- The Joint Chiefs say they “witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law. The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection.”
WASHINGTON: The Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a public message unlike any ever issued by the nation’s top military leaders, today condemned last week’s attack on the US Capitol.
Calling the riotous insurrection “a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building, and our Constitutional process,” the chairman, Gen. Mark Milley, Vice Chairman Gen. John Hyten and the other six members of the Joint Chiefs all signed a memo to the Joint Force saying:
“As service members, we must embody the values and ideals of the nation. We support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values, and oath; it is against the law.”
They also note that the US military remains fully committed to “protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” I don’t think we need to belabor their inclusion of the word domestic.
Interestingly, the memo does not appear on the JCS website or on the official Pentagon website, defense.gov.
The uniformed leaders say they “witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law. The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection (emphasis added).”
In a clear signal meant to both reassure faith in our democracy but also to reassert that the military has absolutely no role to play in any action against the federal government– “stay focused on the mission,” the memo says.
“We support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oath; it is against the law,” they note.
Lest anyone in the services harbor any doubts, they assert that “President-elect Biden will be inaugurated and will become our 46th Commander In Chief.
“To our men and women deployed and at home, safeguarding our country — stay ready, keep your eyes on the horizon, and remain focused on the mission. We honor your continued service in defense of every American.”
First published by Breaking Defense