Dave Weigel highlights an unintentionally hilarious excerpt from former Def Sec Robert Gates’ memoir. The scene is at the endpoint of a meeting between the president, VP, top brass, et al, regarding the strategy to handle a hypothetical conflict between Israel and Iran:
I was put off by the way the president closed the meeting. To his very closest advisers, he said, “For the record, and for those of you writing your memoirs, I am not making any decisions about Israel or Iran. Joe, you be my witness.” I was offended by his suspicion that any of us would ever write about such sensitive matters.
Self-awareness, Mr. Gates. Please procure some at once.
You have obviously never dealt with DoD procurement regulations.
Karen in GA
Oh, FFS. I’m just gonna glue my face to my palm, since it’s there so much anyway.
When Gates plasters himself all over the Sunday chat shows, will anyone have the nerve to call him out on this? That, I would pay to see.
To be fair, he wasn’t writing about the meeting he was writing about his hurt feelings regarding the closed meeting and the stuff about the closed meeting needed to be there for context. Or something.
@hildebrand: No, because then Gates would write a book about MSM being disrespectful.
Only someone with the ego of a Washington insider could be both so clueless yet aware of a “special” Washington piece of dirt so they could write a line so damning of themselves while still thinking they are spilling the beans on their target – asswipe.
@Baud: What does that even mean?
STOP ACCUSING ME OF DOING WHAT I’M DOING!
The Mirror Test. Not passed by all of the so-called higher aka great apes.
Can I get General Magpie on the phone please?
I love this. I hope it gets picked up and he’s mocked all over the place for it.
@hildebrand: How much time is Gates really going to get on the Sunday shows? Won’t everyone really want to talk about Christie?
Quaker in a Basement
Just between you and me (and all my readers) Obama thinks I can’t keep a secret.
Pomposity, pomposity, I am surrounded by pomposity.
Maybe Gates was offended that Obama seems to have directed the joke to that ‘wrong about every important foreign policy issue for the last billion years’ halfwit Biden, instead of a Great, Sound and Worthy Man, Gates.
Yeebus save us. from these people, I beg and plead.
Edit: or crap and God Forbid, maybe Gates took that to mean Biden was working on his memoirs and get his published first, so Gatesy better get on the stick and scribble one out quick fast, maybe even while the last administration he served on was still open for business.
Think, if Biden got one done first, that dimwit would get more attention that Gates. Worse than being thrown into the lowest circle of Hell!
This isn’t hard. He “was offended”. However, he had a change of heart, and was not offended later, while writing the book. [I could see the Sunday shows completely buying this argument.][or what Omnes Omnibus said]
Awareness, thy name is not Republican.
Mike in NC
What job will Bob Gates be angling for under President Christie? I’m going with Chief of Staff since all of the governor ‘s current staff will have long since been fired.
I think he needed an editor. Or two.
Seems to run like some stream-of-conciousness thingy.
I was offended by his suspicion that any of us would ever write about such sensitive matters.
Just ignore it.
But doesn’t his book detail sensitive conversations elsewhere?
I guess he was offended that Obama was not a complete naif and recognized that Gates was willing to sell him out in his memoirs.
Wasn’t Obama being both funny and in a way complimentary to the grand people in the room who would be writing memoirs?
Quite apart from the self awareness issue, why would he be offended by such an obvious quip?
@Mike in NC: How about “Chief of Blowjobs for 4 Stars”?
This will make perfect and total sense to Sarah Palin, though she will not have any idea that there is a contradiction.
@Quaker in a Basement: Nicely done!
@Omnes Omnibus: I misread it too–it wasn’t a “closed meeting” it was “the close of the meeting.” Obama “closed” the meeting with his statement. I think.
The Freedom Industries spokesperson is speaking–not sure if it’s the CEO or what–and he’s got some sort of a British accent. Reminds me of BP and the oil spill in the Gulf. Oh great, he just drank some water out of a bottle of water. Talk about a poor PR move.
@Mike in NC:
Easy-peasy: Baron von Tollbooth.
It worked for Marco Rubio…
@Roger Moore: Someone handed him the bottle of water. He’s completely inexperienced in talking in front of microphones and cameras. He keeps walking over to the person who asks the question. They’ve had to remind him to stay in front of the microphones and literally explain to him, “Even if the question comes from over there, we need you to stay in front of the cameras.”
He also said he was done and it was all he had time for, walked away, and the reporters started yelling after him and he came back and answered more questions. Just completely out of his element.
Don Blankenship is tanned and ready, in case they need somebody to step in and
destroy evidencetake charge.
Ummm…maybe H/T Invaluable Commenter Bill E Pilgrim?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
There’s a provocative sentence in Woodward’s review about Hillary, Obama and “The Surge”
He writes: “Hillary told the president that her opposition to the  surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary. . . . The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.”
that is so badly written you wonder if it isn’t deliberately vague to allow for misinterpretation. Now that I consider that it’s Bob “Norma Desmond” Woodward’s ellipse, i suppose the bad writing/editing could be his. I’m sure if whatever he left out would have reflected badly on That One, he wouldn’t have left it out.
@Violet: I hate that this happened, and I feel desperately sorry for the WVians affected by the chemical spill, but damn, this is funny:
Or, he had no intention of disclosing the meeting, but was so insulted by Obama’s insinuation that he would break confidentiality that he was driven to disclose the meeting. From the Republican “It’s your fault I mistreat you” school of argument.
@Mike G: “You made me hit you.” Typical abusive behavior. Typical Republican.
@Baud: Those are just there for context as well. The book is obviously the story of Gates’s emotional journey – his feelings are what matter not the facts.
Honestly, I can’t help thinking Gates is a closet Obama supporter. Why else is he telling all of these stories that sound really juicy to the Village but end up making Gates look bad and Obama look good?
Did Woodward finally get punk’d by one of his own subjects? Because that would be sweet.
I’ve seen some of them. I’ve worked as a subcontractor on DoD projects.
So your comment is appropriate.
I’m thinking he really is just an idiot. Not uneducated, but lacks the sense of a cockroach. Or as one of my professors stated, “If more people had common sense, it might be appropriately named”
What does that even mean? It’s the fucking comments where nothing gets ignored and nothing goes unpunished.
Oops. Makes you wonder if anyone read the manuscript before it was published. You’d think… an editor would read that line and shoot an email to Bob. “Hey, Bob– this sentence makes you look like you’re unaware of your own pomposity.” Or, maybe not.
It was a lame, off the cuff attempt at a joke. Wasn’t worth trying to explain. I shall self flagellate in shame.
Maybe the editor met Bob and found out he really is this pompous.
Yeah, see, Betty said
and then Baud said
and because Gates used to be SecDef and there was a reference to DoD pro urgent, it was funny.
To some of us.
@SiubhanDuinne: I assume pro urgent = procurement? Damn autocorrect.
Some people have never been exposed to the world that is DoD. And they would probably never get the joke without that. Could you explain it so they’d believe it otherwise? I didn’t think so.
ETA And I see that I took it literally and others see the play on words. Works both ways actually.
Ah fuck. Once again auto-correct has its demonic way with me.
PROCUREMENT, not PRO URGENT.
I honestly don’t think they do that anymore. Editors is expensive!
@Baud: Yep, see #49.
Pas de problème.
I turned autocorrect off.
Still checks my spelling of course, otherwise my comments would be unreadable for a couple of reasons. And of course it wants to correct autocorrect. Computers are wonderful tools, used correctly.
@Corner Stone: Nope, since I discovered it independently. So we know Slate has at least TWO readers.
I’m not going to read it myself (you couldn’t pay me to read these kind memoirs), but in context, is it possible that Gates is actually making a joke here? It seems clear that the President was being light-hearted; you’d basically have to be pretty thin-skinned to take offense to that. Now, Bob Gates was working at the top of the Washington power structure, so there’s a very, very good chance that he does indeed have such a thin skin, but this could also be a case of taking intentional irony a little too literally.
And, sadly, I had previously thought so highly of you.
Please proceed Mr Secretary.
No matter how much I know that the media is 100% in the bag for the GOP, heck, even explain it to other people from time to time, but it still boggles my mind how brazen their bullshit’s become. Gates talks about his hurt fee-fees because Obama suspected him of doing exactly what he’s doing this very second, and nobody says a goddamn thing. Teabagger groups plaster their political affiliation on their front door, scream murder when the IRS considers removing their apolitical-therefore-tax-exempt status, and everyone goes right along with it. I really do expect “War Is Peace, Freedom Is Slavery, Ignorance Is Strength” to be officialized as the media’s new slogan any day now.
J R in WV
Gates, he confirms that he has a totally Republican sense of ethics.
This is to say, as near to none as is possible and still be a measurable tho tiny gap. Or perhaps even an inverse sense of ethics, that is, to believe that doing wrong is right. Lots of Republicans seem to believe that helping people is evil, and kicking unemployed parents in the face is necessary in order to have a successful government.
What would you expect from a guy who worked with professional torturers and war criminals?
Down here in Texas we’d call that just another Aggie joke …
@Violet: I guarantee that it will not be by David “how many days do I have left?” Gregory. That man is literally on the five colon a day plan with all the republican ass he eats on that show. So get ready for fawning.