Congress Calls Austin to Testify About Hospitalization

( – When President Joe Biden was on the campaign trail in 2020, he repeatedly pledged that his administration would operate with unprecedented transparency. Apparently, some of his cabinet members (and possibly he himself) didn’t get the memo on that.

What makes the most recent egregious example of failing on that promise such a problem is that of any organization in existence; the chain of command in the military is vital to its core mission, in this case, the protection of the United States and its interests abroad.

We Need to Talk

Secretary of Defense (SecDef) Lloyd Austin (a retired four-star general in the United States Army) and his staff have come under scrutiny for the way they handled a non-life-threatening medical emergency of his. On New Year’s Day, an ambulance was called to his residence and only a select few — Biden was not amongst them — were aware he was being taken to the hospital. A BRILLIANT display of transparency!

The secrecy and lack of rectitude about that day, and afterward, has led Congressman Mike Rogers (R-AL) in his position as the Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services in the House to ask Austin to testify on the matter. In a letter dated January 18, the lawmaker referenced a conversation the two men had that included a promise of “full transparency” surrounding those events.

A Little Windex, Please

Rogers also notes that a previous list of questions that he had sent to the SecDef was only partially addressed, and he expressed alarm that among the unanswered ones was whether or not he “instructed [his] staff to not inform the president of the United States or anyone else of [his] hospitalization.” The lawmaker said that this has caused him to believe that Austin is deliberately withholding vital information from Congress, and as such delivered a blunt expectation that Austin appear before the committee on February 14, and provide other information beforehand.

Although generally considered a Leftist source of news, The Daily Beast felt it necessary to obtain the recording of the 911 call that was made through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in Virginia. Their exclusive, which broke the story, indicates that an unnamed aide of the SecDef asked the dispatcher to make sure the ambulance was running without lights and sirens because “Uhm, we’re trying to remain a little subtle.” The article notes that it is unclear (or one could say not transparent) whether the aide acted of their own volition or was told by a higher-up to request that the ambulance effectively hide itself.

A Department of Defense (DoD) memo issued by Austin’s Chief of Staff Kelly Magsamen released on January 11 indicates that from January 2-5 ambiguous (one could say not transparent) “certain authorities” were transferred to Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks. In an earlier request for answers from Hicks, Rogers asked how it was possible that she was not advised of Austin’s hospitalization until January 4 and called it an “outrageous situation [with a] lack of disclosure (one could say a dearth of transparency).”

As he puts it in his call for SecDef to appear, “this is a time of immense global instability,” and a void in the line of communications between top military brass and their Commander-In-Chief could have devastating effects on the country. No matter what adjective one might choose to describe it, a legitimate argument can be made that the president and his top deputies are roughly as transparent as a brick wall.

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