On the risks of a military coup, see
David Ignatius, “Until Biden’s win is certified, the U.S. remains vulnerable, Washinbgton Post, December 26, 2020 (4:51 p.m. EST)/
The following article was written before the Observer saw the above article by David Ignatius. Worth noting is the fact that we are both tracking key developments closely and share similar concerns.
Sometimes things are so blazingly obvious, right in front of you, that you can’t see them.
The massive explosion is Nashville on Christmas morning has all the earmarks of an attack on critical communications infrastructure. It appears to have been part of a highly sophisticated plot aimed at taking out a major AT&T communications and re-transmission facility. The blast has disrupted communications in Tennessee and neighboring states.
Derek Hawkins, “After Nashville blast, Tennessee governor asks Trump for emergency disaster declaration,” Washington Post, December 26, 2020 (12:20 a.m.EST).
The Republican governor of Tennessee quickly asked for federal assistance.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Saturday asked President Trump for federal assistance in response to the Christmas morning explosion in downtown Nashville, saying the damage to businesses and the disruptions in internet and cell service caused by the blast were too severe for the state to handle alone.
…the explosion, which occurred at dawn Friday when a recreational vehicle detonated near an AT&T transmission building on the city’s busy 2nd Avenue, home to a strip of honky-tonk bars and restaurants.
In a letter to Trump, Lee referred to the incident as an “attack” carried out with a “vehicle-born improvised explosive device” and called on the president to issue an emergency disaster declaration, unlocking financial and physical assistance from the federal government.
He said the explosion disrupted AT&T communication networks throughout Tennessee, and caused other interruptions in parts of Kentucky and Alabama, knocking out residential phones, cell phones and service at 20 call centers for 911. Business and government functions were hobbled, and flights were temporarily grounded at Nashville International Airport, Lee said.
The attack could be an element of President Donald Trump’s apparent attempt to carry out a coup d’état in the United States which would overthrow the November 3, 2020 election results and keep him in power.
One can imagine the chaos that would be generated by 20 such explosions, on the same day, with numerous requests from Republican governors, and perhaps others, for Trump to declare a national emergency and send in federal assistance.
We should bear in mind that the United States has been under cyber-attack by Russia for months, and that Russia has probably acquired the capability to shut down key U.S. infrastructure, including telecommunications networks.
Under the President’s secret, classified Emergency Powers, moreover, Trump may himself have “apparent” authority to seize the nation’s communications networks and to shut down the Internet. The authority is “apparent” because the grant of such powers may be unconstitutional, and their use in circumstances other than the type of emergency they were created to meet (e.g., nuclear war) may itself be unconstitutional.
If indeed Trump is testing an element of a coup d’état, the action would fit into a pattern of actions that seem to have been testing one or another element of such an attempted coup.
Trump’s involvement of U.S. military forces in the Lafayette Square incident, when Trump marched across the Square with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in military dress, while federal forces in helicopters hovered over the crowd and assisted in their unlawful dispersal, appears to have constituted one such probe.
Trump’s dispatch of federal forces to Kenosha, Wisconsin may have constituted another. So it would appear did the deployment of federal “officials” under the authority of the Attorney General to Portland, Oregon. And, most disturbingly, the assassination of Michael Reinoehl near Seattle, with the apparent direct involvement of both the President and Attorney General William Barr, may have been testing the ability of the White House and the Justice Department to directly take out targeted individuals.
So, one can imagine a number of Nashville-scale attacks on our communications infrastructure, and Trump trying to take over national communications networks and the Internet through invoking his secret, classified Emergency Powers. And one can imagine Russia assisting in this coup attempt through cyber-attacks and shutting down critical infrastructure.
One can further imagine bomb attacks in Washington, D.C., the announcement by Trump that the government is aware of imminent threats to blow up the Capitol Building, that martial law has been declared, and that, with Trump having imvoked the Insurrection Act, U.S. military troops have been deployed to secure and protect the Congress and other key facilities throughout the country.
Simultaneously, Republican Congressmen and Senators could drag out the tallying by Congress of the Electoral College vote and the formal election of the President, on January 6, 2021, by forcing two-hours of debate in each house on whether or not to accept each challenged elector.
The above imagined scenario paints a picture of what Trump could try to do in the final stages of his attempted coup, and perhaps of what his brilliant and deranged advisers may be urging him to do.
He is crazy. He could do anything.
We should be prepared for anything and everything. After reviewing these dark scenarios, we should be prepared for, and at least not surprised by, anything Trump might try to do.
Just look at the highly improbable and unthinkable things he has already done, like pressuring state election officials not to certify vote results, pressuring governors and state legislators to ignore the popular vote in their state and to designate Trump electors, or ginning up a violent mob of his supporters who have been making death threats against officials who do not bend to his will.
Moreover, the “chaos president” may be stirring up further disorder by blocking passage of the Covid relief and federal funding bill recently approved by Congress.
If he does not sign the bill or simply allows it to expire with the Congress due to a “pocket veto”, civil unrest could ensue as millions of people lose their Covid unemployment benefits and massive evictions of millions of people are taking place.
If, added to the above, a government shutdowm is underway, President Trump may well succeed in creating the kind of chaos which he may believe will aid him in his attempted coup d’état. Or at least the kind of Götterdämmerung he might like to see as the curtain closes on what has been a truly spectacular “reality show”.
We must imagine the unimaginable, in order to ensure that it never happens.
In February 1933, Germans could not imagine that someone (probably Adolf Hitler) would burn down the Reichstag building, or that the Nazis would use that event to sweep the parliamentary elections in early March, or that with their new parliamentary majority they would then pass an Enabling Axt would empower Hitler to establish a dictatorship which would only be overthrown by the victorious Allied Powers in 1945.
But in Germany, one of the most advanced countries in Europe, it happened. The unimaginable actually happened.
Each day between now and January 20, 2021 will be filled with drama.
We must be prepared to remain calm and to take forceful steps to counter each and every one of any Trump maneuvers which may be aimed at seizing and remaining in power after January 20, 2021.
This all seems far-fetched and unlikely. Let us all take precautions to ensure that it remains so.
The Trenchant Observer