What in heaven’s name was Gen. Mark A. Milley ’80 doing dressed in battle fatigues crossing Lafayette Park in the wake of a violent assault by National Guard forces against a crowd of nonviolent protesters? Maybe he didn’t know that it was just a photo op for President Donald Trump. Maybe he was not informed in advance that Attorney General William Barr had given the order to use force to clear the park. But why then the battle dress?

The question asked of Milley by former Marine Corps veteran and Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego is the right one: “Do you intend to obey illegal orders by the president?” The evidence to date is disturbing. Should President Trump refuse to accept defeat in the November election, as is probable, what will Milley do then if ordered to put down protest with military force? The right answer is for him to resign his commission immediately and defend American democracy.

Editor’s note: The letter writer was Arizona’s secretary of state from 1991 to 1995.

Richard D. Mahoney ’73
Raleigh, N.C.