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January 16, 2014

Judy Woodruff to Gates: Doesn't Your Tell-All Decrease Troop Morale?
Matt Lauer to Gates: Doesn't Your Tell-All Represent a Dishonorable Betrayal?
Katie Couric to Gates: Aren't You a Dick?

Well! It's not hard to guess what the media thinks of Robert Gates' memoir exposing Obama's and Hillary's cynical half-hearted fighting of a war they didn't believe in, and didn't care to win.

Judy Woodruff isn't pleased to have real information about Obama:

Secretary Gates, you make it clear you care so deeply about the American troops. You are fiercely supportive of them. You're not at all worried, though, about affecting the morale of the troops with a book like this that questions the commander-in-chief's commitment to the war?

Woodruff is suddenly against leaks as a general matter. Why, if real information about the inner workings of an Administration finds its way into the public debate, it might reduce the candor and quality of advice given at the White House.

You know-- the argument in favor of Executive Privilege.

The late Sen. Pat Moynihan, among other things, used to rail against what he called tell-all books by insiders. He said it was a disservice to the free exchange of ideas, that it made people hold back, because they thought they might be quoted somewhere in a book, and thus it was a disservice to history.

Little Mattie Lauer was in a right snit:

During a live interview with former Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer suggested that criticism of President Obama in Gates's new memoir was endangering American troops overseas: "As this criticism is leveled by you in the book of the commander-in-chief, the acting commander-in-chief, at a time when some 40,000 U.S. troops are in harm's way, do you think that by calling him into question at this stage it is either dangerous or dishonorable?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

After Gates rejected the notion, Lauer insisted: "But you don't think it undermines his credibility with the troops he is commander-in-chief of right now?" At the top of the show, Lauer teased the interview: "Robert Gates on his new memoir and his criticism of President Obama. Is it fair with U.S. troops still in harm's way?"

Katie Couric doesn't like this whole business of "informing the public:"

In an interview with former Defense Secretary Robert Gates for Yahoo News on Monday, newly-named global anchor Katie Couric urged him to express regret for criticism of President Obama in his new memoir: "Do you think in any way, shape or form that this was the wrong thing to do? It was just bad form?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Gates replied: "No, I don't. The reality is there are a lot of contemporary issues that are at the heart of this book....And to write about them in 2017, it would be completely irrelevant." Couric followed up: "You have been known in Washington as the consummate team player, a real stand-up guy, a true patriot. Are worried this might tarnish your reputation?"

In part, Gates responded: "Frankly, I just don't buy this notion that the book shouldn't have been written or shouldn't have been written for another three years, or that it is a negative narrative about President Obama, it's not." Couric suggested another adjective: "Or a betrayal." Gates repeated: "Or a betrayal."

Couric went on to opine:

"A lot of people have criticized you, as you well know, for writing this book while President Obama's still in office and men and women are still in Afghanistan. Senator John McCain said he would have waited to write this. Madeleine Albright suggested you should not have written this book while you were so angry."

CBS' Rita Braver is also pretty sure that Gates should have suppressed the truth. You know, For America.

BRAVER: I think what people are troubled by, is that you criticized President Obama on actions – particularly on his commitment to the war in Afghanistan – while it's still going on. And people are saying – look, that's just not right.

GATES: I make very explicit in the book that I agreed with all of the President's decisions on Afghanistan – the ones that he made in 2009 and – and subsequently. My one concern – as I described in the book, and to be honest about it – was that over the course of 2010 and early 2011, the President began to have his own reservations about whether it would all work. And I think that's not an unfair thing to say.

BRAVER: In your book, you say that one of your favorite adages is, never miss a good chance to shut up. And I wonder if you think, maybe, you violated your own advice here – and do you regret anything that you've written?

Now, if this sudden worry about Administration tell-alls sounds rather, well, sudden to you, you're right. Here, for example, was Judy Woodruff interviewing Bush turncoat Scott McClellan, asking him not why he squealed but why he didn't squeal sooner:

But that leads to something that a lot of people are wondering here about why you waited to say it until now. Why not speak up when there was a chance to, if not change things, at least let people know that there was some what you`re now calling propaganda or misleading going on?

And yes if you check your calendars, McClellan's tell-all concerned "policies still ongoing" during a time when troops were "still in the field."

But with Obama's minions... they are required to observe Obamerta, the Obama Code of Silence.

It's only patriotic, you know.

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posted by Ace at 04:31 PM

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