regret to inform you that I intend to resign as your Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff. Thank you for the honor of appointing me as
senior ranking officer. The events of the last couple weeks have caused
me to do deep soul-searching, and I can no longer faithfully support and
execute your orders as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It is my
belief that you were doing great and irreparable harm to my country. I
believe that you have made a concerted effort over time to politicize
the United States military. I thought that I could change that. I’ve
come to the realization that I cannot, and I need to step aside and let
someone else try to do that.
Second, you are using the military to
create fear in the minds of the people—and we are trying to protect the
American people. I cannot stand idly by and participate in that attack,
verbally or otherwise, on the American people. The American people
trust their military and they trust us to protect them against all
enemies, foreign and domestic, and our military will do just that. We
will not turn our back on the American people.
Third, I swore an
oath to the Constitution of the United States and embodied within that
Constitution is the idea that says that all men and women are created
equal. All men and women are created equal, no matter who you are,
whether you are white or Black, Asian, Indian, no matter the color of
your skin, no matter if you’re gay, straight or something in between. It
doesn’t matter if you’re Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jew, or choose
not to believe. None of that matters. It doesn’t matter what country you
came from, what your last name is—what matters is we’re Americans.
We’re all Americans. That under these colors of red, white, and blue—the
colors that my parents fought for in World War II—means something
around the world. It’s obvious to me that you don’t think of those
colors the same way I do. It’s obvious to me that you don’t hold those
values dear and the cause that I serve.
And lastly it is my deeply
held belief that you’re ruining the international order, and causing
significant damage to our country overseas, that was fought for so hard
by the Greatest Generation that they instituted in 1945. Between 1914
and 1945, 150 million people were slaughtered in the conduct of war.
They were slaughtered because of tyrannies and dictatorships. That
generation, like every generation, has fought against that, has fought
against fascism, has fought against Nazism, has fought against
extremism. It’s now obvious to me that you don’t understand that world
order. You don’t understand what the war was all about. In fact, you
subscribe to many of the principles that we fought against. And I cannot
be a party to that. It is with deep regret that I hereby submit my
letter of resignation.