Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller has canceled all planned meetings between the Biden transition team and Pentagon officials, setting off some hysterical handwringing from the media.
The move is temporary, according to Pentagon officials, but Biden’s transition lackeys are apparently still in campaign mode. They are “concerned” about “an abrupt halt to the already limited cooperation,” which sounds more like a candidate surrogate complaining than someone trying to set up a government.
Axios first reported Friday morning that acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, who was installed at the Pentagon days after the Nov. 3 election, had ordered scheduled meetings to be canceled. After the initial report, the Pentagon pushed back, saying the pause was a rescheduling of meetings for Friday due to “competing priorities” for officials, and that meetings would open up again in the new year, following what was described as a planned two-week Christmas break.
What might those “competing priorities” be? The Pentagon says they have an agreed-upon pause in the discussions as they break for the Christmas holidays for two weeks.
“After the mutually-agreed-upon holiday pause, which begins tomorrow, we will continue with the transition and rescheduled meetings from today,” the statement added. “Again, I remain committed to a full and transparent transition — this is what our nation expects and the DoD will deliver AS IT ALWAYS HAS.”
However, at a Friday briefing, Biden transition spokespeople Yohannes Abraham and Jen Psaki denied there was an agreed upon holiday pause and called for the Pentagon to immediately restart the discussions.
Partisan hack Jen Psaki basically called out the Pentagon for lying: “I don’t think we need to communicate that. I think you can make your own judgment about the information we provided.”
“It’s not in our interest to provide inaccurate information about the status of our engagements,” she added. “Our preference is certainly for things to proceed as usual. That is our hope.”
This may be Donald Trump throwing a tantrum or it may be Miller trying to please his boss. Whatever it is, it’s not good.
Kori Schake, the head of defense studies for the American Enterprise Institute, called the delay in meetings “both disgraceful and actually dangerous, especially given the ongoing cyber incursions by a hostile foreign power — something the Trump administration’s decimation of cyber talent within civilian agencies of the government enabled.
“This decision is what the acting secretary is going to be remembered for, and it’s a terrible legacy for a short tenure,” said Schake, a former national security official in the Bush administration.
Basically, it comes down to whom to believe. On the one hand, you have the acting Defense chief saying the pause was “mutually agreed upon” and you have the Biden transition calling that a lie. Miller has shown himself to be an honest man — at least, there have been no complaints about his integrity from people under his command. He enlisted in the army in 1983 and served until 2014, rising to the rank of colonel.
Psaki, on the other hand, was Barack Obama’s mouthpiece. Lies came easily to her. It was her job to lie.
So who are you going to believe? Partisan hack Psaki or a guy who spent a couple of decades in special forces commands?