Montel Williams tore into Trump in a fiery Facebook post – using the exact same words that marked the beginning of the end of McCarthy and his infamous witch hunt.
Confronting Trump over his “careless” insult of the brave men and women of the armed services, Montel Williams invoked the powerful words of U.S. Army attorney Joseph Nye Welch to Senator Joseph McCarthy during the infamous Army-McCarthy hearings of 1954. Those words, in defense of a fellow attorney, are considered a turning point for McCarthy and his anti-communist scare.
“Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
Williams post was a response to a CNN report in which Trump was quoted as telling a group of senators gathered at the White House that the U.S. armed services are performing “very well” in Iraq.
Speaking at a Tuesday reception for U.S. senators and their spouses, Trump stated that he had just concluded a “long call” with Defense Secretary James Mattis.
“We just had a call — long call from General Mattis. And, John, I know, is very happy to hear that, but he knows better than anybody, we’re doing very well in Iraq. Our soldiers are fighting and fighting like never before, and the results are very, very good. So I just wanted to let everyone know.”
Williams, who served in both the Marines and the Navy, becoming the first African American enlisted Marine to complete and graduate both the Naval Academy Prep School and Annapolis, took offense, writing:
I heard the President’s remark that troops in Iraq are “fighting like never before” – yet another example of careless words from he whose words can move markets and move armies.
This President has put a relatively small number of troops on the ground in Iraq – in stating these troops are “fighting like never before” he necessarily implies that the troops previously in Iraq over the past decade plus somehow weren’t fighting hard, or worse that they were somehow derelict – so I would say:
“Mr. President, you signed up to be the Commander in Chief, HAVE YOU NO DECENCY SIR. Thousands of troops paid the ultimate price on Iraq while you were on the NY social circuit and hosting a reality TV show. Many more thousands came back badly wounded, more still came back with invisible injuries they may well bear for life. Their sacrifice, their blood, sweat and tears in battle, should not be denigrated by a television star, now President whose only military experience was dodging the draft.”
The CNN report also addressed the issue of civilian casualties, noting that Trump’s remarks “as US military officials acknowledged the US was likely behind an airstrike that killed scores of Iraqi civilians in Mosul on March 17. The incident has sparked fresh concern about civilian deaths as a result of the US-led air campaign against ISIS.”
Williams address that issue as well, writing:
On the issue of the civilians apparently killed in a coalition airstrike, while likely just imprecise words, I certainly hope the death of civilians doesn’t constitute “fighting like never before” in this President’s mind. It’s for the military to figure out what happened, but one thing I know for sure, for certain is none of the troops involved joined to kill civilians.
Civilian casualties are sometimes unavoidable but never acceptable. What makes America great is when we get it wrong, when we hurt people, we stand up, we take responsibility, we apologize.
Williams continued, reminding Trump of the “heavy price” of freedom.
“The freedom we all enjoy came at a heavy price. It’s a burden born[e] by those who have and have had the courage to wear the uniform, and whenever asked, our military has fought fiercely as the best trained fighting force the world has ever known,” he wrote.
He concluded, asking: “Was this the support for the military Donald Trump campaigned on?” A question sure to be on the mind of many – particularly the brave men and women in uniform.