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Gen. John Allen Says Trump Orders Could Lead To ‘Civil Military Crisis’

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Gen. John Allen Says Trump Orders Could Lead To ‘Civil Military Crisis’

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Gen. John Allen, a four-star General and formerly President Obama’s Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, told This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that “we would be facing a civil military crisis, the likes of which we have not seen in this country before,” if Donald Trump carried out some of his campaign promises as president.

“He’s talked about needing to torture. He’s talked about needing to murder the families of alleged terrorists. He’s talked about carpet-bombing ISIL. Who do you think is going to get carpet-bombed when all of that occurs? It’ll be innocent families,” Gen. John Allen (Ret.) said, before Stephanopoulos asked him about the consequences of Trump asking military leaders to break the law.

John Allen, who spoke recently in support of Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency at the Democratic National Convention, isn’t the first to note that Trump may be unfit to lead the military.

In July of last year, Rear Admiral John Hutson, who once served as the Navy’s top lawyer, told the Daily Beast, “Personally, I hope no one will be called upon to serve under a President T… I can’t bring myself to type the words.”

In December, the website ran a brief profile of Pentagon officials who anonymously said they would refuse to serve in a Trump administration.

In February, former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden told Bill Maher, of Trump’s comments on “waterboarding and a whole lot more” and killing terrorists’ families, “if he were to order that once in government, the American armed forces would refuse to act.”

In March, a group of 121 “GOP National Security Leaders” signed a letter denouncing Trump’s proposals and behavior, including his “embrace of the expansive use of torture,” “anti-Muslim rhetoric,” and “admiration for foreign dictators such as Vladimir Putin.” The letter said Trump’s “insistence that close allies such as Japan must pay vast sums for protection is the sentiment of a racketeer.”

Trump called John Allen a “failed general” in response to his DNC speech — one assumes for the continued existence of the Islamic State. Responding to criticism that military leaders ought to stay neutral in partisan elections, John Allen told Stephanopoulos, “I’ve agonized over this decision over and over again … I wanted to make sure it was very clear that I supported this particular candidate, Hillary Clinton, to be the president and the commander-in-chief and I decried these comments that put us on a potential track for a civil military crisis the like of which we have never seen in this country.”

Photo and Video: ABC/ Media Matters for America. 

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47 Comments

  1. Dominick Vila August 1, 2016

    The more I think about Trump’s statements, the more convinced I am that he is totally unqualified and unfit to be President, not only because of the irresponsibility of his proposals, but because many of them violate our Constitution, our values, and traditions.
    The endorsement of the use of torture, carpet bombing cities and towns under the control of ISIS, ignoring that tens of thousands of victims of terrorism would be slaughtered if we carried out such proposal; while praising Vladimir Putin, encouraging Russian hackers to spy on us, and stating that he is the only person capable of solving the problems we still face, are enough reasons to reject the candidacy of an unstable, narcissistic, and irresponsible man whose priorities and goals are limited to what is best for himself.
    The fact that millions of Americans see nothing wrong with what he is saying, ostensibly, because his insults and threats are “only” directed at Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, and an occasional woman, remind us that our worst enemies, the people determined to destroy everything this country stands for, are right here, at home.

    Reply
    1. Box August 1, 2016

      What makes you think Trump can carry any of it out? You state it as if its already happened. What Congress would ever go along with it? Why are you so paranoid? He isnt god. He talks for headlines and he gets them, he talks for angry people and he gets them too. As President he would soon learn insane proposals will go nowhere. About ISIS, what he was referring to was the apologetic stance of Obama instead of actual actions to stop ISIS. He calls ISIS terrorists while Obama does not so he is angry as well. Chill.

      That said, whats comical about the article is that you have a military fellow citing coming pandemonium. But what about the scores already against Obama? What about the 90+ generals Obama has already sacked for being against him? According to the article, military could therefore revolt if Hillary OR Trump is elected. Now what?

      Truth is that nobody wants either one, or they hate both, or something like that. Correction, 10% demand Hillary, 10% demand Trump, and the fair and reasonable 80% are bamboozled by the bullshit of the two. Whats needed is some stroke of magic, a new person, and it cant be Johnson who wants to wipe government from the planet. Even I wouldnt want that. What we have coming is awful because no matter which of the two is elected the other 50% of the country will be on fire. Good luck.

      Reply
      1. Mama Bear August 1, 2016

        I have one thing for you to think about…go back and read the history of the rise of Hitler in Weimar Germany in the early 30’s. You will see just how the others in government thought it would be OK because they could “control” Hitler. Refresh your memory. Here is a place to start: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/07/31/trump-versus-hitler-are-we-better-than-weimar-germany.html?via=newsletter&source=DDAfternoon

        Reply
        1. jmprint August 1, 2016

          It won’t matter to box, he stands with Russia and wants to see the downfall of this great nation.

          Reply
          1. Independent1 August 1, 2016

            Which seems par for the course for the majority of right-wingers – they either want to destroy America by bringing it back in time to the mid 1800s, or they want to hand it over to some foreign nation by becoming too chummy with the likes of Putin and Jong-in.

            Reply
          2. Elliot J. Stamler August 2, 2016

            They do not want to bring our country back to there 1800s although in some respects their policies would result in that; they want to convert our country into the Germany of the 1930s. And I mean that very sincerely.

            Reply
          3. Independent1 August 2, 2016

            Yes, I agree with that, but unfortunately that in in the process of implementing a Hitler-styled nation in America, the GOP is wanting to undo all the social progress that America has made over the past 150 plus years.

            Reply
          4. charleo1 August 1, 2016

            Unfortunately, if he choice be a democratic America, or Trump, the Fascist Lunatic, with the ,”R” behind his name on the ballot, They talk as if they have no alternative but a Fascist. The excuses I suppose they reason, may be made up later by the propaganda department. Who can after all, explain all things.

            Reply
          5. jmprint August 1, 2016

            The power of brainwashing, Trump knows it very well, it’s insane that it works so well for him. it’s scary, night of the living dead, scary.

            Reply
        2. Oddworld August 1, 2016

          I understand your comparison and it is fair but there are also some glaring differences. Germany was doing well during the Weimar Republic, most were happy which incensed Hitler and his fringe of lunatics. Most of his gang of thugs were still feeling humiliated by the loss of World War 1 and being forced to give vast amounts of territory to the victors. But the biggest catalyst for Hitler’s rise to power was the Great Depression, even then he never received more than 30% of the popular vote. Let us not forget about the Brown Shirts and Black Shirts (Hitler’s private army). Now if Trump starts creating a private army, then I’d worry. In spite of how things seem at this moment, I think most Americans would rather have Hillary.

          Reply
          1. Mama Bear August 1, 2016

            excellent points, thank you. My objective in making the comparison was simply the idea that the political powers at the time knew Hitler was bizarre but they saw him as the chance to get their party into power and that they could control him. Sound familiar?

            Reply
          2. Oddworld August 1, 2016

            You are entirely welcome. Also, I now see the point you were making. Germany had checks and balances too but the system failed! It does sound all too familiar.

            Reply
          3. Elliot J. Stamler August 2, 2016

            I am sorry but as an avocational historian of the Third Reich I must correct several of your erroneous statements. Germany was not doing well at all under Weimar from 1928 on – there was tremendous mounting unemployment, worker discontent, a breakdown of law and order with constant street terror and murder from bands of Nazi and Communist gangs, agricultural problems. Hitler most certainly DID get more than 30% of the vote…in the next to last free vote before he came to power, the Nazi Party got about 44% of the vote; in the last free vote, it fell to 42%. In the plebiscite 2/3 months after he took power he did get a majority but he had outlawed the Communist Party which normally took at leas 23% of the vote or more and so disabled the other parties they could not effectively campaigned. What’s true is the Nazis never received a majority of the vote before he took power.
            I also dispute the use of the term “lunatics” – there were a huge number who were but more who were just utterly evil rather than lunatic..the terms aren’t synonymous. Our country is now armed to the teeth because of our gun laws and I certainly think it is possible that Trump and his now fascist party could create a “Republican Patriotic Militia” (i.e. storm troops) and have hundreds of thousands of members.

            Reply
          4. Oddworld August 2, 2016

            I thought Germany was starting to recover under the Weimar Republic. I know they were borrowing heavily from the U.S. but I was also under the impression that they were starting to do well. As far as the 30% comment, I knew it wasn’t entirely accurate, I believed I was only a couple of percentages off so I am guilty of that. But is it really so important to make a distinction between lunatic and evil? How would you characterize Trump using those parameters besides him being a Fascist? It also sounds like you’re predicting an armed insurrection should Trump lose.

            Reply
          5. Elliot J. Stamler August 2, 2016

            Thank you for your response. l-I think it is always important to distinguish between lunacy and evil. We so often confuse the two and attribute the former to the latter because many of us are psychologically unable to comprehend real, pure evil which is sociopathy. Such people unable to comprehend take the intellectually easy and wrong path and just say “he’s crazy.” The legal definition of insanity is that one either does not know the nature and quality of the act OR knowing it, does not care or understand the difference between right and wrong. Hitler and his supporters both understood the nature and quality of their acts and didn’t care about the difference between right and wrong because they utterly rejected the normal and accepted definitions of right and wrong.
            2- I do not predict armed insurrection by the Trumpers if he loses; rather I think it distinctly possible that he by his outrageous and unlawful acts once president will so violate the constitution that he will be impeached and convicted and THEN, if he leaves office his supporters may rebel by violence, OR more likely, he may simply refuse to leave office provoking an unprecedented constitutional crisis would could lead to civil war and a crisis with the military–especially if he goes so far, which I’d not put past him, to “temporarily” suspend the courts and the congress and even the constitution. Germany is a precedent for these things.
            3- Germany went thru economic hell from 1918 to 1923–then under Chancellor Stresemann its government stabilized the currency and for five years they made upward progress…all of which came to a terrible fall once the depression hit.
            I might add I am currently reading a scholarly book (obtainable thru an interlibrary loan), THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE: THE LIFE OF FRANZ VON PAPEN which extensively deals with this. Papen was chancellor for about 10 months–next to last non-Nazi chancellor and was one of the four or so ultra conservative non-Nazis who collaborated to make Hitler chancellor in the absurd belief they could thereafter control and moderate him. They couldn’t and didn’t. Papen however was acquitted at the first Nuremberg trial because despite his monstrous moral guilt he couldn’t be proven to have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, waging aggressive war or conspiring to so do..the four indictment counts. Morally he should have been hung ten times over. The conservative Republicans behind Trump are the Papens of today.

            Reply
          6. Oddworld August 3, 2016

            I do owe you an apology and sincerely hope you accept it. Unfortunately I’ve been lazy in my research. Most of the Nazi info I receive comes strait from The Military History Channel and AHC. Both shows present the history in a watered down fashion and are notorious
            for leaving out key facts. I wouldn’t say they lie but the lack of info probably could stand some scrutiny. It’s good you called me out on it, it forced me to poke a little deeper. And yes, I suppose it
            is wrong to suggest there is no difference
            between lunacy and evil. Only because as you mentioned, it is hard to comprehend real evil. I always tend to assign a label of psychopathy to evil, too many of us do.

            Reply
      2. Independent1 August 1, 2016

        The hate people have for Trump is clearly justified by the hateful, bigoted even clearly illegal trash that he spews and proposes to do.

        While with Hillary, the primary reason that people question her, is because of the 30 years of propaganda, lies and fabrications of reality that the GOP has been spewing about her for decades. Nobody claims any politician is a saint, but the GOP and right-wing biased bigots such as yourself, have grossly distorted Hillary’s actions and intents for decades.

        Such that the dislike for her in the minds of millions of Americans, IS NOT BASE ON FACT, but on a grossly distorted picture of her painted 24/7 by a totally irresponsible and corrupt opposition political party and its supporters such as yourself!!!!

        Reply
        1. 788eddie August 1, 2016

          Independent1, That was an Excellent post! You are right on the money.

          Reply
      3. jmprint August 1, 2016

        “As President he would soon learn insane proposals will go nowhere. ”
        HOW does that work, is there a presidential smart hat that he would wear that would change his thinking?

        Reply
      4. charleo1 August 1, 2016

        Let’s not confuse” talking for headlines,” baiting angry people, or fanning the flames of that anger by proposing unethical, and outrageous policies and using racial, and religious vulgarities to divide one person, one people against another, as leadership. Or something we should expect Congress to address once such a person is elected by those who hold the ultimate responsibility for the know nothing skunk parading around, heading up our vaunted democracy in the first place. After all, it is not the job of Congress, not the Courts, or even the Military to protect us the People, from what is our own laziness, and astounding gullibility.

        Reply
    2. CrankyToo August 1, 2016

      Those oblivious Americans will soon see what’s wrong if Trump ascends to the throne. As soon as he can “re-balance” the Supreme Court in favor of the con-men, war mongers and greedy guts, he’ll endeavor to have the court overturn Posse Comitatus. (And that’s assuming Congress hasn’t already repealed it by then.)

      Then we’ll have American troops in our streets, rounding up Muslims, Latinos and Hispanics (and maybe some of those Commie Asians, to boot).

      The only alternative open to our generals will be the worst imaginable for the Republic – a military coup to replace a criminal administration.

      On the other hand, maybe we could use a little nation re-building……

      Reply
  2. Riccardo Cabeza August 1, 2016

    Too late! The Military already failed the last test of ‘crisis’ when Chimpy aWol Bush told them to start a strategic-blunder-war-of-choice AND torture and the DoD did it!

    Careers above country.

    Reply
    1. CrankyToo August 1, 2016

      Nonsense. Lay the blame for the Iraq war, and for the subsequent application of “enhanced interrogation techniques” against combatants (and innocents, I might add) where it belongs: at the feet of Dubya, Cheney, Rumsfeld and our intelligence community.

      Our armed forces prosecuted the Iraq War on commands from a corrupt and evil Republican administration, after the entire country had been lied to and propagandized into believing Saddam Hussein was an imminent, existential threat to us.

      The American Armed forces is the only institution we can still trust. And the men and women who lead our warriors are the absolute best this country has to offer. The American service personnel who participated in the Abu Ghraib atrocities (being the exception to the rule) were appropriately punished for their crimes.

      End of story.

      Reply
      1. Riccardo Cabeza August 1, 2016

        “Just Following Orders” is not a valid defense, specifically for the Flag grades that failed America. Gen Tmmy Franks should of resigned yet he prosecuted a failed illegal war.

        Reply
        1. CrankyToo August 1, 2016

          Wrong again.

          First, “Just following orders” is ALWAYS a valid defense when the orders issued are lawful and don’t contravene the rules of war. In fact, in the circumstances we’re talking about, “not following orders” is what’s indefensible.

          And as I’ve already pointed out, it was Bush’s Justice Department that re-defined torture so as to allow the CIA to commit “legal” atrocities.

          Secondly I don’t know which “failed, illegal war” you’re talking about, as General Franks led our forces into both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. And yes, he commanded some failures during those conflicts – the greatest of which was in allowing Bin Laden to escape from Tora Bora into Pakistan. But on every battlefield there are two generals – one who will win and one who will lose. And no general ever won them all.

          But, insofar as the legality of those wars is concerned, you’re going to have to help me understand why you think one or both was “illegal”. AND, how one or both was a failure we can pin on General Franks.

          The question of legality was decided by Bush (et al) and his administration’s justice and intelligence communities. AND, by the UN. AND, by a coalition of allies. AND (you could make the case) by the conservative media. But NOT by Tommy Franks.

          As to the questions of success or failure, historians will be arguing about them for decades to come. But the verdict won’t be a reflection on Tommy Franks. Presidents decide strategy; generals decide tactics. And as to the “tactical” success or failure of our military to pursue those conflicts, we should probably ask Bin Laden or Hussein. Oh wait, we can’t. They’re dead. Can we consider that prima facie evidence of success?

          Reply
          1. Riccardo Cabeza August 1, 2016

            Lol, just bc Alberto Gonzales says torture is now called Rainbows and Puppies doesn’t make it legal. It’s still a war crime. It’s not a lawful order and the US leadership should of declined that order, but instead they embraced it. That’s a military leadership failure.

            Second, by any measure, Iraq remains an illegal, catastrophic failure. Tommy Franks had a responsibility to execute the war successfully or resign his commission if he was not up to the task or if he felt the war was not in America’s best interest. Tommy, cowardly, did neither. That’s another military leadership failure.

            Many US military objectives simply have not been met. That is indisputable at this point.

            How about some personal responsibility for the military failures America has endured?

            Reply
          2. CrankyToo August 1, 2016

            I’m starting to lose patience with you….

            We invaded Iraq in March, 3003. General Franks retired from active duty in July, 2003. Our forces withdrew from Iraq in December, 2011. So tell us, oh great military thinker, how did Tommy Franks lose that war in the first four months of a nearly 9 year conflict? (And by the way, I reject the premise that the war was lost at all.)

            And exactly how is Tommy Franks responsible for atrocities committed long after he had retired?

            And what about those “many US military objectives” our forces failed to meet. Can you specify at least one or two? I seem to recall that our objectives were to remove Saddam and install a new government. Did we not accomplish those goals?

            BTW, your inane remarks contradict the inane remarks of a foolish Republican President who stood on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and proclaimed that the mission had been accomplished, just two months into a nearly 9 year war.

            Lastly, the only military failure during my 20 years of service was the Vietnam war, but I’m afraid I can’t accept “personal responsibility” for our defeat in southeast Asia. Point your finger at Richard Nixon and Robert McNamara for that debacle (a pair of Republican “military geniuses”).

            Reply
          3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth August 1, 2016

            Riccardo stepped in from Drumpf’s Fantasy World Theme Park. Give him time—he’ll find his way back.

            Reply
          4. CrankyToo August 1, 2016

            Doubtful, AoP. Wingdings tend to be firmly intractable. I’d be happy if he’d just take his act to one of those RWNJ sites, where like-minded rubes can be found in abundance and they all speak the same gibberish.

            Reply
          5. Aaron_of_Portsmouth August 1, 2016

            LOL! Well said.
            “Wingdings” is a great designation. I’ll add it to my lexicon. What a strange bunch of ‘maroons’ as Bugs Bunny might say.

            Reply
          6. Riccardo Cabeza August 1, 2016

            Thank you for your service. I can see you have a great love for America. I respect that.

            I also appreciate your thoughts on who’s culpable for the lies that lead to the Iraq war.

            However, Iraq is and remains a failed abortion. Full Stop.
            You simply cannot excuse the military leadership for that fact or their complicit acceptance of torture. Further, there is nothing to suggest the next war will be waged any more successfully.

            I want America to win! To be a force for good in the world. But the leadership seems to be more concerned with rank, ribbons and ego, career before country.

            Reply
          7. CrankyToo August 1, 2016

            There’s nothing to thank. It was my honor and a great privilege to serve (as most veterans will probably tell you).

            Reply
          8. Siegfried Heydrich August 1, 2016

            The military won the war. The Bush administration lost the peace. We’re really good at breaking things. We’re not so good at putting them back together.

            Reply
          9. Riccardo Cabeza August 2, 2016

            What was won, exactly? What metric are you using? What’s your definition of ‘won’? Hundreds of thousands of lives dead. 10’s of millions of civilians displaced. Trillions of dollars wasted that nearly broke but did devastate the US economy. Black Water, torture, depleted uranium, poisoned land and water, no democracy. Al Qaeda and ISIS both now have a home there. US and British leaders branded as War Criminals. US service men and women who died in vain for a lie.

            I’m really curious, how does that look like a win to you?

            Reply
          10. Siegfried Heydrich August 2, 2016

            The military carried out ever order given it, achieved every objective give i, and established complete battlefield supremacy. The military did their jobs, and handed the Cheney / Bush administration what was, to all intents and purposes, a conquered land that was grateful to have been freed.

            However, the administration promptly proceeded to do what it always did best – find the biggest and baddest pooch in the land and screw it. The military handed them an absolute, uncontested victory, and they totally, completely blew it.

            Instead of disbanding the army and throwing them all out of work, they would have done far better (and cheaper) just to tell the Iraqi military “Guys, your salaries just doubled, and you work for us now. Sound good to you? So go back to your barracks and let’s figure out what we’re going to do next.”. And there would have been NO insurgency. No wasted billions. No horrendous casualties. No al Qaeda. No ISIS.

            As I said above, the military won the war, and the politicians lost the peace. They do that a lot.

            Reply
        2. Elliot J. Stamler August 2, 2016

          YOU are a leftist crank. The war was not illegal…it is that simple. It may have been a mistake, unwise, wrong, but it was not illegal and that is a legal fact. Being a radical leftist as well as quite ignorant about government you will not accept what you just don’t like regardless of fact.

          Reply
      2. Oddworld August 1, 2016

        Not to mention it was the intelligence agencies doing the interrogations. All in all, I think the military showed tremendous restraint in the way they fought the wars.

        Reply
  3. ivory69690@yahoo.com August 1, 2016

    Trump’s “insistence that close allies such as Japan must pay vast sums for protection is the sentiment of a racketeer.”/// can anyone see that DONNY DUMP dose not want to be Pres. ? he just seeks attention to his ever so big clown show . and its his brain dead followers that is feeding this attention seeking junky that’s his fix for his addiction ATTENTION the fix for the DUMPSTER

    Reply
    1. iamproteus August 1, 2016

      Hey, Japan, nice little country you have there. It would be a shame if something happened to it.

      Reply
    1. jmprint August 1, 2016

      a great defender of…

      Reply
      1. iamproteus August 1, 2016

        ….his own thin skinned fat a$$!

        Reply
    2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth August 1, 2016

      The Nazi, Otto has given his Okey Dokey for Drumpf

      Reply
    3. 788eddie August 1, 2016

      I think this is probably just what Trump supporters really think he could do.

      So sad . . . so sad.

      Reply
      1. Siegfried Heydrich August 1, 2016

        More than that . . . what the fantasize about being able to do themselves.

        Reply
  4. Aaron_of_Portsmouth August 1, 2016

    Drumpf doesn’t care about carpet bombing because he lacks a sense of empathy, except for his wallet and himself. (Anne Coulter suggested the same nihilistic tactic once upon a time).

    (“The Force of Amorality is strong with this one, Luke”).

    Reply
  5. Elliot J. Stamler August 2, 2016

    Not only do I think Gen. Allen is entirely prescient, I am convinced that if elected (and as of today I think he won’t be) he will provoke not just a civil-military but a constitutional crisis of unprecedented proportions hitherto unseen.
    And I will further write that I think he will be the subject of assassination attempts that will go on if he resists impeachment and conviction and removal from office, which are likely, and that these attempts will ultimately be successful. There will be plenty of American Claus von Stauffenbergs ready to prevent Trump from transitioning himself from president to Fuhrer.

    Reply

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