In rare joint message, top US military leaders condemn Capitol riot
WASHINGTON DC: The US military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, the uniformed leaders of the military branches, on Tuesday put out a rare message to service members saying the violent riots last week were an assault on America's constitutional process and against the law.
The joint message broke nearly a week of silence by the military leaders after the assault on the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump sent lawmakers into hiding and left five people dead.
While a number of Trump's cabinet members including acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller condemned the storming, the top US general, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, was silent until now. "The violent riot in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021 was a direct assault on the US Congress, the Capitol building, and our Constitutional process," the seven generals and one admiral said in an internal memo to troops, adding that the military remained committed to protecting and defending the Constitution.
"The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection," the memo, seen by Reuters, said. The military leaders said that President-elect Joe Biden would be inaugurated on Jan. 20 and become their commander in chief. "Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values, and oath; it is against the law."