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Opinion Trump needs to face facts on Kelly: Generals don't have supernatural powers

03:15  13 february  2018
03:15  13 february  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

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It may be that some presidents like Trump , who have never served in the military, confer supernatural powers on generals and admirals without giving much thought to the fact that excellence in one field may not transfer readily to another.

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Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

2 Afghan generals fired, to stand trial over academy assault

  2 Afghan generals fired, to stand trial over academy assault Two Afghan generals and five other army officers have been fired and charged with negligence in connection with last week's deadly assault on a military academy in which 11 soldiers were killed, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday. Ministry spokesman Daulat Waziri told The Associated Press that the seven officers will be tried in a military court. He did not offer further details.Afghanistan's Islamic State affiliate claimed the Jan. 29 attack in Kabul, which also wounded 16 soldiers. A suicide bomber struck the military unit guarding the academy, which set off a gunbattle.

According to the Washington Post, Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly instructed senior staff to say he took quote, “immediate and direct action” after finding out the allegations were credible. Turkey Faces an Intensifying Storm.

More: Trump needs to face facts on Kelly : Generals don ' t have supernatural powers . POLICING THE USA: A look at race, justice, media. So it is entirely in character that Trump , when asked about Porter, painted him as the victim, without mentioning the two

The news that retired Marine Corps General John Kelly had knowledge of the spousal abuse charges against Staff Secretary Rob Porter well before it was revealed in the media has raised new questions about the chief of staff chosen to restore order in a White House in disarray. This followed nasty comments Kelly made about Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson and people who had failed to apply for protection from deportation.

Amid speculation that Trump is considering replacing him, Kelly received support Sunday from both presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway and Jeh Johnson, who was Homeland Security secretary in the Obama administration. Yet history indicates that few senior military officers have proven successful as high-level aides to presidents. Sometimes their terms of service to the man in the Oval Office have been downright disastrous.

Trump, angry at Chief of Staff Kelly, muses about possible replacements

  Trump, angry at Chief of Staff Kelly, muses about possible replacements President Donald Trump, frustrated by his staff's handling of the abuse allegations against Rob Porter, is increasingly venting about Chief of Staff John Kelly, sources say.One senior administration official and three other people briefed on those conversations told NBC News Trump is angry at Kelly's initial statement of effusive support about Porter's character — and then the quick walkback the next day. After allegations of physical and verbal abuse were made public by two of Porter's ex-wives in The Daily Mail, Kelly said in a statement: "Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor and I can't say enough good things about him.

The Face Facts team is a multidisciplinary group that combines Psychology with Biology Computer Science and Anthropology Bad. generals -dont- have - supernatural - powers -ross-baker-column/327695002/.

Trump needs to face facts on Kelly : Generals don ' t have supernatural powers . See more at USATODAY.COM.

More: Rob Porter scandal tarnishes John Kelly's brass

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Donald Trump is no exception among presidents in his belief that people of high military rank are possessed of almost superhuman qualities. Combat veterans in particular are evidently thought to be people of such surpassing fortitude that they can dominate mere civilians, few of whom have ever seen a battlefield. Yet they often find themselves out of their element in an environment in which rank is no protection against the guileful or ambitious personalities that vie for power in the White House. Nor are they immune to the blandishments of those who seek access to the chief executive.

a person wearing a suit and tie: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and President Trump in the Oval Office, Feb. 9, 2018, Washington. © Pool photo by Olivier Douliery White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and President Trump in the Oval Office, Feb. 9, 2018, Washington.

Gen. Alexander Haig, a highly-decorated combat veteran who had served as chief of staff to President Nixon, is perhaps best remembered for for some ill-informed and maladroit statements to the media after the assassination attempt on the life of President Ronald Reagan in March 1981. Serving then as secretary of State and seeking to establish an atmosphere of calm, Haig announced, “As of now, I am in control here, in the White House” — a statement that sounded like the pronouncement of the leader of a coup d’etat,

Kelly indicated to Trump he was willing to resign: report

  Kelly indicated to Trump he was willing to resign: report Chief of staff John Kelly has reportedly indicated to President Trump that he is willing to resign amid the controversy surrounding his handling of the domestic abuse allegations against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter.Individuals close to Kelly and the president told ABC News that the chief of staff has "made it clear" over the past 24 hours that he would be willing to step down.The White House, however, said in statement provided to CNN that Kelly has not offered to step down."He has not offered to resign," spokesman Hogan Gidley said.ABC's report came hours after reports that Trump was considering options for replacing Kelly.

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Haig also displayed his constitutional ignorance in his statement to the media that, “Constitutionally, gentlemen, you have the President, the Vice President, and Secretary of State in that order.” He neglected to mention that the House speaker and the president pro tempore of the Senate were ahead of him in the order of succession.

While Haig may have been maladroit and ill-informed, aside from those gaffes, he did nothing illegal. That was not the case with Major General Harry H. Vaughan, a World War I combat veteran and old army buddy of President Harry Truman who was reprimanded for accepting bribes of home freezers for himself and friends in exchange for access to certain high government officials.

Likewise, Adm. John Poindexter was convicted on five counts of lying to Congress and obstructing the congressional committee probing the illegal delivery of weapons to Nicaraguan insurgents that came to known as the Iran-Contra affair. The conviction was, however, subsequently reversed. More recently, Lt. Gen. David Petraeus was forced to step down as director of the Central Intelligence Agency for passing classified information to his biographer with whom he was having an affair.

Priebus: Trump didn't complain to me about Kelly

  Priebus: Trump didn't complain to me about Kelly The former White House chief of staff denied a report this week that claimed President Trump phoned him to complain about his replacement.In an interview with Hugh Hewitt broadcast on Saturday, Priebus said the conversation, in which Trump reportedly complained to Priebus about Kelly's handling of domestic abuse allegations against a White House aide, never happened.

Silly generals . Don ’ t they know that Trump ’s billion military budget increase — which all by itself equals 80% of Russia’s total military budget — is all the diplomacy Uncle Sam’s going to need in his blustery new world of nuclear domination? In fact , don ’ t they know that their never-serving

General Kelly has been a star, done an incredible job thus far, respected by everybody. Trump set Priebus up for failure from the start. The president allowed several rival power centers to exist in But he had the benefit of a president who realized that’s what he needed . Kelly , however, faces a West

More: President Trump's first year made me rethink my American government class

POLICING THE USA: A look at race, justice, media

Not all general officers who served as high-level presidential aides got into trouble. Gen. Wilton B. Persons served as a top military adviser to President Eisenhower. Perhaps because Eisenhower was a military man himself, he was less in awe of generals and picked a man who was praised, in the words of one Democratic senator as “a man of the highest integrity and capability.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s military adviser, Edwin P. Watson, was nicknamed “Pa” because of his kindliness. He helped FDR navigate the maze of the military bureaucracy. And one of our greatest secretaries of State, George C. Marshall, was an army general.

But Trump seems especially star-struck. His choice of Gen. Michael Flynn was especially imprudent since both President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had warned that Flynn was a risky choice as national security adviser. Christie was thrown off the transition team for his trouble but was proven correct when Flynn was indicted.

It may be that some presidents like Trump, who have never served in the military, confer supernatural powers on generals and admirals without giving much thought to the fact that excellence in one field may not transfer readily to another. Why would a general, for example, assume that a career in commercial real estate would qualify a person to lead a rifle squad to say nothing of a division, an army corps or — in the case of Trump himself — an entire military?

Ross K. Baker is a distinguished professor of political science at Rutgers University and a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors. Follow him on Twitter: @Rosbake1

You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @USATOpinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to [email protected]

Pence: White House could have better handled Porter situation .
Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday said the White House could have done a better job handling the Rob Porter domestic-abuse allegations. Pence said that the Trump administration has "no tolerance for domestic violence," but added that "the White House could have handled this better."The vice president's remarks come as the saga surrounding Porter shows no signs of ending, and after House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) announced his panel would begin an investigation.

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