Did ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis actually mean what he said? Two critics speak out

by WorldTribune Staff, June 7, 2020

President Donald Trump on June 4 tweeted a letter from his former attorney to former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis who publicly and sharply criticized the president’s response to ongoing protests and riots. The letter appeared to galvanize a host of “never-Trumpers” including George W Bush, Mitt Romney and Colin Powell.

The letter from John Dowd suggests Mattis let “hack politicians” abuse his reputation.

John Dowd, upper right, said in a letter to Jim Mattis: ‘You lost me. Never dreamed you would let a bunch of hack politicians use your good name and reputation-earned with the blood and guts of young Marines.’

“I slept on your statement and woke up appalled and upset,” Dowd wrote. “You lost me. Never dreamed you would let a bunch of hack politicians use your good name and reputation-earned with the blood and guts of young Marines. You did what you said you [wouldn’t] — engage in this discourse. Marines keep their word.”

Dowd, a retired Marine Judge Advocate who Trump called “a Super Star lawyer,” served as the president’s lead counsel in the Russia investigation before resigning in March 2018.

In a statement to The Atlantic last week, the legendary Mattis who does not care for his nickname “Mad Dog” said: “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us … We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”

Mattis also slammed Trump’s visit to the historic St. John’s Church, which rioters had burned.

“When I joined the military, some 50 years ago,” Mattis said, “I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens — much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”

Dowd rejected that narrative, telling Mattis that the protesters who were cleared from the area around the church were “abusing and disrespecting the police … Marines support the police in harm’s way.”

In his letter to Mattis, Dowd also said Trump was right to challenge governors over what he said was their weak response to the rioting which devastated several U.S. cities.

“No one divided the country more than [former President] Obama,” Dowd writes. “He abandoned our black brothers and sisters. He gave guns to the cartels,” he added, apparently referring to the “Fast and Furious” scandal. “He apologized for our precious sacrifice and generosity overseas. You remember, he fired you.

“President Trump has done more to help our minority brothers and sisters in three years than anyone in the last fifty,” Dowd went on to say. “Ask the black pastors. Ask the leaders of the black colleges and universities. He got them funded. Ask them about prison reform which ended the draconian sentences imposed on young black men by the laws enacted by [Joe] Biden and his hacks[.] You need to bone up on your homework and stop listening to Uncle Leon,” he added in an apparent reference to former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

“I understand,” Dowd continued, “you had to stick to the assigned narrative which did not include three years of corrupt investigations and evidence to destroy this President his office, and his lawful free election. Nancy [Pelosi] has no tolerance for dissent in the ranks- [sic] including those with stars.”

Columnist and Fox News contributor Deroy Murdock said that the statement by Mattis missed the mark by a wide margin on several fronts.

“He begins by saying very nice things about the protesters, that they want equal justice under the law, we all want that,” Murdock began. “Then he has this amazing sentence, ‘We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers.’

“What? Are you kidding me? We are not just talking about a couple of people [who] broke away from peaceful protests, put a little bit of shaving cream on the windshield of a police car, something like that. We’re talking about massive looting, attacks on everything from Target to Macy’s to Rolex.”

Murdock said Trump is the first president in his lifetime who tries to unite the American people.

“Mattis, as a member of the Cabinet, was at the State Of The Union — he was sitting in the front row — when Donald J. Trump said this [in] 2018: ‘I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, what kind of nation we are going to be. All of us together as one team, one people and one American family,’ ” Murdock said. “That seems like an effort to try to unify us.

“Then you look at the policies he supported. For example, supporting historically black colleges and universities, providing federal funding, finding corporate sponsors to help with their apprenticeship programs,” Murdock said. “I think the huge thing he’s done is to try to unify the country.”

Murdock continued: “Criminal justice reform. This is something Black Lives Matter has screamed for, for years. Obama and Biden didn’t deliver that, guess who did? Donald J. Trump. That seems like quite the effort to try and unify the country.”

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