Another public figure was featured in one of the Donald Trump re-election campaign ads. Similar to Dr. Anthony Fauci, Gen. Milley did not reportedly consent to be part of it.
Per Politico, it was a photo of them while watching “the raid on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from the Situation Room on Oct. 29, 2019.”
The photo ad campaign encourages the public that “President Trump wants you to request your ballot.”
No consent nor approval?
A defense official, who requested not to be named, clarified with the news outlet about the involvement of the Joint Chiefs Chairman in a political ad.
Accordingly, the defense official explains:
“This photo, like many others, was not used with [Milley’s] knowledge or consent.”
The Military arm of the U.S. government has always been apolitical. In fact, it is a strict policy for them. In a 2019 official statement, the Department of Defense has explicitly said:
“As a matter of long-standing policy, military service members and federal employees acting in their official capacity may not engage in activities that associate the DOD with any partisan political campaign or elections, candidate, cause or issue.”
Per The Hill, the defense officials have long been firm on staying apolitical. The publication echo’s Esper’s February memo, which reminds the service members to ” uphold DOD’s longstanding tradition of remaining apolitical as we carry out our official responsibilities.”
This was not the first time Gen. Milley was used as a “political prop” by the Trump campaign. Back in June, Milley and Esper appeared on a Trump photo-op, which was used in his campaign.
Nonetheless, he has since apologized for that.
Gen. Milley is firm on abiding the rules
Like any other elections in the U.S., it is as noisy and as divided. This time, however, it is as controversial as it goes, with President Donald Trump being continuously slammed.
There’s the matter of the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate and plunging economy, and the issue of racism and law enforcement. Everyone, whether a political analyst or not, has a lot to say about the current issues.
However, for Gen. Milley, he explained to NPR how the military maintains apolitical during this “divided time.”
“I think that we have a very, very long tradition of an apolitical military that’s embedded really from the days of George Washington shortly afterwards when he gave his famous Newburgh Address and they were encouraging George Washington to seize power or become a king of some kind, and he gave a very famous speech,” says Milley.
“And we have established a very long 240-year tradition of an apolitical military that does not get involved in domestic politics. And so I think that that’s an important principle to adhere to, to continue to adhere to and we will adhere to it.”
He further expressed how the U.S. military is sworn to obey the laws of the country. Adhering to the laws have always been a “longstanding tradition” for them.
Moreover, Milley is confident that should there be a “contested election,” the courts and the Congress will handle the matter “appropriately.” As for the military arm of the U.S., he says there is “no role” for them “in determining the outcome of a U.S. election.”
Featured image courtesy of The White House/Flickr