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John Kelly and the Language of the Military Coup

John Kelly and the Language of the Military Coup”

Andre Damon CorrespondentThe militarist diatribe by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired Marine general, at a White House Press briefing last week, laid bare an open secret of American politics: behind the façade of democratic rule, the United States increasingly resembles a military dictatorship.

"I don't know if you can do it any better", Cummings continued.

Kelly came out in defense of Trump, disputing Wilson's version of the phone call and questioning her motives in the past, attacking her for allegedly bragging about having secured a federal aid through then President Barack Obama to build an FBI field office dedicated to two agents who had died during a gunfight.

In a statement released Sunday, 17 female members of the Congressional Black Caucus requested an apology from White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) for his "blatant lies".

"Gen. Kelly has been tainted by Trump lying in the face of facts". He told those in the audience that he did not look down on them for not having served; rather people like him-again, the 1 percent-merely feel sorry for civilians. You rely on them to watch your back and they rely on you. The widow was also upset, Wilson said, that Trump never mentioned her husband by name, only referring to him as "your guy, your guy".

It is unfortunate that President Trump might not have expressed himself as sensitively as he should. But Myeshia Johnson had apparently voluntarily shared her conversation with her mother-in-law and Congresswoman Frederica Wilson by putting the President on speakerphone.

As a Marine, Kelly took an oath to defend the Constitution. (The sole exception to this seems to be Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who from day one simply refused to act as Trump's political flack.) One can hear a palpable sense of sadness after last week's events, a sense of disillusionment. He rattled off a litany of things that had lost their sanctity: women, life, religion, Gold Star families. Kelly said he counseled Trump on how to address families of the fallen.

I cringed when Kelly called Wilson an "empty barrel", but he genuinely stepped in it when he incorrectly accused her of taking credit for the funding of an Federal Bureau of Investigation building in Florida. Considering that, a few minutes earlier, Kelly had said most Americans didn't even know anyone who knew anyone who belonged to the "one per cent", he was now explicitly denying a majority of Americans-or the journalists representing them-the right to ask questions. As if on cue, the first reporter allowed to speak inserted the phrase "Semper Fi"-a literal loyalty oath-into his question". No explanation, no condolences - just brief comments from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders including a statement on October 6 that, "We're continuing to review and look into this". "And their parish priest would tell those women, you can't get divorced, or you'll be excommunicated". The military is deployed at the discretion of the president and his generals, as in the over one dozen African countries where U.S. troops are engaged in combat operations.

General Kelly was disgusted that his son's death was politicized.



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