Corrupt Government

Recently, the Pakistani army has ousted the Pakistani government and is suggesting that the president and other officials were hopelessly corrupt and were subduing the democractic nature of Pakistan. They also seem to be suggesting that the president was leaking defense secrets.

Now, suppose that the Pentagon discovers that the president of the USA and other officials are severely corrupt to a degree that they were undermining the democractic process of the USA. Furthermore, the president was leaking defense secrets to the USA’s enemies.

Would you support the army removing the government and then restarting the democractic process anew? Or do you feel that this is tantamount to stating the the army has ultimate political power in the US and hence even under those circumstances the government should only be removed by the will of the people (i.e. a recall and vote)?

What more could you expect from somebody who lets people kick him to the head?

In the above situation, wouldn’t an armed coup be the only way?..I mean if they have suborned the democratic process, then a recall vote wouldn’t do much good since they’d arrange to have the vote turn out the way they wanted…

I haven’t lost my mind, I have a tape backup around somewhere.

Are we suggesting that Bush Sr. should have been impeached for “letting” the Chinese into Los Alamos? Or Clinton for “letting” them stay there?


There was a near parallel to this: the Secretary of Defense at the time Watergate came to a climax illegally and unconstitutionally but sensibly instructed the Joint Chiefs of Staff that if they received any orders purporting to come from the President, they were to check such orders with him first before carrying them out.

Under our constitution and legal structure he had no legal right to do so. But it was his intent to ensure that any attempted coup by Nixon to stay in power could be averted.

If I recall correctly, members of the armed forces swear to uphold the Constitution. There is no provision in the Constitution for the armed forces taking control because they don’t like what the president is doing. That’s what impeachment is for.

Is the Pakistan Army really “resatarting the democratic process”, or are they merely taking over and putting their generals in charge of the country forever (as has happened with many coups in Central and South America)?

Quick-N-Dirty Aviation: Trading altitude for airspeed since 1992.

Actually, tracer, they may indeed be doing just what they say they are doing. There was considerable discontent in Pakistan with the presidency of the incumbent. While his ouster is likely more related to his attempt to dismiss General Musharraf as head of the military, recent events seem to show that the military isn’t really interested in running things, just in making sure they don’t have their operations interfered with by the civilian government.

Of course, is it really a democracy that they are “restoring” if they have made it clear that they will do whatever the hell they want, and they consider government control to be “interfering”?

A military coup marks the end of democracy in that country. Democracy is supposed to be government by the people, not the head of the armed forces.

J’ai assez vécu pour voir que différence engendre haine.
Henri B. Stendhal

David said:

If that was a response to my Watergate post, we’re not in disagreement. The point to my “illegally and unconstitutionally” line was that any serviceman is required to obey any legal order from his superior officers. At the top, that goes from the commanding officers of the four services to the President (ignoring certain circumstances in which the Joint Chiefs or their Chairman may give valid orders). The Secretary of Defense has is not in the chain of command and has no right to give orders. Nonetheless, he, like the military, is committed to uphold the Constitution (I think under oath, but don’t have certainty on that fine point).

In the crisis atmosphere of Watergate, the point was that the President might give an unconstitutional order and the Secretary placed himself to intervene, despite his not having a “right” under military law to do so, in order to assure that the top command could ensure compliance with the constitution.

Actually, it was a response to the OP.