…from the Washington Post
[ Editor’s Note: “Why now” has Milley taken this step? Was he consulting with others? Was he waiting to see what Trump would do to back up his claims of taking America’s streets back from rioters? We have already seen them use excessive force on pumped up protesters.
Milley has effectively lined up with a growing and respected list of top command officers who have charged Trump with misusing the military as a political tool to frame him as Mr. Law and Order saving the country.
At the same time, Trump’s administration is treating Covid like he claimed early on with his “it’s all going to disappear” statement early in the pandemic. Dr. Fauci has been effectively banished, with no more White House briefings, which appear to be an attempt to steer the public’s attention away from the pandemic, while Trump claims victory for, in between sipping his bleach drink.
I would bet $5 that General Milley might be daring Trump to fire him so that Milley can resign, retire and enter the reelection fray as a private citizen, but still representing the troops.
The list of top ranking government officials continues to grow, with 1300 requesting that the DoD’s inspector general look into the clearing of a peaceful public protest in Lafayette Square that enabled Trump to stage a campaign photo op.
Trump cannot brand them all Obama lovers, as we had an earlier batch of former Pentagon people protest Trump’s threat to put troops on America’s streets to frame himself as the tough guy president. There had been a rumor that Lafayette Square was an Ivanka idea, which means one of her Israeli handlers.
Trump sent the National Guard back home, but the damage cannot be undone. The Orange buffoon is collecting and manufacturing diversions, hoping people will forget about his earlier claim that the virus threat was a hoax.
Weeks later, he was asked a question in a White House press conference, “Did he feel any responsibility for those that died?” Trump replied that he was “not responsible for anything”, something no American president has ever said … Jim W. Dean ]
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– First published … June 11, 2020 –
Milley advised the students that it is important to keep “a keen sense of situational awareness” and that he had failed to do so as he walked from Lafayette Square in combat fatigues alongside the president, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and other senior advisers.
“As many of you saw the results of the photograph of me in Lafayette Square last week, that sparked a national debate about the role of the military in civil society,” Milley said. “I should not have been there. My presence in that moment, and in that environment, created the perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”
The apology follows a backlash from several retired senior officers, including Jim Mattis, who served as Trump’s first defense secretary.
In a scathing message, Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general, blasted the president for working to divide the country and took exception to the events in Lafayette Square. Mattis was motivated to write in part because he was appalled by the appearance of Milley in an event that critics said made it look as though Trump could use the military as a political club against opponents, several people close to Mattis told The Washington Post.
Mattis’ remarks marked an extraordinary shift, after he said repeatedly that he believed it was his duty to stay out of politics following his resignation as Pentagon chief in 2018. Many Democrats and other opponents of the president had criticized him for his stance, in light of his standing and knowledge of the president.
Senior defense officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, had said Milley and Esper did not know what the president had planned at St. John’s Episcopal Church after walking through Lafayette Square.
Milley did not appear in a group photograph in front of the church that Trump called for, but Esper did. The two leaders had worked that day to talk the president out of a much heavier response that included active-duty soldiers on America’s streets, the defense officials said.
Milley’s apology came at the end of a speech in which he decried the “senseless, brutal killing” of Floyd, a black man who died in custody after a white officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The incident was captured on video and has prompted protests around the globe about police brutality and racism.
“His death amplified the pain, the frustration, the fear that so many of our fellow Americans live with day in and day out,” Milley said. “The protests that have ensued speak not only to his killing, but to the centuries of injustice toward African Americans.”
Milley also called for military leaders to look for ways to improve equality, noting the military’s “mixed record” on the issue. While the military has come to reflect the diversity of the nation, he said, only 7 percent of generals and admirals are African American.
“We, too, have not come far enough,” he said. “We cannot afford to marginalize large portions of our potential talent pool, or alienate certain demographic groups.”
Milley’s speech followed an announcement this week by state officials in Kentucky that another black man, David McAtee, was killed May 31 by the Kentucky National Guard at a barbecue restaurant he owned, thrusting the military further into the spotlight about its involvement in quelling national unrest.
The Louisville Metro Police Department have released surveillance footage that it says shows McAtee had fired a pistol as police cleared a parking lot outside his restaurant with pepper balls.
Guard members returned fire along with police after McAtee fired from the door of his shop, the Guard said in a statement. Brig. Gen. Hal Lamberton, the Kentucky National Guard’s senior officer, said in the statement that he believes an investigation “will conclude that it was a measured response from the National Guard that night.”
Milley did not mention the killing in Louisville. He said the National Guard has provided excellent support to law enforcement authorities as they respond to protests.