Naomi Wolf on the New American Coup
Naomi Wolf is an author and essayist whose works have appeared in The New Republic, Wall Street Journal, Glamour, Ms., Esquire, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. She also speaks widely to groups across the country.
Her first book, The Beauty Myth, was an international bestseller. She followed it with Fire With Fire: The New Female Power and How It Will Change The 21st Century; Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood; Misconceptions, critique of pregnancy and birth in America; The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot; and Give me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries.
Wolf is also co-founder of the Board of The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, an organization devoted to training young women in ethical leadership for the 21st century. She is a graduate of Yale University and completed her graduate work at New College, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.
Question: How has a coup taken place in the United States?
Wolf: So, the dictionary definition of a coup is a sudden change in our form of government. And for 200 years, when America have been protected from the prospect of soldiers policing our streets, our civilian streets by two laws, the 1807 Insurrection Act and the 1879 Posse Comitatus Act and what Bush did is with a signing statement he disregarded limitations Congress set on him and made it possible for him to deploy these troops on the streets. Now, why is this so disturbing? Why do I, why am I using such language designed to get the people’s attention? Because I think it really requires our attention. These are three to four thousand warriors. They were the people who maintain crowd control in [Fallugia]. They are not answerable to Congress. They’re not answerable to the American people. Their only boss is the President of the United States of America. He is the Commander in Chief. So, I was just trying to, kind of think this through and I contacted a source of mine, Major David Antoon, and I asked him and these are questions I asked because I’ve studied closing societies and in closing societies often the leader or the president will send military especially during an election to deed or harass or arrest or worst voters and opposition leaders and I said, “You know, if the president tells the members of the first brigade to arrest civilians, what happens?” And he said they have to do it. And I said, well, if the president tells the first brigade to shoot at civilians, what happens? He said they have to do it and I said, well, if the president, you know, tells First Brigade to arrest Congress, what happens? He said they have to do it. So, you know, is this a worst case scenario? Obviously. Is there a reason that the founding generation made it absolutely clear that we were not to be policed by the military on the streets that we’re not answerable to the people? Yeah, there’s a reason because they understood from their own experience of George III mercenaries intimidating a civilian population. How difficult it is to remain a free people when the leader has its own army basically. So, it’s very, it’s a very serious development and it’s one I think we need to reverse.
By deploying the First Brigade, George Bush effectively created a private army for himself.
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