The position of secretary of defense of the United States is one of the most powerful and important in the world.
It is an around-the-clock job necessitating total situational awareness, sound judgment, and availability at a moment’s notice.
That is why the debacle surrounding Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s concealed health issues is so shocking.
Make no mistake — Austin deserves the utmost privacy, top medical care, and full recovery time from his cancer treatment. But he also has a responsibility to the American people.
Austin left our troops and commander in chief unsupported and without guidance for three days by hiding his hospitalization. Even Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, who was vacationing in Puerto Rico at the time, was left in the dark.
Austin jeopardized national security at a time when the U.S. is embedded in two wars. Additionally, the fact that no one in the Biden administration was even aware that the secretary of defense was out of commission shows a shocking breakdown of leadership.
It’s no wonder even some Democrats are expressing concern about this unprecedented situation, and at least one is calling for Austin’s resignation.
Pennsylvania Rep. Chris Deluzio said in a Wednesday post on X, “I have lost trust in Secretary Lloyd Austin’s leadership of the Defense Department due to the lack of transparency about his recent medical treatment and its impact on the continuity of the chain of command.
“I have a solemn duty in Congress to conduct oversight of the Defense Department through my service on the House Armed Services Committee. That duty today requires me to call on Secretary Austin to resign.”
I have a solemn duty in Congress to conduct oversight of the Defense Department through my service on the House Armed Services Committee. That duty today requires me to call on Secretary Austin to resign.
— Congressman Chris Deluzio (@RepDeluzio) January 10, 2024
GOP Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana went a step further, introducing articles of impeachment against Austin on Tuesday.
Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee also sharply criticized Austin over his lack of transparency. In a Wednesday letter, the senators demanded a full accounting of the events surrounding his medical leave, according to The Hill.
“The apparent failure to even notify your lawful successor in this case is a massive failure of judgment and negligence. It is an intolerable breach of trust with the American people at a dangerous moment for U.S. national security,” the letter stated.
We all wish Austin Godspeed in recovering full health.
But his lack of accountability and open disregard for the chain of command is just another example of the Biden administration spurning time-tested military protocol as if pronouns and pixie dust are all that’s needed to keep the country safe.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.