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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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1 posted on 11/20/2003 5:14:54 PM PST by hope
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To: hope
“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.”
2 posted on 11/20/2003 5:20:00 PM PST by visualops (Nothing is fool-proof to a talented fool.)
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To: hope
At least we have something to look forward to.
3 posted on 11/20/2003 5:21:18 PM PST by tet68 (Tag note, I have not been able to verify the previous Patrick Henry quote so it has been removed.)
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To: tet68
"At least we have something to look forward to".

Praise God!

4 posted on 11/20/2003 5:24:35 PM PST by hope
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To: visualops
I view GWB as that way now.
5 posted on 11/20/2003 5:26:51 PM PST by Donna Lee Nardo
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To: hope
Normally I'd say this is farfetched. But the fact that Tommy Franks believes this to be true is disconcerting, to say the least. He seems to be a very levelheaded guy who certainly isn't prone to exaggeration.
6 posted on 11/20/2003 5:27:09 PM PST by NittanyLion (Character Counts)
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To: hope
He is the first high-ranking official to openly speculate that the Constitution could be scrapped in favor of a military form of government.

HUGELY SIGNIFICANT BUMP.

7 posted on 11/20/2003 5:31:03 PM PST by tubavil
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To: Donna Lee Nardo
Well, if you feel that way maybe taking a break from the leftist news media for a while will help. The constant feeding on that bile will certainly brain wash you. If it's because GW is not the man you though he was, you must be very, very disappointed in your spouse or father.
8 posted on 11/20/2003 5:31:38 PM PST by hope
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To: NittanyLion
the problem is that you could never do what would have to be done: mass deportations, closing borders, investigations and detentions in the US muslim communities, with the judiciary in place as it currently exists. no way. that would be the problem, I don't know if phrasing it as "throwing away the constitution" is correct. the way I look at it, a large part of the judiciary currently seated on the bench has ALREADY thrown away the constitution, we have to take the country back from them.
9 posted on 11/20/2003 5:32:16 PM PST by oceanview
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To: hope
I'm not surprised that a military man might think that we would have a military government should a WMD hit.
10 posted on 11/20/2003 5:32:44 PM PST by BikerNYC
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To: NittanyLion
Hey Lion, are you a PSU student currently?
11 posted on 11/20/2003 5:32:47 PM PST by fiscally_right
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To: hope
I'm hoping she meant she views him as a hero now.
12 posted on 11/20/2003 5:33:13 PM PST by John W
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To: fiscally_right
Nope. Graduated in 2000. You?
13 posted on 11/20/2003 5:34:11 PM PST by NittanyLion (Character Counts)
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To: John W
Here's hoping you know this more than I....I owe here an apology.
14 posted on 11/20/2003 5:34:34 PM PST by hope
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To: BikerNYC
I would hope that such a scenerio would be temporary.. I don't think there would be a military-stype government per se, but the military and the government would be afforded great liberty in the way they (dis)obey the constitution. I don't ever want to see my city streets policed by the military..
15 posted on 11/20/2003 5:35:21 PM PST by fiscally_right
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To: NittanyLion
I'm a freshman, east halls! woo! not.
16 posted on 11/20/2003 5:35:48 PM PST by fiscally_right
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To: hope
“... 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.”

I think what Gen. Franks fails to grasp is that armed Americans will likely handle this situation before the Government can say "martial law". It will not be pretty.

17 posted on 11/20/2003 5:36:33 PM PST by Constitutional Patriot (Socialism is the cancer of humanity.)
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To: Donna Lee Nardo
Apologies in advance! I certainly owe you the benefit of the doubt. I jumped the gun. I am so sorry. I hope this apology will be recieved in the spirit it is given.
18 posted on 11/20/2003 5:36:36 PM PST by hope
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To: NittanyLion
I don't think that the Constitution would be scraped. I am sure however that Martial law would be declared, and would continue in effect for quite some time.

It is even possible that some of our freedoms and liberties would be curtailed permenently through Constitutional amendments, but I think that as time went by the country would begin to recover and return to normal.

19 posted on 11/20/2003 5:36:47 PM PST by commish (Freedom Tastes Sweetest to Those Who Have Fought to Preserve It)
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To: Constitutional Patriot
YOu are quite right I am afraid. As sickening as the thought is, I think that "open Season" on anyone even remotely arab looking or muslim would be in full swing. It would not be pretty.
20 posted on 11/20/2003 5:38:36 PM PST by commish (Freedom Tastes Sweetest to Those Who Have Fought to Preserve It)
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To: hope
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.

Tommy forgot the 2nd amendment. It is there to protect the people from bone headed individuals with his line of thinking. He seems to forget that the military serves at the pleasure of the civilian government who in turn serves at the pleasure of the citizens.

21 posted on 11/20/2003 5:38:48 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: fiscally_right
We should be judged by future generations by how we act in the worst of times, not in the best. Hopefully, we will never have to test ourselves like that.
22 posted on 11/20/2003 5:38:54 PM PST by BikerNYC
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To: hope
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.

Those of you inclined to protest should have your protest permits on file, and the licensing fees paid up beforehand.

23 posted on 11/20/2003 5:39:07 PM PST by The KG9 Kid (Semper Fi)
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To: NittanyLion
He understands that, as Jefferson said, (paraphrased) "the natural progression of things is for government to gain ground and freedom to erode".

After the Revoulution, Wars have always and everywhere in US History caused an erosion of freedom.

24 posted on 11/20/2003 5:39:16 PM PST by Protagoras (Hating Democrats doesn't make you a conservative.)
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To: hope
Scary

As far as I'm concerned, keeping Constitution is non-negotiable. That's just the way it's going to be as long as I'm alive.

Without freedom, there's nothing. When there's nothing, there's nothing left to lose.

25 posted on 11/20/2003 5:40:01 PM PST by Dan from Michigan ("Today's music ain't got the same soul. I like that old time Rock N Roll" - Bob Seger)
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To: fiscally_right
if that military is ripping apart mosques to find the next nuke, I want them doing exactly that.
26 posted on 11/20/2003 5:40:04 PM PST by oceanview
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To: hope
If true he said this, he should be removed immediately.

27 posted on 11/20/2003 5:40:05 PM PST by lawdude (Liberalism: A failure every time it is tried!)
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To: hope
"Which in fact, then begins to unravel the fabric of our Constitution."

Makes sense. Our constitution would not allow us to kill 1.3 billion Muslims.

28 posted on 11/20/2003 5:40:25 PM PST by blam
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To: hope
For those that believe in the Second Coming a major WMD attack in America would be the perfect prelude to a single identification system and a world leader…

It doesn't take a Bible scholar to see the rise of anti-Semitism and terrorism and the falling of our country away from God.
29 posted on 11/20/2003 5:40:56 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: NittanyLion
Does anybody doubt that in the event of a WMD attack they would declare Martial Law? Of course not. That would have to happen in order to avoid mass panic, the public executing the entire Muslim population, etc.
30 posted on 11/20/2003 5:41:41 PM PST by McGavin999
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

To: lawdude
"If true he said this, he should be removed immediately."

Franks retired.

32 posted on 11/20/2003 5:42:35 PM PST by blam
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To: lawdude
Has he not retired already?
33 posted on 11/20/2003 5:42:42 PM PST by hope
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To: hope
Given the irreversible damage done over the past 70 years or so, I would hardly say the Constitution has "survived" today.
34 posted on 11/20/2003 5:43:47 PM PST by newgeezer (fundamentalist, regarding the Constitution AND the Holy Bible, i.e. words mean things!)
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To: MikeWUSAF
I see it. Besides how can their be a One World Gov as long as the U.S. Constitution is alive? Many in our institutions are working hard as we speak to erode it!
35 posted on 11/20/2003 5:44:37 PM PST by hope
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To: Dan from Michigan
You don't understand what a destroyed city will mean to this city, or mass casualties from a bio attack..

It won't be 'life as normal' again. I don't mean that like how we aren't the same as before 9/11. I mean everything will change. There will most likely be a nuclear exchange, some places will be destroyed in retaliation.

Peace protests will have to be banned. A good reason is, to defend the stupid protestors from people like me out for blood.

I doubt they'd bother to mess with gun rights that much. I mean, they can try, but we'll be in a state of near anarchy. People will stop paying bills, no more rent payments. The economy will be centralized and food will the currency and only that that'll matter.

This isn't some small little inconvenience. This is just below The Day After or Threads level of destruction we're facing. The freedoms we have will be gone in an instant. As well as many millions of islamics around the world. It's inevitable.
36 posted on 11/20/2003 5:45:02 PM PST by Monty22
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To: lawdude
"...If true he said this, he should be removed immediately. ..."
- - -
Removed from where?
His retirement home?
37 posted on 11/20/2003 5:45:13 PM PST by DefCon
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To: hope
What the ?!? You know, if someone in the clinton admin. had said this, I would be SURE they were hatching yet another evil plot. But someone in the Bush admin.? They aren't evil, and they're not prone to exaggeration. I do trust them, but this really makes me uneasy.
38 posted on 11/20/2003 5:45:30 PM PST by small voice in the wilderness
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To: McGavin999
It sounds like Franks is talking about the loss of republican government in a more permanent sense than martial law. It doesn't appear Franks expects a temporary loss of freedoms based on the posted article, but rather a new form of government going forward.
39 posted on 11/20/2003 5:46:09 PM PST by NittanyLion (Character Counts)
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To: Protagoras
Wars have always and everywhere in US History caused an erosion of freedom.

The Great Depression did a pretty good job of strip mining them too, IMHO.

40 posted on 11/20/2003 5:46:20 PM PST by tacticalogic (Controlled application of force is the sincerest form of communication.)
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To: small voice in the wilderness
These are uneasy times. Non like we have ever traveled before. Time to shore up what we hold dear and think with a clear vision.
41 posted on 11/20/2003 5:47:24 PM PST by hope
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To: hope
America has a Constitution?

Since when?

Is the Supreme Court aware of that? Have they read it?

42 posted on 11/20/2003 5:47:49 PM PST by P-Marlowe
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To: hope
The ancient Roman's, during the republic, provided for military leadership in times of crisis. They appointed a dictator (simply meaning leader, without the negative modern connotation) who ruled until the crisis passed.

Cincinnatus is the classic example of the Roman dictator. He was in his fields plowing when a runner came to him to inform him that he had been appointed dictator. He left his plowing, took care of the enemy, and returned to his fields. All in 16 days.
43 posted on 11/20/2003 5:47:49 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (We secretly switched ABC news with Al-Jazeera, lets see if these people can tell the difference.)
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To: hope
But this will all be over if one of the 9 dwarves, like H. Dean, get elected prez. I can only imagine a worse scenario---Hitlery runs and is elected. Try to imagine the Klintoons back in power. The idea is so repugnant and frightening I can scarcely stand to think about such a scenario. It would mean the end of the Republic for sure! We must work harder to prepare to defeat these traitors once and for all in 2004!
44 posted on 11/20/2003 5:50:31 PM PST by Paulus Invictus (RATS are traitors!)
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To: Monty22
that's quite an exaggeration, there would not be "anarchy" except perhaps in the immediate area of the attack. why would people in Ohio stop paying rent if Manhattan were nuked? We could have an earthquake in LA tomorrow that would do more damage then a small nuclear weapon, would we have anarchy everywhere in the US as a result?
45 posted on 11/20/2003 5:51:26 PM PST by oceanview
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To: oceanview
Who is going to stay in a major city once one, then another, gets vaporized?

You?

Think about it.
46 posted on 11/20/2003 5:52:24 PM PST by Monty22
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To: Monty22
You don't understand what a destroyed city will mean to this [country], or mass casualties from a bio attack..

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.

-PJ

47 posted on 11/20/2003 5:53:15 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: lawdude
Uh, he's RETIRED.
48 posted on 11/20/2003 5:53:19 PM PST by Salgak (don't mind me: the orbital mind control lasers are making me write this. . .)
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To: Paulus Invictus
Please one nightmare at a time!
49 posted on 11/20/2003 5:53:25 PM PST by hope
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To: Political Junkie Too
Japan survived cause they surrendered.

We have that option I suppose.. But one thing is for sure, our current lifestyle will be over.
50 posted on 11/20/2003 5:53:53 PM PST by Monty22
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