Imagine Rachel Maddow in charge of the US military and you get some idea of what we're dealing with here.
I can picture Milley sitting in his war room, every monitor tuned simultaneously to MSNBC.
In the waning weeks of Donald Trump's term, the country's top military leader repeatedly worried about what the president might do to maintain power after losing reelection, comparing his rhetoric to Adolf Hitler's during the rise of Nazi Germany and asking confidants whether a coup was forthcoming, according to a new book by two Washington Post reporters.
He grew increasingly paranoid. Think Captain Queeg as played by Jake Tapper.
Milley described "a stomach-churning" feeling as he listened to Trump's untrue complaints of election fraud, drawing a comparison to the 1933 attack on Germany's parliament building that Hitler used as a pretext to establish a Nazi dictatorship.
"This is a Reichstag moment," Milley told aides, according to the book. "The gospel of the Führer."
Imagine the steady diet of CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and who knows what else that would lead a grown man of alleged intelligence and skills to believe that a blow hard real estate developer who built a career on bluster and hyperbole, was planning a Nazi-like Reichstag coup.
We wrote about this lunacy here at Not The Bee. We laughed it off. We ridiculed the unimaginable levels of Trump Derangement Syndrome necessary to believe this and dismissed it as the purview of vacant talking heads and fringe conspiracy nuts.
Portions of the book related to Milley — first reported Wednesday night by CNN ahead of the book's July 20 release —
Of course. In marketing they call that co-branding.
...offer a remarkable window into the thinking of America's highest-ranking military officer, who saw himself as one of the last empowered defenders of democracy during some of the darkest days in the country's recent history.
I should note the book is based on "candid" interviews with 140 insiders, all on the basis of anonymity, however the account is consistent with what we know of Milley, so it will be interesting to see the non-denial denial that is forthcoming.
After attending a Nov. 10 security briefing about the "Million MAGA March," a pro-Trump rally protesting the election, Milley said he feared an American equivalent of "brownshirts in the streets," alluding to the paramilitary forces that protected Nazi rallies and enabled Hitler's ascent.
The Nazi Nazi Nazi vibe of this account is like watching CNN prime time. The only way you get like this is to fully immerse yourself in a narrative and wall yourself off from anyone and anything else that challenges it.
And this is allegedly from Milley who said "I've read Mao Zedong. I've read Karl Marx. I've read Lenin," supposedly to better understand their thinking.
One wonders the last time he read anything by a conservative or even a libertarian, or does his intellectual curiosity wane once he wanders beyond the gender studies aisle.
"You are one of the few guys who are standing between us and some really bad stuff," the friend told Milley, according to an account relayed to his aides. Milley was shaken, Leonnig and Rucker write, and he called former national security adviser H.R. McMaster to ask whether a coup was actually imminent.
This is exactly the kind of temperament we need in our military leaders.
If someone wanted to seize control, Milley thought, they would need to gain sway over the FBI, the CIA and the Defense Department, where Trump had already installed staunch allies.
"They may try, but they're not going to f---ing succeed," he told some of his closest deputies, the book says.
The notion that Trump had "installed staunch allies" in the federal law and intelligence communities that had spent the previous four years conspiring to undermine his presidency is... an interesting take.
As the inauguration approached, Milley inspired the troops.
"Everyone in this room, whether you're a cop, whether you're a soldier, we're going to stop these guys to make sure we have a peaceful transfer of power," he told them. "We're going to put a ring of steel around this city and the Nazis aren't getting in."
Again with the Nazis. These are the recollections of people around him, but as a group they truly were as obsessed with Nazis as the Trump-hating partisans of corporate news. He said at a recent hearing that "I want to understand white rage," and here he is calling everyone Nazis.
I don't think you need to read a book, General, I think you need to read the transcripts of your own diatribes.
At Biden's swearing-in on Jan. 20, Milley was seated behind former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, who asked the general how he was feeling.
"No one has a bigger smile today than I do," Milley replied. "You can't see it under my mask, but I do."
Again, this is a second-hand account, but if true, he should be removed from his post immediately.
What should we make of our woke Joint Chiefs Chairman?
He appears to have been the real thing, and deserves respect for that.
Milley has served in the 82nd Airborne Division, the 5th Special Forces Group, the 7th Infantry Division, the 2nd Infantry Division, the Joint Readiness Training Center, the 25th Infantry Division, Operations Staff of the Joint Staff, and as a Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon.
But there's more.
Born in Winchester, Massachusetts, Milley attended Belmont Hill School. Milley graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics in 1980 after completing a 185-page-long senior thesis titled "A Critical Analysis of Revolutionary Guerrilla Organization in Theory and Practice". Milley also holds a Master of Arts degree in international relations from Columbia University and another Master of Arts degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College. He is also an attendee of the MIT Center for International Studies Seminar XXI National Security Studies Program.
Massachusetts. Princeton. Columbia. MIT.
He was being inculcated in woke studies throughout his education.
No wonder he thinks the way he does.
We can honor his service, but it's time for him and those like him to go. The partisan hackery, the extent to which he embraces utter conspiratorial nonsense, his CNN-view of the world, does not make him fit to hold the office he is currently in.
He is not a defender of democracy. He is an enforcer of power.