The media is making a rather large mountain of a molehill this weekend after what appeared to be controversial comments from a top US Air Force nuclear commander.
During a presentation at an international security conference in Novia Scotia, General John Hyten, who runs the U.S. Strategic Command, commented that he’d refuse an illegal order from President Trump concerning a nuclear launch.
The press has seized on those words to make a case for dissension within the ranks.
But looking at the context of his remarks, the key word is ‘illegal’ in which he was simply explaining that nuclear commanders must obey the law before they obey the Commander-in-Chief.
Either way, it’s good to know we have sober folks with their fingers near the red button.
Here’s more from PJ Media…
Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, told a security conference in Nova Scotia that he would refuse to obey an “illegal” order from Donald Trump to launch nuclear weapons.
Asked if he has given much thought to how he would handle a nuclear strike order from President Trump that he thinks is unlawful, Hyten, who oversees the U.S. nuclear arsenal, answered, “I think some people think we’re stupid. We’re not stupid people. We think about these things a lot. When you have this responsibility, how do you not think about it?”
“I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do,” Hyten said. “And if it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen? I’m going to say, ‘Mr. President, that’s illegal.’ And guess what he’s going to do? He’s going to say, ‘What would be legal?’ And we’ll come up options, with a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that’s the way it works. It’s not that complicated.”
He explained that if he were to execute an unlawful order, “You will go to jail. You could go to jail for the rest of your life.”
The key word here is “illegal.” In fact, no U.S. military officer is bound to obey an order he believes to be “illegal,” so why this is being made into a big deal is something of a mystery.