Joint Chiefs Chairman Steps Down
Meanwhile, having nothing to do with Paris Hilton, the head of the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs is stepping down, despite anticipation of his re-appointment to another term.
Gen. Peter Pace is out as Joint Chiefs Chairman, according to MSNBC and Think Progress. He's being replaced by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Mullen. "Pace's early departure is said to be related more to the triggering of certain retirement benefits than his close association with the discredited former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld."
About a month ago, the New York Times proclaimed, "Bush Expected to Renew Term of Chairman of Joint Chiefs."
In a news conference, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Senators were the ones who put the kibosh on the re-nomination. The confirmation hearings were going to be contentious or "backward looking" as Gates put it -- focused on failures in Iraq, in other words.
Last year,on Meet the Press, Pace said things were going just swimmingly there -- "very, very well," in his words.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has a replacement in mind, though:[q
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday he will recommend to
President Bush that he nominate Adm. Michael G. Mullen to replace Gen.
Peter Pace as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when Pace's term
ends in September.
Pace's renomination to another two-year term was widely expected, and his nomination papers already had been drafted.
Gates said he had intended to recommend that Pace be renominated for the position.
"However, after consultations over the course of several weeks with
both Republican and Democratic senators, I concluded that because Gen.
Pace has served as chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff for the last six years, the focus of his confirmation process
would have been on the past rather than the future, and further that
there was the very real prospect the process would be quite
contentious," Gates told reporters at the Pentagon.
Pace was supposed to be away from the Pentagon on Friday, but instead he was said to be meeting with his senior staff.[/q]