Skip to comments.Robert Gates and the Taint of the Insider Tell-All
Posted on 01/23/2014 4:28:25 AM PST by Kaslin
For all hysteria over former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' new insider memoir of his tenure during the Bush and Obama administrations, the disclosures are more breaches of trust than earth-shattering revelations. Much of "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War" is the ordinary stuff of public service.
What little gossip in the book that may be controversial -- revelations that both Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama cynically opposed the successful Bush-era surge in Iraq on political grounds, or that Vice President Joe Biden is a buffoonish blowhard -- was already common knowledge to many Americans.
Gates sees himself as reluctantly drawn to Washington to help rescue the fading Bush administration's unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2009, he grudgingly stayed on at the Defense Department, apparently to add some sobriety to an at times comically inexperienced new Obama team.
(Excerpt) Read more at townhall.com ...
Victor Davis Hanson tries to protect his undocumented Tyrant
by complaining that Gates should have waited
until Obama “was out of office”, and
by minimizing what is clearly a word beginning with
the letter “T”.
No sentient American need buy a letter.
“T _ _ _ _ _ _”
heh, Heh....he said taint...heh heh.
In general I believe its better for subordinates to keep the confidences of their employers. But we live in a world where both sides write tell-alls. The authors do this for money and/or to harm their former employers. As long as one side does it, I believe its only fair that both sides do it. Otherwise it creates the false impression that one side is morally superior to the other. I believe that both the Reagan administration and the Bush administrations WERE morally superior to Carter, Clinton and Obama. To leave those men unsullied by tales of their stupidity while demeaning the honest efforts and best intentioned failures (or by outright lying) creates a miss-impression of a superior Democratic president and a bumbling, inept Republican president.
Having said that, were I in the presidents chair, each employee would sign an enforceable contract governing their behavior after leaving office. Nobody would write anything while I held the chair. Afterwords theyre free to do whatever they wish. These revelations could cause significant harm to international relations. (On the other hand, nothing could damage our international relations more than Obama has all by his lonesome.)
Gates has the right to do whatever he wants. As others have stated, he should have come out before the last election if he had a problem with the direction. Now, it is purely for profit as we cannot alter the path of the next three years. Waiting until after the 2nd term is not much different than releasing today. Maybe he felt like he could sell more books now than later since other books will also come out post-2016. If he has a problem with Hillary, maybe he wanted to affect public opinion now in hopes of impacting the next election. Seems like that was not his purpose, though, from the interviews out there.
Lol!!!! You beat me too it!!
Although we can appreciate the information in these tell all books, the fact is that when a person leaves a position of trust and then exploits that position later by writing a tell all book, they ruin whatever reputation they had.
If Gates had a problem with Obama, then he had a duty to his employer (that would be the taxpayers) to tell it to the people before he left office. Instead, he feigned loyalty to Obama while at the same time keeping his concerns to himself while Rome burned.
And to think he called his book “Duty”. The man has no sense of duty. He stood by for years while Obama destroyed the nation under his nose and said nothing. The man is without honor.
In other words either way he was wrong, is that so?
He would only have one side complaining if he had done it earlier, eh?
Well said, P-Marlowe! The VDH column is spot on. When the good of his country was on the line, Gates was silent; when a major book deal was in the works, Gates finally spoke up. Robert Gates is without honor.
A couple of years late, and a couple of billion dollars short.
Kaslin, the difference is that Gates “came out” and “told the truth” only in exchange for a lot of money. Honor would have compelled Gates to have resigned from office and to have voiced his complaints when they might have made a difference. His silence then and his singing for a fee now both prove that Robert Gates is merely a prostitute.
Attributes of a first class REMF. If he was that tormented, he should have stood for his convictions and resigned.
I've mellowed over the years, but I'll admit I was a real SOB as a young officer. Failing my first tac eval as a new Platoon Leader was a learning experience that serves me to this day.
It was my first day with that platoon...no matter. I took the blame for the failure, and rightfully so. The Platoon Leader handbook states that a platoon leader is responsible for everything that his unit does or fails to do. I took that to heart: if my neck is on the line, then by God, I'll do it my way to the best of my ability.
Was I perfect? Heck no. But I would've resigned rather than be an accomplice to the actions of the current Administration. Make no mistake about it...Gates was an accomplice, a promulgator of the reckless, and deadly, rules of engagement that constrain our servicemembers' mission around the world.
Not to mention the cost of additional lives of our brave men and women.
This has nothing to do with coming(came) out. As VDH points out, this is not a revelation, these issues were significant at the time and they were widely discussed. Obviously, there are a lot of people, or a lot of freepers, who don't remember these things/events/issues. We actually know the whys and wherefores of Clinton and Obama opposing the Iraq surge and we know the whys and wherefores of Clinton and Gates supporting the surge in Afghanistan while Biden supported less of a surge in Afghanistan
As for telling the truth, Gates is not talking the truth, he is talking the position he took on specific issues, which would have been different from the position that others took.
BTW, this book is not Gates' first memoir book. His first memoir covered his time from the 70s thru GHW Bush, which was published in the late 90s. In that book he published the info about Jimmy Carter and Brzezenski giving the foreign aid money to the political opposition in Afghanistan, which led to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Gates knew about that because he served as Deputy National Security Advisor under Brzezenski.
Which contributed to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. So, although it pains me to do it, I'll score one for Carter and Brzezenski.
My copy is waiting for pickup at the bookstore. Call me “Old fashioned” but I like to read for myself rather than rely on someone else’ opinion backed by cherry picked quotes.