‘Uphold apolitical standards’: US army's rare message amid threats of violence
The United States army has sent out a rare message to its community amid threats of violence in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. In a letter addressed to soldiers, civilian employees and their family members, the US army called on them to uphold their values during this critical period. The army said that the violent riot at the Capitol was an attack on the Congress and the Constitutional democracy, reminding all soldiers and civilians to “uphold the army's apolitical standards.”
“Democratic elections are a constitutional right, and the military has no role in determining their outcome. The Nation expects all member of the United States Army to follow the law and do the right things the right way, whether we are in or out of uniform,” the letter read.
The message was sent out on Wednesday just before the House was scheduled to convene to vote on an article of impeachment, an attempt to oust President Donald Trump. The army stressed that American soldiers and civilians have committed themselves to safeguard democratic ideal while adhering to civilian authority by swearing an oath to support and defend the Constitution.
“To maintain the sacred trust of the American people, it is important that all those who represent the Army, in any capacity, remain models of professionalism, character, and integrity,” the army further stated.
The letter was signed by Army Chief of Staff General James McConville, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, and Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston. The unusual reminder followed a rare memo by all members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in which they said the deadly insurrection at the Capitol was anti-democratic and a criminal act, emphasising that the right to free speech gives no one the right to commit violence.
Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has reportedly warned of armed protests being planned at all 50 state capitals and in Washington DC in the run-up to the inauguration. The federal agency has received information on a group calling for others to join them is storming state, local and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings in case Trump is removed as President before the inauguration day.
“Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitals from January 16 through at least January 20, and at the US Capitol from January 17 through January 20," according to the internal FBI bulletin obtained by several US media outlets.