Mark Milley is a traitor who has broken his oath and betrayed his country.
And I don’t say that because I’m a Republican, I say it because I’m an American.
Milley, a four-star general and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is reported to have, in the last months of the Donald Trump presidency, spoken with subordinate officers with the intent of convincing them to subvert the orders of the president of the United States. Further, he is reported to have contacted an officer of the Chinese army and promised to notify that officer of any looming American military action against China, its forces or its interests.
All of that is criminal, the latter portion of it is treasonous.
All of it demands his removal.
In another era, it would have had him in the gallows or up against a wall.
Why did he do it?
Reportedly because he didn’t trust Donald Trump or his judgment. He feared Trump would start or provoke a military action against China.
That is a reasonable fear. Unjustified, not based in reality or fact, but a person could have such a fear. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs could have that fear.
However, that chairman may not nullify civilian control of the military, betray the Constitution, consort with an enemy or offer to disclose American military actions to that enemy as a result.
There is a legal way to respond to such a fear, and an illegal way. Rather, there are several illegal ways, and Milley seems to have taken all of them.
First, the principle.
When he was commissioned an officer in the Army, Milley swore to uphold and defend the Constitution, to bear true faith and allegiance to it, and to obey the orders of the superiors placed above him, to specifically include the president of the United States. He violated every one of those promises.
The Constitution says that the president of the United States is the commander in chief of the Army and the Navy. Period. In chief. Milley is not above the president, and may not subvert, disobey or seek to hamstring the president. To the extent he does any of those things, he has become a law unto himself and has thwarted the Constitution. In short, he has engaged in a one-man coup in which he has taken powers to himself which the Constitution gives to the president, who derives them from the people.
In most countries, you get shot for that.
Now, what if he truly felt that Trump was mentally incapable of discharging the duties of his office, because of mental illness or pure evil? Simple. The Constitution – the 25thAmendment – has an answer for that. Had Milley chosen to keep his oath and uphold the Constitution, he would have gone to the vice president or the cabinet – probably the secretary of State – and expressed his concerns. If those concerns were shared by the vice president and the cabinet, the Constitution has a mechanism for the immediate taking of power from the president.
And, had Milley not been comfortable speaking with the vice president or cabinet, he also has liaison with the chairmen of the Armed Services committees in the House and Senate, to whom he could have gone. Those individuals then could have addressed the matter publicly or with the vice president and cabinet.
In that manner, the Constitution and the government decide, not one individual.
That would have been the legal way to do it.
But Milley didn’t take the legal route.
Instead, he betrayed his oath.
He reached out to a senior officer of the People’s Liberation Army and made assurances and gave information which were not his to make or give. In intelligence terms, he because an asset of the Chinese government, a mole, betraying the confidences of the highest levels of the American government, and he endangered American national security.
Say, as a hypothetical, China was thinking that maybe it wanted to take America down a peg or two. Maybe grab an island somewhere or sink a transiting vessel, a little push in the rising tensions between the two powers. And out of the blue, some crapping-his-pants American general tells you of disorder in the American chain of command, swears the U.S. won’t attack, and promises to alert you if any American military action is undertaken.
At that point, if I’m the top Chinese guy, I push the launch button.
Mark Milley, Princeton ’80, did that.
He betrayed his country.
And the men and women in uniform below him.
When he promised to alert the Chinese to any impending American military action, he was offering the American servicemembers involved in that action as a sacrifice to the Chinese.
You alert someone to an impending attack because you want them to thwart that attack. You thwart an attack by blowing it out of the sea or sky. You thwart an attack by Americans by blowing Americans out of the sea or sky.
I think most Americans would prefer the chairman of the Joint Chiefs not be betraying the men and women who wear our uniform. George C. Marshall didn’t tell Hitler about D-Day, and Mark Milley shouldn’t be telling the Chinese about any of our operations either.
If we expect the privates, airmen and seamen to keep secrets, we should expect the generals to as well.
And speaking of secrets, Milley has a security clearance, which he undeniably violated by divulging information to the Chinese. Violating a security clearance is a federal crime.
Just like everything about this incident.
Mark Milley is Chelsea Manning with eyebrows, only a whole lot worse.
It doesn’t change because you hate Trump. The wrong thing is never the right thing to do. And a betrayal of one’s country, oath and fellow soldiers is always treason.
Milley’s got to go.
And nobody should want that more than Joe Biden.
Because if this dog bit his last master, you’ve got to expect he might bite this master, too.