Pentagon Official Resigns, Writes Blistering Letter Slamming Secretary Of Defense Mark Esper’s Role In Trump’s Photo-Op

More like this, please.

608 points

One of the many flaws that Donald Trump has is that he doesn’t understand that there are consequences we pay for making appalling decisions. One of this president’s most startling decisions was to permit US citizens to get tear-gassed and flash-banged so that he didn’t look bad after emerging from his bunker to stage a photo-op in front of a church with a Bible in his hand. It was appalling. It was disgusting. It was Donald J. Trump. And now, here comes the consequences part.

The Washington Post was provided with a letter of resignation from a Pentagon official that cited Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s role in President Donald Trump’s photo op. James Miller, a former undersecretary of defense for policy, did not hold back in his letter that says his resignation is “effective immediately.”

“You may not have been able to stop President Trump from directing this appalling use of force, but you could have chosen to oppose it. Instead, you visibly supported it,” Miller wrote to Esper.

“When I joined the Board in early 2014, after leaving government service as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, I again swore an oath of office, one familiar to you, that includes the commitment to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States . . . and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same’,” Miller writes.

“You recited that same oath on July 23, 2019, when you were sworn in as Secretary of Defense,” the letter continues. “On Monday, June 1, 2020, I believe that you violated that oath. Law-abiding protesters just outside the White House were dispersed using tear gas and rubber bullets — not for the sake of safety, but to clear a path for a presidential photo op. You then accompanied President Trump in walking from the White House to St. John’s Episcopal Church for that photo.”

“President Trump’s actions Monday night violated his oath to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” as well as the First Amendment “right of the people peaceably to assemble.” You may not have been able to stop President Trump from directing this appalling use of force, but you could have chosen to oppose it,” Miller wrote. “Instead, you visibly supported it.”

“Unfortunately, it appears there may be few if any lines that President Trump is not willing to cross, so you will probably be faced with this terrible question again in the coming days.” He adds that Esper may be asked, “to take actions that further undermine the Constitution and harm Americans.”

Miller slammed Esper for his suggestion “to the nation’s governors Monday that they need to “dominate the battlespace.” I cannot believe that you see the United States as a “battlespace,” or that you believe our citizens must be “dominated.” Such language sends an extremely dangerous signal.”

Miller concluded the letter by saying, “I wish you the best, in very difficult times. The sanctity of the U.S. Constitution, and the lives of Americans, may depend on your choices.”

Appalling. Disgusting. That’s Donald J. Trump.

The letter in its entirety is worth reading.

Featured image via Political Tribune gallery

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