Saturday 17 July 2021

Milley-tary Intervention.

Face Off: Informed that President Donald Trump and his allies were planning to claim victory in the 2020 presidential election and use their control of the federal apparatus to stage what amounted to a coup d’état, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, is said to have responded: “They may try, but they’re not going to fucking succeed. You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with guns.”

THE SANE HALF of the United States must be breathing a huge sigh of relief. Excerpts from I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year, by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, published today (15/7/21) in The Washington Post, reveal just how important the character of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has become to the fate of the American republic. Confronted with the demands of an out-of-control Donald Trump, a Chairman lacking in General Mark Milley’s determination to defend his country’s constitution may well have buckled. Fortunately, this general was not the buckling kind.

Informed that Trump and his allies were planning to claim victory in the 2020 presidential election and use their control of the federal apparatus to stage what amounted to a coup d’état, Milley is said to have responded:

They may try, but they’re not going to fucking succeed. You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with guns.

Very true, but in describing the reality of the situation with such uncompromising, gun-metal clarity, Milley was opening up a very large can of worms. The guiding constitutional principle in relation to the armed forces of the United States is that they must, at all times, remain under civilian control. The “Founding Fathers”, most of whom had received a classical education, were only too aware of the role Julius Caesar played in the downfall of the Roman Republic. Generals, they insisted, must be kept on tight civilian leash.

All well and good, but what happens when the civilians in charge (like the Secretary of Defence) are all the carefully selected political creatures of a man intent on making himself President-for-Life – and to hell with the Constitution! – what then?

Well, then it comes down to an unelected military officer deciding, on his own recognisance, that the orders of his Commander-in-Chief (i.e. the President) are unlawful and therefore unconstitutional, and consequently ought not to be obeyed by him, or anybody under his command. Paraphrasing the notorious formula of the US officer in Vietnam: “It would become necessary to destroy the Constitution in order to save it.”

A grim decision. But, the alternative decision: to obey the orders of a Commander-in-Chief who has just invoked the Insurrection Act, or declared a State of National Emergency, in order to steal the election from his opponent and feed the Constitution of the United States into the shredder; would have been even grimmer.

Perhaps word of Milley’s refusal to go along with Trump’s intended autogolpé (the Spanish term for a self-administered coup-d’état) tested the courage of Trump and his supporters to its breaking-point. After all, and as the failure of the attack on the US Capitol Building revealed, any insurrection attempted without the active co-operation of “the guys with guns” is doomed to fail.

Milley’s love of history stood the American people in very good stead during the final, harrowing weeks of 2020 and the first 20 days of 2021. Trump he insisted, was preaching the “Gospel of the Führer” and the USA was facing what he called “a Reichstag moment”. [The destruction of the Reichstag, Germany’s parliament, by a young Communist arsonist, was seized upon by Hitler and his Nazis as proof of an impending Communist uprising requiring the suspension of the German constitution and the authorisation of rule by decree.] A week after the storming of the Capitol Building on 6 January, Milley raged: “These guys are Nazis, they’re boogaloo boys, they’re Proud Boys. These are the same people we fought in World War II”. How Trump must regret his failure to appoint someone other than Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs!

Though America made it through the perilous weeks of Trump’s incipient treachery and celebrated joyously President Joe Biden’s arrival at the White House, the United States military may soon be called upon to rescue the republic a second time.

So wedded has the Republican Party become to Trump’s “Gospel of the Führer” that they have launched an all-out assault on the democratic process in the states it controls. Supposedly convinced by Trump’s “big lie” that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen”, the Republicans are now showing every sign of being willing to steal the 2022 mid-term elections.

If the comprehensive voter suppression laws they have passed allow them to reclaim both the House and the Senate, there are those within the Republican Party’s ranks who would not hesitate to have Congress declare the 2020 presidential election result null-and-void and seek to re-instate Trump in the White House. Were this scenario to unfold, President Biden would have two choices: acquiescence; or, to declare martial law, proscribe the Republican Party, and arrest its leaders, congresspeople and senators. Pending the calling together of a new Constitutional Convention, the drawing up of a new and unequivocally democratic (small ‘d’) constitution, and the holding of new elections, Biden would be required to rule by decree – and the US Military, the FBI and the CIA – the “guys with guns” – would have to let him do it.

In order to save the American republic, they would have to destroy it. Off the wall scenario? Let’s hope so. It would be unwise, however, to ignore President Biden’s impassioned speech, delivered earlier this week to constitutional scholars in Philadelphia, the key sentences of which were heavy with foreboding:

So hear me clearly. There’s an unfolding assault taking place in America today, an attempt to suppress and subvert right to vote in fair and free elections, an assault on democracy, an assault on liberty, an assault on who we are, who we are as Americans. But make no mistake, bullies and merchants of fear, peddlers of lies, are threatening the very foundation of our country ….. We’re facing the most significant test of our democracy since the civil war, That’s not hyperbole. Since the civil war. The Confederates, back then, never breached the Capitol as insurrectionists did on 6 January. I’m not saying this to alarm you. I’m saying this because you should be alarmed.

And who prevented the army of the racist, slave-owning, and profoundly undemocratic Confederate States of America from marching into the US Capitol? The United States armed forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant and their Commander-in-Chief Abraham Lincoln – that’s who.

This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Friday, 16 July 2021.


John Hurley said...

If you go back to the data what is actually taking place is a backlash against the rapid arrival of peoples who we do not see as us (and vice-versa).

After Trump and Brexit the [call them] metropolitan elites didn't know what to do. They eventually decided to use media and bureaucracies, to cheat and tell lies (a selective telling of the truth). They doubled down.

Simon Marks said that Trump was McCarthy and he had to be taken out to save the US [I forget the word they use].

There seems to be a reasonable case that there was election interference. Not to mention Joe Biden (Smart talk at Auckland Museum also) welcoming whites becoming a minority.

Is it any wonder they need to suppress revolution?

Nick J said...

Im not sure that there is a sane half of the USA given that you'd have to be insane to vote Trump, and equally insane to vote for the Dem trainwreck.

I never got partisan on this as ultimately Im in NZ and not seeing it on the ground. For the past five years my regard for the sources from either side can be summed up by Justice Mahons adage, "an orchestrated litany of lies". False news from all diections. Most totally overhyped. I fear that the General may have fallen into this trap too.

The Barron said...

Major General Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940)
In 1933, he became involved in a controversy known as the Business Plot, when he told a congressional committee that a group of wealthy industrialists were planning a military coup to overthrow President Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Butler selected to lead a march of veterans to become dictator, similar to fascist regimes at that time. The individuals involved all denied the existence of a plot, and the media ridiculed the allegations, but a final report by a special House of Representatives Committee confirmed some of Butler's testimony.

Roosevelt's election was upsetting for many conservative businessmen of the time, as his "campaign promise that the government would provide jobs for all the unemployed had the perverse effect of creating a new wave of unemployment by businessmen frightened by fears of socialism and reckless government spending."[11] Some writers have said concerns over the gold standard were also involved; Jules Archer, in The Plot to Seize the White House, wrote that with the end of the gold standard, "conservative financiers were horrified. They viewed a currency not solidly backed by gold as inflationary, undermining both private and business fortunes and leading to national bankruptcy. Roosevelt was damned as a socialist or Communist out to destroy private enterprise by sapping the gold backing of wealth in order to subsidize the poor.

The Business Plot (also called the Wall Street Putsch and The White House Putsch) was a political conspiracy in 1933 in the United States to overthrow the government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and install a dictator. - Various Wikipedia

Yes Chris, not only could it happen but it has been tried before.

Both in that example and your scenario, the saving factor has been ethical military leaders that take their oath to the constitution as primacy. What happens when a military type in the character of MacArthur, North or Flynn find themselves leading the forces?

Mark Simpson said...

This is seriously spooky stuff Chris giving authenticity to President Biden's articulate, dire warnings. One would like to think that the pillars of democracy would see off any insurrection regardless of its prominence. But given that 74 million people voted for Trump and that conservative states are treating these pillars as shibboleths one wonders if the USA's constitution is indeed unravelling to the point of destruction.

oneblokesview said...

After a run of great articles Chris.
I can not support your theory that Milley is a great leader and responsible for political acts(removing the President).
That whole event was showboating of the worst kind.

If indeed President Trump had refused to vacate the White House on due date. The secret service would have escorted him from the building.

The option you refer to is absolute political theatre

Nick J said...

According to Parenti (a US Marxist historian) the plotters approached a certain Dwight Eisenhower to lead the military. Dwight promptly dobbed them in. Later Eisenhower, as Republican president warned against the industrial military complex, now joined by finance, media and big tech. Ike was Right wing, so work that out when thinking about opinions from that broad church today.

Nick J said...

The election interference issue got statistically analysed by a physicist who basically looked for aberations and outliers. High level multiple regressions, Chi tests etc.

His results basically said that all of the anomalies favoured Biden and that in itself was an anomaly. The end analysis he gave said that the odds against this were extreme, so make your own minds up.

Odysseus said...

Not credible. Trump remains a significant political force and so the Democrat efforts to demonize him continue apace. And to cover their tracks in stealing the election. Trump left the White House peacefully when the time came. The January 6 "insurrection" was nothing of the sort. Demonstrators were let into the Capitol by Capitol Police. A few hotheads got carried away but only one person was killed - an unarmed demonstrator shot while climbing through a window. Rewriting history is now a major Democrat priority for the midterms.

Patricia said...

What Biden said has been going on for a very long time. Such things don’t happen all in a few months. They are planned over years. Just read Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean and you will see how it is done and what the far rights aims are.

petes new write said...

Who created the monster Trump became?

PaulVD said...

Always and everywhere, the survival of democracy depends on the willingness of the people with guns to respect the limits on their power imposed by the country's constitution. If they are no longer willing to accept that (for whatever reason), there is no practical way to force them to respect the constitution. Close to home, we saw that in Fiji a few decades ago.
Over the last 200+ years, the US has gone through various crises in which the willingness of the military to respect the US Constitution was tested. So far, their military have always passed the test, and it appears to be a proud part of their self-respect that they have done so. That does not prove that they will pass the next test, but it is as much reassurance as the people of the US can expect.
In NZ, the military has always subordinated itself to political control. In 1951, for example, they followed the orders of the Holland Government in helping to break the Waterfront Strike. In the short term, that was deplorable, but in the long term we should be grateful that they obeyed the civil power. We can only hope that they will do the same the next time they are tested.
The alternative is Article 2 of the Constitution of Vietnam, which in one translation reads "The power of the State is unlimited, and the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary are branches of the State". One has no need to read the rest of the constitution, because this already says that the people who control the guns can do whatever they like.

sumsuch said...

I hadn't noted Biden's manifest declaration -- surely even on the Right's pretty entirely separate 'news'-feed they'd report that.

The thinness of corporate Democrats is shown up by Jan 6 and the vitalness of a general's memory, and his need to emphasise it with a 'descriptive'. Yet their official Left party won't go to social democracy. I've heard their 'Left' MSM channels refer to the 'extreme Left' along with the extreme Right. Utterly ridiculous. Or, to say, they are people who think Jeff Bezos is a good bloke. I've seen Jake Tapper struggle with the concept of 'progressive'. Why their state and the world is unstable in the time of our most important challenge -- the PR, instead of deliverance of their people.

sumsuch said...

The Democrats' America is thin like Somoza's Nicaragua. No defence in it.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Christ, I'm on holiday but I can't let this go. I can't believe that there are people who believe the American election was stolen for a start. To do that you have to believe that thousands of electoral officials all over the country, many of them Republican, many of them appointed by Republican politicians, engaged in a huge conspiracy to falsify election results. You also have to believe that numerous state attorney generals, governors, and the like, many of them Republican and some of them elected by Trump voters are lying when they say that the election was free and fair. You also have to believe that 60 or so presumably judges, many of them Republican and many of them appointed by Trump are wilfully dismissing court cases alleging election fraud. Someone has produced an algorithm which enables you to figure out how long a conspiracy would last before someone blew the whistle, depending on the number of people who know about it. So many people need to have been in on this that it would have lasted about five seconds in my estimation. If you believe this there is no other way to put it, you are a gullible idiot.
As to the insurrection, some of them were obviously let in by the Capitol police and by at least one Republican politician, others broke windows and forced doors, including the unarmed demonstrator who was given several warnings and then shot. A damn sight more warnings I might add than many black people who have been shot by the police in the past. One policeman died as a result of being beaten, and sprayed with bear spray of some sort. Which means that whoever did it in some jurisdictions in the US is guilty of what they call "felony murder". And in fact if this legality applies – in theory all of them who actually committed a criminal act in this case are guilty of it as well, which could in fact be hundreds. 150 other policemen were beaten and injured. No need to rewrite history, it's already there.

Graham Hill said...

Milley has been made to look quite silly and ignorant in a recent Congressional hearing over recommending CRT for the military. He would seem to be po Democrat. We may find out he answers to what happened in sy 5 to 10 years time when the history is written up. he current raft of anti Trump books are from people too close to the events with an axe to grind.

Forming an opinion here is very difficult.

Related to this is that NZ chain book shops seem to take a liberal bias in the books stocked. From my research, the excellent book by Victor Davis Hansen. The Case for Trump, which looked at the social factors of a split USA, was not stocked, nor did I see Newt Gringrich's book. I asked Whitcoulls, the company that censored Jordan peterson, if it was going to stock the 13 Jlly published book Mark Levin's American Marxism and the answer, after consulting the computer terminal was no.

Whitcoulls and Paper Plus seem set to keep running Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, Hillary and Obama hagiography. Books about Obama's radical left connections, for example, with Alinsky and Weather Underground personnel and ACORN are alos off market in NZ.

Graham Hill said...

I re read the paragraph where you mention Republican State voter suppression laws have been passed. You may with respect have bough the Democrat spin I suggest you read the Georgia legislation as passed which is more generous that that in Biden's own Delaware. It has, among other ease of voting access, longer voting hours and does require an ID. Democrats call ID requirements racist and suppression. ID's are pretty much a world wide requirement to vote and 74% of Americans want them. The Court is presently dealing with Fulton County issues. It does seem team Trump were right.

As to 6 January no one has been charged with insurrection. The breaches of civil liberties of the 600 detainees, most of them in solitary confinement and without being charged are appallingly 3rd world.. To call it the worst event since the civil war is preposterous, as in that war about 700,00 people died. and towns and cities burnt down The greater risk to American democracy is the Biden Administration: the unprecedented number of Executive Orders- rule by fiats that no select committees hearings have been held; beaches of the separation of powers in HR1 and S1, then the alignment of Big Tech to be the agents of censoring for Federal Government, which Jen Pasaki and the Surgeon General conceded last week. It will be interesting to see if the Administration permits the 2022 mid terms to proceed.

One's view point will alter depending whether you read the far left NYT, the Wa PO and watch CNN and MSNBC (which are feeders for our MSM) v New York Post Washington Examiner , WSJ and Epoch Times

Nick J said...

Listening to John Michael Greer recently he recounted learning Russian at school in the 70s and reading the blatant propaganda in Pravda. He went on to say that he would never have guessed that US newspapers would imitate them as they do today. He described Washington Post as Pravda on the Potomac, NYT as Izvestia on the Hudson. Very apt.

Tom Hunter said...

It seems that this has been another 48-hour hysteria stories that then drops from sight, just as we've seen with many such stories about Trump over the last five years. That's especially true of books and stories with "quotes" that cannot or will not be confirmed, plus incidents such as the Trump-Georgia phone call where the WaPo admitted months later that they were not quotes at all but paraphrasing supplied by a source who claimed to have listened in on the call. Funnily enough exactly the same quotes appeared in multiple MSM sites claiming that they had "independently confirmed" the quotes. In hindsight it's obvious that it was all the same, single source.

In this case, what has likely undercut the story is that one has to believe that General Milley and company gamed out a Trump coup scenario in the scary, scary weeks following the election, yet somehow completely missed being prepared for the January 6 "insurrection" itself. Either he's lying or incompetent, but it wouldn't be the first occasion when an incompetent general got to the top in the peacetime US military.

Tom Hunter said...

BTW - the first sentencing of one of those frightening Jan 6 insurrectionists happened just the other day: 8 months for "obstructing an official proceeding", which prosecutors said, in their most serious and sombre voices, was a “grave danger to our democracy.” even though he committed no violence or property damage. There's another 500 or so to churn through, none of which will be convicted of sedition, insurrection, treason or any of the other hair-raising terms thrown around by the Democrat Party. The convictions will be for convoluted charges like the one above and trespassing. Even the charges for assaulting cops will be tricky, given what constitutes an assault, though I do have to chuckle at the numbers of grandmothers who have been arrested.

On the less funny side, as Graham Hill points out, this all comes with hundreds of arrestees having sat in jail for months, often in solitary confinement, while awaiting trial on such charges without any criminal history or any charges involving violence or property destruction. Civil Rights and "Unity" be damned as long as the US Left gets to go after 75 million Trump voters by any means necessary.

Two justice systems it seems. The Left have long argued such. Wonder what will happen to the FBI and company when they find the Right agreeing with them?

And I can't leave this without noting the usual rubbish from Gaslight Surgeon:

... including the unarmed demonstrator who was given several warnings and then shot.
I've watched several videos of that incident from multiple angles and no warnings were given her at any stage. She was attempting to climb through the broken window pane of a door when shot. As has happened in the past, with people like Miriam Carey in 2013, the trigger-happy dickheads of the Capitol Police will get away with something that ordinary police forces do not. Unlike every other such cop, this guy has still not been identified and case closed.

A damn sight more warnings I might add than many black people who have been shot by the police in the past.
There are hundreds of videos of Antifa and BLM protestors doing far worse than Ashli Babbitt did - and not getting shot, or even beaten and tazed.

One policeman died as a result of being beaten, and sprayed with bear spray of some sort.
More January news, All that was officially refuted months ago, which did not come as a surprise to those of us wondering why a simply coroner's verdict was taking so long and why nobody was being charged with Sicknick's murder. In fact he died of a stroke the next day at home, with no signs of physical injury, let alone being hit on the head. Naturally the goalposts were shifted to "the aftermath of assault" and bear spray, but by late April the DOJ had dropped those claims as well.

You can add to that the complete dismissal (by the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior no less) of earlier claims that Trump ordered troops to tear gas the poor old protestors in Lafayette Park in June 2020. All made up by the anti-Trump crowd, including the MSM who screamed about it 24/7.

That's quite a series of unravelling lies for the DOJ and the MSM, but obviously it has had no effect on those reading those quotes from Milley published by two journalists with a history of unbalanced, non-objective and venomous attacks on Trump. If you hate him then you believed all this crap produced by others who hated him.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Diaz said the autopsy found no evidence of internal or external injuries, or of an allergic reaction to the chemical substance — but did say "all that transpired played a role in his condition."

Nick J said...

Pure Tonypandy. After five years of Orange Man bad this can only be described as a very bad indictment on the stupidity of observers from all sides, in particular the more partisan on either side.
The delicious irony for the "Left" is that the most vociferously anti Trump forces were those of the corporate / government / defense nexus. Are not those people the ones that the Left should be opposing? It appears so far that anything they say via their zombie mouthpiece Joe is covered in divine rectitude.

What a mess, but we in the rest of the world don't have to be compliant willing fools for this charade.

Nick J said...

GS have you watched any of those videos yet? Id bet not, I'm putting the $20 straight into my pocket.

sumsuch said...

Appreciate Chris and GS's investigations into details, 'endless' among them. Were endless details about every detail the source of the mass movement of the people? So I appreciate youse dealing with these out-of-the-woodwork modern critters.

My Aunt-in-law has just died at 97. As an English teacher she hated all infractions agin correct grammar. I could hear her grinding her teeth when I, out of principle, from before 10, refused to 'th' 3. Her son was 'delivered' by a Samoan woman who always, always said 'youse'. She put up with it under , I'm sure, sufferance. I agree with the daughter-in-law, it was a bad decision to throw over the plural second person, alongside the good decision to not give every noun a sex.