08 January 2014

Towering Obama Arrogance and Superbia
Exposed Confirmed in Robert Gates' New Tell-All Book...

"I may be the secretary of defense, but I am also an American citizen
and there is no son-of-a-bitch in the world who can talk to me like that."

Turns out that (genuinely bipartisan) former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates -the only high level official to stay-on from the Bush to Obama administrations, and who worked in some capacity for every US president since Richard Nixon- 'almost quit' in a 2009 Afghanistan strategy meeting, after being treated like crap by a President who he felt had zero grasp of "the uncertainties and unpredictability of war.' "

This -among other things- was revealed in Gates' new 600-page memoir
'DUTY- Memoirs of a Secretary at War', an advance copy of which has been obtained by the NY Times... this is gonna hurt Hillary and Biden, too-

Gates on Obama: 
  • In March 2011 Afghanistan 'War Room' meeting with Obama and others: "“As I sat there, I thought: The president doesn’t trust his commander, can’t stand Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy and doesn’t consider the war to be his,” Mr. Gates wrote.
    "For him, it’s all about getting out."
  • Re. dealing with snotty WH staff: "controlling nature" of the staff "took micromanagement and operational meddling to a new level."
  • (Obama's) White House was by far the most centralized and controlling in national security of any I had seen since Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger ruled the roost.
  • "“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." 
  • And in one of the more serious charges that a defense secretary could make against a commander in chief, Gates says Obama had more than doubts about the course he had charted in Afghanistan. The president was “skeptical if not outright convinced it would fail...”

  • Thoughts in strategy meeting with Obama: "I quit. Find somebody else. It was, I am confident, a fantasy widely shared throughout the executive branch..."
  • "It is difficult to imagine two more different men than ... Bush and ... Obama. Clearly, I had fewer issues with Bush... I don't recall Bush ever discussing domestic politics—apart from congressional opposition—as a consideration in decisions he made during my time with him...
  • Bush was willing to disagree with his senior military advisers, but he never (to my knowledge) questioned their motives or mistrusted them personally. Obama was respectful of senior officers and always heard them out, but he often disagreed with them and was deeply suspicious of their actions and recommendations. Bush seemed to enjoy the company of the senior military; I think Obama considered time spent with generals and admirals an obligation.
  • With Obama... I joined a new, inexperienced president determined to change course—and equally determined from day one to win re-election. Domestic political considerations would therefore be a factor... in virtually every major national security problem we tackled. The White House staff—including Chiefs of Staff Rahm Emanuel and then Bill Daley as well as such core political advisers as Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs —would have a role in national security decision making that I had not previously experienced...
  • Thomas Donilon, initially Obama’s deputy national security adviser, and then-Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, the White House coordinator for the wars, are described by Gates as regularly engaged in "aggressive, suspicious, and sometimes condescending and insulting questioning of our military leaders."

On Biden: 
  • "a man of integrity", yet "wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades"
  • Gates -who also worked at the CIA and National Security Council- was highly critical of VP Joe Biden- accusing him of "poisoning the well" for military leadership.
On Congress: 
  • I saw most of Congress as uncivil, incompetent at fulfilling their basic constitutional responsibilities (such as timely appropriations), micromanagerial, parochial, hypocritical, egotistical, thin-skinned and prone to put self (and re-election) before country.
  • I was more or less continuously outraged by the parochial self-interest of all but a very few members of Congress. Any defense facility or contract in their district or state, no matter how superfluous or wasteful, was sacrosanct. I was constantly amazed and infuriated at the hypocrisy of those who most stridently attacked the Defense Department as inefficient and wasteful but fought tooth and nail to prevent any reduction in defense activities in their home state or district.
  • I also bristled at what's become of congressional hearings, where rude, insulting, belittling, bullying and all too often highly personal attacks on witnesses by members of Congress violated nearly every norm of civil behavior. Members postured and acted as judge, jury and executioner...

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