Top US Military Leaders Condemn Capitol Riot In Rare Joint Message
The US’s top military leaders have condemned last week’s riots at the Capitol in a rare joint message.
The message, put out by the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the violent riots as ‘a direct assault’ on America’s constitutional process.
‘We mourn the deaths of the two Capitol policemen and others connected to these unprecedented events,’ the statement said.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff – seven generals and one admiral – said actions of the mob were ‘inconsistent’ with US law.
‘The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection,’ the statement read.
It is the first time the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, has commented on last week’s events. According to US officials, Milley had remained silent because he wanted to stay out of politics, as per Reuters.
His silence on the Capitol riots is a far cry from his handling of Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020.
In June, Milley issued an apology for joining Donald Trump during a controversial photo opportunity at a church near the White House.
The photographs were captured after authorities dispersed peaceful protestors from the churchyard using tear gas and rubber bullets to clear the path for Trump.
Following the chaos at the Capitol last week, the head of US forces in South Korea took to Twitter to condemn the US military’s response to the riots.
Branding the unrest, which resulted in the death of five people, as an ‘attempted insurrection’, General Robert Abrams said:
‘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.’
Yesterday, the military told Reuters that it was working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to see if any of the insurgents were current service members or with the Secret Service.
In the days after the riots, both Democrats and Republican lawmakers have called for Trump’s removal.
The president faced a wave of backlash from politicians and law enforcement officials following the riots at the Capitol last week, who said he had riled up his supporters at a rally earlier that day.
In a speech at the really, Trump made unsubstantiated claims that he won the election, and urged his supporters to march on the Capitol.
While an article of impeachment has been introduced, Mike Pence has refused to invoke the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office.
In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the vice president said invoking the amendment eight days before incoming president Joe Biden takes office would not be in the best interest of the US public.
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