There is no such thing as a conspiracy — until there is one

On that bright late winter morning in 44 B.C., Gaius Julius Caesar (who looked a lot like Louis Calhern) probably didn't have an inkling that while he was finishing his latte and Pop-Tart that a group of concerned Roman citizens, including one he considered a friend (a carbon copy of James Mason), were gunning (knifing?) for him, or that by sunset, despite the sage advice of his wife and a soothsayer in the street, he would end up resembling a human pin cushion.

More fortunate for him (but unfortunately for the world), on a warm summer day in A.D. 1944, the Führer of Germany (a David Bamber lookalike) who already had more than just an inkling that quite a few concerned German citizens were looking to terminate his disastrous control of their homeland with extreme prejudice, is blissfully unaware that one of his staff officers (the spitting image of Tom Cruise) planned to plant a bomb right under his nose.  Only dumb luck would spare the dictator's worthless life.

Then there is the American president (a replica of Fredric March), who, in a fictional 1974 A.D., discovers almost too late that the Joint Chiefs of Staff, concerned Americans all, are secretly coordinating a coup d'état, a military takeover aimed at saving the nation from the actions of what they perceive as a weak executive knuckling under to the enemy.

Man!  You can learn a lot about high-level political conspiracies from Hollywood movies.

All of the foregoing brings us in a very roundabout way to a recently released 22-page document that could have been written by a Hollywood screenwriter (and who knows, perhaps it was) — but, unlike those fictional conspiracy films, there is obviously a deadly serious intent behind it.  Entitled "Preventing a Disrupted Presidential Election and Transition" and dated August 3, 2020, it is attributed to the "Transition Integrity Project" (TIP), whatever or whoever that is.  To judge from its contents and characteristic language (e.g., "white supremacist and extremist networks"; "steadily undermined core norms of democracy and the rule of law and embraced numerous corrupt and authoritarian practices"), though, we find it easy to conclude the TIP would be associated with the Jackass Party — or BLM, Antifa, CNN, MSNBC, or any lamestream alphabetical media outlet — even the Communist Party USA; it's hard to tell actually, since they all seem to talk the same way.

The controlling idea behind "Preventing a Disrupted Presidential Election and Transition" is nothing short of a detailed contingency plan pretending to be a war game for a coup d'état in the United States if the 2020 elections turn out in a way that the authors clearly deem unacceptable.  The "Executive Summary" basically outlines the paper's intent:

In June 2020 the Transition Integrity Project (TIP) convened a bipartisan group of over 100 current and former senior government and campaign leaders and other experts in a series of 2020 election crisis scenario planning exercises.  The results of all four table-top exercises were alarming.  We assess with a high degree of likelihood that November's elections will be marked by a chaotic legal and political landscape.  We also assess that the President Trump is likely to contest the result by both legal and extra-legal means, in an attempt to hold onto power.  Recent events, including the President's own unwillingness to commit to abiding by the results of the election, the Attorney General's embrace of the President's groundless electoral fraud claims, and the unprecedented deployment of federal agents to put down leftwing protests, underscore the extreme lengths to which President Trump may be willing to go in order to stay in office.

Permeating the document is a consistent mistrust of the president's intentions, invariably assuming that he will not abide by his constitutional duty to step down should he lose the election.  According to this paper, Seven Days in May (the one with Fredric March) might have missed the mark:

Of particular concern is how the military would respond in the context of uncertain election results.  Here recent evidence offers some reassurance, but it is inconclusive.

In what respect does "recent evidence" offer "some reassurance"?  It doesn't say.  To their credit, the war-gamers do consider the possibility of a Seven Days in May scenario playing out; in light of how politicized the Joint Chiefs have become in recent decades under both Elephant and Jackass administrations, the prospect of a banana republic–style coup should never be dismissed out of hand.  Through various media outlets the Jackasses, in particular, have been lobbying the big military brass to "think about" their constitutional obligations should the next presidential election hangfire.  You don't need an interpreter to understand what "think about" implies.

Continuing its litany of things that "concern" the paper's authors is the power at any president's disposal:

Of particular concern are the President's ability to federalize the national guard; to deploy the military domestically; to launch investigations into opponents and to freeze their assets; and even to control communication in the name of national security.

We agree: That much power shouldn't be available to any one person, although constitutionally speaking much of it isn't.  By not condemning it, though, the authors give tacit approval of those powers, with the inescapable implication that they wouldn't mind having their own candidate pushing such levers of authority for their benefit when he (or she) takes charge.

Moreover, nothing short of spectacular Stalinesque public show trials featuring government officials promising to be good little boys and girls would satisfy these particular concerned citizens:

Congressional leaders should conduct oversight hearings, set clear expectations ahead of time about the conduct of the election, and seek advance assurances from the military and agency heads about their plans and conduct.

The bottom line: By adopting a "these are just what-if table-top scenarios" posture, the paper cleverly generates enough plausible deniability to allow the authors -- quite unlike the Roman citizens, the German conspirators, and the Joint Chiefs in those films above -- to escape being condemned for conspiring to commit treason against the state, should such an accusation ever be leveled at them (which is unlikely).  Nevertheless, anybody with more than a couple of brain cells would probably be disinclined to accept their disclaimer at face value:

The purpose of this report is not to frighten, but to spur all stakeholders to action.

Just who, we feel compelled to ask, are those "stakeholders"?  And what sort of "action" will they be spurred to?  But fear not; after all, it's just a game.

"Preventing a Disrupted Presidential Election and Transition" is something rarely seen in public, a serious blueprint for political revolution unabashedly put on display by the conspirators themselves, no matter what they might say otherwise.

Image credit: Pixabay public domain.

On that bright late winter morning in 44 B.C., Gaius Julius Caesar (who looked a lot like Louis Calhern) probably didn't have an inkling that while he was finishing his latte and Pop-Tart that a group of concerned Roman citizens, including one he considered a friend (a carbon copy of James Mason), were gunning (knifing?) for him, or that by sunset, despite the sage advice of his wife and a soothsayer in the street, he would end up resembling a human pin cushion.

More fortunate for him (but unfortunately for the world), on a warm summer day in A.D. 1944, the Führer of Germany (a David Bamber lookalike) who already had more than just an inkling that quite a few concerned German citizens were looking to terminate his disastrous control of their homeland with extreme prejudice, is blissfully unaware that one of his staff officers (the spitting image of Tom Cruise) planned to plant a bomb right under his nose.  Only dumb luck would spare the dictator's worthless life.

Then there is the American president (a replica of Fredric March), who, in a fictional 1974 A.D., discovers almost too late that the Joint Chiefs of Staff, concerned Americans all, are secretly coordinating a coup d'état, a military takeover aimed at saving the nation from the actions of what they perceive as a weak executive knuckling under to the enemy.

Man!  You can learn a lot about high-level political conspiracies from Hollywood movies.

All of the foregoing brings us in a very roundabout way to a recently released 22-page document that could have been written by a Hollywood screenwriter (and who knows, perhaps it was) — but, unlike those fictional conspiracy films, there is obviously a deadly serious intent behind it.  Entitled "Preventing a Disrupted Presidential Election and Transition" and dated August 3, 2020, it is attributed to the "Transition Integrity Project" (TIP), whatever or whoever that is.  To judge from its contents and characteristic language (e.g., "white supremacist and extremist networks"; "steadily undermined core norms of democracy and the rule of law and embraced numerous corrupt and authoritarian practices"), though, we find it easy to conclude the TIP would be associated with the Jackass Party — or BLM, Antifa, CNN, MSNBC, or any lamestream alphabetical media outlet — even the Communist Party USA; it's hard to tell actually, since they all seem to talk the same way.

The controlling idea behind "Preventing a Disrupted Presidential Election and Transition" is nothing short of a detailed contingency plan pretending to be a war game for a coup d'état in the United States if the 2020 elections turn out in a way that the authors clearly deem unacceptable.  The "Executive Summary" basically outlines the paper's intent:

In June 2020 the Transition Integrity Project (TIP) convened a bipartisan group of over 100 current and former senior government and campaign leaders and other experts in a series of 2020 election crisis scenario planning exercises.  The results of all four table-top exercises were alarming.  We assess with a high degree of likelihood that November's elections will be marked by a chaotic legal and political landscape.  We also assess that the President Trump is likely to contest the result by both legal and extra-legal means, in an attempt to hold onto power.  Recent events, including the President's own unwillingness to commit to abiding by the results of the election, the Attorney General's embrace of the President's groundless electoral fraud claims, and the unprecedented deployment of federal agents to put down leftwing protests, underscore the extreme lengths to which President Trump may be willing to go in order to stay in office.

Permeating the document is a consistent mistrust of the president's intentions, invariably assuming that he will not abide by his constitutional duty to step down should he lose the election.  According to this paper, Seven Days in May (the one with Fredric March) might have missed the mark:

Of particular concern is how the military would respond in the context of uncertain election results.  Here recent evidence offers some reassurance, but it is inconclusive.

In what respect does "recent evidence" offer "some reassurance"?  It doesn't say.  To their credit, the war-gamers do consider the possibility of a Seven Days in May scenario playing out; in light of how politicized the Joint Chiefs have become in recent decades under both Elephant and Jackass administrations, the prospect of a banana republic–style coup should never be dismissed out of hand.  Through various media outlets the Jackasses, in particular, have been lobbying the big military brass to "think about" their constitutional obligations should the next presidential election hangfire.  You don't need an interpreter to understand what "think about" implies.

Continuing its litany of things that "concern" the paper's authors is the power at any president's disposal:

Of particular concern are the President's ability to federalize the national guard; to deploy the military domestically; to launch investigations into opponents and to freeze their assets; and even to control communication in the name of national security.

We agree: That much power shouldn't be available to any one person, although constitutionally speaking much of it isn't.  By not condemning it, though, the authors give tacit approval of those powers, with the inescapable implication that they wouldn't mind having their own candidate pushing such levers of authority for their benefit when he (or she) takes charge.

Moreover, nothing short of spectacular Stalinesque public show trials featuring government officials promising to be good little boys and girls would satisfy these particular concerned citizens:

Congressional leaders should conduct oversight hearings, set clear expectations ahead of time about the conduct of the election, and seek advance assurances from the military and agency heads about their plans and conduct.

The bottom line: By adopting a "these are just what-if table-top scenarios" posture, the paper cleverly generates enough plausible deniability to allow the authors -- quite unlike the Roman citizens, the German conspirators, and the Joint Chiefs in those films above -- to escape being condemned for conspiring to commit treason against the state, should such an accusation ever be leveled at them (which is unlikely).  Nevertheless, anybody with more than a couple of brain cells would probably be disinclined to accept their disclaimer at face value:

The purpose of this report is not to frighten, but to spur all stakeholders to action.

Just who, we feel compelled to ask, are those "stakeholders"?  And what sort of "action" will they be spurred to?  But fear not; after all, it's just a game.

"Preventing a Disrupted Presidential Election and Transition" is something rarely seen in public, a serious blueprint for political revolution unabashedly put on display by the conspirators themselves, no matter what they might say otherwise.

Image credit: Pixabay public domain.