Reply Sun 12 Nov, 2006 04:12 pm
the london sunday times takes a look at the man to replace secretary rumsfeld : ROBERT GATES .

looking at the last sentence in the article first :
"Now Bush has named him as Rumsfeld's replacement, Gates's critics and admirers are pondering the same question: will he be brave enough to tell the president some truths about the Iraq campaign that Bush may not want to hear?"

will he speak freely or will he only say "what is expected of him" ?
i think not only the citizens of the united states are waiting to hear from him , but many people all over the world are .

The Sunday Times November 12, 2006
Gates reopens old wounds in Washington
Tony Allen-Mills in New York

FOR the second time in his extensive bureaucratic career, Robert Gates, the newly nominated US secretary of defence, seems likely to survive an accelerated confirmation process that might otherwise have focused on long-standing allegations that he has sacrificed principles to please his political masters.
Both Republican and Democratic leaders indicated last week that the pressing demands of the Iraq war and the need for decisive American leadership would avert a lengthy political row over Gates's suitability as a replacement for Donald Rumsfeld, who quit last week following the Republicans' drubbing in the mid-term elections.

Yet at least one senior Democratic senator, Dianne Feinstein of California, promised "difficult questions" when Gates appears before the Senate's armed services committee for a grilling he must survive in order to move into Rumsfeld's spacious Pentagon office.

Carl Levin, a Democratic senator for Michigan who voted against Gates when he was nominated to head the CIA in 1991, said old issues concerning the politicisation of intelligence were "relevant" and deserved a new airing.

Despite a generally warm welcome for President George W Bush's appointment of a new figure to lead the US effort in Iraq, Gates's return is certain to reopen old wounds dating back to the cold war and covert US operations from Nicaragua to North Korea.

The man who is now being asked to take charge of a war that was precipitated in part by flawed intelligence about weapons of mass destruction has himself been accused of "slanting" intelligence for ideological ends. Despite his reputation as a safe pair of hands who will bring a new realism to the US mission in Iraq, Gates, 63, has never shaken off criticisms from many of his CIA subordinates, at least one of whom popped up last week to challenge his record of "telling the truth to power".

Gates was born in Wichita, Kansas, and was recruited by the CIA at university. Rising steadily through the intelligence agency's ranks as a Soviet analyst, he served both Republican and Democratic presidents on the National Security Council before President Ronald Reagan nominated him to lead the CIA as the Iran-contra scandal was unfolding in 1987.

Gates later withdrew his nomination amid claims that he had not been candid about how much he knew of a clandestine plot to funnel money from arms sales in Iran to anti-Sandinista rebels in Nicaragua.

Renominated in 1991 by President George Bush Sr, he was accused by a series of CIA witnesses of "cooking the books" in his intelligence reports to make the Soviet Union appear more dangerous than agency analysts believed.

He was accused of "killing" an intelligence estimate that Soviet influence in the Third World was waning because it did not suit Republican cold war posturing. He was also said to have ordered a report that implicated the Soviets in the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in 1981, even though no serious evidence of such involvement existed.

While some Democrats last week dismissed the old allegations as "ancient history", others argued that Gates had a record of telling presidents what they wanted to hear, rather than providing honest analysis.

Many of Gates's political allies insisted that his pragmatic approach and low-key style made him an ideal Pentagon chief.

In the past Gates has publicly criticised the administration for its policy towards both Iraq and Iran. He was also reported last week to have told friends he was "distraught" over the way the Iraq war had been run.

Now Bush has named him as Rumsfeld's replacement, Gates's critics and admirers are pondering the same question: will he be brave enough to tell the president some truths about the Iraq campaign that Bush may not want to hear?

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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 12 Nov, 2006 11:09 pm
That's the big 64 million dollar question; how will Gates "handle" Bush on Iraq who continues to insist we will "win in Iraq?"

The only solution that isn't even realistic is to increase our troop numbers from 140,000 to 500,000+. That's another lie perpetrated by Bush and Rummy; they would provide them if the generals asked for them. The active and reserves are already stretched to the max, and frequent rotations to a war zone in less than one year is new in modern warfare. The generals knew they needed more troops, but they knew if they did, it would be the end of their career. They were required to "play the game." It's easy to say "stay the course" if none of your own family members are at risk of losing their life.
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