William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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AND ANOTHER ONE – AT 9:11 A.M. ET:  We've commented before on the number of top generals purged by the Obama administration.  We do not buy that Dave Petraeus was pushed out because of an affair.  Affairs are easily covered.  We think he refused to toe the Obama party line on Benghazi.

Stanley McChrystal was pushed out, ostensibly over an indiscreet magazine interview.  Small change.  James Mattis, head of CENTCOM, is being eased out, reportedly because he is seen as too hawkish for Obama's second term.  Petraeus, of course.  And now another general is walking the plank.  From Fox: 

Marine Gen. John Allen is planning to retire rather than be re-nominated for the powerful post of NATO supreme allied commander-Europe, after White House officials forced him to step aside, a source familiar with the discussions told Fox News on Wednesday.

The source told Fox that Allen was leery of getting into a confirmation battle that would dig into the embarrassing issue of his emails with Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, but the real reason was the White House power play.

“He’s out,” the source said. “I know he is retiring. He was pushed out of the door.”

The official Pentagon announcement is expected soon.

The source also said White House officials are optimistic that after a contentious battle, former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel will be confirmed shortly as defense secretary, and he can help pick a new person for the post.

Previously, the White House was thought to be keeping the nomination open while Allen mulled whether to seek the post.

Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said earlier in the day that he told Allen on Tuesday that Allen needs to take time to decide what is best for him and his family.

COMMENT:  I really have never seen anything like this.  It's one after another.  The Obamans want their own people, loyal only to them. Oh, I can't wait to see who Hagel recommends to fill Allen's shoes.

Of course, it would be nice if some of these boys could be a little more discreet.  But power is what is involved here.  Obama is downsizing the force and wants it shaped to his liking.  Not good.

February 14, 2013