It is a mark of doom in Washington when, if you’re sinking fast, your erstwhile supporters say how much they support you. One recalls George McGovern’s 1972 “1000 percent” support of Tom Eagleton as the Democrat veep nominee just before McGovern booted Eagleton from the ticket.
Well, over the last couple of days both Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin have expressed their full support of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley. Uh oh. Not good for Milley.
I’m guessing he has about three months left in his term at the JCS. When another big story hits and thus attention diverted, Milley will either fall on his sword or take another post, like ambassador to Uzbekistan, far away from the public eye.
Reporter: "Did General Milley do the right thing, sir?"
President Biden: "I have great confidence in General Milley." pic.twitter.com/unEzAYXIJl
— The Hill (@thehill) September 15, 2021
FNC: “President Biden said he has ‘great confidence’ in Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, amid allegations that he held ‘secret’ phone calls with his Chinese counterpart.
Biden made the one-sentence remark while responding to reporters’ questions during a meeting with business leaders. Milley has faced calls for his resignation, but White House press secretary Jen Psaki also defended Milley Wednesday.”
Biden “has worked side by side with Chairman Milley for almost eight months as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs,” Psaki said. “His experience with him has been that he is a patriot. He is somebody who is is has fidelity to the Constitution, and he has confidence in his leadership…I can’t speak to anonymous, unconfirmed reports about prior conversations during the last administration.”
Psaki added that Biden “knows Gen. Milley,” and said “they’ve worked side by side through a range of international events. The president has complete confidence in his leadership, his patriotism and his fidelity to our Constitution.” That’s the sound of a professional death knell ringing over Milley.
“All calls from the Chairman to his counterparts, including those reported, are staffed, coordinated and communicated with the Department of Defense and the interagency,” Pentagon spox Dave Butler said. Dave? That has gravitas.
However, former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, who ran the Pentagon from after the 2020 election through Inauguration Day, shot back. He said he “did not and would not ever authorize” Milley to have “secret” calls with the Chinese. Miller said the general’s actions were an “disgraceful and unprecedented act of insubordination,” and called on him to resign “immediately.” Miller, not Milley, will eventually get his way.
This piece was written by David Kamioner on September 17, 2021. It originally appeared in DrewBerquist.com and is used by permission.
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