The 2020 presidential election, appearing to be a landslide victory for President Donald Trump until legions of questionable ballots were cast for Joe Biden, created uncertainty across the nation about election integrity. That uncertainty came to a head on Jan. 6 when electoral votes were to be counted and certified by Congress – an exercise interrupted when a group of primarily pro-Trump supporters invaded a Capitol Hill building. Its aftermath triggered one of the most egregious acts in history by a U.S. military leader by usurping the commander in chief’s control of our government.
In later testimony about the Jan. 6 rioters, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) Gen. Mark Milley said they were attempting to “overturn the Constitution.” Thus, from his standpoint, they became domestic enemies against whom he had taken an oath to defend the Constitution. But, while suggesting the rioters had crossed the line of constitutional impropriety on Jan. 6, Milley turned a blind eye to his own constitutional transgressions two days afterward.
On Jan. 8, 2021, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called Milley. She sought to make political hay by claiming Trump might go rogue to stay in office, telling Milley the president was “crazy.” She released a letter published later that day providing some details about her call:
“This morning, I spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike. The situation of this unhinged president could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy.”
Pelosi’s public release of this letter was brazen. It revealed a discussion with Milley that violated the constitutional mandate for separation of powers. By going public, Pelosi demonstrated either total ignorance of this mandate or her disdain for the Constitution. She also set a dangerous precedent, undermining the commander in chief’s role. The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial blasting the call, entitled “A Coup of Pelosi’s Own.” Supposedly concerned about a Trump coup, Pelosi was pulling her own.
While it was Milley’s duty to tell Pelosi to take a hike, he did not. His outrageous response was, “Madame Speaker, I agree with you on everything.” He effectively was swearing allegiance to an as yet unseated president rather than to the president he supposedly was serving.
Worried Trump might “spark a war with China,” Milley then made a secret phone call, also on Jan. 8, to his Chinese military counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng. According to the soon-to-be-released book “Peril” by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa – based on interviews with over 200 sources – Milley advised Li that Trump could launch an attack against Beijing. But he told Li not to worry, that the United States was stable and not going to attack, adding if one were launched, Milley would alert the Chinese general ahead of time. Regardless of the circumstances, Milley’s promise to forewarn the Chinese is in defiance of the U.S. military’s duty to safeguard America.
It is unconscionable Milley felt he could – without any authority other than assuming a non-existent Trump coup might materialize – call an enemy to put them on nuclear alert that a power play was taking place in Washington, negatively impacting on high-level decision-making. Additionally, Pelosi’s outrageous phone call was no reason for Milley to believe that Trump, who had a history of trying to end, not start, wars, would initiate one with China.
Think about what possible impact, advantageous to China, Milley’s call to their military leadership – a country known since 2015 to be an existential threat and have the capability to hit almost any U.S. location with a nuclear strike – could have had. China now knew confusion existed among top leaders in Washington about who exactly was calling the shots.
What an opportunity for Beijing, were it so inclined, to exploit this confusion by initiating a nuclear strike, catching our leadership totally off guard. Milley, having committed himself to preventing Trump from taking action as commander in chief, would be left trying to determine if a real attack was underway or not, leaving us defenseless as Chinese missiles sought out their U.S. targets. This was not Milley’s call to make, putting himself in a situation totally contrary to constitutional safeguards.
Trump has since said Milley should be tried for treason. House Republicans wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin demanding an Article 15-6 investigation into Milley’s conduct. Article 15-6 is used by the U.S. Army to gather and analyze facts upon which recommendations based on them are then made. Milley, who is scheduled to testify before Congress on Sept. 28 concerning the Afghanistan withdrawal fiasco, has publicly declared calling Li was “perfectly within the duties and responsibilities” of his position.
As National Review noted, “the most serious problem isn’t the calls themselves, but rather that Milley conducted his own foreign policy and abrogated civilian authority over the military, one of the most vital checks on power in a free republic.” Meanwhile, the man Milley, as CJCS, should have consulted – Christopher Miller, who was acting secretary of defense at the time – recently stated he “did not and would not ever authorize” Milley to have secret calls with China, that to do so was a “disgraceful and unprecedented act of insubordination” and Milley should immediately resign.
Interestingly, a book published in July, “I Alone Can Fix It,” tells us that Milley was so concerned Trump might attempt a coup that he and other top officials planned on ways to prevent it. This included one-by-one JCS resignations while announcing they refused to carry out orders they believed to be illegal, dangerous or ill-advised. Why this standard applied to a non-existent coup by Trump but not a disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal by Biden is telling.
There is irony in the above book’s title, selected to disparage Trump for making such a statement upon accepting the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. For, in reviewing Milley’s post-presidential election actions, the title might more accurately describe Milley’s mindset in choosing to fight, as did Don Quixote, windmills of his own creation.
Two things are now clear: Concerns that Trump might go rogue were a figment of a Pelosi-inspired mindset; however, Milley’s own rogue actions were a reality that placed America in a very dangerous situation. He sanctimoniously decided, “I alone can fix it,” conceivably exposing America to a potential nuclear attack. For this, Milley (as well as Pelosi) should resign.
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.