Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ new book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary of War, is gaining a tremendous amount of attention because of the things it ‘exposes’ about the Obama Administration. Gates claims President Obama and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both told him that their opposition to the surge in Iraq was purely political. Meanwhile, Gates accuses Biden of “poisoning the well” against military leadership and says “he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
While conservatives and Republicans may appreciate the opportunity to say “I told you so” when it comes Gates’ reports about the current Administration’s feelings towards the military, Glenn has a major problem with the timing of Gates’ revelations.
“So Robert Gates is coming out with this book, and I have no interest in it,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “And when we were on the winter break, I realized what it was. And Pat went off on a rant. And I said, you know, that’s it. That’s why I have no interest in it.”
The book, as Glenn sees, is remarkably hypocritical and a way for Gates to make a quick buck off of some of the more controversial things he witnessed during his tenure as Secretary of Defense. When you consider the gravity of the decisions Gates’ was involved in and how much he seems to disapprove of the Obama Administration’s decisions, one has to wonder why he didn’t speak up sooner.
“Where were you, you miserable worm, when this was all going on and you were carrying out the policies? Where were you then,” Pat asked exasperatedly. “They used you as a shield… And now that he can make money off it, [he] writes a book and stabs everybody in the back. Now he has a problem. Where were you then? Where were you then?”
In the book, which will be released later this month, Gates describes why he nearly quit his job at several points during the Obama presidency because he disagreed with the policy decisions. But, as Glenn, Pat, and Stu explained, telling the world how much you disagreed at the time – when tens of thousands of American lives were on the line – is simply unacceptable.
“If you think this is dangerous policy that’s hurting America, I think you have an obligation to speak up,” Pat said. “[This is about] saving lives on the battlefield. This is about war. This is pretty serious stuff.”
Glenn: General Boykin is an honorable man, such a remarkable man. And I’ll never forget when he said, on my set, and I think he said it on air. If he didn’t, I know he wouldn’t have a problem with me saying it. He said, it is past time that somebody with actual stars on their shoulders walk in to the Oval and put them down. I cannot do it another day. I resign and I am going outside of this building and I’m going to hold a press conference and say why I resign. He said, there’s nobody left that will do that. Gates should have done that. Now Gates will play this little game in his head, well, I couldn’t have done that because they would replace me with somebody worse. So I did my duty by standing in the line of fire. And then what? Then what? You write a book? You go write a book? Oh, okay. I got it. If you are going to dedicate your life to now reversing all of the things that you were a part of, it’s despicable. Really despicable. I have a problem with people writing books.
Glenn has no problem with Gates’ right to write a book about and make money off of his experience, but he does have a problem about the way in which Gates has handled this situation.
“I don’t have a problem with people writing books and making money. I don’t have a problem with people staying in [a job] because they think: ‘If I leave, they are going to replace me with somebody worse.’ I don’t have a problem with people resigning when they figure out what’s going wrong,” Glenn explained. “But I do have a problem with people that resign their commission or post and go out and try to repair, try to correct the injustice and the problems that they found. What’s he doing? He’s writing a book. Making money. Then what? Then what? What are you doing then?”
When you consider the platform Gates had while he was in office and power his opinion had, one has to question his true intentions if he could wait four plus years to make these fear known to the American people.
“Can you imagine what this guy could have done if he was in front of a Congressional hearing? Can you imagine if he didn’t have that conversation behind the scenes,” Glenn asked. “He could have gone to his people and said, ‘I want to you have a joint session that it’s televised.’ And he could have gone up to Capitol Hill and… [said], ‘I want the American people to know, and I want Congress to know exactly what I have found and what’s going on.’ Do you know how this man could have changed the world?”
Ultimately, Glenn concluded that he will not be lining up to purchase Gates’ new book, and he had this to say to anyone in government who is not speaking up about problems they have observed:
The world is looking for heroes. We’re not looking for revolutionaries. We’re looking for heroes. Looking for somebody who has the balls to stand up. Somebody who has the balls to say, ‘You know what? To hell with it all… Something else is bigger than me. Something else is bigger than my bank account. Something else is bigger than my fame, my fortune. Something else is bigger than even my family.’
Well, Mr. Gates… how can I trust you? How can I trust anybody? How can I trust you to tell me the truth about the NSA? Did that play a role in you staying? Has that played a role with anybody in Congress? The NSA still won’t answer the question: Are you spying on members of Congress? Can we trust members of Congress to tell us the truth on the NSA, when the NSA will not confirm that they are not spying on members of the Congress?
And oh, by the way, do you trust the NSA? Do you think Mr. Clapper is going to tell you the truth? Do you think Mr. Clapper, even if he was on truth serum, knows what the truth is? The guy was the one who told us that the Muslim Brotherhood is totally fine. And he’s the one that we’re getting our guarantee from on the NSA?
I’m sorry, Mr. Gates, I’m a busy man… And I get home and just like every other American, Mr. Gates. All I want to do is play with my kids. All I want to do is be with my kids. All I want to do is study the things that are important. I’m sorry, Mr. Gates, I don’t have time to purchase or read your book. But thanks for the tip that we can’t trust this administration. That comes as a total surprise.