Will the US be under martial law by June, 2004? That is the impression some are expressing after witnessing a recent episode of Nightline (4/7/2004), with Ted Koppel. On this particular program Koppel is host to Richard Clarke, former Reagan officials Edwin Meese III and Kenneth M. Duberstein; former Clinton official Sally Katzen, author James Mann, and former Bush official Richard Clarke. The subject matter is named The Armageddon Plan.
Because many US citizens hold favorable views of Richard Clarke he was playing a key role. His affability enables him to convey the dark plans of the Bush Regime to critical observers without alarming the unconcious masses. On this program Clarke was on to inform elite audiences that they better get used to the idea the Bush Regime will sponsor a cataclysmic event in order to plunge the US under martial law.
Richard Clarke is already a legend in the world of propaganda. So far the Bush Regime has parlayed his "defection" from them with great success. As Karl Rove probably surmised, The Left Gatekeepers (e.g., Democracy Now! and Counterpunch, etc.) have been only very eager to treat Clarke's mild disagreements with the Bush Regime as their outer limit of permissible dialogue. With the liberal US media regarding Clarke's thesis that the Bush Regime was merely negligent about 9-11 as if it were the only idea possible the White House sailed through the 9-11 Commission/Coverup proceedings.
Now that the 9-11 Commission/Coverup has been safely wrapped for the Bush Regime the mainstream media is now giving some focus to James Mann's curiously-timed book (Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet, Viking Press, 2004)). Vulcans concerns the efforts of present and past White House officials to establish a set of procedures for the highest-levels of government to follow should a catastrophic attack occur on US soil.
(Note that Nightline has dropped the moniker Rise of the Vulcans for the more Regime-friendly The Armageddon Plan. The latter conveys a greater sense of a Regime reacting to a stimulus, not being the source of it.)
The segment began with congenial chatter between the past and present government officials. As if he is hosting a dinner party Koppel smoothly has his guests reminisce fondly about past drills performed by high-level government officials to test their emergency preparedness. Koppel then imagines an attack that decimates the US Congress. They break for a timely commercial. After the break Koppel immediately launches into the key part of their script: "... aren't [we] left for at least the foreseeable future with some sort of martial law anyway?"
Duberstein agrees with Koppel, adding "You have to suspend rights."