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General Mark Milley’s January 2021 actions, as published by Bob Woodward and confirmed by Milley’s non-denial, were far more damaging to American national security than Brigadier General Benedict Arnold’s attempted betrayal of the American Revolution. General Milley reportedly subverted our national security on two levels, both leading fellow officers to collude in subverting the Constitution, and directly conspiring with a nuclear adversary to remove our first strike capability and give Communist China the time to launch missiles at our cities first. In comparison, Benedict Arnold informed British commanders of Continental Army planning for a possible invasion of Canada and attempted to communicate an offer to hand over the fortifications at West Point, if he was placed in command of defenses including West Point, in return for cash and some status under British rule. Mark Milley is worse than Benedict Arnold. Gen. Mark Milley did more damage to our national defense than Gen. Benedict Arnold.
Brigadier General Benedict Arnold was a hero of the American Revolution, until he was not.
Early in May  he made secret overtures to British headquarters, and a year later he informed the British of a proposed American invasion of Canada. He later revealed that he expected to obtain the command of West Point, New York, and asked the British for £20,000 for betraying this post. When his British contact, Maj. John André, was captured by the Americans, Arnold escaped on a British ship, leaving André to be hanged as a spy. The sacrifice of André made Arnold odious to loyalists, and his reputation was further tarnished among his former neighbours when he led a raid on New London, Connecticut, in September 1781.
The Congressional Research Service updated their “Defense Primer: Command and Control of Nuclear Forces” on December 3, 2020. This two page primer is worth reading. The first two paragraphs summarize the official position on nuclear authority [emphasis added]:
The U.S. President has sole authority to authorize the use of U.S. nuclear weapons. This authority is inherent in his constitutional role as Commander in Chief. The President can seek counsel from his military advisors; those advisors are then required to transmit and implement the orders authorizing nuclear use. But, as General John Hyten, then the Commander of U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), noted during his September 2016 confirmation hearing, his job is to give advice, while the authority to order a launch lies with the President.
The President does not need the concurrence of either his military advisors or the U.S. Congress to order the launch of nuclear weapons. In addition, neither the military nor Congress can overrule these orders. As former STRATCOM Commander General Robert Kehler has noted,members of the military are bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice “to follow orders provided they are legal and have come from competent authority.” But questions about the legality of the order—whether it is consistent with the requirements, under the laws of armed conflict (LOAC), for necessity, proportionality, and distinction—are more likely to lead to consultations and changes in the President’s order than to a refusal by the military to execute the order.
Notice that there is no talk of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That is because the Joint Chiefs of Staff have no command authority, as a matter of black letter law, as their own website admits.
Today, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have no executive authority to command combatant forces. The issue of executive authority was clearly resolved by the Goldwater-Nichols DOD Reorganization Act of 1986: “The Secretaries of the Military Departments shall assign all forces under their jurisdiction to unified and specified combatant commands to perform missions assigned to those commands…”; the chain of command “runs from the President to the Secretary of Defense; and from the Secretary of Defense to the commander of the combatant command.”
That is why you see the repeated references to STRATCOM. Strategic Command is the combatant command with responsibility for nuclear forces.
So, them’s the rules, not suggestions, the rules. Not the rules for one party, the American rules. This must be so because the time from launch to detonation of a missile from China or Russia is around 30 minutes, while submarine launched missiles take no more than 15 minutes from launch to fireball and mushroom cloud over American cities. We spent decades carefully selecting and training men to push the button on receipt of a validated launch authorization code.
Our nuclear deterrence is no deterrence if the Russians or Chinese have reason to believe military men will hesitate, argue, or refuse to launch. Indeed, one of the earliest nuclear strategists, Col. George A. Lincoln of West Point, articulated the simple formula: capacity times will equals deterrence. If will is assessed by an adversary as near zero, than thousands of warheads will not deter aggression. In that context, Gen. Mark Milley has placed the United States and all our security partners in the Indo-Pacific region in great peril.
In a pair of secret phone calls, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assured his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, that the United States would not strike, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and national political reporter Robert Costa.
One call took place on Oct. 30, 2020, four days before the election that unseated President Donald Trump, and the other on Jan. 8, 2021, two days after the Capitol siege carried out by his supporters in a quest to cancel the vote.
The first call was prompted by Milley’s review of intelligence suggesting the Chinese believed the United States was preparing to attack. That belief, the authors write, was based on tensions over military exercises in the South China Sea, and deepened by Trump’s belligerent rhetoric toward China.
The truth, which Milley knew was the truth, was that the Chinese Communist Party was engaged in a over a decade of sustained aggression inn the South China Sea, literally building islands out of the shallow ocean as military outposts threatening freedom of navigation by falsely claiming territorial waters around each fake island. It was essential to regional security to challenge these with regularly scheduled military exercises and freedom of navigation shows of force by warships sailing through the falsely claimed territorial waters in the South China Sea. The false intelligence analysis was based on the political goals of the leftist Beltway “intelligence community” and the politicized perfumed princes of the Pentagon, grounded in standard ChiCom rhetoric, falsely protesting innocence and concern about American imperialism.
“General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay,” Milley told him. “We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.”
In the book’s account, Milley went so far as to pledge he would alert his counterpart in the event of a U.S. attack, stressing the rapport they’d established through a backchannel. “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.” [emphasis added]
Here is where General Milley betrayed his country and destroyed our nuclear deterrent. Let us be clear. Mark Milley told a Chinese Communist general that Milley would give the Peoples Liberation Army advance warning so they could launch their smaller nuclear arsenal at American cities before we could strike the Chinese missile force. Gen. Milley is a U.S. Army officer subject to the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, along with every federal national security statute. Here Mark Milley offered far more to a strategic rival, in sustained cold war with us, than Benedict Arnold offered the British, who represented the legal government in the colonies until they recognized the United States in a peace treaty.
The second call involved Thoroughly Postmodern Milley using his Chinese Communist counterpart to feed his own partisan insubordination.
In the second call, placed to address Chinese fears about the events of Jan. 6, Li wasn’t as easily assuaged, even after Milley promised him, “We are 100 percent steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.”
It is standard procedure for the Russians and Chinese to exploit U.S. domestic politics to their own ends. Milley was busy reeducating the U.S. military as a leftist force, under the guise of Diversity Equality and Inclusion, informed by the Marxist rooted Critical Race Theory. He denied the truth of massive rioting, looting, and burning in the summer of 2020, while justifying the leftist street violence as racial justice. That is, Thoroughly Postmodern Milley was speaking and implementing the radical leftist BLM line domestically. So, the ChiCom goals and his goals meshed, they were comrades in the struggle to defeat the bitter clinging Deplorable hobbits’ constitutional republic. Accordingly, Milley conspired with his comrades in uniform:
Believing that China could lash out if it felt at risk from an unpredictable and vengeful American president, Milley took action. The same day, he called the admiral overseeing the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the military unit responsible for Asia and the Pacific region, and recommended postponing the military exercises, according to the book. The admiral complied.
But, was this an accurate report, or yet another Bob Woodward fraud? The answer came in what was said and not said in the brief Joint Staff statement.
“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.
Notice what is not said here. There is no denial that General Milley told his counterpart in another country that he, Mark Milley, would betray our national security and give the Chinese Communist Party a head start in launching a military attack or in killing American airmen, sailors, and marines who were tasked to conduct a military operation against some Communist Chinese target. This offer obviously still stands, and the precedent has been set that Democrat Party operatives in the military and intelligence service can collude with foreign governments to subvert U.S. military or intelligence operations if it serves the Parties’ interests, CCP and DNC.
Beyond conspiring with a nuclear rival that has openly threatened American cities with nuclear destruction if we defend Taiwan, Mark Milley induced his fellow perfumed princes of the Pentagon to plot a soft coup, a revolt of the generals and admirals, something we have avoided since General George Washington faced down and shamed the Continental Army conspirators, who at least had the cover of fighting for pay owed the enlisted men.
Washington, who learned of the “Newburgh Conspiracy” through a printed camp circular, appeared at a March 15, 1783 meeting and challenged the gathered group of officers. “My God! What can this writer have in view, by recommending such measures! Can he be a friend to the army? Can he be a friend to this country? Rather is he not an insidious foe?” Towards the end of his address, Washington reached into his pocket to retrieve a pair of spectacles and in a theatrical gesture remarked that “…I have not only grown gray, but almost blind in service to my country.” This display of self-sacrifice from their longstanding leader deeply affected many of the officers who in turn abandoned their treasonous thoughts and returned the obvious affection of their leader.
But, of course, Thoroughly Postmodern Milley need not consider this example, as Gen. Washington was an evil man, a slave master fighting, according to the 1619 Project which Milley supports, to preserve slavery. So, Milley is free from both institutionally racist law and military tradition, free to lead the officer corps in rebellion against constitutional civilian control. With an enfeebled Biden, Milly can claim the same supposed neutral expert concern in the real service of the permanent bureaucracy and its leftist leadership.
From the Washington Post:
Milley also summoned senior officers to review the procedures for launching nuclear weapons, saying the president alone could give the order — but, crucially, that he, Milley, also had to be involved. Looking each in the eye, Milley asked the officers to affirm that they had understood, the authors write, in what he considered an “oath.”
The chairman knew that he was “pulling a Schlesinger,” the authors write, resorting to measures resembling the ones taken in August 1974 by James R. Schlesinger, the defense secretary at the time. Schlesinger told military officials to check with him and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs before carrying out orders from President Richard M. Nixon, who was facing impeachment at the time.
Again, we get a non-denial confirmation from the Joint Staff.
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.”
The charge is that Milley knew he was violating the Constitution, his oath of office, and the American people’s long trust in the military being firmly subordinate to the elected president and the appointed Secretary of Defense. He did so by subverting civilian authority and clearly written federal law. The Secretary of Defense at least has real command authority. Yet Thoroughly Postmodern Milley had no interest in going to his civilian boss, an Army Special Forces veteran and expert in counter-terrorism, the Acting Secretary of Defense, Charles C. Miller. Perhaps Milley realized his leftist hysteria and deep Trump Derangement Syndrome would not go over so well with a civilian boss who had done much more time at the pointy end of the special operations spear. A real denial would have read something like:
General Milley and all other uniformed leaders across the Services recognize that that they serve under one Commander in Chief at a time, and that not one of them has a veto or a deciding vote on nuclear release. No uniformed officer, of any rank, is entitled to countermand the President of the United States.
No uniformed officer, of any rank, may ever take sides in a political dispute. Our military treasures the trust of the American people and military leaders must not abuse that trust by even the appearance of doubting the strength and wisdom of our constitutional form of government. The elected civilian leadership of this great nation performed their duties, as specified in our Constitution, and General Milley never expressed any doubt in the constitutional process being followed by Congress, the Vice President, or President, not verbally and not in writing.
Instead, as John Hinderaker observed, General Milley is guilty as charged:
Col. Butler’s statement was issued in response to Woodward’s report and the firestorm of controversy that it ignited. Thus, the most significant fact about the statement is that it does not deny the truth of any part of Woodward’s account. Rather, Col. Butler tries to put Woodward’s reporting in a sympathetic light.
[ . . . ]
General Milley is obviously a slave to left-wing ideology, which is why he has inflicted Critical Race Theory on America’s fighting men and women. This far-left ideology is also reflected in his view that President Trump, against all evidence, was some kind of warmongering loose cannon, and his even more sinister view that the leaders of China’s armed forces were his peers and his allies in undermining the foreign policy of the United States.
I never would have imagined that the U.S. military could sink to the level represented by Milley. He should be fired, cashiered, court-martialed, drummed out of the Army, criminally prosecuted if possible. And we need a thorough investigation into how the leadership of our armed forces could possibly have sunk so low.
Do not get distracted, or let politicians deceive you. What Mark Milley and his cabal of senior officers did was not treason, precisely because treason has specific meaning in our Constitution and federal law.
Article III, Section 3, Clause 1 [Treason Clause]:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
Follow the link above for a brief, clear explanation of how treason has been treated in court, including how it was manipulated by prosecutors against political enemies in the early 19th century. Congress provides a very short definition.
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 807; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(2)(J), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)
“Enemies” did not even include the Soviet Union during the Cold War. So Communist China is not our “enemy.” Rival, challenger, hostile nation, sure. Resist the endorphin hit from ranting about treason and hanging, which is not even a federal death penalty execution method these days. Even the infamous atomic spies, the Rosenbergs* were not charged with treason. Rather, they were charged, convicted, and sentenced to death under the Espionage Act of 1917. They could also have been charged, possibly convicted, and executed for violating the 1946 Atomic Energy Act.
Based on what we now know, Mark Milley must not be allowed to retire with honor as a four star general, nor can any of the generals with who he conspired be allowed to retain their stars. General Mark Milley must be relieved of his duty as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A competent Republican Party would be demanding these officers’ immediate relief and reversion to their last permanent rank, as a minimum. A competent Republican House and Senate leadership would hold the Department of Defense’s precious budget hostage to full disclosure of what Milley and his cabal, all to be named, said and did, and, at a non-negotiable bare minimum, to their immediate retirement at reduced rank, without any retirement ceremony or award. The whole cabal subverted the 234 year old constitutional subordination of American military officers to we the people, through the civilian commander in chief, our duly elected president.
* See also the Tikvah Podcast, “David Evanier on the Rosenbergs, Morton Sobell, and Jewish Communism“Published in