PDA

View Full Version : Ex-SecDef Gates New Book Blasts Congress, Biden



JAD_333
13 Jan 14,, 05:47
Gates' new book out this coming week has already generated controversy and denials from the White House. Gates was the consummate bureaucrat during his service under 5 presidents and along the way picked up a reputation for credibility. Tell-all books comes and go, but this one is sure to be closely read. Certain Congressional leaders come in for special criticism, particularly Senate Majority leader Harry Reid. Going to be an interesting read.

Sample quote:


The Nevada Democrat angered Gates in 2008, when debate was occurring over whether to extend the troop surge in Iraq, with comments the secretary of defense believe smacked of "defeatism."

"The worst of these comments came in mid-April from the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, who said in a press conference, 'This war is lost,' and 'The surge is not accomplishing anything.' I was furious and shared privately with some of my staff a quote from Abraham Lincoln I had written down long before. 'Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled or hanged.' "

Gates Unleashed: Ex-Defense Chief Goes Scorched Earth On Congress : It's All Politics : NPR (http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2014/01/09/261092759/gates-unleashed-ex-secdef-goes-scorched-earth-on-congress)

citanon
13 Jan 14,, 07:40
Already pre-ordered the Kindle version.

JAD_333
13 Jan 14,, 08:15
Should Gates have waited before publishing his book? He was asked about that on TV Sunday and he said something to the effect that he wanted to publish while his views were still timely.

McCain and Rubio among others think he should have waited. I just hope the lessons Gates has to offer aren't lost in a food fight over when he should have published. His Biden comments will probably cause him the most heartburn.


McCain: Gates should have delayed book

David Jackson, USA TODAY 6:50 p.m. EST January 12, 2014


President Obama -- criticized in a new book by his former Defense secretary Robert Gates -- found an unusual source of sympathy on Sunday: John McCain.

The Republican senator from Arizona, who lost the 2008 presidential election to Obama, told CNN that Gates should have delayed publication of his new book, perhaps until the end of U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan.

"If I (had been) giving him advice, I would have waited," McCain said on CNN's State of the Union.

McCain also called Gates "one of the finest public servants that I've known," and he has the right "to voice his views any time he wants to."

Other lawmakers have also questioned the timing of Gates' book.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., while a Republican critic of Obama, told CBS' Face The Nation that "my preference would be that people would refrain from writing these sorts of things until the president is out of office because I think it undermines the ability to conduct foreign policy."

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., also on CBS, praised Gates' service, but said, "I just wish he could have waited a little bit longer."

McCain: Gates should have delayed book (http://www.usatoday.com/story/theoval/2014/01/12/obama-john-mccain-robert-gates-afghanistan/4439859/)

tbm3fan
13 Jan 14,, 19:43
Well of course those are his personal opinions to take with a grain of salt or not since all autos are a bit on the self-promotion side.

In the book he relates a meeting on Iran and Obama reminding those involved "those of you who are writing memoirs" that he was still undecided on a key issue. Gates recalls " I was offended by his suspicion that any of us would write about such sensitive matters." Apparently not...

Albany Rifles
13 Jan 14,, 20:37
Gates views and opnions were much more nuanced than trumpeted in the press. The link has a transcript of an interview he did with NPR. I listened to it this AM. Recommend you read and then listen to the links in the article.

Transcript: Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' Interview With NPR : NPR (http://www.npr.org/2014/01/11/261711869/transcript-former-defense-secretary-robert-gates-interview-with-npr)

S2
13 Jan 14,, 22:01
Thanks. Good interview and I'm committed to reading the book now.

Tremendous public servant and my award for Most Astute Bureaucrat. Blows Rumsfield right out of the water.

bonehead
14 Jan 14,, 04:46
Should Gates have waited before publishing his book? He was asked about that on TV Sunday and he said something to the effect that he wanted to publish while his views were still timely.

McCain and Rubio among others think he should have waited. I just hope the lessons Gates has to offer aren't lost in a food fight over when he should have published. His Biden comments will probably cause him the most heartburn.



I bet they would have preferred timing closer to the next election. The timing doesn't bother me either way as long as no state secrets come out too early. Other than that let the book rock and roll. We need more transparency.

JAD_333
14 Jan 14,, 16:41
I bet they would have preferred timing closer to the next election. The timing doesn't bother me either way as long as no state secrets come out too early. Other than that let the book rock and roll. We need more transparency.

Perhaps, but then it could have been dismissed as politically motivated. The GOP has already used it against Hillary.

bonehead
14 Jan 14,, 17:52
Perhaps, but then it could have been dismissed as politically motivated. The GOP has already used it against Hillary.

Be honest. What isn't politically motivated these days.

JAD_333
15 Jan 14,, 01:59
Be honest. What isn't politically motivated these days.

The difference between obvious and subtle in one's political motivations is a matter of timing.

bonehead
15 Jan 14,, 05:20
The difference between obvious and subtle in one's political motivations is a matter of timing.

LMAO The republicans have been anything but subtle lately. A siren blaring water spraying firetruck through downtown is more their style.

astralis
15 Jan 14,, 05:22
Blows Rumsfield right out of the water.

true, but on the other hand, a half-witted child would have blown Rumsfeld right out of the water...

Officer of Engineers
15 Jan 14,, 06:50
true, but on the other hand, a half-witted child would have blown Rumsfeld right out of the water...Did he? He sent a Canadian brigade to Afghanistan when Afghanistan needed that brigade.

EFP
15 Jan 14,, 12:34
I believe the most controversial aspect of his book is his painting of the White House as one in which currently is in constant disagreement with Pentagon officials concerning defense policy. That is the central aspect of his book that has been a cause for concern for the White House and of interest for newspapers.

Doktor
15 Jan 14,, 19:13
Did he? He sent a Canadian brigade to Afghanistan when Afghanistan needed that brigade.

:confused: He sent it? Since when US SoD sends Canadian troops? It was rhetorical one.

P.S. Why he couldn't send US brigade?

tbm3fan
21 Jan 14,, 03:33
Watched an interview of Mr. Gates on C-span 2 this morning which was conducted at the National Constitution Center. Have to say I was very impressed by what he had to say during the interview. Enough so that I ordered his book from Amazon today. I liked his analogy comparing Congress to werewolves... the lighting of the red light on top of a TV camera is to a Congressman what a full moon is to a werewolf.

JAD_333
21 Jan 14,, 08:13
On Amazon you can read the first couple of chapters...good read so far. I just ordered the book.

I am struck by the accuracy of his depiction of how things work in Washington.

tbm3fan
31 Jan 14,, 08:32
On Amazon you can read the first couple of chapters...good read so far. I just ordered the book.

I am struck by the accuracy of his depiction of how things work in Washington.

Isn't that the truth about behind the scenes in Washington.

Have gotten through 220 pages and can say I am impressed with what I have read so far. The Washington dysfunction was one thing I learned that was way beyond anything we are aware of from both sides. This on both the civilian side and military side. Do think Generals and Admirals need a crash course in public speaking and the need to be aware the President is listening.

What else? Well Gates is very diplomatic in his book. I like the use of "robust" to describe a discussion which pretty much means to me they were yelling at each other behind closed doors.

The one thing that really stood out was Cheney. Wow! Being diplomatic I would describe him the way the Russian Captain in The Hunt For Red October did of the American Captain... "Buckaroo"... with a capital "B".

JAD_333
31 Jan 14,, 20:54
Isn't that the truth about behind the scenes in Washington.

Have gotten through 220 pages and can say I am impressed with what I have read so far. The Washington dysfunction was one thing I learned that was way beyond anything we are aware of from both sides. This on both the civilian side and military side. Do think Generals and Admirals need a crash course in public speaking and the need to be aware the President is listening.

What else? Well Gates is very diplomatic in his book. I like the use of "robust" to describe a discussion which pretty much means to me they were yelling at each other behind closed doors.

The one thing that really stood out was Cheney. Wow! Being diplomatic I would describe him the way the Russian Captain in The Hunt For Red October did of the American Captain... "Buckaroo"... with a capital "B".

I just got my copy and haven't gotten far into it.

Yes, we rarely get the whole truth about behind the scenes. Bob Woodward once asked VP Gore how much of the story the media gets right, to which Gore said 1%. That may be an exaggeration, but in terms of the angst that goes on behind closed doors (or in the mind), he's close. For me the book has special meaning because I worked at the Pentagon for many years and went to quite a few strategy sessions at the White House, albeit concerning public affairs issues, but working in the SecDef public affairs you see and hear a lot of the stuff Gates talks about--the memo blizzards, endless 'coordination', falls from grace, and reshuffles. I don't want to get into all I did, but I was close enough either as a fly on the wall or on the PA operational side to see just the stuff he's writing about. Members of Congress do behave just as he describes and always have. It always seems a revelation when someone like Gates writes about his experiences, but every Secretary of Defense has to deal with it, though Gates had a particularly rough time of it because of the wars on-going and because he followed a notorious dissembler like Rumsfeld. I hope a lot of people read this book. Gates lays out the case for the surge in Iraq with cold hard logic. And I should add, that his deep feelings and concern for those serving in the military ought to be shared by all Americans.