Candice Lanier – President Obama has announced key White House posts, including the appointment of Deputy National Security Advisor and former fellow at the Center for American Progress, Denis McDonough, as White House Chief of Staff. The other posts are listed below:
• Rob Nabors – Assistant to the President and Deputy White House Chief of Staff for Policy
• Antony Blinken – Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor
• Danielle Gray – Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary
• Katy Kale – Assistant to the President for Management and Administration
• Lisa Monaco – Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and Deputy National Security Advisor
• Jennifer Palmieri – Assistant to the President and Communications Director
• Dan Pfeiffer – Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor
• Miguel Rodriguez –Assistant to the President and Director of Legislative Affairs
• David Simas – Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Advisor for Communications and Strategy
Remarking on these appointments, the president said: “The challenges we face as a country, from rebuilding middle class security to strengthening our national security are complicated, and require thoughtful, comprehensive solutions. That’s why I am proud to announce a team with the deep expertise necessary to move our country forward. From growing the economy and shrinking our deficits, to keeping our country safe and addressing the dangers of climate change, these are people who will not rest until we get the job done. Led by Denis, this team is an extraordinary group of talented individuals with whom I will be honored to work.”
McDonough will replace Jack Lew, who has been nominated for secretary of the Treasury Department. He has been described as being demanding and fiercely loyal. McDonough has been highly influential in the decisions to drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to providing key counsel for the handling of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Additionally, McDonough, a Catholic, reportedly advised Obama in regard to the Health and Human Services (HHS) controversial contraception mandate. The Catholic Church battled HHS in a court fight over religious rights. The Washington Post writes:
“His influence extends beyond national security. McDonough is a devout Catholic, and he has served as something of an informal adviser on religious matters, such as during last year’s debate over the White House’s handling of contraception rules under the new health-care law.
That sounds like McDonough either offered some bad advice, or that Obama wasn’t listening to McDonough’s input. The appointment makes the former more likely than the latter, which again makes this decision a little puzzling, but not terribly surprising.”
Regarded as the man most responsible for orchestrating the Benghazi cover-up, McDonough is also believed to have rewritten the CIA talking points on Benghazi, which blamed the video, The Innocence of Muslims, for the attack. The actual motivation behind the terror attack had nothing to do with the film, but that didn’t stop McDonough from meeting with Muslim Brotherhood members in addition to leading the group of those who cited the film as being the cause of the attack.
Regardless of how offensive the video may be, the people responsible for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi are the terrorists who perpetrated the act and those who failed to prevent it.