In a rapid turn of events it seems like Defense Sec. Esper has returned back to listening to old hand General’s in The pentagon, who do NOT want the American military in a situation they got into back in the 1960’s where military units fired on American civilians (Kent State) and the results where sorrowful for ALL involved…
This IS again putting the nation’s military in opposition to the nation’s President ….
The Department of Defense, led by Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, appears to have made the decision without consulting the White House, where President Trump has ordered a militarized show of force on the streets of Washington D.C. since demonstrations in the city were punctured by an episode of looting on Sunday. Trump specifically had encouraged the National Guard to be armed.
Initially, a small group of the guardsmen deployed in the city had been carrying guns while standing outside monuments, but the bulk of the forces, such as those working with federal park police at Lafayette Square in front of the White House, didn’t carry firearms out of caution. Now, all of the roughly 5,000 guardsmen who have been deployed or are deploying to Washington, D.C., have been told not to use weaponry or ammunition, according to four officials familiar with the order.
“The whole purpose behind that was a purposeful show of de-escalation,” said one U.S. defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an order that hasn’t been made public yet. “We’re here, but we’re walking things down.”
The White House has not been involved in the decision, a senior administration official said. Trump has encouraged the National Guard to be armed, and wanted them to be as a show of force.
Because the District of Columbia is a special federal jurisdiction without the status of a state, the D.C. National Guard is controlled by the president, who delegated his authority over the forces to Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy. The District’s mayor can request the deployment of the D.C. Guard but doesn’t have the power to do so herself or control them once deployed….
A small active-duty contingent of the Arlington, Va.-based “Old Guard” — the Army’s official ceremonial unit and escort to the U.S. president — will remain on standby if D.C. law enforcement needs help, he noted.
Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell confirmed McCarthy’s comments to The Hill.
The order for the troops to depart came as D.C. had peaceful protests on several consecutive days, with the Metropolitan Police Department making no arrests related to the protests on Wednesday and Thursday nights.
The active-duty forces have been in the capital region since Monday, part of a total 1,600 troops at the ready outside the city if needed after protests swept the country over the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who died after during an arrest by the Minneapolis police….