As the tanks moved into Washington D.C. for President Donald Trump’s takeover of the capital’s Fourth of July celebrations, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said he believes Trump’s attempted show of military might was not “in keeping with what our country is all about.”
“We’re the strongest military power on the face of the Earth and we have never had to display that power to the world in order to prove it,” said Panetta, who served in the top defense role under President Barack Obama from 2011 to 2013.
“We know who we are, we know our strengths, and very frankly our view has always been that we should appreciate our liberties and our freedoms because in a democracy the most important thing is that we protect the values that our country is all about. That doesn’t mean we have to roll tanks down the street or roll troops down the street because we know who we are. We appreciate those that serve, but most importantly, we are all part of one family when it comes to America.”
Panetta said the celebrations will send a message that the U.S. was “not celebrating the Fourth of July for what it is, rather we have a president who’s trying somehow to emulate other authoritarian figures in the world that have to have these kind of parades in order to prove that somehow they are a powerful country.”
“We’ve never had to do that,” he added.
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