretty thorough list. Thanks.
posted by Hildago at 10:39 AM on November 21, 2003


This is old news going back to at least the 80s. I remember reading all kinds of concerns about the role FEMA was to play in a post-WMD scenario. Most of the stuff I was reading back then stated FEMA's purpose wasn't to help out flood victims and the like but rather to pacify native survivors (who were assumed to be very angry at those in power) and coordinate a government rebuild program.

It seems very conspiracy, but remember FEMA wasn't doing much for natural disaster relief until into the Bush I regime.

shrug
posted by infowar at 10:43 AM on November 21, 2003


Are we talking about the same people? 'Cause in my neck of the woods, the first terrorist attack caused everyone to put giant American Flag-with-eagle-in-profile decals on the back of their cars and drive around advertising their love for the U S of A.

And encouraged their congressmen to abdicate their Constitutional responsibilities and hand all warmongering power to Bush. Don't forget that. Also, see the results of Question #10 in this CNN/Gallup poll.

And what jpoulos and PigAlien said.
posted by rushmc at 10:45 AM on November 21, 2003


PigAlien: The civics lesson portion of your point is well-taken. I overlooked it because you seemed to, also. You're still lucky, though, because there's no such thing as a democracy of one; you could fight and say "FUCK YOU" all you want but if other people weren't out participating as well -- and admittedly, we aren't all doing what we could -- it wouldn't really make a difference. You're luckier than most people in the world today because the laws, institutions and customs dating back hundreds of years were around when you got here.

I'm mentioning this because your admirably spirited defense of participatory democracy could also be interpreted as aggressively self-congratulatory and morally superior, whether you meant it that way or not.
posted by coelecanth at 10:50 AM on November 21, 2003


causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event. Which in fact, then begins to unravel the fabric of our Constitution. Two steps, very, very important.”
I don't think he's suggesting that this would be a good thing, he's suggesting it as a potential outcome of a major attack on the US. I think he's wrong, but I dont think this means he hates the Constitution.
posted by Outlawyr at 10:51 AM on November 21, 2003


Terrorists wouldn't even need WMD. They could just hit one of the many vulnerable chemical facilities which no one has bothered to secure.

"Well, we had over two years to secure the facility, but we never got around to it. Now millions of people are dead, so we better just scrap the Constitution."
posted by homunculus at 10:54 AM on November 21, 2003


And on what legal basis would this constitutional suspension occur?

The ancient common law principle of "their guns are bigger than our guns."
posted by IshmaelGraves at 11:16 AM on November 21, 2003


Amendment I
Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech,


PATRIOT Act Fears Are Stifling Free Speech

or of the press;

Journalists should be concerned about certain provisions of the [USA PATRIOT Act]

or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

How the Secret Service and the White House keep protesters safely out of Bush's sight -- and off TV.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,


The Rutherford Institute has released an extensive analysis of the constitutionality of recent measures taken by the U.S. Justice Department in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, including provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001. The analysis raises concerns about the constitutionality of numerous actions taken by the Bush Administration...

and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

if the court finds that the attorney for the Government has certified to the court that the information likely to be obtained by such installation and use is relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation. The order, upon service of that order, shall apply to any person or entity providing wire or electronic communication service in the United States whose assistance may facilitate the execution of the order.[USA PATRIOT Act Section 216(a)(1)] In other words, the warrant no longer has to specify "the persons or things to be seized".


Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury...



Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.



Amendment VIII
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


These mostly pertain to the "enemy combatants" in Cuba, but there are US citizens whose rights have also been violated.
The question raised is, why does this not forbid the continued detentions of U.S. citizens Yaser Esam Hamdi and Jose Padilla, who have been locked up in military brigs and held incommunicado, with no charges being filed, and no access to legal counsel?


Amendment XV

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.


OK, this one is unrelated to terrorism, but I still consider it valid, as it is emblematic of the administration.
The Lynching of the Black Vote
posted by jpoulos at 11:20 AM on November 21, 2003


Matt, if you want to censor my post, then just omit the offending language, rather than the entire post, which was entirely post-worthy. Seeing as I don't have a copy lying around, it is not as if I could edit and re-post it myself.
posted by PigAlien at 11:24 AM on November 21, 2003


My god, I must be blind, apologies to Matt, innocent who's done nothing! My post is still there... ignore...
posted by PigAlien at 11:26 AM on November 21, 2003


Come on, coelecanth, I view the assertion that Americans are somehow "lucky" to be able to express their dissent as an implicit threat - This country gave it to you, and it can be taken away - whether you meant it that way or not.

I've always loved people - interestingly, always conservative types - who have said, You should be lucky you don't live in a country where you could get a bullet in your head for expressing such an opinion. The insinuation being they wished you COULD get a bullet through your head for thinking such things, and they frankly might like to pull the trigger.
posted by kgasmart at 11:28 AM on November 21, 2003


No offense, Coelecanth, but you don't really sound like you've fought for anything in your life.

Being born into the privileges of this country and the institutions that our forefathers and foremothers fought for doesn't mean we were born into a world of perfect rights and freedom and haven't had to fight for even more.

To this day, I am fighting for the right to marry the person I love. Denied this right by ignorant biggots who give a damn whether I rub my genitals up against another man's.

Our forefathers and foremothers (assuming you're American) fought and died to give us our freedom. We inherited it as any child would inherit the hard-won riches of his or her parents. Our parents didn't get these freedoms through luck and they weren't passed on to us by luck.

I would never say my children were 'lucky' that I fought for them. As I fight for myself, I fight for my children, and will do so til death, if necessary, to ensure that they are born into such a world as I desire. Luck is an insult!
posted by PigAlien at 11:41 AM on November 21, 2003


...the Constitution will likely be discarded...

We still have a Constitution? Does the government know about this?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:48 AM on November 21, 2003


kgasmart, please, let's not make this into a conservative v. liberal thing. I think everyone can agree that eternal vigilance is actually part of the price of freedom.

The "luck" in question is not that the country deigns to allow you freedom, and may change its mind at any time.
That wouldn't actually be freedom, would it? Indeed, though, we do keep our freedom only to the extent that we guard against the arrogation of more power by the powerful. I'm pretty sure that PigAlien is doing this by participating in stuff and, I guess, by saying "FUCK YOU" to some people, and even though my approval isn't needed, PigAlien has it.

No, the "luck" is that conditions not under the control of any one (small "d") democrat are actually favorable to his or her practice of democracy. Those conditions include self-sustaining civic institutions, a robust common law, and the presence of other democrats. These things are a lucky precondition for us -- a gift from the past that we honor and sustain and then pass along. Right? But let's not say that PigAlien or anyone else could instantly, single-handedly invent a functioning constitutional government out of nothing in, say, some faraway country with little or no tradition of democracy.

On preview: PigAlien, conditions that favor you and which you, yourself, didn't create, are lucky with respect to you. Unless you actually think it's genetic. And I'm not offended :-)
posted by coelecanth at 12:00 PM on November 21, 2003


There's no such thing as luck. I am my DNA. My DNA could not have come from any other 2 people in the entire world. I am also my experiences. No one else could have had the experiences I had. What is luck -- is it God? Is it Fate? Is it 'coincidence?' Is it random perterbations in the space-time continuum? I don't believe in luck.

Single-handed has nothing to do with it. Just because I might not single-handedly be able to recreate the entire circumstances of my birth does not mean I was lucky to be born into them. They created me, I am their child, I can be nothing else. I am the circumstances that created me. I could not have been born anywhere or anything else.

People banded together because they shared the belief in common that freedom was something worth fighting for, too important to be left to such a vague concept as 'luck'.

Were women born into Afghanistani families 'lucky' to be born to fathers who married them off to men who wouldn't beat them? Was I lucky to be born into a country where gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered and others are second-class citizens? No, I think not.

You can trust to luck all you'd like, but luck is an empty word to me.
posted by PigAlien at 12:15 PM on November 21, 2003


you're derailing this thread.
posted by jpoulos at 12:22 PM on November 21, 2003


i don't know why mobs of americans are not already surging in front of the white house, demanding the ouster of the stupidest, most arrogant, incredibly corrupt regime in my lifetime. .......
posted by quonsar at 3:10 PM on November 21


Because they're too busy watching for the latest developments in the the Michael Jackson molestation charges or the Kobe Bryant rape case to care about things that really affect them?
posted by whirlwind29 at 12:33 PM on November 21, 2003


jpoulos is advocating an isolationist policy which is a typical populist knee-jerk reaction to a crisis.
posted by stbalbach at 12:33 PM on November 21, 2003


coelecanth: thank you for making me feel bad. :-)

when you began your exchange with pigalien, i was pretty sure you were going to devolve into one of those "you are lucky to live in a country where you can complain, so shut the hell up,you dirty commie hippie, and stop criticizing the president!!!!" types on sees so often on the 'net.

i now feel like a jerk for having pre-judged you, and i enjoyed reading your responses.

/threadjack
posted by lord_wolf at 12:33 PM on November 21, 2003


Hi Jpoulos, I appreciate your opinion. I have to say that I think President Bush's attitude that we're lucky to have the freedoms we have sets the stage perfectly for the kind of coup d'etat of which General Franks speaks. The messenger may be General Franks, but the cause of our fear is President Bush and his administration. I think this subject entirely worthy of debate and definitely on-topic.
posted by PigAlien at 12:34 PM on November 21, 2003


Was I the only one who thought, "Of course it won't, it's made of paper!"

PigAlien: I can understand being against gun control laws, but maybe you can answer me this: Who do I shoot at? Is it there for defense in case the FBI comes for me in the middle of the night, or am I supposed to rise up and attack those who are oppressing me (congress)? This has never been clear to me. Even "civilian militia" members make more sense, since their group could theoretically defend their families and friends against an attack from a hostile government. Lone guy with a gun? Whatever.
posted by mikeh at 12:34 PM on November 21, 2003


Coelecanth's civility is noted and appreciated. Apologies for my own vitriol. Luck remains an insult.
posted by PigAlien at 12:36 PM on November 21, 2003


mikeh:

Life, the universe and everything else are complex and hard to predict. I merely want to preface my answer with that because yours is a complex question. I believe in the phenomenon of 'emergent behaviour'. Given a simple set of rules, complex situations can arise.

I can't predict exactly how people would band together to defend themselves in the face of an attempt by their government to take away their freedoms. What I do FEEL, however, is that the circumstances would be very different if those people didn't have guns.

I think the concept of an 'organized militia' is an oxymoron. Those who are pro gun control would like to believe that the 2nd amendment applies to 'organized militias' and not individuals. By nature, in my opinion, a militia forms spontaneously according to need. That need will differ depending on the nature of the threat.

One thing is for sure, if it is our government that is threatening us, and the government knows where the organized militias are, what weapons they have and where the members live, then they're not much good at protecting us, are they?

I think it is good and safe and wise to keep the government on its toes, in case it ever does get any funny ideas that we are no longer living in a democracy.
posted by PigAlien at 12:46 PM on November 21, 2003


jpoulos is advocating an isolationist policy which is a typical populist knee-jerk reaction to a crisis.

Right. The anti-war movement is SO populist. I mean, look at how Mom and Pop Middle America have been clamoring to stay out of Iraq.

Besides, this administration has done more to isolate this country from the rest of the world than any other in history.
posted by jpoulos at 12:47 PM on November 21, 2003


Patriot Act Expansion Moves Through Congress
posted by homunculus at 12:52 PM on November 21, 2003


Franks is screwed up wrong, not just because of what he's saying, but also the mindset he represents. The thing that bugs me is that they have set the military and the government up as the only entities capable of protecting our liberty. Then they tell us that to save our freedom, they have to take some of it away. It's all bullshit. The founding spirit of this country is that as a citizen, you are willing to die for freedom. Patrick Henry, "Give me Liberty or give me death". You don't need to be a soldier or an FBI agent to die for freedom. As long as we remain a society with that as a core value, there's not much terrorists or totalitarian dictators can do. Its tragic when civilians are cut down, but given the choice of losing everything the U.S. has stood for and becoming a totalitarian state, or death, who's to say those civilians would not choose to die. Everyone can't be a soldier, but if you are not willing to face a little risk for your freedom, maybe you shouldn't be living here. A totalitarian state might be safer.

What Franks, Bush and their ilk are doing is chipping away at the sense that the freedoms of this country come from the people. Instead, they imply that freedom is something that is given to us by the government, and the military. And its been pissing me off. Yes, soldiers are placing their lives at risk in Iraq and Afghanistan, and because of that, maybe I am a little safer. But I am sick of being told I should be grateful for this sacrifice. If the choice is safety at the cost of blowing off the Constitution and my freedom, I would prefer to face the risk of death myself. I don't think I'm alone here either.
posted by MetalDog at 12:56 PM on November 21, 2003


A lone man with a gun can do quite a bit of damage, as we usually see in the news on a weekly or even daily basis. Think of November 22.

There's a quote from (I think Solzhenitsyn) a victim of the Stalinist purges who had a happy fantasy about the secret police dreading each midnight mission because so many of their targets would have guns and would be waiting in their homes for that midnight knock. Just a dozen or two KGB officers killed in this line of duty might have been enough to change things.

If the constitution is ever shredded and the US gets midnight knocks by the hundreds, or thousands, I'm very happy to know that in many of those cases, some of the cops are going down with their victim. Its enough to make you tolerate the NRA.

Widespread gun ownership is not a panacea which will prevent a repressive regime from taking power here; however, it will guarantee there's a fighting chance that one can still resist.
posted by pandaharma at 1:02 PM on November 21, 2003


Lord_Wolf: you are lucky to live in a country where you can complain, so shut the hell up,you dirty commie hippie, and stop criticizing the president!!!!

:-)
posted by coelecanth at 1:09 PM on November 21, 2003


It is not as if John Titor didn't warn us!
posted by limitedpie at 1:17 PM on November 21, 2003


against all enemies, foreign and domestic

I once asked my uncle why he kept around a .44 magnum, besides the Dirty Harry appeal. He said, "If we're all armed, nobody can take over the country." I thought he was a loon at the time.

Thinking about it, however, I'm glad there are so many anti-government, well-armed crazies out in the backwoods of Montana. They'll be the ones I buy my ammo from the moment the Constitution goes out the door.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:37 PM on November 21, 2003


4000 tons of jet fuel? That's a WMD, no?

yes! and I'm sure at least 4000 tons of jet fuel have already been found in Iraq -- then it's case closed!!!!

this morning I drove to the gas station -- I saw motorists buying gallons of WMDs! scary!


posted by matteo at 1:40 PM on November 21, 2003


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

That means, liberty is god-given. It is our inalienable right; nothing man does or says can rightfully deny us this. At times, liberty must be taken from those who would choose to deny us this god-given right.

Government exists because we choose to let it exist. Not the other way around.

Remember that.
posted by keswick at 1:57 PM on November 21, 2003


Always been a fan of this part:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government

...but I thought they should have gone farther: it is the duty of the people to alter or abolish it. Unless dictatorships are your bag.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:31 PM on November 21, 2003


Well said keswick.

It's one of the most inspiring pieces of political philosophy (imo) that was espoused by John Locke when he, along with practically drafting the US constitution, he asserted that the people have the right to overthrow (and I paraphrase here) a shit government. Don't it almost make you cry - or at least proud to be human?

On preview, ditto for Civil_Disobedient. Government should not have the choice to be unrepresentative let alone to box the population into acquiesence.
posted by boneybaloney at 2:40 PM on November 21, 2003


The General interviewed in Cigar Afficionado? Hmmm. How interesting. Preaching to the converted to drum up some support? Foreshadowing, indeed.

Speaking of WMD's, have they caught the person reponsible for mailing anthrax in the USA?

No?

Didn't think so.

Time to invoke military rule! BoooHa!

rushmc, that poll Q#10 says 47 are for no liberties to 49 against no liberties. That is shocking. Now the government knows what docile sheep they are dealing with.


Burning of the next Reichstag anyone?
posted by alicesshoe at 3:29 PM on November 21, 2003


That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government

How much shit will we take until people start clamoring for a new government?

Personally, I think the Constitution is nifty and all, but it's time for a 2.0 version. I think we can do better this time.

Of course, I'm a total cynic, so if this even happened it would probably all end up putting even more power in the hands of those with the most money...

But hey, I can dream, can't I?
posted by beth at 3:38 PM on November 21, 2003


No Beth. No you can't.

We'll be at your house shortly...
posted by Stauf at 3:44 PM on November 21, 2003


The day America does not heed to the consitution is the night im swimming to canada.
posted by Keyser Soze at 7:49 PM on November 21, 2003


Well, at least when the Constitution's been bagged there will remain one unalienable right. The right to finally, unequivocally say with pride, "This fucking country sucks ass!". And it will without our Constitution.

You see, it's kinda like terrorism really. And in fact, it could be said, that if it is "our freedoms that the terrorists hate" and in order to be a terrorist one must hate freedom, General Tommy Franks is in fact a terrorist himself.

As a servant of this country he has sworn an oath to protect it. This means the Constitution, as without it it becomes whatever the fuck the totalitarian regime says it is. The fact that he would write off the singlemost integral part of what makes America America so breezily is perhaps worthy of treason itself.

What any upstanding honorable American would say, were he in fact upstanding and honorable would be, "If some tinhorn terrorist wants to come take away my Constitution, you can tell him where he can find me" and "Over my dead four star general's body does the Constitution even get touched!".

That's what a patriot would say. This man's a traitor for not even intimating in the least that protection of the Constitution would invariably come first in his little How to Be a Real American Checklist. But then General Franks and the military industrial complex's corporatists couldn't give a rat's ass about the Constitution anyhow, as he and his are already above the law.

These people, if you can even call them that, are vile, inhumane fear mongers. Further into the dark unknown we go, little by little.
posted by crasspastor at 8:12 PM on November 21, 2003


Tommy Franks is all hot and bothered with the thought of WW3 and getting to hole up afterwards in a deep underground bunker somewhere with Dr. StrangePerle and hordes of nubile young women preselected for fertility.
posted by troutfishing at 8:58 PM on November 21, 2003


A hard rain's a-gonna fall...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:28 PM on November 21, 2003


Yep.

It ain't going to be pretty. I just cannot see where else this insanity can lead. This next year will probably be one of the most "interesting" in world history ever. We're living in the very moment when something huge happens that changes the course of society, and in this case, more or less global, completely.

Hold your children tight and tell them you love them. That is the only way this unhealthy environment will be quelled. It will take generations. And even then I don't know what to think anymore.

I'm goin' for a massage and I'm gettin' drunk.
posted by crasspastor at 10:55 PM on November 21, 2003


If General Franks (retired) thinks this is the case, and if he thinks this is a Bad Idea (I know I do), then he should be making suggestions on how we can prevent it.
posted by moonbiter at 12:34 AM on November 22, 2003


stavrosthewonderchicken - that's chillingly appropriate.
posted by troutfishing at 8:10 AM on November 22, 2003


Are there any upsides to no Constitution? Just trying to think outside the box.
posted by stbalbach at 12:02 PM on November 22, 2003


Stabalbach: well, yes, there are. It allows the creation of an NEP-style economic system, which by most ex-Soviet accounts is not actually a bad thing.

By the same token, the government becomes less subservient to corporate interests, because corporate assets can be seized and put under governmental control.
posted by Ptrin at 3:45 PM on November 22, 2003


Welp, I'm off to Walmart to start hoarding ammo.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:02 PM on November 22, 2003


The pendulum swings back and forth, yet somehow we always find our way towards sanity. I have more faith in the American people that what Franks appears to have.
posted by phewbertie at 11:56 PM on November 22, 2003


If inhumane militaristic asswipes like Franks are in charge however, what chance do we have short of a bloody and largely futile revolution phewbertie?

I as well have faith in the American people. I am one for Christ's sake. But insofar as democracy as an active ideal at large, it has been placed incrementally further and further out of reach. I just don't know whether there is enough substance to the critical mass once it does bubble over. I think we'll be summarily crushed. Our arguments will be vanquished into oblivion and we will become neutralized.

Just use your imagination. It's easy. There are any number of ways it could easily happen. American democracy is fully under assault. This year, believe it or not, is our last stand.

Believe me. I love sports. I love to shop. I love a good video game. I even love consuming, as a liberal is not normally wont to do. But this is it this time I think. Democracy in America will completely suffocate if Bush is re-elected.

As it has been said. A hard rain's a-gonna fall. As proof, name one instance in normal day to day American consuming that you've run into anyone who gives a damn. If you have it's an oddity. Nobody cares.

Anything can happen once virtually everyone who couldn't give a shit doesn't when the time actually comes for them to.
posted by crasspastor at 2:25 AM on November 23, 2003


crass is right--when 1/2 the country still loves a guy who's doing nothing except take away rights, create wars, hurt the economy for decades to come, try to privatize the meager safety net (SS and medicare) and public education system, cut taxes on the rich and reduce governmental recourse and oversight of corporations, etc...even when millions of jobs have been lost and aren't coming back (let alone the soldiers that won't come back), it's depressing to say the least.
posted by amberglow at 7:01 AM on November 23, 2003


Because someone asked:

The President of the United States of America's Oath of Office
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
The Congressional Oath of Office
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
The US Armed Forces Officer's Oath
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States, that I make this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of _ _ _ _ _ upon which I am about to enter, so help me God.
The US Armed Forces Oath of Enlistment
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
Each of these oaths, for the President, for all Senators and Members of the House, for each member of the military from four star generals to the lowliest grunt, lays out their primary, and frequently sole responsibility: defense of the Constitution of The United States of America. Not to protect my life, not to make me feel safe, not to avenge wrongs, but to defend the Constitution.
posted by NortonDC at 7:51 PM on November 23, 2003


Thanks for the legwork Nort!
posted by crasspastor at 10:09 PM on November 23, 2003


Nice, NortonDC.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:40 AM on November 24, 2003


I third that: The right facts at the right time. That one's a keeper.
posted by troutfishing at 1:45 PM on November 24, 2003


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