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Did Milley Do the Right Thing?

Discussion in 'North American Politics' started by metis, Sep 16, 2021.

  1. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    This is from CNN, and you may respond after reading it:

    Washington (CNN)Two days after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, President Donald Trump's top military adviser, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, single-handedly took secret action to limit Trump from potentially ordering a dangerous military strike or launching nuclear weapons, according to "Peril," a new book by legendary journalist Bob Woodward and veteran Washington Post reporter Robert Costa.

    Woodward and Costa write that Milley, deeply shaken by the assault, 'was certain that Trump had gone into a serious mental decline in the aftermath of the election, with Trump now all but manic, screaming at officials and constructing his own alternate reality about endless election conspiracies.'
    Milley worried that Trump could 'go rogue,' the authors write.
    "You never know what a president's trigger point is," Milley told his senior staff, according to the book.

    In response, Milley took extraordinary action, and called a secret meeting in his Pentagon office on January 8 to review the process for military action, including launching nuclear weapons. Speaking to senior military officials in charge of the National Military Command Center, the Pentagon's war room, Milley instructed them not to take orders from anyone unless he was involved.

    "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. He then went around the room, looked each officer in the eye, and asked them to verbally confirm they understood...
    -- Woodward/Costa book: Worried Trump could 'go rogue,' Milley took secret action to protect nuclear weapons - CNNPolitics

    The whole article is well worth the read, btw.
     
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  2. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.
     
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  3. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Sounds reasonable to me.
     
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  4. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    Yes he did the right thing and I'm grateful for it frankly, but he should be investigated and put on trial. We can't normalise the military undermining civilian control even if it's consequences may be good. This is not normal and no-one should treat it as such.

    See more information and extracts from the book below:

     
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  5. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    There'll be no call to try someone for acting outside the
    law when exigent circumstances were so compelling,
    ie, acting in the best interest of the country & the entire
    world to counter a potential deadly situation.
     
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  6. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    Can't complain about attempting to limit presidential powers. I wish they'd do it more often.
     
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  7. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    As I read this, all Milley did was to reiterate that he was part of the process for authorising a nuclear strike. This does not imply he was changing the process. So there is no legal or constitutional issue here, I'd have thought.

    Or have I misunderstood?
     
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  8. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    Probably. But if he did break the law, he shouldn't be exempt from it because he broke the law for the right reasons. The law should punish those who break it, whether they be good or bad people or whether we agree or disagree with the reasons they did it. For the law to be effective and to apply to everyone equally, it has to apply even to those who we agree with.

    It's a grey area as he didn't have any legal or constitutional authority to be involved in the process. It was more an informal understanding that, should a nuclear strike occur, he (along with many others) would be informed. But the context is that if Trump had given an illegal order, Miley was positioning himself to overrule that decision. The system wasn't designed for that.
     
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  9. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    A cold, heartless, robotic understanding and enforcement of the law just leads to "an eye for an eye". And you know what they say about that.
     
  10. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    This reminds me of a chilling scene from The Dead Zone




    I wonder how Martin Sheen would look if they did his hair in orange.
     
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  11. esmith

    esmith Veteran Member

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    Unsure how accurate the book is.
    Jennifer Griffin, whose reporting I respect, said the Generl Milley never promised China a head's up in the way described by Costa and Woodward.
    If he did what Costa and Woodward wrote,then he, General Milley, should face a General Court Martial.
    Just because some of you think if he did violate the UCMJ he did it for the right reason and should not face a General Court Martial are wrong.
    Military law is not a "guidance". It makes no differece if you are an E-1 or O-11, if you are accused of violating the UCMJ you are still held accountable to all articles of the UCMJ.
    Let's say I kill someone who is in command of a unit who attempts to run in the face of an enemy, which puts others lives in danger, I have violated an article of the UCMJ. If my actions are brought forward I have to face a Court Martial even though I may have saved numerous lives by my actions. Now I may be found not guilty but I still have to face a Court Martial.
     
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  12. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Of course he did. That there are high-level "back channels" is no secret, and his position does, in fact, make him part of the nuclear launch process.

    As the Roman Curia knows full-well, "first you elect a man to absolute power, then you must manage his use of it."
     
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  13. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Prosecutors will not prosecute someone who broke
    the law for a compelling reason they agree with.
    Only a small percentage of law breakers are actually
    prosecuted.
     
  14. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    First, my strong impression from following the news is that Milley's fears were well founded.

    Second, on the new report in the OP, he appears to have acted firmly, promptly and responsibly.

    Third, if what he did was wrong, what should he have done instead?

    Fourth, if he'd committed some breach of the law, and others will know more about that than I do, then even should the reasonableness of his actions, the necessity to stand between a man whose acts are the product of insanity and could start a nuclear war with appalling consequences for the US and the world, fail to influence the court, those circumstances will be taken into consideration in determining the sentence.
     
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  15. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    I think you likely understand correctly.

    Back during Watergate, Nixon was showing some emotional problems, and we were told back then that he could not launch a nuclear strike on his own. Obviously, they are very limited in being willing to telling us what the procedure was and may be today.
     
  16. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Contrary to popular belief by some, the pope really doesn't have "unlimited power" in today's world, and neither does the Vatican btw. Remember, they're based in Italy, not Germany. ;)
     
  17. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    I was playing -- that was a line spoken to Pope Kiril I (Anthony Quinn) by Cardinal Leone (Leo McKern) in the movie "The Shoes of the Fisherman."
     
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  18. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    There are exceptions. If given an illegal order a soldier must disobey it. It looks as if Milley was reminding staff of that fact.
     
  19. esmith

    esmith Veteran Member

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    The only problem is do you really understand what the difference is between a lawful order and unlawful order.
     
  20. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    I am not in the military so I would not need to understand. Milley probably does. He was worried about Trump making illegal orders.
     
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