A Military Plot To Take Over America: Fifty Years Later, Was The Mission Accomplished? By John W. Whitehead March 25, 2014
Director John Frankenheimer’s 1964 political thriller Seven Days in May is a clear warning to beware of martial law packaged as a well meaning and overriding concern for the nation’s security. Yet 50 years later, we find ourselves hostages to a government run more by military doctrine and corporate greed than by the rule of law established in the Constitution. Indeed, today’s current events could well have been lifted straight out of Seven Days in May, which takes viewers into eerily familiar terrain. The film’s premise is straightforward enough: With the Cold War at its height, President Jordan Lyman signs a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union. Believing that the treaty constitutes an unacceptable threat to the security of the United States, General James Mattoon Scott plans a military takeover of the national government. When the military coup is uncovered, Lyman confronts Scott, declaring, “You want to defend the United States of America, then defend it with the tools it supplies you with—its Constitution. You ask for a mandate, General, from a ballot box. You don’t steal it after midnight, when the country has its back turned.” Unfortunately for the American people, the coup d’etat wresting control of our government from civilians and delivering it into the hands of the military industrial complex happened decades ago, while our backs were turned. Over the past half century, America has actually been at war more than we’ve been at peace, enriching the military industrial complex with trillions of taxpayer dollars. Now we find ourselves in the unenviable position of trying to rein in a runaway militarized government with a gargantuan and profit-driven appetite for war. Here’s the problem, though: what happens to all those hefty profits for the military industrial complex when you start to scale back on 50 years’ worth of wars abroad? If war is a business, as it has become, in order to maintain a profit margin when there are no more wars to be fought abroad, one would either have to find new enemies abroad or, as I show in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, focus on fighting a war at home, against the American people, and that’s exactly what we’re dealing with today.
Together, the military industrial complex and its counterpart, the security industrial complex, a.k.a. corporate surveillance state, serve as the iron-fisted right and left hands of the police state that now surrounds and profits from us. Consequently, we now find ourselves navigating a strange new world of militarized police, urban training exercises, domestic military training drills, SWAT team raids and military battle weapons and equipment used against Americans domestically—all funded by millions of dollars in grants from the Department of Homeland Security. These grants also provide for law enforcement planning, training and exercises, such as the training exercises that were scheduled to take place in Boston around the same time that the Boston Marathon bombers detonated several homemade backpack bombs. Curiously enough, as the Boston Globe reported, the exercise, planned months in advance and dubbed “Operation Urban Shield” “has eerie similarities to the police investigation that led to the capture of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers.” Indeed, these Live Action training exercises, carried out at schools, in shopping malls, and on public transit, complete with their own set of professionally trained Crisis Actors playing the parts of shooters, bystanders and victims, can and do fool law enforcement officials, students, teachers, bystanders and the media into thinking it’s a real crisis. Now it’s easy to write off as conspiracy-minded any suggestion that the government could be so calculating and diabolical as to not only deliberately plan and execute a terror exercise but pass it off as an actual event. It’s easy to do so, that is, unless you’ve started to question whether your government actually exists to serve you, as growing numbers of Americans have. It’s certainly easy to do so unless you’ve started to read up on those less savory aspects of our nation’s history in which the government has engaged in downright immoral behavior, including “giving hepatitis to mental patients in Connecticut, squirting a pandemic flu virus up the noses of prisoners in Maryland, and injecting cancer cells into chronically ill people at a New York hospital.” And unless you’ve reached a point where you believe that the government views you as little more than a dollar sign, and prioritizes your rights far below your monetary worth, then you may not have a hard time believing that the government, marching in lockstep with the military and security industrial complexes, sold you out long ago. So what does Seven Days in May have to do with the military/security-industrial complex, government grants for training exercises and terrorism preparedness, and military drills staged to look like the real thing? Instead of an answer, let’s try another series of questions. How do you get a nation to docilely accept a police state? How do you persuade a populace to accept metal detectors and pat downs in their schools, bag searches in their train stations, tanks and military weaponry used by their small town police forces,
surveillance cameras in their traffic lights, police strip searches on their public roads, unwarranted blood draws at drunk driving checkpoints, whole body scanners in their airports, and government agents monitoring their communications? Try to ram such a state of affairs down their throats, and you might find yourself with a rebellion on your hands. Instead, you bombard them with constant color-coded alerts, terrorize them with shootings and bomb threats in malls, schools, and sports arenas, desensitize them with a steady diet of police violence, and sell the whole package to them as being for their best interests. And when leaders like John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lennon come about who not only dare to challenge you by championing peace over war but actually manage to get people to pay attention, you carry out surveillance on them, intimidate them, threaten them, and eventually do away with them, knowing full well that few will rise up to take their place. Likewise, when individuals like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, lacking followers or name recognition, rise up and shine a spotlight on your misdeeds, you label them traitors, isolate them from their friends and loved ones, and make an example of them: this is what happens to those who challenge the police state.
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