Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense under Bush and Obama, has written a new book called “Duty” and NPR’s Steve Inskeep had a long interview with him about the new book. Read the whole transcript here but I’ll share a few money quotes that show just how damaging this book will be to Team Obama.
All quotes are from Mr. Gates but I’ve also included some questions from Mr. Inskeep and they are noted with his name in front of the quote.
Vice President Joe Biden:
INSKEEP: Why did you write that Vice President Biden, in your view, has been wrong about every major foreign policy issue for 40 years? That’s a pretty scathing line.
GATES: And he was in there advising the president every day. He was, I think, stoking the president’s suspicion of the military. But the other side of it is, frankly, I believe it. The vice president, when he was a senator — a very new senator — voted against the aid package for South Vietnam, and the — that was part of the deal when we pulled out of South Vietnam to try and help them survive. He said that when the, when the Shah fell in Iran in 2009 — 1979, rather — that that was a step forward for progress toward human rights in Iran. He opposed virtually every element of President Reagan’s defense buildup. He voted against the B-1, the B-2, the MX and so on. He voted against the first Gulf War. So on a number of these major issues, I just — I, frankly, over a long period of time, felt that he had been on the wrong — he’d been — I think he had been wrong.
The young, arrogant members of Obama’s staff:
I had worked for probably three of the most significant and toughest national security advisers in our history: Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft. And there were things that went on in the Obama White House that, under those three guys, I am confident would have been a firing offense, such as direct calls from NSC staff members to four-star generals and so on. That just wouldn’t have been allowed.
They were going outside the chain of command. It’s not appropriate for somebody on the National Security Council staff to be in direct contact with combatant commanders.
Hillary Clinton and why she opposed the Iraqi Surge:
Well, Hillary was a very strong supporter of the Afghan surge. And she turns to the president and says, you know, the reason that the surge worked — that the surge worked in Iraq, in terms of arguing for the surge in Afghanistan — and just commented almost just as an aside that the main reason she’d opposed the Iraq surge has been because of running against him in the — in the presidential — early in the presidential year in 2008.
Obama’s advisers cared more about politics than National Security:
INSKEEP: You do describe what you felt was, quote, a total focus on politics by often the president, nearly always Vice President Biden and always from the rest of his staff.
GATES: Well, what I — what I write about in the book was that domestic politics had a role in the debates about national security issues that I had not previously experienced. But I also go on to write that at the end of the day the president made — President Obama made decisions based on what he thought was in the best interest of U.S. national security. So his decisions to increase troops in Afghanistan early in 2009 and then a substantial increase toward the end of 2009, were decisions taken against all of the advice of his domestic political advisers, White House staff and the vice president.
The paranoia of Obama and having a need for everyone to love him:
INSKEEP: It’s remarkable this exchange that you record here on page 369. You’re in a private meeting with the president and Admiral Mike Mullen, the president’s top military adviser, and you quote the president asking a number of really direct questions: What is wrong? Is it the process? Are they — meaning the military — is the military suspicious of my politics? Do they resent that I never served in the military? Do they think because I’m young that I don’t see what they’re doing? That’s a remarkable series of questions to hear from a man who outwardly has always been quite confident.
That’s some pretty damning stuff right there. This should be bad for Team Obama and the future POTUS aspirations of Hillary Clinton, right? I doubt it.
I predict the State Run Media already have pieces written to discredit this book and they’ll say Mr. Gates has a political agenda and that is what drove him to write these lies. The Juice Box “Journolists” like Ezra Klein will do their blocking as best they can to tamp down the hype of this book and divert attention to Bridgegate. Jay Carney will deflect questions and refuse to comment on matters of National Security or some other bullshit like that.
But hopefully people will read this book and realize how much danger we are in right now because even matters of National Security aren’t immune to the petty, Chicago style politics of Team Obama.
May God have mercy on us because we have 3 more years of this.