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Broken Trust: General Milley


I will begin this discussion with a simple question: what army in the world who would go war with a general who promised to tell the enemy where the location of his own soldiers and how to kill them?


Several people have asked the question regarding the actions taken by General Milley last year. Most people asking this question do not appear to know or understand military law, the Constitution of the United States, or the meaning and reason the law establishes civilian control over the military. While these could be complicated subjects, I will try to explain them as simple as I possibly can without interjecting any political opinion in the matter. As most of you know, I am a retired United States army officer with more than twenty years of service. While I am not an expert in military law, as an officer, I received training on the military’s role and ethical conduct in relationship to obeying lawful military orders without regard of the commanding officer’s political affiliation or convictions. The military’s only concern is whether the person issuing the order is authorized to do so and whether the order is in accordance with United States law and military protocols.


Let me share a couple of non-negotiable standing orders for officers. These orders must be followed, and they have been in effect for more than 200 years. Military officers are not free to make policies contrary to their civilian commander—here read the President of the United States. Military officers are forbidden from participating in political rallies in uniform as if they were representing the service whose uniform they wear. Military officers do not have any authority to engage in domestic or foreign policy of any kind. The main reason for these laws is to prevent the corruption of military officers who would then be willing to betray the army and the Nation for money, power, or prestige. General Milley violated everything he claimed he had sworn to uphold. This is the problem. If a military officer violates his oath of office, he is no longer fit to serve and must resign from his position because his word has become corrupted, and no soldier wants to go into battle with corrupt political hacks. Allow me to explain further.


The military has no legal authority to conduct foreign or domestic affairs of any kind with anyone, regardless of the officer’s feelings, political affiliation, or rank. For example, a simple captain in the army cannot talk to the local newspaper without specific permission from his superior officers and without the superior officer knowing the subject matter to be discussed. Similarly, a general, regardless of his position, cannot talk with any foreign country without receiving specific permission from the Commander in Chief—who is the President of the United States. When the captain speaks to the press without authorization, he must be removed from his position and, depending on the nature of the offense, he could be court martialed, stripped of his rank, and sentence to prison. The same applies to General Milley. When the general spoke to a military enemy of the United States and offered them advance warning of military operations, he committed the highest act of treason in the army. He must be removed in handcuffs from his position, and he must be court martialed and, if found guilty, he must spend the remaining years of his life in prison. Milley knew this but decided to betray his Nation for political purposes. That is not his job or prerogative.


Second, when a soldier in combat abandons his unit and informs the enemy of his unit’s position, he is a traitor. Judas Iscariot left his “unit” and told the temple guards Jesus’s location. The fact that Judas walked with Jesus for three years and participated in many of the miracles, does not excuse his behavior. Judas will forever be known as the man who sold his master for thrity lousy pieces of silver. He will always be remembered as a traitor, and he paid with his life. If the unit recaptures the traitor, he will be court martialed and executed on the battlefield by firing squad. When a general Milley called an enemy general to inform him about the American army’s military position, and strategy, he committed treason, and he must be court martialed, stripped of his rank, and sentence to life in prison. He cannot be executed because the treason did not take place during active combat. If his behavior had taken place during combat, he would be executed on the battlefield. Please understand that I am not in favor of the death penalty, and I am not advocating for general Milley’s execution. I am simply stating how treason is dealt with during combat.


Third, the United States military serves at the command of the President of the United States, independently of the President’s political affiliation. When a military officer disobeys orders, circumvent orders, or goes behind the President of the United States to assist the enemy of the United States, he has become a de facto dictator who must be removed from his office, tried, and sentence to life in prison. This is not my opinion. A civilian controlled military was enshrined in the Constitution of the United States, and military law, precisely to ensure that we never have a military dictatorship. General Milley’s actions betrays everything I know about military service, and he should not be allowed to remain free, regardless of how much he hated the former president.


With his actions, general Milley destroyed 250 years of civilian control of the military, and unless he is removed and tried for his actions, the United States is in peril of falling into a military dictatorship. If General Milley hated President Trump, the honorable thing to do for a man of integrity was to resign and, from his civilian position, move to China and serve with them in their army. But there is no higher crime for someone who wears the United States army uniform than to lead men into battle while at the same time giving advance notice to the enemy on how to kill our soldiers.


If you are a Christian praising General Milley, please, get informed before you allow your political bias to shame your Christian witness. I am not here to defend or condemn General Milley, but he made the choice to betray the constitution and military law. He is not an honorable man. An honorable man would have resigned, like the Marine Lt. Colonel Stuart Scheller, who could no longer trust the civilian leadership he was serving.


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