Bracken: What I Saw At The Coup

Short-fuse fiction by Matt Bracken intended to spread alarm among progressives, in the spirit of dispiriting them from ever attempting such a mad folly in order to cling to power. Matt Bracken is the author of the Enemies Foreign And Domestic trilogy, and Castigo Cay.


This is the first time in many years that I have put pen to paper for a lengthy letter, so please forgive my misspellings, poor handwriting or any other errors. I will probably do this in one go and be finished with it. I won’t need much of this new notebook. It’s a nice room, desk and chair, but really, no computer? I just wish they would stop the hammering outside. I need to focus in order to write well.

No one person could possibly expect to know the full truth about such a complex history, so near to its time. But I know what I know, saw what I saw, and heard what I heard. Now it’s time to set the record straight, at least about what transpired between some of the key players in the lead up to the recent events.

What I have heard called “the plan” began as idle office chat, nothing more. (Of course, not much chat is ever truly idle at the very highest levels of power, between senior presidential advisors.) The first time I heard it mentioned was over lunch with Dennis in the White House Mess, down in the basement next to the situation room. We were at a quiet corner table of the wood-paneled dining room, tossing ideas for the next talking points back and forth. Routine.

One of right-wing hate radio’s loudest and most poisonous voices was conducting an embarrassing public feud with our press secretary. The President had trapped himself in a seeming contradiction. The video and audio were both damning, and one must admit, very funny—if one’s goal was to make the President look and sound like a liar and a fool. The Youtube videos were getting millions of hits; the TV comics were not letting it go. We had been knocked completely off message, the optics were horrible, and our favorability ratings were collapsing at a crucial moment. (It seems like an ice-age ago when such trivialities actually mattered to me.)

I said something offhandedly to Dennis. “I just wish we could get rid of those bastards, once and for all.”

He stared at me for a long time, chewing on his second BLT sandwich until the Navy steward retreated from range, and then he said, “Actually, Jacinda, there is sort of a plan for that.”

“What do you mean, ‘a plan for that’?”

He explained that it was nothing formal, and there was nothing in writing. Nor would there ever be. It was just a concept he had come up with, along with a few other trusted colleagues and advisors. An idea. They had gamed out various scenarios. We could solve our problems with molding public opinion if we removed just a few dozen key right-wing opinion makers. That was the exact word he used, “removed.” That was last spring, and I put it off as a harmless thought experiment. I didn’t hear anything more about it for several months.

Then one day after another media talking points session in the mess, Dennis said, “Remember the plan we were talking about? You know, we really could do it.”

“Are you serious?”

“The timing would have to be just right. Mainly, it would depend on external events.”

Remembering the numbers from our earlier conversation, I told him that removing a few dozen of the worst reactionaries wouldn’t change anything. Other fast-talking right wingers would just take their places. Except they would be angrier than ever.

“Not dozens.” He paused. “Around two thousand, actually.”

The new number shocked me. “That’s not possible.”

“No, it’s very possible. We’ve studied it from every angle.”

Clearly, he knew more about a plan than he was letting on. Nobody was closer to the President than the two of us and his wife, and I had heard nothing from the boss, not even a hint. “You’re making this up. You’re not serious. Is it a joke, or a test? I wasn’t born yesterday.” I had to be careful. This was dangerous territory, when any spoken word could be recorded almost anywhere. Trust in a man like Dennis was a very slender reed upon which to cling.

“No, I’m very serious,” he said. “Here’s how we came up with two thousand. I was given a copy of a new law enforcement software program, one that Justice had for testing and evaluation. A refinement of the social networking analysis stuff. Data-mining, all of that. We put it on a clean computer, adjusted it for our own parameters, and made the list. We tried it at different levels from ten up to ten thousand. The optimal number for the greatest effect with the least initial disruption came in at about two thousand.”

I shook my head and said, “Dennis, it’s crazy to even talk about it.”

He continued with what, I saw later, was a canned pitch. “Do you want everything we’ve worked for to be lost? What if it came to striking boldly, or losing all of the progress we’ve made over the last fifty or a hundred years?”

I sidestepped. “You know as well as I do that boldness isn’t the President’s forte.”

“Well, you could help stiffen his backbone.”

“We could both be facing prison time just for talking like this.”

“Not as long as we’re in power. You know how I know? Operation Fast and Furious. At least four hundred dead and there was no blowback that we couldn’t handle. Our media stuck right with us all the way through. For me, that was the final test. We can do almost anything if we get the timing right, and most of the media stays with us.”

I replied, “But those were Mexicans. And not two thousand.”

“It doesn’t matter. I have the majority leader on a leash. I could drag him around the White House on all-fours if I wanted to. We have nothing to fear coming out of the House. Without the majority leader, Congress can’t do anything but hold hearings that the media won’t cover.”

“But he hammers us every day in the press…”

“Of course he does, he has to maintain credibility with his base. But it’s pure bluster. Trust me—I own him when it counts.”

In the right company (particularly mine, since we go back so far), Dennis liked to brag about the political enemies he held under the control of blackmail. It was a measure of his power, and whom else could he tell? You could count the people he trusted on one hand, perhaps two. One way or the other, all the dirtiest secrets wound up in his hands. Some said it was a mafia thing. Or the unions. Or the red net that had helped us at critical junctures most of our lives. There were advantages to growing up in the second or third generation of the movement. Certain doors opened before us at critical junctures.

Dennis’s knack for finding the hidden scandals almost seemed occult-like. After the big national health care decision, he showed me compromising “men’s health club” photos of the younger chief justice and his pals. Dennis just couldn’t resist the irony and had to share it with me, but that was a rare case of candor about his methods.

So I wondered what he had on the majority leader, that holier-than-thou redneck prick. Was he kinky, greedy, or both? Had Dennis’s minions discovered ancient history long buried, or had they lured him into some new honey trap? It didn’t matter, and I didn’t really care. But it did explain why the Congress could never seem to move past first base on Fast and Furious, even with so many dead.

But I still wasn’t ready to believe he was serious. I said, “Four hundred dead Mexicans are not the same as two thousand dead Americans.”

“It depends on what’s going on at the time. We would need a thick smokescreen, that’s for sure. Lots of background noise. The right emergency.” He lowered his voice and said, “Anyway, they wouldn’t necessarily be ‘dead.’ Technically, they’d just be ‘missing’.”

We held long eye contact across the table. He needed to clean his eyeglasses, but didn’t seem to mind the smudges. I said, “The Iran thing could blow sky-high any day. And Egypt, and Syria…”

“Exactly. And that kind of an emergency might lead to all sorts of opportunities.” He smiled, and gazed at me.

After another long silence I asked, “Does this plan have a name?”

“There’s no name.”

I asked him, “How many people know about this … idea?”

“Just a few, but that doesn’t matter. It’s designed to be self-reinforcing, once it gets kicked off. A positive feedback loop. Unstoppable.”

“The President?”

The smile again. A cocked eyebrow. Dennis was as slippery as an eel. A charming eel, when he wanted to be. “He knows that bold action might be called for. We’ve spoken about it for years, in a hypothetical sense, using historical precedents. But I know from those discussions that he’ll back the plan, once the parts fall into place.”

I said, “The military wouldn’t stand for it, not two thousand.”

“The military won’t be in the loop—this will all be handled at the federal agency level. The AG is fully aboard, and so are his directors. They’re facing federal prison time if the majority leader is replaced. Once he’s gone, we’ll be totally exposed on that end. So it’ll happen soon, or never. Let’s just say that forces are in motion and leave it at that.”

“So … what do you want from me?”

“I just want you to influence the President and his wife favorably when the time comes. You know what to say to them. ‘Sometimes in the life of a revolution, hard decisions must be taken. Cross the Rubicon and cement the gains of history, or get washed out to sea and be forgotten.’ You know what to tell them. But what about you? Jacinda, when the time comes, can we count on you?”

My mind was in turmoil. I was being asked to engage in a conspiracy. Perhaps this was a setup, and my answers were being recorded for another piece of Dennis’s trademark blackmail. Yet to refuse Dennis could also be dangerous. I decided to sound favorable yet remain noncommittal. “I understand history as well as you do. Sometimes dreadful actions are called for during a revolution, I know that. But I won’t support a fool’s crusade that goes off half-cocked and damns us all as traitors.”

He nodded, and smiled again. “That’s good enough.”

The war broke out a few weeks later.

I am referring to the cruel and insane but necessary war with Iran.

As necessary for them, as for us. The Iranian missile strikes were followed by the Israeli bombing raids. Or perhaps it was the other way around, the timeline depending on which news network you believe. When is a pre-emptive strike self defense, and when is it aggression? I will leave it for future historians. The simple fact is that within a few days cities were burning from Cairo to Islamabad, while at home we were struggling against Iranian terror cells and cyber sabotage, and an anthrax attack that had crippled our mail and package services. The dirty bombs in Houston and Long Beach were overrated initially, but they stopped port operations around the country for weeks. It all added up to a lot of hurt on the home front.

Basic electrical service, phone service, the internet, and our entire digitally managed infrastructure went haywire while the stuxnet-like viruses were continuously fed into our own digital bloodstream. Trains derailed and all of the planes had to be grounded; everybody knows what happened. Many thought the Russians and Chinese were using the opportunity to add to our misery. In any event, Dennis was right: there was plenty of smoke and noise available to conceal the arrests of two thousand reactionary opinion makers. Men, most of them, who spent nearly every waking moment busily stamping out every little spark of popular democracy, social justice, or true human progress.

The internet was shut down for a week, and was erratic and unreliable after that. Most of the arrests happened during that early period of maximum confusion and fear. Those on the secret arrest list were isolated from communication by the total sabotage of their digital lives. They could not make cell phone calls or send texts, or use the internet in any fashion. They could not find one effective portal to untangle their wrecked virtual lives. Pay phones and land lines were all they had left, when they were working. In the total confusion and disorder of that week, it was understandable that many people might have suffered complete digital blackouts. We were all on uncharted ground, so almost anything was possible. Like the genuine beginning of the Iran war, it could never exactly be sorted out until long after it mattered. Dennis was a genius about that part of the plan.

Down in the secret federal law enforcement fusion centers, our thousands of social network warriors swung into action as the internet was brought back on line—but this time on our own timing, and on our own terms. Questions about missing right-wingers were deflected by our internet imposters with rumors about embezzled funds, foreign girlfriends, car accidents, distant vacations, non-existent medical emergencies and other stalling tactics. It would take a long while for a true count of the missing to be made, and by then it wouldn’t matter.

Like I said, Dennis was a genius. At first he gave me a daily update, in private. Later, more of us met in the situation room. If Dennis wasn’t the leader, I wouldn’t know who was. I never met a new member of the circle unless Dennis was there to make the connection. What I mean is that I already knew them; I just didn’t know that they were in on the plan, until Dennis brought us together. And I never spoke to any of them about it when Dennis wasn’t there with us. Naturally, not a word about the plan was ever written down.

Most of the original two thousand on the arrest list were picked up in the first week. In fact, in their desperation to reconnect, they sent out their precise locations with every attempted cell phone call, text, tweet, email or credit card use, making them easy to find. The FBI and other federal agencies were already on a war-footing tracking down the Iranian and other foreign terror cells, and they didn’t question the odd Americans arrested among the rest.

Anyway, ninety-five percent of the people on the list were basically nobodies, and they were rarely missed. It’s funny how social network analysis works—it’s not the famous people, it’s the important people. People behind the famous names. The critical nodes. Bloggers in the basement that nobody had heard of. SNA found them all, and plucked them from obscurity.

Only proven-loyal teams of agents were used to arrest the handful of well-known people on the list. The warrants were prepared by tried and true federal attorneys, and signed off by trusted judges. Dennis did not only make a secret list of enemies to arrest—he also prepared a list of key personnel we could depend on to run the dodgy paperwork through the federal law enforcement system with no hassles. Mostly they used “National Security Letters” instead of regular warrants, because then no questions were asked. Dennis and his little circle had mastered the architecture. It was seamless, and for the most part it went like clockwork, especially at the beginning.

Once each of the arrested was “tagged and bagged,” the normal federal prison bureaucracy handled them like so many UPS or Fed-Ex packages. After the domestic terrorism label was slapped onto their files, special prisoner handling rules applied, mandating their seclusion. Gagged and hooded, if need be. Unlawful enemy combatants, foreign or domestic, could be held incommunicado. It was already in the law. The legal machinery existed; it just needed to be switched on. I give Dennis all the credit for grasping the enormous potential.

In the confusion during the Middle East war and the domestic terror attacks, including the cyber attacks, it took several weeks for reports about the missing Americans to grow into rumors of a possible purge of political enemies. Our own thousands of internet cyber warriors tamped down the rumors with continuing obfuscations. Many of them had been burrowing into the virtual world for years under multiple false screen names, building trust and credibility to expend during just such an emergency.

The most effective of the right-wing muckrakers chatting about purges and political arrests were digitally sabotaged and lined up for the next wave of arrests. Once they were isolated they could get in a car and drive, but only as far as the cash in their wallets would carry them. None of their cards, phones or other wireless devices worked. This kept them close to home, and made them easy to arrest.

For the first few weeks, the internal war conducted by our security services was going as well for us as the external war was going badly for our armed forces. The President had to struggle to keep his facial expressions under control in his rare on-camera appearances: I knew that secretly, he was as pleased as any of us that so many American warships, fighter planes and bombers would no longer be available to menace the globe. So in truth, at about one month into it, we were actually winning on both fronts, from our special point of view.

For the most part, our friendly media outlets continued to use our talking points, staying on board with all aspects of the gloriously jingoistic war effort—including the war against all forms of domestic terrorism. Even the right-wing talk radio hosts were cautious about making wild accusations against the government while our heroic armed forces were busy being decimated thousands of miles away.

Crazy black-helicopter talk about a secret political purge was kept beyond the acceptable fringe of polite news network mention during the first month of patriotic fervor that surrounded the war. Our army of social network warriors did a masterful job of remessaging any mention of a “purge” as delusional. No respectable news network or reputable website would touch such rumors. (Some of the most rabid of the bloggers promoting the purge rumors were, in fact, our own cyber commandos, working to discredit truthful reports through bizarre and outrageous exaggeration.)

After a month, though, the missiles and planes had seemingly run out on all sides, and a new stalemate was reached across the Middle East. The fog of war began to lift, and a clearer picture began to emerge that we could no longer keep completely hidden from sight. It was not plausible that so many right-wing opinion makers were suddenly unavailable for comment. They could not have all had heart attacks, or fled to Panama, or gone on vacation in New Zealand, or into hiding.

Some of the hate radio hosts began to fan the flames with crazy rumors that really weren’t so crazy, not to us. When they were taken off the air through a variety of means (but mainly for violating the “fomenting domestic terrorism” laws), the right wing nut jobs went absolutely mad with fury. The accusations about a secret purge continued. The plan was being laid out for all to see, even while it was being officially denied at every level, and was never reported on at all by our cooperating media networks and other friendly outlets.

And then the shooting started.

At a month and a half or so, it sometimes seemed that the plan was in danger of falling apart. I asked Dennis about it in private, but he appeared unworried. “It’s all part of the action-reaction calculus. It was all taken into account. We needed them to react. We’re in the second phase. We smoked them out into the open with phase one, and now we can go get them. Why do you think we bought billions of bullets for the DHS? Why do you think we paid for SWAT teams and armored cars in every Podunk town in America? We’ve been getting ready for this moment for years.”

“You knew this would happen? A civil war?”

He said, “It’s not a civil war—it’s a police action against criminals and domestic terrorists. But don’t worry: we’re ready. Now that they’re shooting at us, we can take the gloves off. The first two thousand arrests were just priming the pump. This phase will let us finish the job once and for all. Think about it: even now, nobody knows what happened to the first two thousand, or even that there were two thousand. In a month, nobody will remember if they were arrested before the shooting started, or after.”

“So, what did happen to the first two thousand? Can you at least tell me that?”

He shook his head, slowly. “Jacinda, you don’t need to know. But they won’t be coming back. They won’t be seen again. At least that much is for sure.”

So they were dead. That didn’t upset me. Hundreds of thousands had died since the missiles had flown, most of them in the Middle East. For some reason I was thinking of the Polish officers in the Katyn Forest. Twenty-thousand military officers and many other members of the Polish intelligentsia had been killed in 1940 after the Red Army invaded Eastern Poland. The Soviets had blamed the mass-killings on the Nazis for decades, until the fall of the USSR in 1990 when the truth was finally admitted. So, naturally, I had a question. “Will they ever be found?”

“No, this time it’s sealed airtight. They’ll never be found.”

I heard later, from Larry, that the two thousand were taken in unmarked vans to a brand-new “bureau of prisons transfer site” in Kansas or Oklahoma, or somewhere else out in flyover country. The site consisted of some fenced-in buildings near an old airstrip. Vans and small airplanes arrived one at a time. As each van or plane arrived, the prisoners were signed over by the US Marshals or other federal agents to a small waiting detachment that, on paper, was from the TSA.

It was an ad-hoc unit made up of men pre-selected for their special aptitudes and proclivities. One of the benefits of SNA is that it permits you to find and bring together any personality types that you need for special missions—even unquestioning executioners. According to Larry it was staffed entirely by violent street gang members with a promise of parole, pardons, and citizenship—but he has been known to embellish a story with his own lurid details.

After the Marshals departed, instead of being transferred elsewhere, the manacled arrestees were marched around a corner, stood against a wall, and shot. Their bodies were then burned in an on-site incinerator. According to Larry, one vanload at a time is how you get rid of two thousand die-hard reactionaries. The “transfer facility” was then bulldozed, and each person with knowledge of the site was himself transferred to distant and remote federal installations, where their single voices in the wilderness would never be heard, or believed. Then a rapid process of attrition would begin, with the individuals comprising the former group of executioners suffering a statistically improbable number of heart attacks, fast-acting cancer, accidents and other plausible reasons for their rapid demise.

I have heard other rumors about the final disposition of the two thousand, and I’m not sure which one is true, but that was the version told to me by Larry. I was never really a part of his circle with Dennis. I only sat in on a few meetings. If there is any truth to his story, it will probably come out eventually. But if I know Dennis, the bones of the two thousand will never be found.

Toward the end of the second month, against all odds, it seemed like the plan was working. Our federal agents were making record numbers of arrests for new acts of bona-fide domestic terrorism, and of course, for “fomenting domestic terrorism” in the media and on the internet. We still had most of the friendly media on our side lamenting the outbreak of right-wing terror against the government. As long as most of the media continued reporting our version of reality, we could keep pushing the right-wing extremists to exhaustion and eventual submission.

Ah, blessed silence, the hammering and sawing outside has stopped. I flex and shake my hands, limbering up my sore wrist and fingers. Flipping back through this spiral notebook, I count a dozen freshly-filled pages. I have not done so much handwriting in one go since blue-book exams at the university, and that was decades ago.

Back to my story. The first real jolt indicating a serious problem with the plan came when television reporter Cathy Carlsen was killed in Norfolk, shot dead while covering the commissioning of the Harvey Milk, the Navy’s newest destroyer. That she was killed was bad enough. That it happened on a “secure” naval base—a federal installation—made it much worse. Her blood splattered across the Admirals’ white uniforms made quite a picture. The videos…

We were two women born in the same year, with similar academic backgrounds. We had known each other for decades, and her untimely death hit me hard. Cathy Carlsen had been a reliable voice on the progressive side of a supposedly impartial television news network. That a respected member of the media would be assassinated was big surprise, at least to me. Up to that point, only a few federal officials and high-ranking agents had been targeted.

Then a new photo was released on the internet. I had always thought the NSA could trace those things back to their origins, but apparently not. The photo was taken through the Norfolk sniper’s rifle scope just a few moments before the murder. It showed thin black crosshairs and other reference marks across Cathy’s smiling face. And it showed some text added just above her head:

If the media lies, the media dies.
You take a side, you’re along for the ride.
A traitor in front of a camera is still just a traitor.

This single act of domestic terrorism immediately dampened the enthusiasm of most of our formerly reliable reporters to continue to carry our water. More such photographs of other media figures appeared on the internet with crosshairs over their faces. Most of the pictures were bogus, just photoshop pranks, but they had a similar effect: our dependably cooperative reporters suddenly lost their nerve. The comments following the photos on the remaining right-wing web forums were perhaps the most frightening aspect. It was obvious that plenty of Americans were willing to voice their support for the assassinations of their enemies in both the media and the government. It became a game for them to walk up to the “fomenting domestic terrorism” line with carefully parsed words, and this glutted our SNA fusion centers with background noise.

For another week or two it seemed that we were playing catch-up with new bloggers who appeared each morning like overnight mushrooms. In spite of all of the new restrictions and tracking tools, every day anonymously sourced articles concerning the purge were posted on what remained of the internet. It was obvious that some of the stories were coming from federal law enforcement whistle-blowers. Dennis said that if the internet rumor-mongers and the last of the hate radio hosts could be silenced, the plan could still be fought to a win. But the leaks were not plugged. Instead, they worsened.

The final outcome hinged on a simple equation based of the availability or non-availability of enough federal agents to make fresh rounds of arrests each day, crushing domestic terrorists and their internet supporters faster than they could proliferate. New arrests were being made, but still the assassinations of government officials and media figures continued to escalate. One a day. Five a day. Ten. Twenty. Some officials were killed by their very own bodyguards or aides, who then disappeared. The words “civil war” were being tossed around on both sides.

Even though the total number of murdered government officials was insignificant as a percentage of their total numbers, far too many of them reacted hysterically out of personal fear. Practically the entire Senior Executive Service demanded protection teams of federal agents to personally bodyguard them twenty-four hours a day. Soon there were no agents available to stamp out the internet insurrection with new arrests, much less somehow interdict a single domestic terrorist on a private sniper mission. Instead, all of the armed federal agents were kept occupied guarding terrified government leaders.

And that was the downfall of the plan: it just came down to numbers, manpower, and, perhaps, agent morale. I’ve seen reports that at least a third of the federal agents went on sick leave vacation, after word of the original two thousand political arrests began to spread within their ranks.

The ferocity of the counter-attack took us all by surprise.

Even Dennis. The original arrest list, derived from cutting-edge SNA, was a great success as far as it went, especially in spurring the rest of his “action-reaction calculations.” It sure provoked a reaction, anyway. But at a level that none of us ever anticipated or even dreamed possible.

Dennis had always assumed that the combined might of our armed federal agents and their SWAT Teams, reinforced with local police and, if necessary, the National Guard or even the Army, could crush any conceivable right-wing reaction to his plan. But social network analysis couldn’t find snipers who were not part of any network. That’s when we began to hear of “The Militia of One.” In the end there were too many rifles, and too many willing shooters. A number that was constantly heard was twenty million. That was the number of Americans who supposedly went deer hunting every year, against less than 200,000 armed federal agents.

Local police evaporated from the equation once the going got tough. The most common sentiment heard expressed was, “You feds made your bed, so now sleep on it.” The National Guard, those units not already deployed overseas, proved hopelessly slow and cumbersome. That is, the few who reported for duty when called up.

While top federal officials hid inside buildings, a new and unanticipated escalation of the sniper war emerged. When no one of high rank was available to shoot, their outermost rings of security were targeted, even down to lowly GS-5s standing perimeter duty. Suddenly, competent and trustworthy guards were very hard to find.

On the remaining internet the threats multiplied as pictures and videos were shared and commented upon by millions. “Remember your oath” was a common theme. That whole tired shtick about “defending the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic,” with a heavy emphasis on domestic. All of that reactionary claptrap. Who knew that so many of them took that oath so damned seriously? Who knew? Mere words on paper, and yet, so many Americans were willing to kill and to die for them. Who knew?

The snipers grew ever more brazen and their numbers multiplied daily. They were emboldened by accounts of the murders of federal officials that were splashed across what was left of the internet, no matter how we tried to control and contain it. They freely posted comments such as, “You can take away our rights, but we still get to vote under Rule 308,” (which I have since learned refers to a popular rifle caliber). The shooters understood the critical manpower equation as well as we did. We were out-gunned a hundred to one by snipers we could neither see nor find, and they knew it.

Right-wing media dutifully passed along all of the latest terrorist manifestos.

“Anonymous sources within the so-called ‘liberty movement’ are now demanding that highway checkpoints searching for weapons be disbanded immediately. These sources state that any federal agents, military or police stopping vehicles and searching them for firearms will be considered traitors and could be shot.”

Our jaws dropped in the situation room when we heard that demand relayed on FOX. There was talk in the room of arresting the entire management and all of the remaining on-air personalities and so-called reporters at that rogue network. Actually, it became a screaming match. The final decision was up to the President. He needed time to think it over, and went upstairs.

Thereafter, FOX News led each fresh report with a graphic announcing the discovery of a “Communist putsch against the Constitution.” Oh, how I hate that ugly German word! Not revolution, not even coup d’etat, but putsch! What an unfair description of a sincere attempt to solidify the forward march of history, right in the heart of capitalist imperialism! In time, “the putsch” became the name that stuck to Dennis’s original plan. Even on MSNBC, where they at least called it “the so-called Communist putsch.”

I knew it was finished when I was driving up I-95 from Virginia into the city at dawn. From a long way off I saw the two bodies hanging from the overpass. Northbound rush-hour traffic was crawling, so I had a long time to look. I was driving my mother’s Acura, wearing a blond wig and big sunglasses. There was no security in recognizable security anymore. A convoy of black full-size SUVs was liable to become a bullet magnet on any highway around DC. I was safer in the white Acura, but feeling very, very alone.

Their ropes were tied to the guard rail above their heads. They were clothed, thankfully, and hooded. Black military-style fatigue uniforms, and bare feet. Their swollen hands were bound behind their backs. The two bodies were slowly twisting without any visible movement to recover them. This told me the bridge might be under a sniper’s observation, holding the police at bay while keeping the corpses in view of thousands of Washington’s morning commuters, half of them federal employees. A chill feeling, being in range of a right-wing sniper. A white bed sheet hanging between the two bodies was marked with black spray-painted lettering.

Every fed must decide:
Liberty, or Tyranny?
Death to all traitors!

I got off at the Quantico exit, looped back and went home. Never returned to my office in the West Wing, never saw the White House again. I was picked up three weeks later by a team from the FBI, while I was staying at my mother’s place outside of Charlottesville. Since then I’ve been under house arrest, and lately held in a series of rooms and cells. The rules seem to change daily, but at least I have not been physically brutalized. Instead, my guards seem to revel in reactionary notions of chivalry, pointedly calling me “ma’am,” and asking about my comfort. Pen and paper and a better pillow they are happy to provide. I hate them all the more for their sexist bourgeois manners.

As would be expected following such calamitous events, the political world has turned quite upside-down. When it reconvened in emergency session, Congress was a very different animal, and in a mood for bloody revenge. Somehow, the greater war deaths and the deaths from the secret purge and the counter-revolution were blended together, and we were blamed for all of them.

The backlash to our efforts saw many of our progressive friends in the Congress retire immediately, and their replacements, mostly appointed by governors, were uniformly reactionaries. The opposition party majority leader that Dennis had formerly dangled on a string was one of the many who swiftly departed the scene. More than half of the Supreme Court disappeared for reasons of age or health. Two had died, some said of “Breitbart’s Syndrome.” Our old protections were swept away.

And now America has slid back into worshipping the dusty old parchment. In their reading of the Holy Constitution, the Senate and Supreme Court make the rules and conduct the trials, and swift trials they were. Guilty of high treason, conspiracy to commit genocide, and a dozen other charges. Guilty on all counts. What else could we expect? We took the bold action, grabbed for the brass ring of history, and we missed it. Where no mercy is given, none should be expected.

I’ve seen Dennis but have not been able to speak to him in private. Once we were left alone in a small conference room, but both of us were convinced the room was bugged and under video observation, so we just talked about the food and our involuntary accommodations and such.

While being escorted in the hallway I have heard Larry talking in his cell to somebody, a priest or a lawyer perhaps. He always seems to speak in a snivel. But he’s not the worst of them. Many of my former colleagues have clearly been eager to spill their pitiful guts and minimize their participation in the plan, hoping that Dennis will take the brunt of the lynch mob’s fury. But I knew that was a foolish hope: there was fury enough for all of us. So I kept my silence, until now, when it can no longer affect my own outcome.

Now I write for posterity alone.

I rise from the table and stretch. To see out through the high window in my room, I must climb up on the desk. If anybody is watching me on hidden cameras, they don’t seem to care that I am sneaking looks out through the narrow window. I am on the second floor of whatever building I am in, so I must look down a bit to get a view of the source of the hammering and sawing in the paved courtyard where they used to take me for exercise.

The gallows structure seems to be complete. There are four square holes under a single beam. Workers are screwing down some hardware for traps not yet installed. The grim work of execution will be done in two shifts, on consecutive mornings. I shall outlive Dennis by twenty-four hours. At times like this, I almost wish I believed in an afterlife, like those fools deluded by the opiate of religion. The only afterlife I shall achieve is what I am writing on the pages of this spiral notebook, and they will be cold comfort in the ground. To come so far, to get so close, and then to be consigned to oblivion—it just seems so damned unfair, after three generations of dedicated struggle.

(To be tried, convicted, hanged and buried as a traitor concerns me not at all, considering the illegitimate, even farcical nature of the kangaroo court that condemned us.)

I was scarcely involved in the plan, and then only passively. I gave no orders; I conducted no illegal arrests or executions. In truth, I did little or nothing to influence the President one way or the other before the fact. But I knew of the plan, and for that, I will be hanged in two days time as one of the secondary conspirators. There will be no clemency coming from the “Acting President,” or the new “Provisional Supreme Court.”

A few days ago Dennis smiled at me when we passed in a corridor in our matching gray jumpsuits. He was wearing leg and waist shackles, in addition to handcuffs like mine. He must have been giving them hell to merit the chains, and I felt a little ashamed of my meekness in captivity. Despite all that has happened, I am proud of him for that smile and his thrown-back shoulders, a warrior for the cause to the very last. He was, in the end, the single man who was bold enough to initiate decisive action. The failure was not his.

No, it was the President, the man in whom we invested our very lives, the ultimate standard-bearer of the global forces of progress; it was he alone who let us down at the crucial moment. He vetoed the last plan to arrest the remaining right-wing media voices and shut down their vile hate networks. He failed us when we needed him the most.

Air Force One landed in South America while I was being arrested. As the world has seen, the blue and white 747 now sits empty on a tarmac at a remote Argentinean air base near the Andes, disabled and unflyable. The President has gone with the wind, and he is still a relatively young man, nearly a decade younger than me.

I have no doubt that he will eventually turn up somewhere in the developing world, someplace tropical and near the ocean, a land where the call of the muezzin is heard at sunset. A place where he will be admired for striking many hard blows at the Great Satan.

Coming home, the almost-conquering hero, while we face the hangman. It’s just so unfair that the fascist reactionaries will inherit America, and undo the work of generations to advance the human condition.

Other than the final outcome, I would not change a single thing that we have done.

Hasta la victoria siempre!
Up the revolution, forever!

Jacinda Hamden
Former Presidential advisor

Author’s Note: This essay and last week’s “When The Music Stops—How Our Cities May Explode In Violence” were both written in response to the article published on July 25, 2012 in the semi-official Small Wars Journal titled “Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A Vision of the Future.”

My twin essays represent starkly different “visions of the future” that would-be tyrants, their hopeful henchmen and other self-deluded nimrods may want to consider, before ordering the U.S. military or federal agencies to suppress Americans.

106 responses to “Bracken: What I Saw At The Coup

  1. Thanks, Matt.

  2. Epic. I will spread the word with every outlet I have available.

  3. Super fun story! I’ll have to buy this guy’s books.

    Other than calling Fox News “that rogue network” (quite a laughable concept), that was a great read.

    Hopefully we’ll have the guts to start shooting when the time comes.

    • Semper Fi, 0321

      Therein lies the problem with amerika. If you’re not for Obama, you’re drinking the Faux News Kool-aid. Truly sad.

      • The Faux-News Kool-aid has the virtue of generations of doctors commending its healthfulness. It’s a bit diluted from the original recipe, but there’s still enough vitamins and minerals in it to build strong citizens. That other stuff causes political diabetes and atherosclerosis and cancer!

        • Semper Fi, 0321

          As long as it’s endorsed by the AMA, you’ll keep drinking it, right?
          And it’s healthier than diet varieties. Good for you.
          I’ll abstain from all of it myself. Makes for a healthier mind.

  4. It is rather interesting that the truth was just officially released about U.S. knowledge and suppression of the intelligence and information of who really committed the Katyn massacre, only to have that massacre be the inspiration for this story today, very interesting indeed! Serendipity at work…or something else?

  5. Disciple of Night

    This concludes what I like to call Bracken’s Firestorm. Well done, sir.

  6. Bravo Matt,
    Chilling AND awe inspiring in it’s detail. And like your trilogy all too possible.

    One technical note, you don’t give the Libertarian/ Militia Groups enough credit. The PTB would not get “months” to round people up. Many of us are linked on multiple levels by face to face channels. The word would get out much sooner than that. And our reaction would be commensurate with the threat. In my opinion the shooting would start on DAY TWO.

    Great job Brother, stay safe.

    Montani Semper Liberi.

    • I’m not so sure about the shooting starting on day two. It doesn’t matter who’s pResident – red or blue – its all the same – it’s the feds with their globalist/corporatist agenda that they BOTH follow to the detriment of everyday Americans. The red/blue thing keeps you seperated. not all liberals are mung bean tofu eating anti gun freaks and not all conservatives are knuckle dragging rednecks god freaks . . .but that is how the PTB have you thinking, so you are divided, so you dont find common ground. I hope the shooting starts on the second day but individually, your average defender of the Constitution, after work (if he has a job!!), sitting in his home, waiting for his tea to be cooked, waiting to watch tonights Game of the Day, comfortable, Its not going to be easy to get guys and girls like this away from the keyboard war (which seems to largely be fought against your political foes on the right or left and not the PTB that sit above everything.) and into an actual shooting war. I envisage a more individualised responce, froom the ptb much like they are doing to the vets at present. Off to the psych ward and no more guns for you. . . small, steps -picking you off singelly – no big fuss.

      That said, I liked the story – it was great, well thought out, especially his feeling on how the feds scenario will start to unravel. Off line off phone non electronic communications will be critical in any fightback against any gun grab (which I think will be their first move) and for what ever follows

  7. Can’t wait to see the reaction of the other side. Will their heads explode or will they finally understand? We’ll see. Excellent work once again, Matt.

    • “…will they finally understand?…”

      Don’t count on it.

      Instead, they will call for the, “Do it again, only HARDER!” mantra, meaning that they will attempt to pass more of this insipid, “hate speech,” drivel.

      Don’t worry, as our host has pointed out repeatedly, this Police State mechanism is almost fully in place now.

      Interesting times.

  8. Pingback: Matthew Bracken: What I Saw At The Coup | NCRenegade

  9. Very good writing, Matt! Well done.

  10. Pingback: But first… who ARE the terrorists? | Battlefield USA

  11. Pankcakes for Breakfast

    Who says this fiction?
    I call it crystal ballin.

  12. Pingback: Matthew Bracken: What I Saw At The Coup….Western Rifle Shooters Association | Randy's Right III

  13. Pingback: A must read before the next Civil War | Uncle Tom's Diary

  14. Brilliant and captive!

  15. ..”local police evaporated from the equation”… I don’t think that’s gonna happen.

  16. Thanks for the “days of future past” story. Swift execution of the guilty is really the best for everyone. SuperMAX is the most cruel and inhuman thing, since no one has any hope of ever getting out.

    Washington DC, and to a certain extent all levels of American governance, is like an infestation in a warm humid travel trailer full of spilled pet food. Rats and roaches become the dominant life form for as long as it take to eat up the available food, then they eat each other. The only way to take care of the problem is to cut off the food, seal the openings and pump it full of poison for a while. Come back in MOPP4 to air out and sweep the dried husks up for disposal. Be more careful with spilled vermin food in the future, and you might want to spread some gravel under there to make it less attractive.


  17. Bracken….you put the reality of current domestic events and characters into a ficticious tale. A tale as foreboding as the reality facing Americans today.

    Thanks for this essay and the preceding one. I appreciate your well-written insight.

    “There Are Enemies Amongst Us”

  18. Matt, I know you wrote this as a warning to them, but they will not get it. They will never get it… Until they GET IT, like Jacinda does in the end.

    Crooks, control freaks and sociopaths never do understand fair warnings. They do not understand courtesy, compassion, nor subtlety. They understand when their bones are being broken. And what they understand that that point is, “Oh! I can’t get away with this particular thing, right now…”

    We must recognize that they are at War with us. We mistakenly assign motives of “benevolent but misguided” to them. We must throw off the wool and see them for what they truly are. Crooks, control freaks and sociopaths are evil.

  19. Before the comment tidal wave gets to big I would just like to thank you C.A. and Mr. Bracken.

    Gratefully Yours,

    Superior nuisance, Happy D.

  20. I love alternate endings. Makes you believe history can be rewritten
    in advance.
    They have already started to write their version with the foreshadowing
    of the Tea Party, war vets, conservatives in general. The war game scenario in Small Wars Journal was simply one of their wet dreams.

  21. Mt Top Patriot

    Waco rules for sure. Ain’t worth a bucket of warm spit whether Mr. Bracken’s tale is true or a work of fiction. This line of tyranny has been crossed, repeatedly, long ago, the only Rubicon remaining to be crossed is how far, on what scale, are these tyrants willing to go to retain power?

  22. No mention of drones, which would be the fly in the ointment for the .308 voters. An oberservation, not a criticism. When it finally does go down I hope the architects of the putsch get theirs on nationwide TV.

  23. We must be as determined to be free as “they” are determined to control us. Great job Matt. Absolutely great job!

  24. Pingback: Bracken: What I Saw At The Coup

  25. Milo Mindbender

    Truly an excellent ride, more faction than fiction. If they only knew we have a clue as to what they think of us they wouldn’t be so quick to take a smug look down their pointy noses. I see this as a viable scenario better than the “small arms journal” and believe that something like this is more possible then TPTB would be comfortable with admitting. Sheer numbers would almost dictate a sweep by our side as long as we found a rallying cry, and it wouldn’t take months, let the roundups become known and it would stop almost as soon as the cartridge box replaced the ballot box and voting under “special rule 308” started.
    Most LEO, and military would not go along with round ups, DHS, TSA, and the aphabet soup crowds seem to be rercruiting an amoral group, with thuggish power tripper’s getting their first taste of the whiphand, and unfortunatly liking it.

  26. Excellent! Passing far and wide.

  27. indyjonesouthere

    Great “article” or I should say two great “articles” over the past week. I suspect it is largely a matter of when and not if. The Bill Ayers of the marxist order, the new world order of the third way ruling elite, and the dregs of the free shit army will likely stumble into this shit rather than run a functional game plan. Our economy, and the world economy as well, will have to crash and burn before it can rebuild….and this will be, as Rahm said, an opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted. There is too much debt for a recovery from our current stagnant, corporatist, free shit economy. So keep prepping to remain free of government and fema when the shtf. And keep track of the Davids and Jacintas that are in every community and all that infrastructure they depend on to rule your life. And remember, a good counterregime campaign can free your community of tyrants, henchmen, and nimrods when they decide to march on liberty.

  28. They say there is 20 million deer hunters in America.
    Wrong!!! There are 43 million deer hunters in America.
    How many vets don’t go deer hunting, but take their Oaths very seriously?
    I don’t believe there will be 43 million on our side, but I think 20 million maybe a little low. Not all will be shooters, but no army fights with just the men pulling the triggers.

  29. Thanks, Matt Bracken, now I can lie awake a few more nights, instead of sleeping. CA, do you ever get the feeling that Bracken is creeping around at night, like Nosferatu? If he ain’t doing it physically, he’s got it down technically. His writings make me feel like I’m on the the express elevator to Hell, going down.

  30. Stunningly good, and a cause for hope.
    Thanks, Matt!

  31. Great read.
    Nothing of great substance to add here, but Jacinda Hamden is an anagram “Maniac Hadj End,” and “Dance Jihad Man,” among others. Just saying. 🙂

  32. alan w. mullenax

    As much as I appreciate Bracken for his ability to divine an absolutely plausible future, I condemn my fellow countrymen for allowing it to happen.

  33. Mr Bracken’s books are on the edge prescient and informative.

    Much recommended. In order.

  34. I fear there is more accuracy in your novelette than there is in any news or official anno0uncement we have heard in many years.. I can only hope the response of the right would not take so long to solidify.. we should use this to set our own “red line in the sand” just because it should exist.
    Quisling scum and traitors abound.

    Yank lll

  35. The truth is that they have been doing most of this for years. Thanks will spread the word.
    In Liberty!

  36. Freedom of Two feet

    Just sent a e-mail to my cousin,now she’s gonna know I’m “one of them”.

  37. JustARandomGuy

    I hate to be the lone fly in the ointment here, but as much as I hope a situation like this would jolt people awake, I also realize it would be all to easy for it to be re-written the other way around.
    The outcome is plausible if this went down today- but tommorrow? A couple years down the road? Who can know where people’s mindset will be, let alone whether or not they will posess the means of resistance.
    The people that plan to implement this sort of scenario are not stupid, and I’m sure will have accounted for a possible outcome like this if/when they ever reach for that brass ring. Public opinion will continue to moulded until then, rights will continue to be stolen out from under our noses. Until the majority will not need the media to convince them of the evils of the people commiting such heinous acts of terrorism against their wise and benevolent government- they will already believe it for themselves, oaths be damned.
    Anyway, now that I’ve raised moral to a fever pitch I’ll quite while I’m ahead.

    • JustARandomGuy said “Until the majority will not need the media to convince them of the evils of the people commiting such heinous acts of terrorism against their wise and benevolent government- they will already believe it for themselves, oaths be damned.”

      You mean like this guy:

  38. I think I understand the moral of the story.
    “There’s more of us than them, so when the shooting starts you better hurry or you’ll miss out.”

    • ROFL! Joe, i was thinking along those lines during my drive to work today, telling myself there’s no way in hell I’m going to miss out on this one.

  39. JARG-
    “I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace.”
    -Thomas Payne

    • alan w. mullenax

      Trouble is already here. As of the moment, no response. But it is here.

      • alan- agreed. it’s here.
        and… { crickets }

        Matt’s tale suggests how bad it has to get before enough are willing to act.

        I think ‘the sooner the better’. A generation or two is too long. More will remain if it’s sooner, rather than later.

  40. Battlefield USA

    Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. (It is then that they will pull out their flags, cry USA USA USA, and demand revenge.) It works the same in any country.

    Will the people truly catch on? Will the people finally wake up and realize they have been duped all these years? Or will predictive programming still be the order of the day? The created pretense for another catalyst is just around the corner. Will the people be just as predictive as they were in the last catalyst? Will your demonetization be crafted and cemented just as well by your government as those they have demonized in the past?

    All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked.

    And there we were. And here we are. And imagine where we will be.

    The new… Boo.

    • Ya know, Curtis, you are a one trick pony, and it’s wearing thin.

      Man up or STFU.

      It’s not hopeless unless you (can get us all to) agree that it is.

      Just because the shooting hasn’t started yet doesn’t mean it won’t succeed when it does. Start, I mean.

      I’m sick unto death with the endless, redundant, incessant, repetitious mantra of hopelessness.

      Boo! yer own scared self.

      • Battlefield USA

        No one said it was hopeless. But maybe you should man up yourself and face reality. Now, you may be the bravest, meanest SOB on the planet ready to get yer freedom back at any moment, any time now, this morning, tomorrow, one day… in a blaze of glory… but most people aren’t. But, you are always thinking that I am talking to you personally… no doubt I am… in your mind. You need to WTFU. You think all those dimbocrat and repukocrat followers are going to wake one day and help you get yer liberty back? Stupid shit. You are not even going to get your liberty back. Stop procrastinating… I think we can… I think we can… I think we can…

        Oh shit! Yer ready to beat me up!

        I think we can… I think we can…

        Yep. Here we are. And tomorrow? I think we can…

        • Battlefield your attitude really disgusts me. In the end it does not matter how bad the odds are against us. It matters not at all. What matters is that we do the right thing.

          If I happen to die in this fight, remember me in your station in life as a slave. Not only you, but all of your prodigy that will also live lives as slaves. Remember that I will not regret for one second my decision to do what is right regardless of the outcome.

          “If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope for victory, because it is better to parish than to live as slaves.” ~ Winston Churchill

          • Battlefield USA

            I fail to understand why some of you holy righteous warrior patriots are so so so sooooo upset. I just pointed out the obvious. And ooh, look at that! Inalienable Wright quoted Winston Churchill! Ahhhhhh… that is so cute! You know how many times in 30 years I have seen “patriots” such as yourself quote that? Literally HUNDREDS.

            Your positive free wheeling attitude is not going to get you squat. I dare you to read the quote there that I have seen hundreds of times quoted by your likes… AND ACT ON IT.

            No? When? Yesterday? Nope, been there. Today? Here we are. Tomorrow? Imagine where we will be. – Winston Churchill (Short version)

            Frankly… you missed my point. And your ego got in the way. Don’t over inflate yourself importance.

            • “And your ego got in the way. Don’t over inflate yourself importance.”

              Spit it out already, willya? WHO’S more important to you than you, and those you choose to love?

              Here’s a shocker for you, Curtis. Between the two presentations in this sub-thread, I think YOU have the facts right. It’s the conclusions that need a little work. So stop dodging the question—WHO’S more important?

      • Semper Fi, 0321

        I’m with Curtis on this one.
        Many of us are too defeatist and hopeless for your liking, you get pissed because you think you can take on the whole world with your “positive” attitude which the rest of us don’t seem to have. Fine, go for it. Reality is gonna smack you down real hard and fast. Overconfidence has killed way more than just you.
        Tough way to learn that you have limitations, but it seems to be the only way for some.

        • “I’m with Curtis on this one.”


          So… your defeatism and hopelessness makes you superior thinkers? More realistic? Less likely to be “smacked down real hard and fast” by “reality” as you foresee it?

          And will you, somehow, be less dead than those of us who would rather face the same “reality” with hope for a better outcome?

          Attitudes and expectations determine your actions and results.

          No one believes that we will prevail without loss. But, if you don’t believe you can prevail… you won’t.

          Curtis’ every post and comment is nothing but a repetition of the overwhelming inevitability of defeat. He, and those who share his terminal view, could best benefit whatever Liberty movement there may be by shutting the fuck up. We are not fools in need of schooling by the likes of Chicken Little.


          “And here we are. And imagine where we will be.”

          “No? When? Yesterday? Nope, been there. Today? Here we are. Tomorrow? Imagine where we will be.”

          One. Trick. Pony.

          “You are not even going to get your liberty back.”

          Then what’s the point? Why do you bother flog/blogging your one and only point? If defeat, the establishment of irreversible tyranny and the death of every patriot and lover of Liberty is inevitable, as your lurid and semi literate rants routinely proclaim…

          What are you trying to accomplish? The only logical conclusion is that you seek the result you are predicting. Self importance? Pot. Kettle. Black.

          That makes you the enemy or his tool, whether willful or unknowing.

          And, last:

          “Stupid shit.”

          Another spittle flecked tantrum, your typical response when someone disagrees with you.

          Don’t overestimate your (sic) “selfimportance.”

          • “Curtis’ every post and comment is nothing but a repetition of the overwhelming inevitability of defeat.”

            I don’t read him that way. He himself wrote, “No one said it was hopeless.” I take his point to be, “Actions speak much, much louder than words,” which of course is valid.

            Perhaps the most serious problem is that we’re ALL “tools of the enemy” in one way or another. That’s how this happened, after all. We WANT not to be, sure, but it’s like a giant cauldron that we’re stuck in, like it or not.

            I don’t know the answer, but I know it’ll be something different. If there’s ever been a time to think outside the box, this is it.

  41. JustARandomGuy this sounds like you….grow a pair.

    “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom–go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” ~ Samuel Adams

    • JustARandomGuy

      Well Sir, I think you may have misread what I said. Let me try and explain;

      What I meant was, “When I look round, and see how few of the numbers who talked so largely of death and honor are around me, and that those who are here are those from whom it was least expected…I am lost in wonder and surprise…Your noisy sons of liberty are, I find, the quietest in the field…An engagement, or even the expectation of one, gives a wonderful insight into character.”
      Joseph Reed, 1776

      I don’t mean this as a case of me looking down my nose at people who I think are ball-less talkers (God know, I may end up one myself), but what I mean to say is I am damn tired of all the chest beating morons who think that purely because we have the weight of numbers a victory will be guaranteed. I am damn tired of all the morons who can’t wait to ‘pop some of ‘dem blue helmets’, and I am also growing extremely weary of all the folk who think that when a day such as the article described comes, they will magically turn into some elite invisible ninja sniper, able to pop out for a quick assassination, and be back home for dinner, when they can’t shoot past 50 yards, let alone zero their damn sights, or because they “hunt” once a year.
      I think anyone who has actually given a similar situation some honest thought will realize there’s a bit more to it than most people think.
      Hearts and minds- we can’t even get our own minds together now when there’s NO shooting going on- hell, forget how the country should be run for a moment, we can’t even decide on whether we should allowed to own certain types of firearms and bullets. If we can’t even be united on a simple, obvious, and straightfoward topic like that on what one can OWN, what makes people think that multiple millions of people will all unanimously decide it’s time to actually get up and USE the items they can’t agree upon?
      Also, I seriously doubt hanging people from a bridge, regardless of their actions, is going to win you any minds. This is not Mexico.
      I don’t mean to go off on a preaching tangent, but you know what I mean.

      Do not get me wrong- I am NOT saying an outcome such as the article suggests in unattainable. I truly hope, as I said in my original post, that we will take the needed actions to defeat these evil people if/when the time comes.
      At the same time, if that day ever comes and you grab your rifle and go out to fight, don’t be surprised when you look to your left and your right and see nobody there to stand with you.

      Well that got long…. sorry.

      Also, as an aside, I don’t mean to undermine Brackens work- I actually own his E,F&D series and thoroughly enjoyed them. I Just think this particular article was a little off, compared to the books.

  42. Thanks for your work and the insight contained in this piece. I hope this chills the souls of a few statists out there. Marxism is a disease that can only be cured by a last breath. You point that out beautifully at the end of your story. No remorse, no self-recrimination, no self-doubt on her part. Just “Up the revolution, forever”. Imagine her surprise when, after the trap drops, she finds that she will not “rest in peace”, forever.

  43. As we have seen with the neo-cons, commies are, like pedophiles, unreformable. Once a commie, always a commie. They evil through and through.

    • Not true.
      I was indoctrinated quite heavily in my youth.
      I used to think that global government was the only solution to the world’s problems. I used to think that Communism only failed in the USSR because the U.S. sabotaged their ecomony.
      Then I stumbled onto LATOC (life after the oil and from there migrated to Survivalblog and much later to here.
      Many years later, a husband and father to two, I’m ready to go to jail or to the wall for the liberty of my children and grandchildren (though I’d rather fight and live to tell my story).

      Contrary to myth, people DO change.

  44. A well meaning critique (see note 1):

    Why did you go with the false premise that there is a true left/right divide among the politicians? Hell, most of the “right” are socialist/globalist scum that don’t give a crap about the Constitution (Just look at their voting records —> see what Robert Welch has to say about them). —- And the next false premise — Right wing radio (see note 2)! They are nothing but a Republican “establishment” protection racket, a mafia of sorts ( They simply don’t give a crap about the Constitution either. If so, right-wing radio would have gone on an education campaign over twenty years ago. They would have been telling forgotten history, having experts on discussing the Constitution from a Jeffersonian perspective, promoting what the second amendment is really for, and EXPOSING all fraudulent conservatives. If that were the case a real Tea Party would have been started back in the 90’s. BUT NO they just tell us what we want to hear (democrat bad, republican good), then lead us right off the cliff and give us more quasi-marxists like Bush, McCain, Romney, and Ryan. (See note 5)

    If you would have chosen a left/right marxist conspiracy theme that included major “Right-wing” leadership I could have gotten behind it (especially if you would have made Reince Priebus the marxist mastermind. LoL!). But acting as if all Right wing politicians and radio give a flying crap about freedom made me nauseous(see note 4). IMO, the Right wing radio cartel would have been the FIRST to yell “DOMESTIC TERRORIST, bring out the nukes!!!” Ha Ha….

    Other than that it was great. 🙂

    Note 1: I have read your EFD trilogy, Castigo Cay is next. (See note 3)

    Note 2: The only non-compromised conservative radio host that I know of is Mike Church. Of the BIG names, NONE of them have conservatives best interest at heart. Most of them are frauds or are just plain stupid. Glenn Beck is slowly coming around – I think, I hope. I could be wrong. He has made some enormous leaps towards freedom since 2008. But he still hasn’t started exposing the right. When he starts doing that I’ll know that he is serious.

    Note3: Consider this a healthy critique that will improve your writing. Unless of course you are writing down to your audience. Most of which are trapped in the left/right paradigm having no clue that the “right-wing” media are playing them like a deck of cards.

    Note 4: As a percentage there are more Leftists that despise individual freedom than conservatives.

    Note 5 Compare and contrast the ten planks of the Communist manifesto with the Republican leadership’s voting records.

    • Correct. There is no Left/Right. That’s all smoke and mirrors to keep the hoi-polloi up in arms about this or that while they’re getting royally screwed. When I hear people talk about “conservatives” I have to laugh out loud. As a former Reaganite I can attest that I have no desire to “conserve” the thieving and lying that has gone on for over three decades of my voting life.

  45. It seems like a good number of you do not recognize the undeniable fact that both parties have implemented all 10 planks of the communist manifesto and support it as there is nothing contrary to this in either of their platforms.

  46. Great article. However, the author misses something pretty big. Once things start to go awry for “the putsch”, the regime will starting binging in foreign troops and KBR/Xe (Blackwater) mercenaries…

  47. OK, this may be the best take away from all of the comments thus far:

    “Marxism is a disease that can only be cured by a last breath.”

    Salute to Dr. Thorne!

    Keep your powder dry,
    Atlas Shrug

  48. Pingback: Bracken: When The Music Stops – How America’s Cities May Explode In Violence | Western Rifle Shooters Association