US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is in Iraq. For POLITICO, it's a chance to prove how they're all fluff and just a gossip rag.
Hagel, their headline insists, is "in Iraq to confer on ISIL strategy." Philip Ewing and POLITICO are aware Hagel is the outgoing Secretary of Defense. But they live in a fake world where they have to gin everything -- while supporting no claims -- in order to be 'click bait.'
As a US official, he will meet with various leaders in Iraq while there. But that's not why he's there.
He's doing the farewell to the troops tour that Secretaries of Defense do when they know they're leaving. He'd already visited the troops in Afghanistan. Here's how DoD worded it in their press release:
Dec. 9, 2014 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Baghdad today
to visit with and thank U.S. troops for their contributions to the fight
against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
In a statement announcing Hagel’s arrival in the Iraqi capital,
Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said the secretary
will receive operational updates from Army Lt. Gen. James L. Terry,
commander, Combined Joint Task Force -- Operation Inherent Resolve.
Hagel also will meet with key Iraqi leaders, including President Fuad
Masum, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Defense Minister Khalid
al-Ubaidi, the admiral said.
Visits Slated With U.S., Australian Troops
In addition, Kirby said, Hagel will speak to U.S. and Australian
personnel providing security assistance in Baghdad, and he will visit
the joint operations center there.
“The secretary looks forward
to gaining first-hand knowledge of coalition progress against the threat
ISIL poses to the region, and to ensuring our troops -- and the
personnel of our Iraqi and coalition partners -- understand how grateful
he is for their service and professionalism,” Kirby said.
However, for POLITICO, this is some major strategy meeting. Because that's who you send to make new plans and firm up alliances? The person who's departing?
The rag offers:
Hagel, meanwhile, wasn’t up to the job of seriously executing that
strategy, according to White House officials, and so Obama asked for his
resignation late last month. Officials in Hagel’s camp say the
secretary had his own long-standing objections to Obama’s indecisiveness
and micromanagement, and he opted to leave on his own. Carter appears
likely to be confirmed by the new Republican Senate early next year.