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[flagged] Joint Chiefs remind U.S. forces that they defend the constitution (npr.org)
107 points by kaycebasques 14 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 97 comments

It's incredibly reassuring to know that there are solid honorable people in our armed forces that eschew politics in favor of doing the right thing. I'm sure they don't hear it enough, but thank you if any members read this.

Yes, incredible to read this. My family left Bangladesh when it was being run by a military government. We are so fortunate to have the military we do.

Its not an idea or a principle or a law. It’s culture. It’s a norm that has been socialized into members of the military, especially the leadership, for hundreds of years. I live in Annapolis now by the Naval Academy and it’s quite a joy to see each new cohort of naval officers carry on the tradition.

At the same time, it’s pretty scary that things got so bad, the armed forces had to weigh in on a political matter.

> "things got so bad".

We had an assault on the Capitol. What could be possibly worse?

The loons could have been about two minutes faster through the doors. That'd have been much worse. The joint chiefs could have been sympathetic with Trump, and then we'd be in Junta-land.

Damn, that's absolutely terrifying.

In case you haven’t noticed, US politicians (and military leadership is definitely political) love to proclaim they are defenders of the constitution (when it benefits them) and make excuses why the constitution doesn’t apply (when it benefits them).


Edit to respond to reply below asking if there are no honorable people in the military.


Not saying that there are no honorable people in the military. There are plenty.

What I’m saying is getting to leadership position in the government, business or military requires a lot of political savvy.

Of course everything the Joint Chiefs said is accurate, but also view it through the lens of how saying it now benefits the person saying it.

It’s pretty apparent that the Capitol Riot has led to a major shakeup across the entire government. It’s apparent that everyone is looking to position themselves as best they can for the post-Trump world.

Think of it like after Germany was defeated in WW2. Collaborators told stories of how they bravely resisted. Those who just laid low painted themselves as brave partisans. Some hated Germany for their own selfish reasons but post-war could exploit their resistance and claim to be nationalists. Others saw a power vacuum and realized now was the time to exploit it.

It’s quite interesting to watch.

Are you saying there are no honorable people in our armed forces that wouldn't ignore their politics to do the right thing? Yes, obviously there is politics in the military (e.g. making rank at the cost of your men and/or duty) just as there are people looking to make a paycheck. From the ones I've met and heard stories about the majority are hard working honorable people who truly believe in doing the right thing. It seems kind of horrible and short sighted to make such a broad all encompassing statement that doesn't take into account the possibility that there are honorable, hard working individuals that have given their life to an idea they think is greater than themselves.

Are there no honorable and deluded people? The joint chiefs statement could be interpreted to make a pragmatic case for people in the military that a fight about election fraud is over and that maintaining the country and constitution is more important.

re: edit response

I'm not sure its fair to jump straight to only viewing it through the lens of how it benefits that person. That assumes it was a completely self-centered act without acknowledging the possibility that they did it because they believed it was the right thing. I would argue that not making any statement would have been more political and less in line with their duty.

Yes, its possible there were political reasons but its also possible (and seems more likely to me) that the statement that was released was an attempt at applying a calm steady hand to remind members of the military of their duty and assure them and the general population that they won't put up with any anti constitutional behavior.

What happened last week was historical; it will be remembered long past the end of our lives. The capitol hasn't been violated like that since the war of 1812 when the British took the city. To me, it warranted a statement from them and I can't think of a better way that they could have handled it.

> It's incredibly reassuring to know that there are solid honorable people in our armed forces that eschew politics in favor of doing the right thing.

On the other hand, it's distressing to know why this letter to the military had to be issued reminding service members that the law prohibited them from engaging in insurrection: the presence of military (active and retired) among the insurrectionists, and the danger that would also be the case in the imminently-planned follow-on attacks.

It's not the military I worry about. Rather, NPR.

What's wrong with NPR?

I assume the parent is referring to NPR's rather single-sided ideological lens which diminishes its credibility when reporting on politically charged issues. Given the fact that nearly everything is being politicised and the fact that your country is divided in half along political lines this means that NPR is seen as an oppositional propaganda channel by nearly half the population.

But compared to other organisations sharing their opinions? The others all seem to have abandoned balance, some more than others, obviously.

So who's doing better?

The difference here is that NPR, like PBS, is publicly funded and with that should be politically neutral.

So again I ask, who does it better?

I ask because I'm not sure it's possible to be politically neutral, well before asking whether it's desirable. Everybody has a political opinion on almost everything. Even if you're only reporting what has happened, you will find people questioning why you're looking at these things, and not others.

NPR absolutely has political influence, but is it disproportionate? I don't think so. Is it unbalanced? I don't think so. I think we've just spent 6 years beating each other up over extremes, pushing every envelope, that we struggle to recognise neutral coverage.

I know you didn't write the head comment, but I think we need to regain trust in neutrality. Perhaps reinstate some laws to redress balance in things calling themselves "news"... I know I don't know, but what I know is NPR seems like one of the goodies.

"Who does it better" is not the right question here since the problem is not related to other actors being "better" but to NPR (and PBS) not fulfilling the mandate of being politically neutral. Commercial actors do not have that mandate since they are not publicly funded, they can be (and most certainly are) as partisan as they wish.

As to the supposed difficulty of being neutral I'll just state that it is actually quite easy, all you have to do is make sure that your programming represents the political diversity of the region or country. Given the near 50/50 split between those who align themselves with the GOP and those who prefer the DNC it would be simply a matter of having half the programming made by "progressives", half by "conservatives". Both groups should have essentially the same amount of influence on what gets put on the air. There should not be room for shenanigans like having a station master from party A who does his best to put all programming which aligns more with party B in the nightshift. Throw in a few Libertarian/Green Party/etc. people in the newsroom to give them a proportional voice and you're well on your way to political neutrality.

Maybe you're confusing being politically neutral with being politically centric? They're not the same. It just means that the net average political stance ends up as a weighted average of the current political spectrum.

I think your method has a lot of complexity under the hood. For example, you need a republican and a democrat to co-host a show. Does the republican need to be pro trump? Does the democrat need to be anti trump? Do you think a Liz Cheney and AOC hosted show would be politically neutral? You seem to have this idea of what a "textbook" conservative/liberal is, and I think that sort of binary representation is harmful to political discourse at large. You'll find democrats care more about government spending than some republicans. You'll find anti gun republicans, and pro gun democrats. Who represents each side? How do you make sure all viewpoints are represented (green and libertarian)?

This is the curse of dimensionality: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_dimensionality. the more complex the subject the less likely it is for someone to actually be able to represent the "Average" of everything.

There can be shows which are co-hosted by people from different points on the political spectrum but that is not the only way. Take the news, there are generally several episodes per day. Have those hosted by different "factions" and let the viewers make up their minds on who has it right. The same goes for opinion-related programming, divide this over the political spectrum according to the relative representation in the targeted region. There is no need to delve deep into whether the DNC should be represented by those who support "The Squad" or those who follow the more traditional faction, leave that to the parties themselves. I'd expect those parties to favour voices which they deem to be palatable to the majority of the viewership and as such will tend to shy away from the extremes. The GOP most likely won't want to have Trumpists representing them, the DNC probably won't go for Squad-supporters.

> You seem to have this idea of what a "textbook" conservative/liberal is, and I think that sort of binary representation is harmful to political discourse at large.

Nope, I have no such illusions. That aside, the way the American republic is set up - with winner-takes-all elections on the national level - does tend to create a dichotomy since voting for "fringe" parties is effectively useless other than to send a signal. This means the choice goes between the GOP and DNC candidates, a binary choice. Some people will vote DNC for some, GOP for other posts but this does not change the fact that the choice is rather limited.

There will be debate between the different "parties" and factions on such a station. This is a feature, not a bug. Let them debate out in the open, let them voice their views on developments for anyone who wants to hear or see. It might not be a 100% accurate representation of the political views of the region but it is far better than the propaganda channels which the media is rife with.

To me, the electoral college is the resolution of the whole alleged fraud thing. The electoral voters are the judges. The electoral voters are actually able to vote against how their state voted; they might get voted out for doing so, and in some states they will face legal consequences afterward, but their vote still stands. So even if you think there was a fraud, if you couldn't convince your electoral voter, then that's it.

Well, at least that's how it goes in most states. Looking it up: "In 14 states, votes contrary to the pledge are voided and the respective electors are replaced". I guess one could see exactly which states those are, and calculate the possible effects... it would be nice if the above paragraph applied to all of them.


The one bit of data you're missing here is that electors are selected from the ranks of party loyalists. They are not impartial judges of what happened, nor should they be. It's unlikely there will ever again be a scenario where faithless electors void the will of the voters. Even in the case of Trump, a historically bad candidate, there were only a handful faithless electors, and most of them were defectors from Hillary Clinton!

> ever again be a scenario where faithless electors void the will of the voters

Again? Was there a first occasion? Wiki says "They have never swung an election", citing a Newsweek article. Or do you mean there won't be any faithless electors at all?

A spurious "again." Although I do expect fewer and fewer faithless electors in the future, as more states work to make the linkage between the vote and the electoral college direct.

> The electoral voters are actually able to vote against how their state voted

They’re actually not. Thanks to a (trump era) SCOTUS ruling, EC votes are now fully regulated by the states.

Hmm... The article says: "On July 6, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in both Chiafalo v. Washington and Colorado Department of State v. Baca that states may enforce laws to punish faithless electors." Is that what you mean? That seems like a "may" rather than a "must", and also talks about punishing them afterward rather than about voiding their vote.

It means that if states have laws regarding how their electors elect, those laws are the final word.

SCOTUS has said that electors can be punished for not voting according to the rules laid out by the state. I'm not sure to what extent the various remedies available have been settled; that is, what can be done procedurally after a faithless elector casts their vote. AFAIK so far the effect has always been that their vote was counted and certified.

This is not correct. Several votes were changed in 2016. And SCOTUS upheld their ability to do so.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiafalo_v._Washington (In particular, the Baca case was over replacing a faithless elector)

That the worlds foremost democratic power, one that project and lectures the world on the principles of democracy and rule of law, has to have this done is astounding itself.

Obama's warnings were so spot on. He foresaw the assault on institutions and warned that ideas carried by the Republican party and supported by them will tear the country apart.

And it happened in less than 4 years of trump rule.

Make no mistake, the country is torn apart for sure. Radical and in-human ideas have caught on and will become mainstream. The republic is on the road to crash and burn because the rot is spreading into regular public discourse, and so far, the democrats are losing.

It will not be long before a charismatic one, with deep seated ideas, sugar coated with good intentions will take power and slowly work the system from within.

Heck, trump did it overtly, and Republicans are still defending him.

To put it raw, the republicans are defending the idea that violent seditious insurrection activities and storming of the capitol do not warrant a strong punishment.

Its a sad coming decade for America, and the rest of the world.

This reminds me of something I've always wondered:

Why isn't the United States, unlike the Roman Empire before it, constantly plagued by ambitious generals swaying large fractions of the military to their cause and trying for ultimate power?

For the Romans, this was particularly a problem for legions stationed in far-flung corners of the empire like Syria and Britain.

So why do US forces in, say, South Korea or Germany never declare allegiance to their local commanders rather than the State?

Direct Deposit. Soldiers aren't paid by their commanders. The US had an problem early on when man wanted a commission he would be responsible for raising and outfitting his unit. The troops were very loyal to their commanders as they paid their wages, provided the gear and supplies they would need. There were cases of commanders disserting and their entire unit would leave having no other source of funds. The federal government eventually started paying the promised wages.

There were concerns about some elements of what you're talking about with some WW2 generals. For example, MacArthur was at one point considered too popular for it to be politically feasible to fire him, after his insubordination during the Korean War.

In general, I suspect this change stems from a few things. One is that generals do not lead soldiers into combat as directly any more. Another is that soldiers no longer stand to personally profit from combat or war -- there is no taking of booty, raping and pillaging are at the very least heavily frowned upon, etc. And another thing is that combat actions are less frequent these days, so any given soldier has a shorter sequence of experiences and victories with a given commander.

But I'm not an expert historian. These are just some guesses.

We don't have a Cursus Honorum.

Even before the Roman Empire, all people in public life had to spend time in the military. In the Roman Republic you were elected to office, by a very limited voting pool, which included your military connections. It was thought of as more civil than the Roman Kings, who got to be in charge by right of military force.

The Empire grew out of the Dictatorship, which had been a title you were appointed to for a limited term. The term limits went out the window, and they never really established an orderly transition. It was ad hoc for four centuries. They had hardly two successions in a row decided the same way.

Americans, by contrast, prided themselves on their rules. They explicitly contrast themselves with the UK, which had a hereditary monarch. They pride themselves on their orderly democratic transitions.

It helps that George Washington voluntarily limited his term. I believe that his decision not to run again is one of the most important events in history. Americans have almost literally deified Washington; there's an incredibly embarrassing statue of him dressed as Zeus in the Smithsonian.

Washington was a military leader who respected the orderly transition, and that had been a huge part of American self-image. For a military leader to use the military to seize power would be almost unthinkable.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cursus_honorum

It’s the same reason you don’t have to pay a bribe to have a phone line installed. American culture and socialization.

One reason is that civilians have ultimate authority over the armed forces, although generals have become President many times.

Another is that there is so much money to be made in the military and the surrounding defense contractors, and in the modern day glory with violence and conquering is less pleasurable than big houses and luxury cars.

> We know from documents and writings of the time that the founders didn’t agree on the Constitution before, during, and after it was written. They couldn’t even agree on whether it should be written, with many fighting against it on principle. The debates were harsh and sometimes violent, nearly tearing the country apart before it had been fully established.


I have a hard time reading this as anything but PR, as a sibling commenter pointed out. There is zero chance that the military will stage a coup. None. If you don't believe me, I encourage you to ask members of the military themselves what their feelings are on this.

The military is under the command of the civilian government. There's no protocol for them to act alone. I don't understand why we insist on telling each other these ghost stories about a potential takeover.

It really doesn't matter if there were a few ex-military people in the march on the capitol, either. They're not military leaders.

The military, like the police is a different beast, in America or otherwise.

The troops are conditioned to follow orders. That is why, the troops are always gauged and defended on the basis of the orders and their faithful execution of the orders, no matter how horrific they are. Troops are punished for not following orders.

Those in the administrative side of the army, they are punished for orders and decisions.

So, to subvert the military, you don't have to control the whole of it, just the leadership.

In the present case of America, the military is under the full command of trump. He holds all power and that power is absolute.

Unfortunately, he is a fascist moron with dreams of authoritarian rule.

These statements from the military are essentially telling him, the military will take a decision when push comes to shove, and that decision by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be on the understanding of law, and their oath to the constitution, even though they are bound to follow the orders of the president

I have a hard time believing you read it.

The letter is a message to those in uniform reminding them that they are to protect to constitution. Considering the police, military and ex-military involved in the Capitol violence it seems reasonable.

They’re not worried about a military coup, they’re worried about a civilian coup by the civilian who commands the military.

The oath to the Constitution and not to any President or general is an incredibly important feature of our military that should never be underestimated or undermined. I salute the Joint Chiefs to holding true to their patriot and solemn duty.

Who tf would downvote that??

Statements such as these 1) are meant to reassure 2) are meant as an exceedingly strong caution to servicemembers and 3) aren’t issued unless there’s a question concerning loyalties.

Steve Inskeep on NPR reiterated that this is an extraordinary statement.

> aren’t issued unless there’s a question concerning loyalties

Considering the seemingly high number of military veterans among the Capitol mob and the fact that several Capitol police officers have been suspended because of their "friendliness" with the mob, I think there are pretty serious questions on loyalties, indeed.

I think the US-military leaders prefer to not take orders from a person who has completely lost it and knows no bounds.

Moreover these destructive key-decisions would be most likely outrageous and against the interests of the country.

Why do they feel that have to remind the armed forces of this? Do they think there is a conspiracy among leadership or rank and file?

Even if there were, a memorandum is not going to stop it. Oh, geez guys and gals, they told us to stop!

This is just PR and ingratiating themselves before the next budget.

There was significant ex-military presence at the riot. The woman shot was a 14 year Air-force vet. You can see how this could send mixed messages to US civilians and the enlisted

One of the guys who brought in zip tie hand cuffs was also a military vet.

> Do they think there is a conspiracy among leadership or rank and file?

I mean that’s a pretty safe assumption in any organisation of 1.3m people.

There’s also no harm in any organisation of that size in reminding people explicitly what their orders are, in no uncertain terms.

I mean sure. But that was true under any administration with that many enlisted and career service people [as evidenced by base shootings, for example].

Bush directly caused more damage sending troops into Iraq for example. Did the JC make a fuss after that debacle?

The other is a conspiracy that is neatly attributed to DJT as if he ordered people into the Capitol. (We're attributing intent) We don't have to presume intent on Bush's part, history informs us not with attributions or guesses, but with evidence.

I really don't think you need to bring DJT into this. There are clearly and unambiguously some active-duty people who seem to be unclear about where their duty lies, and this is an unambiguous statement to them about where the military expects them to be.

True, kooks do exist there, no doubt about it. But this statement will do nothing to change their minds (if they had any plans --which I doubt any would be that stupid, but then we have had base shootings, so...)

> But this statement will do nothing to change their minds

On this point we disagree. I think most soldiers want to be good, loyal soldiers. DJT is Commander in Chief, and I think he has given them some seriously mixed messages of what that would entail, and may give further mixed messages in the next few days. This explicit, unambiguous statement of where a soldier's duties lie is important.

Hmm, ok perhaps you’re right about soldiers being confused. But if any CiC thought that path had a possibility for positive outcome, they’d be delusional. The institutions will not permit that.

There's a number of people that believe the military is going to be used by trump to overthrow the election results and instate a trump government. Otherwise known as the made up q 'conspiracy'. Sadly people I know believe this, and there are military personnel whom also believe it. Therefore it's nice that the joint chiefs declare a position, even if they shouldnt have to.

You have to realize that people on both ends of the spectrum believe in these same crazy conspiracies.

Otherwise this wouldn't be news. There were articles from left-bias organizations over the weekend fearmongering about enlisted Trump supporters.

Believing in dumb bullshit takes _ALL_ kinds.

What happened in Washington hasn't happened since the war of 1812 when the British took over the city. To me, it's reassuring to know that the people responsible for defending this country have a calm steady hand and that they will not put up with bullshit anti constitutional behavior. They won't support a tyrant and they will ensure that a transition of power happens no matter what.

Didn’t DJT have to go to a secure location at the whitehouse when protesters breached the security perimeter of the WH this summer?

According to two articles I perused, there were protestors at the Whitehouse and there were altercations with the police and security at and with the barriers, but no breach from what I read:

- https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/31/politics/trump-underground-bu...

- https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/31/us/politics/trump-protest...

1)If Trump gave an illegal order, the Joint Chiefs are reminding leadership and rank and file of their true allegiance and duty.

2)Unambiguously leadership on core principles is not a PR stunt.

Many far-right organizations encourage their members to join the military whilst keeping their affiliations secret, mainly for training and spying. However, I'm sure they would love to sow disarray in the military if it meant achieving their coup. They wouldn't even need a majority of the military to be Nazis; just enough to sow confusion, draw attention and influence decisions.

Because Donald Trump is unambiguously the commander-in-chief until either Biden takes office on Jan 20 at noon or he is removed from office. Until that time, Trump can issue military orders that do not abet the peaceful transition of power.

This move matters, because it is important that members of the armed forces be able to distinguish between lawful orders, which they must obey, even if they do not like them, and unlawful orders, which they must not obey.

It's not that simple.

A president can't just say "invade Cuba!" and it gets done in Today's world (maybe it was the case in the 1800s). Advisors and the Military (and Congress) have to concur that it's within reason do do such a thing.

This is the letter of the law and regulations as they stand, but hopelessly naive as to how actual military command is handled. The military deployed a previously unused weapon on the president’s command without any consultation. This responsibility has been largely delegated from congress to the executive’s discretion (with review) for nearly two decades.

Reminding active service members that their oath is to the constitution, not the executive, at this moment is prudent.

Invading Cuba without Congressional approval would be a clear violation of the Constitution.

But I think it's very dangerous to assume that institutions have the internal integrity to shrug off abuse of power because of their rules and norms.


The military has a hate group problem. But it doesn't know how bad it's gotten.


This memo contains no new information. It almost certainly confirms multiple vying factions within the military, otherwise why release this.

This is one of the earliest things I wondered with the Trump presidency. If the order came down to e.g. "Nuke Jina!", would they actually follow that order.

Note that that's an opinion piece and it doesn't appear the author has actually read the U.S. Constitution. Section 8 says: "The Congress shall have Power To... make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;"

The use of nuclear weapons is clearly covered by that clause and several others giving Congress the power to regulate the military, whereas the Executive has the authority to execute those duly regulated rules.

I think they're saying

a) Do not commit crimes as a serviceperson, no matter who orders them

b) Anything that disrupts the transition of power is a crime

c) At 12:00p on January 20, Joe Biden is the commander-in-chief, not Donald Trump

I pray it works, because it could get really ugly if Donald Trump attempts to give orders to defend what he claims to be his stolen second term.

I am flabbergasted that they mentioned Biden being the 46th president. This implies that the joint chiefs of staff do not believe Trump will be removed before inauguration when it is very much a political discussion right now.

Is it reasonable to suspect Trump will stay on until inauguration? Sure. But Trump could have a stroke and straight up die tonight, making Pence president for a week.

It’s fascinating to me why they didn’t simply say Biden will become our next president.

What difference does it make? As of writing, he will be the 46th.

I would say you're being pedantic, but your emotions tell me there's something more going on?

Even if Pence is taking over Trump as President, the number doesn't increment. It doesn't imply anything.

The number incremented when Ford took over when Nixon resigned. Why do you think it would not increment if Pence took over the remainder of Trump’s term?

I unfortunately am not able to find the source. Basically, there were provisions for resigning vs. impeachment. Nixon resigned before impeachment.

Trying to scour wikipedia over this. I'll comment here if I find the source.

For completeness another interesting case is Grover Cleveland. He served two terms, but they were not consecutive.

Some lists count him as both 22nd and 24th, and some count him as just 22nd.

Nope Pence would become 46 and Biden would be 47.

When JFK died, did Johnson not increment the count? That’s what I’m saying here. No one can be 100% sure Trump will be alive next week.

Is this the first time something like this has happened?

Also, does anyone read these parts as contradictory & likely a lie?

> U.S. officials said Milley had not commented on last week’s events because he wanted to stay out of politics. > The silence was in sharp contrast to June, when Milley made a controversial walk to a church with Trump after law enforcement officers backed by National Guard troops used tear-inducing chemicals and rubber bullets to clear the area of peaceful protesters.

Is it possible perhaps that the Joint Chiefs were seeing how the insurrection played out before picking sides? What would this situation had looked like if the rioters had murdered a bunch of congresspeople? Would the Joint Chiefs be saying "it's a national emergency and Trump must stay President to calm things down"?

I know there's a tendency to valorize the military leadership, but given how politicized the general environment is (& even moreso with Trump's known penchant for selecting for yes-men), is it really that absurd to think about whether they're doing some professional fence-sitting rather than trying to avoid polarization? It doesn't take that much to come out right away and say "an attack on the capitol is unacceptable & anyone involved will be punished. We will have more to say once we take in the totality of what has happened"

Normally they would not say anything at all. If they wanted to fence-sit, they can just continue saying nothing, indefinitely. No one would think it strange. This statement is what's unusual.

Is it possible perhaps that the Joint Chiefs were seeing how the insurrection played out before picking sides?

Not likely. Loyalty to the Constitution, and not the President or any one person, is the living cultural bedrock of the US military. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Milley spoke about this recently in the most explicit terms:


Mike Milley apologized: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4JaQMxbC3c

Just before the election, he reminded Trump administration that all this nonsense is not going to dwell anywhere in the military: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMaI1Hg8dl8

The imagery of that photo op is more powerful than the apology that wasn't heard by as many people. Actions need to line up with words. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt though. Thanks for the context.

Actions did line with words dude.

The earliest note of an apology I can find was June 11th. It took Mike Milley 5 days to realize he'd been lied to about the purpose of him following Trump? I could see this being political where he was hoping it would blow over quickly & he wouldn't be dragged in, but only apologizing when it didn't. That's politicking though & I would hope that military generals, in an age of misinformation, are proactive about correcting the record. Another interpretation is that he was 100% on board with the President's plan & miscalculated the impact it would have on him.

According to Gen. Milley he was unaware of what he was walking into: https://text.npr.org/875019346

Takes 5 days to issue an apology claiming you didn’t know what was going on?

Cool. When are we going to enforce the no politics rules again?

There's never been such a rule on HN (other than an experiment we once tried for a few days, which failed).

That doesn't mean that all political submissions are cool on HN. If you want to read about how we approach this, see https://hn.algolia.com/?query=political%20overlap%20by:dang&.... If there's still a question after reviewing that material, I'd like to know what it is.

You should have enough karma to downvote and flag this post if you think it goes against the rules. We can't expect the poor HN mods to enforce the rules 24/7

Aaaannnnd it's gone front the front page, that was quick


I’m tired of both and the discussion is devolving like all political chatter online

So how is the legal responsibility of the military being stated officially by the military “political”? You’re tired, I am too. But maybe your quarrel is with the people who are making this a question that needs answered, not the answer.

There are politics of the normal sort, then there re politics of the sort that transcend the normal. If for example, Trump declared war on China, I for one would hope that HN would put up a discussion thread so that smarter than average individuals meet to discuss important issues.

Basically what happens for very important non-technology news, is that users flag the post off the page (which is intended behavior according to the admins.) Then dang picks a post to resurrect and focus discussion on. I believe the last time this happened was when the US presidential election results came in.

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