Once again, your Commander-in-Chief is simultaneously violating the law (abuse of power, emoluments, election-rigging) and promising to violate it again by violating posse comitatus. He is a liar and a con-man, and I know you swore an oath to obey him . . . but I’m here — as a former career soldier — to remind you that your oath says you will defend the Constitution, not a man. You are not only under no legal requirement to follow illegal orders. You are positively enjoined against it. You have a duty to disobey illegal orders. You have a duty to uphold the Constitution if and when commanders — even that pampered rich-boy, pus-bloated, racist, rapist, face-painted, combed-over, never-did-a-day-of-work, sack of shit in the White House — tell you to violate the Constitution and the law.
If Trump loses this election, as he is on track to do, and he refuses to accept the results and step down on January 20th, he is just mean and stupid enough to try to use you against US citizens. That would be against your families and friends, too. If you are an African American or Latin@ troop, I’ll remind you that he has nothing but contempt for you, he has mobilized the hatred of others against you, and he is already virtually deputizing the Klan and its offspring to run the streets armed and intimidate voters. You are prohibited by law from any and all operations directed against US citizens. If he tries to use you against US citizens, perhaps against members of your own families, you can and should refuse.
Will the law protect you? I can’t be sure, because the law is failing to protect plenty of people. The only people who consistently get a remedy from the law are the rich. I’m not going to lie to you. Might you risk your jobs in the face of a terrible economic downturn? Yes. Resistance to fascism has always had a price. So I won’t appeal to your self-interest, but to your honor and your oath. Some of you have risked plenty in unnecessary and immoral wars; and admittedly risking disobedience in the face of illegal directives can even impact your families. These are not normal times. These are not bright times. These are dangerous times, and you are being placed on the horns of a dilemma.
General Bone Spurs. This is the man who we just found out intervened to stop the mass issuance of masks when the pandemic was beginning to take hold in the US. Think about that, as we climb above a 200,000 death toll (the real number is likely at least 25% more), almost four times as many people as there were US soldiers killed in the occupation of Vietnam. Sixty-seven 9–11’s.
This is the man who threw your Kurdish allies to Erdogan’s wolves.
This is the man who called you suckers and losers because you didn’t have the wherewithal or inclination to make someone else do the dirty work.
This is the man who is trying everything he can to stay in office, not to lead, or to continue to mis-lead, but to hide from multiple prosecutions that await him as soon as he loses the cover of his office. He is anticipating using you — the armed forces — to further a criminal enterprise.
If this scenario unfolds, God forbid, and your Generals decide to back his play, you have some hard decisions to make, and they may include a fracturing of the ranks, as well as the vengeance of an authoritarian state. If you back their play, in this scenario — if history throws up this hard decision between security and conscience — what will you say to your grandchildren?
In this dark hour, you may be asked to violate both the law and your conscience. Do what is legal. Do what is moral. Do not raise your hands against US citizens.
Stan Goff — MSG, US Army (Ret)