Just finished the wonderful #ChallengerTheFinalFlight documentary. Thank you to the creators, families, colleagues and journalists in it. (👋 @SangerNYT) I was a 10-yr old space geek when I saw the contrails over the horizon. Went to Space Camp next year. It honors their memory.
The 2016 NYT obit for Ebeling is as heartbreaking as the documentary's recollections of the Thiokol engineers who tried to stop the launch and those who agreed to go along with it. These men have carried unimaginable anguish for 30 years. nytimes.com/2016/03/26/sci…
After watching, I was surprised the documentary did not discuss the cause-of-death investigation into whether they survived the explosion. The not-knowing was a big part of the story. NBC's Jay Barbree report from 1997 is hard to read: nbcnews.com/id/3078062/ns/…
"I don't think there's a rupture in civilian-military relationships," says Joe Votel, retired CENTCOM commander, at @NewAmerica Future of War online panel. Current polarity have brought some underlying divisions to the forefront.
Asked about speaking out on public issues, retired Gen. Votel tells @peterbergencnn, "I thought I could play a role informing and educating" but others have to make their own calls about speaking out.
Flournoy, on defense//military leaders speaking out in politics: "I think it's a very, very individual choice. My view: we need to keep the military apolitical" but need climate that internal dissent is heard, valued. "When you close that off" it leaks into the public domain.
Look, it's a gaff and nice catch. BUT... not everyone is an expert in military jet silhouettes, or symbols, uniforms, etc. Even @DefenseOne's in-house design teams sometimes pick photos that look cool but we tell them are the wrong service unis, theaters, weaps, etc.
Y'all know my first mil-reporting job was working for the @USArmy at @starsandstripes. I was told told early and often not to mix up things like F-35A vs F-35B, or I'd never hear the end of it from #milgeeks in my inbox. They're right. Keeps us on our toes, tho!
JUST IN: Trump slams Mattis: “He had no concept how to win.” On Fox, “Mattis was not a good leader.”... Kilmeade interrupts to say Mattis is a great American. “I don’t say he’s a good American or bad American I just didn’t think he didn’t do a good job” claims “I let him go.”
Trump said he had a chance to kill Syria’s Badger al-Assad but Mattis didn’t want to “take him out” ... that’s when he unloaded on Mattis.
Trump threatens Iran, reports they wanted to assassinate the US ambassador to South Africa: “If they do anything to anybody they’ll be hit 1000 times harder than they hit us.”
If the military is called on “to ensure a peaceful and orderly exit from the White House, my gut tells me that’s perfectly legal and appropriate,” NDU’s Greg Foster says on SiriusXM, but “I’m not sure where we should draw the bounds.” On this topic: defenseone.com/ideas/2020/07/…
“Do you agree there may be an appropriate but potentially not legal role for the military to play?” - @nayyeroar asks, per Nagl-Yingling open letter.
“I definitely agree,” Foster says.
“This will be a field day for lawyers and members of the jJudiciary,” he says, if Trump refuses to leave office, and it’s hard to see how it would play out. “It will be a living experiment,” if it happens.
"Mattis quietly went to Washington National Cathedral to pray about his concern for the nation’s fate under Trump’s command and, according to Woodward, told Coats, “There may come a time when we have to take collective action” since Trump is “dangerous. He’s unfit.” - WaPo
"Mattis told Coats, “The president has no moral compass,” to which the director of national intelligence replied, “True. To him, a lie is not a lie. It’s just what he thinks. He doesn’t know the difference between the truth and a lie.”"
"Any type of extremism, any type of racism, any type of people that aren't willing to treat their fellow soldiers with dignity and respect and not willing to take care of each other cannot serve in our Army.” - McConville said /2
McConville answered questions about Americans' views of the military after this summer's unrest. “The job of the American military is to protect the nation, not to police the nation." /3
"It's a hoax," Trump slams Atlantic piece about him disparaging troops and war dead. Says it's a continuation of the Russia hoax and they have "witnesses." "Nobody called me." (Goldberg said the WH didn't respond to emails and calls.)
Nobody from the WH has refuted any details.
Trump then slams John Kelly, says he forced Kelly out of the White House because he was "petered out."... "he got eaten alive... he was unable to handle the pressure of this job."
Kelly is a combat veteran Marine Corps 4-star general.
Trump says didn't go to American cemetery outside Paris cause of weather, only (as was reported)
Trump, asked about Russia's latest poisoning, says the US should look at it "if it's the case," then rambles that he gets along with North Korea.
Today the @NATO Secretary General @jensstoltenberg emerged from a meeting of members confirming it happened and what to do about it.
"I don't know exactly what happened... we haven't had any proof yet, but we'll take a look. ...it's interesting that people keep mentioning Russia...." says reporters should mention China more. "You never ask about China." Here's @jensstoltenberg today:
I see lots of questions, so I'll just add that every administration has tried to or threatened to fuck with Stripes, cut its budget. The political press secretaries can't stand they can't control it's content and turn it into a pro-White House rag.
Trump has taken over VOA, Radio Free Europe, etc... planting loyalists, firing critical journalists. He can't do that with Stripes so he's just... zeroing out the budget. Congress didn't act, didn't take Trump/Esper's attacks on Stripes seriously, just shook their fists.
Part 2: Biden’s China Policy Starts With Building a Stronger America // "It’s not about bashing China, it’s about strengthening us to compete more effectively with China" defenseone.com/policy/2020/06…
Part 3: How Biden Would Wage Great Power Competition // “We have become over-dependent on the military to advance our security interests overseas — and underinvested in other tools including diplomacy, economic power, education, and science & technology.” defenseone.com/technology/202…
NEW: "The debate is itself symptomatic of a deeper problem in the political discourse...Despite what critics say, there is a logical and arguably appropriate (if not legal) role for the military in mitigating the disaster of a contested presidential election."
This commentary challenges the furor against the "open letter" to Gen. Milley penned by John Nagl & Paul Yingling last week. @crosbie_soc IDs "two competing visions of the military in the public sphere today." One is the orthodox; but the other is perhaps more honest. /2
"The second perspective — that the military simply is not above or outside of the nation’s politics — demands that we call military silence and inaction by its name," he writes. /3
What a lazy, dishonest statement. Linking COVID safety concerns to football's head injury issue? Decades of coverups, minimizing and changing attitudes? My uncle died of a HS football head injury. My family still supports safe football. The only COST to care about are human lives
I've been watching college football's moves this summer with hope but trepidation. If politicians don't feel safe to gather for their own conventions, they shouldn't expect children, students, staff, fans -- by the 1000s -- to travel, gather, and cheer for sporting events.
If some schools elect to play, I hope they do so in the safest way possible. I'll watch. If they vote to cancel, I will be sad to miss @FSUFootball but glad and proud to help get us all out of this pandemic lockdown all the more sooner and look forward to next season.
America, we are in dire straits. Our history, or societal norms, our social fabric is ripping apart and /1
I have just witnessed perhaps the most egregious example of how we are destroying ourselves from the inside. /2
On August 1, I walked into my local supermarket, masked, distanced, yearning for normalcy this summer and instead was confronted by paternalistic forces trying to erase our traditions, rewrite our shared beliefs and cancel summer. What I saw... /3
Pompeo's is the 4th #China speech in recent weeks by Trump administration officials -- O'Brien, Wray, Barr -- outlining "threats" and policy intentions to address them.
Defense One Radio's latest episode addresses this push by Trump (and Biden) to be more #toughonchina than the other guy, and make China into Public Enemy No. 1... or something just short of it defenseone.com/ideas/2020/07/…