Obama expected to name Clinton and Gates

CHICAGO (Reuters) - President-elect Barack Obama will unveil his national security team on Monday with former rival Hillary Clinton picked as secretary of state and Robert Gates staying on as defense secretary.

The pair, who have been at odds with Obama in the past over foreign policy and defense issues, will have the task of implementing Obama's vision for "renewing" America's leadership in world affairs, rebuilding its image abroad, and overseeing two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Monday's announcement has been given added emphasis by last week's rampage in India's financial capital of Mumbai by gunmen who killed nearly 200 people, including at least five U.S. citizens, ratcheting up tensions with nuclear-armed rival Pakistan, which New Delhi said was linked to the attacks.

With polls showing most Americans more concerned about the dire state of the economy than national security, Obama spent much of last week naming leading members of his economic team and presenting himself as a strong chief executive officer.

But the Mumbai attacks were a timely reminder that Obama will not have the luxury of focusing only on fixing the economy as he succeeds outgoing President George W. Bush. His vice president-elect, Joe Biden, warned during the presidential campaign that Obama could be tested by a national security crisis within six months of taking office on January 20.

U.S. authorities warned last week of a possible al Qaeda threat to transit systems in and around New York City, although they added there was no specific information to confirm the plot had developed "beyond aspirational planning."

A Democratic official confirmed Obama had chosen Gates and Clinton, as well as retired Marine Gen. James Jones as national security adviser. They will be named at a Chicago news conference at 10:40 a.m. EST.

Other positions were likely to be announced, possibly including Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as head of homeland security, former Justice Department official Eric Holder as attorney general and Susan Rice, an Obama foreign policy adviser, as U.N. ambassador.

GATES OFFERS CONTINUITY

U.S. media say Defense Secretary Gates, who had previously said he wanted to leave at the end of the Bush administration, has agreed to stay on, although it is not clear for how long.

While Gates avoided direct criticism of Obama during the election campaign, he has advocated policies that have been at odds with Obama on issues such as the Iraq war.

Obama wants to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq within 16 months of taking office, but Gates has argued against setting timetables and a quick pullout, saying it could jeopardize the security gains that have been made over the past year.

However, Gates, praised by Democrats and Republicans since taking over the Pentagon from Donald Rumsfeld in 2006, would provide continuity at the Pentagon while the United States fights two wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama clashed with Clinton during a bitter campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Clinton famously ran an advertisement depicting a 3 a.m. crisis call at the White House to argue that Obama, a first-term Illinois senator, was not ready to be commander-in-chief.

Clinton has also tended to talk tougher, once saying she would "obliterate" Iran if it attacked Israel. She criticized as "naive" Obama's call for direct presidential-level engagement with foes like Iran and North Korea.

But Clinton broadly sides with Obama in supporting a greater emphasis on engagement in U.S. foreign policy.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, had agreed to make public the names of more than 200,000 donors to his foundation as part of a deal with Obama to clear the way for his wife to become secretary of state.

The newspaper said Clinton had decided to publish his contributor lists to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest with his wife's duties as secretary of state.

A member of Obama's transition team confirmed to Reuters the conditions of the agreement as reported by the Times.

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Like most people, biologist and science journalist Matt Ridley just wants the truth. When it comes to the origin of COVID-19, that is a tall order. Was it human-made? Did it leak from a laboratory? What is the role of gain-of-function research? Why China, why now?

Ridley's latest book, "Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19," is a scientific quest to answer these questions and more. A year ago, you would have been kicked off Facebook for suggesting COVID originated in a lab. For most of the pandemic, the left practically worshipped Dr. Anthony Fauci. But lately, people have been poking around. And one of the names that appears again and again is Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance and a longtime collaborator and funder of the virus-hunting work at Wuhan Institute of Virology.

If you watched Glenn Beck's special last week, "Crimes or Cover-Up? Exposing the World's Most Dangerous Lie," you learned some very disturbing things about what our government officials — like Dr. Fauci — were doing around the beginning of the pandemic. On the latest "Glenn Beck Podcast," Glenn sat down with Ridley to review what he and "Viral" co-author Alina Chan found while researching — including a "fascinating little wrinkle" from the Wuhan Institute of Virology called "7896."

Watch the video clip below or find the full interview with Matt Ridley here:

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Dr. Anthony Fauci's arrogance is out of control and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is one of the only members of Congress calling him out to his face. Last week, Glenn Beck exposed the truth about what happened leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, who the top players in government and science were, and what their real response was in the first days of the pandemic during a live special, "Crimes or Cover-Up? Exposing the World's Most Dangerous Lie." Sen. Paul joined Glenn on the radio program to review some of the facts uncovered during the special and to explain his next steps moving forward in Congress.

Paul said it's "amazing" that so few on the opposite side of the political aisle seem to care about the dangers gain-of-function research poses to the world. COVID-19 has a 1% mortality rate yet it still managed to cause massive destruction around the world, he said. So, what if the next mistake results in a leaked virus with a 50% mortality rate? Because scientists are researching viruses as dangerous as that, Sen. Paul explained, and some — including Fauci — believe the risks are worth it.

"It is kind of amazing, particularly that no one from the opposite side of the aisle seems to care at all about the dangerousness of this virus and that it might have come from a lab, and in all likelihood did come from a lab," Paul said. "Not one Democrat is curious at all. You know, you would think that Democrats have at least some sensibilities about the danger of things. They tend to be the ones who want to regulate away the things that could be dangerous in the workplace. Yet they don't seem to care about something that could kill millions and likely did kill millions of people. This virus has a 1% mortality and killed 5 million people so far, around the world. Can you imagine if the next one that comes out of the lab has 15% or 50% mortality? And they are doing experiments, as we speak, with viruses that have 50% mortality, and Fauci seems to have no problem with this. He says we weigh the risks verses the benefits of the research, and he comes down on the side that the risks are worth it."

"All of humanity could be wiped out if they make [another] tragic error," Glenn responded. "This is not something that the elites should be the ones making the decision. We should all be involved in these decisions. There's no bigger decision to make than, 'should we be playing around with things that don't exist necessarily in nature that have jumped to humans?' Should we be playing around with these things, making [dangerous viruses], so in case it jumps to humans, we can kill it with a vaccine? This is insanity. Insanity. Especially with arrogance coupled to it."

Sen. Paul went on to point out the additional dangers of allowing any one person to have too much authority, particularly, as in the case of Dr. Fauci, a person with casual disregard for both science and individual liberty.

"Fauci not only has a casual disregard for science, but also for individual liberty. You combine the two — ignoring the science, and then having no regard at all for individual liberty — and you have a really dangerous situation. But it's also dangerous because we've centralized the authority," Paul explained.

"Look, I have opinions on where the virus came from. I have opinions on how to treat it. But they're my opinions, you don't have to take them. If you agree with me, you can listen to my opinions. With Dr. Fauci, it's not the same. He has opinions, but he wants you to be forced to do as he says. So it is the difference between coercion and freedom. And in freedom, there are many choices. But the real danger is, as we centralize authority, ultimately you get authoritarianism. And I think that he could easily be a medical dictator, if he were allowed to be."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation, or watch Glenn's special, "Crimes or Cover-Up? Exposing the World's Most Dangerous Lie," on YouTube or BlazeTV.com now.

Use promo code FAUCILIED for $25 off when you join BlazeTV.

Note: The content of this clip does not provide medical advice. Please seek the advice of local health officials for any COVID related questions & concerns.

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COVID-19 changed everything. The way we live our lives, how we operate our businesses, how we see each other. And now, the federal government is sinking its tendrils even deeper, threatening the fabric not only of our bodily autonomy, but of the republic.

Our American way of life may never be the same. To save it, we must understand the key fundamentals of the pandemic that transfigured our society into the nightmare it is today. What is the COVID-19 origin story? Who are its top players in government and science, pulling the strings? What was their REAL response in the first days of the pandemic? The answers to these questions are frightening.

Emails, documents, and federal contracts tell a dark story that is still dominating our lives. It's time to cast a light on the shocking truth. Because only with the truth can we emerge from the darkness of this "pandemic" and take back the liberty stolen from us.

This is Glenn Beck's most important chalkboard of his life. And the most pivotal time in yours.

Watch the full special below:

View the research and supporting documents for this special here.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.