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An American Cyber-Column By Rich Galen
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An American Cyber-Column

General Mark Milley

Rich Galen

Friday September 17, 2021

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  • General Mark Milley is a hero. In a new book, Peril, (co-written by Robert Costa), Bob Woodward asserts that in his role as Chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff - the senior uniformed officer in the United States Military - Gen. Milley,
    "in a pair of secret phone calls, assured his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People's Liberation Army, that the United States would not strike" - via the Washington Post

  • Milley thought it was necessary to call China - first, days before the November, 2020 election, and a second time just after the January 6 insurrection - because he believed still-President Donald Trump was bonkers.

  • Not amusingly wacky like Jimmy Stewart in Harvey, but viciously deranged like Jack Nicolson in The Shining.

  • Milley, according to the Woodward/Costa bAook told his Chinese counterpart,
    "General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay. We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you."

  • General Milley is a four-star General (O-10) Long time readers may remember that I once had a cup of coffee as a Sergeant (E-5), but I bounced between Private First-Class (E-3) and Specialist (E-4), so my deep knowledge of military procedure mostly begins and ends in shirts/skins volleyball games on the drill floor in the National Guard armory in Marietta, Ohio 45750.

  • I don't know the exact sequence of events that need to take place for a President to actually order a nuclear launch, but I know it does not involved pressing a button in the Oval Office.

  • Milley was so concerned about Trump finding out who DID have a button to press,, according to Woodward and Costa (and again courtesy of the Washington Post)
    "Summoned senior officers to review the procedures for launching nuclear weapons, saying the president alone could give the order - but, crucially, that he, Milley, also had to be involved. Looking each in the eye, Milley asked the officers to affirm that they had understood, the authors write, in what he considered an 'oath'."

  • In classic Trumpian style, Trump's supporters immediately changed the subject from "Was/is Trump nuts" to "Milley should resign for exceeding his authority."

  • According to the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) webpage here are some of the honors conferred on Gen. Milley:
    "The Defense Distinguished Service Medal; Army Distinguished Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters; Defense Superior Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters; Legion of Merit with two bronze oak leaf clusters; Bronze Star Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters; Meritorious Service Medal with silver oak leaf cluster; Army Commendation Medal with four bronze oak leaf clusters; Army Achievement Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster; National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with two bronze service stars; Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars; Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars "

  • And a bunch more including Infantry, Scuba Diver, AND Master Parachutist badges making him eligible to star in the next Marvel Universe movie as Mr. Land, Sea, and Air.

  • Donald Trump had bone spurs.

  • Will any of this cause Trump to lose support among his followers?

  • Nah. They're either so besotted with him, or so frightened by him, that it won't change any minds.

  • Compare Trump's last days in office with Nixon's? As former uber-senior GOP advisor Stuart Stevens said on Brian Williams' MSNBC program:
    "Nixon on his worst day is Socrates compared to Donald Trump. I mean, this is a guy who [is] a lunatic.

  • "So what do you do with a lunatic who has nuclear weapons? I think maybe you put the country first. And that seems to me to what happened here. I have absolutely no problem with it at all. I think the majority of Americans, the idea that there was a stabilizing force at a time when the government itself was under attack by a party and not being defended by the President. I think most Americans will find it reassuring."
  • I do. I'm thankful that Gen. Mark Milley was on duty.

  • See you next week.

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