The first ex-cabinet secretary to attack Obama writes his memoir

Thomas Lifson
Robert Gates, Barack Obama's first Secretary of Defense and a holdover from the Bush cabinet, has written a book that reveals his deep dismay over the leadership provided by the 44th president. Bob Woodward provides a preview of the book, which will be published January 14th.

In a new memoir, former defense secretary Robert Gates unleashes harsh judgments about President Obama's leadership and his commitment to the Afghanistan war, writing that by early 2010 he had concluded the president "doesn't believe in his own strategy, and doesn't consider the war to be his. For him, it's all about getting out."

Leveling one of the more serious charges that a defense secretary could make against a commander in chief sending forces into combat, Gates asserts that Obama had more than doubts about the course he had charted in Afghanistan. The president was "skeptical if not outright convinced it would fail," Gates writes in "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War."

Hillary Clinton, the probable Democrat nominee in 2016, also faces some criticism:

Gates offers a catalogue of various meetings, based in part on notes that he and his aides made at the time, including an exchange between Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that he calls "remarkable."

He writes: "Hillary told the president that her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary. . . . The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying."

Earlier in the book, he describes Hillary Clinton in the sort of glowing terms that might be used in a political endorsement. "I found her smart, idealistic but pragmatic, tough-minded, indefatigable, funny, a very valuable colleague, and a superb representative of the United States all over the world," he wrote.

It will be interesting  to watch how the Obama administration reacts. I expect Gates to be trashed, Chicago-style, at a minimum, even though Obama said a lot of nice things about him in public. Charles Lipson quips:

By the time Jay Carney finishes whitewashing this, he'll have a beard longer than a Hasidic rabbi.

Let the tell-all memoirs of the Obama administration roll.

 

Robert Gates, Barack Obama's first Secretary of Defense and a holdover from the Bush cabinet, has written a book that reveals his deep dismay over the leadership provided by the 44th president. Bob Woodward provides a preview of the book, which will be published January 14th.

In a new memoir, former defense secretary Robert Gates unleashes harsh judgments about President Obama's leadership and his commitment to the Afghanistan war, writing that by early 2010 he had concluded the president "doesn't believe in his own strategy, and doesn't consider the war to be his. For him, it's all about getting out."

Leveling one of the more serious charges that a defense secretary could make against a commander in chief sending forces into combat, Gates asserts that Obama had more than doubts about the course he had charted in Afghanistan. The president was "skeptical if not outright convinced it would fail," Gates writes in "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War."

Hillary Clinton, the probable Democrat nominee in 2016, also faces some criticism:

Gates offers a catalogue of various meetings, based in part on notes that he and his aides made at the time, including an exchange between Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that he calls "remarkable."

He writes: "Hillary told the president that her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary. . . . The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying."

Earlier in the book, he describes Hillary Clinton in the sort of glowing terms that might be used in a political endorsement. "I found her smart, idealistic but pragmatic, tough-minded, indefatigable, funny, a very valuable colleague, and a superb representative of the United States all over the world," he wrote.

It will be interesting  to watch how the Obama administration reacts. I expect Gates to be trashed, Chicago-style, at a minimum, even though Obama said a lot of nice things about him in public. Charles Lipson quips:

By the time Jay Carney finishes whitewashing this, he'll have a beard longer than a Hasidic rabbi.

Let the tell-all memoirs of the Obama administration roll.