Statement from General John Kelly, USMC (ret.)

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WASHINGTON D.C.: “You know, in the history of our Republic, 42 million men and women have worn our nation’s cloth, and of those over a million have paid the ultimate price all to defend our democracy from overseas threats.  They did it with happy hearts, but with a profound understanding of what the price could be.  They were willing to do it because our democracy, and our way of life is so unique…so precious.  Many endured horrible conditions, many suffered terrible seen and unseen wounds, many put their buddies in body bags and sent them home to grieving families.  We, who did all of that could have never imagined, until today, that the threat could come from within, encouraged in some cases by officials sworn to uphold that democracy.”

“I watched Wednesday’s actions on the Hill brokenhearted. Horrified. That’s not us. Are peaceful protests allowed? Yes, it is our right. Have there been criminal riots in our past over any number of issues? Yes, and we should condemn and hold the rioters accountable regardless of the issue at stake.”

“What happened Wednesday on Capitol Hill is different. This is an attack on our democracy, our way of life, and not just by the criminals who assaulted our Congress today.  The good news is our Constitution is strong, and our people are overwhelmingly devoted to the rule of law.  What we need to do going forward—what we have to do as a people—not as democrats, or republicans, or independents, but as Americans, is to ask ourselves how did we ever get to this place.  We need to look infinitely harder at who we elect to any office in our land.  At the office seeker’s character, at their morals, at their ethical record, their integrity, their honesty, their flaws, what they have said about women, and minorities, why they are seeking office in the first place, and only then consider the policies they espouse. Three men made comments Wednesday. Two of them very helpful and meaningful, and should be remembered.  Leader McConnell’s remarks on Wednesday afternoon just before the riots were I think words for the ages and not from a politician, but from a statesman.  President-elect Biden’s were presidential and right to the heart of what we have to do to heal ourselves. God Bless America.”


General John Kelly, USMC (ret.) is a retired U.S. Marine Corps general who served as the White House Chief of Staff for President Donald Trump from July 31, 2017, to January 2, 2019. He had previously served as Secretary of Homeland Security in the Trump administration. He is an honored friend of the American Security Project. 

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