Military Joint Chiefs Condemn ‘Assault’ on US Capitol and ‘Constitutional Process’ – Do Not Call It an ‘Insurrection’


On Tuesday, the U.S. military’s most senior uniformed leaders issued a rare message to the nation’s armed forces at a critical moment of heightened domestic tension. Less than a week after the assault on the Capitol by mostly Trump-supporting rioters on January 6, the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff issued an extraordinary statement affirming Joe Biden as the lawfully-elected president-elect.

They also condemned last week’s violent riot inside the Capitol as “a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building, and our Constitutional process.”

The statement was signed by America’s most senior general, Mark Milley, and the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), which consists of the military heads of each service branch (now including Space Force) and the National Guard Bureau. The message from the eight general and flag officers was short but pointed.

It opened with a reminder of the role the U.S. Armed Forces have played in protecting the American people and the Constitution for almost 250 years, and the trust they have earned. It also reinforces that the “U.S. military will obey lawful orders from civilian leadership,” and “remain fully committed to protecting and defending the Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

In its more misreported section, the statement also said:

We witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law. The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection.

While some media such as USA Today and NBC News blog immediately jumped to report that the Joint Chiefs were calling the Capitol riot an “insurrection,” the JCS never explicitly stated that. The paragraph was deliberately opaque.

It called the actions inside the Capitol “inconsistent with the rule of law,” but then said separately that as a general rule no one has a right to resort to “violence, sedition and insurrection.” In this way, I believe, they left the interpretation open and were treading a fine semantic and legal line, similar to what I have noted previously.

The Capitol riot was clearly criminal and maybe even ‘terroristic’ in its attempt to violently intimidate and influence the political process, but it did not meet the threshold of “armed insurrection” as no one appeared armed or showed the intent to overthrow the government of the United States.

Nevertheless, the JCS warning to U.S. servicemen and women was justifiably clear:

As service members, we must embody the values of the nation. We support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values, and oath; it is against the law.

Most importantly, as Defense One noted:

That the military’s senior-most uniformed leaders should feel compelled to issue such a message to the force reflects not only deep-seated concerns about the impact bitter national division may have within the force, but also a tacit recognition that the military still remains one of the most trusted organizations in an American deeply divided over its own institutions.


Paul Crespo

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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Eugene Ross
Eugene Ross
3 days ago

don’t try to sh– on us and we won’t rub your faces in it

Kay Kay
Kay Kay
3 days ago

Oh….!
Why would these JOINT CHIEF’s…..NOT CALL THE FRAUD, ON THE ELECTIONS, as FRAUD? Who Protects, the approx: 75 MILLION US CITIZENS, who were CHEATED?
Or DO THEIR VOTES NOT COUNT? There is ample evidence, including SEC. CAMERA PHOTOS, & MORE VOTES CAST, THAN THERE WERE VOTERS, ETC. ETC. SHOWING CHEAP-RATE FRAUD, & NOBODY CARES? We shall not FORGET…until, those, that committed these are brought to JUSTICE… Dinesh D’souza, spent 18 months in Jail for giving a friend $ 20,000/-, as campaign finance violation. That bast**d succerbyrd of FB donated 500 million, & that creep is walking around, like a hero? He will be punished…It is ONLY a matter of time….. Under Oath, the driver of that courier service, testified that he carted consignments of ballot papers fm NY to PA…& nobody cares? That is INSURRECTION…. Yes…WE SHALL NOT GORGET….. What happened to all the VIOLENCE & the looting in Seattle & LA & Minnesota? Has anybody been convicted?
BLM….! VENGENCE IS MINE, SAYS THE LORD….. You guys will ROT, in hell fire…Watch Out!

Phantom1973
Phantom1973
3 days ago
Reply to  Kay Kay

The job of the military is to follow orders to the extent that they are lawful. One is allowed to have opinions such as these but they are checked at the door or whenever one dons the uniform. Personal opinions fine, official opinions nein.

elgar333
elgar333
3 days ago
Reply to  Kay Kay

Well Said!!!
Couldn’t agree more!

Herbert G. Chapman
Herbert G. Chapman
2 days ago
Reply to  Kay Kay

No ,they were on the dems side. “Untouchable’s”.. the very reason why nobody cares about them trying to over through the second amendment . How are the military going to stop them ?

Melissa
Melissa
3 days ago

The Senior Military Leadership put out this message to let service members know that they are knowledgeable of the current situation. Situational awareness is a central tenant of the Military. I do not believe it is because they have deep rooted concerns but that they need to put out an official statement about the situation. If its to quell any concerns its all the irresponsible idiots that keep claiming that Trump or Biden will use the military to remove the other. I work for the Army and have now received this memo three times from three different levels of command.

Patricia
Patricia
3 days ago
Reply to  Melissa

I know autocorrect can change correct language into incorrect language. But, the word is tenets. Central tenet.

Patricia
Patricia
3 days ago

I don’t trust you anymore.

Gabrielle Jones
Gabrielle Jones
3 days ago

I trust no one except Almighty God.

Isabel
Isabel
3 days ago

Oh my! In spite of everything that is evil and going on, you still believe there is an almighty god? Thoroughly brainwashed!

Marti
Marti
3 days ago
Reply to  Isabel

Our Heavenly Father did not create this Evil. But He is Going to put an End to it. Please don’t say people are brainwashed, this is suppose to be an intelligent platform. Free Speech is everyone’s Right but bashing is not a RIGHT.

Marina
Marina
3 days ago

And the Capitol was stormed in a military like fashion as everyone could see them claiming the Capitol walls like military rangers.Organized by the Speaker leader of the SWAMP.

This is the next path forward, first Blocksite twitter and facebook from your internet provider, the state of Idaho internet provider blocked them both.
Tech bubble is imminent, close tweeter, FB, Instagram accounts, dump their stock if own any from your IRA, 401K check your mutual funds that have Twitter or FB included, Twitter down again, dump before they go to zero, stop buying from Amazon, NO more made in the CCP purchases, buy direct from the mom’s and pop’s stores near you, made in America only, don’t wait DO IT TODAY.

Bart
Bart
3 days ago
Reply to  Marina

Yes yes and yes done

True American
True American
3 days ago

Just saying you protect the USA both foreign and domestic means nothing if you do not do it. So where are you now?

True American
True American
3 days ago

Did you know special forces were in the protest at congress. Guess who has poorloshi’s laptop.More news in the making.This is far more serious than one can imagine.Does treason ring a bell ?

Marina
Marina
3 days ago

Twitter down 14% from last week make sure everyone keeps telling everyone else to help this is the war we are fighting..

This is the next path forward, first Blocksite twitter and facebook from your internet provider, the state of Idaho internet provider blocked them both.

Tech bubble is imminent, close twitter, FB, Instagram accounts, dump their stock if own any from your IRA, 401K check your mutual funds that have Twitter or FB included, Twitter down again, dump before they go to zero, stop buying from Amazon, NO more made in the CCP purchases, buy direct from the mom’s and pop’s stores near you, made in America only, don’t wait DO IT TODAY.

From 1/11/2021-1/14/2021 Twitter is down 14%, twitter banned TRUMP for LIFE, Twitter needs to cease.


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