Austin and the top secret shelter, what happened to the head of the Pentagon?

After the controversy over the incredible story, the dynamics of the facts and the current conditions of the US defense number one are still unclear. But some heads – the media assure – “will have to fall”

The role of the American Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin does not appear to be in danger for now, but someone will have to pay the Pentagon for the incredible story of the silence regarding his hospitalization of which not even President Joe Biden was informed. “Some heads must roll”, headlines the “Politico” website as the controversy mounts.

What happened in Austin? Points to clarify

And in the meantime The exact nature of the surgery Austin underwent, the complications that arose and his current condition have not yet been fully clarified.. Nor was it explained why the American president and the public were not informed of the medical emergency involving Austin.

The January 1stwhen he was hospitalized, Austin he had participated by telephone in a meeting at the White House on the crisis in the Middle East. A few days later, Austin he was replaced by a senior Pentagon official, Sasha Baker, at another meeting at the White House, on the situation in Haiti. It hadn’t seemed strange then.

But Neither National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan nor Baker himself knew that Austin was hospitalized at the time at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for complications from surgery. And that Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, on vacation in Puerto Rico, had had to take on some of her boss’s duties.

Friday Many senior officials were shocked when Kelly Magsamen, Austin’s chief of staff, sent an email to inform the Pentagon’s military and civilian leaders of the Defense Secretary’s health. Both the email and the public announcement issued two hours later contained very little information. Congress was notified only a quarter of an hour before the public statement. Austin resumed his full duties on Friday evening, but it is not known when he will be released from the hospital.

It is not yet clear why Austin’s health condition was kept under wraps, in a a story that embarrassed the Biden administration. Four sources assured Politico that Austin’s job is not in jeopardy for now. In a situation of international tension, with the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, especially in an election year, there is no desire to change a head of the Pentagon who has worked well so far. Also because there would be the risk of problems and delays in confirming the appointment of a successor in the Senate.

“Some heads are going to roll”

But sources believe that “some heads will have to roll.” “Not informing the White House, Congress and the media that he was ill, and telling the Pentagon staff that he was working from home… that’s a problem – notes a former Pentagon official – someone made the decision to keep everything under wraps. That person will probably have to leave soon.”