awolFeaturedSecretary of Defense Lloyd Austintermination

Biden Isn’t Considering Firing Def Sec Austin – HotAir

The story of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s undisclosed hospitalization just keeps getting worse. On Saturday, I wrote about it because it is a shocking story, even for the inept and incompetent Biden administration. Jazz wrote about it on Sunday

I was shocked that Austin was hospitalized on January 1 and no one bothered to tell the American public for five days. Members of Congress found out the same time the story broke on Friday, a Friday news dump. Initially, the story was that Austin had elective surgery and he experienced complications that landed him in Walter Reed Medical Center. What wasn’t told at that time was that he was in intensive care, not just a regular hospitalization.

On Friday, Austin’s office stated that he had begun working from the hospital. Previously, his office said he was working from home. The kicker is that his deputy allegedly took over his work but she was on vacation in Puerto Rico and didn’t come back to the Pentagon. Later we found out that she wasn’t aware that he was hospitalized. She didn’t know the seriousness of the situation. Was Austin unconscious at any time during this hospitalization? No one will say.

No one is saying anything. Joe Biden is silent. Secretary of State Tony Blinken is traveling in the Middle East. He was asked about this story and he said he didn’t know anything until the news broke Friday.

As Jazz wrote, Austin released a statement taking full responsibility for the situation. The military has a process for all this and for whatever reason, Austin chose to go rogue. His duties require him to be available at a moment’s notice in order to respond to a national security crisis. One reason I was so alarmed that such a story came out is that the world is on fire. Biden keeps inserting himself in wars overseas and the top of the military command is Lloyd Austin, just below Joe Biden, the commander-in-chief.

According to a White House source, Joe Biden is not considering firing Austin. Some White House officials, though, are frustrated with the scandal.

The days-long silence, a departure from the disclosure that routinely occurs regarding the whereabouts and health conditions of the president and top Cabinet members, elicited bewilderment and frustration across the Biden administration and among leading members of Congress. Even top officials at the White House, including national security adviser Jake Sullivan, were not informed of Austin’s hospitalization until late afternoon Jan. 4.

Biden is said to have a close relationship with Austin. Biden chose Austin, though Austin retired in 2016, and made him the first black secretary of defense. Checking boxes is super important to Biden’s nomination process. Focusing on checking off identity boxes and not merit usually doesn’t end well. Austin held top positions during the Obama administration.

Four-star Gen Austin served under the Obama administration, leading the US Central Command, whose area of responsibility includes the Middle East, Central Asia and part of South Asia, between 2013 and 2016. He was the main military architect of the US-led offensive against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

Before that he was vice-chief of staff of the Army and the last commanding general of the US forces in Iraq. During these years he worked closely with Mr Biden, who was vice-president in the Barack Obama administration.

In an Atlantic magazine op-ed defending his choice, Mr Biden wrote: “I’ve spent countless hours with him, in the field and in the White House Situation Room. I’ve sought his advice, seen his command, and admired his calm and his character. He is the definition of a patriot.”

Gen Austin has a reputation for strong leadership and for avoiding the public eye, giving few interviews and opting to not speak publicly about military operations.

I’m guessing it was Obama’s decision. Austin may work outside the public’s eye but in this case, it was a dereliction of duty to keep his hospitalization secret. It wasn’t his choice to make.

Austin isn’t going anywhere, at least not for now. There is history between him and Biden and some of that includes Beau Biden’s service as a military lawyer.

A senior official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the situation, noted what he described as “an exceptionally close relationship” between Austin and Biden, whose son Beau served as military lawyer under Austin when he was a top commander in Iraq.

“There’s a lot of trust there on both sides, and this episode has not diminished that trust one bit,” this person said. “The president is looking forward to the secretary’s continued service.”

A White House official said Biden had “full confidence” in Austin and was looking forward to him being back at the Pentagon.

There is a political consideration at play here, too. Would Biden fire the first black secretary of defense in an election year? Biden continues to hemorrhage support from all demographics, including black voters. He can’t win without black voters. Biden is the most unpopular president in recent years. He needs all the votes he can get. In any case, this is a big story and Biden can’t sweep it under the rug at this point. Hey, whatever happened to the promise of being he most transparent administration ever, Joe?

Source link