Kbg wrote: ↑
Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:52 am
Most GOs I know are good folks and try to do the right thing. One notable exception is if they were promoted multiple years early and are in over their heads. I don't think people realize at the very senior levels where civilians are the ones giving the orders the same dynamic exists as between a Sergeant and a Private. "Thank you for your input, shut up and color. Am I clear?" Said more eloquently of course but the bottom line is the same. There is always the cry "they should have resigned" if they didn't agree with something. I pose the metaphorical, why, if it wasn't illegal, unethical or immoral
? Biden was/is clearly within his prerogative/constitutional power as the President to wrap up any conflict he feels like. The US military is bought and paid for to execute political policy, full stop no exceptions (illegal, immoral, unethical excepted).
We as US citizens have the right to vote for someone else in the next election.
Is the "illegal, unethical, immoral"
something that is drilled into all military personnel? I remembered you using that phrase here when I just read Milley being quoted using the same phrase twice in Woodard's newest book.
Unexpectedly, Milley’s executive officer came into the office and passed him a handwritten note: “Speaker Pelosi would like to speak to you ASAP. Topic: Succession. Twenty-fifth amendment.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, was second in line to succeed the president after the vice president and received detailed briefings on the command and control of U.S. nuclear weapons. The 34-year House veteran was steeped in all national security, military and intelligence matters.
Milley picked up the Pelosi call on his personal cell phone, an unclassified line, and put it on speakerphone so one of his advisers could also listen.
What follows is a transcript of the call obtained by the authors.
“What precautions are available,” Pelosi asked, “to prevent an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or from accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike?
“This situation of this unhinged president could not be more dangerous. We must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy.”
Pelosi said she was calling Milley as the senior military officer because Christopher Miller, recently installed by Trump as acting secretary of defense, had not been confirmed by the Senate.
“I can tell you that we have a lot of checks in the system,” Milley said. “And I can guarantee you, you can take it to the bank, that there’ll be, that the nuclear triggers are secure and we’re not going to do—we’re not going to allow anything crazy, illegal, immoral or unethical
“And how are you going to do that? Going to take the football away from him or whatever it is?” she asked.
She well knew that the football is the briefcase carried by a senior military aide to the president containing the sealed authentication launch codes for using nuclear weapons and a so-called black book that lists attack and target options.
“Well,” Milley said, “we have procedures. There are launch codes and procedures that are required to do that. And I can assure you, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I can assure you that will not happen.”
“So if you had some concern that it could, what would be the step you would take?”
“If I thought even for a nanosecond that—I have no direct authority,” he said, “but I have a lot of ability to prevent bad things from happening in my own little…”
Pelosi interrupted, “The American people need some reassurance on this, General. What are you prepared to say publicly about this?”
“I don’t, candidly, Madam Speaker. Publicly, I don’t think I should say anything right now. I think that anything that I would say as an individual, I think would be misconstrued in ten different ways.”
“Well, let’s just talk about it objectively and not about any particular president,” Pelosi said. “With all the power that is invested into the president to have that power—to use the word twice—what are the precautions here?”
“The precautions are procedures that we have in place,” he said, “which require authentication, certification, and any instructions have to come from a competent authority and they have to be legal. And there has to be a logical rationale for any kind of use of nuclear weapon. Not just nuclear weapons, use of force.
“So I can assure you that we have rock solid systems in place. That there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell this president, or any president can launch nuclear weapons illegally, immorally, unethically without proper certification from…”
“And you said not only nuclear, but also use of force?” she asked.
“Absolutely,” Milley said. “A lot of people are concerned about, and rightly so, concerned about a potential incident in say Iran. I’m watching that as close as a hawk. Every single hour watching things overseas. The same thing domestically, with things like martial law stuff, the Insurrection Act.
“This is one of those moments, Madam Speaker, where you’re going to have to trust me on this. I guarantee it. I’m giving you my word. I can’t say any of this publicly because I really don’t have the authorities and it would be misconstrued in 50 different directions, but I can assure you that the United States military is steady as a rock and we’re not going to do anything illegal, immoral or unethical
with the use of force. We will not do it.”
Pelosi interjected. “But he just did something illegal, immoral and unethical and nobody stopped him. Nobody. Nobody at the White House. This escalated in the way it did because of the intent of the president. The president incited it and nobody in the White House did anything about it. Nobody in the White House did anything to stop him.”
“I’m not going to disagree with you,” Milley replied.
“So you’re saying you’re going to make sure it doesn’t happen?” the speaker asked. “It already did happen. An assault on our democracy happened and nobody said, you can’t do that. Nobody.”
“Well, Madam Speaker, the launching of nuclear weapons and the incitement of a riot…”
“I know they’re different. Thank you very much. What I’m saying to you is that if they couldn’t even stop him from an assault on the Capitol, who even knows what else he may do? And is there anybody in charge at the White House who was doing anything but kissing his fat butt all over this?”
She continued, “Is there any reason to think that somebody, some voice of reason, could have weighed in with him? So for this, we are very, very affected by this. This is not an accident. This is not something that you go, well, now that’s done, let’s go from there. Let’s move on. It ain’t that. This is deep what he did. He traumatized the staff. He assaulted the Capitol and the rest of that. And he’s not going to get away with it. He’s not going to be empowered to do more.”
Pelosi brought up President Richard Nixon, who had been forced to resign in 1974 because of the Watergate scandal.
“Nixon did far less and the Republicans said to him, ‘You have to go.’ Not even in the same league of things. ‘You have to go.’ The Republicans are all enablers of this behavior and I just wonder does anybody have any sanity at the White House? Say don’t go there.
“They put up this fraudulent—this uh—‘he says he doesn’t have anything to do with it’ video yesterday because they know they’re in trouble. This is bad, but who knows what he might do. He’s crazy. You know he’s crazy. He’s been crazy for a long time. So don’t say you don’t know what his state of mind is. He’s crazy and what he did yesterday is further evidence of his craziness. But anyway, I appreciate what you said.”
“Madam Speaker,” Milley said. “I agree with you on everything.”
“What can I tell my colleagues who are demanding answers about what is happening to deter him from engaging in launching any kind of initiation of hostilities in any way, in any way, and including taking his hand off that power?
“And the only way to do that is to get rid of him because there’s nobody around with any courage to stop him from storming the Capitol and inflaming, inciting an insurrection. And there he is, the president of the United States in there. And you’ve answered my question. Thank you, General. Thank you.”
Pelosi paused and asked, “Is that fool at the Department of Defense, the acting Secretary, does he have any power in this regard? Is it worth any second even to call him?”
“I agree 100 percent with everything you’ve said,” Milley replied. “The one thing I can guarantee is that as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I want you to know that—I want you to know this in your heart of hearts, I can guarantee you 110 percent that the military, use of military power, whether it’s nuclear or a strike in a foreign country of any kind, we’re not going to do anything illegal or crazy. We’re not going to do…”
“Well,” Pelosi asked, “what do you mean, illegal or crazy? Illegal by whose judgments of illegal? He already did and nobody did anything about it.”
“So I’m talking about the use of the U.S. military,” Milley said. “I’m talking about us striking out, lashing out militarily. U.S. military power domestically and/or internationally.”
“I’m not going to say that I’m assured by that,” she said, “but I’m going to say that I asked you about it—just so you know. Because…”
“I can give you my word,” Milley said. “The best I can do is give you my word and I’m going to prevent anything like that in the United States military.”
“Well,” she said, “I hope you can prevail in the insane snake pit of the Oval Office and the crazy family as well. You’d think there’d been an intervention by now. The Republicans have blood on their hands and everybody who enables him to do what he does has blood on their hands and the traumatic effect for our country.
“And our young people who are idealistic and who work here, I will tell you the people on both sides of the aisle have been traumatized to the nth degree because this man is a nut and everybody knows it and nobody will act upon it. So we’ll just keep pushing for the 25th Amendment and for some Republican leadership to replace the president.
“But it is a sad state of affairs for our country that we’ve been taken over by a dictator who used force against another branch of government. And he’s still sitting there. He should have been arrested. He should have been arrested on the spot. He had a coup d’état against us so he can stay in office. There should be some way to remove him. But anyway, it’s no use wasting your time on this. I appreciate that. Thank you, General. Thank you.”
“Madam Speaker, you have to take my word for it. I know the system and we’re okay. The president alone can order the use of nuclear weapons. But he doesn’t make the decision alone. One person can order it, several people have to launch it.
“Thank you, Madam Speaker.”