90 retired generals and admirals call for Austin and Milley to resign

90 retired generals and admirals call for Austin and Milley to resign immediately over the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal

  • Ninety retired military generals and admirals are demanding Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley resign
  • Calls for resignation ‘based on negligence in performing their duties primarily involving events surrounding the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan’
  • Also said if Milley and Austin advised against withdrawal, they should have resigned if Biden didn’t take their direction in protest of his leadership
  • Letter’s signatories include Admiral John Poindexter, who served as President Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser 
  • House Rep. Ronny Jackson, the former top White House physician to Presidents Obama and Trump, is also a signatory to the letter
  • Jackson has previously called into question Biden’s cognitive fitness for the job and demanded that he take a test similar to the one given to Trump 
  • Comes after a Marine Lieutenant Colonel resigned after speaking out against his leadership for not pushing back against Biden’s decisions in Afghanistan 
  • The Pentagon announced Monday the last U.S. troops left Kabul
  • Dozens of retired generals and admirals are demanding that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley resign over the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.

    ‘The retired Flag Officers signing this letter are calling for the resignation and retirement of the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) based on negligence in performing their duties primarily involving events surrounding the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan,’ 90 retired top-ranking military officials wrote in an open letter released Monday.

    They all proposed what they, as former U.S. military decision makers, felt should have happened in the withdrawal, including not rushing the withdrawal and not abandoning the Bagram Air Base.

    More specifically, they said Milley and Austin should have advised Biden against the withdrawal.

    ‘As principal military advisors to the CINC (Commander in Chief)/President, the SECDEF and CJCS should have recommended against this dangerous withdrawal in the strongest possible terms,’ they wrote.

    ‘If they did not do everything within their authority to stop the hasty withdrawal, they should resign,’ the letter demands.

    They also said that if Milley and Austin did advise against this, they should have resigned if Biden didn’t take their direction to show their disapproval and to not have to carry out the mission that ended up with lives lost of 13 U.S. service members.

    An open letter signed by 90 retired military generals and admirals calls for the resignation of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley over the botched Afghanistan withdrawal

    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks during a media briefing at the Pentagon on August18, 2021

    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley speaks during a press conference on August 18, 2021

    The group said if Austin and Milley did advise Biden against the withdrawal – and he still went forward with it – they should have resigned in protest

    ‘[I]f they did do everything within their ability to persuade the CINC/President to not hastily exit the country without ensuring the safety of our citizens and Afghans loyal to America, then they should have resigned in protest as a matter of conscience and public statement.’

    In a ISIS-K suicide bombing near the Kabul airport on Thursday, 13 U.S. troops were killed.

    Biden took responsibility for their deaths, claiming everything that has happened in the withdrawal has been his doing.

    Maj. Gen. Joe Arbuckle, one of the signatories, served in Vietnam and later commanded the US Army Industrial Operations Command (IOC) at Rock Island, Illinois

    Maj. Gen. Joe Arbuckle, one of the signatories, served in Vietnam and later commanded the US Army Industrial Operations Command (IOC) at Rock Island, Illinois

    ‘The hasty retreat has left initial estimates at ~15,000 Americans stranded in dangerous areas controlled by a brutal enemy along with ~25,000 Afghan citizens who supported American forces,’ the 90 retired generals and admirals wrote.

    The letter comes as Joe Biden faces his own calls to resign or be impeached as those from all political backgrounds have criticized the president for his handling of the withdrawal.

    Biden is expected to make remarks Tuesday afternoon lauding the end of the 20-year war in Afghanistan.

    The Pentagon announced on Monday afternoon that all U.S. forces left Afghanistan – a day before the August 31 deadline for a total troop withdrawal. 

    The letter is from the group Flag Officers 4 Freedom – the same organization that released a similar statement in May accusing Biden of stealing the election.

    The May letter, which was signed by more than 120 retired generals and admirals, also questioned Biden’s fitness for the presidency. 

    The letter echoes former President Donald Trump’s claims of widespread election fraud – which have not been borne out in the courts.

    ‘Without fair and honest elections that accurately reflect the “will of the people” our Constitutional Republic is lost,’ the letter from retired officers says.

    ‘The FBI and Supreme Court must act swiftly when election irregularities are surfaced and not ignore them as was done in 2020,’ they wrote.

    Both anti-Biden letters included prominent signatories, including Vice Adm. John Poindexter and current House Rep. Ronny Jackson.

    Poindexter served as national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan. He was also convicted in the Iran-Contra Affair.

    Gen. William Boykin

    John Poindexter, former Navy admiral and National Security Advisor

    Scores of former military officers signed the letter, including Gen. William Boykin (left) and John Poindexter (right). Poindexter served as President Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser

    One of the letter's signatories is House Rep. Ronny Jackson, a Republican from Texas. Before entering politics, Jackson was the top White House physician during the Trump and Obama presidencies. He has been vocal in recent months about his doubts as to Biden's cognitive fitness for the job of president

    One of the letter’s signatories is House Rep. Ronny Jackson, a Republican from Texas. Before entering politics, Jackson was the top White House physician during the Trump and Obama presidencies. He has been vocal in recent months about his doubts as to Biden’s cognitive fitness for the job of president 

    Also signing on was Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc, who lost the Republican primary in 2020 to challenge Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and is planning another Senate run

    Also signing on was Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc, who lost the Republican primary in 2020 to challenge Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and is planning another Senate run

    Before entering politics, Jackson was the top White House physician during the Trump and Obama presidencies.

    He has been vocal in recent months about his doubts as to Biden’s cognitive fitness for the job of president. 

    Also signing on was Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc, who lost the Republican primary in 2020 to challenge Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and is planning another Senate run. 

    Another signer, Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, made headlines for comments criticized as anti-Muslim.

    In remarks to a Christian congregation, Boykin said of a Somali warlord: ‘I knew that my God was bigger than his.’ 

    Another signatory, Maj. Gen. Joe Arbuckle, served in Vietnam and later commanded the US Army Industrial Operations Command (IOC) at Rock Island, Illinois. 

    Last week, a Marine battalion commander resigned after he was relieved of his duties for speaking out against decisions made by his superiors in the Afghanistan exit.

    Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller published a new video online on Sunday addressing his resignation just days after he went viral for another video calling out his superiors for not ‘raising their hands and accepting accountability or saying, ‘We messed this up.”

    Scheller’s original video criticized Austin and Milley for leaving the Bagram Air Base before all Americans and their allies had the chance to be evacuated.

    It came after 11 Marines were killed along with two other U.S. troops and more than 90 Afghans in the suicide bombing at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Thursday.

    Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller published a new video online on Sunday addressing his resignation just days after he went viral for calling out his superiors

    Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller published a new video online on Sunday addressing his resignation just days after he went viral for calling out his superiors

    Sheller acknowledged in the new 10-minute video titled ‘Your Move’ that he sacrificed a cushy pension by leaving the Marines for posting his comments against his chain of command.

    It’s virtually unheard of for an active duty Marine commander to publicly rip ranking military leaders.

    ‘I just want to clarify my legal status. I have been relieved of my command but I am still a United States Marine. Currently I am not pending legal action,’ Scheller said in the new video, which ended his 17-year military career.

    Scheller said the Marines want ‘to hide me away’ for three years until his service ended and not send him to a board of inquiry, which could have separated him on ‘other than honorable’ conditions.

    The Marine revealed that he was resigning after he felt challenged to do so when he read a comment on his LinkedIn from retired Marine Colonel Thomas K. Hobbs.

    ‘If Scheller was truly honorable, he would have resigned his commission in protest after stating what he did,’ wrote Hobbs, who Scheller said he loved ‘like a father.’

    Scheller said: ‘You didn’t say ‘is’ as in challenging me, you said ‘was’ as if you assumed I wouldn’t do it.’

    More than 120 retired generals and admirals sign open letter questioning Biden’s mental health and backing election fraud claims 

    Flag Officers 4 America released a letter in May questioning the legitimacy of President Joe Biden's election victory

    Flag Officers 4 America released a letter in May questioning the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s election victory

    In May, a group of more than 120 retired military officers wrote to President Joe Biden to tell him his election was less than legitimate – while questioning his mental acuity. 

    The letter echoes former President Donald Trump‘s claims of widespread election fraud – which have not been borne out in the courts.

    ‘Without fair and honest elections that accurately reflect the ‘will of the people’ our Constitutional Republic is lost,’ the letter from retired officers says.

    The group calls itself ‘Flag Officers 4 America’ and consists of retired military officers including generals and admirals. 

    ‘The FBI and Supreme Court must act swiftly when election irregularities are surfaced and not ignore them as was done in 2020,’ they wrote. 

    The letter, called an ‘Open Letter from Retired Generals and Admirals,’ was reported by Politico

    It echoes Trump’s claims that absentee ballots are not secure as it goes after Biden, who serves as Commander in Chief of the military. 

    ‘Election integrity demands insuring there is one legal vote cast and counted per citizen. Legal votes are identified by State Legislature’s approved controls using government IDs, verified signatures, etc,’ they write.

    ‘Today, many are calling such commonsense [voter ID] controls “racist” in an attempt to avoid having fair and honest elections. Using racial terms to suppress proof of eligibility is itself a tyrannical intimidation tactic,’ they write. 

    The retired officers raise doubts about Biden’s mental capacity – and reference Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s move to get assurances about the nuclear codes in the days after the January 6 MAGA riot.

    The 'Open Letter from Retired Generals and Admirals' blasts Biden for 'excessive lockdowns' and 'censorship of written and verbal expression,' while questioning his mental acuity

    The ‘Open Letter from Retired Generals and Admirals’ blasts Biden for ‘excessive lockdowns’ and ‘censorship of written and verbal expression,’ while questioning his mental acuity

    The retired officers hit the Iran nuclear deal and even slap Biden for stopping the Keystone Pipeline project, while saying 'anarchy' in cities cannot be tolerated

    The retired officers hit the Iran nuclear deal and even slap Biden for stopping the Keystone Pipeline project, while saying ‘anarchy’ in cities cannot be tolerated

    ‘The mental and physical condition of the Commander in Chief cannot be ignored. He must be able to quickly make accurate national security decisions involving life and limb anywhere, day or night,’ they write.

    ‘Recent Democrat leadership’s inquiries about nuclear code procedures sends a dangerous national security signal to nuclear armed adversaries, raising the question about who is in charge. We must always have an unquestionable chain of command.’

    The group Flag Officers 4 America call themselves ‘retired military leaders who pledged to support and defend the Constitution of the US against all enemies, foreign and domestic.’ 

    The letter is a counterpoint to impactful public statements by national security officials who weighed in for Biden during the campaign. 

    One such effort came when 10 former secretaries of Defense penned an extraordinary op-ed in the Washington Post warning there is ‘no role’ for the U.S. military in the outcome of U.S. elections, and stating the importance of a peaceful transfer of power. 

    That letter came three days before the Capitol riot. 

    The signers of the attached their names to the letter. Among them was Maj. Gen. Joe Arbuckle, who served in Vietnam and later commanded the US Army Industrial Operations Command (IOC) at Rock Island, Illinois.

    Arbuckle, who organized the effort, told Politico: ‘Retired generals and admirals normally do not engage in political actions, but the situation facing our nation today is dire.’

    He continued: ‘We are facing threats greater than at any other time since our country was founded. To remain silent would be a dereliction of duty.’

    The effort drew immediate pushback from military members who lamented people who wore the uniform jumping into an organized political effort. 

    Jim Golby, an expert in civil-military relations, blasted the effort in Politico as a ‘shameful effort to use their rank and the military’s reputation for such a gross and blatant partisan attack.’ 

    Retired Air Force colonel Marybeth Ulrich, who teaches at the Air Force Academy, termed it ‘anti-democratic.’ 

    Also ripping the effort was retired Adm. Mike Mullen, who served as chair of the join chiefs of staff and outranks those on the letter, said: ‘I think it hurts the military and by extension it hurts the country. He cast it as ‘right-wing Republican talking points.’

    ‘This is really, to my mind, a classic very bad example of the erosion of civil-military relations in America, which is the bedrock of our democracy,’ another retired military leader, Army Col. Jeffrey McCausland, told HuffPost. 

    Members of the military vote in elections and have protected constitutional rights, but military leaders have warned of the risks of intruding in domestic politics. 

    In the run-up to 2020, retired Gen. James Mattis denounced Trump, whom he served as Defense Secretary, in a June response to the events at Lafayette Square. ‘We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution,’ Mattis wrote. 

    Other signers of the anti-Biden letter included include Vice Adm. John Poindexter, who was convicted in the Iran-Contra Affair.

    Also signing on was Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc, who lost the Republican primary in 2020 to challenge Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and is planning another Senate run.  

    Another signer, Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, who was termed anti-Muslim for his comments to a Christian congregation, CBS previously reported, after Boykin said of a Somali warlord: ‘I knew that my God was bigger than his.’ 

     

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