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Franklin's Father

KoshFan

Regular
Franklin\'s Father

Just watched GROPOS recently. It was better than I remembered it being. But the question surfaced in my mind afterward: do we ever know what happens to General Franklin afterward? Specifically, what side does he come down on in the Earth Civil War, and how does that affect his relationship with his son?
 
Re: Franklin\'s Father

General Franklin's fate is never alluded to in the show, but judging from what was shown in "GROPOS" I would guess he was on Clark's side during the Civil War, on the theory that a good solider follows orders no matter what they say. Wrong, but followed by many.
 
Re: Franklin\'s Father

That's what I figured, hence my question about Dr. Franklin's later relationships with General Franklin. It was a fairly tenuous bond they formed in GROPOS, I think, and the experience of being on opposite sides could have had a catastrophic effect.
 
Re: Franklin\'s Father

I'm sure that Franklin, like Lochley, would have obeyed his orders and respected the chain of command. But, given the type of person each of them is, it should be obvious that they also were never given the kind of blatantly illegal orders that the people who bombed Mars and Proxima carried out. The contemporary Uniform Code of Military Justice in the U.S. Armed forces not only permits, it requires military personnel to refuse to obey orders that violate the usual laws of war or the rules of engagement. (This is the so-called "Nueremburg rule" designed to make it impossible for a war criminal to claim "I was only following orders".) It is implied that EarthForce has essentially similar rules, as do most civilized military forces on Earth today.

Don't forget that Clark spent a couple of years putting his own trusted people in key Earthforce command slots. Since General Franklin was already a legendary commander before Clark came on the scene, and obviously an independent and crusty old bastard, it seems unlikely that he would have been in a command Clark consider important to his control of the Earth Alliance. The best use for a General Franklin (and for a Capt. Lochley, for that matter) would have been on the borders of Non-Aligned space, to make sure that no aliens tried to take advantage of Earth's troubles. Such assignments would have kept that part of EarthForce that wasn't 100% loyal to Clark isolated from his abuse of civilians and from independent sources of information, while still giving them an honorable military task.

When considering those who didn't rebel against Clark, we often forget that both the crew of B5 and we, the viewers, knew things that the majority of people in EarthForce didn't. We knew for a fact that Clark assassinated Santiago. But the Senate had just announced the accusation and begun hearings when Clark declared martial law, disbanded the legislature and siezed control of ISN. So to most people on Earth it was a mere (somewhat wild) accusation, made over a year after the fact, and never substantiated. (And, according to ISN, pretty quickly proved to be false.) With both ISN and most military communications in the hands of Clark's loyalists, it would be hard for military personnel at remote stations to get a clear picture of the abuses of the Clark administration, or the extent to which his "alien influence" message was a lie. (To the military this would have been especially ominous because they understood, even if the general population didn't, that Earth really lost the war with Minbar.)

So we should resist the temptation to condemn anyone who didn't rise up against Clark, because it was by no means clear to most of them that there was any compelling reason to do so. As for Franklin and his father - barring General Franklin's having committed an atrocity during the war (which possibility I reject out of hand) I don't see the issue having much effect on their relationship either way. After Clark's death proof of his complicity in Santiago's murder and his repression of the populace would have come out, and General Franklin, who struck me as an honest sort, would have to admit that turning againt Clark was justified for anyone who knew for a fact what Clark had been up to. But he would not apologize for the way that he acted based on the information he had at the time.

Regards,

Joe
 
Re: Franklin\'s Father

A fine analysis, Joe. I would only point out that if JMS were to decide to have General Franklin turn on Clark, he would only have to have Franklin definitively discover a very serious violation of their version on the UCMJ, and it would be well within his crusty old character to do so. But, as you point out, Clark would do his best to make that unlikely.
 
Re: Franklin\'s Father

Joe, I always wonder where you find the time to write up responses like that. I usually can't come up with more than two lines of comments on anything. It's amazing...
 
Re: Franklin\'s Father

I always wonder where you find the time to write up responses like that.

It's called "unemployment". :) I just had a contract assignment end abruptly (my department's function is now being done from India and they decided they didn't need me for another month to help train my replacements, after all.) Since I didn't have anything else lined up, I have more time than usual on my hands at the moment.

Regards,

Joe
 

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