Protests

Defense Secretary Mark Esper Contradicts Trump on Using Military To Quell Protests

The president has said he's willing to deploy active-duty military personnel to cities and states that aren't doing enough to crackdown on street violence.

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Civil-military relations hit a new low Wednesday when Defense Secretary Mark Esper tried to throw cold water on President Donald Trump's threats to deploy the military to quell nationwide anti-police protests and rioting.

"The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire of situations," Esper said at a press conference today, according to CNN. "We are not in one of those situations now."

His remarks contradicted Trump's comments earlier in the week, when the president said he would take it upon himself to deploy the military to areas where local and state officials aren't doing enough to prevent street violence.

"If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them," Trump said in a Rose Garden speech on Monday, reports The New York Times.

The Posse Comitatus Act generally prohibits the military from acting as domestic law enforcement. In order to put soldiers on city streets, Trump would have to invoke the Insurrection Act. That long-standing law gives the president the authority to deploy the military personnel to states overcome by domestic revolts or civil unrest.

State governments generally have to request the federal government's assistance first, although there is some room for the president to invoke the Insurrection Act unilaterally if the execution of federal law is threatened. Today, Esper effectively said it wasn't.

So far, no governors have requested federal military assistance, although 23 governors had activated their state's National Guard as of Monday.

CNN reports that Esper's comments have not gone over well with Trump, who has already expressed frustration with his defense secretary.

Regardless of his comments today, Politico reports that Esper has moved 1,600 active-duty Army troops into the Washington, D.C., area. Trump also activated D.C.'s contingent of the National Guard, which been helping to police protests in the city.

For the moment it appears that the property destruction and violent police crackdowns that have come with the last week of demonstrations are starting to die down. D.C.'s protest yesterday was drama-free.

Trump's comments about deploying the military to handle protests can only threaten this tenuous peace.

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  1. The president has said he’s willing to deploy active-duty military personnel to cities and states that aren’t doing enough to crackdown on street violence.

    Good. And while you’re at it, take away the pepper spray and issue flame-throwers.

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  2. >>His remarks contradicted Trump’s

    do they? or do they imply “not yet” which is what T also implies?

    1. It’s a willful misreading:

      Trump’s comments about deploying the military to handle protests can only threaten this tenuous peace.

      Or it could be a promise that the government won’t abandon cities and states mired by violence. Admittedly, it’s an exceedingly generous reading, but even a generous reading violates the ‘can only threaten’ claim.

      1. lol right. can *also* threaten the delicate sensibilities of authors.

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      2. Interesting that after 8 straight days of widespread rioting, violence was drastically reduced following his comments

    2. Re-read Esper’s remark. It is much more emphatic than, “Not yet.”

      1. >>should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire of situations

        so “okay sure, but not today T”

  3. “Defense Secretary Mark Esper Contradicts Trump on Using Military To Quell Protests”

    Which is only a thing because TDS makes people irrationally motivated to constantly find something to cry about.

    “Regardless of his comments today, Politico reports that Esper has moved 1,600 active-duty Army troops”

    See? His bitching literally did not matter except as a bitchy little jab at a guy you hate.

    1. I don’t even see it as a bitchy jab but just a clarification that this was seen as a last resort and only to be used if governor’s show they are unwilling to act to protect their citizens.

      Pretty much 99% of this article is the journalist inserting their own wishful thinking on the narrative.

      1. I meant the writer

        1. I’m ecstatic about your comment!

          1. no one cares

      2. Except for the direct quotes from Esper.

  4. Before Trump was #BunkerBoy, he was #DuckingDonald, and before that hew was #CadetBoneSpurs – five plus decades of demonstrated cowardice from which Trump is desperate a distraction.

    Trump’s passion for tyranny and false bravado grow from the same seed, cowardice.

    1. Trump didn’t want to have to duck the snipper fire Hillary took on, oh wait she made that up never mind.

      You are a fool if you don’t think a rioter wouldn’t love the chance to do what many on the left have been asking for.

    2. Seems so.

  5. Trump said he’d been “very unimpressed” with the Soviet Union.

    “Their system is a disaster,” Trump said. “What you will see there soon is a revolution; the signs are all there with the demonstrations and picketing. Russia is out of control and the leadership knows it. That’s my problem with [former Soviet President Mikhail] Gorbachev. Not a firm enough hand.”

    Trump was then asked if he meant “firm hand as in China.”

    “When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength,” Trump replied. “That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak…as being spit on by the rest of the world.”

    1. “Donald Trump gave a glimpse into his mindset towards mass protests when he said in 1990”

      So when he was atill a Democrat 30 years ago

      1. Everyone is exactly the same as they were 30 years ago.

      2. Well, um , yeah, but.

      3. Oh, Trump is still an old Democrat – just a Democrat con artist that found Republican marks all too gullible.

        Also, notice that there is little to no daylight between his statements on the Soviets and ChiComs handling of protests and his current druthers and approach.

        1. I don’t care about 30 year old interviews when literally all of the variables have changed

          1. Except one, DJT.

            Here’s what he said yesterday, “If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” -DJT.

            But I know, I know, your mind simply cannot process anything negative about your cult leader.

            Most libertarian president ever to use the US military against US protestors. Very cool!

            1. Hey Lying Jeffy, did I miss your cite that Trump said he was a king?

            2. Seriously, what would you suggest “if a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents?” Let’s say it is some white supremacist militia group in, say, Boise, ID, and the mayor and governor have stepped aside and let them rampage through colored neighborhoods.

              1. Never happen. All those woke folk are peacemakers.

                Ruby Ridge anyone?

              2. There are no “colored” neighborhoods in Boise, but let’s say they were. If it got bad enough, the governor would ask for help.

            3. ““If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” -DJT.”

              So you’re saying he toned his comments from his Democrat days.

              I like that you admittted you were wrong.

            4. “De Oppresso Liber
              June.3.2020 at 4:54 pm
              Except one, DJT.”

              So changing from a Democrat to a Republican isn’t a change?

              You’re going with that, fuckwit?

              Because that single fact proves your statement irrefutably wrong fuckwit.

              We won’t even have to get into the changes in his personality from raising kids for three decades, you made it easy to make you look dumb right from jump.

              1. Wow, and you wonder why I call your guys Trump apologists.

      4. Same guy.

    2. Shit, you must be really scared then, de espresso

    3. This is a legitimate criticism. Unfortunately, given your past of criticizing everything he does, even when it is nominally good, it loses it’s punch. The same goes for BigGov and many others. It is the cry wolf syndrome.

      1. Perhaps De Opp is criticizing everything Trump does because there is that much to criticize.

    4. Huh. Was Orange Man Bad extolling the actions, or giving an accurate summary?

  6. Anytime a headline says an administration official ‘contradicts’ Trump, I know I need to read the article to find out what they actually said. 9 times out of 10 (or more) there is more than enough room to reconcile the two statements.

    Trump: I am willing to deploy if you don’t.

    Official: Of course, we aren’t there yet. This is a last resort.

    See? It’s easy if you have the reading comprehension of a third grader.

    1. Reason has settled on clickbait as their business model.

      1. In the time-honored tradition of historically prosperous journalistic institutions like… uh… wait… gimme a minute, I’ll think of one… the… uh… I dunno… maybe The Enquirer?

      2. KMW at work!

    2. ENB admitted this am there is a narrative. We should take her at her word.

  7. Serious (hypothetical) question – Could the Coast Guard be deployed? They’re part of DHS, and do perform law enforcement as a primary function.

    1. Maybe if we flooded the streets first so they had a puddle to float in?

      1. But damnit Obama turned back the tied and the oceans are receding now.

        1. They have those big-ass MH-65s too, you know!

          1. I was making a joke about puddle pirates and shallow water Navy.

          2. And I also wouldn’t classify the 65 as big-ass. Much smaller than the SH/MH/UH 60s operated by the other services.

            1. The coasties also operate some MH-60 T models.

  8. “The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire of situations,”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Rock_Nine

    1. “”By the end of September 1957, the nine were admitted to Little Rock Central High under the protection of the 101st Airborne Division””

      I didn’t see any mention of the insurrection act being invoked.

      1. So, let’s say that it wasn’t. It should have been legally, so we should still follow the law now. Right?

  9. “”The Posse Comitatus Act generally prohibits the military from acting as domestic law enforcement. In order to put soldiers on city streets, Trump would have to invoke the Insurrection Act””

    Do we really know how much of the Posse Comitatus Act is still left after 9/11?

  10. You know when it would be a good time to have military in the streets? During and immediately after the trial of the cops.

  11. Apparently there’s at least one town in California where antifa will be appropriately dealt with by the locals

    http://t.co/zK6MkhdemV

  12. You fail to make a clear distinctioni between PROTESTS and the DESTRUCTION AND RIOTING AND INSURRECTION that often follows on the peaceful protestors and their actions.

    Protests are fine, and are not violent or dstructive. The anarchists antifa and blm come along and herd the protests into doing their bidding…. that is when the violence arson, breaking and entering, looting, shooting, etc begin.

    Trump does not need the posse comitatus act nor the insurrection act. READ your copy of the COnstitution for a change……. turn to Article One Section eight caluse/paragraph 15 That’s all the CinC needs to depoly troops. And “riot and insurrection are already happening fright here on US SOveriegn soil. And what is happening across this cuntry right now IS riot and inusrrection.Antifa have vowed to continue untio they succeed in dismanting our present order. Read their manifesto…….

  13. The Posse Comitatus Act generally prohibits the military from acting as domestic law enforcement. In order to put soldiers on city streets, Trump would have to invoke the Insurrection Act.

    Nope. Trump is not concerned about “domestic law enfircement” duties for military.
    Insurrection Act might work but that is not even ncessary.

    What we are seeing now is riot and insurrection.Antifa want to destroy this naitoni and our system of government. That is war, insurrection, rebellion. If local jurisdictions fail to quell this sort of activity it is within his authority tointervene and do so.

    1. I’ll take Creative Interpretation of the Law for $500, Alex.

      1. No, because you’re not even worth 50 cents

  14. Trump wants to have his very own disaster to compete with Hoover’s Bonus Army disaster when General Douglas MacArthur and Patton used troops and tanks to roust and burn the Bonus Army camp in 1932.

  15. Trump would have to invoke the Insurrection Act. That long-standing law gives the president the authority to deploy the military personnel to states overcome by domestic revolts or civil unrest santa monica electrician

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