Thursday, January 11, 2007

Scary Times

I can only remember one time that felt like this: when Nixon was in the last weeks of his Presidency, and people -- including the then-Secretary of Defense-- got worried that Nixon might try to start a war to distract the country from his troubles, or even stage some sort of coup. People in DC even began to speculate as to what military forces could be assembled as a counterweight in the event that Nixon, rumored to be drunk and unstable, chose to subvert the Constitution.

According to reports published after Nixon resigned, Defense Secretary James Schlesinger even went as far to tell some of the highest-ranking military officers to inform him if any 'extraordinary orders' went out from the White House and to refrain from carrying out any orders which came from the White House outside the normal military channels.
This meshes well with that interview I quoted yesterday with Chris Hedges, talking about how suddenly the status quo can disintegrate. People don't really appreciate how close America came to something much, much worse than Watergate already was.

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