Shorter White House: Ignore Gates' Memoir

Daniel Doherty

1/8/2014 11:00:00 AM - Daniel Doherty

Guy brought you up to speed on the latest political scandal to plague the White House. To wit, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates charges in his soon-to-be released memoir that President Obama knowingly sent 30,000 additional U.S. troops into Afghanistan even though he believed their presence would not change the outcome of the war. In short, he didn’t think his own plan would work.

This is a explosive allegation. Americans lost their lives fighting in Afghanistan, and their own commander-in-chief -- allegedly -- didn’t even believe in the mission months before surge troops were deployed overseas.

Now, of course, the White House is pushing back on Gates’ claims (via USA Today):

The White House disputes claims by former Defense secretary Robert Gates that President Obama has lost faith in his Afghanistan policy.

"It is well known that the president has been committed to achieving the mission of disrupting, dismantling and defeating al-Qaeda, while also ensuring that we have a clear plan for winding down the war, which will end this year," National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement Tuesday.

Hayden said the president "deeply appreciates" Gates' service in the Pentagon and "welcomes differences of view among his national security team, which broaden his options and enhance our policies."

What’s especially damning about these allegations is that Robert Gates is no blind partisan. He served in eight presidential administrations, including an honorable stint as Secretary of Defense under both Bush and Obama. He has bipartisan credentials, and is deeply respected inside and outside the beltway. Thus his allegations carry so much weight not merely because of their shock value, but because of who the source is.

(H/T Mary Katharine Ham)