James Mattis, the esteemed marine general who resigned as secretary of defense in December 2018 to protest Donald Trump’s policy with Syria. He has kept silent about Trump’s performance as president. But he has now broken his silence, writing a scathing letter denouncing the president for dividing the nation, and accuses him of ordering the U.S. military to violate the constitutional rights of American citizens.
“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protests are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand-one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we are insisting that we live up to our values-our values as people and our values as a nation.”
“We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. Donald Trump is the first president, in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people-does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”
General Mattis Goes On To Contrast The American Ethos Of Unity With Nazi Ideology
“Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that ‘The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is, ‘In union there is strength.’ We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis-confident that we are better than our politics.”
“When I joined the military, some 50 years ago. I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens-much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”
Mattis Criticizes Mark Esper (The Current Secretary Of Defense)
Mark Esper, the current secretary of defense, as well as other senior officials. Mattis writes: “We must reject any thinking of our cities as a ‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate.” Word used by Trump.
“At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict-a false conflict-between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.” Mattis writes.
Encouragement From The General
“We can come through this trying time stronger, and with a renewed sense of purpose and respect for one another. The pandemic has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community. Americans in hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their lives on the line in order to serve their fellow citizens and their country. We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed, in Lafayette Squar5e. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s ‘better angels,’ and listen to them as we unite.”
Trump Tweets Letter From Ex-Lawyer That Calls Protester’s “Terrorists”
President Trump has not taken kindly to the protesters who have showed up near the White House following the death of George Floyd-and who, last Friday, forced the president into an underground bunker that he later claimed was merely “inspecting.” On Thursday, Trump turned up the rhetoric against his antagonists across the street by endorsing the view that the protesters are illegitimate “terrorists.” Trump tweeted a letter written by his one=time impeachment lawyer John Dowd that somehow makes that president’s own dark, menacing description of the demonstrations happening around the country look tame.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, (R) Alaska
Republican Senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said a stunning statement from former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis-denouncing President Trump was :true, honest and necessary and overdue,” and admitted that she’s “struggling” with whether she can continue to support the president.
Murkowski’s comments are the strangest so far by a GOP Senator regarding the retired four-star Marine Corps General’s statement.
Speaking to reporters at the capital, Murkowski said she thought her Republican Colleagues might be reaching a point where they can be “more honest with the concerns that we might hold internally.”
She goes on to say: “I was really thankful. I thought General Mattis’s words were true and honest and necessary and overdue, and I have been struggling for the right words, and I was encouraged a couple of nights ago when I was able to read what President Bush had written. And I found that to be empowering for me as one leader.”
After reading Mattis’s letter, Murkowski comments: “Have the courage of our own convictions to speak up. And so I’m working as one individual to form the right words, knowing that these words really matter. I didn’t support the president in the initial election, and I work hard to try to make sure that I’m able to represent my state well, that I’m able to work with any administration and any president. He is our duly elected president. I will continue to work with him, I will continue to work with this administration, but I think right now as we are all struggling to find ways to express the words that need to be expressed appropriately. Questions about who I.m going to vote for or not going to vote for, are distracting at the moment.”
Mattis ends with: “Only by adopting a new path-which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals-will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad.”
If you have any questions or want to leave a comment, please do below and I will try to answer them and get back with you as soon as I can.
All The Best,