"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:
> First, who's "they"? Who's "the military"? The officers? The generals and
> admirals? The privates? High-level bureaucrats in the DoD? Second, "the
> military" is not a political force in this country. The Department of Defense
> has so little clout, in a nation where budgets are determined by nothing else,
> that the army is deteriorating.
Yes, I was specifically referring to the high-level bureaucrats in the DoD and higher ranking officers and their immediate underlings. Obviously, the middle ranking officers would have to go along with the program in order for Martial Law to remain effective. The infantry are irrelevant - for the most part they will do what they're told. If there *is* dissension within the middle ranks, then Martial Law has an increased chance of disintegrating.
> The various elements in the military don't have a cohesive interest group
> enough to have its own agenda.
>From what I hear there is in fact an interest group within the military ranks -
which has its own underground magazine devoted to these types of issues. But that is only rumor.
> "The military" hasn't "long sought" _anything_. It simply isn't a power
> bloc; it doesn't have the power, and it isn't a bloc.
I have to disagree with you here on the simple grounds that power is only real at the end of a gun. You can write as many laws as you want, but they are useless unless backed by the barrel of a gun. Which in our current state of affairs, is the firepower of police, BATF, FBI, DEA, and local SWAT. Eliminate those groups and are laws become silly scribblings on paper in some far way fantasy land called Washington D.C.
The President, Congress, CIA, NSA and what have you may dictate policy and courses of action to the Joint Chiefs, yet it is military force itself that actually makes a particular policy fatal to those unfortunate enough to be declared "enemy". Martial Law by its very definition changes the roles of power drastically - usually interpreted as a suspension of the constitution and all its guarantees - that includes representational democracy (i.e. Congresspeople are declared irrelevant). Besides, if the situation becomes as chaotic as I have portrayed, what does it matter who gives the orders - the CIA, NSA, joint chiefs, president Clinton, VP GORE or some other high ranking set of officials? The end result is the same - Martial Law - suspension of the constitution enforced by the superior firepower of US military weaponry.