KABOOM! The Hypocrisy of Robert Gates

exploding_head2My head, already weakened by the discussion of “Duty,” Robert Gates’s tell-all memoir, finally detonated when I read the following passage:

“I was put off by the way the President closed the meeting. To his very closest advisers, he said, “For the record, and for those of you writing your memoirs, I am not making any decisions about Israel or Iran. Joe, you be my witness.” I was offended by his suspicion that any of us would ever write about such sensitive matters.”

Yes, Gates actually wrote that he was offended that the President would have so little trust and respect in his closest advisors that he believed some of them would betray that trust by including details of confidential meetings in their memoirs, as Gates now betrays the President’s trust by including details of that very same confidential meetings in his memoirs.

How could he write this? Did he really not perceive the obvious hypocrisy? The irony? Is he admitting that he had an unjustifiably high opinion of his own professionalism that he now is recanting? Did he think that statement by Obama gave him permission to reveal such confidences while the President was still wrestling with some of the same matters they involved? Where was the editor who is supposed to keep an author from undermining his own credibility by making blatantly hypocritical statements?


Pointer: Althouse

Source: Slate

11 thoughts on “KABOOM! The Hypocrisy of Robert Gates

  1. Some people seem to be inherently unable to hear themselves.

    I once heard an irritated person finally explode at an overconfident person “You do not know everything!”, to which the overconfident person replied “I know that!”.

  2. His life was in the service of the CIA. As admirable of an undertaking that may be I’m certain the falsely compromised ethics the application of deceit for pur nation has ultimately become a real quality.

    We never trusted him as our university president.

  3. There’s irony there, yes, but not hypocrisy if he was genuinely reporting his previous position, which he has since changed. However, he seems to be presenting a continuity between his earlier self and his current one that precludes that.

  4. Maybe he was just SO offended that Obama would even think such a thing, that he decided, right at that moment, to take the President up on it. See, this is really all Obama’s fault.

  5. Re: Obama Gates wrote: “I never doubted [his] support for the troops, only his support for their mission.” Now what the hell is that supposed to mean? I will probably read his memoir as a “guilty pleasure.”

    • He didn’t and doesn’t believe in projecting American power in support of American interests, or he doesn’t believe this particular projection of power doesn’t support American interests… But still believes in policies which take care of soldiers…

    • It means that Obama would be a horrible general, because he would but the safety of his troops above accomplishing the mission, which is to take the hill, conquer the bad guys, eliminate the threat, and win.

      • Quite true, Jack. In all things, the mission comes first. It’s up to the leadership, though, to hold true to that mission and preserve what the troops in the field have won. There is no substitute for victory.

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