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Ten Veterans and National Security Leaders in Congress Pen Open Letter To America, On Trump's Threat of Military Use Against Protests

Senator Tammy Duckworth, Representatives Lieu, Crow, Kim, Rose, Carbajal, Panetta, Cisneros, Moulton, and Brown write to Americans, "Left unchecked, the President and his Pentagon officials are on the verge of ripping the very fabric of our democracy apart." 

WASHINGTON, DC -- Ten veterans and national security leaders in Congress are penning a stunning open letter to all Americans, today, sounding the alarm on Donald Trump's recent threats to unleash the active duty military against protests.  Senator Tammy Duckworth and Representatives Ted Lieu, Jason Crow, Andy Kim, Max Rose, Salud Carbajal, Jimmy Panetta, Gil Cisneros, Seth Moutlon, and Anthony Brown all cosigned the letter.

In the letter, they make clear that they view Donald Trump's threats to be in complete opposition to the Constitution, writing, "In this moment of national pain and frustration, the President is choosing to throw gasoline on the fire and is abusing the U.S. military to do so.... Americans choose to serve in the United States military to defend the Constitution -- the document that binds us together to form “a more perfect Union.”  It’s an oath to something bigger than any President or politician.  It is not an oath to Donald Trump.  Our troops did not join the U.S. military to intimidate their fellow citizens on the streets of Washington or Minneapolis."

They go on to write, "Left unchecked, the President and his Pentagon officials are on the verge of ripping the very fabric of our democracy apart."

The veterans and national security leaders advise their fellow Americans to speak out against Donald Trump's abuse of the military, continue to protest, and vote in November.

The full text of the letter is below.

 

To Our Fellow Americans,

In the midst of a pandemic that has claimed more than 105,000 American lives, we are also facing a crisis of confidence in the ability of law enforcement to do its job -- and to protect all Americans regardless of their race.  Yet, in this moment of national pain and frustration, the President is choosing to throw gasoline on the fire and is abusing the U.S. military to do so.  

As members of Congress who have served in the United States Armed Forces or national security roles, we are appalled by Donald Trump's threat to illegally turn active duty military personnel against their fellow citizens. His words and threats are similar to those made by despots we have long stood against.  Left unchecked, the President and his Pentagon officials are on the verge of ripping the very fabric of our democracy apart.  

Americans choose to serve in the United States military to defend the Constitution -- the document that binds us together to form “a more perfect Union.”  It’s an oath to something bigger than any President or politician.  It is not an oath to Donald Trump.  Our troops did not join the U.S. military to intimidate their fellow citizens on the streets of Washington or Minneapolis.  

How we respond to this current crisis, and the President’s authoritarian desires, will define the future of this great nation.

Americans from all walks of life and corners of this country have come together -- before -- to defend our democracy from threats overseas.  We’ve walked side-by-side with those men and women and together stood in awe at the generations of patriots who served before us.  

This moment calls on us, now, to rise up and stop this threat.

Please join us -- speak up, call your lawmakers, make your voices heard on social media -- and demand an immediate end to the President’s threats of military intervention against governors, mayors, and protesters. In November, turn out to vote.

Most of all, use your freedom. If you feel the need to protest injustice, continue to do so, peacefully, no matter what Donald Trump says. Our oath never ended. We still swear to defend the Constitution, and the rights it guarantees you.

 

Yours, 

Sen. Tammy Duckworth

Rep. Ted Lieu

Rep. Jason Crow

Rep. Andy Kim

Rep. Max Rose

Rep. Salud Carbajal

Rep. Jimmy Panetta

Rep. Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr.

Rep. Seth Moulton 

Rep. Anthony Brown