What was this about?



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38 Responses to What was this about?

  1. Cold War Colonel says:

    Perhaps many in the ranks cannot not comprehend that their personal feelings are secondary to the Constitution, and that all service members have taken an oath to support and defend that Constitution, putting it above their personal feelings?
    On the other hand, it is refreshing to see that the mission of the Guard is to protect lives and property. National Guard Bureau a few days ago put out a bone-headed press release saying the Guard was there to protect the right to protest.

  2. turcopolier says:

    We have to remember that the CJCS is not in the chain of command which runs from POTUS to SECDEF to U&S commanders. He has no troops under command and is a kind of adviser to the president as head of the committee that is the JCS.

  3. turcopolier says:

    Looks to me like CJCS was eliciting support from those who control troops. I wonder what else he has been doing.

  4. Barbara Ann says:

    This was a test – and Trump has failed it. His authority is consequently shot and he doesn’t appear to have the will to reassert it (the memo is over a week old now). The soft coup just got a whole lot harder. Are we looking at the leader of a military junta?

  5. walrus says:

    By this memo CJCS has thrown in his hand with the coup. He claims to have a higher loyalty than obeying the CinC. This is what all militaries do when they get involved in revolutions.
    What this means in practice is that the military will no longer obey orders from the CinC that are not approved by Antifa and its chief supporter in Congress – Pelosi. That means that Trump is effectively a prisoner in the Whitehouse if Antifa decides to keep him there. To put that another way, you can forget the National Guard assisting the police.
    Expect other officials to follow Milleys lead shortly unless Trump successfully fires Milley and reassert his authority. What follows next is renewed civil disobedience and breakdown of law and order including demanding Trump resign, in response to which the police can do nothing and the troops will do nothing.
    Trump will then be urged to go “for the good of the country”. We have scripted such morality plays in foreign countries ourselves.
    Col. Lang, can you archive your blog overseas?

  6. Fred says:

    Looks like a 7 Days in May sedition letter.

  7. turcopolier says:

    How do you do that?

  8. Vegetius says:

    It means that the JCS Chairman is as historically and culturally literate as a social justice warrior.
    “Equality” does not appear in the US Constitution, nor does “equal” except in so far as it refers to procedural and organizational matters.
    This idiot appears to have confused the Declaration of Independence with a governing document.
    No wonder we don’t win wars any more.

  9. Barbara Ann says:

    Good advice from walrus, suggest you ask a techie you trust like TTG Colonel.
    One big question is where does the senior military stand – they must have read the intent in Milley’s memo. If moves are made to further undermine/eject the POTUS could we see a faction try and come to his rescue? What will Deplorables do once they realize what is happening? Time to ditch normalcy bias in any case.

  10. Mishkilji says:

    Walrus—As Pat has pointed out before, our Oath is to the Constitution, not the CINC
    Vegetius—Is the 14th Amendment a procedural and organizational matter?

  11. Bobo says:

    Time for General Milley to step down and for Trump to put a CSM in his place as at least they understand the line of command.
    I learned what perfumed Princes are from this site as they sit on their rears and obfuscate with both arms and index fingers pointing in opposite directions.
    Our forces would be better served with this type of move.

  12. Fred says:

    “breakdown of law and order” it is the leftists that are rioting and looting, not the people on on the right.
    “demanding Trump resign” They’ll have to demand 60 odd million of people who voted for him leave too, which isn’t going to happen, though an actual hot civil war probably. If that happens a lot of rich folk ought to be purging the ranks of their bodyguards, but then I’m sure they screened them all with the social media PC police long ago.

  13. Jose says:

    Does anyone have a copy of his honors thesis at Princeton?
    The tile is “”A Critical Analysis of Revolutionary Guerrilla Organization in Theory and Practice”,” but which side is he on?
    Finally, I can quote William Henry Chamberlin 🙂
    The proliferation of bureaucrats and its invariable accompaniment, much heavier tax levies on the productive part of the population, are the recognizable signs, not of a great, but of a decaying society. Historians know that both phenomena were especially marked in the declining eras of the Roman Empire in the West and of its successor state, the Eastern or Byzantine Empire.

  14. J says:

    From what I understand that 7 Days in May was based on a real life confrontation by the late President Kennedy early in his presidency with an army general with extremist views, and that President Kennedy feared such a cabal was possible. In 1961 OSD McNamara, had been compelled to fire U.S Army Gen. Edwin Walker from his command in Europe after it was revealed that Walker had been indoctrinating troops with literature from the John Birch Society, which viewed both JFK and his predecessor Eisenhower as closet communist agents. Also Gen. Walker showed up in Mississippi to rally white bigots to oppose James Meredith’s enrollment at the University of Mississippi. Which set alarm bells off with then AG Robert Kennedy. President Kennedy had wanted the book to be made as a preemptive strike against his enemies. Kennedy wanted it to be made as a warning to the generals

  15. Eric Newhill says:

    It means we are a gloried banana republic and nothing like the veneer CJCS is trying to paint on the pig. Do we go quietly into that good night? We don’t have to.

  16. FakeBot says:

    JFK had encouraged the making of Seven Days in May as a film. The film and book was as apt then as it is now.
    These letters could suggest both Esper and Milley, and with them the military, are willing to disregard presidential orders, at least to within the confines of the constitution. Maybe this is their way of dissuading the president from doing anything too rash, as we saw with the killing of Soleimani. Perhaps they know all too well that having the military patrol the streets could result in the sort of clashes generally reserved in truly oppressive countries.
    Being as that may, the president has a duty to bring Americans together.
    A lot of blacks still feel like they’re being segregated and held back. The reality is many live under a vicious cycle. The clouds of systemic racism have long dispersed, but the impact it had on the past lingers to this day.
    When Trump campaigned for president, he didn’t shy from telling his own constituents at a rally in North Carolina that more could be done to help blacks in America feel more accepted in American society. That wasn’t to say North Carolinians are still by and large racists towards blacks, but there was work to be done. I think that’s precisely the kind of message the president should once again embrace.
    Trump talks about the police and the military dominating the streets, but he should be dominating the discourse. He needs to change the conversation from police brutality to instead making black Americans feel like Americans rather than Iraqis living under occupied police force. He has to bring the country together rather than fall for the bait and play into the divisions that have been exacerbated by dishonest people. He needs to lead and unite the country.

  17. Terence Gore says:

    “While the Biden campaign insists it doesn’t support efforts to defund the police, it may happily profit from Black Lives Matter (BLM) efforts, and is complicit in taking money from an organization partnered with those spearheading the dangerous policy that has already taken root in Minneapolis, New York, and Los Angeles.
    After reaching the BLM homepage, which features a “Defund The Police” petition front and center, if a user chooses to donate, they’re rerouted to a site hosted by ActBlue and prompted with the message: “We appreciate your support of the movement and our ongoing fight to end state-sanctioned violence, liberate Black people, and end white supremacy forever.”

  18. sova says:

    Walrus, TP,
    Archiving overseas (or any relatively safe location) can be done in variety of ways. Best: adequately large NAS box stored and housed at a trusted friendly location accessible through a competent firewall allowing only authorized access over internet. Of course this goes for archiving as in saving for posterity – worthy enterprise I may add. This archive would not be a live blog accessible by many.

  19. haiku222 says:

    the 14th amendment provides:
    “No State shall… deny to any person the equal protection of the laws.”

  20. Balint Somkuti, PhD says:

    after reading through this Coelhoesque compilation of trivialities, two things came to my mind.
    1. Reginam occidere nolite timere bonum est si omnes consentiunt ego non contradico.
    2. One top brass officer’s quite long speech in the War Room (Gen. Ripper?) in Dr. Strangelove in a crisis situation stating absolutely nothing when asked about his opinion.
    But one thing is clear. There has been enormous political pressure on him. And it is not a good sign.
    I fear the this is nearing a Europe 1919 situation like the Spartacist uprising or the Hungarian Soviet Revolution. Both worth taking note, since they were enabled by the lack of sufficient military/police force.

  21. Yeah, Right says:

    My take is this: Milley expected Trump to order the troops to crack down on the protestors who were gathering in Washington, and he feared that it would escalate to a Tiananmen Square situation.
    He couldn’t refuse such an order because – as you pointed out – the JCS are not in the military chain of command i.e. any such order wouldn’t go through him.
    Hence the open letter to those in the military that ARE in the chain of command reminding them where their oath of loyalty lies.
    As in: the CiC issues the orders, but his authority to do so derives from the Constitution – which means that orders that are unconstitutional must be refused.
    So I disagree with the take from most of the people in this talkback: this is not a Seven Days In May situation. This is not “sedition”.
    What it probably amounts to is “insubordination”, and if Milley had any integrity then he would have resigned his post as soon as he saw that his letter had been distributed.

  22. turcopolier says:

    Yeah, right
    the problem with your analysis is that an order for troops to disperse a mob would be neither unconstitutional nor illegal however distasteful it might be. We have done it many times, 14 specifically since the end of the Indian Wars.
    1893 – Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii
    1894 – Pullman Strike
    1898 – Battle of Sugar Point
    1899 – Colorado Labor Wars
    1901 – Crazy Snake Rebellion
    1914 – Ludlow Massacre
    1915 – Plan of San Diego
    1920 – West Virginia Coal Wars
    1932 – Bonus Army
    1943 – Detroit Race Riot
    1967 – Detroit riot
    1968 – King assassination riots
    1973 – Wounded Knee incident
    1992 – 1992 Los Angeles riots

  23. jonst says:

    This memo seems to demonstrate that the “values embedded in the Constitution” are listed, in alphabetical order, on some inside page of the Constitution. As if this is not a complicated subject. I think, THEY think, they are sending a message to Trump in case he loses a close race in Nov.
    This also relates to Milley’s public statement expressing his regret and error ‘participating’ in a “political event” by accompanying Trump to St John’s Cathedral. I wonder what oracle, definitively, informed the good General that it was a “political event”? The General does have an ability for reducing complex subject matter to simple, power point, ‘answers’.

  24. Yeah, Right says:

    I completely agree with you: an order for troops to disperse a mob is neither unconstitutional nor illegal.
    I doubt that Milley would be all that concerned if Trump issued such an order, so long as he was certain that it was that order that was carried out.
    But I suspect he feared that such an order would (or could, take your pick) degenerate into a Tiananmen Square massacre.
    Seen in that light this letter would represent a reminder to the troops that the US Army is not meant to be in the business of visiting massacres upon its own citizenry.
    Maybe he is just being a Nervous Nelly – I don’t know – but reminding the troops that there is a distinction between “dispersing a mob” and “massacring protestors” is not necessarily a bad thing.
    It might represent an overly pessimistic assessment of the troops, but Milley might regard it to be better to be prudent than to be wise after the event.
    But, still, the letter is insubordinate. He should resign.

  25. David Habakkuk says:

    As ‘Vegetius’ says, General Milley appears to be unfamiliar with the Constitution he claims to be defending.
    The point is not simple that Article 2, Section 2, Paragraph 1 specifies that ‘The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States’.
    It is also that. according to Article 4 Section 4:
    ‘The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.’
    Actually, the relationship between ‘republicanism’ and belief in ‘democracy’ – and also, the ‘rights of man’ – has been massively contentious, and continues to be: and hardly just in the United States.
    As a matter of very well known historical fact, there were deep ambivalences among the ‘Founding Fathers’ about democracy. What the Constitution does do is place the source of political legitimacy in ‘We the People’.
    But many of them were the inheritors of a long tradition of Western thought, which saw democracy as having an inherent propensity to degenerate into tyranny.
    And very much ‘republican’ thought has, rather unsurprisingly given its debt to Roman debates, been preoccupied with the phenomenon of ‘Caesarism’ – when, for one reason or another, an individual succeeds in securing acceptance of his claim that he represents ‘We the People’ better than collections of elected representatives.
    Involved with this is the fact that, rather commonly, ‘republican’ thinkers have seen ‘constitutional’ government as having definite preconditions. Commonly, its survival has been seen as depending not simply on a balance between governmental functions, but also one between social forces.
    Likewise, it has commonly been assumed that it depended upon cultural preconditions. When in 1798 John Adams described the American Constitution as being ‘made only for a moral and religious people’, and as ‘wholly inadequate to the government of any other’, he was drawing on a long tradition.
    These arguments go back a long way before the American Revolution, to the roots of modern ‘republicanism’ in the reworking of Roman themes by Machiavelli and other figures in the Italian Renaissance. And they continued onwards.
    Among conspicuous European examples are Tocqueville’s anguished reflections on his countrymen’s attempt to imitate the success of the American Revolution, and explain why it had ended in the Terror and the ‘Caesarism’ of Napoleon, and the reflections of his compatriot Élie Halévy, a century later, on the ‘Era of Tyrannies’ in interwar Europe.
    Of course, if one believes that ‘democracy’ can only produce ‘constitutional’ government given certain preconditions, certain things naturally follow.
    For one thing, nobody but a damn fool – or Francis Fukuyama – would believe that a sensible response to the patent bankruptcy of Marxism-Leninist forms of ‘universalism’ was to conclude that the world could be remodelled on the basis of the values of the ‘Declaration of Independence.’
    Equally important, there is no reason to believe that the United States is necessarily immune from the degenerative tendencies which have shipwrecked other polities in the past:
    Rather clearly, many figures at the top of the U.S. military and intelligence apparatus – in sharp contrast to some lower down – have learnt very little from the failures of the attempts to remodel alien societies over the past decades.
    It is perhaps unsurprising that the current CJCS has provided such a clear example of ‘doublethink’, where the subversion of the basic principles of the constitutional order is justified in terms of the values which are supposed to underpin it.

  26. kakaouskia says:

    I have been reading for quite some time and I guess the time has come to write a comment.
    I agree with Walrus – In the age of nuclear superpowers one should avoid signalling to the world that he has no control of his armed forces.
    As for the whole situation, I have asked family with access to the Chinese social media to tell me how the people perceive the latest events in the USA.
    The reply was that for the systematic re-writing of history, removal / destruction of monuments, censoring of films to fit a political agenda, telling people how to speak or what book to have in their libraries the Chinese have two words: Cultural Revolution.
    For the generation that lived through that the parallels are too numerous to ignore.
    And they remember how the cultural revolution ended in China: Deng coming to power and culling the leaders plus unleashing the PLA on the more hardcore “red guards”
    I hope it does not come to this for the people of the USA.

  27. jonst says:

    Fourth and Long, re “ethnic fractures with in the N.G.”, we’ve (I) have been through this movie before. Late 60s early 70s. The answer to it? frog march out those who, for whatever reasons, good or bad, don’t want to follow lawful orders. If that means a bare bone military for a while, so be it, give me a 100 men who will follow orders over 10K that want to debate and gripe about things. Same with the regular military. Get em out! And that goes for the top as well as the bottom. And slowly start all over after the madness passes. And it always passes. Re Milley and coup. He does not strike me as a man to carry out big ideas, good or bad ones. Now Miley Cyrus on the other hand…

  28. EEngineer says:

    Is there any possibility that the letter and other similar actions are bait to draw out the unfaithful? The obvious follow up is whether it was offered up freely or as bluff/misdirection. I say obvious because for all of Trump’s seemingly random behavior, his singular defining talent seems to be enraging his adversaries into showing their hand and doing stupid self-defeating things. IE, inflicting TDS on them. Most of what he says comes off as word salad to me but the results so often appear to be those of a wizard casting a spell.

  29. JP Billen says:

    Turcopolier –
    What about the use of federal troops to put down prison riots, do those count?
    If so include the 1946 Battle of Alcatraz where two platoons of marines used grenades against the armed convicts. They were under the command of Vinegar Joe Stilwell who at that time was CG 6th Army at the San Francisco Presidio.

  30. turcopolier says:

    If you choose to interpret your oath to the constitution as requiring disobedience to a lawful order you should be prepared to take the consequences. that applies to generals as well as privates.

  31. Barbara Ann says:

    EEngineer’s theory; that this is a ruse to draw out seditionists, is interesting – it may explain why Milley remains in place. I would certainly not consider such a ploy out of character with the VSG’s animal cunning.
    “[CJCS] Mark Milley did not give the White House a heads up before he released a recorded video on Thursday admitting it was a “mistake” to appear in a photo-op last week with President Donald Trump, three administration officials told CNN.” Who is being played here?
    Of note is that the eternal weather vane of Deep State interests; the ever loyal (joke) Lindsey Graham wasted no time in pledging allegiance to Milley yesterday:

    “I have nothing but deep admiration for and total confidence in General Milley as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
    I support his statement in both substance and spirit regarding the recent presidential visit to St. Johns”


  32. Mark K Logan says:

    A suggested addition to your list:

  33. paidup says:

    The letter is over a week old. Col is it possible it has something to do with this idea-“It was more or less a textbook regime-change op, or “color revolution,” or whatever you call it. All the essential pieces were in place. All they needed Trump to do was declare himself dictator and impose martial law, so the generals could step in and remove him from office.
    Unfortunately for the Resistance, Trump didn’t do that.”

  34. Babak makkinejad says:

    David Habbakkuk
    John Adams was clearly correct.
    And as I have observed repeatedly before, only the English or people primarily derived from the English stock can operate the machinery of Westministerian Democracy. And even there, one wonders for how much longer, certainly in England.
    Inside the United States, the License to Smoke Dope has been conflated with Liberty. Among one of its consequences, has been circumvention of others’Liberty.
    The previous government in the United States, assaulted Religious Liberty on behalf of sexual License. Ergo Christians voting for Trump.
    In foreign policy, the idea of Freedom of Action and the use of Diplomacy as the method and practice of reducing the inherent risks of that Liberty, has been replaced, by License to use Power; thus reducing that initial position of Liberty.
    And where the United States has gone, so has the Western Diocletian civilization.
    The distinction first made by Saint Paul, between Liberty and License, was developed by Western Diocletians into a set of theories and practices over the centuries.
    Should that fail, we will be back to the position of the Rabbis and Mullahs that men cannot live in Liberty, it will always degenerate into License.
    And that Tyranny is the natural state of man.

  35. Charles Schulte says:

    Missed one:
    The “whiskey tax” became law in 1791, and was intended to generate revenue for the war debt incurred during the Revolutionary War. The tax applied to all distilled spirits, but consumption of American whiskey was rapidly expanding in the late 18th century, so the excise became widely known as a “whiskey tax”.

  36. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Colonel, there was an interview with Diana West about some topics you know a great deal about, Islam and the U.S. military.
    It is rather lengthy (~ 1 hour), but if you have the time and interest to watch some of it, I would be interested in your opinion.
    It was mentioned and somewhat discussed here:

  37. anEnt says:

    I don’t support using the military to resolve domestic policing issues, but I do find it odd that neither Milley nor his staff were able to call to mind or ucmj case search the fact that we killed the Nuremberg Principles in 2003 in the Ehhren Watada case before finalizing a memo like this. There is has been no concept of an illegal order in the military since. The military apparently thought it wise to make itself more fragile in this way, and here we are. One wonders whether General Milley might find himself in Watada’s shoes soon.

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