General Milley’s secret call to China

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Shortly after the Jan 6 riots, Gen. Mark Milley, fearing that Trump might "go rogue" and attack China with nuclear weapons, contacted a Chinese general and assured him that it wouldn't happen.

The right is claiming that Milley is guilty of treason for this, for undermining the sitting president and contacting an enemy state. Many republican lawmakers are, at the very least, calling on him to resign.

What do you think? Should he resign? Is he a traitor?
 
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Eric

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Shortly after the Jan 6 riots, Gen. Mark Milley, fearing that Trump might "go rogue" and attack China with nuclear weapons, contacted a Chinese general and assured him that it wouldn't happen.

The right is claiming that Milley is guilty of treason for undermining the sitting president. Republicans are, at the very least, calling on him to resign.

What do you think? Should he resign? Is he a traitor?
I think it was a bit hyperbolic, we know that Trump is unstable and I get that but I don't think he would've ever come close to bombing China. Milley undermined a sitting president and IMO it was not justified. Just my .02.
 

SuperMatt

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Shortly after the Jan 6 riots, Gen. Mark Milley, fearing that Trump might "go rogue" and attack China with nuclear weapons, contacted a Chinese general and assured him that it wouldn't happen.

The right is claiming that Milley is guilty of treason for undermining the sitting president. Republicans are, at the very least, calling on him to resign.

What do you think? Should he resign? Is he a traitor?
If he allowed nuclear war to happen through inaction, that would be far worse. Loyalty to country supersedes loyalty to one person.

I think it was a bit hyperbolic, we know that Trump is unstable and I get that but I don't think he would've ever come close to bombing China. Milley undermined a sitting president and IMO it was not justified. Just my .02.
Here's the oath taken by American military officers:

I ___, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
It's not a loyalty oath to the President. A President launching an unprovoked nuclear strike would qualify as a domestic enemy. We're not a dictatorship.
 

Eric

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It's not a loyalty oath to the President. A President launching an unprovoked nuclear strike would qualify as a domestic enemy. We're not a dictatorship.
But this implies he was going to make an unprovoked nuclear attack against China and there seems to be no real evidence of that it was even a thought. I think Milley's intentions were in the right place but based on some of his past comments he is pretty paranoid.
 

SuperMatt

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But this implies he was going to make an unprovoked nuclear attack against China and there seems to be no real evidence of that it was even a thought. I think Milley's intentions were in the right place but based on some of his past comments he is pretty paranoid.
China was worried about it. Which seems to be why Milley called their top general twice about it. Also, FYI - the top generals in America speak fairly regularly with top generals in other countries.

Trump had clearly lost his mind. He had the nuclear codes. Seems like a pretty damn worthwhile precaution to me. I'd be willing to be accused of disloyalty if it meant preventing nuclear war.

Did anybody think Trump would incite a mob to attack the Capitol and then refuse to send troops to help defend it?

Thank God for GEN Milley.
 

Huntn

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Shortly after the Jan 6 riots, Gen. Mark Milley, fearing that Trump might "go rogue" and attack China with nuclear weapons, contacted a Chinese general and assured him that it wouldn't happen.

The right is claiming that Milley is guilty of treason for this, for undermining the sitting president and contacting an enemy state. Many republican lawmakers are, at the very least, calling on him to resign.

What do you think? Should he resign? Is he a traitor?
More like a hero in the making. One of the toughest things you can do in the military is buck your superiors especially when they are wrong. I can easily imagine the officers handling the nuclear codes under Trump discussing what ifs. I don’t know, but imagine these guys/gals being briefed on the crazy person scenario And their responsibility to save the world if called for.

I like The Cain Mutiny and A Few Good Men although the later does not quite apply other than the lawyer Tom Cruise goes on on a limb to trap a senior officer.
 

Edd

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More like a hero in the making. One of the toughest things you can do in the military is buck your superiors especially when they are wrong. I can easily imagine the officers handling the nuclear codes under Trump discussing what ifs. I don’t know, but imagine these guys/gals being briefed on the crazy person scenario And their responsibility to save the world if called for.

I like The Cain Mutiny and A Few Good Men although the later does not quite apply other than the lawyer Tom Cruise goes on on a limb to trap a senior officer.
I like both film examples for this. A Few Good Men covers the issue of unethical orders being followed or not. Crimson Tide could apply also.

The Caine Mutiny is most applicable though. The Captain seems to be losing his marbles. What do you do?

I’m sympathetic about Milley’s situation. Trump is crazy. If you dressed him in dirty rags and threw him in with a bunch of mentally unstable homeless people he would not stand out in a positive way. He’d fit right in.
 

Herdfan

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Shortly after the Jan 6 riots, Gen. Mark Milley, fearing that Trump might "go rogue" and attack China with nuclear weapons, contacted a Chinese general and assured him that it wouldn't happen.

The right is claiming that Milley is guilty of treason for this, for undermining the sitting president and contacting an enemy state. Many republican lawmakers are, at the very least, calling on him to resign.

What do you think? Should he resign? Is he a traitor?

Pretty sure Vindman isn't some right-wing stooge.

 

Renzatic

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What do you think? Should he resign? Is he a traitor?

He's not a traitor, since China isn't an officially recognized enemy of the state, and his actions wouldn't have given a foreign nation an advantage of the US militarily. If Trump did go rouge and take it upon himself to nuke a nation we currently have no real military level contention with, he would've been acting well beyond the scope of his Constitutionally mandated powers, and thus, any attempt to counter that would have been perfectly legal.

Thing is, Trump didn't quite go rogue to that extent, and Milley is now left looking a little too easily panicked for his own good.

In conclusion? This is pure political candy, perfect for any future campaign trails.
 

SuperMatt

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Well well well…


A defense official familiar with the calls said that description is “grossly mischaracterized.”

The official said the calls were not out of the ordinary, and the chairman was not frantically trying to reassure his counterpart.

The people also said that Milley did not go rogue in placing the call, as the book suggests. In fact, Milley asked permission from acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller before making the call, said one former senior defense official, who was in the room for the meeting. Milley also briefed the secretary’s office after the call, the former official said.

“We discussed beforehand and after his call with his Chinese counterpart,” the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive topic.

Regular calls to high-level counterparts are a part of the job for a CJCS. It looks like Woodward may have exaggerated quite a bit. It will certainly help him sell a lot of books, though.
 

hulugu

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Pretty sure Vindman isn't some right-wing stooge.


Vindman's right. Miley may have acted far outside his scope by telling his Chinese counterparts that message.

That said, the House of Trump is simultaneously trying to argue this never happened, and that Miley's a traitor for doing this. And, consider the more important point—Trump was such a raving idiot that Miley—the head of the JCOS—may have violated his oath to save the country.

We can discuss Miley's behavior, but it should always be put into the context of the babyshambles of the Trump-era White House.
 

SuperMatt

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Vindman's right. Miley may have acted far outside his scope by telling his Chinese counterparts that message.

That said, the House of Trump is simultaneously trying to argue this never happened, and that Miley's a traitor for doing this. And, consider the more important point—Trump was such a raving idiot that Miley—the head of the JCOS—may have violated his oath to save the country.

We can discuss Miley's behavior, but it should always be put into the context of the babyshambles of the Trump-era White House.
Vindman is stating his opinion based on the writing of Bob Woodward, which is contested in another account. Let’s say the calls to China were routine (as I believe they most likely were) AND the Secretary of Defense was briefed before and after each call. There is nothing wrong with that, and that is the whole basis of Vindman’s criticism.

My opinion based on reading both accounts is this: Woodward linked the CJCS-China call as a panicked response to the events of Jan 6 in his book due to misunderstanding or for dramatic effect.

Another thing people need to understand. Military members are required to obey lawful orders of the President of the United States or the officers appointed over them. Ordering an unprovoked nuclear strike on a country that Congress didn’t declare war upon… is not only unlawful, it’s a crime against humanity.

Anybody who criticizes the CJCS for being concerned that an unhinged president could order a nuclear strike… must prefer the prospect of seeing the world incinerated for the whims of one man. If I were in Milley’s place, I’d take precautions as well. And let’s not forget the 25th amendment. Assuredly the CJCS would be in any discussion around a president who is mentally disabled enough to order a nuclear strike in order to try and stay in power.

In my opinion, a competent cabinet would have invoked the 25th amendment immediately after the President’s refusal to send help to defend the Capitol. However, the cabinet was full of sycophants rubber-stamped by a GOP Senate led by possibly the most cynical human in history, Mitch McConnell.
 

Thomas Veil

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:iagree: I said some of the same things elsewhere on this site.

I'm sure Milley didn't take this lightly. Quite the contrary, I believe he thought long and deep and hard about it. And the conclusion that he came to was that, in light of the ongoing dereliction of duty of Trump's cabinet, it fell to him to take action to make sure an increasingly unhinged president didn't start something catastrophic. I would say the same thing of a Democratic or Independent president throwing a totally insane temper tantrum because no one would assist him in his effort to become a permanent dictator.

Frankly I think the good general deserves a medal.
 

ronntaylor

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Given the Mango MFers immediate actions, Milley had no other choice. Besides, as other have already said I don't truly trust Woodward who's shilling for book sales. I'm sure there is additional info that we'll never know about that informed Milley's actions.
 

Alli

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China was worried about it. Which seems to be why Milley called their top general twice about it. Also, FYI - the top generals in America speak fairly regularly with top generals in other countries.
This. Part of his job is liaison. If that includes assuring a counterpart that your boss is not going to blow you to hell, that’s a good thing.
 

Huntn

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Pretty sure Vindman isn't some right-wing stooge.

Vindman has a right to his opinion, but that does not make him right. When POTUS is an unstable sociopath leaning towards deranged, the chain of command may no longer function how it does when the head guy is competent, if the reporting is accurate. I’d like to hear his reasoning, unpublicized things Trump said that gave him enough concern to make such a call based on reporting, Trump had a habit of asking what if’s, and why can’t we use nukes. This is one case where we can thank our lucky stars that the US military placed checks on the President. I believe there were others: vowing not to be drawn into his re-election fraud campaign.

From his first year as President:
 
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SuperMatt

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Vindman has a right to his opinion, but that does not make him right. When POTUS is an unstable sociopath leaning towards deranged, the chain of command may no longer function how it does when the head guy is competent, if the reporting is accurate. I’d like to hear his reasoning, unpublicized things Trump said that gave him enough concern to make such a call based on reporting, Trump had a habit of asking what if’s, and why can’t we use nukes. This is one case where we can thank our lucky stars that the US military placed checks on the President. I believe there were others: vowing not to be drawn into his re-election fraud campaign.

From his first year as President:
Agreed.

I do not understand people insinuating that a general working to prevent nuclear Holocaust is a traitor in any way, shape, or form.

I also strongly disagree with anybody stating that GEN Milley was panicked and shouldn’t have acted. The time to act is BEFORE the nukes get launched. Would you have had him sit back and “hope for the best” when it comes to an insane toddler who rage-tweets in all caps at 4am and has the nuclear football? REALLY? If you call the general’s reaction “panicking” then fine. Because you want to see real panic? Try to see if we can help the Chinese shoot our own nuke out of the sky after it launches and before it blows up Beijing… because otherwise, goodbye world.

If you don‘t take anything in life seriously, maybe, just maybe, you should make an exception for nuclear war.
 

hulugu

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Agreed.

I do not understand people insinuating that a general working to prevent nuclear Holocaust is a traitor in any way, shape, or form.

I also strongly disagree with anybody stating that GEN Milley was panicked and shouldn’t have acted. The time to act is BEFORE the nukes get launched. Would you have had him sit back and “hope for the best” when it comes to an insane toddler who rage-tweets in all caps at 4am and has the nuclear football? REALLY? If you call the general’s reaction “panicking” then fine. Because you want to see real panic? Try to see if we can help the Chinese shoot our own nuke out of the sky after it launches and before it blows up Beijing… because otherwise, goodbye world.

If you don‘t take anything in life seriously, maybe, just maybe, you should make an exception for nuclear war.

Yeah, while I think Vindman may be right, if the reporting about Miley is correct, that doesn't mean that Miley is a traitor. He may have acted outside the chain of command, and did this for good reason. The people arguing that he's a traitor are political hacks looking for another scalp in the hopes that somehow the head of the cult will notice them and pay them some attention.

It's fucking embarrassing to watch.

There's a refined argument here about the chain of command, and the scope of Miley's actions. And, I think @SuperMatt makes excellent points, but to argue that Miley is a traitor is stupid.
 

SuperMatt

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Vindman's right. Miley may have acted far outside his scope by telling his Chinese counterparts that message.

That said, the House of Trump is simultaneously trying to argue this never happened, and that Miley's a traitor for doing this. And, consider the more important point—Trump was such a raving idiot that Miley—the head of the JCOS—may have violated his oath to save the country.

We can discuss Miley's behavior, but it should always be put into the context of the babyshambles of the Trump-era White House.
As we are seeing today, Vindman should have bit his tongue until Milley had a chance to testify. As I suspected, Bob Woodward sensationalized routine calls, which were ordered by Trump's Secretary of Defense (Esper) in order to sell his book. He also misconstrued the discussion about nuclear deployment. The general was simply going over procedures to make sure everything was in order. There was no subversion of the chain of command.


Considering that Milley was one of Woodward’s sources of information for his book, I think we have to take the statements straight from the horse’s mouth over Woodward’s dramatic retelling.
 

hulugu

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As we are seeing today, Vindman should have bit his tongue until Milley had a chance to testify. As I suspected, Bob Woodward sensationalized routine calls, which were ordered by Trump's Secretary of Defense (Esper) in order to sell his book. He also misconstrued the discussion about nuclear deployment. The general was simply going over procedures to make sure everything was in order. There was no subversion of the chain of command.


Considering that Milley was one of Woodward’s sources of information for his book, I think we have to take the statements straight from the horse’s mouth over Woodward’s dramatic retelling.

I agree.
 
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