The Huffington Post published a plea to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs today to arrest George Bush for "conduct unbecoming" -- essentially, a military coup against the elected government of the United States. Martin Lewis claims that the military can arrest a President while not conducting a coup d'etat by focusing only on his role as Commander in Chief of the military:
General Pace - you have the power to fulfill your responsibility to protect the troops under your command. Indeed you have an obligation to do so.
You can relieve the President of his command.
Not of his Presidency. But of his military role as Commander-In-Chief. ...
In addition to relieving him of his command as Commander-In-Chief, you also have authority to place the President under MILITARY arrest.
Lewis quotes extensively from the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but clearly his scholarship does not extend to the Constitution. The command of the armed forces follows from the president's election to office, and cannot be separated from the office itself. Bush isn't C-in-C because he got appointed to that position, but because the American electorate voted him into that role. In other words, the military cannot arrest the C-in-C but leave the President in power, and to argue otherwise is to demonstrate complete ignorance.
Secondly, the President does not serve at the pleasure of the Joint Chiefs -- and indeed, the military is subservient to the civilian command structure. They do not have arrest authority over the President -- nor over anyone else in the US other than military personnel, as the Posse Comitatus Act stipulates. Civilian oversight keeps the military from seizing power and is a long and vital tradition in this nation. It's what keeps us from becoming a banana republic, run by military strongmen.
Lewis wants to turn America into just that kind of nation. His Bush-hatred runs so deep that he would willingly see the military take control over the federal government just to get rid of him. The Left likes to talk about supposed fascism among conservatives, but the Huffington Post is literally calling for a military coup to reverse an election, not only an un-Constitutional act but also the kind of authoritarian rule they supposedly despise.
Unbelievable. (via Memeorandum)
UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers! No response from the HuffPo yet, although if you read the comments on the post, Martin Lewis is very serious about this. He claims that the military can arrest Bush while leaving his "civilian" powers intact, but again, those civilian powers include command of the military as an indivisible part of his office.
Plenty of other people post at HuffPo, like Governor Bill Richardson, for instance. Does Gov. Richardson endorse his co-blogger's demand for a military coup? Shouldn't he at least go on the record as to what he thinks about it? Will he continue to blog at a site that openly calls for a military coup?
UPDATE, 8/26: After spending all day defending his call, Martin Lewis now says that he was joking all along. McQ at QandO calls this "road apples", and notes the several non-satirical defenses Lewis made in the comments. Lewis says that he wanted to see how upset that right-wing blogs would get. I guess he acknowledges that a military coup wouldn't get the Left upset at all.
It's a crock. Someone finally spelled out what an idiot he is, and now he wants to make everyone think that he was joking. Not only is he an idiot, now he's a coward to boot.