Playing ‘Gotcha’ on ‘Illegal’ Nuke Order Unwittingly Supports Premise behind Oath Keepers
“Top general says he would resist ‘illegal’ nuke order from Trump,” CBS News practically crowed Saturday. “Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), told an audience at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Saturday that he has given a lot of thought to what he would say if a president ordered a strike he considered unlawful.
“Hyten was responding to a question about testimony by former STRATCOM commander retired Gen. Robert Kehler before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this week. Kehler said that nuclear operators would refuse to implement an unlawful order,” the report elaborates. “Hyten agreed, and argued that the process in place to launch a nuclear strike would prevent such a situation from arising in the first place. As head of STRATCOM, Hyten is responsible for overseeing the U.S. nuclear arsenal.”
See for yourself what he said:
[ot-video type=”youtube” url=”https://youtu.be/VH8Iqn3nKK4″]
“I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do,” Hyten explained. “And if it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen? I’m going to say, ‘Mr. President, that’s illegal.’ And guess what he’s going to do? He’s going to say, ‘What would be legal?’ And we’ll come up with options, with a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that’s the way it works. It’s not that complicated.”
“If you execute an unlawful order, you will go to jail. You could go to jail for the rest of your life,” Hyten noted.
And as the saying goes, the crowd went wild, if by “crowd” you mean “media.”
CNN presented it as “push back” from “anxiety over Trump.” Slate characterized the scenario as resulting from “rogue orders from the President of the United States.” And the desired effect is exemplified by “progressive” comment posters over at Common Dreams (and all over the internet).
But what did Hyten say that was really “news”? You might criticize him for appearing at the globalist policy wonk version of “The View” (the left criticizes the event because it doesn’t redistribute wealth to its preferred beneficiaries), but plenty of ruling elites avail themselves of the chance to establish their gravitas within the international community. The bottom line is, he didn’t just volunteer the information as an “in your face” to his Commander-in-Chief, he was responding to a question, and what’s more, he responded correctly.
The left, it seems, is more than willing to forego civilian control of the military and accept a standing army ruling junta as long as the coup is against Donald Trump. That they treat Hyten’s response as some sort of revelation shows how ignorant most are of how things are supposed to work.
The Uniform Code of Military Justice mandates a requirement to “obey [a] lawful order.” With the Constitution being the “supreme Law of the Land,” and with all service members having taken an oath “to support and defend” it, disobeying unlawful orders becomes a legal and moral imperative.
“I was just following orders” is not an excuse for committing evil. That said, it can take an extraordinary act of courage by extraordinary patriots to disobey such orders, as the “safe” thing to do is follow, and as challenging “authority,” however false, can result in vengeful retribution.
So naturally, the same media cheering on the prospect of military leadership rebelling against a president they loathe are also the ones ridiculing and spreading the lie that Oath Keepers are “anti-government extremists.”
And their grave offense?
Like Gen. Hyten, they realize that some orders cannot be obeyed if their oath is to be honored, with the first and foremost being:
“We will NOT obey any order to disarm the American people.”
Oh, but Hyten’s an important general! He knows things and is more knowledgeable than the average service member, who’s just not qualified to make that call, some will counter.
Contrary to what a legal priestcraft would have us believe, the Constitution was not written for elites, and at the time it was being considered and debated, defenses and counter-arguments were being spread throughout the states, largely via the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers. That was so that the people could understand and provide informed consent to what was being proposed.
How meaningless would an oath to the Constitution be if the person taking it had no comprehension of what it was he was swearing to?
The general approval Hyten’s answer is being greeted with just goes to show us that it’s not the concept of disobeying unlawful orders that those who would fundamentally transform America object to, but who’s doing the disobeying. Those they approve of will be lauded as heroic. Those who stand in the way of their agenda will be condemned as “treasonous.”
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David Codrea’s opinions are his own. See “Who speaks for Oath Keepers?”