What General Hyten really said

Considerable uproar was generated this past weekend by legacy media reports that the commander of U.S. strategic forces would "resist 'illegal' nuke order from Trump," as CBS, in a headline echoed by most media sources, put it. 

In fact, nothing of the sort occurred.  The story, like many that have appeared since November 8, 2016, is an almost complete fabrication, intended to embarrass President Trump and cause turmoil within the federal government and among Trump's own supporters.

What actually happened is this: USAF general John E. Hyten, the chief of Strategic Command (StratCom), which is the trans-service military command that controls nuclear weapons, was asked a hypothetical question about what his reaction would be if he were given an "illegal" order to carry out a nuclear strike.  Gen. Hyten answered hypothetically, not mentioning President Trump or any current international situation (e.g., North Korea) or implying that he would disobey orders.  At no point did the general give any indication that he was going from the theoretical to the particular.

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.' 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, and that's the way it works. It's not that complicated.

The legacy media, speaking effectively as one voice, immediately portrayed this as being a direct rebuke to the president.  There is no sign that Hyten's remarks were intended as anything of the kind.  The media simply put words in his mouth.

Of course, it's possible that the question was deliberately asked to put the cat among the pigeons.  Hyten's impatient, if not disdainful, response suggests that he, at least, may have suspected as much: "I think some people think we're stupid.  We're not stupid people.  We think about these things a lot.  When you have this responsibility, how do you not think about it?"

So – all calls for Hyten's firing, jailing, or beheading should simply cease.  Hyten is a patriot and a warrior with a proud record, having served in both the Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom campaigns.  Let's turn the fire where it belongs: on the media. 

The fact that this comment appeared this weekend is no coincidence, comrades.  At the same time, the news was infested by comments from boob ex-jock LaVar Ball, who claimed that the president had nothing to do with his son's release from shoplifting charges by the Chinese, alongside twisted interpretations of State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert's discussion of departmental morale to make it seem as if the organization were in a state of collapse under Rex Tillerson.

The aim of these reports is transparent: to undercut President Trump and his administration in order to create dismay among his supporters and to destroy his support across the country.

To take them seriously, to respond to them as the media and the left would like, is to collaborate.  Rule of thumb is, simply put: anything – anything at all – coming from the legacy media must be examined under the presumption of dishonesty.  Don't respond until after you've checked it out, not only down to the ground, but to the basement and subbasements as well.  To do anything less is to be a patsy for the left. 

Considerable uproar was generated this past weekend by legacy media reports that the commander of U.S. strategic forces would "resist 'illegal' nuke order from Trump," as CBS, in a headline echoed by most media sources, put it. 

In fact, nothing of the sort occurred.  The story, like many that have appeared since November 8, 2016, is an almost complete fabrication, intended to embarrass President Trump and cause turmoil within the federal government and among Trump's own supporters.

What actually happened is this: USAF general John E. Hyten, the chief of Strategic Command (StratCom), which is the trans-service military command that controls nuclear weapons, was asked a hypothetical question about what his reaction would be if he were given an "illegal" order to carry out a nuclear strike.  Gen. Hyten answered hypothetically, not mentioning President Trump or any current international situation (e.g., North Korea) or implying that he would disobey orders.  At no point did the general give any indication that he was going from the theoretical to the particular.

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.' 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, and that's the way it works. It's not that complicated.

The legacy media, speaking effectively as one voice, immediately portrayed this as being a direct rebuke to the president.  There is no sign that Hyten's remarks were intended as anything of the kind.  The media simply put words in his mouth.

Of course, it's possible that the question was deliberately asked to put the cat among the pigeons.  Hyten's impatient, if not disdainful, response suggests that he, at least, may have suspected as much: "I think some people think we're stupid.  We're not stupid people.  We think about these things a lot.  When you have this responsibility, how do you not think about it?"

So – all calls for Hyten's firing, jailing, or beheading should simply cease.  Hyten is a patriot and a warrior with a proud record, having served in both the Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom campaigns.  Let's turn the fire where it belongs: on the media. 

The fact that this comment appeared this weekend is no coincidence, comrades.  At the same time, the news was infested by comments from boob ex-jock LaVar Ball, who claimed that the president had nothing to do with his son's release from shoplifting charges by the Chinese, alongside twisted interpretations of State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert's discussion of departmental morale to make it seem as if the organization were in a state of collapse under Rex Tillerson.

The aim of these reports is transparent: to undercut President Trump and his administration in order to create dismay among his supporters and to destroy his support across the country.

To take them seriously, to respond to them as the media and the left would like, is to collaborate.  Rule of thumb is, simply put: anything – anything at all – coming from the legacy media must be examined under the presumption of dishonesty.  Don't respond until after you've checked it out, not only down to the ground, but to the basement and subbasements as well.  To do anything less is to be a patsy for the left.