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Pentagon Weighing Up Options in Event of Political Coup D’Etat As Military Rears Head in American Election

Widespread Insurrection Seen As Increasingly Likely As Both Sides Claim Fraud

Alarming reports from the United States suggest that the Pentagon is already considering its response should the 2020 American Election end in an attempted political coup d’état. While Joe Biden and his camp have publicly stated that risk comes from Donald Trump, Trump, in turn, has accused Biden of attempting the same.

Having refused to commit to the potential peaceful transfer of power should he lose the election to the Democrat nominee, Trump has raised the spectre of his declaring the election result void and assuming dictatorial powers. However, the Trump camp will argue that a peaceful transfer can only take place should the contest be fair and honest.

While this would ordinarily seem a reasonable request, most believe that Trump will declare the contest fraudulent no matter what the result. Of course, the Democrats are likely to do the exact same thing. With both sides believing in their righteousness, the potential for open violence on the streets is immense, particularly in the context of the extensive rioting seen throughout the country in 2020. 

It is difficult to not see this eventuality as the culmination of decades of increasingly partisan and extreme politics in a country that is heavily divided.

“Senior leaders at the Pentagon, speaking on the condition of anonymity, acknowledged that they were talking among themselves about what to do if Mr Trump, who will still be president from Election Day to Inauguration Day, invokes the Insurrection Act and tries to send troops into the streets, as he repeatedly threatened to do during the protests against police brutality and systemic racism.”

New York Times

While Trump is famed for his trolling of opponents both within the political system and amongst the general public, the claims Republicans will seize the election are backed by moves to suppress postal voting and Trump encouraging voters to attempt to vote twice. Equally, betrayal narrative propaganda is already being disseminated through the likes of Fox News that suggests Biden will seize the election with the help of deep-state forces, illusionary communist infiltration and China.

The potential for violence is only heightened by the opposing accusations and propaganda from Joe Biden and the Democrats that Trump will be aided to a potential victory by Russia. These echo the claims made by the DNC following their loss in 2016. 

While much of Trump’s rhetoric stems from his own personal paranoia and the paranoia of the MAGA movement in general, the fact does remain that the CIA and American establishment have, with some ease, rigged elections all over the globe. The current president has a rocky relationship with the FBI and CIA and to whom they would pledge loyalty is a matter of debate. While it might be an inconvenient truth, logic would dictate they would favour Biden.

Biden suggesting that military brass may have to remove Trump by force has only added to the MAGA narrative that the establishment will unfairly oust the incumbent.

The military has rejected the comments from Biden and already publicly stated their neutrality in any issue that arises.

“Those who suggest that the military would have any role in transition, they are being equally irresponsible. The military should have nothing to do with partisan politics and nothing to do even with any talk of a transition between administrations.”

Lt. Gen. HR McMaster

However, neutrality is likely to be tested in the event of widespread violence. An order from Donald Trump to suppress the protests under the Insurrection Act of 1807, an act which would allow the president to enact the deployment of the U.S. military to the streets, would be controversial and likely opposed by military leaders.

“Senior leaders at the Pentagon, speaking on the condition of anonymity, acknowledged that they were talking among themselves about what to do if Mr Trump, who will still be president from Election Day to Inauguration Day, invokes the Insurrection Act and tries to send troops into the streets, as he repeatedly threatened to do during the protests against police brutality and systemic racism.”

New York Times

Despite the claims to neutrality, many are already agitating for a military response to the election result. Last month retired officers John Nagl and Paul Yingling wrote an open letter to Milley saying that “you may have to choose between defying a lawless president or betraying your constitutional oath… If Donald Trump refuses to leave office at the expiration of his constitutional term, the U.S. military must remove him by force, and you must give that order.”

Meanwhile, the links between many others in the U.S. military and far-right groups and beliefs has long been noted, raising the question of whether the rank and file would follow orders to act against Trump.

“The Constitution and laws of the U.S. and the states establish procedures for carrying out elections, and for resolving disputes over the outcome of elections … I do not see the U.S. military as part of this process”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley

No matter the result, Donald Trump will remain as President until January 20, 2021, through what is likely to be a catastrophic second wave of the COVID-19 coronavirus and unprecedented political violence. Article II of the American Constitution makes it clear that the president “shall hold his office for the term of four years”. Meanwhile, the Twentieth Amendment states that both the president’s and vice president’s terms “shall end at noon on January 20… and the terms of their successors shall then begin.”

In the event of allegations of fraud, the FBI and security services would likely be tasked with undertaking an investigation into the claims by Congress, with the ultimate decision coming down to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court currently only has 8 of 9 justices following the death of Ruth Bader-Ginsburg last week. Yesterday, Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the role as he attempts to push through the third judge of his Presidency. Should Barrett be confirmed to the Supreme Court before the election, conservatives would have a 6-3 voting majority.

While American politics is a divisive, partisan and emotive issue, both sides must look at what transpires in November objectively. The possibility exists that both sides are preparing underhand tactics to upset the other, and the longer these “betrayal narratives” exist regarding fraud and both Russia and China, the higher the potential for violence. The spectre of the American military becoming involved is one that should set alarm bells ringing on both sides of the political divide. There can be little doubt that no matter what the official result might be, the United States is about to enter one of the most turbulent periods in its recent domestic history.

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