Pentagon refuses to obey Trump

Trump says he likely won’t order military to respond to protests

U.S. president had previously suggested he might use troops in some states
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he did not believe that he would need to use troops to counter domestic protests sparked by a police killing of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis.
“It depends, I don’t think we’ll have to,” Trump said when asked in an interview with Newsmax TV whether he would send the military to any cities after sometimes violent protests over the killing of George Floyd.
Trump had previously said that he could use military forces in states that have failed to crack down on the violent protests.
Read more at https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-military-protests-1.5597534

James Mattis Denounces President Trump, Describes Him as a Threat to the Constitution

In an extraordinary condemnation, the former defense secretary backs protesters and says the president is trying to turn Americans against one another.
James Mattis, the esteemed Marine general who resigned as secretary of defense in December 2018 to protest Donald Trump’s Syria policy, has, ever since, kept studiously silent about Trump’s performance as president. But he has now broken his silence, writing an extraordinary broadside in which he denounces the president for dividing the nation, and accuses him of ordering the U.S. military to violate the constitutional rights of American citizens.
“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” Mattis writes. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.”
Read more at https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/06/james-mattis-denounces-trump-protests-militarization/612640/

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Pentagon chief on shaky ground with White House after breaking with Trump over protest response

June 4, 2020
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is on shaky ground with the White House after saying Wednesday that he does not support using active duty troops to quell the large-scale protests across the United States triggered by the death of George Floyd and those forces should only be used in a law enforcement role as a last resort.
Speaking from the Pentagon briefing room podium, Esper noted that “we are not in one of those situations now,” distancing himself from President Donald Trump’s recent threat to deploy the military to enforce order.
Read more at https://edition.cnn.com/2020/06/03/politics/esper-insurrection-act-protests/index.html

Exclusive: President Trump Moves Military Forces to Near-Wartime Alert Level in Washington D.C

By William M. Arkin
The Pentagon has ordered forces and bases in the Washington D.C. area to “Force Protection Condition Charlie,” a threat condition that indicates “likely” targeting of military forces and or terrorist action and the second highest alert level available.
The state of higher alert was ordered as of 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning for the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. The order follows a rapidly moving and confusing set of statements and threats coming out of the White House in the previous 24 hours. During this period, President Donald Trump has threatened state governors with federal intervention, and appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley as the commander of federal forces—a legally questionable order. Under the law, the chairman serves as the principal military adviser to the president, not a military commander.
Read more at https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-president-trump-moves-military-forces-near-wartime-alert-level-washington-dc-1508130

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