In response to the last Army Bob column, a commenter asked about my thoughts on the accusation that General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, committed treason, if the allegations contained in Mr. Bob Woodward and Mr. Robert Costa’s new book “Peril” are true.
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies,” Thomas Jefferson.
The founding fathers were cautious, indeed a bit fearful of a standing professional military, having seen the unbridled power of England’s king’s Army and Navy. They were concerned that a military with more loyalty to a person, a general officer or the president, would be a direct and fatal threat to the Constitution.
After the Revolutionary War, lacking the funds to pay the military, Congress gave large land grants to the officers and men of the Continental forces, in the far wild west: western New York, western Pennsylvania, what is today West Virginia and others. The goal was twofold: to get the thousands of angry unpaid armed military veterans out of sight, and to use them as an unpaid militia to fight the (searching for the politically correct term here), Indians, Native Americans, first peoples, indigenous peoples whatever works for you, along with the European kingdoms who had designs on the lands west of the eastern mountain ranges, mostly Britain, Spain and France. We forget that the Whiskey Rebellion was paid for and fomented by the Spanish.
Civilian control of the standing professional military is the holy grail to career service folks; it is, or at least was, pounded into our heads during the educational process to become an officer and non-commissioned officer, and it was an unquestionable truth that must be obeyed above all others.
If (and a big if) the allegations in “Peril” are true (Mr. Woodward has been known to play fast and loose with the truth before), it is a real problem. The socialist left and Democrats are cheering General Milley and his actions; do you folks truly want the military to make foreign policy and dictate domestic policy? Perhaps you do; a Chinese, Russian, Venezuelan, Cuban-style socialist state has the military owning and controlling businesses, and a voting seat at the table where national domestic policy is formed in their equivalent of Congress.
General Milley, on his own authority, deploying elite brigades of troops to the installations surrounding the civilization government, independent of civilian control, if true is a violation of the Constitution and usurps civilian control of the Department of Defense.
You folks may agree with the alleged (and I repeat alleged) charges made in “Peril” that General Milley took extra-Constitutional actions; please understand this gate swings left and right and is normally more right than left. Using the precedents set in this unconstitutional action may see a government you disagree with placed in power by force of arms.
In every socialist state, the military is an equal power to the congressional-type body, until it degrades into the inevitable socialist dictatorship, then it becomes a dominant authority over an elected body, as the dictator needs them to control the people and remain in power.
Let us hope and pray that the United States Senate has open hearings into this matter, and we find the truth. If “Peril” is factual, General Milley needs to be court martialed and removed from the service, receiving confinement at the Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. No general officer should be allowed to even contemplate the alleged actions charged in this book.
The question was whether General Milley be charged with treason; we toss that treason charge out freely. However, our founders made it a very difficult crime to be convicted of; the British military called any action they disapproved of treason against the King, so our laws purposely make treason difficult to prove.
In thumbing through the Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), I found at a few articles he could be charged with, articles 134, 88, 89, 91,90, 104 and a few more. However, all this is contingent on a known prevaricator’s book being true and a fair, and a fully open congressional hearing, very unlikely with the socialist party owning the presidency, House of Representatives and Senate.
To the American left: beware of what you wish for as you may get it.