Daily Beast: Obama NSA didn’t agree to leave, he was forced out

posted at 5:39 pm on October 8, 2010 by Allahpundit

Look surprised.

“We have a lot of transition at this point here,” said one senior Obama aide. “They decided the time was right to bring forward his departure and for Jones to step aside. We always knew it was going to be roughly in this window, at the end of this year. But we’re making a lot of changes now with Rahm leaving, and there was a sense of just, ‘Let’s get this done now.’”

But there was more to the timing than the ripple effects of Rahm’s departure.

Next month President Obama begins to travel again overseas, and in December he begins the critical process of reviewing his new Afghan strategy. Jones was one of the architects of the last extensive review a year ago, leading to the deployment of an extra 30,000 troops. It made little sense that he would leave directly after an Afghan review that could determine the legacy of this presidency.

“Frankly, a lot of what the December review is about is the next phase now,” said the senior Obama aide. “So it would be good to have a new structure in place as we make those decisions.”

That makes sense on its face, but (a) why push Jones out so soon after Rahm left instead of waiting until, say, the day after the election? All this does is create a sense of chaos in the White House right before the midterms. And (b) what about the Times’s claim that Jones expected departure was “accelerated” due to Jones’s derisive comments in Woodward’s book calling Rahm, Axe, and Gibbs “water bugs” and a “Politburo” who denied him easy access to Obama? Surely that was a contributing factor too. In fact, in my reading today about Jones, the one theme that emerges repeatedly is that he was ineffective in his job because he was aloof from the day-to-day operations of the NSC (those were handled by Tom Donilon, who’ll be replacing him as NSA) and was an “outsider” in a White House where the real power exists in Obama’s “inner circle.” This Politico piece is the most dramatic statement of that thesis, explaining how Jones was named NSA in the first place chiefly because Obama wanted a general in an authority position who’d stand up to the Pentagon when he inevitably refused to give them everything they wanted in Afghanistan. Quote:

Often appearing aloof in meetings, Jones did little to mask his early dismay that deputies two rungs lower than him were often accompanying the president to meetings. “I’m a former general. . I’m used to staffs, and I’m used to a certain order,” Jones told the Washington Post last year. “When I first went into the Oval Office, I didn’t expect six other people from the NSC to go with me.Jones’s distance from that culture – embraced by Donilon — became legendary early in his tenure, when he told the Washington Post that he biked home to McLean, Va., for lunch and poked fun at White House staffers who worked past 7:00 p.m…

Others were less charitable. Former Clinton foreign policy hand David Rothkopf wrote Friday that he was “the worst national security advisor in decade,” and a national security official who worked with him said he was administration’s single worst staff hire.

WaPo notes that “His condition for initially taking the job – that he would be the last one to see Obama on the most pressing national security issues of the day – was often unmet.” But then, that’s been going on practically since day one: See, for example, this Fox News report from all the way back in June 2009 noting that Jones “isn’t seen near Obama’s side often and … has kept his distance from the media” and predicting that he’d be gone by fall. Another damning bit from The Cable, which has the best write-up of the Woodward angle in all this:

“Jones always carried an ‘emeritus’ air about him and appeared removed and distant from the day-to-day operations,” one administration official told The Cable. “In six months, you will be hard pressed to find anyone in the administration who notices that Jones is no longer there.”

The punchline here is that, if you remember back to the 2008 campaign, Jones was also being touted as a potential National Security Advisor in a McCain administration. (He and Maverick are old friends.) Try to imagine how the media would be reacting right now if this same managerial meltdown had occurred on the watch of a Republican president — one of the highest national security officers in the cabinet, headed home each day before nightfall and sporadically frozen out of communicating with the president by his political praetorian guard. It’d be a scandal, and hammered relentlessly as evidence of how the GOP, for all its counterterror bravado, doesn’t take national security seriously. Instead, because this happened under The One, we get a few curios about Jones’s “aloofness.” Ho hum.

Donilon, the new NSA, is not only skeptical of a big troop build-up in Afghanistan (as was Jones) but, per the Daily Beast, has much more experience dealing with the State Department than the Pentagon. That should give you some insight into which way The One is leaning when it comes to the December policy review and what it might mean for troop levels next year.


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No sympathy for the General: Sleep with pigs, you get dirty.

Dingbat63 on October 8, 2010 at 5:43 PM

More proof Obama ain’t going to the center after the election. As if we needed proof.

txmomof6 on October 8, 2010 at 5:47 PM

Obama is going to say the Republicans big win in November is because he didn’t end the war isn’t he?

Cindy Munford on October 8, 2010 at 5:48 PM

So the chickens run wild while the rooster is out struttin’ his stuff.

SouthernGent on October 8, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Wow, this is getting scary, what experience does this new guy have that would even remotely qualify him for the job….oh, never mind silly question.

whbates on October 8, 2010 at 5:50 PM

No surprise here. Obama is always “shocked” when anyone actually disagrees with his idiotic ideas. Comes from a lifetime of being told he’s “special” and the “one.”

Webrider on October 8, 2010 at 5:50 PM

whbates on October 8, 2010 at 5:50 PM

He was Obama’s foreign policy tutor during his campaign if that give you comfort. Yeah, me neither.

Cindy Munford on October 8, 2010 at 5:52 PM

When Jones was a Bush Basher, he was considered a brave and wise man by the press and Democrat elites. Now he is exposed for being a haughty dolt.

Chalk one more scalp for W.

swamp_yankee on October 8, 2010 at 5:53 PM

Obama is going to say the Republicans big win in November is because he didn’t end the war isn’t he?

Cindy Munford on October 8, 2010 at 5:48 PM

No, Obama will blame Republicans for obstructing his plans to bring the troops home and end the war. Then he will eat his waffle and buy more shrimp.

redeye on October 8, 2010 at 5:54 PM

All this does is create a sense of chaos in the White House right before the midterms.

Like there hasn’t been enough already? “Chaos” appears to be the order of the day in Barry’s house.

GarandFan on October 8, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Frankly, a lot of what the December review is about is the next phase now

CYA: A “review” ignores what has and is occurring now because a “review” rests within the future. That’s Ivy League assbackwards.

maverick muse on October 8, 2010 at 5:57 PM

its only the threat from Al Qaeda, who cares?

rob verdi on October 8, 2010 at 5:57 PM

Write a book General!

The American public deserves the truth and you took an oath to protect and defend against enemies foreign and DOMESTIC!

Write a book Sir and honor your oath!

dhunter on October 8, 2010 at 5:59 PM

NOt only the dismissal of Jones but the installation of Donilon on the heels of the revelations in the Woodward book makes it yet another Obama giving America the finger moment.

That is exactly what it is.

KittyLowrey on October 8, 2010 at 5:59 PM

…in June 2009 noting that Jones “isn’t seen near Obama’s side often … ”

Perhaps he should have requested face time by playing golf with Obama.

tru2tx on October 8, 2010 at 6:00 PM

well Gates and others calling Donilon as CSA a disaster per Woodward makes me think, this is Obamas move to sweep out the BLOCKS OF GRANITE Woodward referred to on the Security Team who would not be budged in their full support of the military.

In fact note it was Hillary who was said to be more behind the military than even Gates which annoys Obama and crew to no end he says.

It looks to me like they are trying to slowly remove any impediment to Obama pulling out despite what DOD tells him in 7/11.

Now HRC is next up for Gates SoD spot. yeah keep laughin, watch. But, Hillary is also the biggest Hawk on the team wanting to stay in AfPak until Taliban is annhilated.

many times she has confirmed this see here for one exmaple and here for another

Now my sense is Obama plans to let Gates go in 11, move HRC to SoD, then stick some idiot like Kerry in SoS, which will give him the SoS on his side in July 11 when DOD and SOD HRC say we need more time, and he says no.

Now he will have Donilon, Kerry, on his side when goes against Petraeus and HRC.

Evil frakker.

I would expect HRC to resign as SoD if he did that.

we will see if O has guts to go against Petraeus and HRC on wihtdrawl, but he appears to plan to do just that.

God Bless the women and children of Af and those who helped us, the troops and America.

Obama is an utter diaster.

Another situation HRC would be far better on is Iran which she would wipe off map if they struck Israel and said so AND she would allow Israel to use our airspace to attack Iran, IMO it wld have been done already.

anywho if Gates said Donilon is diaster I believe him

ginaswo on October 8, 2010 at 6:01 PM

National Security Adviser James Jones says he and President Obama will seek other nations’ help in Afghanistan when they embark on a trip to Europe for a series of meetings this week.

With the question of European troop commitment in Afghanistan still open, Jones says the U.S. focus in conversations with other nations will be on potential civilian aid, such as agricultural planning and judicial reform.

“We’re trying to put a three-legged stool together,” Jones says. “We have done the security leg pretty well, but we haven’t done the other two legs — that is, economic development, and rule-of-law and government.”

March 31, 2009</blockquote>

maverick muse on October 8, 2010 at 6:02 PM

WaPo notes that “His condition for initially taking the job – that he would be the last one to see Obama on the most pressing national security issues of the day – was often unmet.”

Who needs a National Security Advisor anyway when B. Hussein Obama, The Citizen of the World can apologize to his brethren in the Religion of Peace and charm them into uniting with Him to stop the seas from rising in planetary bliss by the power of his Word? The path to national security is Hussein embracing Ahmadinejad on a flying Persian carpet en route to Nirvana by way of Mecca, and no advisors are needed.

Steve Z on October 8, 2010 at 6:03 PM

So Jones was forced out because he convinced an anti war president that it’s in the US’s interest to expand the war in Afghanistan.

Also, it’s not Jones fault he was kept out of the loop. What do you expect when a hawk is in a dove administration. It is like the Politburo.

Cr4sh Dummy on October 8, 2010 at 6:06 PM

ginaswo on October 8, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Wow, you really have no idea of the real HRC.

KittyLowrey on October 8, 2010 at 6:06 PM

OT (sort of):
I found this very telling:

SPIEGEL: So this magic only works once? And Obama will get punished at the ballot in November?

Remnick: I think it’s intermittent. Even if that happens, it will help Obama in the long run that he is also a “shapeshifter.” He speaks in a different way in the Oval Office to the entire nation than he does in Selma, Alabama, speaking directly to the African-American community, or to union workers in Ohio. That is another one of his gifts and I think it will help him find a way to reach out to angry voters.

Obama is a “shapeshifter” Euphemism for, um, LIAR?????

Chewy the Lab on October 8, 2010 at 6:07 PM

A look back at the Jones appointment:

General James Jones: Seasoned Leader, Strategic Thinker, and Statesman

:

Jones met the president-elect through Obama adviser Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader and the president-elect’s pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Obama was impressed with Jones’s tough critique of the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq War, and the two men share the view that energy is a top national-security concern. (It doesn’t hurt that Jones, like the president-elect, is a basketball nut. He played for Georgetown and still shoots hoops weekly.)

Hahaha:

http://www.acus.org/new_atlanticist/james-jones-national-security-advisor-seasoned-leader-strategic-thinker-statesman

swamp_yankee on October 8, 2010 at 6:10 PM

naive bull in China Shop

tarpon on October 8, 2010 at 6:13 PM

When Jones was a Bush Basher, he was considered a brave and wise man by the press and Democrat elites. Now he is exposed for being a haughty dolt.

Chalk one more scalp for W.

swamp_yankee on October 8, 2010 at 5:53 PM

Not the first time that this has happened.

Remember Jack Goldsmith? He was a Bush advisor for the WOT, and the Left fell in Lovey with him after he quit his job and criticized Chimpy.

They soon threw him under the bus, when he noted in a speech at Boston College that Bush had in fact under-reported the active terror threat. he was no longer of use to them.

Del Dolemonte on October 8, 2010 at 6:15 PM

More proof Obama ain’t going to the center after the election. As if we needed proof.

txmomof6 on October 8, 2010 at 5:47 PM

Rush pointed out the obvious this week, that a Republican wave in November is not going to be a surprise as other waves might have been. If it’s that obvious, why isn’t Bammie already moving to the center to try and limit the damage? The answer, -because he will never move to the center.

This is a very stubborn man that knows no views or political theory other than his own. He has grown up and been educated in a far-left bubble and sorely lacks any diversity in his education or life experience.

slickwillie2001 on October 8, 2010 at 6:17 PM

Obama is a “shapeshifter” Euphemism for, um, LIAR?????

Chewy the Lab on October 8, 2010 at 6:07 PM

Or snake oil salesman.

scalleywag on October 8, 2010 at 6:18 PM

Donilon, the new NSA, is not only skeptical of a big troop build-up in Afghanistan (as was Jones) but, per the Daily Beast, has much more experience dealing with the State Department than the Pentagon.

BO really doesn’t like all that icky military stuff.

katiejane on October 8, 2010 at 6:23 PM

Such a comfort- the man advising the President on Afghanistan has 6 hours “in country” time in Afghanistan.

Donilon did finally visit Afghanistan last March during President Obama’s six-hour late-night visit to the country.

Don’t you feel safer?

journeyintothewhirlwind on October 8, 2010 at 6:33 PM

So Obama broke off his Afghan stool’s leg(s).

1. Security
Obama authorized the Taliban bribes, as if they’d pay for what the US needs in this war there. Furthermore, he acknowledged the right of Karzai to negotiate with the Taliban as a good idea.

2. Economic Development
Beyond bribes for Karzai and bribes for the Taliban and payments made to tribal chiefs for services rendered poorly, and blaming the poppy fields on the Taliban, what economic development is there pertaining to Afghanistan other than US tax funds gone with the wind?

3. Rule-of-Law Government
Sadly, Obama has consistently impeded such within the USA, disregarding our Constitutional rule of law and contract law. So why would he go out of his way to provide such in Afghanistan?

Obama admitted that his “good war” in Afghanistan would depend upon allied support. Europe is going home.

2009-2010, a World of Disappointment with Obama (WDO).

Of course Obama did the cloak and dagger on Jones whose presence shames Obama.

maverick muse on October 8, 2010 at 6:42 PM

It was just over a year ago someone a the NSC tried to get rid of Jones by implying he was senile:

Several White House and National Security Council sources told FOX News that the Obama administration is baffled by Jones, who is a longtime friend of Sen. John McCain, the man Obama defeated for the White House. One NSC staff member claimed that Jones is so forgetful that at times he appears to have Alzheimer’s disease.

Jones’ primary duty is to manage the conflicting views of the State Department, Pentagon and other parts of U.S. foreign policy. But he isn’t seen near Obama’s side often and he has kept his distance from the media.

Obama officials don’t expect Jones to stay in his post past the fall, one source told FOX News.

That was June 11, 2009

MayBee on October 8, 2010 at 7:09 PM

Another resident of the pavement under Obama’s bus. You picked Obama. I have no sympathy for you.

flyoverland on October 8, 2010 at 7:12 PM

The resume of the new Director is a nightmare, absolute nightmare, we are being “protected” by fools.

JohnBissell on October 8, 2010 at 7:18 PM

scalleywag on October 8, 2010 at 6:18 PM

Yes! That is more descriptive! I’m also seeing a guy in a trench coat offering candy to children.

Chewy the Lab on October 8, 2010 at 7:20 PM

That should give you some insight into which way The One is leaning when it comes to the December policy review and what it might mean for troop levels next year.

Donilon is there to help solidify a coalition of surrender for Obama in his “new way forward” in Afghanistan.

Donilon (a past lobbyist for years…fannie) and his wife run high in democratic circles.Obama knows that Donilon is with him 100% and won’t cause any trouble while Obama heads for the exits.

Obama’s facade of “winning the good war” has been all but torn down, so he is going hard left with the war effort.

This is a good example of the disaster Donilon will be in this National Security role:

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/10/08/james-jones-obamas-national-security-adviser-to-resign/


Donilon was a key participant in a group assembled last year by Vice President Joe Biden to develop a counterterrorism strategy for Afghanistan
that would require far fewer troops than the strategies proposed by McChrystal and the Pentagon. In Woodward’s account, Donilon felt Obama was being pressured by the Pentagon to accept a troop-heavy, long-term commitment to Afghanistan.

The fact that Donilon and Biden are on the same page concerning foreign policy should scare the he!! out of any American…..Biden has not just been wrong on about every International issue…..his ideas would have been absolute disasters.Whether it is dividing Iraq up,going against the surge,yelling for surrender,or giving Iran millions of dollars after 9/11…..Biden has shown himself to be an absolute idiot.
Their plan of running the war with drone hits and special ops will fail miserably.That is why this idea whas shot down(but Obama asked Biden to push it behind the scenes) so quickly when Obama was pushing for an exit strategy instead of a winning strategy.

“My God — what are we getting this guy into?” Woodward quotes Donilon as erupting, realizing that under the Pentagon’s scheme, Obama would have to run for re-election in 2012 in the middle of a long-term war.

Sound familiar……”I can’t lose the whole democratic party”…..

Donilon reveals himself as a true blue liberal right here along with Obama…..it’s all about poll numbers and political advancement…..not about winning the war.

This is by far the worst administration to occupy the White House.

Every move Obama has made behind the scenes and over the past year have revolved around one thing and one thing only….surrender.

Baxter Greene on October 8, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Notable Donilon bio details:

…he served as Fannie Mae’s executive vice president for law and policy from 1999 until 2005, giving him control of Fannie Mae’s legal, regulatory and public policy activities and government and industry relations.

Donilon was one of several executives to leave at a time when the company faced pressure to improve its accounting practices, and he was mentioned numerous times in a scathing report two years ago on Fannie’s accounting misdeeds, when the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight accused the company of manipulating results to maximize bonuses. The report didn’t criticize Donilon but said that lobbyists under his direction had pushed for a government investigation of Ofheo in 2004 in order to undermine the regulator’s credibility in challenging Fannie’s accounting.

Great person to have in charge of the NSA, cause nothing says national security than the epic fail of F&F./

Buy Danish on October 8, 2010 at 7:38 PM

The only thing holding this gawd-awful mess together is the courage and cohesion of the military.

The cowards in Washington are spending more time and effort scoping out the best exit route than committing to the struggle.

Any voice reminding them of their duty, or mocking their lack of resolve, or focus, that can be silenced, is dealt with forthwith.

Horrible things will come to pass before 20 Jan 2012 makes its appearance.

And I take no joy saying as much.

These filthy creatures have zero interest in saving us, only transforming us.

And if push comes to shove, they’ll save themselves.

And devil take the hindmost.

Pray for those who fight for us and faithfully defend us.

They’re gonna need it.

|||||||

Make them hear your voice on November 2.

CPT. Charles on October 8, 2010 at 7:53 PM

Donilon also made the lucrative move through Fannie Mae, as did Rahm Emanuel, Jamie Gorelick, Franklin Raines etc. FM/FM seems to be the place to go for democratic faithful when they need their bank accounts recharged.

slickwillie2001 on October 8, 2010 at 7:59 PM

Make them hear your voice on November 2.

CPT. Charles on October 8, 2010 at 7:53 PM

Yes Sir…

…and thank you for your service.

Baxter Greene on October 8, 2010 at 8:03 PM

One more thing. Donilon wrote a chapter with notoriously trustworthy national security expert, Sandy “socks” Berger in Tom Green’s Change for America: a progressive blueprint for the 44th president.

I’m like totally reassured now.

Buy Danish on October 8, 2010 at 8:24 PM

A senior defense official told The Huffington Post that Gates and Donilon have enjoyed a good working relationship for many, many months, emphasizing that the characterization in the Woodward book is extremely outdated and mainly concerned the 2009 review of the administration’s policy on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

….

At a press conference this morning, Gates praised Donilon:

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Gen. Jones and I have, and have had, a very productive and very good working relationship with Tom Donilon, contrary to what you may have read and I look forward to working with him.

So they mended fences after “the review”. Would that have been possible if Obama didn’t agree to the surge? Didn’t Gates and Gen Jones want the surge? So they won that battle. And Donilon bided his time. But now Gates has lost McChrystal and Gen Jones. Donilon moves into a higher position of power and Gates knows it.

Makes me wonder if Donilon sent the Rolling Stone team to Afghanistan….

journeyintothewhirlwind on October 8, 2010 at 9:05 PM

The quote is from the Huffington Post article from this am headline. Not sure if it was changed during the day, but I don’t remember the Gates material being in there the first time I read it.

journeyintothewhirlwind on October 8, 2010 at 9:06 PM

Also- the Marines took over a section where the Brits had horrible casualty rates- somehow I have trouble believing Gen Jones didn’t ask for a troop surge- of Marines. He may not have believed in a surge of Army troops, but I bet he wanted more Marines on the ground.

journeyintothewhirlwind on October 8, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Gen Jones supported Dear Leader? Now he is surprised? I’m but a humble O5 and I knew Obumba was bad. Good riddance General. AMF.

Dingbat63 on October 8, 2010 at 10:08 PM

I’m like totally reassured now.

Buy Danish on October 8, 2010 at 8:24 PM

Heh!!!!

Baxter Greene on October 8, 2010 at 10:48 PM

We all know that terrorists keep 9-5 hours, so why shouldn’t Gen. Jones do the same. I mean, it’s not like the Christmas Day bomber attempted to do his dirty job after hours. And if something did happen after hours, we’re sure it could wait until morning cause Obama’s team is the best and brightest and there’s nothing they couldn’t fix, even if it happened while they were getting their beauty sleeps.
The continuing lesson here is that the only way you get fired by Obama, is not incompetence in your job, but by making smart aleck comments about the President or his inner circle to the media.

eaglewingz08 on October 9, 2010 at 9:52 AM