As the spotlight today is on the run-off voting down in Georgia, one deeply-telling instance of our precarious position right now was the unprecedented statement/letter published Sunday and signed by all 10 living former U.S. secretaries of defense, calling for the T-Rump to not allow the military be involved with his idiotically-false and dangerous attempt to overturn the election.
Supposedly, all 10 signed on over just two days, and the idea originated with former VP Dick Cheney (also a former Defense honcho), and the list included Mark Esper and James Mattis, both appointed by the T-Rump to head the Pentagon.
Apparently, some nefarious shit caused all these guys to quickly act:
The idea for this statement actually originated from Vice President Cheney.
Each of us swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution; that oath does not change according to party designation.https://t.co/NSsdLkZX9g
— William J. Perry (@SecDef19) January 4, 2021
Fred Kaplan at Slate yesterday explains:
None of the 10 signatories believe Trump could successfully pull off a coup, according to two former officials involved in the statement.
They’re convinced the Joint Chiefs of Staff would disobey any such effort as an “unlawful order.”
However, senior officers inside the Pentagon, who are said to be alarmed by Trump’s recent behavior, have told some of the former secretaries that they greatly appreciate the statement’s message.
The former secretaries were moved to sign the op-ed by three factors: the remark last month by retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s former (and recently pardoned) national security adviser, that Trump could declare “martial law” and order the military to supervise a do-over of the election; Trump’s own increasingly erratic and desperate behavior in trying to reverse the election through dubious legal means (and the statement was written before the notorious phone call on Saturday with Georgia’s secretary of state); and the refusal of top Pentagon officials to cooperate with President-elect Biden’s transition team.
The cessation of cooperation in mid-December is what “set off the alarm bells” that led to the drafting of the op-ed, according to one former official involved in the process.
The T-Rump’s antics is scaring a lot of people, and seemingly not just the rank-and-file ones (like us!); at least some are trying to do something about it. Shit’s got to be bad-real if Dick Cheney’s anywhere-near involved.
The ex-defense chiefs statement ran in the op/ed section at The Washington Post and included reality:
Our elections have occurred. Recounts and audits have been conducted. Appropriate challenges have been addressed by the courts.
Governors have certified the results.
And the electoral college has voted.
The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived.
As senior Defense Department leaders have noted, “there’s no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of a U.S. election.”
Efforts to involve the U.S. armed forces in resolving election disputes would take us into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory.
Civilian and military officials who direct or carry out such measures would be accountable, including potentially facing criminal penalties, for the grave consequences of their actions on our republic.
And on the level, too, of unprecedented crazy was a statement issued also Sunday by former House Speaker and still fulltime asshole Paul Ryan, who jumped the T-Rump for fucking with democracy with baseless claims in last gasps of overturing Joe Biden’s win.
Ryan wrote (USAToday):
“Efforts to reject the votes of the Electoral College and sow doubt about Joe Biden’s victory strike at the foundation of our republic,” Ryan said in a statement.
“It is difficult to conceive of a more anti-democratic and anti-conservative act than a federal intervention to overturn the results of state-certified elections and disenfranchise millions of Americans. The fact that this effort will fail does not mean it will not do significant damage to American democracy.”
Ryan asked fellow conservatives to think about the “precedent that it would set” and noted the Trump campaign’s failed efforts in the court to challenge election results in a number of states.
“The Trump campaign had ample opportunity to challenge election results, and those efforts failed from lack of evidence. The legal process was exhausted, and the results were decisively confirmed,” he added.
“The Department of Justice, too, found no basis for overturning the result. If states wish to reform their processes for future elections, that is their prerogative. But Joe Biden’s victory is entirely legitimate.”
We’ll see what happens tomorrow, most-likely an ugly shit-show.
And democracy at stake:
Power of the people — “…they cannot hold to power in truly democratic elections…”
(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Agonizing Horse,’ found here),