National security expert explains how new bombshell report reveals generals conspired to disobey Trump
Donald Trump (Photo by Paul Ricjhards for a AFP)

A national security expert said a new bombshell report on Donald Trump's relationship with his generals reveals a conspiracy to disobey the commander in chief.

The new report by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser shows that U.S. military leadership believed the former president posed a national security threat and banded together to stop him from pursuing his most dangerous impulses.

However, national security expert Doyle Hodges explained that was such a dangerous situation.

"The @NewYorker article about [Gen. Mark Milley, who is chairman of the joint chiefs of staff] is chilling," wrote Hodges, executive editor for the Texas National Security Review. "Not for the description of Trump -- we've heard that before. Because it describes the senior uniformed officer in the U.S. military working with Cabinet and Congressional power brokers to frustrate the president's policies."

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Hodges agrees that Trump was "the most harmful and dangerous president in U.S. history," but he said one aspect of that harmfulness was the way his advisers and other officials took on unauthorized duties to minimize the damage.

"The legal structures surrounding the president's use of military power are extraordinarily sweeping," Hodges wrote. "It's not clear at all that an attack inside Iran or calling active duty troops into the streets of the U.S. under the Insurrection Act would have been illegal under U.S. law."

The military leaders profiled in the article seemed to have believed any use of force they opposed was unlawful, and while those would likely have been immoral or unethical, Hodges said their legality was less clear -- and certainly not for uniformed military officers to decide.

"Politicians are chosen and held accountable by election, impeachment, and political pressure," he wrote. "Generals are not. None of us voted for Milley. So there are some decisions Milley can't make."

Milley and then-defense secretary Mark Esper may have believed they were doing the right thing, but they didn't have the authority to sidestep the president or Congress.

"It's fair to ask, 'isn't that better than the alternative?'" Hodges wrote. "Maybe. But the lesson ought to be 'don't elect unstable authoritarians who will surround themselves with buffoons' not 'it's OK...the military will keep anything bad from happening.'"

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