Joint Chiefs of Staff warns US troops not to join ‘sedition and insurrection’
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The Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a rare warning to every member of the US military, damning the Capitol riots as an illegal “assault” on democracy — and forewarning that “violence, sedition and insurrection” will not be tolerated.
“The violent riot in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021 was a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building, and our Constitutional process,” the military’s top leaders told troops Tuesday in an internal memo, calling it “inconsistent with the rule of law.”
While the seven generals and one admiral — including chairman Gen. Mark Milley — did not directly accuse military members of involvement with the “unprecedented” siege, it was a clear warning against involvement in feared plans for more revolts.
“As service members, we must embody the values and ideals of the nation. We support and defend the Constitution,” the Joint Chiefs reminded troops.
“Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oath; it is against the law,” they wrote.
“The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection.”
Some military veterans have been charged over the riots, including a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel photographed holding zip-tie handcuffs on a chamber floor.
An Army psychological warfare officer is among the active-duty members known to be being investigated after she admitted to taking at least 100 people to President Trump’s rally before the siege.
The Joint Chiefs firmly dismissed those still challenging the fact that “Joe Biden will be inaugurated and will become our 46th Commander in Chief,” noting it was “in accordance with the Constitution, confirmed by the states and the courts, and certified by Congress.”
Instead of supporting the protests, military members were instead reminded of their responsibilities in stopping them.
“The American people have trusted the Armed Forces of the United States to protect them and our Constitution for almost 250 years,” the Joint Chiefs wrote.
“As we have done throughout our history, the US military will obey lawful orders from civilian leadership, support civil authorities to protect lives and property, ensure public safety in accordance with the law, and remain fully committed to protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” they wrote.
Gen. Robert Abrams, who as commander of US forces in South Korea is one of the Army’s most senior generals but is not a member of the Joint Chiefs, wrote a similar warning on Twitter as he shared the Joint Chiefs’ memo.
“There is no ambiguity of what occurred at the Capitol — that was an attempted insurrection,” he wrote.
“If you are serving in uniform and think it was something else, I would encourage (you) to sit down and read the constitution that you swore an oath to support and defend. No gray area there either. No room on our team if you are not willing to defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign AND domestic.”
With Post wires
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