LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Military leaders criticize Trump for politicizing and wrongful use of the Armed Forces

Attorney General Barr and President Trump have shown disdain for the rights of protesters by advocating forcefully using the military to quell even peaceful demonstrations. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper encouraged governors to dominate their state’s “battle space.”

Last Monday, the president threatened to invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act. The Act allows the president to deploy U.S. military and federalized National Guard within the U.S. when a State specifically requests assistance to address insurrection.

Former military figures who were previously silent are now speaking about military misuse.

Admiral (Ret.) Mike Mullen (Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs) does not believe that the current demonstrations justify a heavy reliance on military troops.  Mullen indicated American towns are our homes. … not “battle spaces” to be dominated by military troops.

Trump’s most recent political ‘stunt’ involves Barr using military force in Washington, D.C. to violently attack peaceful protestors with rubber bullets and pepper spray so Trump could stage a photo op in front of St. John’s Church.

This ‘stunt’ prompted General (Ret.) Jim Mattis (former defense secretary) to denounce Trump for dividing the nation and accuse Trump of ordering the U.S. military to violate Americans’ constitutional rights. Mattis also indicated we should not be distracted by a few lawbreakers.  Rather, the majority of protestors are asking us to live up to our values by seeking “Equal Justice Under Law.” All of us should be able to support that request.

In his government service, Gen. Mattis swore an oath to support and defend the constitution.

Gen. Mattis indicated “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

Solving this difficult situation requires acknowledging grievances and voting for leaders who implement real solutions.

Kenneth Peterson                               

Buchanan

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