The rioting in Ferguson, Mo. last night is pushing other stories out of the spotlight today, but these stories on Chuck Hagel and ouster as the Sec. of Defense merit attention:
When Obama began pushing last year to reinvigorate the process of closing Guantanamo, White House aides repeatedly urged Hagel to sign off on transfers of detainees who’d long been cleared for release. Yet for months the defense secretary refused to sign certifications that the future threat posed by the prisoners could be adequately mitigated, according to a U.S. official.
“This was not an insignificant source of friction,” said the official, who asked not to be named. “I can say definitively on this one it has been utterly public and unmistakable in terms of the disconnect.”
White House irritation with Hagel grew so intense that last May, National Security Adviser Susan Rice sent Hagel an extraordinary memo directing him to report every two weeks on progress towards transferring or releasing Guantanamo prisoners, the source said, discussing a directive first reported earlier this year by The New York Times. It’s unclear when or if those reports were submitted.
Whoa. The New York Times has a similar report out today, too:
Or how about this characterization from an anonymous “administration official”:
And Hagel’s firing/resignation has allegedly angered Vice President Joe Biden:
But will Hagel’s departure fix the president’s foreign-policy mess?
The editors of the New York Times don’t think so:
We’ll obviously hear more about this in the coming days.