Mattis called the decision to clear protesters in Lafayette Square an “abuse of executive authority” and said that Americans should “reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”
Mattis also urged the public to reject Esper’s characterization of American cities as a “‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate,’” referring to the defense secretary’s comments comments to governors on Monday. (Esper said on Wednesday that in retrospect he would have used different language “so as not to distract from the more important matters at hand or allow some to suggest that we are militarizing the issue.”)
Mattis noted that when he joined the military, he took an oath to support the U.S. Constitution, and “never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens.”
A reminder that General Mattis was in the Marine Corps for 44 years and commanded forces in the Persian Gulf War, the Afghanistan War and the Iraq War.
In the Persian Gulf War he commanded the 7th Marines assault battalion as a Lt Colonel. In Afghanistan he again commanded the 7th Marines as a Colonel and then the 1st Marines brigade as a Brigadier General. He was often found in a fighting hole with enlisted men in freezing weather.
In Iraq he commanded the 1st Marines as a Major General.
He has commanded US Joint Force Command, NATO and US Central Command as well as serving as Secretary of Defence.
It must take a lot for him to publicly criticise his sucessor.