The 10 former U.S. defense secretaries still living, including two who worked for Donald Trump, called on the president and his supporters to accept that he lost the election and warned against attempts to involve the Military in his increasingly desperate efforts to void the result.
In an unprecedented joint letter published in the Washington Post, Secretaries of Defense addressed the worst fears of what could happen in the 17 days of the Trump administration remaining before Joe Biden’s inauguration: an attempt by Trump to foment a crisis with the aim of triggering an intervention. Military in his last fight to stay in power. .
” Efforts to involve the US Military in the resolution of electoral disputes would lead us into dangerous, illegal and unconstitutional territory,” the letter said.
” The civil and Military officials who direct or execute such measures will be held responsible, even facing possible criminal sanctions, for the serious consequences of their actions in our republic It
The signers included James Mattis and Mark Esper, who served as defense secretaries in the Trump administration. Esper openly contradicted Trump in June by insisting that there was no reason to invoke the Insurrection Act, which allows the deployment of American troops on American streets in dire circumstances.
Dick Cheney, secretary of defense under George He Bush, and vice president of his son, George W Bush, and Donald Rumsfeld, secretary of defense in the young Bush administration, also signed. The other signatories were William Perry and William Cohen, defense secretaries in the Bill Clinton administration; Leon Palette, Chuck Hagel and Ashton Carter, who served under Barack Obama; and Robert Gates, who served under both young Bush and Obama.
“Transitions, which we have all experienced, are a crucial part of the successful transfer of power. They often occur at times of international uncertainty about America’s national security policy and posture, “wrote the former defense secretaries. “It may be a time when the nation is vulnerable to the actions of adversaries who seek to take advantage of the situation It
They asked current defense secretary Christopher Miller and his officials to resume cooperation with Biden’s transition team. who had complained his briefings had been interrupted and the Pentagon had stopped responding to his questions.
the Washington Post quoted Eric Edelman, a former US ambassador and defense official, said the genesis of the remarkable letter was a conversation he had with Cheney about how the Military could be used in the coming days.
There is concern about the unrest on Wednesday when a dozen Republican senators say they will challenge Congress’s normally routine ratification of the electoral college result.
Trump has urged his supporters to demonstrate in Washington, tweeting: “Be there, you will be crazy!” The far-right Proud Boys are expected to be among the pro-Trump crowd in the capital.
Cohen told the Post he was concerned about the mention of the possibility of martial law by Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, especially after Trump’s use of Military and other federal forces to drive out protestersOutsidede the White House in June.
“It is a very dangerous course of action that must be called before it happens,” Cohen said.
“[It is] It is very important that the defense secretaries of the country send this message” wroterote Risa Brooks, an associate professor at Marquette University who studies civil-Military relations and political violence. “Civilians who lead the armed forces must be front and center to convey this message to the public and not leave it alone to the armed forces It
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism