U.S. Air Force General John Hyten, Commander of U.S. Strategic Command and top nuclear commander, said that he’d push back if President Donald Trump ordered an “illegal” nuclear attack.
Speaking before an audience at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Saturday, Gen. Hyten was asked about a scenario where an unlawful strike would be ordered.
“I think some people think we’re stupid,” Hyten replied. “We’re not stupid people. We think about these things a lot. When you have this responsibility, how do you not think about it?”
As head of STRATCOM, Hyten oversees the U.S. nuclear arsenal and he responded to the hypothetical scenario by explaining how he sees it playing out.
“I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do. And if it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen? I’m going to say, ‘Mr. President, that’s illegal,'” he said. “And guess what he’s going to do? He’s going to say, ‘What would be legal?’ And we’ll come up with options, with a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is.”
The general added “it’s not that complicated,” though the media are only too happy to make it so, running with screaming headlines that say “top nuclear general REFUSES to obey illegal order from Trump!”
…as if the president is some raving madman looking to wipe out the world.
Trump did promise to unleash “” on North Korea should the rogue nation continue to threaten the U.S. and a clip was played of his remarks against a backdrop of the nuclear attack on Japan in World War Two — how’s that for setting the tone?
The operative word in the hypothetical is that an illegal order was given and the room was reminded that there are consequences to breaking the law.
“If you execute an unlawful order, you will go to jail,” Hyten stated. “You could go to jail for the rest of your life.”
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