by John O. Edwards / NewsMax.com –
( 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 US 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 US 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 US 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.
Franks: ‘Question the Constitution’ and ‘Militarize our Country’
“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 US 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 US 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 US’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.
The following online comments were posted on a website that published this troubling report.
From John McIntosh
(November 21, 2003) — Franks would NEVER say something like this extemporaneously. This is a warning…a trial balloon…a softening-up of the American public for MARTIAL LAW. EXPECT an attack which will be called a ‘WMD terror attack’ against America… and then goodbye civil rights, goodbye due legal process and get ready for Guantanamos all over the US…. There will be mass roundups of people who criticize the government and our ‘free press’ will wither quickly.
From Jerry L. Gardner
I seriously believe a major event designed to instill the fear of God into America will soon take place, and I believe it will be of a major magnitude. This could be the coup de grace that places George Bush exactly where he wants to be — that as America’s first dictator…. A major WMD event would just about seal George Bush as the next president and, with martial law initiated, the wildest dreams of the power hungry would instantly be realized.