The seemingly treasonous actions of which General Milley is accused, in the waning days of the Trump administration, make me ponder the current state of threat to the Fifty States:
- The US Constitution
- The federal government
- The Fifty State governments
- The people and our remaining liberties and freedoms
Recently we discussed the threat that nuclear attack poses to the fifty united nations we call the American Union: the Fifty States. While there are a good many other overt threats (we’ll come to them soon enough), let us talk about one that is not so obvious.
The American military system, like MOST of our systems, is unique and definitely on the weird side. Despite our constant efforts to export that system, virtually no one else has anything like it. (For good reason, let me add.) It has also changed a lot over the past 400+ years, often for the worse. The American military system often does not deserve the label “system” because it is often chaotic, has huge problems, and is just plain confusing. Indeed, it is pretty poor – until you compare it to the rest that the world and human history has to offer.
It has always been at risk due to subversion, both internally to the military and internally to the States, but also from outside efforts. And let me be clear: there are multiple efforts to subvert it right this moment. And have been for as long as we’ve had a military.
We are once again in that situation. Perhaps the most serious in the history of these United States. We could argue it is certainly the worst since Aaron Burr’s plot to break off the West or the coup which George Washington is believed to have nipped in the bud. Or perhaps we have to go back to Benedict Arnold. (No, what many officers did in 1861 was NOT an attempt to subvert the military OR treasonous.)
The actions of Milley in the waning days of the Trump Regime, as well as his actions under the “authority” of Uncle Joe, are beyond the pale. And perhaps even beyond understanding. Anyone concerned about the mission of the US military to defend and protect the Constitution of these United States should view with great suspicion his very recent visit in Helsinki with Russian senior officers, as reported by CNN. This is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – the senior military officer who (supposedly) works directly for his civilian bosses: the Secretary of Defense and the President of the United States, also known as the Commander-in-Chief.
At a minimum the accusations (couched as praise) of Bob Woodward in his book Peril demand investigation: at least an Article 15-6 investigation, perhaps leading to a full court martial to determine Milley’s innocence or guilt of misconduct. (Note: I do not believe that such an investigation would have to “sidestep” Milley himself. He is NOT in the direct chain of command of Army units – it could be done by the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Army, or almost any flag-grade Army officer.)
But EVERY serving officer in all six branches of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Space Force) must INDIVIDUALLY decide for themselves whether or not the level of misconduct by this four-star general allows them in good conscience AND adherence to their oath of office, to obey even what seem to be his “lawful orders,” or to treat him as a domestic enemy in league with foreign powers – some KNOWN to be inimical to these United States and the Constitution. Every officer, from a newly-commissioned Second Lieutenant (or Ensign) (and perhaps even a temporary “third lieutenant”) up to his fellow O-10 Generals.
If too many fail to do so, it is clearer than ever that the rot has reached the top. The organized military forces of the Fifty States – even the National Guards of the individual States – cannot be trusted to fulfill their obligations – every one of them now freely undertaken. (To the best of my knowledge and belief, there is NO one serving on active duty or in the ready reserve who was a draftee.)
But then, the obligation of officers and enlisted is and has always been clear: EVERY order that they receive must be examined individually and determined to be LAWFUL or not. And if unlawful, to be DISobeyed regardless of the consequences to the individual warrior.
Not that such things have been done perfectly. We are not perfect – we are not gods. We are fallible human beings. But we have accepted the obligation to defend and protect voluntarily and freely. And that includes General Milley – if he DID fear so much that he was willing to betray his oath and to threaten/promise to disobey a presumably lawful order of his superior(s), he has an obligation to freely accept the consequences.
But based on his behavior, his political statements, and his clear refusal to even seriously demand an investigation? Ain’t gonna happen. And we can be certain that Congress as a body, and the guy sitting (or sleeping, at least) in 1600 Pennsylvania ain’t gonna do a single blame thing.
Put not your faith in princes. Yeah, verily, even (or especially!) those in uniform.
Afterword: See the next commentary: “Were Lee, Jackson, and Wheeler traitors?” I’ve run out of words for this time.
I expect both this commentary and that one to be highly controversial and to get beat about the head and shoulders over them. Bring it on, folks, and I’ll try to be as kind and humble and loving as I know I am supposed to be.