Scott Horton Interviews William Arkin on the Military’s Top Secret Coronavirus Plans

Scott interviews William Arkin about his recent Newsweek article discussing the the government’s various contingency plans—both public and secret—to keep a functioning, constitutional government alive during a national crisis. He is not so concerned about the introduction of martial law as usually conceived, which he considers unlikely, but worries about something called devolving succession, a process by which a group outside the usual, public line of succession could declare themselves a legitimate government. One problem with this system is that these figures are essentially unknown to the American public. Arkin believes that more transparency with respect to the government’s succession plans would increase faith among the American people that they are in good hands in emergencies.


William Arkin is a military intelligence analyst, activist, author, journalist, academic and consultant. His award-winning reporting has appeared on the front pages of The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. He is the author of American Coup: How a Terrified Government Is Destroying the Constitution. Follow him on Twitter @warkin.

28 thoughts on “Scott Horton Interviews William Arkin on the Military’s Top Secret Coronavirus Plans”

  1. Found this bit of humor over at Moon of Alabama:

    Harry Moroz @hrmoroz – 15:35 UTC · Mar 20, 2020
    For the average American the best way to tell if you have covid-19 is to cough in a rich person’s face and wait for their test results

  2. And in response to some here who claim testing is a “waste of resources”…

    How South Korea Triumphed, and the US Floundered, Over the Pandemic


    “South Korea has proven that #COVID19 can be controlled,” Laurie Garrett, the prominent health and science writer, added on Twitter, pointing out that the country had pushed its epidemic down from a high of 909 new cases a day in late February to just 74 cases by March 16. “How did they get such dramatic results? Testing, testing, testing.”

    The contrast is particularly shocking because health authorities in both South Korea and the United States learned of their first coronavirus case on the same day in late January, according to an investigation published by Reuters. Seven weeks later, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had tested close to 300,000 people out of a population of 51 million, while the United States is “not even close to meeting demand for
    testing,” with only 60,000 tests in a population of 330 million, Reuters

    End Quote

  3. And in other relevant news:

    Merkel in quarantine after doctor tests positive for virus

    Senator Rand Paul @RandPaul ·4h

    Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19. He is feeling fine and is in quarantine. He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person.

    Heh, tested out of an abundance of caution…or being a rich Senator…

  4. I’m not particularly concerned. I think this concern started as a result of some of Iran’s top leadership getting infected and dying. Obviously *our* “old men” in government have concerns.

    I see a *lot* of comments here and elsewhere that the government will use this pandemic as an excuse to seize more power, reduce civil liberties using the “National Emergency” as a justification and then not restore them, and even that this pandemic was “engineered” to cover a failing economy or, even more wildly, that it is a “population reduction measure”. The latter concept is blamed on either the US or China, depending on your paranoia.

    I’ve seen zero evidence for any of this. It is quite rational to suspect the ruling elites of this sort of thing, because they have a history of doing this sort of thing in every other country. But until it happens, speculating about it isn’t going to help anything except fueling more panic – which we don’t need.

    And once it does happen, you’re not going to be able to do anything to prevent it, anyway – just like always. So concentrate on how you’re going to survive it.

    Which is why people are running to buy guns and ammo – and the cities and states are starting to shut down gun stores as “inessential services.” Like that matters to the existing 100 million gun owners and their 400 million guns (all they want is more ammo.)

    As it happens, I’d rather have a computer and some hacking skills. But if I had the money, I’d be buying ARs and AKs and handguns, too. Not to mention body armor.

    But I really doubt that the social situation will get that ugly as a result of this pandemic – unless the government does next to nothing to remediate it. So far, the evidence indicates to me more incompetence than deliberation in the government’s slow response to the crisis. It’s not like people haven’t been warning about this for the last decade or two. But just like most people aren’t “preppers”, the government isn’t, either.

    And by the way, “preppers” are getting a lot more respect in the last couple months.

    I intended to have a couple weeks’ stock of food, toilet paper, etc. for the last several years. Always put it off – and here we are. I did prepare for things like long power outages. That’s what happens when you prioritize your preps for the most likely scenarios – you get blind-sided by something less likely.

    But at that, I’m way better off than most people just by having the mind-set of never considering myself safe. As John and Sarah Connor said in the Terminator TV show, “No one is ever safe.”

    In a rational society, this pandemic would be a minor inconvenience.

    1. Actually I totally lost respect for the prepper movement when so many were pushing, hording, and scalping n-95 masks and sanitizer online and peddling in fear.

      A bunch of opportunistic cowards who want their country to fail, preying on the gullible.

      The survivalist generation was motivated to survive rebuild after a nuclear war. Not sabotage society.

      1. Disagree – although I do think a lot of preppers want to be “right” about the likelihood of a major catastrophe. I view most of their larger scenarios as improbable (with the possible exception of nuclear war given US foreign policy.) But the basic notion to be prepared for serious problems is correct.

        1. Prepping is a business. They’ve been laying the groundwork for this panic for months now.

          1. Except most people *outside* of prepping circles have completely ignored the entire subject. So it’s hard to contemplate how preppers are to blame for the panic. It’s ridiculous. Preppers have little to no influence on the public, either through social media, still less the mainstream media.

            I was listening to a martial arts podcast from Australia yesterday and he put the finger on the real cause of the panic – the media. One could add social media to the mainstream media, since as usual it was spreading all sorts of incorrect advice and conspiracy theories. But the mainstream media – happy to pound on China for their US Deep State masters – spent a great deal of time talking up China’s problem, while downgrading the threat to the US population.

            A lot of the panic buying, however, is in reaction to the panic buying that other people were doing. Once you know people are panic buying toilet paper, you go buy toilet paper because you’re concerned *other* people will get it all and then there really *will* be a shortage. It’s actually rational, even if the original excuse isn’t.

            It’s why people are buying ammo for their guns. It’s not because they want to “shoot the virus”, it’s because they think this could get ugly because they know people in emergency situations, such as Katrina, *do* get ugly.

          2. As implied by the first post, I was inside prepping, at least insofar as monitoring a few influencers online. The need for hits to generate site revenue seemed to encourage n-95 huckstering.

            Some, not all, preppers have been warning of coronavirus for months as ‘the big one’.

            The MSM simply picked up where they left off, contriving to affirm the worst prepping stories most people initially wrote off.

            COVID-19 is indeed a media phenomenon gone ‘viral’. Most people online would have herd of it.

            I mean, ‘heard’ of it.

  5. Lots of unconstitutional laws can pass through while the Covid-19 is center stage singing show tunes, but a Martial Law is unlikely cause the boomers are not done wrecking lives and Martial Law is bad for their business.

  6. Swine flu was much more serious than COVID-19. no panic. I didn’t even remember that it was serious.

    60 million infections, 300,000 hospitalizations, 12,000 deaths.

    We are told to worry about COVID-19 deaths rates being higher. regardless of how fast people are dying, but so far well below 12,000. Also, Swine flu was not politicized; there was no pressure to over or under count fatalities.

    Plus, you can have more than one upper respiratory infection. A decision to count all combination deaths, such as influenza-COVID-19 deaths, as COVID-19 could skew results in favor or COVID-19

    1. The death toll from coronavirus passed 14,000 as of 9:27 PM. 339,035 cases worldwide. Probable number of infections will likely exceed 60 million.

      Another person who’s not keeping up…

      1. I’m keeping up. How many of those deaths were from combination cases of COVID-19 and something else?

        Influenza deaths are an untapped pool of potential COVID-19 deaths.

        1. Actually, most of the deaths are from complications. That’s been known for the last couple months. Doesn’t change the relative figures.

          So why aren’t you counting normal flue deaths as part of Swine flu? That simple logic not available?

          This notion that everyone who dies from normal flue will be counted as coronavirus is ridiculous. Another conspiracy theory. With this virus going around, people will be *tested* as to what they have. The idea that coroners will fake death certificates as to cause just to cover the government’s inability to deal with the virus makes little sense.

          Keep reaching for straws. I don’t have any more time for this nonsense.

          1. You’re reaching for the fallacy tu quoque, not I.

            I never denied counted Swine flu victims might have had some other illness. Vulnerability to any cold or flu is enhanced by a pre-existing or complimentary illness. It is probably very bad to have COVID-19 when one is already dying of influenza.

            So… some guy dies because of upper respiratory illness related infection, and managed to have influenza, rhinovirus, and COVID-19 all present. Turns out he was in a pandemic panic lineup at the hospital, exposed to everyone else’s germs. However, the post mortem and record indicates, influenza MAY have been the greatest contributing factor.

            Does one call this an influenza death, which is not fashionable and may not get government compensation, or a COVID-19 death that will get compensation, if only as brown-noser points?

          2. Let’s recap this nonsense:

            1) You claim Swine flu is more serious than COVID-19 and cite a number.

            2) I refute the claim because COVID-19 has already exceeded the number you claim.

            3) You proceed to dance around by claiming various medical complications make the numbers unknown.

            I have a simple response: Bullshit. You made a claim, it was refuted almost instantly, now you’re grasping at straws to win an argument.

            Please…go away.

          3. “I refute the claim because COVID-19 has already exceeded the number you claim.”

            Actually, you two weren’t comparing the same numbers. Swine flu killed 12,000 in the US, not worldwide.

            I suspect that COVID-19 may end up being a little worse than swine flu in the US. At the moment, based on the numbers of deaths and infectious disease researchers’ estimates of total cases, it looks about half again as deadly.

            The biggest difference between COVID-19 and swine flu will be that we barely noticed the swine flu epidemic and promptly forgot about it when it was over, but lost our fucking minds over COVID-19.

          4. “at the moment…” Let’s talk again in three months, six months, and a year… Final figures won’t be in probably for two years.

            Which makes being cavalier about the numbers this early pretty stupid.

          5. You’re a panic-mongerer.

            We have to live with this thing now, and, COVID-19 is not as bad as everyone thinks it is. The illness has been spreading for months and finally began affecting the most vulnerable.

            That’s still not something to crush civil and economic liberties over. People were not and are keeling over in the streets. They went to work and could look after themselves.

            Now, the politicized social cytokine storm – now that’s going to be deadly.

            Not everyone can shelter in place in a comfy middle-class home with a government or MSM paycheck assured and pipe in streaming media.

  7. Thanks for shining the light on the issue. I have a question why Scott is meeting with arch psychopath like William Kristol? Will he meet and discuss the Middle East policies with a terrorists ?

    1. Lol. The one time a person like Kristol will ever be across from a person willing and able to call out all their bullshit instead of just some interviewer too ignorant to even know what is BS…. And the “how dare you give a platform too” people are out.

      Will you continue to dare to say stuff on the internets? I have seen people like Kristol use the internets. Would you use the internets if “they” let a terrorist on the internets? Are you a Neo-con Terrorist sympathizer? Is that why you continue to use the internets despite Neo-con Scott Horton being on the internets!

      1. “yin have seen people like Kristol use internet ”
        Yes I agree David Duke and Hitler also used soaps and expressed loves for their families, woke up in the morning and took baths. Me doing that doesn’t mean I endorse them .

        Krostol is not going to learn something that is not already out there on internet, books, and even mainstreams.
        I use internet and not going to stop it because some stupids use . I won’t engage into repetitions neither for stupids nor for troll or for psychopaths .. Krtsol can be asked to write here so that he can be answered like he has never before in his life . Deny the platform because we would that to Harvey Weinstein or Madoff or ISIS leaders.

  8. Isn’t it revolting to watch with ( hate and disdain ) these guys jumping up and down the Market floors , their media , some news prints , and Fed and US Congress for more bail out for more money when the rascals have no plans to procure more protective medical equipments and form more acute beds ?

    The clear relation between infection and loss of business by hotel travel resort industries are related to virus symptoms

    Worse is the fact that most of th stocks are all ready surviving on Fed bailouts from 2008 . But they don’t want to solve that first . They want fat CEO get more fatter and stockholders don’t get slammed for any past idiocy .

    1. Who is it that’s supposed to have plans to procure more protective medical equipments and form more acute beds?

      The same companies that have routinely been told “no, you may not build more hospitals — you require a certificate of need for that and your competitors donate to our campaigns so you’re not getting one” for the last 50 years?

  9. Public Service Announcement: I am no longer posting or discussing coronavirus or anything else on this site (at least until the Iran war starts.)

    Too many morons. This is why I dumped my Twitter account years ago. I guess I never learn.

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