August 7th, 2009
04:48 PM ET
5 years ago

Senate leaves for break without finalizing Army leadership

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Pentagon expressed disappointment that the Senate departed for a month-long August recess without finalizing the nomination of the Secretary of the Army.

On Tuesday, the Senate Armed Services committee approved the nomination for Rep. John McHugh to become the new Army Secretary and Joseph Westphal to be his undersecretary.

The nominations were sent to the full Senate for a vote which did not come to pass because Kansas senators Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts put a "hold" on the nominations. The two Republican senators made the parliamentary move on Thursday because they want the administration to give them information about reported plans to transfer Guantanamo detainees to jails in Kansas or Michigan.

"The Senators requested either assurance that Leavanworth, Kansas was not an option or answer" to questions about the reported plans, according to a statement put out by the senators' offices.


The Pentagon was critical of the move. "Secretary Gates is deeply disappointed that parochial issues have now delayed the confirmation of the Army Secretary - and the Under Secretary - by at least a month, during wartime," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

Peter Geren, who has been Army Secretary since 2007, will remain on the job until the nomination is finalized.


Filed under: Pentagon • Senate
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. ADO

    Mre delays and 'NOs" from the republican party1

    August 7, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  2. madison

    Once again the Republican's hold the country hostage because of their own selfish agenda! I'm really sick of this.

    August 7, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. Zero.

    Barack Obama – (the so-called Christian) – Crisis!!! I think that is overall Problem...

    August 7, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. Mississippi Mike

    Great move. Especially with Russia's nuclear submarines off of our coasts, Iran acknowledging that it will make nuclear weapons, North Korea's recent missile tests, and the dire situation in Afghanistan. No Army leadership structure, what could go wrong?

    August 7, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. Larry

    "Secretary Gates is deeply disappointed.......during wartime".

    I have an idea. Why don't we quit dancing around these useless wars and end them.

    I think it is no less than criminal to be sacrificing lives for no reason whatsoever.

    We didn't accomplish anything in Iraq, and we're not going to accomplish anything in Afghanistan.

    August 7, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. Steve (the real one)

    @madison August 7th, 2009 4:54 pm ET
    Once again the Republican's hold the country hostage because of their own selfish agenda! I'm really sick of this
    ---------------------------–
    Exactly how is the country being held hostage. Is that fact or emotional rambling Is the Army not up and running? How is seeking to keep GITMO inmates out of their state selfish? I'd say emotional rambling!

    August 7, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. Observing Zion

    Zero, Your posts on all of these articles just relays the common ignorance amongst you and those like you. Thanks to 2 assanine members of one political party, U.S hands are partially tied during WAR....what is the overall problem again?

    August 7, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  8. pat c

    what a crock of-- these republicans are!!!
    when are they going to start thinking about the safety of our country an not just themselves. such losers!!!

    August 7, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. djb

    Interesting that our Kansas "No" Senators feel that Leavenworth prison is secure "from the inside out" but isn't "secure from outside in". We have had war-time prisoners incarcerated here in years past, but, again, the Republicans are using the "fear" factor to keep things from moving forward in Washington. Kansans are not so worried about this prospect as our politicians are.

    August 7, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  10. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    There is no rational reason why we should not transfer the detainees from gitmo to the US. We need to bring Gitmo to a close as it's a symbol of our failure to live up to our own values and break the law. The torturing of both inocent and guilty prisoners in that place will live with us for a long time. I find it Ironic that the most outwardly Christain president we have ever had will go in the books as a torturer.

    On a side note, this NIMBY crap needs to end. People need to think about what is best for the country and not some petty political crap with their state. If everyone else is too scared to take on locked up terrorists, bring them to Michigan.

    August 7, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. Paul

    You mean to tell me that the GOP is obstructing the protection of this country based on their ideology?

    Shocker!!!!

    GOP = Party over country.

    August 7, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  12. Observing Zion

    Steve(apparent real one) if gitmo inmates are enemies of the US, why shouldn't US prisons hold them?

    August 7, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. Hawktyme

    I agree with the Repugnants – Being sentenced to Kansas would be cruel and unusual treatment of any human being.

    Obstructionism Forever!!

    Water boarding would be welcome vs a summer in the "dustbowl".

    August 7, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. Steve (the real one)

    Observing Zion August 7th, 2009 5:15 pm ET

    Steve(apparent real one) if gitmo inmates are enemies of the US, why shouldn't US prisons hold them?
    --------------------------
    1. If you want them, feel free to volunteer!
    2. What's wrong with keeping them where they are right now?

    August 7, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  15. Kevin B

    Once again the GOP congressional represenatives are putting petty political posturing over the needs of Americans. I hope the dems are keeping track of these constant insults to americans and throw right in thier faces during the '10 and '12 elections.

    How reckless can these republicans be in thier hatefulness ??

    August 7, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  16. Henry

    These Repiglicans are at it again. The same tired names (Brownback and Roberts) with the same worn out ideologies. If I were the Democrats I would splash Brownback's and Roberts' faces all over the internet, painting them for what they are.

    Republicans stink. The funch of em.

    August 7, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  17. Jeff

    Really! Do these Senators think that these alleged terrorists are any greater threat to the populace than the average maximum security prisoner in Kansas? What are folks so afraid of? If one did escape, it's not as if he would blend into the local population in Kansas. Let's all sit back, take a reality pill, and deal with this problem. We can't keep the Japanese in internment camps forever... I mean, we can't keep these jihadists imprisoned without trial forever. Sorry, I'm not sure why that popped into my head.

    August 7, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. Zero.

    All Barack Obama did during the election run, was insult George Bush jnr... He had his own stand, and a number of speakers.

    Now the public dont have that kind of equipment. But they are dam sure your going to listen Obama.

    August 7, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. Observing Zion

    Steve. thats right, don't answer the question, just deflect and return questions. Why not leave them there? Because your democratically elected President has made a decision for the best interests of your country.

    August 7, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  20. Gator

    This GOP obstructive nonsense is adversely affecting our national security. Enough of the Party First political games!

    Shame on these Republican senators. Secretary Gates has a right to be disappointed with their actions.

    August 7, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  21. barrystash

    Mr. Obama started this mess by treating the JIHADISTS as common criminals. They are TERRORISTS, despite what he and his cronies say. Any damage to American security interests fall squarely on the shoulder's of Obama and others who would intentionally harm us.

    August 7, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  22. Stephanie

    So it is okay to put Americans on the island of Cuba and not in the US. Cuba had nothing to do with the invasion of Iraq and nor did other countries who are reluctantly taking them.

    This is nothing more than another Republican ruse to obstruct. Funny that the Republicans are standing in the way of the wants and needs of their former hero...Sect Gates!!

    August 7, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  23. GOP = Party of Hypocrites

    Repukes should be ashamed of themselves for playing politics with the leadership of our national defense! The NIMBY Senators from Kansas have disgraced themselves with their reckless actions against our defense leadership. Brownback and Roberts should resign.

    August 7, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  24. ROGER

    The senate is so used to being without a leader, they cannot imagine a leader being important to another organization. After all, they have been leaderless and unable to function properly or effectively for decades!

    August 7, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  25. jfs Memhis, Tn

    The Republican's had to run home in order to monitor the progress of the ANTI-HEALTH CARE DEMONSTRATIONS that they find such goings-on disgusting!! And they also want to make sure that all the CNN Polls were non-biased. They are totally appalled by such goings on !!!! The also want to see just where CNN's C- rating on the Obama economic policies are coming from.....especially since the economy is better than 30 days ago. They are confused how the POLLs could go down ???? They are just appalled that their non-partisan politics (of which the Republican's have taken the led in ).....isn't getting results in these fair and equal polls. PS there where three Republican CNN Poll Parties in my neighborhood last night.......until 11:00 CST ....what pieces of work.

    August 7, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
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