HatTip for Research Assistance to “S” – The picture of President Obama, Vice-President Biden, Chief of Staff Jack Lew, National Security Advisor(s) Denis McDonough and Tom Donilon, has drawn quite a bit of attention. Not from the main stream media – but from independent-minded research bloggers and seekers of truth.
The backstory that began the research is HERE, and the ultimate unraveling of the riddle behind what was actually taking place is HERE. But the issues that surround the team pictured are larger and even more consequential.
First, as you consider Denis McDonough, and his role in the Benghazi events, it is worth noting this little before seen short video from 2006 while George Bush was in office. The Democrats had just won the majority seats in the House of Representatives, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were being used 24/7 by the politicos to demonize Bush.
This is Denis McDonough when he was working for the Center for American Progress in 2006:
It is worth bookmarking that video to share with any progressive who would challenge congressional oversight of national security with specifics of Benghazi. Indeed, the key player himself states openly only 6 years earlier that Congress has a duty to investigate.
WE GO DEEPER - Now for a little on the backstory of Denis McDonough let’s go back to 2008 and review the information as it was coming out then:
From 2008 - If liberals had any hopes of being able to make the same claims in the near future, they knew they needed to be more like conservatives. Wealthy Democrats wanted to have ideological rabble rousers like Rush Limbaugh and activist breeding grounds like the College Republicans to create a new generation of shock troops. But most of all, to have a real shot at regaining control of Washington, they wanted to plot an intellectual coup, spearheaded by an aggressive idea factory like the Heritage Foundation. (See pictures from the historic Election Day.)
Five years later, they have that, and a lot more, in the Center for American Progress (CAP), the most influential independent organization in Obama’s nascent Washington. CAP was the brainchild of former Clinton White House chief of staff John Podesta, who dutifully worked wealthy dinner parties with a simple idea: He would create a new organization, a “think tank on steroids,” to help progressive ideas regain power. Tom Daschle, once the top Democrat in the Senate, got on board, calling it an “action tank.” Sarah Wartell, who would become Podesta’s deputy, had a more homely description: “Not your grandmother’s think tank.”
And not since the Heritage Foundation helped guide Ronald Reagan’s transition in 1981 has a single outside group held so much sway. Just as candidate Obama depended on CAP during the campaign for opposition research and talking points, President-elect Obama has effectively contracted out the management of his own government’s formation to Podesta. “The Podesta group was formed to bring Democrats back into the presidency, that was its purpose of being,” says Stephen Hess, an expert on presidential transitions at the Brookings Institution, a much more traditional think tank. (link)
Denis McDonough was Tom Dashle’s aide at CAP 1996-1999. We have outlined a particular unusual ineptitude in the advisors around President Obama, but Denis McDonough takes the ideological cake:
From 2010 - He [McDonough] worked as a House international relations committee staffer from 1996 through 1999, after which he moved to Daschle’s office. At the Center for American Progress he researched health care policy.
At CAP McDonough researched Healthcare Policy? Now he is titled a key “National Security Advisor”? Odd no. But yet, what was the first ideological task when President Obama took office in 2009? Yep, Obamacare….. Let’s read on.
WhoRunsGov also links to two 2006 articles by McDonough, one published by Henry L. Stimson Center, “Short Term Focus on Long Term Challenges: The Administration,Congress and Iraq” (PDF) and the other published by the Center for American Progress, “No Mere Oversight: Congress Oversight of Intelligence Is Broken” (PDF).
As the reader pares the fat and gristle away from the McDonough profile, all that remains is an attractive skeleton whose primary skill is his perfect loyalty to his boss. (link)
Beyond McDonough you have this left leaning Washington Post article from last December revealing the possibilities that appear quite accurately now coming to play:
DECEMBER 2012 - Deputy chief of staff Pete Rouse — who used to be Daschle’s chief of staff in the Senate and became Obama’s chief of staff after Daschle lost in 2004, has let it be known that he is interested in leaving — though he has said that before.
Speaking of the chief of staff, with incumbent Jack Lew said to be departing, perhaps to Treasury, [*snip – now confirmed] deputy secretary of state Tom Nides and former Biden chief of staff Ron Klain are obvious possibilities to replace him.
But there’s increasing talk that deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough is a strong contender to move into the lovely corner office down the hall from the Oval, which comes with a working fireplace, the beautiful Don Regan memorial outdoor patio and a bottle of painkillers. (link)
Jack Lew has indeed been tasked to replace Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary and note who is amid the names of replacement for him (as Obama’s Chief of Staff) along with Denis McDonough, “TOM NIDES“.
You might remember when Hillary could not make the Senate Benghazi hearings because of her stomach flu, exhaustion, slip and fall, concussion, blot clot, someone was sent in her stead. That someone was Tom Nides. Hmmm?
Deputy Secretaries of State Bill Burns and Tom Nides will
testify in her place. (link)
Prior to the Benghazi Slaughter/Terror attack, actually EXACTLY a week before, the following release was from the State Dept.
SEPTEMBER 7, 2012 - Following on the recent U.S. Government meetings on economic assistance to Cairo, on September 8 Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides will join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and more than 100 U.S. company executives as part of a delegation to promote private sector development in Egypt. This trip will focus on the second part of the two pronged economic diplomacy approach described by Secretary Clinton during her visit to Egypt in July and it will identify new business opportunities and partnerships for U.S. companies, express U.S. business confidence in Egypt, and demonstrate a commitment to Egypt’s long-term economic development. (link)
The crossroads from National Security and Foreign Policy create multiple levels of entangled association. From January 7th of this year:
JANUARY 2013 - Insiders call President Barack Obama’s trio of closest foreign policy and security advisers, “the Holy Trinity”, and no one has ever doubted who plays the role of Holy Ghost: counterterrorism czar John Brennan. Where National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and his deputy, Denis McDonough, occupy traditional White House roles, Brennan has been Obama’s man in the shadows, as my colleague Michael Crowley detailed in his excellent article on Brennan. (link)
John Brennan has now been tapped to replace General Petraeus at the CIA.
Now, let’s tack away from National Security and toward Domestic Policy. Consider where Jack Lew is being placed, The Treasury Dept. Why is that aspect important? Well, two reasons: No Budget and The Debt Ceiling – consider this outline from a year ago:
JANUARY 2012 - Lew, who replaces William M. Daley, steps into the role after a year of fierce partisan battles that saw Obama’s policy goals largely stalled in Congress. More and more, the president relied on executive orders to enact small pieces of his economic, education and housing proposals.
Lew is skilled in such practices. For two different presidents, Bill Clinton and Obama, he has headed the Office of Management and Budget, whose mission includes putting in place rules and regulations that don’t require congressional approval.
As Obama’s fourth chief of staff, he’ll be positioned to carry out the White House’s pivot away from engagement with Congress in favor of unilateral action. The approach jibes with a reelection strategy that includes running against a deeply unpopular Congress. (link)