Challenge to Trump’s threat to deploy troops against protests

President Donald Trump has urged the greater use of force to combat the ongoing protests in the United States, and on Monday suggested deploying US troops on the streets, but the US defence secretary has come out in opposition to using troops.

CNN:  Can Trump legally deploy US troops to US cities?

President Donald Trump threatened Monday night to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 law and take the unusual step of deploying active duty US soldiers to police US streets.

While Trump claims the move would break up anti-fascists, or Antifa, who he says are organizing violent riots that have led to looting, it would also effectively squelch peaceful protests for racial justice after the death last week of a black man, George Floyd, after a police officer used lethal force during a stop.

That would be a remarkable turn on the law, which was most notably used in the 1950s to enforce desegregation. And later, in the 1960s, to address riots in Detroit.

According to the Congressional Research Service, it hasn’t been invoked since 1992 during the riots in Los Angeles that followed the acquittal of four white police officers in the beating of Rodney King. Now-Attorney General William Barr was actually attorney general back then, too, under former President George H.W. Bush.

Financial Times:  Pentagon chief breaks with Trump over using troops for protests

The US defence secretary opened a rift with Donald Trump, saying he did not agree with the president about sending the army on to the streets to clamp down on protests that have erupted across the country since the death of George Floyd.

“I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,” Mark Esper said on Wednesday, in a reference to the 1807 law, which allows a president to overrule governors and deploy active-duty soldiers in their states.

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Esper, a West Point graduate and former soldier, said the National Guard was “best suited” to help local law enforcement tackle protests.

“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,” he said. “We are not in one of those situations.”

Mr Esper and General Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs, have come under intense fire since Monday when they accompanied Mr Trump to a church near the White House where Mr Trump held a photo opportunity with a Bible. Law enforcement officers used pepper spray on peaceful protesters to clear a path for the president.

This could signal a change of mind by Trump on the use of troops, but if not then Esper’s job must be at risk. Trump has a habit of not tolerating people who disagree with him or hold him to account.

Meanwhile the police officer who sparked the latest uprising of anger and frustration and police brutality, especially against blacks, has had now has charges upped to 2nd degree murder, and officers who did nothing while he killed George Floyd have also been charged.

Reuters: Minnesota raises charge against Chauvin in Floyd case, charges three others

Minnesota’s attorney general will increase the murder charge against a fired Minneapolis police officer in the death of an unarmed black man that has triggered nationwide protests and will level charges against three other sacked officers, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar said on Wednesday.

George Floyd, 46, died after Derek Chauvin, a white policeman, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes on May 25, reigniting the explosive issue of police brutality against African Americans five months before a presidential election.

Klobuchar, who is from Minnesota and a potential running mate for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 election, said Attorney General Keith Ellison would increase to second-degree murder the charge against Chauvin, 44.

It’s a pity that a politician made the announcement, that won’t help the partisan divide over this.

Chauvin had been charged last week with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The new charge can carry a sentence of up to 40 years, 15 years longer than the maximum sentence for third-degree murder.

In a tweet, Klobuchar said the three other former officers who were involved in the incident will be charged also. “This is another important step for justice,” she said.

The Minnesota-based Star Tribune, citing sources, said the other officers – Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao – would face charges of aiding and abetting murder.

It has taken over a week for this. Investigations and justice can take time, but time taken over the officers being charged has contributed significantly to the ongoing unrest in the US.

 

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85 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  4th June 2020

    “I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,” Mark Esper said on Wednesday.”

    Another muppet tired of having a job. Has he forgotten who his Commander In Chief is? Still, having no job certainly aces the fool who voted against China’s new security legislation for Hong Kong. I bet his social credit points have gone down dramatically. Although I doubt they are needed in a reeducation camp.

    Like I said..the time to call in the Nation Guard was less then 24 hours after this incident went viral. Officials should have asked themselves a simple question: has human nature changed since the last police killing of a black man and the attendant riots?

    Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  4th June 2020

      Wouldn’t it be cheaper for the police to stop killing black Americans unnecessarily.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  4th June 2020

        Wouldn’t it be great if you had a magic wand? Pragmatism based on real time events must always trump idealism. And, yes, of course you are right. Unfortunately they don’t have one national police organisation like NZ. Their training is abysmal..add a little racism..

        Reply
      • Pink David

         /  4th June 2020

        Nation wide riots, violence and looting are the ideal way to reduce the number of people killed by police. Loot a Gucci shop for justice!

        I’m sure you mean stop killing Americans too, because just being concerned with the one race would be racist.

        Reply
    • Duker

       /  4th June 2020

      I said a few days ago that Trump wont bring in active duty soldiers to states who he thinks werent tough enough
      Its another of Trumps bravado which is shown to be words of foam. Remember the Fire and destruction for North Korea or those 50 targets in Iran if the retaliated , which they did
      Sec of Defence is the next down in chain of command and chief defence adviser to President. If Trump refuses to follow advice, he could find himself without senior officials like he has all through his only term. ( Esper was a quick fill in a year ago anyway)
      It was clear as a bell Trump would fold on his claims

      Reply
  2. duperez

     /  4th June 2020

    Media gold when Kayleigh McEnany trots her stuff. She is so lucky to work with the Great Leader and he to have her working for him:

    “We will not be overcome by looting by rioting by burning. This is not what defines America and going and standing by St Johns Church was a very important moment.
    And I would note that through all of time we’ve seen presidents and leaders across the world who have had leadership moments and very powerful symbols that were important for a nation to see at any given time to show a message of resilience and determination. Like Churchill, we saw him inspecting the bombing damage It sent a powerful message of leadership the British people.”

    She put everyone right about no tear gas or rubber bullets being used to clear the way by the church. Of course they weren’t used.

    Give the woman a pay rise for using Pete Seeger’s line too.

    Reply
    • This is hardly in the same class as the Blitz and Trump is no Churchill.

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  4th June 2020

        Roll Churchill and another other historical world leaders and all their qualities into one and you’ll be approaching the class of Trump. In his head and that of his propaganda secretary that is.
        🙂

        Reply
  3. lurcher1948

     /  4th June 2020
    Reply
  4. Patzcuaro

     /  4th June 2020

    An excerpt from the article

    “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  4th June 2020

      Mattis has really shat the bed. I used to have huge respect for him, but the last couple of years he has really disgraced himself.

      That letter is a 180 flip compared to the actual things Mattis did in service.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  4th June 2020

        Huh?

        The US military is not supposed to be used to invade US towns & cities & brutalise & suppress US citizens. It’s supposed to invade other countries’s towns & cities & brutalise & suppress their citizens. Which it’s got a bad habit of doing & fking them up.

        When has Mattis used the US military internally against US citizens before?

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  4th June 2020

          “The US military is not supposed to be used to invade US towns & cities & brutalise & suppress US citizens. ”

          Is that seriously what you think Trump is proposing? He is proposing to use it to stop the brutalization of US citizens protect them from the current suppression?

          Reply
      • Duker

         /  4th June 2020

        You havent keept up with all the actual things Trumps senior advisors said during their time
        “‘Idiot,’ ‘Dope,’ ‘Moron’: How Trump’s aides have insulted the boss
        ” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Trump had the understanding of “a fifth- or sixth-grader,”
        “White House chief of staff John Kelly( another general) called Trump “an idiot” and said he thought the president was “unhinged,”
        “Both Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and former chief of staff Reince Priebus called Trump an “idiot,” Wolff wrote.
        Former economic adviser Gary Cohn said Trump was “dumb as shit,” and former national security adviser H.R. McMaster ( another general) said the president was a “dope,” according to the book.
        Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said in November 2017 that Trump was “like an 11-year-old child,”
        ‘Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in July 2017 called Trump a “moron,”

        Mattis is just following what he said while Trumps Defence Secretary and many other high officials would have said.
        https://www.politico.com/story/2018/09/04/trumps-insults-idiot-woodward-806455

        Reply
    • David

       /  4th June 2020

      Was Mattis asleep during Obama,s reign. His administration played the race card at every opportunity while doing jack about improving the lives of black people.
      Race relations had been improving in the US right up until 2008 when it peaked with his election and then went backwards while his administration played identity politics and left the US totally divided.

      Reply
  5. lurcher1948

     /  4th June 2020

    Fans of Trump hanging out together

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  4th June 2020

      Jonestown.

      Reply
      • David

         /  4th June 2020

        They have been quarantined for 10 weeks and they arnt allowed back to work or colleges or school and the weather is great. Bars are still shut what else are you going to do to pass the time.

        Reply
  6. lurcher1948

     /  4th June 2020

    I have noticed on Magic Talkback,Peter Williams slot,totaling 6hrs over the last two days he received NO FEMALE CALLS,Mr Williams bags PM Ardern constantly and allows his elderly rightwing male callers to use the usual names you get on Kiwiblog and YSB, New Zealand females have voted with their silence,50% of NZ are rubbishing Peter Williams.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  4th June 2020

      Ardern’s probably still got most of the female vote sewn up.

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  4th June 2020

      That’s bs to start with, Lurchy. Have your ears checked for selective hearing.😂

      Reply
  7. Pink David

     /  4th June 2020

    Reply
  8. duperez

     /  4th June 2020

    In the Land of the Free it pays to not be happy and skip down the road. Well, depending on your skin colour:

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  4th June 2020

      Just watched that. Very good. She makes her point brilliantly.

      Reply
      • I’m not angry, I’m flabbergasted ! I’m stunned ! I have heard stories like this before, but they always come as a shock.

        Reply
  9. Gezza

     /  4th June 2020

    (Far out! I finally found a decent live performance by The Rolling Stones where Jagger’s actually singing in key & they’re all playing in time throughout. That’s a first!)

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  4th June 2020

      ” The postmortem positivity likely reflects asymptomatic but persistent PCR positivity from previous infection, the report said.
      Cant kill you if are asymptomatic while a knee on the throat will do it
      What medical school did you go to

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  4th June 2020

        Could be a contributing factor if in recovery depending on the severity of his earlier infection. Callous met vulnerable and created disaster for all.

        Reply
      • Pink David

         /  4th June 2020

        “What medical school did you go to”

        The one that finds this all incredibly funny. Floyd is now on the total of Covid deaths in the US. The tally is after all, with covid, not from.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  4th June 2020

          No its not. Clearly your english isnt up to standard . Asymptomatic means what
          The death certificate wont put that as ‘a cause of death’ when it clearly isnt.

          died of cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression. Floyd had multiple blunt force injuries to his forehead, face and upper lip as well as cutaneous blunt force injuries of the shoulders, hands, elbows and legs.
          Other words ‘beaten by the cops’
          Covid was just one of a number of diseases he had
          Read back on Boris Johnsons infection and how that nearly killed him….because ???
          Full text of autopsy link
          “https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6936162/Autopsy-2020-3700-Floyd.txt
          Thats the Police pathologists report , not the one from the familys pathologist

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  4th June 2020

            The detailed autopsy says his lungs were fine. Covid is a respiratory disease often connected to a type of pneumonia

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th June 2020

              Covid 19 can impact other organs too.

          • Pink David

             /  5th June 2020

            “The death certificate wont put that as ‘a cause of death’ when it clearly isnt.”

            Any death of a person with Covid gets recorded as a ‘covid associated death’. It goes on the death certificate. That is the recording standard.

            Reply
    • Gezza

       /  4th June 2020

      Fark. You’re getting desperate Pinky. Pull back bro, you’ll go right over the edge next.

      Reply
    • Alan Foster

       /  4th June 2020

      PD – please try to stick to the FACTS – he did not die from Covic.
      As Gezza says – Pull back

      Reply
  10. Gezza

     /  4th June 2020


    No end of striking images of this popular revolt against US police brutality

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  4th June 2020

      That’s the attitude that pisses lots of law enforcement officers off. That’s the other side of the story.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  4th June 2020

        National guardsman. Gotta watch them.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  4th June 2020

          I couldn’t help myself…that lovely long jawline is just crying out for a slap coming unseen from waist level. And that’s the thing.. I know there are certain jobs I would be unsuited for. Why isn’t American law enforcement organisations weeding out people like me from becoming law enforcement officers?

          Conversely joining the FBI is very thorough and difficult.

          Google:

          ”Becoming an FBI Agent is a tremendously difficult and competitive process. It takes years of time, planning, and hard work to mold yourself into the kind of candidate the FBI is looking to hire. It’s not going to happen overnight, and the hiring process itself can take a year or longer.”

          Reply
          • duperez

             /  4th June 2020

            At least you realise it’s not the job for you.

            Why do you want to slap the young guy ‘coming unseen from waist level?’ Because he’s not afraid? Because he’s not on his hands and knees grovelling?Because he has an attitude? What is the attitude and why?

            What’s the attitude the guy in the uniform sees which pisses him off? That he’s big, he’s tough, he’s got a uniform, he’s got power vested in him and he’s got a big gun yet some scummy young black guy’s not scared of him?

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  4th June 2020

              ”At least you realise it’s not the job for you.”

              Yes, it’s called self reflection..or as one interpretation of that inscribed on the Temple of Apollo… ‘know thyself.’ Have you ever done any self reflecting, Duperez?

              You obviously don’t know street culture. To be fair, I don’t know what proceeded this event. That is very important, because it’s OK to have such a look if you aren’t inside anothers personal zone. But when you go inside a man’s personal zone…especially if you hinder his passage, that is assault and is usually dealt with severely on the street. Hence, why I would slap this moron senseless.. However, the same would apply if the soldiers was at fault. The black guy then has the right to deal with him.

            • duperez

               /  4th June 2020

              I know street culture.
              Looks like the uniformed one is intruding on the other guy’s space. The black guy is meant to be afraid.
              You seem to see things or expect things to be played out in dog eat dog/ top dog, primal ways. Sort of cave man style.

            • Corky

               /  4th June 2020

              ”You seem to see things or expect things to be played out in dog eat dog/ top dog, primal ways. Sort of cave man style.”

              Well, that’s a strange comment about the obvious from someone who proclaims he knows street culture. The street is a modern jungle.

            • duperez

               /  5th June 2020

              Young kids wander around doing what kids always have done, their minds in kidspace. Some though, very few, are noticing windows open or slightly ajar they can climb in.
              Some adults walk around heads in adultspace about their work, the supplies they’re off to get, the event they’re going to attend.
              And some move around with the prime thought that they’re in a jungle and need a gun.

    • Gezza

       /  4th June 2020


      Surreal. Like something out of a sci-fi movie like Robocop

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  4th June 2020

        Here’s the real thing. Unfortunately a decent Rightie receives his lumps.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  4th June 2020

          See, Al?
          This is why you can’t leave everything to private enterprise.
          Especially not law enforcement.

          Reply
  11. Pink David

     /  4th June 2020

    Impossible not to see the funny side of these things;

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  4th June 2020

      Looters in Rolls?
      Yes they were organising the looters and collecting the goods
      Even in NZ criminal gangs have Bentley’s and Range Rovers…and get confiscated by police.

      Reply
  12. Pink David

     /  4th June 2020

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  4th June 2020

      Not another blatant Trumpophile who thinks Antifa is an actual organisation?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  4th June 2020

        Where did he say that?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  4th June 2020

          Who? Trump or Adams?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  4th June 2020

            Adams

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  4th June 2020

              In his tweet. Said he wanted to get Antifa declared a terrorist organisation in his press standup the day he did that turkey walk to the church nobody wanted him at.

            • Gezza

               /  4th June 2020

              Soz – Adams, in his tweet. (He also seems to have lost it with Dilbert now too)

              Trump, in his presser.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th June 2020

              Adams doesn’t say it in that tweet. Antifa (US) is defined as a movement:
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antifa_(United_States)

              A movement can be responsible for deaths just as an idea, a religion, a belief or a culture can.

            • Gezza

               /  4th June 2020

              During the Trump administration, the term antifa became “a conservative catch-all” term as Trump, administration officials, Trump base supporters and right-wing commentators applied the label to all sorts of left-leaning or liberal protest actions.[107] Conservative writers such as L. Brent Bozell III labeled Black Lives Matter as “antifa”.[107]

              Politico reported that “the term is a potent one for conservatives” because “[i]t’s the violent distillation of everything they fear could come to pass in an all-out culture war. And it’s a quick way to brand part of the opposition”.[107]

              Alexander Reid Ross, who teaches at Portland State University, said that the popularization of the term antifa was a reaction to the popularization of the term alt-right, “to the point where [the word antifa] simply describes people who are anti-fascist or people who are against racism and are willing to protest against it”.[107]

            • Gezza

               /  4th June 2020

              President Trump and Attorney General William Barr blamed antifa for nationwide violent protests in May and June 2020 against the killing of George Floyd, an African-American man, by a Minneapolis policeman, with Barr attributing violence to “anarchic and far left extremist groups using Antifa-like tactics” and Trump tweeting that “ANTIFA and the Radical Left” were responsible.[108]

              Trump blamed antifa and “professional anarchists”, among others, for the violence,[109] reinforcing a statement made the day before by National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.[110]

              However, an internal situation report from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, obtained by The Nation on June 2, 2020, stated that it had “no intelligence indicating Antifa involvement/presence” in the violent May 31 D.C.-area protests over Floyd’s alleged murder.[111] Previously, on May 31, Barr issued a statement describing the actions of “Antifa and other similar groups” as “domestic terrorism”;[112] and on the same day,

              Trump tweeted that “[t]he United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization”.[113][114][115] Since under existing law the federal government may designate only foreign organizations as terrorist, the president has no authority to officially declare antifa a terrorist group.[116]

              Moreover, antifa is a loosely associated movement rather than a specific organization.[116] Legal experts believe designating antifa as a terrorist group would be unconstitutional, raising First Amendment and due process issues.[116][117]

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  5th June 2020

              Guess you had better update Wikipedia so that the word means what you want it to mean.

      • Pink David

         /  5th June 2020

        Nice mind reading.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  5th June 2020

          Er … I guess you mean well, but it’s not mind-reading. It’s just tweet-reading.

          Reply
    • Duker

       /  4th June 2020

      US Police kill about 1100 people per year …not all are due to police brutality of course. But the largest majority are black or hispanic.
      Killed while fleeing police ….5x more likely to be black.
      Whats this ‘murdered by future poverty ‘?
      has he never heard of what centuries of racism does.

      Reply
      • David

         /  4th June 2020

        53.5% of murders are perpetrated by black men and they make up around 7% of the population. 94.7% of black men murdered are murdered by other black men.
        Black women have educational achievements and incomes similar to white women.

        Reply
      • Pink David

         /  5th June 2020

        “US Police kill about 1100 people per year …not all are due to police brutality of course. But the largest majority are black or hispanic.”
        2019

        White 370
        Black 235
        Hispanic 158
        Other 39
        Unknown 202

        Big fall in the number of whites being killed over the previous three years. Must be racisim.

        Unarmed people shot last year;
        White 19
        Black 9

        Reply
  13. Duker

     /  4th June 2020

    The head of the military also schools Trump
    “Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, released a message to top military commanders on Wednesday affirming that every member of the armed forces swears an oath to defend the Constitution, which he said “gives Americans the right to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly.”

    Defend the Constitution not loyalty to a President
    The serving officers also know that 40% of their personnel are non white

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  4th June 2020

      The truppen & officers won’t all be Republicans either.

      If they’re sent into the streets even the white troops could end up facing off against family & friends.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  4th June 2020

        Trump is not trying to stop protests. He is trying to stop the violence and destruction. You object?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  4th June 2020

          Funny how he seems to be making it worse. He’s played fast & loose with dog whistles & lies & appearing to support white supremacists & law enforecement & war criminals. It’s all come back to bite the prick in the bum.

          Reply
          • duperez

             /  4th June 2020

            Has it come back to bite him in the bum? Or others? Like the Covid-19 thing? His psychology, his ways of operating because of that, his inability, bit his country in the bum. He is impervious to that.

            The only bite he might feel would be a November decision not going his way.
            If that looks likely, even before an eventuality, I predict a lot more bums being bitten.

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  5th June 2020

            Rubbish. Whatever he says the Left will twist it into a horror story and his supporters will nod and say he’s got it right.

            Reply
  14. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has for the second day in a row defied Donald Trump by ordering the U.S. military troops in the Washington DC area to stand down and go back to their bases.

    Might be something to do with the letters circulated by the US Military yesterday to the various branches of the armed forces minding them of their oath to defend the Constitution and serve the American people.

    One, from Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, reminds troops to embody the values of the Constitution, including the principle that all men and women are born equal.

    Milley’s unclassified memo also told Joint Forces soldiers that the National Guard was operating under the authority of state governors, not the president, to “protect lives and property, preserve peace, and ensure public safety.”

    “As members of the Joint Forces — comprised of all races, colors and creeds — you embody the values of our Constitution. Please remind all of our troops and leaders that we will uphold the values of our nation, and operate consistent with national laws and our own high standards of conduct at all times.”

    All my spidey-senses tell me that Trump is losing the support of the US Military.

    Reply

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