I must start this blog by stating that this is a subject matter I never expected to be writing. Having spent 23 years of my life as an officer in the United States Army, I was shocked to hear about the actions that were taken by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, during the final days of the Trump Administration. One cannot have served the same institutions that General Milley does and come away with a feeling that his actions were justified and that he did not act outside the bounds of his authority.
As I write this, the rehabilitation campaign across the media goes on. From the White House:
“The President has great trust in General Milley” … CNN: “General Milley did his job”! … MSNBC: “General defended democracy from Trump…”
Politico: “Claims that Milley made ‘secret’ calls to Chinese leaders exaggerated” … You get the picture … After the breathtaking admission that Milley called his Chinese counterpart to assure him that if President Trump tried to ‘pull the nuclear trigger on China’ … he, Mark Milley, would give the Chinese a warning.
This combined with recently revealed discussions that he was having with the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, causes me to believe that it was clear then, as it is clear now, General Milley was intentionally usurping the Chain of Command and the United States Constitution, as well as the oath he has sworn, on numerous occasions, expressing his fidelity to the Constitution. Let’s take a look at some things that are not receiving any attention in the media.
In his runup to the Presidency, Donald Trump made his position on both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars perfectly clear. He opposed how the war was being conducted and as a campaign pledge, he would act to end the war in Afghanistan, which we now understand he was moving to do — much to the chagrin of many of the military types in Washington … General Milley among them. Through the four years of the Trump Administration, we have only a few examples of just what Milley’s position was on dealing with and responding to international acts of terror and war perpetrated on the US. The example that provides insight into the first President in many Administrations that did not start a war on their watch is the incident with Iran when the Iranians shot down an unmanned drone … a multimillion-dollar Global Hawk.
Here is what Reuters had to say about that: WASHINGTON (Reuters) June 2019 –
“U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he aborted a military strike to retaliate for Iran’s downing of an unmanned U.S. drone because it could have killed 150 people, and signaled he was open to talks with Tehran”
This does not appear to be the actions of a “crazed Neocon” who is looking to start a war — perhaps a war that would have been ignited on the advice of General Mark Milley and the operational generals who had already selected three targets to be hit in Iran. Trump, on military advice, first said “yes” — and then Trump said “No!” … because it was not worth killing 150 innocent civilians for a robot aircraft. There can be little doubt that Trump’s engagement with North Korea was not supported by Milley. His handling of NATO and their need to pay their fair share, as they had agreed, was not at the top of Milley’s list of “well done’s.” Cancelling military drills with the Government of South Korea was not one of the military hierarchy’s favorite moments. Changing policy on transgendered service members and those wanting to be servicemembers was not embraced by the hierarchy either … And the list goes on.
So, it should not come as a surprise to anyone that Milley would look for the right time to “get even” with Trump, even before Trump’s term expired.
Now, I want to focus on who I believe General Milley is and how he got to be the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. We have to remember that eight years before Trump became President, we elected Barack Obama as President and with that election, came the announcement that Obama was going to fundamentally change America. Change that included the social engineering of the US military. Those who disagreed with Obama were either fired or resigned. In fact, the record shows that some 176 Generals and Colonels left the military because they fundamentally disagreed with the course of events being carried out in the Obama Administration. Some of them, Generals with names we would see again, like General Mattis and Lieutenant General Flynn.
Here is what we know as fact about General Milley: General Milley served as deputy commanding general (1 -Star) for operations of the 101st Airborne Division from July 2007 to April 2008 and was commanding general of the 10th Mountain Division (2-Stars) from November 2011 to December 2012. He then served as commander of III Corps (3-Stars), based at Fort Hood, Texas, from 2012 to 2014, and as the commanding general of United States Army Forces Command (4-Stars), based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from 2014 to 2015. He was appointed chief of staff of the Army (4-Stars) on August 14, 2015.
So, he goes from a Brigadier General (1-Star) in 2008, Major General (2-Stars) by 2011, on to Lieutenant General (3-Stars) by 2012 and General (4-Stars) by 2014. Now, who was elected President in 2008? The correlation is clear if you connect the dots — General Milley had gained favor with the Obama Administration and was advanced as quickly as possible to his eventual appointment as Chief of Staff of the Army in 2015. Could it be that General Milley was “woke” before it was cool to be woke? Given the unfortunate career path for the 176 other Generals and Colonels during the same period of time, I think we can conclude that was very much the case. Understanding this, we can understand how General Milley could sit before a Congressional Committee and say, “I want to understand white rage and I’m white!” It was under the surface the entire time.
Now, the indictment is that Trump appointed him to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. So, it was — but, if there was a fatal flaw in all that Trump did … it was his belief as a businessman, not wise to the ways of DC, that all who served the President would be loyal to the boss and that disagreements would be addressed internally.
So, we know that General Milley is “woke” as evidenced by his latest actions such as talking to reporters to say how he saved the Republic from Orange Man or China from a nuclear strike or offensive tattoos in the DoD or an insurrection in which no guns were found and the only person to die was an unarmed veteran – shot and killed by her own government without due process. So … the question has been asked: Is General Milley a traitor for calling his Chinese counterpart to let him know that he would get a “heads up” from Milley if Trump ordered a nuclear strike on China?
Again, let’s review … The President who did not start a war, who refused the military’s recommendations to strike Iran and kill up to 150 civilians, who was negotiating for a peaceful withdrawal from Afghanistan, who had substantially reduced our military exposure in Syria, and had just concluded a trade deal with China that would benefit the US worker — that is the guy who General Milley thought would launch a nuclear strike on a country fully capable of wiping out every major city in the US in retaliation — This is absurd in the extreme!
There has been no denial that General Milley usurped the Chain of Command and gave comfort, if not downright aid to our enemies. It is simply not denied — it is however being spun as “he was just doing his duty.” So, let’s take a moment to compare his actions to another General in American history who committed treason and see how General Milley’s actions compare. I am talking about General Benedict Arnold.
Benedict Arnold (14 January 1741– 14 June 1801) was an American military officer who served during the Revolutionary War. He fought for the American Continental Army, rising to the rank of major general, before defecting to the British side of the conflict in 1780. General George Washington had given him his fullest trust and placed him in command of West Point, New York.
Arnold planned to surrender the fort to British forces, but the plot was discovered in September 1780, and he fled to the British lines. Arnold received a commission as a brigadier general in the British Army, commanding the American Legion in the later part of the conflict. Arnold’s name quickly became a byword in the United States for treason and betrayal because he led the British army in battle against the very men whom he had once commanded.
General Benedict Arnold betrayed the trust and confidence of his Commander in Chief by conspiring to surrender a key military installation to the British in time of war and later fought in the uniform of the enemy against the same Commander in Chief. The issues surrounding General Milley are a bit more complex and not so clear cut as totally switching sides in a conflict — however, they do appear to constitute the very same betrayal of the trust and confidence of his Commander in Chief. Warning the Chinese of a plot that apparently did not exist, conspiring with Nancy Pelosi to take actions in response to Administration moves — these are clearly not the actions of a nonpartisan military leader. They smack of the same rancor as the actions of General Benedict Arnold.
After careful consideration of the publicly available facts surrounding this matter, I am led to the conclusion that General Milley acted against the best interests of the United States… whether or not he is a is not a traitor to his country — that is a legal matter for the courts or Milley’s conscience to decide. However, I do believe that General Milley betrayed his Commander in Chief and he stands in absolute violation of his oath of office … AND if he had an ounce of honor and moral courage, he would immediately resign the Office of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Many years ago, General Douglas MacArthur set the tone for all who serve in the US military in a speech he gave to Cadets at West Point in accepting the Sylvanus Thayer Award on 12 May 1962. General MacArthur’s statement is a memorable tribute to the ideals that inspired that great American soldier. “DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY” … three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.
General Milley failed in his duty to the Commander in Chief. General Milley besmirched the honor of his office, his oath and the warriors that he leads. Most of all, he has failed the country he has sworn to protect. Did General Milley commit treason? I will leave that up to others and history to decide. But I do believe that General Milley should resign immediately and go quietly into that long night. It is the only honorable thing left for him to do.
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