Robert Parry, whose Consortium News is an invaluable, but often overlooked source for pertinent critique of the established order, offered these thoughts yesterday:
Robert Gates, George W. Bush's choice to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Defense
Secretary, is a trusted figure within the Bush Family's inner circle, but there are lingering questions about whether Gates is a trustworthy public official.
Short answer (which even Borat would understand): NOT!
The 63-year-old Gates has long faced accusations of collaborating with Islamic extremists in Iran, arming Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship in Iraq, and politicizing U.S. intelligence to conform with the desires of policymakers – three key areas that relate to his future job.
Gates skated past some of these controversies during his 1991 confirmation hearings to be CIA director – and the current Bush administration is seeking to slip Gates through the congressional approval process again, this time by pressing for a quick
confirmation by the end of the year, before the new Democratic-controlled Senate
If Bush’s timetable is met, there will be no time for a serious investigation into Gates’s past.
Fifteen years ago, Gates got a similar pass when leading Democrats agreed to put “bipartisanship” ahead of careful oversight when Gates was nominated for the CIA job by President George H.W. Bush.
In 1991, despite doubts about Gates’s honesty over Iran-Contra and other scandals, the career intelligence officer brushed aside accusations that he played secret roles in arming both sides of the Iran-Iraq War. Since then, however, documents have surfaced that raise new questions about Gates’s sweeping denials.
Read the whole thing at the Consortium link. It is damning.
Truthout.com also has a piece this week by Jason Leopold about Gates' seeming inability to discern the truth from what his bosses want to see:
Robert Gates, the former director of the CIA during the presidency of George H.W. Bush who was tapped Tuesday by the president to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense, is part of Texas's good ol' boy network. He may be best known for playing a role in arming Iraq's former dictator Saddam Hussein with American-made weapons in the country's war against Iran in the 1980s.
Gates, who currently is president of Texas A&M University, came under intense fire during confirmation hearings in the early 1990s for being (Ed: or claiming to have been) unaware of the explosive situation in Iraq in the 1980s, and the demise of the Soviet republic.
Gates joined the CIA in 1966, and spent eight years there as an analyst before moving over to the National Security Council in 1974. He returned to the CIA in 1980, and a year later was appointed by Ronald Reagan to serve as deputy director for intelligence. Five years later, he was named deputy director for the agency, the number two post in the agency. In 1989, he was appointed deputy director of the National Security Council and in 1991, when the first Bush administration was in office, he was named director of the spy shop.
During contentious Senate confirmation hearings in October 1991 - which are bound to come up again - Gates's role in cooking intelligence information during the Iran-Contra scandal was revealed. (Emphasis added: Ed.) It was during those hearings that senators found out about a December 2, 1986, 10-page classified memo written by Thomas Barksdale, the CIA analyst for Iran. That memo claimed that covert arms sales to the country demonstrated "a perversion of the intelligence process" that is staggering in its proportions.
The Barksdale memo was used by Gates's detractors to prove he played an active role in slanting intelligence information during his tenure at the agency under Reagan. Eerily reminiscent of the way CIA analysts were treated by Vice President Dick Cheney during the run-up to the Iraq war three years ago, when agents were forced to provide the Bush administration with intelligence showing Iraq was a nuclear threat, Barksdale said he and other Iran analysts "were never consulted or asked to provide an intelligence input to the covert actions and secret contacts that have occurred."
Barksdale added that Gates was the pipeline for providing "exclusive reports to the White House," intelligence that was "at odds with the overwhelming bulk of intelligence reporting, both from U.S. sources and foreign intelligence services."
Gates is damaged goods, reeking with corruption and Bushevik family loyalty. The Chimp wants desparately to push Gates' nomination through before the Dems occupy Congress in January. We should bend every effort to prevent such a travesty.