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Ferguson: A Wag the Dog Event for Chuck Hagel
Wag the dog

Anyone other than me think it was rather convenient that Obama announced the resignation (probably a firing) of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on the same day the Ferguson grand jury announcement was made?

Hagel’s ‘resignation’, less than two years after taking the job, is huge news and another blow to Obama’s foreign policy. When it comes to the United States, the Secretary of Defense is the most powerful leadership role aside from the POTUS and Chairman of the Federal Reserve. The power ranking in the US looks like this:

1.    Federal Reserve Chairman
2.    President of the United States
3.    Secretary of Defense
4.    Secretary of State
5.    CEO of Goldman Sachs


Under the cover of the Ferguson fiasco, around noon hour yesterday, Obama and Biden, alongside Hagel, briefly announced the Secretary of Defense would be stepping down. After a folksy story about the Cornhuskers, Hagel’s hometown college football team, the resignation quickly came and went as Americans were hypnotized by racially charged media coverage on Ferguson…

With America’s attention squarely on the circus, Obama’s most controversial and highly contested appointment in recent years, Chuck Hagel, announced he would step away from his post – without much more than a peep.

A story that would have made the rounds on cable news for a week or more has largely been ignored by America – brushed under the rug without the administration taking much heat.

From the beginning of his tenure, Hagel was largely viewed as a weak Secretary of Defense and not up to the task, but Obama brought him on anyway, knowing full-well it exposed him to significant reputational risk if things didn’t pan out.

With Hagel ‘resigning’ in the midst of a new war in the Middle East, one has to question why he was ever in that role in the first place. Opposition to his appointment back in January of 2013 look like they were right all along about Hagel. Once again, this calls Obama’s personnel judgement into question.

Ferguson served as a wag the dog incident yesterday for the White House. And no one in America seems to notice because they are too caught up in watching the media race bait and conjure up narratives that simply don’t exist.