I originally posted this as a comment to the diary Dick “@$#^&%” Cheney is Saving Us from a Martial Law Coup D'état??? Now I've Seen Everything and decided it could use a diary and discussion of its own.

David Frum asks what should be an obvious question: Why did all living former Secretaries of Defense sign on to an op-ed reminding the military not to get involved in the election?

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After, CJCS Milley had already stated the military is staying out of this: Gen. Mark Milley says military will not have a hand in election process

But just after the election, Trump fired SecDef Mark Esper (who has signed the op-ed) and replaced him with a toady, Christopher Miller. Everyone has been wondering why ever since: was this just a chance to get rid of a secretary who has been increasingly willing to contradict Trump with the facts, or was there something more sinister going on?

I suggest that there is a sinister attempt going on to involve the military, and that serving officers, possibly even Milley himself, have become so alarmed about it that they alerted their former bosses to ask them to speak out.

This would serve two purposes:

  • It lets Trump and his co-conspirators know that the military is on to them, in a way that doesn’t unduly alarm the general public.
  • It gives the military cover to refuse any orders to use them to overturn the election.

Alyosha Karamazov’s great diary is partly about this, but also about why Dick Cheney, of all creatures, started this. (I think it may be because he doesn’t want to live under a Trump incompetent dictatorship.) I’m posting this diary to focus on the question of why the op-ed was necessary.