Skip to comments.Gen. Franks Doubts Constitution Will Survive WMD Attack
Posted on 11/20/2003 5:14:53 PM PST by hope
Gen. Franks Doubts Constitution Will Survive WMD Attack
John O. Edwards, NewsMax.comGen. 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.
Friday, Nov. 21, 2003
Franks, who successfully led the U.S. military operation to liberate Iraq, expressed his worries in an extensive interview he gave to the mens lifestyle magazine Cigar Aficionado.
In the magazines December edition, the former commander of the militarys 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 weve 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 didnt 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 soldiers 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 Ladens 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 hes not very smart. I find the contrary. I think hes very, very bright. And I suspect that hell be judged as a man who led this country through a crease in history effectively. Probably well 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 presidents 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 Pentagons 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 wont say thatll be within 19 or 43 days. ... I believe it is inevitable.
Franks ended his interview with a less-than-optimistic note. Its not in the history of civilization for peace ever to reign. Never has in the history of man. ... I doubt that well ever have a time when the world will actually be at peace.
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
War on Terrorism
Martial Law is the suspension of the Constitution and automatically makes those who attempt to institute it an enemy. As Jeff Head said, They who announce "Martial Law" and those who stand with them are our enemies for they have attempted to overthrow the Constitution.
Jeff, I am one of the millions who will do my part to see my enemy dispatched, post haste.
Sir, I think you have forgotten what percentage (probably 80+%) of our citizens would rather hand over their rights for temporary security.
Your sooo right. Martial Law, hmm.I might consider depending on the locale and situation. Military form of gov't, not on your f*cking life.
So... if there is a major emergency in some region of the U.S.-- say, the detonation of a nuclear weapon-- and the national guard is called to duty in the area, and lacking any other remaining government infrastructure in the area (becuase they're all DEAD) the national guard is ordered to assume control, in order for there to be *some* kind of orderly leadership in an otherwise chaotic situation.
This would be, in fact, a state of martial law. The power to order this is quite within the constitution and the powers of the President as commander in chief. It would also be arguably absolutely necessary in order to regain some sense of order when the standing government of a region is destroyed.
Are you actually arguing that these soldiers called to such duty should be shot? That instead of restoring order to a destroyed region of the country we should instead opt for a lawless and anarchic wasteland? Is that what this is about?
My guess is that they would not mess with the 2nd Amendment following a WMD attack, but would simply curtail citizen movement temporarily.
After all, Myrddin, what would you suggest we do if underground terrorists snuck in a few nuclear bombs into the US and started setting them off at random.
My guess is that people would be demanding the military do something, and quick, to stop the massive carnage.
Furthermore, Tommy Franks is not a bone head simply for postulating what he thinks might happen were the US to be attacked by WMD.
What if alQadia successfully spread SMALLPOX around the country, and/or began spreading anthrax through the mail, or in subways.
Would the population get mad if some quasi military units clamped down temporarily.
Sure it would be scary, but I don't think we would have much choice.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.