Thursday, FNC’s Tucker Carlson questioned why the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley continues to hold that position.
Carlson cited reports that Milley meddled in then-President Donald Trump’s personnel decisions in the last days of his presidency and Milley’s effort to derail the Afghanistan withdrawal as reasons for such actions.
Transcript as follows:
CARLSON: Here’s a story we’d completely forgotten about because there are so many.
Just before last November’s presidential election, two former Army officers wrote an open letter to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a man called Mark Milley, who still has the job. The letter became public. It was published on a left-wing blog called Defense One, and within minutes was all over the internet.
The authors of the letter had a direct order for Mark Milley, who strictly speaking, did not report to them quote, “If Donald Trump refuses to leave office,” the letter began, “The United States military must remove him by force and you must give that order.” You must remove the President by force — that was a little shocking. What country is this?
Even the usual power-mad partisans in the news media began to wonder if that was really a good idea. Slate.com, of all places, reminded its readers that no matter how orange Donald Trump might be, military coups generally turn out to be unwise.
The Pentagon had to go on the record as opposing it, too. The rest of us could keep civilian control of our government and what a relief that was.
Within days, the story just kind of receded. Another weird footnote to a weird four years, but if you paused and thought about it for a second, you had to wonder: Where did that idea even come from? Did two former U.S. military officers really just suggest removing the President of the United States by force of arms? Since when do American military officers talk like that or think like that? And do a lot of them have views like that?
We pushed that consideration from our minds, but we shouldn’t have.
Now, we know that Mark Milley himself is the sort of person who considers military coups entirely within the realm of possibility. A new book written by reporters at The Washington Post who cover Mark Milley reveals that the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is a legitimate extremist. He is the last person you would give power to if you could possibly help it.
In the book, Milley describes Donald Trump and the millions of people who supported him as the moral equivalent of Adolf Hitler. As thousands of Trump supporters peacefully gathered in Washington for what they assumed was a constitutionally protected political rally, the kind we’ve had for hundreds of years, shortly after the election, Milley likened them to brown shirts. That is the paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party.
Trump’s complaints about voter fraud, Milley explained to his advisers out loud were actually calls for genocide. “This is a Reichstag moment,” Milley said. “The gospel of the Fuhrer.” Those are quotes. Think about that.
So, your grandfather joined the U.S. military to go overseas to risk his life to fight the Nazis. Now, the head of the U.S. military calls you a Nazi for having your grandfather’s political views. What do you think of that? Keep in mind that Mark Milley is a man the media tells us is a deep intellectual, someone who reads books and stuff, not just Wikipedia.
And yet, this well-read man of history is comparing nearly half of our country to Adolf Hitler and that would include by the way the many Hispanics in the Rio Grande Valley who voted for Trump because they agreed with him on immigration.
Mark Milley isn’t just your average guy, with crackpot views, Mark Milley has control of nuclear weapons. Are we okay with this?
The people on TV are okay with it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: You read what Milley was doing and which you know is obeying the Constitution. It is standing up to the oath that he and serving members have taken. I mean, that’s what a patriot does.
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: General Milley and his team in the military with the courage to stand up to realize that something was going horribly off the rails with the President of the United States.
CLAIRE MCCASKILL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Thank goodness that General Milley was there; and other generals, I think all saw this guy’s flaws.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: It is jaw-dropping. There is no other way around it. They may be the guys with the guns, but Milley was going to make darn sure that those guns were not used.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: You think of General Milley and you think of someone who chooses every word with intention, and is a student of history, and to use the words he used like “Nazi” and “Reichstag” says a lot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: He is a student of history. They are easy to impress over on CNN, make a reference to the Nazis and the Reichstag fire and you must be a high brow grad school guy. You hear someone compare his enemies to Nazis, you know he went to Princeton. Pretty funny.
So, we’ve established that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is on the same intellectual plane as the midday news readers on CNN. The problem is, he is a lot more powerful than they are.
According to The Washington Post account, Mark Milley is the reason that thousands of American soldiers occupied our capital this year ahead of Joe Biden’s Inauguration, quote: “We’re going to put a ring of steel around this city and the Nazis aren’t getting in.” Milley said referring to American citizens, “a ring of steel” to repel the QAnon shaman and several hundred senior citizens from Orlando with signs.
This is the guy by the way who is paid to assess threats realistically. What countries pose a threat to the United States? Put them in order.
If you think the QAnon shaman is the same as the SS, maybe you’re not so good at that. Then Milley gave a speech straight out of a 1990s Bruce Willis flick, quote: “Everything is going to be okay. We’re going to have a peaceful transfer of power. We’re going to land this plane safely. This is America. It’s strong. The institutions are bending, but it won’t break.”
In the end, no Nazi attack ever came, much to Mark Milley’s apparent disappointment. It wasn’t Dunkirk. Now, you’d think that would be an embarrassment to Mark Milley. You give a speech like that and nothing happens, some guy dressed like Chewbacca shows up, but no, he was not embarrassed.
In fact, later, he gave a speech — a testimony to Congress and said apparently not referring to himself that he understands white rage better than anyone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: I do think it’s important actually for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read. And the United States Military Academy is a university and it is important that we train and we understand — and I want to understand white rage and I’m white, and I want to understand it.
So, what is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out. I want to maintain an open mind here and I do want to analyze it.
It’s important that we understand that, because our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and guardians, they come from the American people. So, it is important that the leaders now and in the future do understand it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: White rage, just a casual racial slur. These people have no self- awareness. But, he tells us he spent many hours reading Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi learning about white rage, but that white rage never came. Mark Milley was not deterred by that.
Instead, soon after the election, “The Post” reports, quote: “Milley began informally planning with other military leaders, strategizing how they would block Trump’s order to use the military in a way they deemed dangerous or illegal,” end quote.
Now, wait a second, just pause here for a moment. Is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the guy who is empowered by our Constitution, our democracy, to make those decisions? No, he is not. We have civilian leadership. He can’t make them independently. If he disagrees, he can resign, but he can’t make them independently because that would be a junta.
But he kept going. In early January, Nancy Pelosi pressed for specifics to Mark Milley. She wanted to know what the generals had done to help her. They wanted to know — she wanted to know that they were doing things that were illegal, taking control of the military from civilian elected leaders, and Mark Milley didn’t blush. He confirmed they had done just that quote, “Ma’am,” Milley told Nancy Pelosi, “I guarantee you that we have checks and balances in the system.” End quote.
Yes, checks and — yes, they’re written into the Constitution, Mr. Milley. I mean, that’s not on Wikipedia. According to “The Post,” some of those checks and balances he referred to involved undermining the elected President’s authority to choose the Director of the CIA It’s interesting by the way, a lot of focus on the CIA It tells you what kind of power they have.
So, when the President reportedly considered firing Gina Haspel who runs the CIA and replacing her with a man called Kash Patel in the closing days of his administration, we now know that Milley pressured the President’s Chief of Staff not to do that, to keep Haspel. “What the hell is going on here?” Milley asked Trump’s Chief of Staff. “What are you guys doing?”
This is lunacy. It’s not how the government is supposed to work. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs should not be having that conversation and expressing those views. He should leave if he can’t keep them to himself.
That quote there is alone grounds for Mark Milley’s immediate firing from his job. No Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has say over CIA appointees. No one in the military does. They can’t. Talk about a threat to our system.
And yet The Washington Post thinks this is fine because the President at the time was talking about election fraud, and that was inciting an insurrection. Scary.
We already know that Milley had subverted civilian control of the military long before the election even took place. On February 29th of last year, the Trump administration reached a deal with the Taliban to end U.S. military involvement in that country after only 20 years. Immediately, The Pentagon led by Mark Milley conspired to kill the deal, which they are not allowed to do under our Constitution, but they did it anyway.
According to reporting by the “Grayzone,” quote: “With startling swiftness and determination, Pentagon officials and military leadership exploited the open-ended terms of the ceasefire to derail the implementation of the agreement,” end quote. No informed person denies that happened. It did.
The head of U.S. Central Command, Kenneth McKenzie testified before Congress the deal would be determined by quote, “conditions on the ground.” Meaning the decision will be made not by civilian leaders, but by The Pentagon. Again, a threat to democracy anyone? There it is.
Acting unilaterally, The Pentagon launched more than 30 drone attacks and eight night raids led by special operators against the Taliban, and within weeks, the peace deal was dead. They killed it.
Voters had no say in this. They operated completely independently like they run the country. A little scarier than the QAnon Shaman. Ironically, preserving a peace deal with the Taliban was the same justification that Mark Milley used later in late 2020 to overrule Donald Trump’s order to pull out of Afghanistan. Milley told the President, it was only possible to remove half American forces there, not all.
Now, no one in the media seems concerned by any of this. In fact, The Washington Post which supports authoritarianism is already publishing follow-up op-eds explaining that Mark Milley is a hero. There were Nazis among us. You. And therefore we need to get rid of the filibuster. Try to follow that logic.
They are also nodding with approval that Mark Milley smiled at Michelle Obama when Joe Biden was inaugurated. So, the question is, why is Mark Milley still in command of the U.S. military? This is not a small question if it is what “The Washington Post’s” reporters are reporting — it’s a question we need to deal with right now.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor