It turns my stomach these days to see what three of our very highest performing military leaders have done to themselves, their careers, their places in history, and the sense of pride in the memory of good leadership that military veterans like me, depend on to maintain our pride in our own “legacies”.
Mattis, McMaster and Kelly were not shallow immature “brown-nosers”, before they made the horrible mistake of pledging everlasting fealty to a pathological narcissist and sociopath. I suspect that pledge was not the one each one thought he was making, but it sure as heck was exactly what was meant by the recipient of the pledges.
The only excuse I can provide them, at this point, is that because all of them had been used to depending on people with demonstrably high characters throughout their lengthy military careers, they all had not yet encountered a leader so corrupt that not one word from him could be trusted, and every relationship was meant from the start to provide much more utility, than longevity.
They might have endured such people on odd occasions, but always temporarily enough and at such a distance that their actions didn’t have to be impacted by, or dependent on, such people.
I’m pretty sure nobody they previously served had ever taken their good names and hung them out to dry as “blame bait” in such a cynically callous fashion. People like that get “selected out” during the flag officer promotion process. (The higher-ups in all services do have a say in who will become their working peers, you see.)
So, I can forgive them, 9 months back, for not appreciating what so many of us could already tell about Trump, that has all been constantly proven true this year. I regret that they so foolishly have thrown away their own legacies in this manner, for such a venal man.
Look up this already legendary piece of history, and then find out what “Captain H. R. McMaster’s E Troop” did to earn him the moniker of “Hero of 73 Easting”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_73_Easting
It’s 9 months later though, and by now I would expect their integrity to be at their furthest limit of endurance. If they still are the men I want to recall, they should soon be doing something about their futures.