U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to President Biden Tuesday calling for the termination of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley who Rubio claims “contemplated” leaking classified information to China, and undermined former President Trump.
Rubio’s allegations are in response to the reports made by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa in their upcoming book titled “Peril” that details the relationship between Milley and General Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army of China.
“I write with grave concern regarding recent reporting that General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, worked to actively undermine the sitting Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces [Trump] and contemplated a treasonous leak of classified information to the Chinese Communist Party in advance of a potential armed conflict with the People’s Republic of China (PRC),” Rubio wrote in the letter.
“These actions by General Milley demonstrate a clear lack of sound judgement, and I urge you to dismiss him immediately,” he added.
Rubio directly highlights the event in which Milley spoke with Zuocheng and the PRC who were concerned that U.S. military exercises in the South China Sea would escalate tensions between the two countries. As stated in Rubio’s letter, Milley’s reported conversation with Zuocheng states, “[y]ou and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.”
Rubio said in response, “I do not need to tell of you the dangers posed by senior military officers leaking classified information on U.S. military operations, but I will underscore that such subversion undermines the President’s ability to negotiate and leverage one of this nation’s instruments of national power in his interactions with foreign nations.”
Additionally, he writes, “Even more egregiously, reports indicate that General Milley interfered with the procedures by which the civilian commander-in-chief can order a nuclear strike. He purportedly instructed officials not to take orders without his involvement and forced them to take an oath to that effect. A senior military officer interfering with that civilian-controlled process is simply unacceptable at best, and at worst, would cause ambiguity which could lead to war.”
Rubio also slams Milley for rationalizing his “reckless behavior” by insinuating that his judgment at that time was “more stable” than that of former President Trump. Rubio suggests that rationalizing that type of behavior is a “dangerous precedent” that he fears could be asserted in the future. He continues by saying that this precedent “threatens to tear apart our nation’s longstanding principle of civilian control of the military.”
In conclusion, after reiterating the call for Milley’s termination, Rubio warns that if Milley remains in his position, “America’s national security and ability to lead in the world are at stake.”
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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “U.S. Senator Marco Rubio” by Michael Vadon. CC BY-SA 4.0. Photo “Mark Milley” by U.S Secretary of Defense. CC BY 2.0. Photo “Soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army and the Oregon Army National Guard” by Oregon National Guard. CC BY 2.0.