The US Army Joint Chiefs of Staff warn that any act that disrupts the constitutional process is against the law.
U.S. Army Joint Chiefs of Staff, uniformed heads of military branches, issued a rare message to the military saying the violent riots last week were an attack on the U.S. constitutional process and against the law .
Tuesday’s joint message broke nearly a week of silence among military leaders after the assault on Capitol Hill by supporters of President Donald Trump sent lawmakers underground and left five people dead.
While a number of members of Trump’s cabinet, including Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller, condemned the assault, the senior U.S. general, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, had been silent until now.
“The violent riot… was a direct attack on the US Congress, the Capitol building and our constitutional process,” said a memorandum signed by General Milley.
“The rights to freedom of expression and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection,” they said.
Military leaders said President-elect Joe Biden would be inaugurated on January 20 and become their commander-in-chief, adding that members of the armed forces were required to defend the constitution.
“Any act aimed at disrupting the constitutional process is not only contrary to our traditions, our values and our oath; it is against the law. “
The message came amid concerns that far-right groups supporting Trump, who attacked Congress to end Biden’s certification as the next president, have supporters in the military and military. ‘order.
“We do not tolerate extremists”
Trump and his supporters have refused to accept Biden’s fair and solid victory in the November 3 presidential election.
The Pentagon is deploying up to 15,000 National Guard troops to protect Biden’s inauguration on January 20, amid fears of further violence.
Pentagon officials were asked on Monday about the possibility of pro-Trump militants in the Guard and among the regular troops.
“We do not tolerate extremists in our ranks,” spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said.
US officials said Milley did not comment on the events of last week because he wanted to stay out of politics.
The silence contrasted sharply with June, when Milley took a controversial church walk with Trump after law enforcement officers backed by National Guard troops used harsh chemicals and rubber-coated bullets to clear the area of peaceful protesters.
Some members of the service privately expressed concern that senior leadership failed to provide leadership following the attack on American democracy on Wednesday.
On Twitter, the head of US forces in South Korea said what happened in Washington DC on Wednesday was an “attempted insurgency.”
“If you are serving in uniform and thought it was something else, I would encourage you to sit down and read the constitution that you have sworn to support and defend,” General Robert Abrams said.
There was also a resurgence of interest in extremist groups within the US military following the Capitol Storm.
The military told Reuters news agency on Tuesday it was working with the FBI to see if any attackers were members of the current service and with the Secret Service to see if any of the approximately 10,000 National Guard soldiers ensuring Biden’s inauguration would need additional screening.