Coronavirus

Defense Chief Tells Commanders to Protect Trump Over Troops

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

In line with the Trump regime's greater directive to protect Trump at all costs rather than the general public, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has reportedly instructed military commanders not to take any steps to protect the service members under their command if it runs the risk of upsetting Trump.

The New York Times first reported last night that Esper told commanders to seek approval for any measures they want to take with him and thus the White House.

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper has urged American military commanders overseas not to make any decisions related to the coronavirus that might surprise the White House or run afoul of President Trump’s messaging on the growing health challenge, American officials said. [...]

Mr. Esper told commanders deployed overseas that they should check in before making decisions related to protecting their troops.

In one exchange during last Wednesday’s video teleconference, Gen. Robert B. Abrams, the commander of American forces in South Korea, where more than 4,000 coronavirus cases have been detected, discussed his options to protect American military personnel against the virus, said one American official briefed on the call.

In response, Mr. Esper said he wanted advance notice before General Abrams or any other commander made decisions related to protecting their troops.

So, it's probably just a matter of time before there's an outbreak inside an American military base or across the wider military. Putting a base on lockdown might make Trump look bad, after all, after declaring that the virus has been contained.

You know, Trump commits impeachable offenses on an almost weekly basis and this torrent of bad faith and behavior develops into a flood that becomes hard to track, but I'd say this ranks pretty high up there among his effort to extort Ukraine for political favors.

The coronavirus may not ultimately spread as far and wide as it could, but I think we can safely say that it will spread wider than it otherwise would have because the White House made it a higher priority to protect Trump's feelings.

People have already been killed by the virus and more undoubtedly will be and at least some portion of the casualties will be attributable to the White House's decision to protect Trump from bad headlines.

  • Draxiar

    While I wouldn’t expect them to lock down a military base per se I would expect the commanders to do everything they can to protect their troops that wouldn’t raise any eyebrows of the associated secretaries. The commanders care more about their people than do trumps dumb optics.

    • Christopher Foxx

      I’d like to think that somewhere in the “risk the troops lives unnecessarily to protect Trump’s ego” there’s an argument to be made that it’s an illegal order.

      And the SOMEwhere in the military ladership there’s a person with enough sense of honor (if not a sense of personal self-worth) to stand up, stop licking Trump’s ass and say “No.”

  • muselet

    Sure, why not? After all, what’s the worst that could happen?

    *shudders*

    –alopecia

  • Aynwrong

    “Why do liberals conservatives hate the troops?”

  • Georgie