US Defense Secretary faces scrutiny over secret cancer surgery

Lloyd Austin
(File photo: Jordan News)
WASHINGTON – US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin faced questioning in Congress due to his decision to keep his prostate cancer surgery and subsequent hospitalization secret, even from US President Joe Biden and the Deputy Secretary of Defense.اضافة اعلان

Instead of disclosing his health situation, Austin chose to maintain secrecy about his initial prostate cancer surgery in December, as well as his subsequent hospitalization in January due to post-surgery complications that led him to the intensive care unit, Al-Mamlaka TV reported.

Austin apologized for how he handled the matter, including not informing Biden himself. However, his appearance before the House Armed Services Committee, which has a Republican majority, will be the first time he is directly questioned by members of the House.

According to pre-prepared remarks, Committee Chairman Mike Rogers will state during the session, “It is entirely unacceptable that it took more than three days to inform the President that the Secretary of Defense was in the hospital and not in control of the Pentagon.”

“Wars were raging in Ukraine and Israel, our ships were under fire in the Red Sea, and our bases were preparing for attacks in Iraq and Syria. Yet the Commander-in-Chief was unaware that his Defense Secretary was out of commission,” Rogers added.

However, on Monday, the Department of Defense released the results of a 30-day internal review, effectively clearing itself of any wrongdoing. The review concluded that “nothing examined during this review indicated any intent to deceive or attempt to conceal.”

It is expected that Rogers will criticize the report for failing to provide genuine answers regarding who knew about the lapse in fulfilling essential duties and how and when they knew.

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