Robert Gates, White House Appeaser?
There was an audible sigh of relief the moment Donald Rumsfeld announced his resignation.
But in our jubilation, yes, jubilation, America forgot to ask who the proposed new guy was.
We knew his name, but little about his past, it didn't matter much, because Rumsfeld was leaving, and the celebrations could begin.
But Gates, may not be much better and may be much worse. Worse for America, that is.
In a White House of mistakes, lies and secrecy a confirmation of Robert Gates will only intensify the secrecy and White House boot licking.
But it should come as no surprise because the President himself is known for surrounding himself not with people who are competent and independent but with people who are appeasing ideologues who let something get in the way of their honesty and criticism.
Robert Gates has been nominated by two Republican presidents, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in the past for the position of director of central intelligence.
The first attempt to usher in Gates, known for his ideological support of the White House which often caused him to make bad choices on key issues failed after Gates withdrew.
Senate Intelligence Committee members did not believe Gates assertion that he could not remember the facts surrounding the Iran-Contra scandal. Specifically because it is well known that Gates has a superb memory but testified 33 times he did not recollect key facts surrounding the controversy.
The second attempt was successful and Gates was confirmed as director of the CIA. This apparent victory was narrow and Gates had received 30 votes against him making him the least popular CIA directed to be nominated in 60 years.
Gates has received a lot of criticism for his failure to tell the truth to power and received blunt criticism from former Secretaries of State James A. Baker III and George P. Shultz and the US military and is well known for politicizing intelligence.
With the Iraq War being presumably started on politicized intelligence wouldn't it be a very poor choice indeed to nominate Gates, who is known for politicising intelligence? Not if your George W. Bush and you need every political windsock in town stove-piping politicized information to the top.
This Gates has already been involved in suspicious activity in the Middle East that he apparently doesn't recall so I don't think it is wise to get him involved in more serious Middle Eastern activities that he won't recall in the future.
Because in the future it may be Gates who will testify that he does not remember the key facts about the Iraq War and his involvement in it, or the Iran War and his involvement in it, if the Iran War does indeed materialize, which it may under this man's direction.
Look at it this way : Would you hire a housekeeper if she had a reputation for leaving houses messier than she found them? Would you hire her on the basis that she was a nice girl who told you everything you wanted to hear, even if it were not true? Then why confirm Gates, who will most definitely do the same.
The resignation of Rumsfeld and the nomination of Gates doesn't show momentum, it doesn't show the President finally willing to change course after years of failure and actually try to win this war in Iraq.
It shows a President who is replacing Rumsfeld with the same archetype of political lackey to try to solve the most pressing issue this country is facing today which is a huge mistake and we will realize this in two years, when nothing has changed for the better in Iraq and we are possibly anchored in Iran with someone who was invoved in the Iran-Contra heading it all.
Don't confirm the worm!