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Gen. Franks Doubts Constitution Will Survive WMD Attack
News Max.Com ^ | 11-21-03

Posted on 11/20/2003 5:14:53 PM PST by hope

Gen. Franks Doubts Constitution Will Survive WMD Attack

John O. Edwards, NewsMax.com
Friday, Nov. 21, 2003
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.

Franks, who successfully led the U.S. military operation to liberate Iraq, expressed his worries in an extensive interview he gave to the men’s lifestyle magazine Cigar Aficionado.

In the magazine’s December edition, the former commander of the military’s Central Command warned that if terrorists succeeded in using a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) against the U.S. or one of our allies, it would likely have catastrophic consequences for our cherished republican form of government.

Discussing the hypothetical dangers posed to the U.S. in the wake of Sept. 11, Franks said that “the worst thing that could happen” is if terrorists acquire and then use a biological, chemical or nuclear weapon that inflicts heavy casualties.

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 in this grand experiment that we call democracy.”

Franks then offered “in a practical sense” what he thinks would happen in the aftermath of such an attack.

“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 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.”

Franks didn’t speculate about how soon such an event might take place.

Already, critics of the U.S. Patriot Act, rushed through Congress in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, have argued that the law aims to curtail civil liberties and sets a dangerous precedent.

But Franks’ scenario goes much further. He is the first high-ranking official to openly speculate that the Constitution could be scrapped in favor of a military form of government.

The usually camera-shy Franks retired from U.S. Central Command, known in Pentagon lingo as CentCom, in August 2003, after serving nearly four decades in the Army.

Franks earned three Purple Hearts for combat wounds and three Bronze Stars for valor. Known as a “soldier’s general,” Franks made his mark as a top commander during the U.S.’s successful Operation Desert Storm, which liberated Kuwait in 1991. He was in charge of CentCom when Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda attacked the United States on Sept. 11.

Franks said that within hours of the attacks, he was given orders to prepare to root out the Taliban in Afghanistan and to capture bin Laden.

Franks offered his assessment on a number of topics to Cigar Aficionado, including:

President Bush: “As I look at President Bush, I think he will ultimately be judged as a man of extremely high character. A very thoughtful man, not having been appraised properly by those who would say he’s not very smart. I find the contrary. I think he’s very, very bright. And I suspect that he’ll be judged as a man who led this country through a crease in history effectively. Probably we’ll think of him in years to come as an American hero.”

On the motivation for the Iraq war: Contrary to claims that top Pentagon brass opposed the invasion of Iraq, Franks said he wholeheartedly agreed with the president’s decision to invade Iraq and oust Saddam Hussein.

“I, for one, begin with intent. ... There is no question that Saddam Hussein had intent to do harm to the Western alliance and to the United States of America. That intent is confirmed in a great many of his speeches, his commentary, the words that have come out of the Iraqi regime over the last dozen or so years. So we have intent.

“If we know for sure ... that a regime has intent to do harm to this country, and if we have something beyond a reasonable doubt that this particular regime may have the wherewithal with which to execute the intent, what are our actions and orders as leaders in this country?”

The Pentagon’s deck of cards: Asked how the Pentagon decided to put its most-wanted Iraqis on a set of playing cards, Franks explained its genesis. He recalled that when his staff identified the most notorious Iraqis the U.S. wanted to capture, “it just turned out that the number happened to be about the same as a deck of cards. And so somebody said, ‘Aha, this will be the ace of spades.’”

Capturing Saddam: Franks said he was not surprised that Saddam has not been captured or killed. But he says he will eventually be found, perhaps sooner than Osama bin laden.

“The capture or killing of Saddam Hussein will be a near term thing. And I won’t say that’ll be within 19 or 43 days. ... I believe it is inevitable.”

Franks ended his interview with a less-than-optimistic note. “It’s not in the history of civilization for peace ever to reign. Never has in the history of man. ... I doubt that we’ll ever have a time when the world will actually be at peace.”

Editor's note:
Check out "Resolve" with the official President Bush photo – Click Here Now

The Iraqi "Deck of Death" playing cards – Get yours today!

Read more on this subject in related Hot Topics:
George W. Bush
Saddam Hussein/Iraq
Al-Qaeda
War on Terrorism


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: constitution; napalminthemorning; tommyfranks; wmd; wot
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To: The KG9 Kid
All you good American citizens go run right out and register your guns. The military government will need to know who's got what the night they take over.

Merely having a CCW permit is tantamount to having one's guns registered (in most states that issue them).

101 posted on 11/20/2003 6:15:39 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Cautor
If you don't believe in the preservation of the Constitution...then you can take Sam Adams advise.

There are millions of us out here who will go down persoinally before that document is shredded. it, and the underlying principles that bear it up are what make us free and lends meaning to that free life.

Discarding it, forgetting it is to invite unimaginably worse conditions.

In WW II we were shocked back into reality and awakened. We can be again. But only so long as we remain free and do not discard the unalienable rights and the moral underpinning to them.

So...discard it if you will...but at your and all of our peril. I shall not.

102 posted on 11/20/2003 6:15:53 PM PST by Jeff Head
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To: Jeff Head
"I will say this, any officer, any member of the armed service, any government employee or any politician who would advocate this and move in support of it has violated their oath to uphold, defend and bear true allegiance to that very constitution and marked themselves as an enemy of the people."

That being the case, IMO, the changes would be masked in the form of extended martial law. The latter stages of which would be the weeding out of pro-constitution officers. Of course it would have to all originate with the President. If he was a Clinton type, then kiss the Constitution goodbye.

If he were a Bush type, I think civil, Constitutional law would eventually be restored.
103 posted on 11/20/2003 6:15:55 PM PST by Rebelbase
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To: oceanview
Cute.

Let me paint you a clearer picture. (Your city here) gets nuked, dirty bombed or bio-attacked to a scale where 10's of thousands die. People panic, the economy collapses, there are runs on banks and stores and general lawlessness breaks out because law enforcement is too busy looking for terrorists.

We used to be a resilient society however we are no longer.

Men will run and hide in the face of terror rather than confront it.

Everyone will want something to be done but nobody will want "my father/son" to go to war.

Examples of this behavior are all around you. Open your eyes.
104 posted on 11/20/2003 6:15:56 PM PST by TSgt (I am proudly featured on U.S. Rep Rob Portman's homepage: http://www.house.gov/portman/)
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To: oceanview
you mean because people buy bread and milk before a snowstorm comes, that means we will decend into anarchy after a WMD attack?

It means that when there is no more bread and milk, there will be anarchy. Besides, when you have no job, you won't have the money to buy the milk and bread anyway. And forget your credit cards and cash, they won't be worth the paper/plastic they're printed on. Suggest you and millions more start to think rationally about what we're looking at right now if/when the big one goes off.

105 posted on 11/20/2003 6:16:50 PM PST by Cautor
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To: hope
Here's hoping you know this more than I....I owe here an apology.

I don't know how you could have taken it any other way. What did you think the poster meant other than that he/she perceives him as a hero now? I have to admit that your response confused me. I assumed *you* didn't like Bush.

106 posted on 11/20/2003 6:17:20 PM PST by cantfindagoodscreenname (SAVE THE BLACK FLY)
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To: Orangedog
Try explaining that to the people seeing news footage of a mushroom cloud over an American city on every TV station. The banks would have to be shut down to keep people from yanking out all their money and crashing the system. Grocery stores would have their shelves stripped in short order. Untold numbers of people will flee the larger cities for fear of another imminent nuclear bombing. Freeways in major population centers will be clogged with traffic jams worse than even the worst rush hour in LA.

Sounds like northern South Carolina with a two inch "snowstorm".

107 posted on 11/20/2003 6:17:20 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: Political Junkie Too
How did Japan survive the destruction of Hiroshima? Sure, they were an imperial society at the time, but they are a democracy now. The whole country didn't fall apart.

I know that it isn't a perfect comparison, given that we were at war and they were a defeated society, but their civil life didn't end because of the bomb.

They also didn't have CNN, FNC, MSNBC, etc showing them live footage of the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima and the damage that was done.

And their whole country did fall apart. They were just lucky that we were the ones rebuilding it and not the Russians.

108 posted on 11/20/2003 6:18:12 PM PST by Orangedog (Soccer-Moms are the biggest threat to your freedoms and the republic !)
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To: All
I sincerely hope it does not take a WMD attack. This is something I've "known" since before I became an adult in the late 1950s. It should have happened in 1971.

Every two-hundred-year-old nation is entitled to at least one patriot-dictator. I'd rather lose the Constitution temporarily than permanently. Today is so much like the media/political quagmire of the 1960s and 1970s it's sure to bring about the same result: win the battles over there, lose the war here.

The culture war is a war within a war. Both wars must be won for the United States of America to survive -- to take on and defeat Red China's aggression. Then a 1000 years of peace?

109 posted on 11/20/2003 6:19:45 PM PST by WilliamofCarmichael
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To: Paulus Invictus
To add to you nightmare, what if a large-scale attack occurred during her watch. In that moment of truth during an attack she would be made dictator for life.
110 posted on 11/20/2003 6:19:54 PM PST by wolf24
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To: Monty22
Because we will do the same things we did in the emergency situations of WWI, WWII, and after the 1929 crash. We will pick up the pieces just like we do after every natural disaster. We will band together and get through whatever is in store for us. We are Americans, and Americans have a tough spirit and much resolve.

I feel sorry for you. You spend your time worrying and they have already beat you.
111 posted on 11/20/2003 6:21:01 PM PST by GWfan
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To: Jeff Head
Don't put words in my mouth. I like the Constitution just the way it was written, and I'm a proud patriot. Even so, a WMD attack will change everything. Look at the world-wide stock markets today and a few days ago when the first Turkish bombings took place. They dipped. But a real WMD attack will crash them, ergo, no economic activity, no pay, no way to get the things we all take for granted every day. People will totally panic and the military will have to step in to prevent total chaos. You can stick your head in the sand if you want to believe it won't happen.
112 posted on 11/20/2003 6:21:13 PM PST by Cautor
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To: Jeff Head
"In WW II we were shocked back into reality and awakened."

IMHO, that's when we went to sleep, and we still haven't woken up. That's when the Left took control.

Qwinn
113 posted on 11/20/2003 6:21:18 PM PST by Qwinn
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To: hope
Military men don't typically publicly entertain such thoughts unless they're quite sure it's possible or probable.

I think he's trying to warn us, and this scares me.

114 posted on 11/20/2003 6:21:53 PM PST by txhurl
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To: wolf24
"...she would be made dictator for life."

Thanks buddy...now I'm going to have nightmares tonight!

;)

115 posted on 11/20/2003 6:22:29 PM PST by TSgt (I am proudly featured on U.S. Rep Rob Portman's homepage: http://www.house.gov/portman/)
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To: MikeWUSAF
" People panic, the economy collapses, there are runs on banks and stores and general lawlessness breaks out because law enforcement is too busy looking for terrorists."

And cats and dogs will live together too! :-)
116 posted on 11/20/2003 6:22:32 PM PST by Rebelbase
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To: Monty22
You are wrong because you are somehow projecting your own immediate concerns and how you would react to them onto the rest of us.

The ahses of the paper constitutin mean nothing...they live in principle within our heart and souls and million and millions have taken sacred oaths to bear true faith and allegiance to them...serious oaths that were not taken blindly and that will be honored.

Those commitments will not die with a WMD and they and that piece of paper you speak so blandly about mean more than life itself.

Study up on the history of this nation and the people who founded it and risked all to bring it about. Nathan Hale, John Paul Jones, John Warren, Samual Adams, John Adams...and the list extends to today.

Just what the hell do you think, "Give me liberty or give me daeth." meant? Or, "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.".

Those weren't just quaint metaphors or abstractions when they were uttered over 200 years agio...and they are not today.

There are hundreds dieing NOW to lend meaning to them and I will not roll over just because the enemy hits one home run.

Listen to yourselves for Christs's sake. This is exactly what the enemy would hope for in their wildest dreams...a destruction of everything that makes this nation what it is.

Clearly, the times would be horrific. but that does not mean we discard the very fabric of our consciencness or our underlying foundational frame work.

no...you are dead wrong. The constitution will not be forgotten or cast aside. If you will, then sir, speak for yourself alone...you do not speak for me or mine.

117 posted on 11/20/2003 6:24:26 PM PST by Jeff Head
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To: WilliamofCarmichael
It should have happened in 1971.

Forgive my ignorance.

Why is 1971 significant?

118 posted on 11/20/2003 6:24:41 PM PST by Momaw Nadon (The mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work unless it's open.)
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To: MikeWUSAF
Men will run and hide in the face of terror rather than confront it.

With an attitude like that, why not just throw in the towel now?

I believe our nation is stronger than the surface shows.

119 posted on 11/20/2003 6:25:28 PM PST by k2blader (Haruspex, beware.)
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To: gatorbait
Franks sounds like he expects the people to demand security from the politicians who will comply by setting up a police state.

Which goes back to Franklin's quote, "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security."

120 posted on 11/20/2003 6:25:33 PM PST by MediaMole
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To: hope
Samuel Adams advised, "If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
121 posted on 11/20/2003 6:25:42 PM PST by ATOMIC_PUNK ("Veritas vos Liberabit")
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To: Rebelbase
If you weren't a Southerner I would post a venomous reply to you however our brotherhood overshadows your comment.

I dearly miss the land of cotton...
122 posted on 11/20/2003 6:26:02 PM PST by TSgt (I am proudly featured on U.S. Rep Rob Portman's homepage: http://www.house.gov/portman/)
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To: hope
I would fight to the death anyone trying to set aside the constitution.
123 posted on 11/20/2003 6:26:45 PM PST by Spruce
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To: hope
... the former commander of the military’s Central Command warned that if terrorists succeeded in using a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) against the U.S. or one of our allies, it would likely have catastrophic consequences for our cherished republican form of government.

The general continues...

He is the first high-ranking official to openly speculate that the Constitution could be scrapped in favor of a military form of government.

Not very reassuring from Gen. Franks. If he is correct (which I doubt), then I will probably be gone...albeit not quietly.

5.56mm

124 posted on 11/20/2003 6:27:04 PM PST by M Kehoe
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To: NittanyLion
General Franks certainly knows what he is talking about. Consider this: A nuclear bomb hits NY and DC (ala 9.11.01) killing millions. I doubt very much if much of the civilian leadership will be left to govern effectively and control the chaos that would issue from the horror, fears and anger of the people this country. So who will fill the leadership vacuum, probably a strong military leader somewhere in the US or outside of the country whose chain of command maybe left intact. But perhaps if we get very lucky and have a military leader with the same ideal as George Washington, after the country become stabilized again, we might get our constitution back. I'm a hopeless optimist.
125 posted on 11/20/2003 6:27:20 PM PST by desertcry
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To: k2blader
I hope you are correct however my observations show me otherwise.
126 posted on 11/20/2003 6:27:22 PM PST by TSgt (I am proudly featured on U.S. Rep Rob Portman's homepage: http://www.house.gov/portman/)
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To: MikeWUSAF
Its a paraphrase of a Bill Murray quote from the movie Stripes, Brother! :-)
127 posted on 11/20/2003 6:27:49 PM PST by Rebelbase
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To: NittanyLion
I think someone might want to have him clarify his statements - undoubtedly martial law would have to be declared and most, if not all, civil liberties of course would be suspended. But permanently? Maybe.
128 posted on 11/20/2003 6:30:53 PM PST by Freedom4US
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To: Constitutional Patriot
Nonsense. Nobody lifted a finger on 9/11 to grab their guns and go hunting for the perps.

Unless you know who exactly did it and where they are, there will be no modern posses hunting these people.

We will all be in too much shock to act.
129 posted on 11/20/2003 6:30:58 PM PST by rwfromkansas ("Men stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up as if nothing had happened." Churchill)
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To: Rebelbase
Forgive my trespasses. I am not familure with that film.

Nice photos on your profile! I might have to steal a few of those!

I live in Cincinnasty now.

My wife and I plan on moving to Tennessee in about 3 years when we finish our degrees.

I was born in Texas :)
130 posted on 11/20/2003 6:31:03 PM PST by TSgt (I am proudly featured on U.S. Rep Rob Portman's homepage: http://www.house.gov/portman/)
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To: Rebelbase; MikeWUSAF
Its a paraphrase of a Bill Murray quote from the movie Stripes Ghosbusters, Brother! :-)
131 posted on 11/20/2003 6:31:15 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Peace through Strength)
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To: fiscally_right
You might not have any choice. Either the military or a blood thirsty mob.
132 posted on 11/20/2003 6:31:42 PM PST by desertcry
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To: Cautor
I'm not putting words in your mouth sir, you are.

This nation can survive and rise above anything any enemy throws at us, including a WMD attack. That does not sound like sticking ones head in the sand. This doomsday, the constitution is dead or will die talk is the talk of people with heads in the sand or somewhere else where the sun does not shine.

I will not countenance it. it goes against the very fabric of everything this nation stands for and sacred oaths that have been made to the contrary.

If you believe the constitution will be shredded and believe nothing can be done about it...than as I sad...take Sam Adams advise. There are others who will not take that route.

The talk going on here is serious. I do not doubt that the situation will be grave beyond imagining. I have thought it out and prepared myself and family for just that eventuality for years...but it will still be grave beyond imagining. I have parents who went through the depression and this would be worse.

But we can and will survive that because people will not let the underlying principles die and will fight to preserve them. We cannot survive if we lay them aside. I repaet, I shall not lay them aside and niether will millions of others.

Sorry for the tone...but what I am hearing on this thread is sickening to me...not about the danger and harship...we have faced that before and can stand a lot more...but about the discarding of the constitution.

I have to get out into the mountains for a couple of hours and get some air.

133 posted on 11/20/2003 6:32:06 PM PST by Jeff Head
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To: hope
Any WMD attack will have to be targeted at high population density areas. They don't have the resource to affect more than a small fraction of the country.

The blue areas of the map are going to get hammered, and the red areas are going to be left to clean it up. Unless the "smart growth" people get their way, in which case there won't be anyone left living in the red areas - we'll all be crowded into the cities because it's more "efficient".

134 posted on 11/20/2003 6:32:39 PM PST by tacticalogic (Controlled application of force is the sincerest form of communication.)
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To: Qwinn
Afterwards we went to sleep...not during.
135 posted on 11/20/2003 6:32:54 PM PST by Jeff Head
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To: freedumb2003
Ghostbusters!....I somewhow I was envisioning the kitchen stove scene in Stripes, but you are correct. here is the wavfile quote: http://billmurray.virtualave.net/sound/ghostbusters/dogs&cats.wav
136 posted on 11/20/2003 6:35:14 PM PST by Rebelbase
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To: Myrddin
You are assuming of course that there would be sufficient civilian authority left to control the terrible chaos that would result.
137 posted on 11/20/2003 6:35:49 PM PST by desertcry
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To: rwfromkansas
Nonsense. Nobody lifted a finger on 9/11 to grab their guns and go hunting for the perps.

I think that's because we Americans really, truly believe in 'innocent until proven guilty.'

I believe, if there is catastrophe, not only Muslims will bear the brunt of our nascent bloodthirst for revenge, but many other cultures.

138 posted on 11/20/2003 6:36:19 PM PST by txhurl
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To: Jeff Head
It would seem to me a nuke on a city here would cause incredible repercussions and that martial law might be declared for a time. Remember these soldiers are our boys and these military men are better than most politicians, cops, mayors, etc. This might be necessary to maintain food supply, order, etc. But not for long. We are the same people we were, rational for the most part. The constitution would not be shredded unless we do not have a military to keep order and to reassure the people who cannot deal with what would happen. I think we are inherently peaceful for the most part and would not let our freedom go easily. Nor do I think our military would try to take it away for long. Frankly I will take order from a military take over a whole lot more than every man for himself. Tommy Franks did us a favor by saying this.
139 posted on 11/20/2003 6:37:30 PM PST by cajungirl (no)
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To: Mr. Mojo
I had to sell all my guns the other day. Really I dont have them anymore - honest
140 posted on 11/20/2003 6:37:33 PM PST by ezoeni
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To: hope
I can see a military dictatorship happening in this country, but the military is smart enough to know that taking to take the guns from the gun owners in this country would be counterproductive to them for two reasons.

One, for the most part gun owners in this country currently supports the military.

Second, the pile of body bags in this country will be a mile high from the attempt.

Now if the General wants to stabilize this country right after seizing power of this country, he would first need to get rid of the IRS, EPA, ATF and most of the other socialist bureaucracies that make life miserable in this country.

Second, tell the gun owners of this country that they can keep their guns as long as they behave themselves and not try and start a revolt.

This is the easiest way from someone to pacify the rural gun owners from starting a gorilla revolt. The unarmed urban people who will scream bloody murder for getting rid of these socialist bureaucracies can be dealt with more direct methods.

141 posted on 11/20/2003 6:39:25 PM PST by Paul C. Jesup
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To: desertcry
You are assuming of course that there would be sufficient civilian authority left to control the terrible chaos that would result.

Isn't that what the 'Shadow Government' or 'spare government' is for?

142 posted on 11/20/2003 6:40:16 PM PST by Momaw Nadon (The mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work unless it's open.)
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To: Jeff Head; hope; All
The Institute on the Constitution educates citizens on the Founders' Constitution. It's a helpful bulwark against tyranny. You can find more information here .
143 posted on 11/20/2003 6:40:48 PM PST by Stop Legal Plunder
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To: tacticalogic
only an attack on NYC or DC (maybe Chicago) would have that kind of national effect.
144 posted on 11/20/2003 6:42:28 PM PST by oceanview
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To: Momaw Nadon
Sorry, I don't know much about shadow Goverment. Can you illuminate me on that?
145 posted on 11/20/2003 6:43:06 PM PST by desertcry
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To: Jeff Head
You are correct. Freedom and the spirit of the Constitution are organic. The ideas will not be erased by any weapons.

One could just as easily argue that such a tragic event could lead to a rebirth of the Constitutional values.

A terrible tragedy or loss will strip a person or nation to the core. While the useless politicians have strayed, the people still embody the Constitutional core.

146 posted on 11/20/2003 6:43:10 PM PST by Monti Cello
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To: hope
Well at least he is not talking about disarming us. The military can route traffic and ward off looters. But to ditch the constitution, no way.
147 posted on 11/20/2003 6:44:21 PM PST by Stew Padasso (Head down over a saddle.)
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To: Rebelbase
Thanks! I collect great wavs (there is a wonderful Mel Brooks site) -- I attach them to emails when I send them to project teams (obviously on the projetct I am on).

Stripes had some great ones -- "We are Mutants" "Let's hear for for our biggest bestest big toe buddy"

:)
148 posted on 11/20/2003 6:44:45 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Peace through Strength)
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To: Monti Cello
"One could just as easily argue that such a tragic event could lead to a rebirth of the Constitutional values."

you nailed it on the head.
149 posted on 11/20/2003 6:47:28 PM PST by ezoeni
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To: Jeff Head
"We can survivie a WMD...we will not survive the destruction or setting aside of the Constitution."

That does depend on where and to what extent -- does it not?

Should either New York City or Washington DC take a huge hit, assumptively a number of amendments would at least be suspended during an "State of Emergency."

150 posted on 11/20/2003 6:48:46 PM PST by F16Fighter
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