Robert Gates

The Usual Suspects Part 5: Robert Gates

Bumped and promoted. Originally posted 2009-06-04 22:32:35 -0400. -- GH

There are several commonalities amongst The Usual Suspects.  Many of them served under Scoop Jackson.  Many of them were investigated for spying for Israeli intelligence. and nearly all of them were involved up to their necks in the Iran-Contra Affair.  Robert Gates falls into that latter category.  But he was involved in more than just that.  Like the most recent White House, he was extensively involved in "massaging intelligence" in order to support a political stance, not the real facts on the ground.  Oh, and he was involved in the October Surprise as well.

More on Robert Gates, a man who still serves at the pleasure of the President of the United States, after the fold.

Revenge of the Surge

We got through Christmas without having NORAD accidently blow Santa out of the sky, but don't let your guard down yet. While visions of sugarplums danced in our heads, the Pentagon flew another escalation strategy under the radar. On the eve of Christmas Eve, Dexter Filkins of the New York Times reported "Taking a page from the successful experiment in Iraq, American commanders and Afghan leaders are preparing to arm local militias to help in the fight against a resurgent Taliban."

Merry Christmas, fellow citizens. Odds are now almost certain that your country will be in a state of war throughout your lifetimes, and possibly throughout your children's lifetimes as well.

Back when Gates was a "shoot first crazy neocon".

promoted by roxy - originally published 2008-11-26 09:27:19 -1000. Discussion?

Well, well, it seems the first blush is wearing off on the Obama honeymoon.  People are getting up in arms over some of his recent appointments.  While others are trying to defend his choices by saying that:

He is keeping his word to us by keeping Gates.  This is what "new politics" looks like."

Which is to say it looks disturbingly much like the old politics.  You know, the politics that Kos wrote about when he said:

"Oh boy. Robert Gates, Bush's choice to replace Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon, is another shoot first crazy neocon"

Dysfunctional Blue Yonder

A June 7 New York Times editorial commended Defense Secretary Robert Gates for giving the ax to his Air Force secretary and chief of staff. According to the Times editors, Michael W. Wynn and General T. Michael Moseley were dismissed for "systemic problems in securing nuclear weapons and components, a primary Air Force responsibility." The Times called the move "absolutely necessary" and applauded Mr. Gates for "raising the bar at the Pentagon."

Gates had good reasons to fire his air service's top guns, but they went beyond the issues the Times discussed, and he may have raised the bar, but he hasn't raised it high enough yet.

His Air Force is an unmitigated cluster bomb.

Iraq: Spin One for the Gipper


by Jeff Huber

I have to say it again: If the Bush administration put a fraction of the effort it spends on spinning its wars into winning them, it wouldn’t need to spin them.

The current clash between Iraqi Shiite Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s security forces took root last year when Sadr told his forces to take an operational pause for resupply and recuperation. That reduced violence levels enough to allow U.S. commander David Petraeus to claim his surge strategy was working even though it didn’t accomplish its intended political objectives. One might have expected a supposedly smart guy like Petraeus to leave well enough alone, but no. George Bush’s “main man” had to poke his pistol into the hornet’s nest, raiding selected elements of the Mahdi Army in Baghdad’s Sadr City and Shiite population centers in southern Iraq.

The Sadrists warned for months that they would retaliate if the harassment didn’t stop. Petraeus must have been too busy escorting John McCain and Lindsey Graham on shopping sprees in Baghdad to listen, because he kept at it, using both U.S. forces and elements of the Badr organization, one of Sadr’s rival Shiite political groups whose members dominate Iraq’s security forces.

It was not too long after Dick Cheney’s surprise visit to Baghdad on March 17 that Maliki launched his offensive against the Mahdi Army in Baghdad and in the southern city of Basra. The big media were strangely silent about the implications of the timing of the two events. Sadr’s people responded to Maliki’s push with a rocket and mortar attack on the Green Zone in Baghdad.

Petraeus blamed the Mahdis’ retaliation on Iran, but said nothing about why he and the best-trained, best-equipped military in history were powerless to defend the Green Zone well over a year into his “successful” surge, and nobody in the press asked him about it.