‘This is really dangerous stuff to start playing with. You cannot normalize extrajudicial action outside the rule of law and believe democracy will hold. Democracies are fragile, even ours.’
Flynn’s words were in direct conflict with the military in the Pentagon and in the Washington DC area, member leaders who have declared a red alert. Why?
Donald Trump still has 27 remaining days on the job. They have had to game out a situation where the president declares martial law. Officers in the Washington DC area, spoke to The Newsweek magazine on the condition of anonymity. One said these conditions are below the White House’s line of sight. They fear a shutdown if found out.
Flynn told Trump he could:
‘[P]roclaim martial law, to seize voting machines, or even to halt Congress from ratifying state elector’s results on January 6.’
A retired flag officer turned defense contractor and mentor said:
‘I’ve been associated with the military for over 40 years and I’ve never seen the discussions that are being had right now, the need for such discussions.’
‘Right now, because of coronavirus the president actually has unprecedented emergency powers, ones that might convince him—particularly if he listens to certain of his supporters—that he has unlimited powers and is above the law.’
Others argued that martial law was the wrong vehicle to “think about the dangers ahead:”
‘Though such a presidential proclamation could flow from his order as commander-in-chief, an essential missing ingredient is the martial side: the involvement and connivance of some cabal of officers who would support the president’s illegal move.’
Former Northern Command (NORTHCOM) commander has been active in domestic civil planning. He said:
‘At this point there’s no telling what the president might do in the next month. Though I’m confident that the uniformed military leadership has their heads screwed on right, the craziness is unprecedented and the possibilities are endless.’
Trump’s former National Security Adviser (NSA) Michael Flynn received one of the first pardons. The next day he was at the White House in a meeting with the president and others. Flynn said:
‘He could take military capabilities and he could… basically rerun an election. The president has to plan for every eventuality because we cannot allow this election and the integrity of our election to go the way it is.”
‘the president could sow ‘mischief, confusion, and even use of military force. It would just not be in the way Trump might intend, particularly if he continues his quest to destabilize the democratic process.’
They ranged from a chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Lt. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson said in an appearance on MSNBC: