Monday, September 10, 2012

Obama Appointed Bush's Defense Secretary To Be Obama Administration Defense Secretary

“…Gates is the only U.S. secretary of defense ever to be asked to remain in office by a newly elected president. The 2008 election was an unambiguous popular rejection of the Bush administration and its imperial foreign policy. The people of the United States, including the majority of people in the military, wanted to sweep out the Bush team. But President Obama asked Gates, a key architect of the current conflicts, to stay….”

--from a January 2, 2010 open mike blog post by Michael Prysner on the website

“Starbucks Corporation announced today that Robert M. Gates, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and current chancellor of the College of William & Mary, was elected to the Starbucks Board of Directors. He will serve on the Board’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee….Secretary Gates served in numerous roles in the Executive Branch of the U.S. government for nearly half a century, culminating as Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. He was the first defense secretary to serve under presidents from both political parties – President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. Upon Secretary Gates’ retirement in June 2011, he was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor a president can bestow on a civilian.

“In September 2011 he was named the 24th chancellor of the College of William & Mary…

“`I am deeply honored to have been asked to join Starbucks Board of Directors,” said Secretary Gates…’”

--from a May 2, 2012 Starbucks Corporation press release

Obama Appointed Bush’s Defense Secretary Gates To Be Obama Administration Defense Secretary

When the 2012 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama campaigned in 2008 he promised to “change” U.S. government foreign policy and claimed to represent an anti-war alternative in Washington, D.C. to the Republic administration of George W. Bush that had brought “permanent war” abroad to countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the militaristic foreign policy of the U.S. government did not change much between 2009 and 2012 during Obama’s first term as U.S. president. And there is still not much peace with justice for people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries (or in places like Gaza) in 2012.

One reason the Democratic Obama Administration failed to radically change U.S. government foreign policy between 2009 and 2012 might be because it failed to change the U.S. official in charge of the Pentagon after Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009. Coincidentally, the same Pentagon official who was George W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense in 2008—former CIA Director and current College of William & Mary Chancellor and Starbucks Corporation Director Robert Gates—was reappointed by 2012 Democratic presidential candidate Obama to be the Democratic Obama Administration’s Secretary of Defense in 2009. As Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter’s 2010 book The Promise: President Obama, Year One recalled:

“…Obama beat McCain 53 percent to 46 percent…Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, and other states that had long been comfortably Republican fell to the Democrats as…discouraged conservatives stayed home. The 63 percent turnout of eligible voters was small by international standards…131 million Americans…voted…with Obama carrying women by 13 percent and men by 1…Obama carried 95 percent of African American voters…The Latino vote…went 2 to 1 for Obama…Obama carried voters…making more than $200,000…Obama…won 54 percent of young white men…

“Obama…had run no state or local government…For months Obama had worked through Senator Jack Reed (a West Point grad and early supporter) to convince Robert Gates to stay on as Secretary of Defense…He [Obama] offered Gates the job at a secret meeting held at a fire station on the grounds of Reagan National Airport…Gates provided continuity on Iraq…Nobody in the Obama circle much cared that Gates had been tarnished by the Iran-Contra affair in the 1980s and by his record as George H.W. Bush’s CIA director…”

  Coincidentally, former CIA Director Leon Panetta is the current Obama Administration Secretary of Defense in 2012.

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