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U.S. nuclear commander says he would resist 'illegal' order from Trump

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  • U.S. nuclear commander says he would resist 'illegal' order from Trump

    I was going to add this to Phil's "A feasible plan for dealing with the North Korean nuclear threat" for comment but figured it was worth discussion on its own:


    https://ca.yahoo.com/news/u-nuclear-...152111634.html

    U.S. nuclear commander says he would resist 'illegal' order from Trump
    The Canadian Press

    HALIFAX — The top commander of U.S. nuclear forces says he would push back if President Donald Trump asked him to carry out an order he deemed "illegal."

    Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten told the Halifax International Security Forum on Saturday that he and Trump have discussed what would happen if the president ordered a nuclear strike he believed to be unlawful under international law.

    "I think some people think we're stupid. We're not stupid people," Hyten said."We think about these things a lot. When you have this responsibility, how do you not think about it?"

    Hyten would be in charge of U.S. nuclear forces in a war. If Trump decided to launch a nuclear attack, Hyten would provide him with strike options, and the president would make his decision.

    "The way the process works, it's simple," said Hyten. "I provide advice to the president, he'll tell me what to do, and if it's illegal, guess what is 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?'"

    Hyten said he and Trump would work to find another course of action.

    Hyten said he is trained every year in the laws of armed conflict ---which are guided by principles that include necessity. Under that framework, carrying out an illegal order is a punishable offence.

    "If you execute an unlawful order, you will go to jail," he said. "You could go to jail for the rest of your life."

    Hyten made the remarks while participating on a panel called "Nukes: The Fire and the Fury," an apparent reference to Trump's threats to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea this summer.

    Hyten said the U.S. can defend itself against North Korea's nuclear threats.

    "Can we live with a nuclear North Korea? The answer is yes," said Hyten. "The question we have to ask ourselves is: Do we want to live in that world?"

    —With files from The Associated Press.

    The Canadian Press

    More here:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...r-strike-order

    The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Hyten’s remarks.

    They came after questions by US senators, including Democrats and Trump’s fellow Republicans, about Trump’s authority to wage war, use nuclear weapons and enter into or end international agreements, amid concern tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs could lead to hostilities.

    Trump has traded insults and threats with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un and threatened in his first United Nations address to “totally destroy” the country of 26 million people if it threatened the US.

    Some senators want legislation to alter the nuclear authority of the US president and a Senate committee on Tuesday held the first congressional hearing in more than four decades on the president’s authority to launch a nuclear strike.
    "I am Groot"
    - Groot

  • #2
    A little attempt at distortion here? No fan of Trump, but this decision process is true for ANY sitting president. There would have been the same thing said for Obama, Bush Sr. and Jr., Clinton and etc...
    You'll live, only the best get killed.

    -General Charles de Gaulle

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    • #3
      This is why the "Trump is going to destroy the world" hysteria is hysteria. The process isn't as simple as Trump pushing a big red button. John Oliver and all the other frightened rabbits need to get that in their head.
      A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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      • #4
        The real fear is that his belligerent actions might create a situation where others decide to get their retaliation in first. They might do so mistakenly but by then - its all too late.
        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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        • #5
          Trumps rhetoric doesn't help and neither does his inability to work a 'brain to twitter' filter.......

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by asterix View Post
            A little attempt at distortion here? No fan of Trump, but this decision process is true for ANY sitting president. There would have been the same thing said for Obama, Bush Sr. and Jr., Clinton and etc...
            Distortion is an understatement.

            This bit is a bald faced lie: "U.S. nuclear commander says he would *resist* 'illegal' order from Trump."
            Hyten would be in charge of U.S. nuclear forces in a war. If Trump decided to launch a nuclear attack, Hyten would provide him with strike options, and the president would make his decision.

            "The way the process works, it's simple," said Hyten. "I provide advice to the president, he'll tell me what to do, and if it's illegal, guess what is 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?'"

            Hyten said he and Trump would work to find another course of action.
            Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by The Doctor View Post
              Distortion is an understatement.

              This bit is a bald faced lie: "U.S. nuclear commander says he would *resist* 'illegal' order from Trump."
              Hyten would be in charge of U.S. nuclear forces in a war. If Trump decided to launch a nuclear attack, Hyten would provide him with strike options, and the president would make his decision.

              "The way the process works, it's simple," said Hyten. "I provide advice to the president, he'll tell me what to do, and if it's illegal, guess what is 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?'"

              Hyten said he and Trump would work to find another course of action.
              How is it a lie? If any president had a psychotic break of something touch effect and ordered an unwarranted nuclear strike his brass would resist his 'illegal order'.

              Comment


              • #8
                Correction - BIG correction: the general would say "That's illegal" and Trump would relieve him and repeat the order to the next in command, who would carry out the launch.

                The purpose of nuclear forces and the very small time frames involved do not allow for refusal of orders. The Air Force took great steps to insure that such launch orders would be carried out without fail.

                I hope that general is removed from his command and put out to pasture in a funny farm where he belongs.
                Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                  Correction - BIG correction: the general would say "That's illegal" and Trump would relieve him and repeat the order to the next in command, who would carry out the launch.

                  The purpose of nuclear forces and the very small time frames involved do not allow for refusal of orders. The Air Force took great steps to insure that such launch orders would be carried out without fail.

                  I hope that general is removed from his command and put out to pasture in a funny farm where he belongs.
                  The ethics of the armed forces is that it is illegal and immoral to obey an illegal order. And to order the launch of a nuclear strike by the president without reason and/or provocation is illegal.

                  The general might indeed be relieved. But I submit that his replacement would also refuse to obey it.

                  The president cannot launch nuclear weapons on his own.

                  And Trump's ridiculous and dangerous comments on 'bringing fire' etc., on North Korea are both stupid and reckless. There is definitely something wrong with him. He's a bully and it shows. And the definition of being a bully is that he is a coward. And he definitely demonstrated cowardice during the Vietnam era.

                  In short, he is an idiot.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                    Correction - BIG correction: the general would say "That's illegal" and Trump would relieve him and repeat the order to the next in command, who would carry out the launch.

                    The purpose of nuclear forces and the very small time frames involved do not allow for refusal of orders. The Air Force took great steps to insure that such launch orders would be carried out without fail.

                    I hope that general is removed from his command and put out to pasture in a funny farm where he belongs.
                    Not if the order is actually illegal. It's not going to get carried out. You make the assumption that the original order is legal, the hypothetical situation here is that it is not.
                    “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
                    “To talk of many things:
                    Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
                    Of cabbages—and kings—
                    And why the sea is boiling hot—
                    And whether pigs have wings.”
                    ― Lewis Carroll

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Paddybhoy View Post
                      How is it a lie? If any president had a psychotic break of something touch effect and ordered an unwarranted nuclear strike his brass would resist his 'illegal order'.
                      It's a bald faced lie because it's not even remotely close to what the general said.
                      Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Combat Engineer View Post
                        Not if the order is actually illegal. It's not going to get carried out. You make the assumption that the original order is legal, the hypothetical situation here is that it is not.
                        If the order was legal and the president relieved the general, the second in command would carry it out. If the second in command agreed that it was illegal, he would also advise the president that it was illegal.

                        Assuming the order was illegal and POTUS refused to accept advice that it was illegal, at what point does the military become justified in relieving POTUS of command?
                        Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Doctor View Post
                          It's a bald faced lie because it's not even remotely close to what the general said.
                          "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?'"

                          Yes it is.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paddybhoy View Post
                            Trumps rhetoric doesn't help and neither does his inability to work a 'brain to twitter' filter.......
                            Rhetoric, schmetoric...
                            My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.
                            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_b...n_five_minutes
                            Yes, let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness—pray they will discover the joy of knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the State, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world.... So, in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride—the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.
                            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_empire
                            Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Massena View Post
                              The ethics of the armed forces is that it is illegal and immoral to obey an illegal order. And to order the launch of a nuclear strike by the president without reason and/or provocation is illegal.
                              But, you better be 99.9% absolutely sure it's an illegal order. For example, if Trump did order a nuclear launch on say, North Korea... let's say a single missile, that order isn't illegal. Like it or not, he can do that.
                              That general might not be privy to the reason it's been ordered so he would have to carry it out in the absence of that information. He may disagree with it, may think it's immoral, but he will carry it out or be relieved for cause.
                              THAT is how the military works.

                              The general might indeed be relieved. But I submit that his replacement would also refuse to obey it.
                              I submit you have no idea what you're talking about.

                              The president cannot launch nuclear weapons on his own.
                              Technically, yes he can. The War Powers act allows him to commit the US to a war in lieu of Congressional approval for up to 90 days. That was done so that the US could legally be involved in a war until Congress could catch up with the legal paperwork, so to speak.


                              And Trump's ridiculous and dangerous comments on 'bringing fire' etc., on North Korea are both stupid and reckless. There is definitely something wrong with him. He's a bully and it shows. And the definition of being a bully is that he is a coward. And he definitely demonstrated cowardice during the Vietnam era.

                              In short, he is an idiot.
                              No, he's not, but somebody here is and it isn't me either...

                              Trump can talk all the smack he wants. Your opinion of that is nothing more than your opinion. I'd take Trump over Obama in a military decision situation any day of the week. Obama would dither and equivocate, dallying around waiting for an opinion poll and a bunch of advisors to tell him what to do rather than make a decision.
                              War and the military are one area where the longer you delay deciding the worse off you are 9 out of 10 times.

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