Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rahm Emanuel chats about his civilian draft scheme

The selection of Rahm Emanuel, the Illinois congressman and Democratic apparatchik, as President-Elect Barack Obama's chief of staff, has raised a few eyebrows -- at least partially because of Emanuel's advocacy of a civilian draft. That plan for "universal civilian service" would press Americans aged 18 to 25 into government service for a minimum of three months (though Emanuel is flexible about the actual parameters of service). Civil defense training features prominently in the agenda for those three months, although the assembled ranks would presumably be available for whatever purpose the government of the moment favored.

As for resisters ... Emanuel never does specify what the penalty should be for those who refuse to be shanghaied.

In 2006, after the publication of his book, The Plan, Rahm Emanuel sat down for an interview with Ben Smith of the New York Daily News. In particular, Smith pressed Emanuel on the details of his compulsory civilian service proposal. Part of that interview is available below.

A longer version of this interview is available at



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