Milley’s Mutiny? A New Book Raises Equally Serious Questions For The Pentagon and the Press

Below is my column in the Hill on allegations concerning Gen. Mark Milley in the final days of the Trump Administration. Milley is expected to answer questions in full this month before Congress.  However, if true, the statements made to subordinates and his Chinese counterpart would constitute serious violations for a military officer. What is striking is how many on the left applauded an account of the military unlawfully assuming control of such decisions to negate or countermand a sitting president. Much like the embrace of censorship, the embrace of such alleged a military challenge to civil control would once be viewed as anathema on the left.

Here is the column:

“Peril,” the new book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, is the latest Washington Beltway bombshell account that can light up Washington, although sometimes those fizzle upon later review. The bombshell in this book is the claim that Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, told subordinates to follow him, not then-President Trump, on any order for war, and then allegedly told his Chinese military counterpart that he would warn of any Trump-ordered attack.

According to the book, Milley was deeply alarmed by the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill. His reaction has been well-documented previously, including his oft-quoted reference to the riot being a potential “Reichstag moment” — analogizing Trump’s use of the election controversy to Hitler’s staged burning of the German parliament building in order to grab power.

But Woodward and Costa further claim that Milley stressed the “process” for using nuclear weapons with senior military officers and emphasized that he had to be part of any order. They say Milley made each commander at the National Military Command Center affirmatively state that — according to “procedure” — they would look to Milley to confirm such orders, and Milley considered it an “oath.”

The authors say Milley agreed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that Trump was crazy and could launch a war in the final days of his presidency. They claim Milley called Gen. Li Zuocheng of China’s People’s Liberation Army four days before the election, on Oct. 30, 2020, and then again on Jan. 8, to assure him no attack would be launched — and, if there were to be an attack, that Milley would alert his counterpart in advance.

Washington scandal books are a genre unto themselves. Each has some key revelation crafted to fuel a scandal and sales; often, by the time fact-checkers catch up, the support for the claim is largely irrelevant. That was the apparent case with Michael Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” which unleashed a torrent of alarm over claims that top officials were moving to secretly record Trump, in order to declare him incompetent under the 25th Amendment. Journalists later found an array of errors in those accounts, including core claims.

Some reporters like Fox News Channel’s Pentagon correspondent, Jennifer Griffin, have expressed doubt about the Woodward-Costa account. Griffin noted that “there were 15 people on the video teleconference calls,” with Chinese officials, “including a representative of the State Department,” and there was no indication of such alarming content. Pentagon officials insist that the accounts were taken out of context and the authors misrepresented routine meetings and calls.

The book’s account could not be more serious for Milley. While some pundits praised Milley for allegedly taking control over nuclear weapons and war declarations, the allegations — if true — could subject Milley to a possible court martial for usurping the authority of the commander in chief under Article II of the Constitution. Many of us criticized Trump for his Jan. 6 rally speech and his failure to immediately call for his supporters to leave the Capitol. There was palpable fear in Washington that Trump would not accept defeat, fear fueled by reckless references of Trump supporters to declarations of martial law.

Yet such concerns — even if held in good faith — would not justify what is claimed by Woodward and Costa. If Milley told subordinates they were to await his concurrence on an attack order, he would have elevated his authority over the express authority delegated to a president. There is a “process” that includes the chain of command. As commander in chief, a president can always deliver a direct order to any subordinate — and Milley would not have the authority to countermand the commander in chief.

Furthermore, if Milley promised to warn the Chinese of an attack, it could be an act not of insubordination but of treason.

Military officers have long wrestled with such difficult questions. As shown in the Nuremberg trials after World War II, military officers cannot simply claim to “follow orders” when those orders constitute war crimes. Moreover, the U.S. military has long recognized the need for officers to refuse a clearly unlawful order; as shown in United States v. Calley, concerning the My Lai massacre, a clearly unlawful order must not only be refused but, if followed, can lead to court martial.

The problem with this book’s account is that Trump clearly would have had the authority to issue an attack order. Moreover, he presumably would have had a stated reason, even if Milley doubted the justification. The standard under the military code is not a “reasonable basis” to believe in the legitimacy of an action but the actual legality of an action.

What the book describes is not necessarily an unlawful order but an allegedly unstable president — and there is a process for dealing with that eventuality. It is called the 25th Amendment. If Milley felt Trump was no longer capable of exercising his authority as commander in chief, then he had a duty to raise Trump’s removal — not to unilaterally assume the powers of commander in chief.

Under Section 4, Vice President Pence and a majority of the Cabinet could have signed a declaration to Congress that Trump was incapable of holding office. In such a highly unlikely circumstance, Pence immediately would have assumed power, and Trump would have had four days to object. Pence and the Cabinet then would have had to send a second declaration. Both chambers of Congress then would have had to vote by two-thirds to remove the president. Congress has 21 days for such a vote — and, in this case, Trump’s term in office would have ended within that period.

It is doubtful that Trump could have been removed under this process — but Milley is not allowed to create a second option. There is no license for improvisation in the Constitution on this question. In a system based on civilian control of the military, there can be no blurring of the lines of authority. Good intentions are no defense.

Under Article 94 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, mutiny and sedition traditionally have been characterized as “the gravest and most criminal of the offenses known to the military code.” If the Woodward-Costa account is true, it is unclear why subordinate military officers did not come forward with concerns over an unlawful order — not from Trump but from Milley. That is why the book’s sensational account seems driven more by sales than sources.

Congress should look into this account and deal not only with Milley’s alleged actions, but also the options allowed to officers in such circumstances. Milley has not been shy about publicly addressing controversies related to the military, from the Jan. 6 riot to white supremacy, but he has been slow to deny these accounts. The book says Milley treated his alleged order as an “oath” that subordinates would not act on Trump’s order alone — yet it is his own oath that is now in question.

Starting his military career in 1980, Milley swore to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” and to “bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” He needs to establish that he did not lose faith with the Constitution by creating an ad hoc chain of command, with himself as the effective commander in chief.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

172 thoughts on “Milley’s Mutiny? A New Book Raises Equally Serious Questions For The Pentagon and the Press”

  1. Events like this are basically a foreseeable consequence of the Imperial Presidency. The more power is concentrated in the Executive Branch, the more you’ll see those serving under them seek to reclaim certain powers for themselves. It is very concerning that a general would disregard civilian authority like this, though I’m not convinced it rises to the level of treason. Biden should certainly dismiss him.

  2. Milley’s Record

    The great football coach Bill Parcells noted that: “You are what your record says you are.”

    And what’s Milley’s record?

    Name the last war that he won.

    His last withdrawal was a debacle.

    His military intelligence about Afghanistan was ludicrously false. (Yet for months, he lied to the public about that state of affairs.)

    His last drone strike killed civilians. (Why? To appease his political masters: “Do something! Anything! Make us look strong in the eyes of the public. A few civilians, and a handful of children, are mere fodder for our poll numbers.”)

    On the other hand, he is adept at attempting to install a military junta in America.

  3. However did America conclude, fastened to a totally corrupted and treasonous executive branch, judicial branch and military, with a population of parasitic, foreign invader hyphenates, voting for elected charlatans who vote them largesse from the public treasury?
    _______________________________________

    “It’s the [vote], stupid!”

    – James Carville
    _____________

    “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

    – Alexis de Tocqueville
    __________________

    Turnout in 1788 was 11.6% by design. Never were the “poor” or women intended or needed to vote. Before they could become perpetual dependents, freed slaves must have been summarily deported under immigration law upon issuance of the unconstitutional emancipation proclamation. Immigrants were restricted to being “…free white person(s)….” The Founders clarified that it would take “good” men to perpetuate America. The vote was intended to support the dominion of the Constitution and Bill of Rights in perpetuity, not merely until “Crazy Abe” Lincoln wantonly abrogated Ben Franklin’s restricted-vote republic. The sole function of the vote was to periodically refresh the temporary officeholders who assured the strict adherence to and the perpetuation of the dominion of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Founders gave Americans the one and only thing they could: Freedom. The parasites desire, nay, demand much more.
    __________________________________________________________________________________

    “the people are nothing but a great beast…

    I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value.”

    – Alexander Hamilton
    _________________

    “The true reason (says Blackstone) of requiring any qualification, with regard to property in voters, is to exclude such persons, as are in so mean a situation, that they are esteemed to have no will of their own.”

    “If it were probable that every man would give his vote freely, and without influence of any kind, then, upon the true theory and genuine principles of liberty, every member of the community, however poor, should have a vote… But since that can hardly be expected, in persons of indigent fortunes, or such as are under the immediate dominion of others, all popular states have been obliged to establish certain qualifications, whereby, some who are suspected to have no will of their own, are excluded from voting; in order to set other individuals, whose wills may be supposed independent, more thoroughly upon a level with each other.”

    – Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, 1775
    ______________________________________

    “The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”

    – Alexander Hamilton

    1. Well said!

      I wonder if that is why Zuckerberg spent 1/3 of a Billion dollars on local election districts in key areas? Why is it that the Tides Foundation and all of its surrogates are funneling hundreds of millions of dollars into Marxist organizations. Why is it that the Tides Foundation, the same that manages Marxist BLM also has managing share in Wikipedia? Is there a conflict of interest? Apparently so and thus one must be extra vigilant of where they get their information.

      I wonder what Hamilton would think if he could see us in 2021?

  4. I’m a liberal Democrat, and I do not assume that everything in Woodward’s and Costa’s book is accurate.

    It’s one thing for Woodward to have quoted Trump in his previous book: he interviewed Trump multiple times, and Trump gave Woodward permission to tape the interviews.

    It’s something else entirely for Woodward and Costa to present “quotes” from exchanges where they were not present, especially if these quotes come from high level national security calls, where I doubt there’s even a legal way for them to have gotten a tape or transcript. So the question is: did someone illegally leak those, or are they putting things in quotation marks that are not true quotes? As for private conversations (e.g., between Milley and Pelosi), DC has single party consent, but I cannot imagine either Milley or Pelosi giving consent for it to be recorded and shared with Woodward and Costa.

    So I’m just going to be patient til more facts come out.

    To be clear, if Milley said what he is quoted as saying, that is NOT “heroic.” It is illegal, and he should be prosecuted.

    1. Someone anonymous says:

      “So I’m just going to be patient til more facts come out.”

      “Of human virtues, patience is most great.”

      -Cato the Elder

      1. I can’t argue. I agreed with everything he said. Washington tell-alls are not the most reliable sources.

        1. I have never bought a “tell-all” book and never will. I boycott the sensationalism. They have the freedom to publish, and I have the freedom to shun. I rely upon the press to fact-check the allegations to filter out the misinformation. I can wait for the truth.

          1. What press will you rely on to fact check anything? A publisher is very careful before publishing books. The corrupt stinking network news media are not careful but work for strictly communist Democrat political propaganda purposes so they cannot be relied on to fact check anything. Their journalism has ceased to exist since Trump got in office and work in reverse since Biden is in.

            1. Popcicle says:

              “What press will you rely on to fact check anything?”

              I’ll rely upon Turley to fact check. Good enough for you?

  5. I agree that Turley raises good arguments about the legality of Milley’s conduct as reported in “Peril.” I hope Congress investigates Milley and holds him accountable if he has violated his oath and the Military Code.

    Turley says:

    “Washington scandal books are a genre unto themselves. Each has some key revelation crafted to fuel a scandal and sales; often, by the time fact-checkers catch up, the support for the claim is largely irrelevant.”

    I wonder if his general criticism is meant to apply to Mark Levin’s new book, “American Marxism”? Since Turley and Mark Levin are Constitutional scholars BOTH employed by FOX News, it is mystifying that neither EVER mentions the other!

    How is it possible that Turley has never been invited on Levin’s radio show or sat down with Levin to be interviewed on his Sunday Fox show? And why would Turley reference a book written by the Left wing media but ignore ANY mention of his colleague’s book which has sold nearly 1 million copies?

    Can anyone explain why Turley would keep his distance from Levin?

    I can….

    1. With a few word tweaks, Turley could just as easily be talking about his own columns.

      “Washington scandal [columns] are a genre unto themselves. Each has some key revelation crafted to fuel a scandal and [blog views]; often, by the time fact-checkers catch up, the support for the claim is largely irrelevant.”

      1. Anonymous says:

        “With a few word tweaks, Turley could just as easily be talking about his own columns.”

        The irony is not lost upon me. Turley headlines his column by raising the question, “Milley’s Mutiny?…”

        I suppose, therefore, that Turley would not feel slighted were a columnist to pen a critique of Turley’s professional career by headlining his article:

        “Turley’s Sellout? How his Fox employment raises questions about his academic credibility.”

        ALL of us here would defend that article on free speech grounds.

    2. Congress should investigate Woodward, Costa, and the Publisher….to determine the factual veracity of the claims and allegations contained in their book.

      If found to be fraudulent, fictional, or just plain downright lies…..they should be prosecuted.

      If Milley is correctly and accurately accused then he should be prosecuted.

      One side or the other is lying…..which is it?

      1. “If found to be fraudulent, fictional, or just plain downright lies…..they should be prosecuted.”

        For what crime?

        Milley would have standing to sue for defamation under a civil statute, but the US government does not.

      2. I hope you don’t consider yourself anything close to a civil libertarian Ralph, because that’s a downright draconian proposal.

    3. Levin can sell 1 million of his books to Jews just to get his book on the best seller list. (after all, they have all the money) Jews are always known for being communist Democrats and only the Gentiles who don’t realize he is playing the part of controlled opposition believe his every word!

      1. Popcicle says:

        “Levin can sell 1 million of his books to Jews just to get his book on the best seller list. (after all, they have all the money) Jews are always known for being communist Democrats and only the Gentiles who don’t realize he is playing the part of controlled opposition believe his every word!”

        Will I be the first but ONLY one on this blog to condemn this anti-Semitic statement?

        Or will those of you who despise me refuse to join me even in denouncing Popcicle’s obvious anti-semitism.

        Let’s make Turley proud of his contributors to Res Ipsa Loquitur by condemning such Jew-hatred. Even if Turley is not monitoring this blog, Darren certainly is. He’ll inform him.

  6. “Milley described George Floyd riots as ‘penny packet protests,’ book claims”

    May 28, 2020: An AutoZone store burns as protesters gather outside of the Third Precinct in Minneapolis. (Mark Vancleave/Star Tribune via AP)

    Milley reportedly pushed back against claims that the country was facing an insurrection that was “burning America down.”

    “Mr. President, they are not burning it down,” he said, according to Woodward and Costa.

    While it was not clear exactly when at the end of May the conversation took place, by the end of the month there had been rioting in a number of cities, often for multiple nights before authorities could restore order. More than a dozen cities instituted curfews and thousands were arrested, while thousands of National Guard members were deployed in at least 15 states.

    Fox News reported on May 31 that in New York City, at least 345 people were arrested and at least 47 police vehicles damaged or destroyed, and 33 police officers were also injured.

    In Indianapolis, two people were shot and killed as protests turned violent, while in Denver, Colo., a car rammed into a police vehicle, injuring three officers and a civilian and rioters armed with crowbars, baseball bats, assault rifles, and handguns attacked cops and protesters. It was part of a broader wave of violence and riots that would last for weeks in some cities.

    When Milley spoke to Trump, however, he reportedly cited data at that time that said there had only been two cities with major protests, while elsewhere it was 20-300 protesters.

    “They used spray paint, Mr. President, that’s not an insurrection,” he said.

    He then gestured to a portrait of President Abraham Lincoln and said that it was not comparable to the militia bombardment of Fort Sumter in 1861.

    “We’re a country of 330 million people. You’ve got these penny packet protests,” he said, before adding that the situation was not as threatening as the 1968 riots in Washington.

    He also told Trump that it was not an issue for the U.S. military and then addressed systemic racism with Trump, according to the book.

    “That’s pent up in communities that have been experiencing what they perceive to be police brutality,” he said.

    It was a different approach to the way he viewed the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. According to Woodward and Costa, Milley believed that incident “was indeed a coup attempt and nothing less than ‘treason.’”

    Fox News

    1. “We’re a country of 330 million people. You’ve got these penny packet protests,” he said, before adding that the situation was not as threatening as the 1968 riots in Washington.

      He also told Trump that it was not an issue for the U.S. military and then addressed systemic racism with Trump, according to the book.”
      ******************************
      Thankfully WH historians captured the briefing for posterity. Biden even mentioned the ingenius solution in a speech. Quite!

      1. So Obama sacks a General for an interview he gave rolling stone magazine, but the traitor stays on and gets treated as a hero. Nothing to see here folks, just move on.

    2. Mutiny and sedition under the UCMJ are awfully hard to prove. The crime has to be done in concert with others and specific intent must be shown. I don’t think there’s been a successful prosecution since the adoption of the UCMJ in 1950.

  7. Milley Had Good Reason To Worry

    Trump’s Post-Election Moves Were Red Flags

    Today’s Washington Post features an Op-Ed placing General Milley’s concerns into proper context. Here are three key paragraphs:

    Milley worried after the election that Trump was trying to seize what he called the intelligence “power ministries” of government — the CIA, FBI and NSA. He refused to endorse a December plan to break up the National Security Agency from Cyber Command and install a Trump loyalist at the NSA. Meanwhile, Barr had rejected an effort to dump Christopher A. Wray as head of the FBI, Woodward and Costa write. And as I reported in April, Haspel said in December that she would quit if Trump fired her deputy and installed Trump zealot Kashyap Patel.

    Woodward and Costa quote Milley’s Jan. 8 reassurance to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that he would prevent any misuse of the military. She was concerned because Trump had fired Esper and installed as acting defense secretary an inexperienced Christopher C. Miller, along with a group of top aides headed by Patel as chief of staff.

    Pelosi wasn’t the only politician Milley contacted in the turbulent transition months. He told colleagues he spoke with Senate Republican and Democratic leaders Mitch McConnell and Charles E. Schumer, and Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the two leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    Edited from:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/09/18/gen-milleys-stress-test/
    ……………………………………………………………

    It was ‘after’ the election and Donald Trump was not only disputing his defeat, he was also trying to shake-up the top jobs at DOD, NSA and FBI. What was that all about?? Since when do defeated presidents suddenly go about purging top jobs in Defense and Intelligence while refusing to transition with the President-Elect???

    Turley makes no mention of this shuffling because if he did General Milley’s actions would seem heroic. But the truth could not be more obvious: Donald Trump was plotting a coup right out in the open. And the fact that Trump is still a free man, intimidating every Republican office holder, means the monster has yet to die in this ongoing horror show.

    1. “Turley makes no mention of this shuffling because if he did General Milley’s actions would seem heroic. But the truth could not be more obvious: Donald Trump was plotting a coup right out in the open. And the fact that Trump is still a free man, intimidating every Republican office holder, means the monster has yet to die in this ongoing horror show.’
      ****************************
      “Misery love company
      Yeah, whiskey and rain coming down, coming down
      Splash of bourbon in a glass
      Yeah, pouring something on the pain, let it drown, let it drown
      Try to wash away the past, (try to wash away the past) Oh-oh-oh
      Since my blue sky sunshine whole life hopped
      On that midnight train
      ‘Til the bottle runs out or the clouds roll away
      It’s just whiskey and rain
      ‘Til the bottle runs out or the clouds roll away
      It’s just whiskey and rain”

      “Misery loves company.” So where’s Fishy?

    2. “ And the fact that Trump is still a free man, intimidating every Republican office holder, means the monster has yet to die in this ongoing horror show.”

      The commenter should be reported to LEO since his comment is advocating the death of President Trump.

      1. “The commenter should be reported to LEO since his comment is advocating the death of President Trump.”
        *********************
        Naw that would take some guts. Just alluding to the fantasy that occupies her mind.

    3. “Trump’s Post-Election Moves Were Red Flags.” No, it was a contested election. The Democrats wiping out voter ID and chain-of-custody balloting were red flags.

      “Milley worried after the election that Trump was trying to seize what he called the intelligence ‘power ministries.'” None of Milley’s business. There are other CIVILIAN leaders who are supposed to address such concerns. Those issues were addressed at that time and by the proper authorities. That would not permit Milley to instruct operational commanders to break the law.

      “Pelosi wasn’t the only politician Milley contacted in the turbulent transition months.” The WaPo lies as a matter of social-justice policy, but let’s assume that happened. Fine. Milley registered his concern with senior civilian officials. They, not he, decide if Trump needs to be removed from the chain of operational command by impeachment and conviction. Milley does not make that decision. If he told operational commanders to give himself veto power over the CIC, he broke the law.

      All this is BS anyway. Milley has been badmouthing Trump and his supporters in front of other senior military officials even before the election. That is disrespect and insubordination. He has been forcing the military to let CRT advocates on military installations to pitch racist, leftwing causes. He would not permit far-right groups the same consideration. Milley is a dangerous leftwiing, political general. He must be dismissed.

    4. The communists within the US government and the agencies were those behind the Hillary election and just waiting for her admit to the Presidency. When that went haywire after their failed rigged election they were left with Trump. Trump had every right to purge the corrupt communists working for the Democrat System of overthrowing the U.S. government. It is what we witnessed in their 2020 stolen election! The communists are now in power and doing everything to destroy America with the catalyst being the coronavirus of the communist Jews Fauci and Gates!

      1. Popcicle says:

        “The communists are now in power and doing everything to destroy America with the catalyst being the coronavirus of the communist Jews Fauci and Gates!”

        If you keep making these anti-Semitic slurs, you may well drive me off this blog. You do realize that Turley’s wife and children are Jewish. Were he to read your comments about Jews, I have no doubt he would condemn them even if no Trumpist here will.

    5. “Trump’s Post-Election Moves Were Red Flags”

      I must have missed the “Red Flags” footnote in the Constitution.

  8. The Democrats subverted the Justice Department to wage war with false allegations against Trump for four years. Now, with Milley’s help, they hope to subvert the military by spreading critical race theory and other leftwing, racist ideas in the services. The idea is to deliberately make patriotic Americans feel unwelcome and quit. I hope they won’t quit but who could blame them??

    If you are a swing voter or a split-ticket voter, would you want one party OWNING the military? Especially the party that espouses critical race theory? If the Democrats provoke a constitutional crisis, do you want a military that automatically assumes anybody who opposes the Democrats is an “insurrectionist” or a “white supremacist?”

    2022 may be your last chance.

    1. Karen, Milley is already going to be questioned under oath before Congress in a week. Don’t you think we should all wait for that before deciding that he needs to be court-martialed?

      1. No. Congressional questioning is a joke.

        If he had any honor or decency he would step down. He isn’t stepping down. At least not until someone convinces him he needs to spend more time with his family.

        1. “If he had any honor or decency he would step down.”

          IF it’s true.

          And IF it it isn’t, then he shouldn’t.

            1. People clearly have different opinions about that. Neither yours nor mine matters much in terms of how this plays out.

              1. This issue has nothing to do with anyone’s point of view. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he has only two responsibilities, ADVISE THE PRESIDENT and ADVISE THE PRESIDENT’S NATIONAL SECURITY. THAT IS THE LAW. When he contacted the Chinese General for whatever reason, he was exceeding his legal authority. His only legal path to express his concerns about the fitness of the President was to resign as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and speak publicly. Coluding with the enemy is treason, regardless of is beliefs.

                1. “When he contacted the Chinese General for whatever reason, he was exceeding his legal authority.”

                  That’s false.

                  “The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the principal military adviser to the President, Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council (NSC)…” (https://www.jcs.mil/About/), and he was apparently directed to have these calls by the Secretary of Defense.

                  See also “The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are responsible to the President and the Secretary of Defense for the functions assigned to them. … The President and the Secretary of Defense may assign other duties to the Chairman to assist the President and the Secretary of Defense in performing their command functions.” (https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodd/510001p.pdf)

          1. IF it’s true.

            And IF it it isn’t, then he shouldn’t.

            No one, not even Milley has denied the accounting of his actions

            1. Sure they have.

              For example, Joint Staff Spokesperson Col. Dave Butler said:
              “The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs regularly communicates with Chiefs of Defense across the world, including with China and Russia. These conversations remain vital to improving mutual understanding of U.S. national security interests, reducing tensions, providing clarity and avoiding unintended consequences or conflict. His calls with the Chinese and others in October and January were in keeping with these duties and responsibilities conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability. All calls from the Chairman to his counterparts, including those reported, are staffed, coordinated and communicated with the Department of Defense and the interagency.
              “Also in keeping with his responsibilities as senior military advisor to the President and Secretary of Defense, General Milley frequently conducts meetings with uniformed leaders across the Services to ensure all leaders are aware of current issues. The meeting regarding nuclear weapons protocols was to remind uniformed leaders in the Pentagon of the long-established and robust procedures in light of media reporting on the subject.
              “General Milley continues to act and advise within his authority in the lawful tradition of civilian control of the military and his oath to the Constitution.”

              Milley said “These are routine calls in order to discuss issues of the day, to reassure both allies and adversaries in this case, in order to ensure strategic stability. And these are perfectly within the duties and responsibilities of the chairman.”

              These statements conflict with Woodward and Costa’s account of what was said, which would *not* have been “perfectly within the duties and responsibilities of the chairman.”

              Again: over a dozen people from the US were on the call, and the call record was also distributed to IC and interagency. If Milley said what he’s accused of, why didn’t ANYONE file a whistleblower report?

              1. “F*** Joe Biden” Week Three

                College Football Fans Continue Telling POTUS What He Can Do with Himself

                September 19, 2021

                To paraphrase one of the great political philosophers of our time, Sean “Diddy” Combs, the “f*ck Joe Biden” chants can’t stop, won’t stop. The patriotic dissent ISN’T limited to college football games. We’ve seen this week people line the streets of Idaho to let Joe Biden know how much he su-didddly-ucks. If you drive around Pennsylvania, you can see billboards informing motorists our pudding-headed commander-in-chief made the Taliban great again. But the college football chants are the most fun. Rival fans are taking a break from saying who is having sex with whose mother. They are uniting to speak out about politics. It warms the heart. The children may be our future after all. All this time, I thought that was just an 80s song.

                The #FJB chants continued this week. This time, with more cowbell. 😀

              2. “If Milley said what he’s accused of, why didn’t ANYONE file a whistleblower report?”

                That was not in the talking points Act Blue sent us today before being sent to troll Turley’s blog.

                ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        2. Young,

          “No. Congressional questioning is a joke.”

          Why? Isn’t the whole point of it to be telling the truth under oath? People here keep saying they should hear the phone conversation in the name of transparency, but those same people don’t believe republican congressmen’s phone conversations with Trump during the Jan 6 riots shouldn’t be made public. What Milley did was not inappropriate nor illegal. It was part of his job. Those who are critical of what he did have no idea what treason is or what the constitution says. General Milley is an experienced military veteran who is supposed to have the support of republicans who value the service, until they do something they have no idea if it is really inappropriate or not. Just not really knowing is not proof that they are right. Ignorance is definitely thick with this crowd.

          1. but those same people don’t believe republican congressmen’s phone conversations with Trump during the Jan 6 riots shouldn’t be made public.
            Communication between Congress members and the President do not violate the constitution. But lets ignore facts in a weak attempt in order to make cheap political points.

            1. “Communication between Congress members and the President do not violate the constitution”

              Depends on what they said.

        1. No, I don’t know that. More than one member of the Senate Armed Services Committee served, and I think they’ll ask appropriate questions. If you think differently, don’t pretend that I have to agree with you.

          If you have specific questions you want asked, send your Senators a note and ask them to pass it along to the Committee members they’re friends with.

          1. Some will ask, others will prevaricate. In the end, nothing will happen and you know it. Congress does not have the authority to dismiss officers and you know that, too. It will be political theater while leftwing generals run amok and you know it.

            1. Diogenes–

              True. The hearings are meant to provide an anodyne without a cure.

              Nobody should take them seriously.

            2. No, I do NOT know that nothing will happen, and you should stop pretending to know my beliefs better than I do.

              Milley will be testifying under oath, and if he did something wrong, Biden has the authority to fire him and the military has the authority to court-martial him.

              The other Joint Chiefs of Staff right now can read the call readouts to check whether Milley said something he shouldn’t have, as can people with clearance in the Dept. of Defense.

              The call readouts were distributed at the time. If Milley did what you claim, why didn’t Trump’s Secretary of Defense at the time call for Milley to be court-martialed?

              1. “If Milley did what you claim…”

                Your man, Bob Woodward stated it.

                Why do you not believe him? What is your credible source?

      2. They should keep him on the hotseat until midnight and call him back the next day. Show school pictures of the dead Afghan children and read their names. Play video of him calling it a “righteous strike” with “secondary explosions” and ask why anyone should pay attention to anything he says. Ask him how many were wounded in the suicide bombing and their current status and read their names. Read from the Woodward book line by line and ask his response. Quote the federal law about the CJCS line by line and ask if he followed it. Play video of Biden bragging about the Afghan air force and ask him who Biden got that idea from. Play video of Biden saying domestic terrorists don’t have F-15s or nukes and ask him if the Taliban needed F-15s or nukes. Make him say the amount of weapons surrendered to the Taliban. Ask him if he thinks anyone is qualified to be CJCS and lash him if he can’t name a potential replacement. Basically give him the Roger Altman treatment until he hangs up his hat.

    2. Yes, Karen, anybody who goes against Trump MUST be punished. Trump is dangerous–no more so than when the American people rejected him. Gen. Milley is a hero. He was the adult in the room. He was the calm, trusted presence in the middle of a narcissist out of control. One recent book says that Paul Ryan contacted a psychiatrist about Trump after he cheated his way into the White House to ask about how to handle him. The psychiatrist explained malignant narcissism, how someone with this condition is dangerous when confronted and must lash out, using whatever power he can muster, and how to circumvent him to get things done when you know what he’s trying to do is wrong. Ryan decided not to run again. Trump was too much. Wolff’s book “Landslide” describes a completely dysfunctional White House after the loss predicted by all polls came to pass. Trump did absolutely no presidential work–refused the Presidential Daily Briefing, refused meetings. All he did was ruminate about his “landslide victory” being stolen from him. No other explanation was possible. It MUST have been theft. Trump can’t lose. That is impossible–so he had to fight. Every time he lost a lawsuit, he ordered his attorneys to just file another one. He couldn’t believe that the SCOTUS wouldn’t save him, and he lashed out, especially at Kavanaugh, claiming he was nothing and that Trump “made” him, overlooking the fact that Kavanaugh was a federal appeals court judge, which is prestigious. Every time claims about “stolen ballots” or “fraudulent ballots” was shot down–they’d just repeat it again, as if it hadn’t been refuted. Sort of like Karen’s endless laundry list of Trump “accomplishments” she keeps repeating. Then someone came up with the idea that Pence had power to refuse to accept the certified results of the Electoral College vote. Of course, there was no legal support for this, but Trump began obsessing about getting Pence to send back the electors to their various states and having pro-Trump electors appointed in their stead–something else that has no legal foundation. Pence refused. Trump tried to bully him. Pence still refused. We all know what happened next. Trump still won’t go away. He still won’t stop lying. How can anyone fail to see the depth and extent of desperation, driven by mental illness?

      Trump was out of control mentally after his defeat. He was always unstable, but when a narcissist gets rebuked, he will strike out, using whatever weapons he could muster. Gen. Milley was the calming presence in the Trump mess. He is to be celebrated, not punished.

      1. Whatever you think of a given administration, unelected generals don’t get to work in the shadows to undermine a President’s foreign policy. That’s not a democracy, that’s a military Junta similar to Myanmar’s.

        1. Since we don’t and never have back to 1789 lived in a democracy it only matters that the word is being falsely used to shield the socialists. The two are polar opposites and we live in a Constitutional Republic. Checking the Bill of Rights, Constitution AND Declaration of Independence I still cannot find the words Democrat, Democracy or Democratic anywhere in those documents but it is true the US sitting in Congress that wrote the Constitution voted against being any kind of Democracy. They did retain the use of whole or real citizens at all levels ability to vote directly for all levels of government.

          And the stupidity of saying the military is not a political organization means Milley hasn’t read the document that gave him his oath of office. Too bad he doesn’t follow it.

          25 years infantry, paratrooper and SF service and I find it more than curious why Milley was not given a court martial for going against the Commander In Chief, National Command Authority stripped of his clearance and rank and sent to prison.

      2. Glad to be back from latest cruise to find out that Comrade Natasha and her new buddy Comrade Milley are still supporting Comrade Biden and their anti constitutional pro Red Manifesto views and continuing to demonstrate what it’s like to be a socialist.

        Too bad they have not the wit nor wisdom to understand , support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign or domestic.

        Too bad for us the socialist party is still in effect but the once in a while news from the Supreme curt is certainly sure fire proof our Constitutional Republic is still there.

        Now to get rid of the mensheviks, bolsheviks, communists and before I forget the national socialists like Piglosillini and Adolf.

  9. This whole Saga is reminiscent of the conflict between Field Marshall Foch and Georges Clemenceau over who is the subordinate. Circa 1918

    Field Marshall Foch said: “Do you know that I am not your subordinate?”

    Clemenceau responded: “No I don’t, I don’t even want to know who put that notion into your head. You know that I am your friend. I strongly advise you not to try to act on this idea. For it will never do.”

    Field Marshall Foch did not respond.

    And quoting Carl von Clausewitz: “When people talk, as they often do, about harmful political influence on the management of war, they are not really saying what they mean. Their quarrel should be with the policy itself, not its influence…”

    1. George–

      Lincoln had similar problems with McClellan and Hooker but neither of them promised to message General Lee when and where the Union army would attack as ‘Village People’ Milley appears to have done with China.

      Although against those two General Lee didn’t need any help. He was a God of War.

      I suspect Chinese generals don’t need any help from Milley either unless they want to learn to dance to YMCA.

      1. “General Lee didn’t need any help. He was a God of War.”

        No doubt that’s why Lee won the battle at Gettysburg and the South won the war.

        1. Well, the Democrats have continued their penchant for burning down cities and abandoning them, so there is that: Richmond, Portland, Detroit, Minneapolis, Kabul airport Afghan men clinging to planes after take off, Drone attack of children and killing babies

          Why do you hate people? Why do Dems favor killing innocent people?

          1. Trump killed more children and other civilians with drone attacks than Bush, Obama, or Biden.

            Why do you hate people? Why do you favor killing innocent people?

  10. Trump ordering a new war in the absence of an attack on the US would be clearly unconstitutional and thus illegal. If Trump was doing that in an effort to subvert the transfer of power that would have been even worse. Milley would have been doing his duty to stop that.

    1. I would agree if that were the case, but Milley encouraging his staff officers in the idea that Trump would start a nuclear war was insubordination intended to undermine the President’s authority. Trump was never on the verge of starting a nuclear war and anybody who thought so or said so simply hoped it was true. Nor was that the only occasion in which Milley deliberately spread mistrust and hatred about Trump within the Military.

      Milley was willfully insubordinate and should be fired.

      Milley was probably unhinged by leftwing politics he picked up at Princeton. We have too many pseudointellectual CEO’s and generals these days who never questioned their ivy-league brainwashing. Don’t kid yourself. Milley would have looked for every excuse to spread dissention within the Pentagon had it been President Cruz or President Desantis instead of President Trump.

      1. Diogenes,

        ” would agree if that were the case, but Milley encouraging his staff officers in the idea that Trump would start a nuclear war was insubordination intended to undermine the President’s authority.”

        Milley was not encouraging his staff officers in the idea that trump would start a nuclear war. He’s a general. His job Is to literally be prepared for any contingency and that includes the possibility that trump would do something stupid like open his mouth and suggest some form of retaliation on China as a distraction over his losing the election. He was doing his job. He was exercising his duty to his oath to the constitution. Trump WAS trying to overturn the election in his favor. He was never going to accept the results. He was convinced that he SHOULD have won because he had so many “packed” rallies. That was what he believed was enough proof that he was going to win because there were “so many’ people at his rallies who were supporting him.

        General Milley is being criticized by people who are too ignorant about what they think is what is not supposed to be normal.

        1. Svelaz, There are so many things wrong with what you just wrote that I don’t know where to begin.

          I guess the main thing is you start from the assumption that Trump is crazy and that justifies Milley’s actions. You are speculating the Woodward account of Milley’s actions is accurate. You are speculating about Trump’s mental state. Neither you nor Milley are allowed to interfere with the military chain of command based on your self-serving speculation about a CIC’s mental state. That is in fact illegal. Literally, illegal.

          Further, Milley is not allowed to speculate in front of staff officers about the competence of the CIC, even to the point of instructing them to break the law and interfere with the chain of operational command.

          If you had any decency about you, you would take your speculation to the Cabinet and the leaders of both parties in Congress and be prepared to resign to emphasize your concern. Milley never did that, so either Woodward’s account is flawed or Milley should get a court martial.

      1. Exactly. If our military can undermine civilian authority based on what they think a President might do–or what they claim he might do (whether they believe it themselves or not)–nobody is safe.

    2. Milley would have been doing his duty to stop that.

      Your emotional appeal lacks constitutional foundation. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has no power or responsibility to take any actions. And X 100 for wild speculation based on what voices in your head tell you.

    3. Oral ; That was never a thing , never even a consideration. You know this , so why spout such disingenuous deflection ?. Does the reality of what traitor milley has doen not bother you ?. You come across as erratic as silly milley.

    4. I’m not convinced that that would be clearly unconstitutional; certainly it would be immoral, but the President has near-ultimate authority over the armed forces. The bottom line, though, is that Milley is subordinate to the President. He isn’t a federal judge, nor is he a legal scholar. Generals don’t get to decide whether something is unconstitutional.

  11. Of course the Left applauds illegal acts, abuse of power, and treason. It’s Machiavellian approval of whatever furthers their goals. This also applies to unconstitutional acts and power grabs.

    What is so incredibly ironic is that many Americans believe that Joe Biden is suffering from cognitive decline. His downward slide is gruesomely obvious. He has angrily declined to follow Trump’s example, take a cognitive test, and share the results. He keeps saying he’s only “allowed” to call on certain journalist and answer certain questions.

    Between Trump and Biden, it’s Biden who actually shows evidence of dementia. Yet those who claimed that Trump had dementia and shouldn’t have the nuclear codes are silent. It’s actually Biden who might forget it’s not WWII and think we need to bomb Hiroshima.

    However, addled Biden couldn’t actually bomb Japan, because that’s not how a nuclear launch actually works. This is why there are safeguards in place. If Biden ever did pronounce we should bomb Japan or anywhere else, there is a Constitutional process in place to remove him. It would start with an emergency Cabinet meeting, not with furtive phone calls to adversarial countries’ generals promising to give advanced notice of any US military action.

    It makes you wonder what kind of back channel conversations are going on between highly placed Leftist activists and the Taliban, Hamas, and Al-Qaeda.

    1. “Of course the Left applauds illegal acts, abuse of power, and treason. It’s Machiavellian approval of whatever furthers their goals. This also applies to unconstitutional acts and power grabs.”

      Karen, I’m the Anonymous who tried to have a sincere discussion with you about abortion. I’m on the left, and I don’t applaud illegal acts (with occasional exceptions for civil disobedience as occurred in the Civil Rights movement), abuse of power, or treason. I am not Machiavellian. Very few people on the right or the left are Machiavellian, and it’s unhelpful for you to post these kinds of sweeping insults. It pushes people in the country further apart.

  12. “What is striking is how many on the left applauded an account of the military unlawfully assuming control . . .”

    They support a military junta in America. In doing so, they sell their souls (and betray their own country) — all to satisfy a desire to inherit the country.

  13. So we spend billions to develop many exotic ways to defeat an enemy’s early warning systems, only to have the generals call up the adversary and tell them that the attack is on. Must make the men flying these aircraft happy.

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