Scores of retired military leaders publicly denounce Trump

Scores of retired military leaders publicly denounce Trump

WASHINGTON — Scores of retired military and defence leaders are denouncing President Donald Trump and accusing him of using the U.S. Armed Forces to undermine the rights of Americans protesting police brutality and the killing of George Floyd.

The condemnation Friday came in an op-ed in The Washington Post, signed by 89 former defence officials, and in a letter in support of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, signed by 55 retired military leaders.

It comes days after law enforcement officers used tear gas and deployed flash bangs to disperse a peaceful protest near White House shortly before Trump walked to the area to pose with a Bible in front of a damaged church. The president also threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 to deploy federal troops to quell the protests.

The Post op-ed accuses Trump of betraying his oath of office “by threatening to order members of the U.S. military to violate the rights of their fellow Americans.” The defence leaders want the president to end any plan to send active-duty forces into cities and to avoid using them in any way that would threaten the constitutional rights of fellow Americans.

The op-ed was signed by a mix of Republicans and Democrats, including former defence secretaries Leon Panetta, Chuck Hagel, Ash Carter and William Cohen; former national intelligence director James Clapper; former CIA director Michael Hayden; and former Navy secretaries Sean O’Keefe, Ray Mabus and Richard Danzig.

In the letter released by the Biden campaign, leaders including retired Gen. Merrill McPeak, an Air Force chief of staff in the 1990s, call on Trump to stop “tarnishing the military” by deploying its forces against peaceful protesters. They want the president to halt his “divisive rhetoric” and acknowledge the valid grievances of black Americans.

Separately, Trump’s former defence secretary James Mattis, a retired Marine general, and John Allen, a retired four-star general in the Marine Corps, have also denounced Trump’s behaviour over the protests, with Allen saying the dispersal of protesters near the White House on Monday “may well signal the beginning of the end of the American experiment.”

The military leaders who signed the Biden letter say they are heartened by the courage of the demonstrators and by local leaders who have listened to the protesters and acknowledge the legitimacy of their cause.

“Those of us who have served believe the greatness of our military — and the greatness of our nation — depends upon the calls for change in the streets today becoming votes for change in November,” the 55 military leaders wrote.

The Associated Press

Donald Trump

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

230 new COVID-19 cases reported over the weekend

City of Red Deer has nine active cases

City grapples with choosing public art

‘Art is in the eye of the beholder’

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

As postponed NHL season resumes, some fans say the lure of parties will be strong

EDMONTON — As hockey fans gear up for a truncated season to… Continue reading

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

David Marsden: The remaking of Westerner Park

Red Deer residents have been tested by the COVID-19 pandemic in innumerable… Continue reading

In reversal, UK says it will make masks mandatory in shops

LONDON — The British government decided Monday to require people to wear… Continue reading

New Zealand opposition leader quits 2 months from election

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The leader of New Zealand’s opposition National Party… Continue reading

Federal judge voids Georgia ‘heartbeat’ abortion restriction

ATLANTA — A federal judge on Monday permanently blocked Georgia’s 2019 “heartbeat”… Continue reading

Mayor: US Marshals investigate shooting at Portland protest

PORTLAND, Ore. — The U.S. Marshals Service is investigating after a protester… Continue reading

Statistics Canada analysis suggests small hit to inflation from pandemic

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says Canadians’ buying patterns changed so much during… Continue reading

Return of North American economy will negate need for tariffs, PM tells Trump

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Donald Trump to think twice… Continue reading

Pieridae Energy says engineering company seeking exit from Goldboro LNG deal

CALGARY — The engineering company hired to build the proposed Goldboro LNG… Continue reading

Most Read