CNN reports that the deputy secretary of defense assumed some of Secretary Austin’s duties when he was hospitalized and operated on for something, but even she didn’t know he was in the hospital. Not only that, she was on vacation — in Puerto Rico!
Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, the Pentagon’s No. 2 leader, was among the senior leaders kept in the dark about Austin’s true whereabouts until Thursday, three days after the secretary checked into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center following complications from an elective surgery. Not even the president was aware of Austin’s hospitalization until three days into his stay there, CNN previously reported.
Hicks was on vacation in Puerto Rico at the time and said it’s not unusual to have duties shift temporarily, but she didn’t know she was in charge.
As we reported earlier, even the White House didn’t know. All I want to know is if he called Barack Obama and told him.
Gen. C.Q. Brown knew on the 2nd, but he’s not in the chain of command.
The military service secretaries, who are in the chain of command, were not notified until January 5, four days after Austin checked into the hospital.
Ryder said that Austin’s chief of staff, Kelly Magsamen, was “unable to make notifications before then” due to illness.
“She made those notifications on Thursday to the deputy secretary and national secretary and national security adviser,” Ryder said. He declined to answer follow-up questions about why none of Austin’s other aides could notify the White House or his deputy of his hospitalization sooner.
Secretary of State Blinken didn’t know he was in the hospital either.
This is great. We have a war in Israel, a war in Ukraine, hot spots all over the world, millions of military-age men pouring in over our open borders, and the Secretary of Defense didn’t see the need to tell anyone he was undergoing surgery and would be gone for days.
What a mess this administration is.
Maybe they can eliminate Austin’s position. The president didn’t miss him for days.I know I could live without him.