Former Obama Official Says Austin Should Resign

 January 9, 2024

A former Obama official has voiced a potent critique in a striking turn of events.

Former Director of Global Engagement Brett Bruen has called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on CNN's "OutFront."

Bruen's appearance on the program highlighted his concerns regarding the lack of transparency within the Pentagon's leadership. He argued that the Pentagon spokesperson's failure to disclose Austin's hospitalization during a briefing with reporters was indicative of a larger issue of trust within the defense establishment. Bruen's call was not solely for Austin's resignation but extended to his chief of staff and other officials, suggesting a deeper discontent with the Pentagon's current state of affairs.

Bruen Criticizes Lack of Transparency

Brett Bruen expressed his dismay over the Pentagon's communication practices. He highlighted the undisclosed hospitalization of Secretary Austin as a key example of the Pentagon's opacity. According to Bruen, these actions constituted serious breaches of trust and transparency and necessitated several resignations within the Department of Defense.

The former official underscored the potential impact of these breaches on national readiness. He pointed out that the lack of clarity and forthcoming information could undermine the nation's ability to respond effectively to crises. Bruen's remarks reflect a concern for the integrity of military preparedness and the channels through which information is disseminated to the public.

Erin Burnett's interview with Bruen on CNN's "OutFront" became the platform for this unexpected critique. While the specifics of Secretary Austin's hospitalization were not disclosed, the absence of details was at the heart of Bruen's argument. He underscored the need for greater transparency from both the White House and the Pentagon, especially regarding the whereabouts and status of key defense officials.

A Call for Systematic Change

During his appearance on CNN, Brett Bruen went beyond calling for resignations. He advocated for systemic changes, including establishing new criteria for reporting the absences of defense secretaries. Bruen said this would help restore credibility and trust in the Pentagon.

Bruen further suggested that a public investigation was necessary to air the full extent of the facts. This would address the current situation and set a precedent for handling similar situations.

Bruen was explicit about how such actions affect the nation's readiness and the credibility crisis it precipitates.

I think the withholding of information still by the White House, the Pentagon, this has been coming out in dribs and drabs, requires us, at this point, to have a full airing of the facts. I think there has to be a public investigation. And then we need new criteria, we need to understand going forward in the future, when do defense secretaries need to call their boss, need to call the White House and say, sir, ma’am, I’m going to be out of the office for the next few hours and the next few days?

Restoring Credibility and Trust

The interview with Bruen revealed ongoing issues regarding transparency and communication within the Pentagon and White House. These revelations indicate a need for a more open government, especially in matters directly affecting national security.

Brett Bruen's comments resonate with a broader concern for government accountability. The former official's call for a public investigation is to return to a more transparent and trustworthy system.

The central theme of Bruen's argument was the essential nature of trust and transparency within the government, particularly the defense sector. His advocacy for the resignation of Secretary Austin, the need for a public investigation, and the establishment of new reporting criteria are rooted in the belief that the integrity of national security is at stake. Bruen's stance, while critical, also embodies a call for reform and a renewed commitment to the principles of openness and accountability.

About Robert Cunningham

With years of experience at the forefront of political commentary, Robert Cunningham brings a blend of sharp wit and deep insight to his analysis of American principles at the Capitalism Institute.

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