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27 Oct 2011 22:51


Politics: Leon Panetta’s expensive New Year’s toast, thanks to Osama bin Laden

  • The oldest bottle in his friend’s restaurant? an 1870 Chateau Lafite Rothschild. Years ago, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made a bet with a restaurateur around his CIA-led mission to find Osama Bin Laden: If Panetta’s team caught Bin Laden, Ted Balestreri would open up a bottle of wine that predates the first automobile. Now that time’s come. With Bin Laden dead, Balestreri will uncork that 141-year-old bottle around New Year’s Eve. Did we mention the bottle costs between $10,000 and $15,000? Careful to walk a line, though, one of Panetta’s spokespeople notes that this gesture isn’t meant to celebrate Bin Laden’s death. “Secretary Panetta has had New Year’s Eve gatherings with toasts with friends for years and this year there will be a special toast,” noted Douglas Wilson, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs. source

03 Aug 2011 21:44


U.S.: Could Donald Rumsfeld get personally sued for torture?

A military contractor with a particularly fascinating backstory wants to sue the former defense secretary for illegally detaining him. The judge — get this —is gonna allow it. Whoa. source

30 Jun 2011 11:12


U.S.: Today is Robert Gates’ last day at the Pentagon. *sniff*

We’re sitting in this coffee shop, blaring Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye To Yesterday” from our tinny MacBook speakers. And crying. We’re getting weird looks, but WE DON’T CARE! source

10 Dec 2010 15:26


Politics: Robert Gates: “Don’t ask” repeal will be worse if it’s court-ordered

  • My greatest worry will be that we are at the mercy of the courts and all of the lack of predictability that that entails.
  • Defense Secretary Robert Gates • Emphasizing that it’s better for Congress to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” and allow an orderly end to the policy than for the court system to simply force an end to the policy. Yesterday’s vote which failed 57-40, fell apart without any GOP support; Gates was “disappointed in the Senate vote, but not surprised.” Along with just about everyone else looking for a repeal, buddy. source

16 Aug 2010 11:11


U.S.: Robert Gates’ retirement has at least one interesting coincidence

  • spring The period next year which Gates reportedly wants to retire as Defense Secretary, a story that just broke today.
  • spring The period he said that he wants to hand over partial reins to Afghan security forces. Coincidence? We think not. source

29 May 2010 12:18


Politics: Robert Gates: Give us feedback on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

  • Every man and woman in uniform is a vitally important part of this review. We need to hear from you and your families so that we can make these judgments in the most informed and effective manner. So please let us know how to do this right.
  • Defense Secretary Robert Gates • In a video regarding the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, a bill which is currently making its way through Congress. Eventually, if and when it passes (which is likely), Gates is going to have to have his people deal with it directly. There is a big compromise involved here. The bill basically says, “OK, military, you guys decide if this makes sense for you,” and then they’ll decide. Which means the weight’s on Gates and the rest of the military. source

18 Apr 2010 20:17


Politics: Robert Gates: Believe nothing you read about me in the NYT

  • The memo was not intended as a ‘wake-up call’ or received as such by the President’s national security team. Rather, it presented a number of questions and proposals intended to contribute to an orderly and timely decision making process.
  • Defense Secretary Robert Gates • In an attempt to defuse the controversy that blew up around a New York Times article regarding his department’s Iran policy. The article, which suggested that the Obama administration didn’t have a long-term plan to deal with Iran, was rooted in a memo written by Gates. The Times’ anonymous sources said the memo shook up the entire department; The Washington Post’s anonymous sources say it wasn’t that big a deal. We trust anonymous. source

20 Jul 2009 16:44


U.S.: Defense Secretary Robert Gates has needs, and he’s filling them

  • 22,000 more troops are being added to the Army source

30 May 2009 15:59


U.S., World: Robert Gates has all sorts of nice things to say to North Korea

  • Dependent on the charity of the international community to alleviate the hunger and suffering of its people, North Korea’s leadership has chosen to focus the North’s limited energies and resources on a reckless and ultimately self-destructive quest for nuclear weapons.
  • Defense Secretary Robert Gates • On North Korea’s nuclear weapon mission that’s ultimately just pissing off the rest of the world. Gates go on to say that the U.S. “will not accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state.”  • source

22 May 2009 11:04


Politics, U.S.: Robert Gates weighs in on the Guantanamo debate

  • The truth is, it’s probably one of the finest prisons in the world today. But it has a taint.
  • Defense Secretary Robert Gates • Who says that, due to a reputation that precedes it, Guantanamo is no longer worth keeping. “The name itself is a condemnation,” he told NBC’s “Today” show. • source