PRESIDENT WILSON PREPARES FOR A MILITARY DICTATORSHIP
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) 100 years ago today, March 11, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson's administration was preparing a program, including the punishment for espionage and censorship of criticism of the government, in the event of war with Germany.
Arthur Sears Henning wrote...
"Foremost among the plans being worked out (includes) the establishment of...a military dictatorship."
Once the Wilson program was enacted into law, the President would have the power "to suppress all...inefficient and inadequate defense policy and all criticism of the administration."*
The Wilson program, as described by Mr. Henning, included...
-rigid censorship of the press
-an espionage bill
-appropriations for the navy
-build up of the army to 500,000
-development of plans for employment & coordination of industrial resources
*The Espionage Act of 1917, passed on June 15, provided for the punishment of interference with foreign relations & the foreign commerce of the U.S., the punishment of espionage & better enforcement of the criminal laws of the U.S.
The Sedition Act of 1918, passed on May 16, forbade the use of "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the US government, its flag or its armed forces."
"Wilson Seeks Great Power on Publicity," by Arthur Sears Henning, March 12, 1917, The Chicago Daily Tribune, www.archives.chicagotribune.com/
"Blessed Are the Peacemakers"