The truth about Biden’s cabinet that everyone wants to avoid


Amit Deshpande, Staff Writer

The inauguration of Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris felt like a moment of immense relief for most Americans. Exciting discussion about the monochrome outfits donned by the Obamas and Clintons, First Lady Jill Biden distributing chocolate chip cookies to the National Guard, and even Senator Sanders’ mittens and memed attitude flooded everyone’s streams in the past week. Not to abandon substantive reporting, news outlets prioritized coverage of President Biden’s swift executive actions on his first day—including the reversal of former President Trump’s controversial ban on Middle Eastern immigration—and his ambitious $1.9 trillion proposals for COVID-19 relief. Despite the nation still facing many political and economic challenges led by an ongoing pandemic, Americans are embracing this moment of celebration.


However, the nation is avoiding the truth about this new administration. In the midst of celebration, news outlets were quick to report on the unprecedented diversity in President Biden’s cabinet picks, from the first female Treasury secretary (Janet Yellen) to the first Native American to ever serve in the cabinet (Sec. of The Interior Deb Haaland). The Washington Post even published an article discussing the diverse religious faiths of members of Biden’s cabinet. It seems as though the media insists on discussing anything but the political backgrounds of Biden’s cabinet picks, painting the administration as more progressive than it really is. 


For example, on Jan. 20, the Democrat-led Senate confirmed Avril Haines as Biden’s Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The media made sure to report Haines’s status as the first female DNI in US history but left out key information regarding her past. Haines had previously held high-ranking positions in the US intelligence community, serving as Deputy Director of the CIA during President Obama’s administration. A story buried by mainstream media, Haines previously used her power to prevent damning evidence against the Agency (CIA) from being brought to light. In 2015, the Senate Intelligence Committee was drafting a report on the Agency’s alleged use of torture against detainees. In an attempt to sabotage the investigation, CIA personnel hacked into Senate computers to spy on the investigators. Despite this extreme ethical violation, Haines never disciplined these individuals and later worked to redact more than 6,000 pages of the Senate report. This controversial fact about Haines is absent from the mainstream narrative, which is highly concerning. 


President Biden’s cabinet picks reveal to the American people and to the world where he intends on moving this country,” senior Chloe Alce said. “To continue to torture civilians worldwide and abroad to defend corrupt American interests.”


A similar pattern exists for Biden’s appointed Defense secretary. Celebrated as the first Black Defense secretary, retired General Lloyd Austin was a former commander in the United States Central Command and oversaw military operations in Iraq. While Austin may have made historical strides towards racial representation, he is no outsider to the military industrial complex. Austin served on the board of Raytheon Technologies, an American military contractor, since 2016, and according to The New York Times, “Raytheon filings [show] that as of October [2020], General Austin owned more than $500,000 of Raytheon stock.” Such findings invalidate the fantasies of pro-Biden “progressives” who claimed that Biden will uphold progressive ideals; no one expects members of cabinets with close ties to the military industrial complex to bring an anti-war attitude to the office. 


“I hope this dismisses any hope others might have had concerning President Biden not pursuing the standard aggressive imperialist policies in the Global South,” senior Seun Adekunle said. “President Joe Biden promised a return to normalcy; we are beginning to see what that entailed.”


To put it plainly, Biden’s “diverse” cabinet is a facade, concealing the Obama-era policies—filled with cover-ups and corporate pandering—that Biden intends to reinstate. While the media elites may see this as a success, solutions are rarely found by emulating the past, especially when many observers credit Obama’s neoliberal politics for cultivating Trump’s gilded populism.


For many voters in the 2020 election, voting for Biden came with the condition that he would be held accountable at the highest standard. Now that he has won the presidency, it’s time to uphold that promise and the will of the American people.