Over the last twenty-four hours we have seen something extraordinary, but with a precedent. Military brass, both retired and active, have taken the side of the Constitution and now refuse to deploy internally. The active component of the force could be used if there was an actual insurrection, why President Donald Trump invoked the Insurrection Act. However, the Posse Comitatus Act prevents the use of the active component in the country. That was a result of the abuses in the south after the civil war. .
James Mattis, former Secretary of Defense, and Marine General wrote:
“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” Mattis writes. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand — one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values — our values as people and our values as a nation.” He goes on, “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”
He was not the only one. Many former officials, in both the intelligence and military components, kept coming out. Admiral Mike Mullen also released a statement that was also very critical. It reads in part:
Whatever Trump’s goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces.
There was little good in the stunt.
While no one should ever condone the violence, vandalism, and looting that has exploded across our city streets, neither should anyone lose sight of the larger and deeper concerns about institutional racism that have ignited this rage.
Retired brass usually stays quiet. Especially when the administration is the one they served. This was already extraordinary. That same morning, Secretary of Defense Mike Esper said it plainly, he did not agree with the invocation of the act. He did not agree to militarize the response with the active component. He also said that his participation in that short walk to St John’s Church was a mistake. Why? His objective is to keep the military out of politics, which is hard to do…especially during the political season.
The military has guidance to both the active component and civilian personnel during elections. They are encouraged to vote. They are educated on the Constitution and their role within it. Usually, it also means staying out of politics. So when the brass release letters telling us that their loyalty is to the Constitution and rebuking the president for invoking the insurrection act, it is extraordinary.
The last time anything close to this happened was Watergate. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs was asked where did the military stand? There were fears that the military would follow President Richard Nixon to the bitter end. The Chair told Congress that their loyalty was to the Constitution. At the time more people still had some contact with the armed forces. even then, they still wondered what he meant.
Alexander Haig, at the time Nixon’s Chief of Staff, started calling military bases to assess their loyalty to the president. Perhaps he should have known better since he was recently retired. This is one of the reasons Nixon finally agreed to resign. It is not the only one, however. Right now Trump has lost the military as well. His response was to attack Mattis, and rage Tweet overnight.
We also have learned that Secretary Esper and Gen. Mark Miley wants to testify before the House Armed Services Committee.
Incidentally, overnight we also had the campaign drop an appeal for money. In it, they are raising money with camouflage MAGA hats. The print is what worries this observer, as the campaign calls these part of the Trump Army, to fight the Liberal mob. This is a clear appeal to internal conflict in the current charged environment, as you can get.
We are living through the most dangerous days in recent history. The president continues to divide. Why? He believes this is the only way to return the country to when it was great. That would be a white country. His “army” agrees with him, and we shall see what happens in November? It looks as if this will be a landslide defeat for this president. Will we have elections? Will his so-called Army and he accept the results? Will he step out of the office? Michael Cohen warned Congress that he may not.
The rest of the letters from the service are bellow: