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How Robert Gates' Lies and Cover-Ups Earned Him a Long, Prestigious Career -- At the Expense of the American People

Two decades ago, U.S. history could have taken a very different course if Gates and his cohorts had faced real accountability and their secrets had been exposed.

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'Wise Man'

Despite this checkered record for wisdom and truth-telling, Gates today is renowned across Washington as a modern "wise man." In 2009, Washington Post columnist David Broder, the late "dean of the Washington press corps,"  hailed Gates as "incapable of dissembling."

Now, as Gates prepares to retire as Defense Secretary in late June, he is being showered with rose petals of official praise. His insights - like the one about governments lying to one another - are greeted with appreciative chuckles and appreciation for his “candor.”

At Wednesday's hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee, which was billed as his last congressional appearance as Defense Secretary, Gates was depicted in the media as a straight talker who had run out of patience with America's erstwhile allies and the political posturing of Congress.

Despite his curt responses to questions from Leahy and others, the New York Times reported that "Wednesday's hearing … was in fact mostly a lovefest as members of the committee lavished praise on Mr. Gates. On June 30 he is to walk out of the Pentagon and into a life of writing books lakeside near Seattle.

“'Secretary Gates, I look forward to you coming home to our home state,' Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, said at one point in the hearing. 'I know you must be looking forward to that.'

"'Fifteen days,' Mr. Gates replied, to laughter."

It is probably not likely that Gates will use his book writing to tell the full truth and nothing but the truth about what he did as a government official. After all, as Gates has made clear, lying is "the way business gets done."

[For more on these topics, see Robert Parry's Secrecy & Privilege andNeck Deep, now available in a two-book set for the discount price of only $19. For details,  click here.]


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