Former Defense Secretary Gates’ “Doody” or How I lost all those wars

A lot of what’s in the article is nonsense pretending to give the reader an inside look at the goings on at the Pentagon. It most certainly doesn’t, but it is interesting to note that Patty Murray (aka the Senator from Boeing) didn’t even bother to transcribe her instructions from her pimps at the aircraft manufacturer onto her own letterhead.

[Thanks to Rich Gibson]

Gates’ “Doody” or How I lost all those wars The former defense secretary is naming names. Vice President Joe Biden? A comical “motormouth” who, though he is “simply impossible not to like,” presumes to know more about counterterrorism than an experienced Special Operations general. He is “relentless . . . in attacking the integrity of the senior military leadership” and, for good measure, “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.” The former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is “hell on wheels, . . . a whirling dervish with ­attention-deficit disorder.” Tom Donilon, President Obama’s second national security adviser, is suspicious and distrustful of the uniformed military leadership to the point of stating in a meeting that it was “insubordinate” and “in revolt” against the White House. At one point in an Oval Office meeting, Donilon was so querulous about military operations that Gates contemplated walking out in anger. “It took every bit of my self-discipline to stay seated on the sofa.”  …I was constantly amazed and infuriated at the hypocrisy of those who most stridently attacked the Defense Department for being inefficient and wasteful but would fight tooth and nail to prevent any reduction in defense activities in their home state or district no matter how inefficient or wasteful.” The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, is depicted as a small-time hack who telephones Gates to lobby, at one point, for Defense Department funding for research on irritable bowel syndrome. With wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gates recalls, “I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.” When Gates tried over a breakfast to describe to Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the House, what he saw as the facts on the ground in Iraq, “she politely made clear she wasn’t interested” in reaching a bipartisan agreement. He describes Pelosi close to exploding at a White House meeting on an early decision of Obama’s to keep troops in Iraq until near the end of 2011: “She drummed her fingers on the table and had a white-knuckled grip on her pencil.” She looked, he says, “like she had swallowed an entire lemon.” He also recalls a hearing at which Senator Patty Murray of Washington (where Boeing is a major employer) was reading from prepared notes, and says with disdain that “no one had bothered to remove the Boeing letterhead from her talking points.”  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/books/review/duty-a-memoir-by-robert-m-gates.html?nl=books&emc=edit_bk_20140117&_r=0

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