In rare joint message, top US military leaders condemn Capitol unrest By Reuters

By Idrees Ali WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Army Joint Chiefs of Staff, the uniformed leaders of the various military branches, released a rare joint message to service members on Tuesday saying that last week’s violent unrest they were an assault on the United States constitutional process and against the law. The message breaks almost a week of silence from military leaders after the assault on the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump sent legislators underground and left five dead. While several members of Trump’s cabinet, including acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller, had condemned the violent assault, the top US general, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, had been silent until now. “The violent riot in Washington DC on January 6, 2021 was a direct assault on the United States Congress, the Capitol building, and our constitutional process,” the seven generals and an admiral said in an internal memo to the troops, adding that the military remained committed to the protection and defense of the Constitution. “The rights to freedom of expression and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection,” read the memo, obtained by Reuters. “Any act that interrupts the constitutional process not only goes against our traditions, values ​​and oaths; it is against the law.” US officials said Milley had not commented on the events of the past week because he wanted to stay out of politics. The silence stands in stark contrast to that of June, when Milley took a controversial walk to a church with Trump after law enforcement officers backed by National Guard troops used tear-inducing chemicals and rubber bullets to clear the area of peaceful protesters. concern that they had received no direction from top leaders after the heartbreaking attack on American democracy on Wednesday. There has also been a renewed focus on extremism within the US military after the assault on the Capitol, with a large proportion of service members being white and male. The Army told Reuters on Tuesday it was working with the FBI to see if any attackers were current service members and with the Secret Service to see if any of the nearly 10,000 National Guard soldiers who secure the inauguration of the president-elect. Joe Biden would need an additional review.

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