General James Mattis was Trump’s Secretary of Defense before he resigned. He had not spoken out against this administration since leaving his position until now. And it is a bombshell:
“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”Read more
That had been preceded the day before by retired “admiral from the U.S. Navy and was the 17th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.“
It sickened me yesterday to see security personnel—including members of the National Guard—forcibly and violently clear a path through Lafayette Square to accommodate the president’s visit outside St. John’s Church. I have to date been reticent to speak out on issues surrounding President Trump’s leadership, but we are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent.
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.Read more
The current chairman of the Joint Chiefs is distancing himself from the traitor-in-chief:
Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the most senior military advisor to Trump, issued a rare memo to the country’s armed services reminding them of their duties as well as the rights of their fellow citizens to free assembly. “We all committed our lives to the idea that is America—we will stay true to that oath and the American people,” Milley wrote in the handwritten portion of the memo.
Writing in Foreign Policy, John Allen, a retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general and current president of the Brookings Institution also criticized calls for militarization. “Right now, the last thing the country needs—and, frankly, the U.S. military needs—is the appearance of U.S. soldiers carrying out the president’s intent by descending on American citizens. This could wreck the high regard Americans have for their military, and much more,” he wrote.read more
Then there is the current Secretary of Defense. He was part of the ‘photo-op’ but is now criticizing his boss indirectly. He is defying Trump’s use of U.S. troops:
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is on shaky ground with the White House after saying Wednesday that he does not support using active duty troops to quell the large-scale protests across the United States triggered by the death of George Floyd and those forces should only be used in a law enforcement role as a last resort.
Speaking from the Pentagon briefing room podium, Esper noted that “we are not in one of those situations now,” distancing himself from President Donald Trump’s recent threat to deploy the military to enforce order.read more
“The option to use active duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. We are not in one of those situations now. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,” he told reporters. Esper also distanced himself from a maligned photo-op outside St. John’s Church.