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Thread: Fmr. Sec. of Defense Mattis Denounces pResident Trump as Threat to Constitution

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    Fmr. Sec. of Defense Mattis Denounces pResident Trump as Threat to Constitution

    James Mattis Denounces President Trump, Describes Him as a Threat to the Constitution
    In an extraordinary condemnation, the former defense secretary backs protesters and says the president is trying to turn Americans against one another.


    JEFFREY GOLDBERG
    6:00 PM ET

    CHRISTIE HEMM KLOK

    James Mattis, the esteemed Marine general who resigned as secretary of defense in December 2018 to protest Donald Trump’s Syria policy, has, ever since, kept studiously silent about Trump’s performance as president. But he has now broken his silence, writing an extraordinary broadside in which he denounces the president for dividing the nation, and accuses him of ordering the U.S. military to violate the constitutional rights of American citizens.

    “I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” Mattis writes. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.” He goes on, “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

    “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”

    He goes on to contrast the American ethos of unity with Nazi ideology. “Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that ‘The Nazi slogan for destroying us … was “Divide and Conquer.” Our American answer is “In Union there is Strength.”’ We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.”

    Mattis’s dissatisfaction with Trump was no secret inside the Pentagon. But after his resignation, he argued publicly—and to great criticism—that it would be inappropriate and counterproductive for a former general, and a former Cabinet official, to criticize a sitting president. Doing so, he said, would threaten the apolitical nature of the military. When I interviewed him last year on this subject, he said, “When you leave an administration over clear policy differences, you need to give the people who are still there as much opportunity as possible to defend the country. They still have the responsibility of protecting this great big experiment of ours.” He did add, however: “There is a period in which I owe my silence. It’s not eternal. It’s not going to be forever.”

    That period is now definitively over. Mattis reached the conclusion this past weekend that the American experiment is directly threatened by the actions of the president he once served. In his statement, Mattis makes it clear that the president’s response to the police killing of George Floyd, and the ensuing protests, triggered this public condemnation.

    “When I joined the military, some 50 years ago,” he writes, “I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”

    He goes on to implicitly criticize the current secretary of defense, Mark Esper, and other senior officials as well. “We must reject any thinking of our cities as a ‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate.’ At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.

    Here is the text of the complete statement.

    IN UNION THERE IS STRENGTH
    I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.

    When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.

    We must reject any thinking of our cities as a “battlespace” that our uniformed military is called upon to “dominate.” At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.

    James Madison wrote in Federalist 14 that “America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat.” We do not need to militarize our response to protests. We need to unite around a common purpose. And it starts by guaranteeing that all of us are equal before the law.

    Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that “The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’” We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.

    Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.

    We can come through this trying time stronger, and with a renewed sense of purpose and respect for one another. The pandemic has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community. Americans in hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their lives on the line in order to serve their fellow citizens and their country. We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s “better angels,” and listen to them, as we work to unite.

    Only by adopting a new path—which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals—will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad.


    We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

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    "Never Trumper" Republicans create blistering "The Coward and the Commander" ad:
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 06-06-2020 at 06:37 PM.

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    The Lincoln Project was founded by George Conway so of course they are going to attack Cheeto. George and Mitt have been great entertainment and no surprise Mattis jumped in. Politics get’s really colorful when there is a lot of uncertainty that frankly nobody has any control over. It’s called the blame game. The only thing that keeps this country going in reality is there is nothing to compete with the US Dollar. That buys us the privilege to fuck up and everyone has fucked up and everyone blames everyone else for the fuckup. So if you like pro wrestling follow politics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitro Express View Post
    The Lincoln Project was founded by George Conway so of course they are going to attack Cheeto. George and Mitt have been great entertainment and no surprise Mattis jumped in. Politics get’s really colorful when there is a lot of uncertainty that frankly nobody has any control over. It’s called the blame game. The only thing that keeps this country going in reality is there is nothing to compete with the US Dollar. That buys us the privilege to fuck up and everyone has fucked up and everyone blames everyone else for the fuckup. So if you like pro wrestling follow politics.
    What? is the chorus of nearly every ret. senior military officer, including Colin Powell who just spoke on CNN that Trump is a lying, failed leader that is an active threat to the US Constitution?

    Romney is an elected politician, Mattis is a largely selfless career military officer that tarnished his reputation to serve a ignorant cunt that was getting a multi-million dollar salary for doing nothing while he led marines in Vietnam. There's a big difference and conflating the two means that you are just a simpleton idiot. Especially after all of the conspiracy fucking "Bilderberger/Trilateral Commission" nonsense you have posted on this forum in the past ...

    I mean at this point trying to find reasons to disqualify their opinions in favor of a small cock pResident that dodged the draft using daddy's money and has never served anything more then himself another burger, hides in the basement bunker in the White House and is a by all accounts a physical coward as well as moral one, and gases peaceful protesters under guise of being a tough guy so he can show a bible he probably used to wipe is asshole with after shitting the pews of the church he never attends. I guess maybe you're just a fucking imbecile, Nitrogenous Dumbshit?

    BTW, if anyone didn't sleep well last night and has insomnia, turn on CNN now! Dr. Ben Carson is on and his soft, monotone vapid emptiness will immediately make you drowsy...
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 06-07-2020 at 12:40 PM.

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    Correction, Matthis actually didn't go to 'Nam, he enlisted in the USMC Reserve in 1969 during the Vietnam era and was commissioned in the early 70's...

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    George Conway is a founder of The Lincoln Project. It’s basically a group of Republicans who don’t like Trump. So if Mattis doesn’t like Trump he will fit right in.

    Yeah. Lot’s of people don’t like Trump and lot’s of people don’t like Joe Biden either. Welcome to the world of politics. Not the profession to go into if you want to not have some enemies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitro Express View Post
    George Conway is a founder of The Lincoln Project. It’s basically a group of Republicans who don’t like Trump. So if Mattis doesn’t like Trump he will fit right in.
    We know and you said this already. So what?

    Yeah. Lot’s of people don’t like Trump and lot’s of people don’t like Joe Biden either.
    Welcome to the world of politics. Not the profession to go into if you want to not have some enemies.
    So far indications that less people dislike Biden than dislike Trump by a wide margin, and it's getting worse for Trump with his continuing unhinged behavior. Like continuing to call for the violation of the Posse Comitatus and using military violence against what are increasingly peaceful protesters...

    What are the people that don't like Joe Biden saying? I see a lot of retards on Facebook making hair-sniffing jokes without the slightest hint of irony as they support an admitted "pussy grabbin'" sexual assaulter. Not former senior military officers that are no "snowflakes" denouncing his seemingly fascist tendencies. I mean, weren't you one of the "FEMA Camp" conspiracy idiots back in the day?..

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    Colin Powell's criticism means four ex-chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have now bashed Trump
    Experts say top military officers rarely criticize the president, and never do so many speak up at once. "I can't think of a precedent," said one.


    June 7, 2020, 9:32 PM EDT
    By Courtney Kube

    WASHINGTON — When former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a retired Army general, rebuked President Donald Trump on Sunday, saying he had "drifted away from the Constitution," he became the fourth former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to speak out against Trump's desire to use active-duty soldiers to confront protesters.

    According to several military experts contacted by NBC News, it is unprecedented for so many former top military officials to criticize a sitting commander-in-chief harshly and publicly.

    "It's unusual for any flag officers, or indeed any former officers, to speak out against the commander-in-chief," said David Segal, the founding director of the Center for Research on Military Organization at the University of Maryland, saying officers generally try to remain apolitical. "In the 50 years I've been studying the military, I can't think of a precedent.

    "And the fact that there hasn't been any pushback, I think, is even more telling," he said. "I don't see any controversy from the ranks or from society."

    Trump says the nation is under control. The nation disagrees.
    Former White House and State Department official Heather Hurlburt agreed.

    She said that when there have been heated public debates in the past about how the military should be used, they have not provoked the same response from flag officers. She cited the large protests against the Vietnam War, the transition from the draft to an all-volunteer force, the Reagan administration's actions in Central America, the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" and the decision to allow women to serve in combat.

    Hurlburt, now at the New America Foundation, said that when such controversies occur, former Joint Chiefs chairmen definitely make their views known in private. However, she said, "it's rare for any to speak publicly, and in none of the instances above did four speak out."

    Powell's statement Sunday followed criticism of Trump from more than a half-dozen former flag officers, including retired Navy Adm. William McRaven, commander of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden; Trump's own former defense secretary, James Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general; and three other former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs.

    On Tuesday, retired Navy Adm. Mike Mullen called Trump's desire to use active-duty forces to suppress protests "sickening." Retired Army Gen. Martin Dempsey called it "dangerous" and "very troubling" in an interview with NPR on Thursday. Retired Air Force Gen. Richard Myers said the tear-gassing of protesters outside the White House on Monday night filled him with "just absolute sadness" and said he was glad he was not advising Trump.

    Segal sees a change in the military and thinks it is being drawn into politics more than in previous generations.

    "I think it clearly is a break from the past," he said. "The question is whether it portends a change in direction or a reflection of this particular moment in time and this particular president."

    NBC News

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    We know and you said this already. So what?



    So far indications that less people dislike Biden than dislike Trump by a wide margin, and it's getting worse for Trump with his continuing unhinged behavior. Like continuing to call for the violation of the Posse Comitatus and using military violence against what are increasingly peaceful protesters...

    What are the people that don't like Joe Biden saying? I see a lot of retards on Facebook making hair-sniffing jokes without the slightest hint of irony as they support an admitted "pussy grabbin'" sexual assaulter. Not former senior military officers that are no "snowflakes" denouncing his seemingly fascist tendencies. I mean, weren't you one of the "FEMA Camp" conspiracy idiots back in the day?..
    I think you have me mixed up with Elvis. He was the Alex Jones fan not me. So a bunch of neocons like Biden including the one who lied about weapons of mass destruction. Probably the biggest selling point Trump had was he said he wouldn’t get us into more such wars which he has done so far. Polls mean nothing until the debates start. Biden has dimensia so those should be interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitro Express View Post
    I think you have me mixed up with Elvis. He was the Alex Jones fan not me. So a bunch of neocons like Biden including the one who lied about weapons of mass destruction. Probably the biggest selling point Trump had was he said he wouldn’t get us into more such wars which he has done so far. Polls mean nothing until the debates start. Biden has dimensia so those should be interesting.
    The criticism of 1 out of 4. What about the rest? Trump hasn't gotten us into wars but he's been a two-faced douche that has kept fighting the same ones we've been in. We're still in every war we were in under Obama. Trump is good at being a pussybitch though, with the betrayal of the Kurds and stuff. His only interest is extraction for reelection, which will allow the Taliban to retake Afghanistan. Trump's the one that criticized Obama for pulling out of Iraq among other various idiot simpleton things...

    IDK what "dimensia" is but maybe Biden comes from multiple dimensions? I mean, his he seems to extra-dimensionally increasing his lead over Trump as the Bitch-in-Chief hides in his basement...

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    Donnie P is going to hate this one more than Donnie T will.....


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