General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the highest-ranking military officer in the United States, acknowledged during Congressional testimony this week that the insurrection on January 6 was an attempt to – in his words – “overturn the Constitution.”
According to USA Today:
“What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America?” Milley said of the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump. “What caused that? I want to find that out. I want to maintain an open mind here, and I do want to analyze it.”
Milley’s remarks came in response to Republican attacks on the study of structural racism in the United States, specifically at West Point.
“I’ve read Mao Tse-tung. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist,” Milley is quoted as saying. “So, what is wrong with understanding … having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend? And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military — our general officers, our commissioned and non-commissioned officers — of being, quote, ‘woke’ or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there.”
Sugarcoating the insurrection is dangerous. Milley understands that perhaps more than anyone.
More important though are the comments acknowledging that Trump supporters attempted to overturn the Constitution on January 6 – some of whom were both active-duty or retired police and military.
Some of us have accurately called the insurrection a coup attempt since January. It plainly was: Trump lied to his supporters for weeks about bogus election fraud claims, summoned them to Washington DC on January 6, and then unleashed his mob of supporters on the Congress of the United States to prevent the certification of the Electoral College.
Milley’s comments are the highest-ranking acknowledgment of what happened on January 6. They come from a decorated general who holds a respected and completely nonpartisan position.
Granted, he didn’t outright call it a coup. But what else do you call a mob of Trump supporters attempting to “overturn the Constitution” at the behest of the then-president of the United States?
Now we just need others – especially elected officials and the news media – to call January 6 what it was and do everything in our power to prevent it from ever happening again.
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