Lazy eyes listen
CNN stated that US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered and directed the overnight strikes on dozens of Houthi-related sites in Yemen from a hospital bed, citing an anonymous senior Pentagon official. The US defence chief was hospitalised on January 1 due to complications from prostate cancer surgery, leaving President Joe Biden and Congress in the dark for many days.
The Defence Department first acknowledged Austin’s absence last Friday, stating that he had resumed his duties. However, during the weekend, it was reported that he was still at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre working remotely. According to hospital officials, the defence secretary underwent a “minimally invasive surgical procedure” on December 22 but was readmitted on January 1 for a urinary tract.
The doctors added that the official “continues to make progress,” but a full recovery may prove to be a “slow process.”
Asked when President Biden found out about Austin’s cancer diagnosis, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby acknowledged on Tuesday that the commander-in-chief “was informed today.”
CNN said on Friday that “Secretary Austin gave CENTCOM the order today to execute the strikes and monitored real-time with a full suite of secure communications capabilities.” They further stated that following the strikes on military sites in Yemen thought to be linked to the Shiite militant group, the defence chief spoke with the National Security Council, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the CENTCOM Commander.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Pentagon’s inspector general informed the defence secretary and his deputy, Kathleen Hicks, that it would conduct a review later this month to “assess whether the DoD’s policies and procedures are sufficient to ensure timely and appropriate notifications and the effective transition of authorities as may be warranted due to health-based or other unavailability of senior leadership.”