November 06, 2008
Obama elected; Pentagon runs to Staples
Posted by Nancy Youssef
With the election results in, the Pentagon has begun preparations for its first war-time transition since Vietnam. There is a lot to talk about of course " two wars, an exhausted ground force, the expansion of the Army and Marines, the budget and on and on. But before any of that can begin, the Obama defense transition team needs an office. And believe or not, we got a tour today of dividers, empty desks and shutdown computers. It was like touring a Dilbert cartoon before the characters had been drawn in.
The three offices are just down the hall from the Secretary of Defense and his staff. And the Pentagon has set aside 27 desks for the Obama staff. It sounds like a lot until you think about what they have to do. They will be briefed on all the major Defense issues. They will go over the budget; meet the Department’s leadership; and whittle down who they would like to lead the myriad of departments around the building.
It appears that as soon as the results came in, someone ran to Staples because many of the desks had highlighters, rules, folders, scissors and pens awaiting the desk’s soon-to-occupant.
The Defense Department says this is all part of its effort to lead a smooth transition.
In light of the litany of ‘W’ keys swiped off White House computers eight years ago, I took photos of some of the keyboards in the Pentagon transition office. And as you can see (if you click on the last photo), the ‘O’ key is still on the keyboard. For now. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman, who led the tour, said anything less would be unprofessional and go against the work ethic of the Department.