Washington (US): The United States’ most senior General Mark Milley and the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff, which is comprised of the heads of each military branch, issued a statement Tuesday condemning the riots that broke out in Capitol Hill last week saying that the right to freedom of speech and assembly does not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition, and insurrection.
According to US media, the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a letter addressed to the joint force, which is made up of about 1.3 million active-duty service members and more than 811,000 National Guardsmen and reservists — all of whom swore an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
“The violent riot in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, was a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building, and our Constitutional process.
We mourn the deaths of the two Capitol policemen and others connected to these unprecedented events. We witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that was inconsistent with the rule of law. The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition, and insurrection,” the letter read.
The letter written by the military leaders said that President-elect Joe Biden would be inaugurated on January 20 and become their commander in chief.
“As Service Members, we must embody the values and ideals of the Nation. We support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values, and oath: it is against the law.
On January 20, 2021, in accordance with the Constitution, confirmed by the states and the courts, and certified by Congress, President-elect Biden will be inaugurated and will become our 46th Commander in Chief,” the military chiefs wrote further.
Head of US forces in South Korea General Robert Abrams called the riots on Capitol Hill as an insurrection and wrote on Twitter, “We’ve been discussing this here in Korea since last Thursday. There is no ambiguity of what occurred at the Capitol–that was an attempted insurrection.”
He wrote further, “If you are serving in uniform and think it was something else, I would encourage you to sit down and read the constitution that you swore an oath to support and defend. No gray area there either. No room on our team if you are not willing to defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign AND domestic.”
On January 6, a group of Donald Trump’s loyalists stormed the US Capitol building, clashing with the police, damaging property, seizing the inauguration stage, and occupying the rotunda.
The unrest took place after Trump urged his supporters to protest what he claims is a stolen presidential election. The outgoing President has since been blocked on all major social networks at least until after he is out of office.
Five people — four protesters and a police officer — were killed in the riots. The last time the Capitol was stormed was when British troops marched into Washington and set fire to the building in 1814 — ANI