WASHINGTON | Accused to be used by Donald Trump for political purposes, the Pentagon sought on Tuesday to distance itself from the us president after about the polemics of the minister of Defense Mark Esper and the deployment of military reinforcements around the White House.
In a country where the military are revered, the head of the Pentagon to Mark Esper has caused concern by declaring on Monday that forces of the order were to “dominate the battlefield” to restore order, while hundreds of thousands of Americans are protesting against police brutality, racism, and social inequalities exacerbated by the crisis of COVID-19.
Mr. Esper and the chief of staff, u.s. general Mark Milley, are displayed alongside Mr. Trump when he went on foot Monday night in front of the church of Saint John, landmark building near the White House, damaged the previous day on the sidelines of an event.
Mr. Esper was in the first rank of the leaders of the administration, close to Donald Trump, when he was photographed in front of the church with a bible in his hand, a few minutes after the violent dispersal, with batons and tear gas, protesters who were protesting peacefully near the White House.
General Milley has been filmed walking in camouflage behind Mr. Trump. Images are quickly taken up by the White House in a video to the accents in an election.
All this has caused consternation in the opposition democrat party and among former military officials.
“America is not a battlefield. Our fellow citizens are not the enemy, ” tweeted a former chief of staff, u.s., former general Martin Dempsey.
A senior official in the Pentagon has assured that in speaking of the ” field of battle “, Mr. Esper had no ulterior motive, and as a former military member himself, he spoke just in a ” military jargon “.
About the presence of the general Milley behind the american president when out of the White House obviously political, it would have been involuntary, has added the senior official who requested anonymity.
The president told them ” that he wanted to see troops deployed on the outside “, he explained, ensuring that neither Mr. Esper nor the general Milley “did not know that the forces of the order had decided to evacuate” the area.
The Congress is seized of the matter. The influential president of the commission of the armed Forces of the House of representatives, Adam Smith, expressed concern at Tuesday’s leadership “autocratic” president Trump and ” the way in which it affects the judgment of the military hierarchy “.
“The role of the u.s. military in maintaining order on the territory is limited by the law,” he recalled.
A law prohibits the use of soldiers active in peacekeeping missions of the order, except in case of insurrection. In the case of disorders public, it is up to each State in the u.s. to call former police officers and reservists of the national Guard.
The democratic candidate for the White House Joe Biden was accused on Monday Donald Trump to use the military “against the Americans” and the tear gas used against peaceful demonstrators, ” for a communication operation.
Minorities are widely represented in the american army, considered as a social elevator, and the unease was palpable among the military a week after the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a black man of 46 years old was asphyxiated by a white policeman.
“I am George Floyd “, he tweeted warrant Kaleth Wright, one of the soldiers, black americans in sight. “Like most airmen black, I am outraged to see another black man die on tv in front of our eyes “.
“What happens too often in this country to black men victims of police brutality (…) could happen to me “, he added in messages that have received a wide echo.