Friday, October 10, 2008

On Wednesday, I mentioned the possibility of a desperate last-minute power-grab by the current administration. I said, "I wouldn't put it past Cheney ... to greet us the day after Election Day..." without stopping to think that it doesn't have to be the day after. It could be any day, up to and including Inauguration Day.

Obviously, the easiest way for the Cheneyites to retain power would be to have some sort of terror attack which would -- at least in their minds -- justify the imposition of martial law.

In discussing this with some friends, one pointed out that even Cheney and bush wouldn't have the gall to try such a move. Then, I found this video from C-Span:

"...There would be martial law in America if we voted no..." (Money quote starts at 00:25)

Now granted, Congressman Sherman was discussing the ramifications of the bailout bill, but this shows that the idea of imposing martial law is starting to percolate through the administration.

This is a terrifying thought.

My friend also said that even if they try martial law, the government wouldn't allow it. I fear that is wishful thinking. Congress hasn't stood up against this administration since Day One, not against the Patriot Act, the suspension of habeus corpus, Gitmo or any of the other schemes Cheney and bush have come up with. The legal system wouldn't be of much use either, since Cheney and bush have ensured that only loyal bushies are installed as US Attorneys... and they're the ones who would have to act (assuming that Congress is effectively neutralized, as I fear it is).

She also claimed that during the final days of Nixon's implosion, military and law enforcement units were placed on alert, just in case Tricky Dick tried to impose martial law to remain in power; she said the same thing would happen now. I'm not so sure. In the first place, Nixon's downfall took place at the tail end of Vietnam, by which time the military had lost all confidence in their Commander in Chief; I'm not sure that applies now. This time, one could argue that the military supports the administration's "efforts" to root out terrorists. Furthermore, Cheney and bush have been pretty damned effective in purging the military of "disloyal" commanders.

And let us not forget that after 9-11, Federal law enforcement, with the exception of the FBI, was concentrated in the Department of Homeland Security. I've written many times about DHS, often comparing the agency to the gone-but-not-forgotten KGB, the "sword and shield" of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. DHS is completely under the thumb of the administration, and Michael "Skeletor" Chertoff doesn't strike me as the kind who would move against his superiors, especially not to defend a "goddamned piece of paper." I say it is entirely possible that any attempt to protest an imposition of martial law would be met by heavily armed DHS storm troopers fanatically loyal to Cheney and bush. The FBI would be equally useless, for under this administration, they have been given powers that they have only dreamed of, much more power than they held even under Hoover's heyday. Besides, the United States Secret Service -- formerly part of the Treasury Dept, and now, of course, an entity of DHS -- is the most professional, most competent executive protection organization on the face of the earth, and like the rest of DHS, would probably be loyal to the current regime.

Cheney and bush would have no problem inventing a disaster: another attack, "warnings" of an "impending" attack (and we've seen how often those crop up when the administration's in trouble), or even using the current economic meltdown. Cheney and bush would use bush's claim of "unitary executive power" and Cheney's position as "part of the legislative branch" to squelch any opposition.

Okay, maybe I'm paranoid, but -- as Henry Kissinger said, "Even a paranoid can have enemies."

It will be interesting to see if the United States of America still exists as a free nation on January 21, 2009.


  1. Ah yes, but DHS and FEMA plans for martial law have not been opaque and many in Europe have seen this coming. The suspension of the Posse Comitatus Act was surely a big clue this year.

    So was dirrective 51.

    But there is a bit of cheer in all this, not much but some.

    Here is a lovely story to cheer you.

    [url=;_ylt=Arvn87jHCKJbGYejjt4f.sWs0NUE] Hero in Chicago[/url]


  2. sorry the url didnt come out right.

    Here is the story from my blog page...about half way down this article.


    Chicago's Cook County won't evict in foreclosures

  3. i wouldn't put it past them.

  4. You may be paranoid, but you are not the only one. I have been in fear of this for quite some time and I have read other blogs who feel the same way. With McBush so far down in the polls, I am more terrified every day that an attack will happen. The only thing he had going for him was the fact that Dubya's administration had "kept us safe" since 9/11, so I figured if the polls were close it wouldn't come to martial law. What do any of them have to lose now? The country?

    Scary time for us.