Seymour Myron Hersh is an American investigative journalist of Polish-Lithuanian origin, known for exposing the dark side of American politics, such as the 1968 Mỹ Lai massacre in Vietnam, the torture in Abu Ghurajb prison near Baghdad in Iraq as well as a look behind the scenes at the bombing of the Nord Steam 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea over a year ago. Two days ago, he wrote an article on substack.com about the disappearance of a four-star Army general under U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Source.
Three days before Christmas, septuagenarian four-star general and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin disappeared from the Pentagon without President Biden and his advisers knowing. He had gone to a military hospital to receive treatment for an unspecified illness without informing the president he served.
The retired Pentagon officer, who has close ties to the Pentagon, told me that the problem with Austin “was not that he was absent without permission, but that no one at the Pentagon or the White House asked about him or missed him. Nobody asked where he was.
The references to President Biden’s decision not to fire the defense secretary sound strange. In my opinion, General Austin decides Biden’s position and not the other way around. For example, if Lloyd Austin is the éminence grise to whom the hospitalizations of Washington’s top politicians should be reported, to whom should he confide the truth about his temporary weakness? Competition that will only take over his influence and position?
Of course, these are my speculations, but there is no other way to explain the behavior of the US Secretary of Defense, who has so far followed all the rules conscientiously.
The Red Sea incident described in the article perfectly describes the chaos in the Pentagon caused by the general’s disappearance:
The Defense Department’s lack of leadership was immediately apparent when the USS Laboon, a destroyer patrolling the Red Sea to protect international trade to the Far East through the Suez Canal, was threatened by a Houthi missile-carrying drone late last week. The ship’s captain had permission to act in self-defense and the ship’s gun batteries destroyed the drone, but the captain wanted to do more. He repeatedly asked for permission to go to the source of the drone attack on land in Yemen and destroy the drone. His request to defend his ship – an escalation that would have required high-level approval from the missing Austin, who was hospitalized at the time – was ignored. “There was no one to ask,” the retired officer told me.
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Author of the article: Marek Wojcik