So: It’s the fall of 2010, and Gates is meeting with the president and top brass. “Biden, Mullen, Jones, Donilon, Brennan, and Tony Blinken, the vice president’s national security adviser, were there.” The subject: How to be ready if a conflict between Iran and Israel ignites. Gates worries that the particulars have not thought the scenario through, and advises the president to deploy a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf soon, just in case. The meeting ends.
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, what would give the president that idea?
Was this an intentional joke or not? I
steal Dave Weigel’s report, you decide!
One thought on ““I was offended at his suggestion that there might be gambling going on in this casino””
Having spent a good deal of time around the dour and self-righteous, I am happy to believe that Gates genuinely lacks the degree of self-reflectivity needed to recognize the eye-popping outrageousnous of his little bleat – just as I am happy to believe that his editor was too frightened by the violence implicit in his bureaucratic manner to suggest that he take it out.
Remember, all those guys in the lead up to the Iraq war styled themselves men of blood and iron based on their histories of crushing victory in interdepartmental battle. The tragedy is the price paid by our brave boys when they were thrown into the protracted struggle against the real hard guys who had clawed their way to the top of Saddam’s murderous regime. It’s the Bearded Spock mirror world of Saddam thinking he was a great general because he had all those civilians killed. I remember Bangerter having a big laugh over that one.