Gates: I find the political hijacking of my memoirs rather disappointing

posted at 10:41 am on January 13, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Really? Matt Lauer calls out Robert Gates over his attempt to downplay his criticisms of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and especially Joe Biden in his new memoirs, My Duty. Gates pronounced himself “disappointed” that people seized on quotes from the book for political purposes, but Lauer isn’t buying it:

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In an interview on NBC News’s “Today” show, host Matt Lauer asked if Gates has been surprised by the backlash to the book since excerpts were released last week.

“Not really surprised, but in a way disappointed that the book has sort of been hijacked by people along the political spectrum to serve their own purposes, taking quotes out of context…it’s part of the political warfare in Washington that I decry in the book,” he said in the live interview. …

He was seen wearing a neck brace after injuring his first vertebrae in a fall in his home recently.

Gates writes in his memoir Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War that President Obama doubted his strategy in Afghanistan. He also slammed Vice President Joe Biden’s foreign policy positions and praised former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The news media, Gates said, lost sight of the fact that he “actually agreed virtually on every decision President Obama made on Afghanistan.” He writes in his book that Obama questioned the war’s surge.

Last week, I warned against getting too far ahead of the story with the selected excerpts, and predicted that the context in the book would probably water them down. That’s essentially what Gates says here, too, except with an added patina of false shock. After all, Gates has been around long enough to know that including those anecdotes in his book would (a) attract immediate attention, and (b) sell lots of books. To sit in interviews and act surprised that a political book telling political anecdotes would get used in politics is … amusing, to say the very least.

And it’s worthy of the Captain Louis Renault Award, too:

Best wishes to Secretary Gates for a quick recovery as well.


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Never liked him, he literally is a tool.

thebrokenrattle on January 13, 2014 at 10:45 AM

The neck brace… did Obama’s goons get to him?

petefrt on January 13, 2014 at 10:45 AM

These are best and brightest America has to offer? We’re doomed!!

Deano1952 on January 13, 2014 at 10:48 AM

He’ll convince me if he’s also surprised that water is wet and that the sky is blue.

22044 on January 13, 2014 at 10:50 AM

What I find astonishing with this “interview” is this.

Matt Laurer doesn’t Buy what Gates is selling??
Am I correct with that interpretation??

But a book, and movie titled “Game Change”
got all kinds of awards, and press coverage for being what??

A F*king Smear job on a certain woman…

The press concerning that movie: “Why, this is as true
as the Wind Driven Snow!!”

Oh, and Bob Gates-Please, spare us the fact that you’re
“Disappointed”. You’re supposedly an intelligent man,
you seriously think these people weren’t going to come after you??

And what’s with the neck brace?? Are these people already
assaulting you??

ToddPA on January 13, 2014 at 10:50 AM

+1 Todd

cmsinaz on January 13, 2014 at 10:52 AM

The neck brace… did Obama’s goons get to him?

petefrt on January 13, 2014 at 10:45 AM

My thoughts exactly. A recent “fall” in his home. Yeah right.

Brat on January 13, 2014 at 10:53 AM

I find Secretary Gates’ deliberate decision to delay releasing the book until after the election so the People would have less information about the kind of man they were voting for “rather disappointing.”

Rove’s approving comment that the delay shows the man’s character is not so much disappointing as hilarious.

fadetogray on January 13, 2014 at 10:54 AM

To sit in interviews and act surprised that a political book telling political anecdotes would get used in politics is … amusing, to say the very least.

I don’t care what Gates says on balance. If the lazy stupid rat-eared bastard wasn’t personally committed to the surge then he had no right ordering troops into harm’s way. Three in four combat deaths in Afghanistan has been under Obama and utterly meaningless because Obama never had any intention cutting and running at the very first political opportunity. More shameful than LBJ and troop casualties in Vietnam.

Happy Nomad on January 13, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Alternate Headline: “See what happens when you criticize President Obama.”

RedSoxNation on January 13, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Happy Nomad on January 13, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Correction: Obama never had any intention other than cutting and running

Happy Nomad on January 13, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Is anyone going to explain why the man is in a HUGE neck brace. People act as if it is not there. WTH…

RedSoxNation on January 13, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Alternate Headline: “See what happens when you criticize President Obama.”

RedSoxNation on January 13, 2014 at 10:56 AM

That’s a nice vertebrae you’ve got there. Be a shame if something happened to it.

Happy Nomad on January 13, 2014 at 10:58 AM

If one fundamentally believes a person in power, for whom they work, is unprincipled or immoral in some way they have a choice. That is, to either participate as a collaborator or immediately depart and espouse principled opposition to that persons alleged misdeeds.

Notice I didn’t include supporting the charade and leaving at an opportune time to somehow profit from the travesty.

Marcus Traianus on January 13, 2014 at 10:59 AM

That’s a nice vertebrae you’ve got there. Be a shame if something happened to it.

Happy Nomad on January 13, 2014 at 10:58 AM

We have a winner. That’s awesome. I laughed out loud and almost spit out my coffee…

RedSoxNation on January 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Is anyone going to explain why the man is in a HUGE neck brace. People act as if it is not there. WTH…

RedSoxNation on January 13, 2014 at 10:57 AM

In the story:

He was seen wearing a neck brace after injuring his first vertebrae in a fall in his home recently.

And sometimes an accidental fall really is just an accidental fall, although the more we see an aspiring tyrant get away with, the more skeptical rational people become.

fadetogray on January 13, 2014 at 11:01 AM

LOL.

albill on January 13, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Shazam! Honest Andy I was jest goin’ to show my book to Aunt Bea!

Herb on January 13, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Is anyone going to explain why the man is in a HUGE neck brace. People act as if it is not there. WTH…

RedSoxNation on January 13, 2014 at 10:57 AM

In the story:

He was seen wearing a neck brace after injuring his first vertebrae in a fall in his home recently.

In the immortal words of Homer: “Doh!”

RedSoxNation on January 13, 2014 at 11:09 AM

A fall at home or whiplash from watching his six to see if the IRS or a CIA drone was following him?

NeoDawg on January 13, 2014 at 11:11 AM

sprained his neck and shoulders patting himself on back.

dmacleo on January 13, 2014 at 11:11 AM

The neck brace… did Obama’s goons get to him?

petefrt on January 13, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Are you kidding? Obama and his liberal goons are so incompetent if they were ordered to break his neck, Gates would likely end up with a permanent and wax job.

Kingfisher on January 13, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Actually, I think the name of the book is just “Duty”.

flipflop on January 13, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Captain Louis Renault Award

Why did you embed the entire playlist and not just the video?

BigGator5 on January 13, 2014 at 11:25 AM

“I almost resigned”: What a weak man.

GaltBlvnAtty on January 13, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Anyone catch his interview on CBS Sunday Morning? The “reporter” actually interviewed Gates a second time simply to grill him over whether or not his criticisms of President Precious were “fair”. Note that she asked him this sort of thing in the formal sit-down, but apparently she and/or her superiors didn’t think they had adequately defended Obama enough so they chose to badger Gates a second time. And that’s all it was…she sat there repeatedly questioning whether it was a good idea to criticize Obama now. It was textbook Democrat media bias.

changer1701 on January 13, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Forget about it…Bob…It’s Obamatown…

workingclass artist on January 13, 2014 at 11:35 AM

“I almost resigned”: What a weak man.

GaltBlvnAtty on January 13, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Those three words (‘I almost resigned’) undermine so much of the impact of his observations and commentary regarding the operations of the Administration towards the military and national security….

…almost as much as his silence during the 2012 Presidential campaign.

Athos on January 13, 2014 at 11:35 AM

All the media needs to know is that Obama was really stoked about getting rid of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. Because a gay solider having anxiety over his sexual orientation is way more important than actual combat.

Cindy Munford on January 13, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Judging from the picture I guess the spine transplant attempt failed.

profitsbeard on January 13, 2014 at 11:45 AM

The neck brace… did Obama’s goons get to him?

petefrt on January 13, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Exactly, what I was thinking.

magicbeans on January 13, 2014 at 11:49 AM

He was seen wearing a neck brace after injuring his first vertebrae in a fall in his home recently.

I honestly thought that it was a clever photoshop with reference to Chappaquiddick.

slickwillie2001 on January 13, 2014 at 11:54 AM

The neck brace… did Obama’s goons get to him?

petefrt on January 13, 2014 at 10:45 AM

My thoughts exactly. A recent “fall” in his home. Yeah right.

Brat on January 13, 2014 at 10:53 AM

My thoughts, too.

I am also among those disappointed that Gates waited to publish this book until after Obama was re-elected. He COULD have done the nation if not the world a big, big assist if he’d spilled his beans prior to this.

Anyway, all things considered, I also do recognize whatever conditions may, if not certainly, exist as to national security, world conditions, that inspired Gates to wait to publish now. We the public will never really know what was transpiring that delayed this expose…

…though I wish Gates would spill those beans, too, now.

Lourdes on January 13, 2014 at 11:57 AM

My advice to Gates:

– don’t park next to any vans;

– run as quickly as you can from two guys who may jump out of the back of any van and try to grab you;

and,

– if you have to visit Chicago, take six big security agents with you and wear a wire.

Just trying to be helpful here.

Lourdes on January 13, 2014 at 11:59 AM

A fall at home or whiplash from watching his six to see if the IRS or a CIA drone was following him?

NeoDawg on January 13, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Oh, right, drones. I forgot to include that in my list of helpful hints to Gates, above.

Last helpful hint to Gates:

– wear a helmet at all times.

Lourdes on January 13, 2014 at 12:01 PM

These are best and brightest America has to offer? We’re doomed!!

Deano1952 on January 13, 2014 at 10:48 AM

It gets worst. There is a nasty rumor out there that our best hope for the next President is a lady named Clinton who just completed a four-year tax payer funded vacation or a heavy set guy form NJ who hates guns, loves muslims and enjoys long walks on the beach with his BFF, Barack.

Alabama Infidel on January 13, 2014 at 12:08 PM

They will get even. The Chicago Way.

Little Boomer on January 13, 2014 at 12:22 PM

The man is trying to grow a spine, he tests the neckbrace to cure the bending over reflex.

anikol on January 13, 2014 at 12:26 PM

That’s a nice vertebrae you’ve got there. Be a shame if something happened to it.

Happy Nomad on January 13, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Old n Busted: Ft. Marcy Park.

New Hotness: Ambassadorship Posting.

Jus’ sayin…

BlaxPac on January 13, 2014 at 12:34 PM

…whiplash!

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Oh, right, drones. I forgot to include that in my list of helpful hints to Gates, above.

Last helpful hint to Gates:

– wear a helmet at all times.

Lourdes on January 13, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Good reminder!
Kramer after getting kicked in the head by Crazy Joe Davola. At least he wore a helmet.

22044 on January 13, 2014 at 12:41 PM

May obama and Gates go to Hades, same cell. They so deserve each other, the two weasels from a different mother.

Schadenfreude on January 13, 2014 at 1:10 PM

..so Gates is a dissembling weasel after all!

The War Planner on January 13, 2014 at 1:21 PM

I will say it again. If the stuff gates states in his memoirs really occurred, then why didn’t he go public about it or report it to the appropriate oversight committees when they occurred. Why did he let us get saddled with these not for one term, but two terms?
Gates was derelict in his duty to the America people.

paulsur on January 13, 2014 at 2:17 PM

I watched center left Brit Hume on Media buzz, a God awful show on FNC with the odious Howie Kurtz, Sunday and Hume opined that Gates was wrong in revealing how Obama spoke and felt about such important issues as the war effort and national security! When does Hume think the public should get to know what the hell is going on? He said that future presidents will be reluctant to ask for advice if they think that that person might write a tell all book. WTF? EVERY president has had a tell all book written about their administration. Hume sucks big time and has been in DC too long.

inspectorudy on January 13, 2014 at 4:16 PM

All of this was cleared for publication, so what!

virgo on January 14, 2014 at 12:46 AM