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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,
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
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: hope
"I certainly owe you the benefit of the doubt."

Apologies accepted, I think. But I still don't understand how you could take what I wrote and see it as a lefty loving attack (just the word "left" made me roll over in my grave even though I am not yet dead!). Did you read the post that I responded to wrongly? That can happen.

More than that, I don't get the part about why you would owe me any benefit of the doubt since my post in question is pretty clear if read correctly. So if you are apologizing because you acknowledge that you misread the post, then what doubt would there be on your part? I am curious...

201 posted on 11/20/2003 8:04:39 PM PST by Donna Lee Nardo
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To: Mo1
Sounds like you have some problems with the article......I, too, noticed what may be a discrepancy. Gen. Tommy Franks was not, if I remember correctly, a "top commander in Operation Desert Storm." I believe that was Lt. Gen. Fred Franks, who commanded the VII Corps under Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf. (See Gen. Schwarzkopf's book, "It doesn't take a Hero.") Seems to be the wrong Gen. Franks. Wonder now about the quotes....are they accurate?
202 posted on 11/20/2003 8:05:01 PM PST by Southbound
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To: hope
I feel it is inevitable in our lifetime.

I hope we have longer than sooner to wait!
203 posted on 11/20/2003 8:07:02 PM PST by Quix (WORK NOW to defeat one personal network friend, relative, associate's liberal idiocy now, warmly)
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And damn those who don't think we are in a holy war because we are. Thank you for saying that..I have been saying it for a very long time as well to family and friends.
204 posted on 11/20/2003 8:08:44 PM PST by Michael Barnes
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To: NittanyLion
The democrats and the IslamoFascists are absolute soul mates. The rats despise Constitutional Law as proven by their attempt to pack the courts with corrupt "activist" judges who are destroying our Constitutional protections. The IslamoFascists seek by WMD to bring our government down.

I agree wholeheartedly with Franks assessment.

205 posted on 11/20/2003 8:10:52 PM PST by friendly (Man is so made that whenever anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish.)
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To: Jeff Head; Cautor; Monty22; Rebelbase; Orangedog; MikeWUSAF; Spruce; Ramius

"The day we stop believing in democracy is the day we lose it." -Queen Jamilla

206 posted on 11/20/2003 8:11:09 PM PST by Momaw Nadon (The mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work unless it's open.)
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To: visualops
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.

This is great. One of the two leading Democratic contenders would be willing to suspend the Constitution and the other is Governor Dean.
207 posted on 11/20/2003 8:13:29 PM PST by bluejay
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To: hope
Ahhhh, I think maybe I see what misled you.

(Boo-hoo...Sniff, snuffle...Wipes tears and nose...Gathers composure...) How could you think that I would think that? I am a Freeper, not a troll. GWB is one politically saavy, intelligent, ingenius, handsome, God-guided gentlemen. And he likes the outdoors and animals. He is a 10 all around. I think Laura Bush is one of the luckiest women and we are the luckiest nation to have GWB.

Yeah, I do see that one reference in that quote that can throw people off; I saw that part of the quote as being further "qualified" by General Franks though. T that is why I agree with Gen. Franks' comments 100 percent and I even go further: I already believe GWB is remarkably gifted and we are remarkably blessed; I do not have to wait for history to pass a judgement, in other words.

Hope, I like the fact that you are a quick defender of our President. Good job!

208 posted on 11/20/2003 8:16:11 PM PST by Donna Lee Nardo
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To: All
I 'tought' my posts had some merit and brought up some valid arguements.......... but no reponses/reactions so I think I'm invisible tonight. Perhaps too many typos. *L*

OK.... off to other threads.

You all have a good night.
209 posted on 11/20/2003 8:18:28 PM PST by bart99
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To: hope
Tommy, Tommy, Tommy. Ye of little faith. If our constitution is so fragile that it would be scrapped for a military government in the event of a WMD attack, then we are indeed in trouble. Pure nonsense. If anything, the constitution would become stronger. We have gone through a civil war, Pearl Harbor, and the Cold War without scrapping the founding document of the oldest democracy in the world. No stinkin' WMD is going to frighten us to choose a military government like some banana republic.
210 posted on 11/20/2003 8:31:06 PM PST by kabar
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To: Momaw Nadon
"The day we stop believing in democracy is the day we lose it." -Queen Jamilla

Isn't that Queen Amidalla? [scratching head]

I would submit that the *temporary* imposition of martial law in a region of the country where there is no alternative... that is... the local government has been destroyed and the only alternative is lawlessness and looting by thugs... then it is NOT the case that democracy has been abandoned, and it would not follow that we "have stopped believing in democracy".

Quite the opposite. Democracy demands that order be maintained, does it not? Even if the government is dead?

211 posted on 11/20/2003 8:31:09 PM PST by Ramius
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To: John Lenin
I was in Charlotte during hurricane Hugo and martial law was declared to stop the looters and no one said a peep. As usual people overreact to something they have never faced with. You won't say diddly if the attack is bad enough you will welcome troops to protect you.

Guess you didn't read my post all the way. I said I would consider Martial Law depending on locale and situation. Hugo? I remember Hugo as well. I also know that Hugo was a natural disaster that EVERYONE KNEW would pass. WMD strike is a wild card.

212 posted on 11/20/2003 8:36:04 PM PST by Michael Barnes
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To: cajungirl
Declaring martial law in the area impacted and effected by a WMD is not what I am upset about. That is understandable and acceptable and allowed for during invasion, attack or insurection. That still happens with the overall constitutional guidance of civil government.

I am talking about this talk of doing away with the constitution and replacing it with a military government...that's not the same.

213 posted on 11/20/2003 8:40:25 PM PST by Jeff Head
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To: harpseal; Jeff Head
On a postive note, remember that all military officers take a solemn oath to defend the Constitution, against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

If some General Clark tries to make himself the big boss, he won't last long. Loyal officers will be looking for the senior surviving official in the line of succession, no matter what WMD attack we suffer.

Of course, if smallpox etc is loose, the President may decide to eforce virtual marial law in selected areas to prevent the spread of the disease. To do less could be national suicide.

If the nation is wiped out, the Consitution won't matter, will it?

214 posted on 11/20/2003 8:42:53 PM PST by Travis McGee (----- -----)
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To: unix
The national guard was in the streets of Charlotte for days until the power came back on protecting business's that were being looted by the miscreants. National disasters bring them out like a pack of wolves and I'd rather have a soldier pull the trigger than have to do it myself protecting my own property. It would be each man for himself for a few days until the guard moved in. I've seen it happen with my own eyes.
215 posted on 11/20/2003 8:43:56 PM PST by John Lenin
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To: Donna Lee Nardo
Hey, I really feel ridiculous...I really did jump the gun and I am truly sorry. I overlooked your intentions. It was truly careless of me. Donna I have read so much and heard so much about how our president lacks intellectual capacity to be a leader that I assumed you felt that way. I know that's not the case now...Truly feeling foolish with foot firmly planted in my mouth:(
216 posted on 11/20/2003 8:44:05 PM PST by hope
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To: Travis McGee; harpseal
In times of insurrection or attack habeas corpus might get suspended and virtual martial law exist. Particularly in the area impacted by a nuc or biological. I am not talking about that type of event because that could and perhaps should occur with continued civilian and constitutional control.

What got my dander up and caused me to get out into the cold mountain air up here was this talk about the constitution being set aside and being replaced with a military government. Franks may indeed not advocate or support this...he may just be postulating...but any military, GSA or politician who did would make themselves an enemy IMHO.

I would fight that tooth and nail just as I would fight any foreign invader.

Best Fregards and my apologies to anyone I may have offended...not for my sentiment of commitment...but perhaps for the way it was delivered this evening in the heat of the moment.


217 posted on 11/20/2003 8:50:04 PM PST by Jeff Head
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To: visualops
A real live 21st century "William Wallace."
218 posted on 11/20/2003 8:53:13 PM PST by Toespi
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To: oceanview
did everyone flee all the cities in Japan after Hiroshima?
How quickly did other cities & their people know ? Communications are so fast today, and hard to censor, but that wasn't always the case.
219 posted on 11/20/2003 8:54:58 PM PST by 1066AD
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To: hope
Tommy might be right. I hope not. In "The Day After Tomorrow" Robert Heinlein takes on that very question, as he does in "If This Goes On". In both cases, the military government is seen as temporary. Others are less sanguine, Pat Franks in "Alas, Babylon" saw a long period of military government (or at least implied same). The question becomes the extent of the damage to our infrastructure and system. A low yield nuke taking out part of one city would probably NOT result in Tommy's vision, a hundred of them taking out most of our major cities might.
220 posted on 11/20/2003 8:59:01 PM PST by narses ("The do-it-yourself Mass is ended. Go in peace" Francis Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria)
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