This article comes from the Future of Freedom Foundation.
by Jacob G. Hornberger
An interesting aspect of the military coup in Egypt has been the attitude of American mainstream commentators who suggest that unlike Egypt and other countries, the chances of a military coup in the United States are virtually nil. See, for example, “America the Coupless” by Rosa Brooks and “Could a Military Coup Happen in America?” by Paul Greenberg.
Really? What about November 22, 1963?
“Oh, Jacob, don’t be silly. President Kennedy’s assassination couldn’t have been orchestrated by the U.S. national-security state, notwithstanding the overwhelming amount of evidence pointing in that direction, because it’s just inconceivable that such a thing could happen here in our country. That’s just a conspiracy theory. Such things only happen in places like Egypt … or Chile … or Iran … or Guatemala … or South Vietnam and, yes, oftentimes with the support and participation of the U.S. military and the CIA, but such a thing could never happen here in our country.”
Oh, really? So, what you’re saying, Mr. Statist, is that if the democratically elected president of the United States is engaged in policies and actions that are leading to the nation’s destruction, the U.S. national-security state apparatus — i.e., the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA — will simply stand aside and let it happen — despite the fact that the U.S. military and the CIA have supported and even participated in military coups that purportedly save foreign countries from their rulers.
Consider Chile. The Chilean people elect a communist, Salvador Allende, in a democratic election at the height of the Cold War. U.S. officials say that this cannot stand. So, President Nixon orders the CIA to foment a massive economic crisis within the country, much like the economic crisis leading up to the military coup in Egypt. “Make the economy scream” are Nixon’s exact words. The CIA faithfully obeys his orders notwithstanding the fact that the Constitution does not authorize any such action. The Chilean military, with the support of the U.S. national-security state, ousts Allende in a coup and imposes brutal military rule under Army General Augusto Pinochet.
Pinochet’s military-intelligence goons immediately went about arresting Allende’s supporters and suspected communists, jailed them, tortured and raped them, and executed them. To this day, supporters of the coup say that all this was justified to save the country from the mistake that the Chilean electorate had made in electing Allende president.
The U.S. national-security state did its part by helping to execute a young American man named Charles Horman, whose only “crime” was having the same leftist leanings as, say, President Franklin Roosevelt. (See “What Were the Standards for Executing Charles Horman?” by Jacob G. Hornberger.) It was a cold-blooded murder of an innocent American, a murder for which the still-unidentified CIA killers have never been held to account, no doubt because the operation was conducted in the name of “national security,” the two magical words that have played the biggest role in the lives of the American people in our lifetime.
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