Trump versus Milley – the knives are out!

No doubt you had already figured out the knives are out in the Biden’s administration over who is going to take the fall over Afghanistan. Things took a strange twist with the forthcoming Woodward book in an attempt to turn the tables on Trump one last time and finish him. At least that is the suspicion, or was it Milley who planted much of this story thinking it would elevate him as the man?  The question left is how much truth is there to it, and if Milley went to the dance or is it more of a figment in Woodward’s mind.

The framework of the CNN article is that General Milley:

…”called a secret meeting in his Pentagon office on January 8 to review the process for military action, including launching nuclear weapons. Speaking to senior military officials in charge of the National Military Command Center, the Pentagon’s war room, Milley instructed them not to take orders from anyone unless he was involved.

“No matter what you are told, you do the procedure. You do the process. And I’m part of that procedure,” Milley told the officers, according to the book. He then went around the room, looked each officer in the eye, and asked them to verbally confirm they understood.
“Got it?” Milley asked, according to the book.

“Yes, sir.” ‘Milley considered it an oath,’ the authors write. (read more)

First here is the orange man himself with his take.

Trump himself has difficulty believing the Woodward on Milley.

Former President Donald Trump reacts to new reports about General Mark Milley story – Via Newsmax’s ‘Spicer and Co.’

We have Tucker Carlson. Retired Army colonel reacts to accusations against Gen. Mark Milley on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ and gives us a good overview.

The Conservative Tree House posted an interesting outline of the players involved yesterday before much of the story had shaken out. Worth checking it out.

TEAM One – The Department of State is aligned with the CIA.  Their media PR firms are CNN, CNNi and the Washington Post. Their ideology is favorable to the United Nations.  Their internal corruption is generally driven by relationship with foreign actors.  References: Hillary Clinton, Clinton Global Initiative, John McCain, Qatar, Muslim Brotherhood, Samantha Powers, Susan Rice, Cass Sunstein, Brookings Institute, Lawfare, China-centric, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Council on Foreign Relations.

♦ TEAM Two – The White House is aligned with the Pentagon (DoD) and National Security Council (NSC).  Their media PR firms are domestic in nature. New York Times, Politico, etc.  Their internal corruption is generally driven by domestic influence.  References: Barack Obama, George Bush, Wall St, Big Banks, Multinational Corporations, Defense Contractors, FBI (state police), Judicial Branch, and community activists writ large.  [Presidential elections only affect Team Two (nationalism -v- globalism).  In the modern era Team One is independent.]

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Bonus time! All the old players want in on the game.

The Lieutenant Col. who broke chain-of-command and usurped his authority is complaining about the Joint Chief’s Chairman breaking chain-of-command and usurping his authority.

Alexander Vindman was the national security council operative who worked with the CIA to frame Donald Trump by leaking a manipulated transcript of a presidential phone call.   Today he tweeted this about General Mark Milley:

Read more

And that for sure is the best of the swamp today.

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Biden and ‘Stranded’ in Afghanistan

A terrible day for America. Some times the words don’t cover it. Sadness and anger fill America. Just for the memory. A few brief moments recorded for a day we shall never forget.

The first clue that Milley was willing to sell out his men and women. For what?

Expresses the sentiments exactly.

Trump sums it all up.

Hard decisions. When there were leaders. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

No Jen. Not stranding. Allowing to be killed.

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The Pentagon’s leadership lies to Americans – America’s Toxic Military


By Mustang

The subject of command ability arises because of recent claims by retired Army Colonel Doug MacGregor (appearing recently with Tucker Carlson), who asserted that our problem in Afghanistan is the result of toxic leadership within the Armed Forces.  He may have been thinking of JCS Chairman Mark A. Milley, whose exhibited leadership would confuse even a recent graduate of Army boot camp.

Retired Army Colonel Doug MacGregor discusses collapse of Afghanistan, arguing he ‘can’t think of anything worse’ on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’

In the past, the selection of officers to command Marine Corps companies was the prerogative of the battalion commander.  A regimental commander selected his battalion commanders, and a division commander picked his regimental commanders.  While commanding generals still have a say in the commanding officer selection process, a bureaucratic screening board in Washington now decides which officers shall be deemed “good enough” for assignment to command the Marine Corps’ combat organizations.

The problem, or so it seems, is that given the number of command officers relieved of their duties, “for cause” suggests that individuals “deemed good enough” by Washington bureaucrats to command combat organizations weren’t good enough at all.


This process, whatever it entails in all the military services, isn’t simply a matter of selecting the best of the best to lead combat units; it involves all the elements that have destroyed the entire process of military performance evaluation.  Anyone today who receives an average fitness report has reached the end of their career.

The reality of this suggests, very strongly, that “average” is no longer good enough; it also indicates that “average officers” should have been discharged before advancement to captain, rather than allowing them to languish around “taking up space” until they reached the rank of colonel.

It is hard to imagine that any officer serving as a senior field grade officer would ever be judged “not good enough” to command an appropriate level combat organization.  If, for example, a colonel was determined “not good enough” to command a regiment, then why was this person promoted to colonel in the first place?  Any officer judged “not good enough” to command a brigade would never advance to brigadier general — so, why the double standard?

On the other hand, maybe there isn’t a double standard.  As it turns out, the services canned more than a few general officers because they exhibited poor leadership, which again begs the question: how does a poor leader ever become a flag-rank officer?  The answer is politics.

Rather than promoting officers into senior ranks with distinguished service in combat, which given the essential mission of the US military, to begin with, is what officers are supposed to do for a living, many flag-rank officers today have NO distinguished combat service awards at all.  They seem to have a plethora of administrative awards and commendations, which almost entirely encourage sycophantism and rewards or recognizes superior degrees of political correctness.

We are all familiar with the case of Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, promoted to flag rank because she was one of the Army’s first lesbian colonels, who gave us the debacle of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.  One might conclude from that incident that a better system to identify qualified colonels for promotion might be in order.  No, that isn’t the case at all.

Janis Karpinski - Wikipedia

Janis Karpinski

A few weeks ago, Military Times reported that while serving as Commanding Officer, 50th Space Wing, (then) Colonel Jennifer Grant’s poor leadership resulted in the worst toxic environment Air Force investigators had ever seen within the active duty force.  The Air Force interviewed more than sixty witnesses. Most of them claimed that Grant treated her subordinates with disrespect, created and maintained an environment of fear and that she even accepted gifts from junior personnel (apparently seeking her favor).  However, the most troubling of their findings involved three instances of suicide and increased incidents of alcohol abuse since she assumed command.

This is the official portrait of Brig. Gen. Jennifer L. Grant.


Despite these findings, the Air Force advanced Grant to brigadier general early this year.  In another case, the Air Force fired Major General Dawn Dunlop for her poor leadership in creating and maintaining a toxic environment.  Dunlop continued to serve as a major general but in a different (less demanding) assignment.  In other words: no accountability.

At present, we have a horrible situation in Afghanistan, which Colonel MacGregor claims is essentially the fault of poor senior (general officer) leaders who had command authority in that country.  According to an article published in BizPacReview, MacGregor said:

“I think there are three things we have to take into consideration. First, of course, is there was never an exit strategy; no glide path out of Afghanistan. When I was in the Pentagon, the only thing I could find out was an intention to stay indefinitely. For some of the reasons you outlined in your opening remarks, lots of people were benefiting. Not the American people and certainly not our soldiers and Marines, but there was no glide path out of the place.”

“Secondly, is the problem with [toxic military leaders] [Note: with an inserted reference to General Mark A. Milley, CJCS] — toxic because they simply don’t tell the truth and for 20 years they’ve been lying, frankly, to the American people to soldiers and Marines doing the fighting telling them things were getting better, that we were making progress when the truth was we weren’t.”

MacGregor continued to criticize the decision to invade Afghanistan in the first place, laying much of the blame at the feet of retired Army General Tommy Franks, but returning then to the situation in Afghanistan over the past two years, he said:

“We don’t have democracy [in Afghanistan], we haven’t defeated terrorism per se, we have probably created some new ones [terrorists].  We have the largest Narco-state in the world that is now falling into the hands of new criminals and new terrorists.”

“When we first went into Iraq, there was an argument between [Donald] Rumsfeld and some others in his office, and finally Paul Wolfowitz interjected and said ‘look, we just want to get the army into Iraq.’  I think there were a lot of people that decided they just wanted to get the military into these places and that somehow or another, we would muddle through, that things would improve.”

“What you see now on television, this mass chaos and dissolution is the end of the illusions that began long ago in the aftermath of desert storm.  Well, we have employed it [the Army] and the Marine Corps all over the Middle East, and what have we created?  Chaos.  What have we established that’s in the interest of the American people?  Nothing”


The preceding is enough to lead one to this conclusion: the mission of the US military is defending the United States.  This mission strongly suggests that the Armed Forces’ critical duty is combat, combat support, combat logistics support, and combat readiness.

It is not vital race theory indoctrination; it is not making women equal to men in the combat arms, it is not righting the wrongs of past generations, it is not leveling the playing field for minorities through affirmative action programs, and it certainly is not nation-building or protecting Afghan women from their abusive husbands.  It is raw, horrific, blood and guts combat.  America’s senior military officers have (a) forgotten this essential mission, or (b) the mission has become secondary to their advancement.

But we must not lay this entire mess at the feet of senior field grade and flag rank officers.  The civilian leaders who tell the military what to do, have created most of this mess.  They encourage yes men by firing combat leaders and replacing them with men and women devoid of personal and professional integrity.

If you want to put stars on your collar one day, go with the flow.  Understandably, there will always be some element of politics in any organization, but to encourage it within the Armed Forces has produced, as we have seen, men who value their careers over that which is best for the United States of America.

And this is not simply toxic for our junior officers and enlisted men and women of our armed forces; it is dangerously unhealthy for our Republic.  Can any of this be “fixed?”  Sure — and it wouldn’t take long to accomplish — but only if Congress has the wisdom to see that it is necessary and the will to make it happen.

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

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Top US general Milley and Sec.of Defense Esper testify and dump on Trump


Below the radar yesterday was a hearing that should give us all heartburn. The hearing?

House Armed Services Hearing with Secretary Esper and General Milley.

I have already opined about Esper et al before:

Trump Loyalists no where to be found – Mattis, Esper attack Trump

What is with a General who thinks they are above the President? Mattis resigned/fired over Trump’s Syrian policy. Then we had the Secretary of Defense now complaining how he had to “tag along” with Trump and walk through Lafayette Square with Trump carrying a bible. Are there no loyalists?  Not satisfied he goes on…..

‘I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act’: Defense Secretary Esper breaks with Trump on use of troops

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday he opposes using the U.S. military to quiet domestic unrest in a break with President Donald …

Military General Calls White House Photo-Op a Mistake. June 11, 2020

Setting the predicate: A refresher.



Back to the hearing yesterday:

Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Mark Milley testifed before the House Armed Services Committee

Like the country it serves, the U.S. military is fighting an internal battle against racism, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said Thursday, but old names and symbols of that enemy are present and strong enough to sow division.

“Divisiveness leads to defeat,” Milley told the House Armed Services Committee.

“There is no place in our armed forces … for symbols of racism, bias or discrimination.”

Milley and Esper

First out of the box, let talk about the re-naming of military bases. Am I invested in it one way or another? No. My military friends who had not a clue about the names of the bases they passed through have memories based on the present names and would want to keep them the same. But the bigger issue is that these Generals and the Secretary of Defense apparently believe they do not have to support their Commander-in-Chief’s position.

I can’t expect my stalwart readers to listen to a two hour hearing. I can because I am still locked down here in COVID land. Let me give you a couple of highlights I found.


Mark Esper claims he never received a briefing that included the word ‘bounty’



Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley says, “The Confederacy, the American Civil War…was an act of treason at the time against the Union, against the Stars and Stripes, against the U.S. Constitution




Gen. Mark Milley: U.S. ‘Perhaps Not’ Doing Enough Against Russia In Afghanistan | NBC News




Clearing the Park



Milley: We need a clear distinction between police and military




I for one am not counting on any military to help me out when the SHTF. I thought the days of MacArthur were over. Your thoughts? Am I wrong on this one?

A couple of samples from the deep deep swamp.

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