Sunday, March 19, 2006

Coup D'Etat

In Harper’s Magazine’s latest issue (Aprill 2006; pg. 44-50) a discussion between four academic military intellects was recorded and documented. The discussion evolved from the initial question: Is a military coup d’etat possible in the United States? All four of the military theorists agreed that at this point in time a military coup d’etat is not possible. Andrew Bacevich states the reasoning for this fairly succinctly by asking, “what are you going to seize that, having seized it, gives you control of the country?” Richard Kohn also contributed to the same line of thought by saying:

Do you think you can control New York City without the cooperation of 40,000 New York police officers? And what about Idaho, with all those militia groups? Do you think you can control Idaho? I’m not even going to talk about Texas.


The point is that a seat in the white house is only capable of governing us because we elected them, and without our support, unanimously across the country, no military coup could gain control of the US.

So it is not possible for the military to overthrow the government but is it possible to change our current regime by forcing the president to resign and holding a new election? I use the word “regime” because I believe that Bush, by purposely using false information to lead us into war and by illegally spying on US citizens, has crossed the line drawn for a US president and stepped into the realm of an authoritarian leadership. Can we get rid of the Bush administration without simply impeaching Bush and giving Dick Cheney the reigns? Even if that most likely will not happen, is it possible?

Polls show support for the Bush administration is at an all time low, down in the mid 30% range, but that is meaningless unless something can be done to remove the administration. He still has the power of preemptive strike and has said many times that he will use that power to prevent Iran from enriching Uranium. While I, like most people I believe, do not wish to see the proliferation of nuclear weapons I do not believe that a military regime change in Iran is necessary, which is exactly what our administration seems to be advocating by stating Iran as the number one threat to the US. This, in my opinion, is not acceptable. Is it constitutionally possible to oust an entire administration and ask for a new election before the four year term is over? I do no know the answer to this but I would really like anyone’s input on that idea.

With a president that has far more executive power than ever before it becomes necessary for us to strengthen the checks and balances that will keep the president from acting outside of the people’s will. Congress is supposed to be this check but all too recently we have seen that the president’s control over the National Security Agency, and pretty much all governmental sources of information, has made congress unable to function properly to prevent such disasters as the Iraq war. After realization that the administration as a whole concealed relevant information for a case against the war, that they have openly admitted to breaking the law set down the FISA of 1978, and therefore admitted to being above the law, and “encouraging and countenancing torture” as Congressman John Conyers Jr. puts it, shouldn’t the people have the ability to decide that they made a mistake in putting this man and his administration into power? We need not just impeachment, though that would be nice, but a complete regime change.

2 comments:

Jerems said...

I'm fairly certain that impeachment is the only vehicle available for the removal of a president. However, impeachment is not exclusive to the president. It can be extended to the vice president, or any other government official, including judges. The problem that you are faced with is this amendment:

Amendment XXV

Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.


Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.


Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.


Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.


Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.



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As you can see, the succession is fairly specific. And if you were looking to remove an entire administration, you would have to go past the president, so that the speaker of the house would be third in line, and become president. The part that sucks, is that once a vice becomes president, they get to choose their vice president, so the partisan cycle continues.

Andrew said...

Yeah I suspected as much. So we are left with no other option than a coup d'etat, which is impossible as Harper's Magazine already stated. Well at least we only have two more years, during which there will probably only be enough time for a military strike in Iran, anti-abortion pills made illegal, stem cell research further stifled because of the vacuous idea that a soul is created when sperm fertilizes an egg (and because Americans are apparently, as the president would say, afraid of "human-animal hybrids", ha, ha!); increase our debt and lower taxes further for the rich, cut spending to important areas such as education, homeless care, and many other non-profit organizations that are trying (and for a large part succeeding) to make the world a better place, and selling off national forest land for development or oil drilling.

Well, maybe if the Democrats get off their lazy asses then we might be able to gain a majority in both houses of congress at the end of this year that would hopefully slow the spread of evil emanating from this administration. It looks like the polls, even from Fox, are stating that the Democrats are in a strong lead currently.