Recent articles (e.g. 1, 2, 3) have pointed out the real danger that Trump can use a terrorist attack as a pretext to seize extra-legal power. This has been mentioned as theory before, but the current fight with the courts over the Muslim immigrant ban makes it an immediate issue.
There are several points to make:
- As many have noted, Hitler used the Reichstag fire to seize power in precisely that way. In that case, many historians believe it was a Nazi-staged event that convinced Germany to give in to fascism. It is chilling to realize that Hitler’s “emergency measure” to suspend civil liberties came less than 30 days after he became Chancellor.
- We have already seen that scaring the US population works. George Bush carried it off for years with his security color codes.
- Most importantly, the media seem to have forgotten that the FBI is still there. They deliberately subverted the electoral process to elect Trump. That was a phenomenally undemocratic act for which no investigation was initiated and no one was punished.
There is no reason to believe that the FBI won’t do it again, most probably by announcing they have foiled a horrendous plot with convenient suspects.
We should remember this has happened before.