|~ Clark's last, vindictive message to the EarthAlliance.|
William Morgan Clark, simply known as Morgan Clark, is the corrupted President of The Earth Alliance in the TV series Babylon 5. He appears as the secondary antagonist of the series from the first season's finale through the middle of the fourth season and was upgraded to primary antagonist for the second half of the fourth season.
He was portrayed by Gary McGurk.
In the 2258 Earth Alliance Presidential election Luis Santiago named Morgan Clark as his running mate. With Clark being on the ticket the Psi-Corps endorsed him as Vice President, violating their own charter by recommending a political candidate to members.
Working with Mr. Morden and the Shadows, Clark arranged for Santiago to be assassinated. Clark became president when Earthforce One, carrying President Santiago, was destroyed at the Io Transfer point on January 1, 2259. Clark believed Earth to be in danger of being overrun by extraterrestrial races, and so the Nightwatch, a fascist paramilitary organization, was created to find out people suspected to be alien infiltrators or sympathizers.
Earthforce's Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General William Hague, suspected that Clark was involved in the assassination, and began a low-level counter-conspiracy that included Captain John Sheridan. In 2260, John Sheridan and General Hague found evidence that Clark had arranged the assassination of Santiago. Hague managed to get the evidence introduced in the Senate, which caused an uproar.
At about the same time, it was revealed that Clark's forces had found a Shadow vessel buried on Ganymede. Clark was having the ship studied in order to learn its secrets. John Sheridan took the White Star back to Ganymede, and destroyed the vessel. Clark soon issued a decree of martial law using the Ganymede incident as an excuse.
When martial law was declared, Hague began armed resistance against Clark's government. Hague was soon killed in a firefight between his ship, the EAS Alexander and the heavy-cruiser EAS Clarkstown. Clark dissolved the Senate, and nationalized the media outlets. Meanwhile, Mars rejected martial law, and Clark responded by bombing Mars.
In response to the bombing of civilian targets on Mars, Proxima III and Orion VII broke away from the Earth Alliance, setting themselves up as independent states. Babylon 5 soon followed these two colonies by breaking away, after Clark attempted and failed to seize the station and put it under command of the Nightwatch. Clark quickly turned the Earth Alliance into a dictatorship, going as far as sending the military to seize media networks, including ISN, which was remade into a propaganda machine. Considering Sheridan to be a threat, Clark targeted Babylon 5 and Sheridan specifically with a blockade and started a propaganda war to sway public opinion in favor of his police state.
In the fall of 2261, Clark put a policy in place of killing refugees trying to leave the colonies that he was taking military action against. When Sheridan learned that in one case 10,000 innocent civilians were killed by an Earth Alliance vessel, he realized that the time had come to remove Clark. Sheridan after the Shadow War had built a powerful alliance of races and held command of the Whitestar Fleet, giving him the military muscle to fight Earth directly. However Sheridan tried to keep the alien races out of the war as much as possible, feeling it was up to humanity to solve their own problems and that an alien force would feed into the Clark propaganda that Clark's opposition was under alien control and was working to conquer Earth.
Sheridan's forces began a systematic campaign against Clark's forces, including a televised message of their own dubbed the "Voice of the Resistance". Ordered to fire on civilian targets, large numbers of Earth Force personnel defected, and Sheridan scored his first major victory against Clark by defeating his forces blockading Proxima III. After that victory even more Earth Force crews defected. Clark sent a task force to attack Babylon 5, but the moment they entered B5 space they defected to Sheridan's side.
Sheridan himself was eventually captured by his brainwashed former chief of security Michael Garibaldi. Sheridan was imprisoned and tortured, but was rescued by Garibaldi after Alfred Bester released Garibaldi from his programming. Following Sheridan's rescue he was returned to the fleet, which by this time had grown to include a large number of Earth Force ships fighting alongside him.
Additionally while Sheridan had been in captivity the League of Non-Aligned Worlds decided to give full support to Sheridan, and their member worlds sent a large number of their own vessels to join Sheridan's fleet as it approached the solar system.
Clark decided to trap Sheridan's forces with advanced model destroyers that had been fitted with Shadow technology. When Sheridan's second in command, Commander Susan Ivanova, learned of this, she engaged the destroyers with the White Star ships, leaving the rest of the Earthforce vessels behind. Captain James of the EAS Agamemnon opposed Ivanova's decision, but soon realized that Clark would have his destroyers target the Earth ships rather than the White Stars. While Ivanova managed to destroy all the vessels, her White Star was severely damaged by a collision with debris from one of the destroyed vessels she was injured and left in a near-death state.
Eventually, Sheridan took the fleet directly to Earth, and sent a message saying that they had come home to fight against Clark's tyranny. Finding out that the bulk of the fleet was now away from Earth and they now had reinforcements of their own a group of politicians and soldiers led by Senator Crosby proceeded to the President's office, and began trying to force the door open in order to place President Clark under arrest.
Seeing the door about to give way Clark realized that he would soon be captured. Clark committed suicide with a PPG. In one last vindictive act, he turned the planetary defense grid back on to Earth under a "scorched earth" policy. He left a note that had the line "The Ascension of the Ordinary Man" written on it over and over, with the letters making up "Scorched Earth" circled. Crosby was able to contact Sheridan and informed him that Clark was dead, but that he had turned the grid on to Earth. Crosby and her allies were unable to override the system. Sheridan and his forces, however, were able to destroy the defense platforms before they fired; Sheridan was prepared to ram the final platform (targeting North America's eastern seaboard) with his badly damaged ship, but the EAS Apollo (previously fighting against Sheridan) appeared to destroy the platform and save Sheridan's life.
After Clark's suicide, his body was covered with a sheet, on which someone had placed a sign saying "Traitor to Earth." Susanna Luchenko of the Russian Consortium was named President. President Luchenko announced that the justice department would prosecute those who had committed crimes during Clark's reign of terror and offered amnesty to those who had followed Sheridan. Sheridan would resign in the aftermath of the civil war.
Though Clark's dictatorial regime ended, some of his collaborators survived the fall of the dictatorship and the subsequent Senate investigations, some even retaining positions within EarthGov, as was the case with Clark's speech writer turned political commentator Henry Ellis and Mr. Welles of the Nightwatch Division.