Concerned Trump Would Go ‘Rogue,’ Gen. Milley Took Control of the Nukes

 

The Founding Fathers believed that subordination of the military to the authority of civil masters was critically important to prevent the emergence of a new form of tyranny or dictatorship.

Bob Woodward’s new book Peril, coauthored with Washington Post reporter Robert Costa tells how Gen. Milley asserted military control of the nation’s nuclear weapons behind the back of former President Donald Trump. The authors write that the events of January 6th shook the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Concerned with the president’s mental stability, Milley held a secret meeting at the Pentagon with his senior leadership.

Worried that Trump would launch a first strike against China, Milley told his senior leader not to follow any orders regarding military action, including launching nuclear weapons unless he was present. ‘No matter what you are told, you do the procedure. You do the process. And I’m part of that procedure,’ Milley told the officers, according to the book. According to Woodard and Costa, Milley considered this an oath.

Another sign of his new role of de facto or at the very least caretaker commander in chief was Gen Milley’s January 8th phone call with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Milley assured Pelosi that the nuclear weapons were safe.

Pelosi told members, ‘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,” Pelosi wrote. “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.’

During their conversation, the four-star general and the House Speaker both agreed that the president was “crazy” After the events of January 6th, Milley felt the military could no longer control President Trump. According to Woodard and Costa, the uncertainty led Milley to “take any and all necessary precautions.”

Along with getting a secret oath from his senior leaders and reassuring the House Speaker, Milley had back and forth phone calls with Chinese General Li Zuocheng. The American General told his Chinese counterpart that there would be no surprise attack from the United States.

‘General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise,’  Milley reportedly told him. Milley also told the Chinese general that ‘democracy can be sloppy sometimes.’

Peril also highlights the feelings of other senior leaders in the Trump Administration. CIA Director Gina Haspel reportedly told Milley, ‘We are on the way to a right-wing coup.’ In response, Milley told Haspel to ‘aggressively watch everything, 360.’

This year alone, we have seen military coups in Myanmar, Mali, and Guinea. There were also coup attempts in Armenia and Nigeria. In all of those, successful or otherwise, the military arrested and detained the civilian leadership.

While some may cheer on General Milley for his actions “safekeeping” nuclear weapons, it is not a giant leap to go from safekeeping to controlling them. The military is subordinate to civil authority for good reason and should not be an issue subject to partisan politics.

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  1. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Eric Martin: Milley told his senior leader not to follow any orders regarding military action, including launching nuclear weapons unless he was present. ‘No matter what you are told, you do the procedure. You do the process. And I’m part of that procedure,’ …

    Put him on the stand, even Kaffee could take this putz down. 

    • #1
  2. Tyrion Lannister Member
    Tyrion Lannister
    @TyrionLannister

    Treason- he should be removed and investigated.  Jail time seems appropriate.

    Whoever the next Republican in the White House is, they need to clean house, top to bottom.  I’m not in favor of Trump running again (I prefer others) but if he does I can’t wait to see the looks on their faces when he says, “You’re fired!”.  

    • #2
  3. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    So there was a coup in January after all, by the Speaker of the House and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.  If we can trust Woodward, which is questionable.

    • #3
  4. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Milley was insubordinate last summer about using the National Guard to put down rioting. Hyten acted like Trump had to consult with him before using nuclear weapons. Many of the people in the Joint Chiefs of Staff are pro CRT. And they didn’t threaten to resign over the disastrous decision to give up Bagram before all Americans were evacuated. Milley must go along with many of his compatriots. But Biden or the people behind him are unlikely to take the required actions.

    • #4
  5. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    I don’t understand why he isn’t being court martialed.

    • #5
  6. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Eric Martin: Worried that Trump would launch a first strike against China, Milley told his senior leader not to follow any orders regarding military action, including launching nuclear weapons unless he was present.

    Holy crap.

    So much for civilian control of the military.

    Has Milley really not considered what happens when our military no longer feels restrained by our elected representatives?  Has he never read history?  I very much doubt that he’s simply stupid.  Could he be this ignorant?  I thought they studied this sort of thing in our military academies.

    So he unilaterally takes over the duties of the commander in chief of the most powerful military in the world.  And he considers President Trump to be an unpredictable tyrant.  Right.

    Absolutely amazing.

    • #6
  7. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc
    @Metalheaddoc

    Smells like treason.

    Does he have a similar plan in place for Joe? Joe’s brain ain’t exactly firing on all cylinders. 

    • #7
  8. James Salerno Coolidge
    James Salerno
    @JamesSalerno

    I think about how often things “should have been done” that were not, for political reasons, in Afghanistan.

    I think of how often these political generals, with no combat experience, explicitly fought the prior administration at every opportunity.

    I think about how the current administration has vetted the military for political beliefs, aimed them at Americans who have those political beliefs, and then used them to install a new leader in the White House while remaining on guard there for weeks. Just in case. Six months prior, their services were not required when governors allowed domestic terrorists to burn their cities to the ground.

    Makes my blood boil.

    • #8
  9. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Looks like a conspiracy to commit treason.  Take them all down.   Is this the norms Biden voters wanted?

    Has Jonah Goldberg tweeted out “the conservative case for treason” yet?

    • #9
  10. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):

    Treason- he should be removed and investigated. Jail time seems appropriate.

    Whoever the next Republican in the White House is, they need to clean house, top to bottom. I’m not in favor of Trump running again (I prefer others) but if he does I can’t wait to see the looks on their faces when he says, “You’re fired!”.

    How is it treason?  Treason is defined quite narrowly in our Constitution.

    I think that it is wrong.  I’m still thinking about how to characterize these actions.  Insubordination, at a minimum, I would think.  I don’t know enough about the Code of Military Justice to have specific offenses come to mind.

    I do think that the word “coup” is a fairly accurate description for what happened here, if Woodward’s report is correct.  I’m not sure how this would be charged as a crime.  Sedition?  Mutiny?

    • #10
  11. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Looks like a conspiracy to commit treason. Take them all down. Is this the norms Biden voters wanted?

    Has Jonah Goldberg tweeted out “the conservative case for treason” yet?

    Nah, he’s still talking about AOC’s dress and having the sads because Larry Elder ran against Newsom instead of somebody Jonah liked better. Thus he distances himself as “above it all” in preparation for a loss.

    Which is really typical behavior.

    • #11
  12. Chris B Member
    Chris B
    @ChrisB

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    So there was a coup in January after all, by the Speaker of the House and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

    <Sarc>I’m shocked! Shocked! </Sarc>

    If we can trust Woodward, which is questionable.

    Indeed. Of course, this behavior would be consistent with the behavior of leadership in the FBI, CIA, NSA, IRS, NIH, CDC….. 

    What’s really more likely, a journalist is going to risk a lible charge for an accusation of treason without evidence to back the claim, or that a man who is essentially an unaccountable bureaucrat is behaving exactly like the rest of the unaccountable bureaucrats in DC?

     

    • #12
  13. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Frankly, that this is taken seriously considering the source says a lot about politics today. Political porn.

    • #13
  14. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    There is a real paradox here, if Bob Woodward can be trusted, and that’s a bit of a stretch concerning a reporter that worked for a newspaper that was on the same block as the Russian embassy at one time. The paradox is that Milley is willing to do the bidding of a President that is suffering from dementia. It begs the question of who is more dangerous to the nation.

    • #14
  15. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Eric Martin: Worried that Trump would launch a first strike against China, Milley told his senior leader not to follow any orders regarding military action, including launching nuclear weapons unless he was present.

    Holy crap.

    So much for civilian control of the military.

    Has Milley really not considered what happens when our military no longer feels restrained by our elected representatives? Has he never read history? I very much doubt that he’s simply stupid. Could he be this ignorant? I thought they studied this sort of thing in our military academies.

    So he unilaterally takes over the duties of the commander in chief of the most powerful military in the world. And he considers President Trump to be an unpredictable tyrant. Right.

    Absolutely amazing.

    Seven Days in May, anybody?

    • #15
  16. No Caesar Thatcher
    No Caesar
    @NoCaesar

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio&hellip; (View Comment):

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):

    Treason- he should be removed and investigated. Jail time seems appropriate.

    Whoever the next Republican in the White House is, they need to clean house, top to bottom. I’m not in favor of Trump running again (I prefer others) but if he does I can’t wait to see the looks on their faces when he says, “You’re fired!”.

    How is it treason? Treason is defined quite narrowly in our Constitution.

    I think that it is wrong. I’m still thinking about how to characterize these actions. Insubordination, at a minimum, I would think. I don’t know enough about the Code of Military Justice to have specific offenses come to mind.

    I do think that the word “coup” is a fairly accurate description for what happened here, if Woodward’s report is correct. I’m not sure how this would be charged as a crime. Sedition? Mutiny?

    If true, and I am holding on my conclusion, while not treason it would appear to be conspiracy to commit treason.  If he said he would warn before an attack came.  He would be warning a (then) enemy of the USA of an imminent attack.  However, neither Woodward nor Milley are trustworthy without independent verification.

    Let’s ask the Chinese general.  I wonder what he would say?….

    • #16
  17. Tyrion Lannister Member
    Tyrion Lannister
    @TyrionLannister

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio&hellip; (View Comment):

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):

    Treason- he should be removed and investigated. Jail time seems appropriate.

    Whoever the next Republican in the White House is, they need to clean house, top to bottom. I’m not in favor of Trump running again (I prefer others) but if he does I can’t wait to see the looks on their faces when he says, “You’re fired!”.

    How is it treason? Treason is defined quite narrowly in our Constitution.

    I think that it is wrong. I’m still thinking about how to characterize these actions. Insubordination, at a minimum, I would think. I don’t know enough about the Code of Military Justice to have specific offenses come to mind.

    I do think that the word “coup” is a fairly accurate description for what happened here, if Woodward’s report is correct. I’m not sure how this would be charged as a crime. Sedition? Mutiny?

    Obviously it’s a serious charge, it might be a stretch to use the term treason for what Milley (allegedly) did, but it might not be.  As defined by “Merriam-Webster” 1the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign’s family.  

    What do we *know*?  Well according to some of 200+ anonymous sources from the book, Milley told the Chinese (an enemy) “If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise,”.  He is stepping out of the chain of command and contemplating alerting our enemy prior to an attack, supposedly taking away the element of surprise and putting our nation in peril.  

    The best you can say is that he is breaking the chain of command and is insubordinate.  The worst reading of what he did is he gave aid and comfort to the enemy, and has placed himself into a situation where he is compromised, and has to decide if he’s going to warn the Chinese about an impending attack from our “crazy” President.  Were he to warn them, that would absolutely be treason, wouldn’t it?  As it is *he already warned them that there is no impending attack*.  He also went behind the Presidents back with assurances to Pelosi, and warned other high ranking officials that any military attack is to be checked with him first.  He’s actively undermined the President and civilian governance.  

    It may be a stretch to say that he has done something actively treasonous, but he has certainly already contemplated it, and given aid to the enemy, and undermined the White House.  I say it again- jail time seems appropriate.  If he actually carried out what he threatened to do, the firing squad would be appropriate. 

    • #17
  18. Tyrion Lannister Member
    Tyrion Lannister
    @TyrionLannister

    via Marco Rubio:

    Dear Mr. President:

    I write with grave concern regarding recent reporting that General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, worked to actively undermine the sitting Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces and contemplated a treasonous leak of classified information to the Chinese Communist Party in advance of a potential armed conflict with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). These actions by General Milley demonstrate a clear lack of sound judgement, and I urge you to dismiss him immediately.

    It has been reported that General Milley spoke with his counterpart in the People’s Liberation Army after learning the PRC was worried about escalating tensions as a result of military exercises conducted in the South China Sea. Reportedly, General Milley told his counterpart: “[y]ou and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.”

    I do not need to tell of you the dangers posed by senior military officers leaking classified information on U.S. military operations, but I will underscore that such subversion undermines the President’s ability to negotiate and leverage one of this nation’s instruments of national power in his interactions with foreign nations.

    Even more egregiously, reports indicate that General Milley interfered with the procedures by which the civilian commander-in-chief can order a nuclear strike. He purportedly instructed officials not to take orders without his involvement and forced them to take an oath to that effect. A senior military officer interfering with that civilian-controlled process is simply unacceptable at best, and at worst, would cause ambiguity which could lead to war.

    General Milley has attempted to rationalize his reckless behavior by arguing that what he perceived as the military’s judgement was more stable than its civilian commander. It is a dangerous precedent that could be asserted at any point in the future by General Milley or others. It threatens to tear apart our nation’s longstanding principle of civilian control of the military.

    You must immediately dismiss General Milley. America’s national security and ability to lead in the world are at stake.

     

    • #18
  19. Tyrion Lannister Member
    Tyrion Lannister
    @TyrionLannister

    You really should read the piece by Dan McLaughlin at National Review.  I won’t link to it directly here, but it’s absolutely worth the read.  

    Here is an edit to the piece: On further reflection, however, it could be construed as an offer to commit treason, given that the promise to give notice of a future attack presupposes action at odds with a direct, armed conflict ordered by the commander in chief.

    I agree with this interpretation.  Just because Milley didn’t have the opportunity to betray the nation, he clearly had the intent to if given the chance.  Apparently his undermining the President was routine:

    Woodward and Costa make clear that General Milley knew perfectly well that he was undermining the president’s intended policies…

    …Choosing to tell the Chinese that we were bluffing and unilaterally canceling exercises — without involving the president and, so far as we can tell from this excerpt, without involving the State Department or the secretary of defense — is a military seizure of authority that belongs to the president alone….

    …General Milley is fine abiding by the chain of command when Democrats are in charge:

    Milley, for his part, took what the authors describe as a deferential approach to Biden on Afghanistan, in contrast to his earlier efforts to constrain Trump. The book reveals recent remarks the chairman delivered to the Joint Chiefs in which he said, “Here’s a couple of rules of the road here that we’re going to follow. One is you never, ever ever box in a president of the United States. You always give him decision space.” Referring to Biden, he said, “You’re dealing with a seasoned politician here who has been in Washington, D.C., 50 years, whatever it is.”

    That just makes it worse, as does the fact that major media outlets celebrate a general for undermining civil authority. General Milley knew exactly what he was doing. And he is apparently proud enough of doing so that he told Woodward and Costa. He is a proven danger to democratic self-government, and must go.

    Of course this is all alleged.  Let’s remove him and have hearings.  Jail time can come later assuming the allegations are true.  

    • #19
  20. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):
    Obviously it’s a serious charge, it might be a stretch to use the term treason for what Milley (allegedly) did, but it might not be. 

    At what point in the negotiation over compensation did Benedict Arnold become a traitor?  Was after the first phone call letter?  The second phone call letter? 

    • #20
  21. Chris Oler Coolidge
    Chris Oler
    @ChrisO

    Milley, in taking action, demonstrated precisely why the Constitution places the military under civilian control. He was sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Pure and simple, he did not. Rather, he organized a military authority with himself at the top to supplant lawful civilian authority. 

    I have to agree with Jerry here, this is sedition:

    The wilful and knowing utterance, writing , or publication of disloyal, scurrilous , or abusive matter against the United States or a state , or the flag, military forces, or uniform of the nation , which matter is designed and calculated to bring them into contempt , which advocates, incites, fosters, or inquiries antagonism, opposition and hostility to organized government , or matter which obstructs or interferes with the national recruiting or enlistment services. See Gilbert v Minnesota, 254 U.S. 325, 41 S.Ct. 125, 65 L.Ed. 287.

    Italics are mine for emphasis.

    Once again we see where people accuse others, it is only to mask their own desires and actions.

    And to top it all, he pledged an allegiance of sorts to a foreign military leader. 

    Gina Haspel needs to answer for this as well.

    • #21
  22. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Chris Oler (View Comment):

    Milley, in taking action, demonstrated precisely why the Constitution places the military under civilian control. He was sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Pure and simple, he did not. Rather, he organized a military authority with himself at the top to supplant lawful civilian authority.

    I have to agree with Jerry here, this is sedition:

    The wilful and knowing utterance, writing , or publication of disloyal, scurrilous , or abusive matter against the United States or a state , or the flag, military forces, or uniform of the nation , which matter is designed and calculated to bring them into contempt , which advocates, incites, fosters, or inquiries antagonism, opposition and hostility to organized government , or matter which obstructs or interferes with the national recruiting or enlistment services. See Gilbert v Minnesota, 254 U.S. 325, 41 S.Ct. 125, 65 L.Ed. 287.

    Italics are mine for emphasis.

    Once again we see where people accuse others, it is only to mask their own desires and actions.

    And to top it all, he pledged an allegiance of sorts to a foreign military leader.

    Gina Haspel needs to answer for this as well.

    I’m sure Milley is an honest patriot.  And I mean this with all respect for his service and his military and diplomatic capabilities.  But how does what he did (or is alleged to have said he would do) different from being a paid Chinese agent?  This is both in promising to alert China in the unlikely event that both the US Congress and President Trump decided to go to war with China, and in how he planned and implemented a withdrawal from Afghanistan that left Americans behind and ceded Afghanistan to Chinese geo-political control.

    I’m not saying that he was acting traitorously, but that his actions, on the surface, appear to be the same as what a traitor would do.

    • #22
  23. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Flicker (View Comment):
    I’m not saying that he was acting traitorously, but that his actions, on the surface, appear to be the same as what a traitor would do.

    It may just be a matter of competence.

    • #23
  24. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):
    I’m not saying that he was acting traitorously, but that his actions, on the surface, appear to be the same as what a traitor would do.

    It may just be a matter of competence.

    Yes.  Or negligence.  I’m sure it was not deliberate.

    • #24
  25. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):
    I’m not saying that he was acting traitorously, but that his actions, on the surface, appear to be the same as what a traitor would do.

    It may just be a matter of competence.

    Yes. Or negligence. I’m sure it was not deliberate.

    Good point.  He may have accidentally hit the wrong speed dial.  And then thought he was talking to his neighbor about something else.  Or something…

    • #25
  26. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):
    I’m not saying that he was acting traitorously, but that his actions, on the surface, appear to be the same as what a traitor would do.

    It may just be a matter of competence.

    Yes. Or negligence. I’m sure it was not deliberate.

    Good point. He may have accidentally hit the wrong speed dial. And then thought he was talking to his neighbor about something else. Or something…

    Yes.  Exactly.  He was just wiping his phone off, like with a damp cloth.

    • #26
  27. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Flicker (View Comment):
    I’m not saying that he was acting traitorously

    Why not? He was acting traitorously.

    You people are way too easy on our domestic enemies.

    • #27
  28. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):
    I’m not saying that he was acting traitorously

    Why not? He was acting traitorously.

    You people are way too easy on our domestic enemies.

    Look I’m tired of all these conspiracy theories.  The fact is, and I have a transcript of the call General Milley made, and that he was drinking with some of his three-star buddies and made a prank call to punk  Chinese General Li Zuocheng.

    Chinese General Li Zuocheng: Hello?

    General Milley: Yes, this is Milley. (suppressed laughter) Is this  Chinese General Li Zuocheng?

    Li Zuocheng: Yes!  Who is this?!

    Milley:  This is United States Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Milley!  I’m just calling to — hold on — Okay guys, cut it out, I’m making a serious call right now. (more suppressed laughter) I’m calling to tell you that we are NOT going to attack you.  There are NOT missiles in the air right now aimed at Beijing.  Okay?

    Li Zuocheng: Mark, I have told you not to call me when you’re drunk anymore.

    Milley:  I promise I’ll call you — just like I’m doing riiiight now — if we are about to attack!  Got it?!  (loud laughter in the background)

    Li Zuocheng:  I’m going to hang up!

    Milley: Just watch your heads, General!  Bye-bye!  (connection ends)

    Li Zuocheng: 屁话 I hate it when he does that!  He always does this when he drinks.  (connection ends)

    • #28
  29. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Milley’s problem with Trump was that Trump was the first president since Jimmy Carter who didn’t start a war and was pulling out of wars. So all the rest of this is blowing smoke. Miller is a partisan and Trump should have canned him that summer over using the National Guard against ANTIFA.

    • #29
  30. Chris Oler Coolidge
    Chris Oler
    @ChrisO

    Flicker (View Comment):
    I’m not saying that he was acting traitorously, but that his actions, on the surface, appear to be the same as what a traitor would do.

    You may be right vis-a-vis the pledge to the Chinese General. I don’t disagree with anything here Flicker, but focused mainly on the one aspect of his actions: circumventing civilian, lawful control of the military. It is many things, but does not quite meet the legal requirements for a treason charge.

    Is it treason-esque? Oh, yeah.

    • #30