Mattis Needed Legislation To Bypass Federal Law That Prohibits Him From Serving As Sec. Of Defense.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “To take the job, Mattis will need Congress to pass legislation to bypass a federal law stating that defense secretaries must not have been on active duty in the previous seven years. Congress has granted a similar exemption just once, when Gen. George C. Marshall was appointed to the job in 1950.”  [Washington Post, 12/01/16]

New York Times: Mattis’ Appointment Raises Questions About Civilian Control Of The Military.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “General Mattis’s selection also raises potentially consequential questions about the issue of civilian control of the military, a standard set by the framers of the Constitution. The founding fathers were adamant that the country be led by a civilian president who exercises control over the military as commander in chief so that the nation will not become a military state. Similarly, the leader of the Defense Department is always a civilian who is superior to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s top military official.”  [New York Times, 12/02/16]

An Anonymous “Senior Pentagon Official” Said There Were Concerns About Civilian Control Of The Military With Mattis.  In December 2016 the Washington Post quoted an anonymous “Senior Pentagon Official” on Mattis, “But the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Trump’s personnel choices, said: ‘If there’s any concern at all, it’s the principle of civilian control over the military. This role was never intended to be a kind of Joint Chiefs of Staff on steroids, and that’s the biggest single risk tied to Mattis.’”  [Washington Post, 12/01/16]

Washington Post In Dec. 2016: There Was Little Indication Whether Mattis Would Get His Waiver.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “It is unclear whether the legislation required to make Mattis the Pentagon chief will be difficult to obtain from Congress. A 1947 national security law said that a general must wait 10 years from leaving active duty before becoming defense secretary.” And, “The 10-year period was reduced to seven years in 2008 for several senior civilian defense positions, including defense secretary.”  [Washington Post, 12/01/16]

The Only Previous Such Waiver Came Immediately After The Law Was Passed As Sort Of A ‘Grandfather Clause.’  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “An exception was granted on a one-time basis for Marshall, with lawmakers saying in special legislation at the time that it was the ‘sense of the Congress that after General Marshall leaves the office of Secretary of Defense, no additional appointments of military men to that office shall be approved.’”  [Washington Post, 12/01/16]


Mattis In 2005: “It’s Fun To Shoot Some People.” In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Mattis occasionally has come under scrutiny for impolitic remarks. Most notably, he said in 2005 during a panel discussion in San Diego that ‘it’s fun to shoot some people’ and ‘I like brawling,’ drawing criticism from the Marine commandant at the time, Gen. Michael Hagee.”  [Washington Post, 12/01/16]

Some Senior Officials Questioned Mattis’ Ability To Work As A Civilian In The Pentagon.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “While General Mattis is revered by Marines and enlisted soldiers, several military officials interviewed on Friday raised questions about whether his proven combat skills as a military leader will be the right tools to overcome the calcified bureaucracy that is the Defense Department.  A defense secretary must navigate the politics of the White House and Congress while balancing and, in some cases, steering the views of his top military officers.”  [New York Times, 12/02/16]

Allegedly, Gen. Mattis Refused To Attempt A Rescue Of Green Berets That Were Hit By A Friendly Fire Smart Bomb.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “General Mattis’s selection has also resurfaced an accusation from ‘The Only Thing Worth Dying For,’ a 2010 book by Eric Blehm, who wrote about a group of Green Berets after they were hit by an American smart bomb in Afghanistan in 2001. In the book, Mr. Blehm quotes a former Army Special Forces officer accusing General Mattis, then a brigadier general, of refusing to send helicopters to rescue the Green Berets. The general declined to be interviewed for the book.”  [New York Times, 12/02/16]

Politico: Mattis Told People To “Be Polite, Be Professional, But Have A Plan To Kill Everybody You Meet.”  [Politico, 12/04/16]


Mattis’ Grievance With Iran Is So Strong That He Lost His Job At Central Command Over It.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “In fact, Mattis’ anti-Iran animus is so intense that it led President Barack Obama to replace him as Centcom commander. It was a move that roiled Mattis admirers, seeding claims that the president didn’t like ‘independent-minded generals who speak candidly to their civilian leaders.’”  [Politico, 12/04/16]

Politico: Pres. Obama Forced Mattis To Retire From The Marines Over His Aggression Toward Iran.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “It was also this Iran obsession that led Obama to force Mattis’ retirement back in January 2013. In the weeks before being told he would be replaced as Centcom commander, he requested a third aircraft carrier be added to the two regularly deployed in the Persian Gulf. His request was denied because, he was told, the carrier was needed in the Pacific. But Mattis was undeterred, not only arguing the point with national security adviser Tom Donilon but also taking actions in the Gulf the White House considered provocative. The back and forth got ugly: When confronted again by Donilon, one of Mattis’ senior aides told me, the Centcom commander snapped at him: ‘You’re not in the chain of command; I don’t take orders from you.’”  [Politico, 12/04/16]

Politico: Some Pentagon Officials Worry Mattis’ Lack Of Objectivity On Iran Could Lead To War.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “But Mattis’ Iran antagonism also concerns many of the Pentagon’s most senior officers, who disagree with his assessment and openly worry whether his Iran views are based on a sober analysis or whether he’s simply reflecting a 30-plus-year-old hatred of the Islamic Republic that is unique to his service. It’s a situation that could lead to disagreement within the Pentagon over the next four years—but also, senior Pentagon officials fear, to war.”  [Politico, 12/04/16]

Politico: One Senior Marine Officer Said Mattis Had A Personal Grudge Against Iran.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “’It’s in his blood,’ one senior Marine officer told me. ‘It’s almost like he wants to get even with them.’”  [Politico, 12/04/16]

Mattis Even Suggested That ISIS Was Just A Front Group For Iranian “Mischief.”  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “Then, Mattis linked Iran to the rise of ISIS. ‘I consider ISIS nothing more than an excuse for Iran to continue its mischief,’ he said. ‘Iran is not an enemy of ISIS; they have a lot to gain from the turmoil that ISIS creates.’”  [Politico, 12/04/16]

Mattis Said Iran And ISIS Must Be One In The Same Because The Two Weren’t Fighting.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “What Mattis said next was eerily reminiscent of George W. Bush’s claim that because Al Qaeda wasn’t attacking Saddam Hussein, the two must be linked: ‘I would just point out one question for you to look into,’ Mattis intoned. ‘What is the one country in the Middle East that has not been attacked by ISIS? One. That is Iran. That is more than happenstance, I’m sure.’”  [Politico, 12/04/16]

Mattis’ Assertion On Iran And ISIS Was Provably False.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “Or maybe not. Mattis’ ISIS-is-Iran claim is breathtakingly short on facts. The Iranians are arming Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, who are fighting ISIS in Mosul, and Tehran has made little secret of its opposition to the Sunni terrorist group. Back in July, Iranian television said its government had uncovered an ISIS plot to set off bombs in Tehran, leading to the arrest of 10 terrorist operatives. ‘The U.S. has lots of disagreements with Iran,’ a senior Pentagon civilian official told me on Friday, ‘but what to do about ISIS isn’t one of them. We want them defeated, and so do they.’”  [Politico, 12/04/16]

Senior Pentagon Civilian: Mattis Should Know Better On Iran.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “’It’s just not that simple,’ this senior Pentagon civilian official told me, ‘and Jim Mattis ought to know that. He’s been kicking around the region for a long time; he knows how complicated it is.’”  [Politico, 12/04/16]

Senior Marine Officer: Mattis Was Dangerously Obsessed With Iran.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “But others worry that he might be to eager to get into a fight. ‘Back when he was Centcom commander,’ the senior Marine officer says, ‘Jim was really focused on Iran, and was well aware that any kind of confrontation with them could easily spin out of control. He once did a study of it, and completely shut down Navy officers who told him the Iranian military was no match for the Americans. He just rejected that. Totally. Which is why I find his later comments, in which he seemed to be picking a fight with them, almost inexplicable. But there it is—that’s the danger. It’s Beirut and Iraq, really.’”  [Politico, 12/04/16]


Mattis Had Huge Investments In, And Sat On The Board Of Defense Contractor General Dynamics.  In January 2017 Politico wrote, “Mattis’ financial disclosure, posted publicly on Sunday, shows he has between $3.5 million and $10 million, with much of the assets in mutual funds and bank accounts.  That also includes between $600,000 and $1.25 million in stock and options in General Dynamics, where he currently serves as a member of the board of directors.”  And, “But his biggest post-career financial haul appears to have come from General Dynamics, the Pentagon's fourth-largest contractor, which builds everything from tanks to submarines and communications equipment.”  [Politico, 01/08/17]

Mattis Was Paid $242,000 As A Board Member Of Defense Contractor General Dynamics.  In January 2017 Politico wrote, “According to the financial disclosure, Mattis received $242,000 as a General Dynamics board member and $150,000 for serving on the board of embattled biotech firm Theranos.”  [Politico, 01/08/17]

Mattis Only Sold Much Of His General Dynamic Stock In January.  In January 2017 Politico wrote, “Mattis sold off $12,000 of his $330,000 in GD stock last week, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. He also has more than $570,000 in vested stock options with the defense contractor, SEC filings show.”  [Politico, 01/08/17]

Mattis Said He Would Recuse Himself For Only A Year On Decisions Surrounding Contractor That Paid Him Millions.  In January 2017 Politico wrote, “Once confirmed, Mattis also pledged to recuse himself for one year in matters involving General Dynamics and to resign from Hoover. He resigned from the Theranos position and from the board of the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank, last month.”  [Politico, 01/08/17]


Biotech Firm, Theranos, Faced A Criminal Fraud Probe, First Reported In April 2016.  In April 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Theranos, the embattled blood-testing laboratory, said on Monday that federal officials were conducting a criminal investigation into the company, adding to a series of questions from officials about its inner workings. In a note to outside partners, the company said that the Justice Department had requested documents and that the investigation was active. The note also said that the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating the company.”  [New York Times, 04/18/16]

Theranos Admitted That Their Blood Tests Did Not Work After Suits And Criminal Investigations.  In May 2016 the Los Angeles Times wrote, “Desperate to stop the shutdown of its California lab, Theranos told federal regulators that it is retracting the results of tens of thousands of blood tests that doctors had depended on to care for patients over the last two years.  The Palo Alto company confirmed a report by the Wall Street Journal that said Theranos was voiding or correcting two years of results from its blood-testing device called Edison – a much-hyped technology that had made company founder Elizabeth Holmes, a Stanford dropout, a multi-billionaire on paper. Consumers were told that for a low price and a quick finger prick Edison would give them test results in a matter of hours.  But doctors may have made wrong decisions based on the faulty results.”  [Los Angeles Times, 05/19/16]

Mattis Intervened On Behalf Of Theranos’ Flawed Technology While Leading Central Command.  In December 2016 CNN reported, “Holmes reportedly reached out to Mattis in 2012, after a military official flagged Theranos' technology to the FDA. She wanted Mattis to use his authority to dispel any concerns. Mattis forwarded the emails internally, indicating a sense of urgency in moving forward with the technology, but it never took off.”  [CNN, 12/02/16]

Mattis Told Theranos’ CEO That He Was Going To Help Her Sell Her Flawed Technology.  In December 2015 the Washington Post wrote, “Mattis, busy overseeing the war in Afghanistan as commander of the U.S. Central Command, expressed interest in testing Theranos’s technology in combat areas, according to the e-mails.  ‘I’ve met with my various folks and we’re kicking this into overdrive,’ Mattis wrote to Holmes in June 2012. ‘I’m convinced that your invention will be a game-changer for us and I want it to be given the opportunity for a demonstration in-theater soonest.’  He urged Holmes to call or e-mail him if she felt they needed to talk.”  [New York Times, 12/05/16]

Mattis Tried To Work Around Military Regulatory Efforts To Fast Track Theranos Technology.  In December 2015 the Washington Post wrote, “She noted that a deputy director working for a division of the military that oversees regulatory issues and compliance had launched a formal inquiry to regulators without warning Theranos.  ‘I would very much appreciate your help in getting this information corrected with the regulatory agencies,’ Holmes wrote in the e-mail to Mattis. ‘Since this misinformation came from within DoD, it will be invaluable if this information is formally corrected by the right people in DoD.’  Within hours, Mattis forwarded the exchange to military officials, asking ‘how do we overcome this new obstacle.’  ‘I have tried to get this device tested in theater asap, legally and ethically,’ Mattis wrote. ‘This appears to be relatively straight-forward yet we’re a year into this and not yet deployed.’”  [New York Times, 12/05/16]

Mattis Was Rewarded With A Seat On The Theranos.  In December 2015 the Washington Post wrote, “In 2013, a year after he pushed for the technology to be tested by the military, Mattis joined the Theranos board of directors.”  [New York Times, 12/05/16]

Mattis Stood By Theranos After Details Of The Alleged Fraud Began To Emerge.  In December 2015 the Washington Post wrote, “Mattis declined to answer specific questions about the e-mails or Theranos technology, but gave a statement in support of the company.  ‘Theranos had demonstrated a commitment to investing in and developing technologies that can make a difference in people’s lives, including for the severely wounded and ill,’ Mattis said. ‘I had quickly seen tremendous potential in the technologies Theranos develops, and I have the greatest respect for the company’s mission and integrity.’”  [New York Times, 12/05/16]

Mattis Took The Theranos Position Over Some Specific Objections From DoD Ethics Officials.  In December 2015 the Washington Post wrote, “In late July 2013, two months after he retired from the Marine Corps, Mattis asked a defense department ethics official about future employment with Theranos’s board of directors.  Mattis got the okay, with a restriction.  ‘Absent additional information regarding your personal or substantial participation in potential procurement of the Afghanistan pilot test of the Theranos device ... I further advise you not to represent Theranos before the DoD [Department of Defense] and DON [Department of the Navy] on that particular matter for the lifetime of the matter,” Robert D. Hogue, counsel for the Marine Corps commandant, wrote to Mattis in a letter provided by Theranos.’”  [New York Times, 12/05/16]

Mattis Only Resigned From The Theranos Board In December 2016, Months After The Criminal Probes Came To Light.  In January 2017 the Wall Street Journal wrote, “The retired Marine Corps general President-elect Donald Trump has picked to lead the Defense Department resigned from the board of embattled Theranos Inc., people familiar with the matter said.  The move distances Gen. James Mattis from a blood-testing startup embroiled in scandal ahead of his confirmation hearings. The 66-year-old general decided to step down from the Theranos board last month, the people said.”  [Wall Street Journal, 01/15/17]