Jan 8, 2011
Now just seems like a good time to pull this story back out for public rumination.
In 1992 Major General Charles J. Dunlap Jr., then a Lt. Colonel, wrote an article titled The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012. This story was published in Parameters, the military journal of the US Army War College.
In 2003 David Isenberg writes about Dunlap’s story for the Asia Times;
In a plot that was a cross between Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon and the movie The Siege, he depicted an America in which a military coup had taken place in the year 2012, and General Thomas E T Brutus, commander-in-chief of the Unified Armed Forces of the United States, occupies the White House as permanent military plenipotentiary. A senior retired officer of the military is one of those arrested, having been convicted by court-martial for opposing the coup. Prior to his execution, he discusses the origins of the coup, arguing that it was the outgrowth of trends visible as far back as 1992. These trends were the massive diversion of military forces to civilian use, the monolithic unification of the armed forces, and the insularity of the military community.
The US military: A creeping civilian mission, David Isenberg, 2003
In that 2003 article Isenberg also details the weakening of Posse Comitatus that had accelerated after 9 11. The 1980’s saw the introduction of the US military into counter drug operations, in 1997 a high school student was the first civilian to be killed by military forces on US soil since the Nation Guard killed four at Kent State during anti war demonstrations.
Congress gave the Pentagon authority to cooperate with the Justice Department in responding to biological or chemical attacks. Another law gives the president authority in an emergency to use the armed forces to perform work “essential for the preservation of life and property”. Another allows military personnel to assist the Justice Department in collecting intelligence or conducting searches and seizures if “necessary for the immediate protection of human life”. Section 104 of the USA Patriot Act passed last year further authorizes the emergency use of the military in “case of attack with a weapon of mass destruction”. Taken together, all these measures give the president authority to use the military in most conceivable emergency situations. But after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Pentagon picked up extra responsibilities focused on preventing future terrorist attacks on US soil.
Charles J. Dunlap, in a postscript to his 1992 story, The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012, writes that the story was ” intended to dramatize my concern over certain contemporary developments affecting the armed forces, and is emphatically not a prediction.”
The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012
CHARLES J. DUNLAP, JR.
The letter that follows takes us on a darkly imagined excursion into the future. A military coup has taken place in the United States–the year is 2012–and General Thomas E. T. Brutus, Commander-in-Chief of the Unified Armed Forces of the United States, now occupies the White House as permanent Military Plenipotentiary. His position has been ratified by a national referendum, though scattered disorders still prevail and arrests for acts of sedition are underway. A senior retired officer of the Unified Armed Forces, known here simply as Prisoner 222305759, is one of those arrested, having been convicted by court-martial for opposing the coup. Prior to his execution, he is able to smuggle out of prison a letter to an old War College classmate discussing the “Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012.” In it, he argues that the coup was the outgrowth of trends visible as far back as 1992. These trends were the massive diversion of military forces to civilian uses, the monolithic unification of the armed forces, and the insularity of the military community. His letter survives and is here presented verbatim.
It goes without saying (I hope) that the coup scenario above is purely a literary device intended to dramatize my concern over certain contemporary developments affecting the armed forces, and is emphatically not a prediction. — The Author
Read the entire story here