Disinformation alert! Vermont Governor’s spokesman demonstrates sleight of hand!

Governor’s spokesman misleads a reporter and the public about who has the authority to halt the F-35 training flights

Vermont Governor Phil Scott’s spokesman, Jason Maulucci slipped in a single word that effectively changed the front page story in the August 19, 2021 Burlington Free Press from its headline question, “Who Has the Authority to halt the F-35 flights?” to a lesson in how top government officials violate the law, change the subject, and mislead the public.

Constitution reserves the authority of training the guard to the states

The Free Press article highlights Mr. Maulucci’s email "stating that gubernatorial authority over F-35 training missions is narrowly limited." Thus, he changed the subject from “Who Has the Authority to halt the F-35 flights?” to the supposed lack of gubernatorial authority over “F-35 training missions” (whatever that is).

What is not narrowly limited is gubernatorial authority over the F-35 training itself. That is a power reserved to the states by no less an authority than the United States Constitution. A power a reasonable governor could use to protect thousands of Vermont families by halting the F-35 training in Vermont’s most densely populated cities.

The resort, instead, to misleading the public into believing that Governor Phil Scott only has “narrow” authority, inadequate to halt the F-35 training, displays depraved indifference to the suffering of those thousands of Vermont families under hundreds of 115-decibel F-35 training flights each month. To those Vermonters it matters not what the “F-35 training mission” is or who sets that mission. What matters to them is immediate action to halt those training flights low over their homes and cities.

Fortunately for those Vermonters, the US constitution also gives no credence to what the mission is or who sets the mission. The constitution reserves to each of the states the authority of training its national guard. That gives the governor the full authority to issue an order to halt the F-35 flights in any location where civilians are hurt, injured, or suffering.

The constitution applies just one condition on the state’s authority over the training: It must be conducted “according to the discipline prescribed by congress.”

The discipline protects civilians!

The “discipline prescribed by Congress” means that Vermont officials must conduct the F-35 training in a manner that conforms to the federal laws, Senate ratified treaties, and US military regulations that protect civilians. As the US Department of Defense Law of War Manual says, enforcement of the laws of war is “even more exacting in peace than in war.”

Interestingly, the laws, treaties, and military regulations, if enforced, provide far stronger protection to civilians from military operations than is provided to civilians by most US laws that regulate civilian government departments.

Among the federal laws that protect civilians that are violated by F-35 training in a densely populated area are the Universal Code of Military Justice and the US War Crimes Act.

Among the ratified treaties that protect civilians that are also violated by F35 training in a city are the the Hague Convention, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Among the military regulations that protect civilians is Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 2311.01.

Constitution violated by Vermont governor and Guard commanders

That one constitutional condition, to conduct the training “according to the discipline prescribed by Congress” is flatly disobeyed by the governor and guard commanders. By conducting its F-35 training in cities, where thousands of civilian families are abused, the governor and guard commanders violate provisions of each one of the laws, treaties, and military regulations included in the discipline.

Because it violates the constitutional mandate to conduct the training according to the discipline prescribed by Congress, the F-35 training flights from the Burlington International Airport (BTV) are, therefore, illegal and unconstitutional.

Not the first time

As revealed in the May 5, 2021 article, “Vermont Governor’s spokesman and Wing Commander caught at sleight of hand,” on CancelF35.substack.com, a Guard commander and the very same spokesman for the governor previously deflected a different reporter away from the state’s authority over the training itself to the supposed “federal mission.”

Governor’s resort to federal mission is flawed

The repeated resort to a supposed federal mission is not just irrelevant. It is entirely bogus. No federal mission requires F-35 training to be located where it will hurt thousands of Vermont civilians.

No federal mission requires F-35 training to be conducted where thousands of Vermont civilians are subjected to hearing damage or to a catastrophic F-35 crash.

No federal mission requires F-35 training where more than a thousand children are beaten down with 115-decibel noise hundreds of times a month, impairing their learning and their cognitive development.

No federal mission requires cities and towns full of Vermonters to have their drinking water PFAS-poisoned to sustain the F-35 at the Burlington airport.

No federal mission requires F-35 training where tens of thousands of Vermont civilians in cities, towns, and villages around the airport are made into human shields for enemy nuclear missiles.

The real mission of the Vermont National Guard is to protect Vermonters. A mission it cannot perform by hurting them.

The suggestion by the governor’s spokesman that a federal mission exists that excuses, justifies, or requires the F-35 training to be located in densely populated cities was false. As was the suggestion by other officials quoted in the Free Press article that federal permission is needed for the state to use its constitutional authority to halt the F-35 training where it is hurting thousands of Vermonters. These are both bogus pretexts to continue injuring Vermont civilians.

The Vermont Air National Guard itself proved that training in a city is not necessary

It was the Vermont National Guard itself that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the F-35 training did not have to take place within cities full of children. The Guard spent three weeks this summer training at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Thus, the Guard proved that it has no need to take off and land with F-35 jets in any densely populated area. And that the F-35 training at Burlington International Airport is merely a matter of convenience, not military necessity.

The Governor has the authority to halt the training flights

As its commander in chief, the governor is the one who issues the orders to the Vermont National Guard. He is the one responsible for the Guard’s illegal conduct. He is the one who gives the illegal order to inflict pain, injury, distress, and suffering on thousands of Vermont families by training with the F-35 amidst densely populated cities.

The Vermont National Guard training operation at the Burlington airport must be immediately aborted. The governor has both the constitutional authority and the constitutional obligation to issue the order to halt the F-35 training at Burlington airport now.

Write or call your public servants:

Governor Phil Scott 802-828-3333 Chief of Staff <Jason.Gibbs@vermont.gov>

Vermont National Guard's Complaint Line: 802-660-5379

Add your own report & complaint to the online F-35 Spring-Summer 2021 Report & Complaint Form: https://tinyurl.com/4zjjn39x

See the responses to the F-35 Spring-Summer 2021 Report & Complaint Form (so far 451 responses): https://tinyurl.com/3svacfvx

Senator Patrick Leahy 800-642-3193 Chief of Staff <john_tracy@leahy.senate.gov>

Senator Bernie Sanders 800-339-9834 <Senator@sanders.senate.gov>

Congressman Peter Welch 888-605-7270 Chief of Staff <patrick.satalin@mail.house.gov>

Burlington City Council <citycouncil@burlingtonvt.gov>

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger <mayor@burlingtonvt.gov>

Winooski Mayor Kristine Lott <klott@winooskivt.org>

S. Burlington City Council Chair Helen Riehle <hriehle@sburl.com>

Williston Selectboard Chair Terry Macaig <macaig@msn.com>

VT Senate President Becca Balint <bbalint@leg.state.vt.us>

VT House Speaker Jill Krowinski <jkrowinski@leg.state.vt.us>

Attorney General TJ Donavan <DonovanTJ@gmail.com>

States Attorney Sarah George <Sarah.fair.george@gmail.com>

Vermont’s Federal Prosecutor <usavt.contactus1@usdoj.gov>

Adjutant General Brig Gen Gregory C Knight <gregory.c.knight.mil@mail.mil>

Major J Scott Detweiler <john.s.detweiler.mil@mail.mil>

Wing Commander Col David Shevchik <david.w.shevchik@mail.mil>