Democrats admit to playing politics with national security and lives of the troops
President Obama’s former defense secretary says in a new book that both the president and then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton acknowledged in front of him that they opposed the Iraq surge because of presidential politics.What Gates is describing is the opposite of leadership and statesmanship on the part of the Democrats. It shows a fundamental lack of integrity that has come back to haunt this country in places like Benghazi. These are the same people in some cases who supported the war in Iraq and then accused Bush of "lying" because he relied on the same information they did.
Robert Gates, who led the Pentagon for President George W. Bush and then stayed on for the first 2 1/2 years of Mr. Obama’s tenure, also said Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was regularly wrong about his views on international affairs.
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In excerpts posted on The Wall Street Journal’s website, Mr. Gates bristled at much of Washington, including having to submit to pointed questioning from members of Congress, managing the internal turf conflicts at the Pentagon and trying to avoid the White House’s desire to micromanage everything.
And the former secretary said that Mr. Obama himself seemed to dislike having to deal with uniformed officers.
“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,” Mr. Gates said.
“Bush seemed to enjoy the company of the senior military; I think Obama considered time spent with generals and admirals an obligation,” the former secretary said.
The new book, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” recounts Mrs. Clinton telling Mr. Obama her opposition to Mr. Bush’s 2007 troop surge in Iraq was a political decision, made because she was trying to match Mr. Obama’s anti-war sentiment in their primary campaign.
“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,” Mr. Gates wrote, according to excerpts published in The Washington Post’s review of the book.