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Emperor Trump’s Scariest Pronouncement To-Date

Donald Trump has built his so-far successful campaign on a series of bizarre and often anti-conservative pronouncements that appeal to the white-hot anger of America’s forgotten country class voters. But Trump’s pronouncement last night that he would expect America’s military to follow illegal orders if he gave them is something that should scare the daylights out of every American and prompt conservatives to unite in opposition to the election of Emperor Trump.

And this was not some throwaway line in a speech that Trump could later disavow, but a firm belief on his part that by force of his will he could cause America’s military to follow an illegal order if he gave it.

Here’s the transcript:

BAIER: Mr. Trump, just yesterday, almost 100 foreign policy experts signed on to an open letter refusing to support you, saying your embracing expansive use of torture is inexcusable. General Michael Hayden, former CIA director, NSA director, and other experts have said that when you asked the U.S. military to carry out some of your campaign promises, specifically targeting terrorists' families, and also the use of interrogation methods more extreme than waterboarding, the military will refuse because they've been trained to turn down and refuse illegal orders.

So what would you do, as commander-in-chief, if the U.S. military refused to carry out those orders?

TRUMP: They won't refuse. They're not going to refuse me. Believe me.

BAIER: But they're illegal.

And later...

TRUMP: And -- and -- and -- I'm a leader. I'm a leader. I've always been a leader. I've never had any problem leading people. If I say do it, they're going to do it. That's what leadership is all about.

Of course this answer given in the context of the war against ISIS drew some applause, but those who applauded because they see in Trump a strong leader ought to think through where this would end.

As we here at CHQ have pointed out, even federal civilian workers are under no obligation to carry out an illegal order, and if they don’t they accrue personal criminal or civil liability. (See Federal Employees Are Under No Obligation To Carry Out An Illegal Order)

Would Emperor Trump order America’s military to violate the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act against operating as a domestic police force (if it wasn’t already repealed in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act)?

What would he do to enforce his strongly implied threat that “If I say do it, they're going to do it”?

And most importantly, where would such a policy end?

It is one thing to garner applause in a speech by saying you will carry out illegal acts against an unpopular enemy, but history shows that in the hands of a “leader” unconstrained by the law yesterday’s friends become tomorrow’s enemies and the power to torture or use military force without limit quickly devolves into tyranny.

This is something far different and sinister than Trump’s bombastic statements that he will force Mexico to pay for a border wall, will force Apple and other manufacturers to repatriate jobs or force doctors, hospitals and drug companies to cut their prices; this is an attack on the very foundation of constitutional liberty and the oath that American military personnel take to support and defend the Constitution.

Donald Trump’s statement that he would expect America’s professional military to carry out illegal orders, and his threat that, “They're not going to refuse me. Believe me,” is by far the most anti-conservative thing Trump has said to-date.

The idea of Emperor Trump at the helm of a military unconstrained by the rule of law is the scariest thing Trump has said to-date because, unlike much of his other bombast, this time it looks like he really believes it.

We urge former American military personnel of any rank, especially conservatives, to contradict in the strongest terms Trump’s statement that he would expect the American military to follow illegal orders if he gave them. Conservatives must be united in rejecting the idea of a military that will follow illegal orders, and most importantly, conservatives must be united in rejecting a candidate for president, like Donald Trump, who says he plans to give them and expects them to be followed.  

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Illegal Orders

I fear there are "political officers" who are more concerned with advancing their career than worrying about problematic orders would go along with Trump. The vast majority of officers and NCOs I know would not obey illegal orders.

If America as we knew it is to survive we must return to being a country of laws, not the lawless country we are now. Historically the military as a whole was a moral, law abiding organization. Yes there have been lapses.

Trump's proclamation that "they would obey" is a hint about his attitude about laws he doesn't like.....just ignore them.

Semper Fi !

The Old Corps

ILLEGAL orders

I support Trump BUT never, NEVER FOLLOW OR OBAY AN ILLEGAL ORDER ... under any circumstances. KOREAN vet

unlawful orders

i am a retired M/SGT/USARMY. under no circumstances would I obey an unlawful order. We hung several GERMAN officer's for that. Also that would be against ALL my upbringing and faith.

Unlawful Orders

I would expect statements like that from a man with no experience with the military. Trump would be Barrack Obama if he had been elected in 2008. He had the same policies then and has the exact "my way or the highway" leadership style as Obama.

Emperor Trump's illegal orders

If this buffoon thinks professional officers will follow his illegal orders he obviously hasn't heard the results of the Nuremberg Trials. We have had one egotist in the White House already and we don't need another.