January 9, 2024
The Washington DC saga of - who knew what when - when Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was hospitalized over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays gets stranger by day after a continued drip of information has poured out out of the Pentagon, the National Security Council and Biden’s White House, which in turn, has raised serious questions about transparency, accountability, defense preparedness, and national security on the heels of a the Israeli intelligence breach that served as a catalyst for the Hamas Oct. 7 attacks in Israel.
Who now says a national security breach could not happen in America if the so-called stand-in for Austin, while hospitalized, namely Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, had no earthly idea that Austin was even in the hospital twice.
This is a massive lack of situational awareness.
This could be a funny Abbott and Costello comedic script, but that is not the reality of what is transpiring across the country and the globe involving U.S. military endeavors.
It is obvious there is a massive disconnect in Washington with reality and a growing concern for the cognitive dissonance not just of Joe Biden, his enablers, but now embedded in his administration from Homeland Security to the Defense Department.
First, it was reported that no one knew until days after Secretary Austin was re-hospitalized on January 1 that he had had elective surgery earlier in December.
The public learned that even National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was not advised of Austin's initial hospitalization until days after Austin was re-hospitalized and still in the hospital.
President Biden was told later the same day Sullivan was informed.
Compounding this, Deputy Secretary Hicks was on vacation in Puerto Rico when she had stepped in on occasions for Austin, but now, we learn that Hicks - as the stand-in for Secretary of Defense Austin - was never informed that Austin was in the hospital - the first time or the second time while performing those duties.
The stated justification for not informing anyone was medical privacy.
Not good enough when the Biden Administration has asked for $100 billion plus budget for Ukraine, Israel, and Indo-Pacific efforts.
Not good enough when eight million illegals have come across U.S. borders since Biden has been president in January 2021.
Not good enough as cities from Denver to Chicago to New York to Los Angeles are overrun with illegal immigrants and causing havoc for mayors and city officials and suspected terrorists are among the illegal migrants.
Not good enough when 85,000 unaccompanied minors crossing the US border during Biden’s administration have gone missing in the system.
Not good enough when the number of unaccompanied minors, who have entered the US during Biden’s administration, is almost four times the amount when compared to the Obama administration in which Joe Biden served as Vice-President.
Not good enough when the number of unaccompanied minors, who have entered the US during the Biden administration is almost eight times the amount when compared to the Trump administration.
Not good enough when the war in the Mideast is expanding beyond Gaza and Israel.
Not good enough when U.S. military in the Mideast has had rockets and missiles launched on them.
Not good enough when ships in the Red Sea and the straits have been on high alert because Houthis rebels are launching rockets.
Not good enough when the Secretary of Defense and his intentionally misled stand-in is in the nuclear chain of command.
Austin’s Dec. 22 surgery was related to prostate cancer, and the secretary underwent general anesthesia. Initially, the operation was uneventful and the secretary went home on Dec. 23, said Dr. John Maddox and Dr. Gregory Chestnut of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in a statement provided by the Pentagon.
Austin was rushed to the hospital and readmitted on Jan. 1. He was placed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on Jan. 2.
The secretary’s complications were related to the Dec. 22 surgery. He had severe abdominal, hip, and leg pain. Initially, he was evaluated to have had a urinary tract infection and was transferred to ICU for a higher level of care.
“Further evaluation revealed abdominal fluid collections impairing the function of his small intestines,” causing a backup that required the hospital to drain Austin’s stomach with a nasal tube, the statement said.
To date, his infection has cleared but recovery will be slow says his doctors.
During his hospital stays, Austin “did undergo general anesthesia” during his first surgery, but did not receive general anesthesia during the “second procedure.” Austin did not lose “consciousness” during the second procedure.
The bottom line is neither Hicks nor White House officials, including the president, knew until three days after Austin was re-admitted to the hospital a second time, and after Hicks had performed some stand-in duties for Austin, that the U.S. Secretary of Defense was ever hospitalized.
Not good enough.
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Christine Dolan is a seasoned Investigative Journalist, television producer, author, and photographer. She is Co-Founder of American Conversations whose format focuses on in-depth analysis of critical issues about “the story behind the headlines.”