Tea Party leader, retired Army general and former Fox News contributor Paul Vallely in a recently published video told a Tea Party group that, if given the troops, he would lead a coup against the U.S. government.
Vallely has called made his comments in a discussion with an Arizona-based Tea Party group last December, a recording of which the website Right Wing Watch recently acquired. “I had a call this afternoon from Idaho, the gentleman said, ‘If I give you 250,000 Marines to go to Washington, will you lead them?’” Vallely, who was Fox News’ senior military analyst during the Iraq War, told the group. “I said, ‘Yes, I will, I’ll surround the White House and I’ll surround the Capitol building, but it’s going to take physical presence to do things.”
Vallely suggested that a new George Washington be discovered amid the ranks of retired military personnel to take a stand against the “tyranny of a corrupt government.” Only they, in Vallely’s view, have the right education, background, and experience to combat current politicians who only have “legislation experience, not leadership experience.” He also suggested that action against the current government was necessary as not even the upcoming midterm congressional elections will be able to solve the problems posed as a result of President Obama’s presence in the White House.
“I don’t want to be criticized for starting a revolution,” Vallely assured the group, “but I’d certainly head it if we had to. We all love a good fight if it’s worth it, right?”
Vallely is no stranger to anti-Obama sentiments. Aside from having called for a citizen’s arrest of Obama, Vallely has also recently expressed strong support for a protest movement with the express goal of installing a new government. Retired Army colonel Harry Riley plans to march on Washington this May in a protest he has dubbed “Operation: American Spring.” An event spokeswoman promised Mother Jones that at least 1.8 million militia members will show and protest outside of the White House until Obama resigns and appears before a specially convened investigative tribunal for disciplinary action.
A former military expert at Frank Gaffney’s right-wing Center for Security Policy, Vallely shares his former employer’s support of the birther movement. He has been quoted as saying that’s he has had “retired CIA agents and other investigators go over [Obama's] birth certificate that was produced and by far ten out of ten have said its a forgery.” Given the inability of previous far-right efforts to rally massive amounts of people to DC to promote conspiracies, however, Vallely’s endorsement of both the hypothetical coup and Operation: American Spring may not go far.
Mike Rivera is an intern for ThinkProgress.