Just when the newsflow surrounding America’s military-industrial complex couldn’t get any more surreal, and on Veterans day on top of everything, here comes the WaPo with news that virtually assures all defense companies should open limit up tomorrow: “President Obama is considering asking Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) to serve as his next defense secretary, part of an extensive rearrangement of his national security team that will include a permanent replacement for former CIA director David H. Petraeus.” That’s right: John “Swiftboat” Kerry, the same John Kerry who accused Vietnam vets of committing war crimes; the same John Kerry of the whole military service controversy.
More “Although Kerry is thought to covet the job of secretary of state, senior administration officials familiar with transition planning said that nomination will almost certainly go to Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.” As to Petraeus, who may or may not testify over the Benghazi affair, but apparently is excused due to his familial infidelities, and whose sexual dalliances were (not) ironically captured best byThe Onion, his replacement is also becoming clear: “John O. Brennan, Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, is a leading contender for the CIA job if he wants it, officials said. If Brennan goes ahead with his plan to leave government, Michael J. Morell, the agency’s acting director, is the prohibitive favorite to take over permanently. Officials cautioned that the White House discussions are still in the early phases and that no decisions have been made.”
Rice, one of an inner circle of aides who have been with Obama since his first presidential campaign in 2007, is under particular fire over the Benghazi incident, in which the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed.
Some Republican lawmakers have suggested that she was part of what they suspect was an initial, election-related attempt to portray the attack as a peaceful demonstration that turned violent, rather than what the administration now acknowledges was an organized terrorist assault.
Rice’s description, days after the attack, of a protest gone wrong was either intentionally misleading or incompetent, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said Sunday. Rice, he said, “would have an incredibly difficult time” winning Senate confirmation as secretary of state.
But several White House officials said Obama is prepared to dig in his heels over her nomination to replace outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Rice’s post-Benghazi remarks on several television news shows were merely a recitation of administration talking points drawn directly from intelligence available at the time, said the senior administration officials, who agreed to discuss the closely held transition planning only on the condition of anonymity.
While the “cons” of Kerry in charge of US defense are quite obvious to everyone, the “pros” is undeniable: Kerry will soon be given the chance to talk any and all US enemies, foreign and domestic, if not to death then certainly to near comatose state.