The same figures who used phony “military readiness” claims to attack Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., for protesting the Pentagon’s unlawful abortion policy are MIA on Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s failure to inform leading administration officials of his hospitalization.
Last year, Tuberville began using his position on the Senate Armed Services Committee to slow-walk votes on President Biden’s military nominees in protest of the Pentagon’s use of U.S. taxpayer dollars to pay for service members’ abortion-related travel expenses. Rather than allow the committee to confirm a large number of military nominations “en masse,” the GOP senator’s protest forced the body to vote on each nomination one at a time.
Throughout his fight for the unborn, Tuberville faced vicious and dishonest attacks from Democrats and Biden military officials such as Austin, who regularly and baselessly claimed the Alabama senator’s protest harmed “military readiness” and “national security.” If that wasn’t bad enough, several GOP senators, led by Alaska’s Dan Sullivan, joined Democrats in piling on Tuberville and regurgitating unsubstantiated “military readiness” claims.
Tuberville was ultimately forced to abandon his holds last month after Sullivan and other Republicans threatened to side with Democrats to change Senate rules to skirt his protest.
Yet for all their supposed concern about “military readiness” and “national security,” many of the politicos and officials who attacked Tuberville’s defense of life have remained mum on Austin’s failure to notify the president and leading administration officials about his hospitalization. The Pentagon revealed on Friday that Austin — whose military authority is second only to the president — was hospitalized with an undisclosed medical issue on Jan. 1, with the department later confirming the admission came as a result of “complications following a recent elective medical procedure.”
The American public and members of Congress didn’t know about the matter until Friday, but even President Biden and high-ranking administration officials reportedly weren’t briefed on Austin’s absence until Thursday, meaning the White House was unaware for three days that Austin was MIA. Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks — whom Austin transferred his responsibilities to and was vacationing in Puerto Rico at the time — was also reportedly unaware of the situation until Thursday.
Despite baselessly asserting Tuberville’s holds would “weaken our national security,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has yet to issue a statement, as of publishing time, criticizing Austin for his negligence. Rhode Island Democrat Sen. Jack Reed — who once hyperbolically claimed Tuberville’s actions “achieved something that Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin could have only dreamed of” — issued a milquetoast statement by comparison about how he’s “concerned” but is glad Austin is “taking responsibility for the situation.”
Meanwhile, Sullivan and Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Mitt Romney — all of whom sided with Democrats in attacking Tuberville — have also neglected to release statements condemning Austin’s misconduct as of this article’s publication.
For all their supposed concern about “military readiness,” many of these same officials don’t seem bothered that the second-highest-ranking military official in the country was gone for days and didn’t bother to tell the public, let alone the president. As I previously wrote in these pages, Austin’s secret medical episode, in conjunction with Biden’s mental decline, unveils a frightening reality in which Americans are left to depend on unknown, feckless bureaucrats to respond to the country’s biggest international crises.
If only their representatives showed as much concern about actual national security issues rather than ginning up unfounded attacks on a single senator for his lawful and just defense of life.