Comment On Consideration Of Department Of Defense Nominations

“The President’s threat of using military force against protestors is a grossly inappropriate, unnecessary and dangerous escalation at a time when Americans are looking for constructive and enlightened leadership.  America’s power and strength derives above all not from our military might, but from the values that are at the very foundation of this country, rooted in the First Amendment of the Constitution. 

“Our country has a long tradition of civilian policing.  It is one of the many ways our government differs from regimes that routinely use the military to intimidate and silence their critics.  The Insurrection Act was last invoked nearly three decades ago, to respond to the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles at the request of and by working closely with state authorities.  Its application is not a threat to be cavalierly bandied about, as if our armed forces are puppets of the President to evict peaceful protestors for purposes of a staged photo op.  I am deeply disturbed that civilian and military leaders joined the President in this misuse of force. Until the President and his senior military advisors make clear that they understand and accept this, I cannot vote to confirm further nominees to the Department of Defense.”

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