Americans can breathe a small sigh of relief after Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley unequivocally confirmed that the military will not obey an illegal order from President Donald Trump.
Trump had wanted to use tanks in addition to regular military troops against American citizens, but Milley shut him down. In the end, Trump only received 1,600 National Guard troops in Washington DC and the activation of a further 5,000 more.
But even that was incredibly heavy-handed and led to swift condemnation.
However, it did spark concern that Trump could order the military to target Americans or even order them to help him stay in power should he lose the election in November.
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) wanted to know if the military would obey an illegal order from Trump, so he sent Milley a letter asking him that simple question.
Well, Milley wrote back and Trump isn’t going to like his answer.
“My bottom line response to the question in your June 1, 2020 letter is ‘absolutely not.’ I testified at my Senate confirmation hearing that any soldier, sailor, airman or marine, regardless of rank, including myself, will not obey an illegal order,” Milley responded in a letter. “I have personally abided by this standard since my commissioning 40 years ago — and I will not change now.”
American servicemembers must never obey an illegal order. Presidents should know not to issue them. pic.twitter.com/FEeJyLfPhX
— Ruben Gallego (@RepRubenGallego) June 8, 2020
So, for the moment, Americans can take a breath. But that doesn’t mean we should not remain vigilant and ready to fight back if necessary. Every time Trump does not get his way with one of his officials, he has been known to replace them with a lackey who will do his bidding, no matter how controversial or illegal.
All Trump would need to do is find a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs who is willing to tell the military the lie that his orders are perfectly legal. If that moment ever comes to pass, it will then be up to the commanders and the men and women serving under them to decide if Trump’s order should or should not be followed.
If it pertains to harming the American people or democracy, they had better honor their oath to the Constitution and tell Trump to go to hell.
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