“As retired military professionals, we condemn Donald Trump in the strongest terms,” said 55 top retired American military leaders, in a just released open letter to the Wall Street Journal denouncing Republican candidate Donald Trump, “We call for all those who have endorsed him to renounce their support, and remind them: history is watching.” The prestigious group of officers includes the first woman to earn a third-star rank of General, who herself was sexually assaulted while in the military, not once, but twice according to an interview:
Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy said in an interview that she had personal reasons for signing. She was the first woman to attain the three-star rank in the Army. Gen. Kennedy retired in 2000 after 32 years in the Army.
She said she first was assaulted when she was a young lieutenant and again as a field grade officer. As a two-star general in the late 1990s, Gen. Kennedy recalled a business meeting in her office with an officer who was junior in rank to her. When the meeting concluded, he pulled her forcibly toward him and groped her. “The biggest thing we can do is get it out in the open and out of the shadows, she said, “nobody is keeping any secrets here.”
“The American people deserve better than a misogynist-in-chief,” said the distinguished list of signatories from all four branches of the military, “Donald Trump’s behavior is antithetical to American values.”
If Donald Trump is not repudiated, no amount of training and policy review will bring the changes needed in behavior,” said the military officers in their open letter, “During the Commander-in-Chief Forum, Trump appeared to be very confused about the significance of this issue. He suggested that sexual assault should be expected in the military “when they put men and women together.” WSJ described the signers thusly:
The signatories include three retired four-star generals, nine three-star officers, and one- and two-star officers, along with some more junior officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Army National Guard. Those signing the letter include many retired senior officers who are well-known within military circles. The letter was signed by Marine leaders, such as Lt. Gen. Walter Gaskin,Lt. Gen. John Castellaw and Lt. Gen. Willie Williams, all retired, as well as Army Lt. Gen.Mark Hertling and Army Lt. Gen. Donald Kerrick. Signers also include Air Force Lt. Gen. Arlen Jameson and Vice Adm. Donald Arthur.
Republican nominee Donald Trump has spent the entire election degrading America’s military, spitefully using or rejecting women as he sees fit, and concocting his own fantasy world filled false allegations and bogus statements about women’s role in the military. In the wake of revelations that Trump is a serial sexual predator, these military leaders chose wisely to put country above partisan politics and point out for the benefit of their fellow men and women in the armed services, or retired from service, that one of the candidates is completely unfit for duty.
For that, we salute these brave men and women for using the Constitutional right to free speech they fought to defend, to defend our nation from wrongdoers in the political arena.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition