National Security: Even getting the Joint Chiefs chairman to admonish the ex-Navy SEALs who are condemning White House leaks won’t extinguish Obama’s Leak-gate scandal. These heroes are dead right.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was traditionally the military’s principal adviser to the president. This changed with George H.W. Bush’s appointment of Colin Powell.
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The New York Times reported in August 1989 that “General Powell’s selection could stir some resentment at the Pentagon,” since he was “chosen over more than 30 other four-star generals.” Congressional aides extolled his ability to defeat Pentagon spending plans.
So for the last quarter-century the Joint Chiefs chairman has represented the president to the military, not the other way around.
That’s apparent in Gen. Martin Dempsey’s attack this week on the ex-Navy SEALs and retired spies who accuse Obama of leaking sensitive intelligence to make himself appear hawkish in fighting terrorism.