According to a report from the New York Times, high-ranking retired military officials are going public with their displeasure of Donald Trump’s plan to deploy active service people to patrol streets and quell anti-police brutality protests.
The Times reports, “Retired senior military leaders condemned their successors in the Trump administration for ordering active-duty units on Monday to rout those peacefully protesting police violence near the White House,” adding, “As military helicopters flew low over the nation’s capital and National Guard units moved into many cities, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and General Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stood beside President Trump as he took the unusual step of pressing the American military into a domestic confrontation.”
One former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey took to Twitter to chide the commander in chief, writing, “America’s military, our sons and daughters, will place themselves at risk to protect their fellow citizens. Their job is unimaginably hard overseas; harder at home. Respect them, for they respect you. America is not a battleground. Our fellow citizens are not the enemy. #BeBetter.”
Dempsey was not alone.
Gen. Tony Thomas, the former head of the Special Operations Command, criticized rhetoric coming out of the Trump administration, writing, “The “battle space” of America??? Not what America needs to hear…ever, unless we are invaded by an adversary or experience a constitutional failure…ie a Civil War…”
Criticism was not limited to senior officers as the Air Force’s top enlisted airman, Kaleth O. Wright, the chief master sergeant of the Air Force, tweeted: “Just like most of the Black Airmen and so many others in our ranks … I am outraged at watching another Black man die on television before our very eyes. I am George Floyd … I am Philando Castile, I am Michael Brown, I am Alton Sterling, I am Tamir Rice.”
According to the Times, Pentagon officials have been unclear how many active servicemen will be deployed, with estimates ranging from “500 to thousands.”
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