April 9th, 2010

Obama and defense expert Gates: on being “comfortable” with the nuclear posture

In a recent interview with George Stephanopoulos, President Obama had this to say in response to Sarah Palin’s criticism of his nuclear posture:

The last I checked, Sarah Palin is not much of an expert on nuclear issues…What I would say to [critics] is, is that if the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff are comfortable with it, I’m probably going to take my advice from them and not from Sarah Palin.

Except for one thing—note Obama’s use of the odd phrase “comfortable with it.” If this NY Times article is to be believed, Gates initially opposed Obama’s decision but was overruled by Obama, who did not take his advice [emphasis mine]:

Discussing his approach to nuclear security the day before formally releasing his new strategy, Mr. Obama described his policy as part of a broader effort to edge the world toward making nuclear weapons obsolete, and to create incentives for countries to give up any nuclear ambitions. To set an example, the new strategy renounces the development of any new nuclear weapons, overruling the initial position of his own defense secretary.

Guess the Times let that cat out of the bag. But don’t sit on a hot stove waiting for its writers and editors—or many others in the MSM—to call Obama on this one. After all, Gates is “comfortable” with it all now, isn’t he? But perhaps it’s only because Obama is his Commander-in-Chief.

65 Responses to “Obama and defense expert Gates: on being “comfortable” with the nuclear posture”

  1. gcotharn Says:

    Robert Gates is a shrewd yet principled operator. He’s willing to make hard decisions, yet is also the opposite of an aggressive advocate for U.S. Military action. Gates is a measured and temperate advocate for defense policy.

    When Obama positions himself to the passive side of Robert Gates, it is notable.

  2. Occam's Beard Says:

    I’ve always been comfortable with my bosses’ decisions too.

  3. roc scssrs Says:

    I love how Sarah gets his goat, every time!

  4. The Anchoress | A First Things Blog Says:

    […] Is Gates as “comfy” as Obama says he is? […]

  5. No One You Know Says:

    Palin also got off another zinger at Obama’s expense. At the SRLC she made mention of his extensive nuclear experience as a community organizer, part time senator, and full time candidate. The dude does not know when to to shut up.

  6. Adrian Says:

    I get the feeling there’s a lot of beat-down on the road to comfortable in this adminstration.

  7. Occam's Beard Says:

    I too love how Palin gets under his skin. The astonishing thing to me is that this “towering intellect” doesn’t realize that by getting into it with her he’s got everything to lose and nothing to gain, whereas she’s got everything to gain and nothing to lose.

    By getting into a tit-for-tat exchange with her he’s validating her status as a worthy adversary. If he had any brains, he’d contrive a quizzical look and ask, “Who?” whenever someone brings her up.

    So he’s either a nitwit, or so fragile psychologically that he can’t ignore snark.

  8. Occam's Beard Says:

    Speaking of poise and composure, my wife had a great comment. She said she wishes we had as President that admiral who fielded the idiot’s Guam-capsizing question with a straight face.

    He looked intelligent, competent, sane, and composed. Once we got over our shock and confusion, I think we could get to like a President with those qualities.

  9. Artfldgr Says:

    The threat to our civilization does not come from the masses. The threat comes from the elite. The masses have proved to be conservative. Against the most successful institutions and folkways in history, against the greatest civilization ever to arise, the elite revolted; and in the course of this revolt they betray the venomous hatred that lies not far beneath the smiling face of upper-middle-class benevolence.”

    Those of us who are not part of the elite’s fashionable revolution are “racist, sexist and homophobic.” We are fit objects for extermination or re-education because, in the end, we “just don’t get it.” Christopher Lasch

  10. betsybounds Says:

    I thought Obama’s formulation regarding Gates was interesting. He said, “. . . if the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff are comfortable with it, I’m probably going to take my advice from them and not from Sarah Palin.” He did not say that Gates is comfortable with it.

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    Good catch, betsybounds.

  12. Artfldgr Says:

    Kyrgyzstan: Did Moscow Subvert a U.S. Ally?

  13. Artfldgr Says:

    “Given the relatively small number of U.S. missile and bomber warheads likely to survive a Russian preemptive strike under START II, if Russia can maintain its Triad of strategic offensive and defensive forces, it will become the preeminent nuclear superpower. The Russian military and senior political officials understand this very well even if the U.S. does not.” W T Lee

    “The balance of U.S.-Soviet strategic lethality and survivability, whether lethality is measured in equivalent yield, counter military potential, equivalent weapons, or single-shot kill probability, heavily favors the USSR.” Peter Vincent Pry (CIA analyst)

    “While the treaties did not prohibit production of re-fire missiles and warheads, the FSU [Former Soviet Union] produced far more strategic missiles than were declared under START I and the INF Treaty. The U.S. does not know how many re-fire missiles were produced, nor where these stocks are located. Similarly, the FSU produced and stocked (at least) 50 to 100 percent more nuclear weapons than the U.S. estimated, and the U.S. does not know where those warheads are stored. CIA and DIA covered up all discrepancies in the Soviet declarations of weapons stocks under the START, INF and CFE Treaties.” William T Lee analyst

    “When I am the weaker, I ask you for my freedom, because that is your principle; but when I am the stronger, I take away your freedom, because that is my principle.” Louis Veuillot

  14. betsybounds Says:

    Artfl, How do you do your research? Are these things you’ve had your hand on the pulse of for a long time, or are you always discovering new things? You amaze me!

  15. Amused Observer Says:

    I realize that as our duly elected CIC Obama is running the show. But seriously, given his backround, temperment, accomplishments, and watching the other facets of his foriegn policy what gives Obama more credibility than a random man on the street?

    Sure he gets briefed at the highesty levels of security by our intelligence and military professionals but I’ve seen little to indicate he understands the ramifications of what he is hearing.

    LOL, how much would that congressman with the concerns over Guam’s stability understand? Obama may very well have a firmer grasp of reality than him but at least that guy was asking questions rather than assuming he was the smartest man in the room.

  16. betsybounds Says:

    Amused Observer,

    Nice point. Very nice point.

  17. rickl Says:

    This is off topic.

    Or maybe not.

    Pleasant Hill Grain
    Emergency Long Term Storage Foods

    I’m still trying to decide between the 2 month or the 1 year supply. But I’m pretty certain I’ll buy something. It seems easier than trying to assemble my own stockpile of storable food, willy-nilly.

  18. betsybounds Says:


    Oh dear, let’s hope it won’t come to that.

    But I’m not prepared to rule it out, either.

    I just urge everyone to have a can opener around. I’ll always recall the Gary Larson (The Far Side) cartoon that shows a man and his wife in their bomb shelter, mushroom clouds exploding above-ground, and they’re surrounded by shelves full of canned goods. She’s standing there, hands on her hips, yelling at him, saying, “Make sure you have a can opener, I said. That bomb shelter won’t be much good without a can opener, I said.”

  19. Gray Says:

    I’m still trying to decide between the 2 month or the 1 year supply.

    Please save your money.

    If it ever gets bad enough for you to need that, then it is bad enough that you, can’t afford to look like you are not starving.

    Don’t be stupid. You’d be better off spending the money cultivating a close relationship with your current neighbors.

  20. Wm Lawrence Says:

    One of the things Barry should be grateful for is that he never had to debate Sarah during the last campaign.

    He should leave well enough alone, if not he’s eventually gonna get his ass handed to him. Of course I don’t necessarily think it would even take Sarah to do it. The average fifth grader has a better understanding of the world.

    To Amused Observer: Sometimes if you can’t laugh you just have to cry…

  21. mikemcdaniel Says:

    Hmmm. How is it, I wonder, that George W. Bush, a man derided as a complete idiot by the sophisticated intellects of the media and Dem party, understood that the decisions of the POTUS will always be under the microscope and it’s best to merely keep one’s mouth shut in response? I recall Bush, on many occasions, in response to questions about unwarranted, uninformed and plainly foolish criticism, merely observing that his critics had a right to that criticism under our system of government and he welcomed it. And I don’c recall Bush, since leaving office, taking verbal pot shots at Obama. All of this seems like, what’s the word…class?

    As to Sarah Palin, in every measurable way, she had far more experience than Obama prior to the election, and I’ve seen nothing in the last year+ that would indicate that the balance of ability, knowledge and experience has swung in Obama’s favor. His only “experience” or knowledge in nuclear policy was a frequently expressed desire to rid the world of nuclear weapons. This, however often it is mistaken for wisdom or progress by the uninformed and credulous is nothing more than philosophy. Wisdom attaches to it only if that philosophy comports with reality and if the process used to implement it results in ends that benefit the United States. In this, Obama cares only for the philosophy and will do whatever is necessary to accomplish it.

    Recall, if you will, photographs of Obama and Russian President Medvedev earlier in the year. Anyone recall Medvedev smiling, happy to be with Obama? Consider, please, the photos of Medvedev and Obama at the signing of the treaty. Medvedev was clearly smugly happy, secure in the knowledge that once again, the Russians rolled another witless American do-gooder, perhaps even another fellow traveler.

    I would be far more comfortable with Sarah Palin as POTUS because I have no doubt that she would modify her philosophy to comport with reality, and that her underlying principle in foreign affairs would be to secure American safety and interests. Rather a shame, isn’t it, that we can’t say that about Barack Obama. Rather a shame that we can’t apply the word “class” to him.

    Attacking Sarah Palin? Non-presidential. Non-adult. Juvenile. Petty. Foolish. Spiteful. And we elected him. Hope for a change yet?

  22. Amused Observer Says:

    What do you mean we kemosabe?

  23. Charles Says:


    I, too, noticed how happy the Russian President seemed.

    And why shouldn’t he? The Bear is on the rise again, and Obama just handed him a fresh kill!

  24. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Robert Gates is a shrewd yet principled operator.” gcotharn
    Principled? He’s actively cooperating and providing cover for a dangerous policy shift and saying nothing, even allowing Obama to use him as political cover. He
    has to know this…

    “he’s either a nitwit, or so fragile psychologically that he can’t ignore snark.” Occam’s Beard

    Or he could be a psychologically fragile nitwit…who can’t ignore Palin because she represents a real threat to his agenda.


    Good C. Lasch quote, reminds me of;
    “Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties:
    1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes.
    2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depository of the public interests.

    In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves.” –Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee, 1824.


    Obama stated in response to Palin’s criticisms; “if the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff are comfortable with it, I’m probably going to take my advice from them”…
    BUT we know he didn’t take Gates advice…don’t we? Note that the word ‘probably’ is the qualifier. What a duplicitous liar, at that, he excels.

    “Don’t be stupid. You’d be better off spending the money cultivating a close relationship with your current neighbors.”

    Don’t be naive. If it gets that bad, ‘good neighbors’ will only be such in the country, where they can band together for survival. In the city, it would be dog eat dog.

    Get the 2 month supply rickl to carry you through a short-term economic collapse where order is quickly restored. Before you buy anything, do some research on the net. There are thousands of sites, so use your common sense when evaluating their advice.

    Look into some form of shared rural retreat to seek refuge at, for if things get really bad. And if they do appear to be getting that bad, remember that hesitation is your worst enemy, move to ‘higher’ ground while you still feel foolish doing so.

    If you wait till you’re sure, it will be too late.

  25. Bob From Virginia Says:

    25 years we would have assumed that Obama was a Soviet agent. He probably thinks he is.

    That would explain some of his behavior.

  26. jon baker Says:

    regarding the conversation above about food when it gets bad-

    you need food stored up, means to replenish that food supply (and water) and neighbors you can trust- preferably ones who have been preparing themselves. I have been on a part time mission to get people to plant food bearing trees and shrubs-going so far as to supply folks with said plants after having felt them out. Forget the flowers.

  27. jon baker Says:

    as I was typing, it appears Geoffrey Britain made comments regarding the food thing. Yes, i too have felt the cities are not where you want to be. Remember Los Angeles and New Orleans.

  28. Ilíon Says:

    Here is an idea all we Patriots can get behind: The write-in campaign to draft the Obamas for a loooong stint on “Dancing With the Stars” (see the comments)

  29. jon baker Says:

    I should replace “food bearing shrubs” with “food bearing vines”.

    On a side note, Squash and Egg plants have beautiful blooms.

    Peach and pear trees have awsome blooms-though I am of the opinion that peaches in warm climates are hard to keep till harvest because of the many pest without lots of spraying. Seems pears do a lot better “organic”-not that i’m “organic”- its just that sprays can get expensive-and if gets really bad- you might not be able to afford any spray (or find it).

  30. jon baker Says:

    And hard pear varieties may be better than soft pears-though I am not totally sure of that- it just seems all the pears we have here are the hard type-but the relatively soft apples, which are related- get eaten by bugs bad…..

  31. Ilíon Says:

    If things get that bad, there will be no place safe.

    And, even if you *did* manage to survive for a year, or ten, what of it? Can you really survive — and flourish — without this whole civilization behind you? Of course not.

  32. jon baker Says:

    Ilion said:
    “And, even if you *did* manage to survive for a year, or ten, what of it? Can you really survive — and flourish — without this whole civilization behind you? Of course not.”

    No one is saying it would be easy. But if you are the type that could not psychologically bear to live without all the modern conveniences-then I guess you wouldn’t survive. I wouldn’t like it-I like long hot showers and electric lights and computers. Quite frankly I still do not feel I am where I need to be in preparation-but I would try to tough it out.

  33. LB100 Says:

    Very good comment, neocon.

    More and more, I think Palin could handle herself very well uno-a-uno with the White House eminence. She’s great with the zingers, she relishes verbal combat, and she wouldn’t be afraid to take it to Obama. Most important, she seems to see Obama for who he is (which is more than I can say for any of the other leading Republicans). I think Obama is afraid of her. And think of the ratings!

  34. Vieux Charles Says:

    The Russian strategic nuclear capability is feeble.

    The United States has lost nothing in its own defense. The Russian ICBM based nuclear strike is unmaintained. It’s bomber fleet is demoralized. It’s submarine based nuclear counter-strike is nonexistant.

    It’s all a numbers game made to make each side look like they’re doing something.

    And so what? So we drop to 1600 warheads. On a whim we could fly a B2 right over Putin’s house in the dead of night and drop a conventional JDAM on a mole on his left butt cheek.

    In broad daylight we could fly an F22 over the Kremlin and with their entire military inventory the Russians would be remiss to track it, chase it or shoot it down.

    The US can project power to every corner of the globe. The Russians can pick fights with their neighbors.

    Information Operations, sapce domination, battlespace domination, non-kinetic warfare, full-spectrum targeting – the Russians are more than twenty years behind the U.S.

    This is 2010 and there is an entirely new paradigm to war. Putin and Medvedev missed the boat a long time ago.

  35. Amused Observer Says:

    Seriously, if you are planning for an apocolypse event consider this. Survive the first wave and then adapt to the new reality.

    You need a defensible position, water, some food. Weaponry would be useful. After that who knows? You’re going to have to do the human thing and adapt to the environment. Best laid plans and all that sort of thing.

  36. Sergey Says:

    I happened to know many details of Russian program of development biological weapons, working in a head Gamaleya institite of Immunology and Epidemiology in 1973-74 years. The program itself was developed in other laboratories, in Obolensk and Blagoveschensk, but our institute assessed the safety and measures to protect population in case of biological attack or leaks. It was found that such weapons are too dangerous to produce at industrial scale, to keep or deploy, and they can not be used with any degree of safety. So all these works were shelved. It seems other countries came to the same conclusion, and after 1986 no further attempts were pursued. But this is true only to for states which are rational actors: for terrorists or apocalyptic cults this logic does not apply. Scientifically bioweapons are much harder to develop than nukes, and even for USSR the problem turned out to be unsolvable.

  37. Artfldgr Says:

    planning apolcolyps?

    you mean like removing the polish president?
    how about taking out the leaders of poland too
    and the financial people?

    Polish president and wife among ’88 confirmed dead’ as plane crashes in Russia

    its starting…
    the heavy stuff is now starting…

    because they are not going to have a chance with a leader who is so stupid, so naive, so defering, and who follows their old play book which they wrote.

    sorry sergey, but given the poisioning and other stuff over the years… they are in on it.

    and sergey… ever met ken alibek?

    he shows that they werent shelved
    and the ANTHRAX incident (which they started the active measure over AIDS) happened AFTER the date you assert above.

    meanwhile, your trying to sooth us on a state whose history while becoming more circumspect, still does much of the same stuff it did before, but MORE so.

    i am sorry sergey, but your trying to stand up for people who betray those who stand up for them.

    over and over and over. from the very first days of Lenin, when they betrayed the 8 Latvian rifle corps, and then later when they betrayed Europe with Ribbentrop.. and then failing every nuclear treaty… then poisonings all over the world. since Putin office, over 300 journalists killed.

    search ken alibek…

    anyway… poliand is now paranoid at the smallest..
    completely crazy at the largest.
    and its way way too convenient.

    too bad they have a continuing history that causes every bad thing to go to them, even if it isnt them!

    but thats what doing all that crap does. and historically we know TONS of crap and it far outstretches anything we have ever done in the west

  38. Artfldgr Says:

    Vozrozhdeniya Island is where less powerful stuff is buried and is now slowly escaping

    Sverdlovsk (now called Ekaterinburg) was one place stuff was manufactured. powerful stuff escaped from there.

    Extensive cover-ups and destruction of records by the KGB continued from 1979 until Russian President Boris Yeltsin admitted this anthrax accident in 1992. Jeanne Guillemin reported in 1999 that a combined Russian and United States team investigated the accident in 1992

    a lot of these things were made in satellite countries, and russia NEVER let its pinky know what its pointer knows let alone left hand right hand and so forth.

    during the soviet era people outside of russia knew more of what was going on inside than the people inside.

    there were institutes that were clean, there were places that were VERY dirty that experimented on people…

    and i have not brought up the agencies that serve the military and FSB/KGB where what they produced and have is widely known now worldwide.

    e was later promoted (1988) to First Deputy Director of Biopreparat where he not only oversaw the biological weapons facilities but also the significant number of pharmaceutical facilities that produced antibiotics, vaccines, sera, and interferon for the public. Though the time he had available was short, he took this additional responsibility to public health seriously. In response to a Spring 1990 announcement that the Ministry of Medical and Microbiological Industry was to be reorganized, Alibekov drafted and forwarded through channels a memo to President Gorbachev proposing the cessation of Biopreparat’s BW work. Though the President approved the proposal, an additional paragraph had been secretly inserted into Alibekov’s draft resulting in a presidential decree that not only ordered the end of Biopreparat’s BW work but also required them to remain prepared for future production. Though disappointed by the double dealing, Alibekov used his position at Biopreparat and the authority granted to him by the first part of the decree to begin destruction of the BW program. He also negotiated a concurrent appointment to a Biopreparat facility called Biomash. Biomash designed and produced technical equipment for microbial cultivation and testing. He planned to increase the amount of product sent to the hospitals and the civilian medical laboratories beyond the 40% allocated at the time.

    just as a soldier in the jungle of vietnam does not really have special insight into the war itself (unless he studied things outside his own actions in details and put it all together, and weeded out the disenformation).

    a doctor at one lab who is not really high up in the politburo wouldnt know what was at another lab.

    and sergey, if your claiming to know, that would then lend a lot of credence to tatyana’s radar of being more than you seem to be…

    Alibekov was subsequently placed in charge of intensive preparations for inspections of Soviet biological facilities by a joint American and British delegation. While participating in the subsequent Soviet inspection of American facilities, his growing suspicion that the United States did not have an offensive BW program was confirmed before his return to Russia (the Soviet Union dissolved while he was in the US). Not long after his return from the US, Alibekov resigned from both the Soviet Army and from Biopreparat and secretly emigrated with his family to the US in the fall of 1992, despite being forbidden to do so by the KGB.[5]

    Since moving to the US, Alibekov — who simplified his name to Ken Alibek — has provided the government with a detailed accounting of the former Soviet BW program and has testified before the U.S. Congress on numerous occasions (see also Sverdlovsk anthrax leak). He has provided guidance to the intelligence, policy, national security, and medical communities and has returned to the pure biomedical research that captured his interest as a medical student. He was the impetus behind the creation of an innovative biodefense graduate education program at George Mason University (GMU) that drew students from across the country and has served in the program as both a Distinguished Professor of Medical Microbiology and as the Director of Education. He also developed the plans for GMU’s biosafety level three (BSL-3) research facility and was instrumental in obtaining $40 million dollars of grants from the federal and state governments for construction of the facility.

    there arent many BSL-3 labs in the country..
    some of them are semi hidden in hospitals around the country

    to read of some of the work there, some of it as fanciful as the stuff the west was doing with drugs, other stuff scary as heck…

    a society whose ideology states there are no moral limits, tends to lead to things that others tend to abhor so much they do not do, or they give up on.

    the old guard used to see this spread as an advantage, but wwii made them think again if it was such an advantage or did it just seem so and there are reasons why in history such fails.

    who knows.

    but i find this way too convenient. and their prior history and RECENT history poisons any clear consideration of them…

    like the boy who cried wolf, the kid who gets caught doing things over and over is not believed either.

  39. rickl Says:

    LB100 Says:
    April 10th, 2010 at 12:57 am

    More and more, I think Palin could handle herself very well uno-a-uno with the White House eminence. She’s great with the zingers, she relishes verbal combat, and she wouldn’t be afraid to take it to Obama. Most important, she seems to see Obama for who he is (which is more than I can say for any of the other leading Republicans). I think Obama is afraid of her.

    I think you’re right. I remember his “lipstick on a pig” remark. He seemed rattled by her from the moment she burst upon the national scene.

  40. Jim Sullivan Says:


    “you mean like removing the polish president?
    how about taking out the leaders of poland too
    and the financial people? ”

    Regarding the Polish president’s plane crash, Minutes before it hit the news and just after, my e-mail and phone lit up. Waaaaaaaaaaaay way to convenient. And over Russian airspace?

    Some people I know still have regular contact with GROM and I’m hearing…interesting rumors.

  41. rickl Says:

    I guess I should clarify: When I posted my link to the company that makes storable survival food, I was thinking more in terms of an economic collapse that will result in a temporary period of chaos and political instability, rather than a full-on nuclear apocalypse. So I guess in that sense, I picked the wrong thread.

  42. rickl Says:

    I’m not sure what to make of the Polish airplane disaster. The initial reports said that the plane clipped the trees while attempting to land in dense fog. The plane was a Soviet-era TU-154, which looks like a Being 727 knockoff. I don’t think there are any 727s still flying outside of the Third World.

    But it does seem awfully conveeeenient for Russia. All those government leaders packed into one plane. I don’t know.

    Either way, what happens next will be interesting. The hinges of history often turn on random events.

    Former Polish president Lech Walesa, who headed the Solidarity movement, called the crash “inconceivable”.

    “The Soviets killed Polish elites in Katyn 70 years ago. Today, the Polish elite died there while getting ready to pay homage to the Poles killed there,” a shaken Walesa told AFP.

    All were to attend a memorial service in the Katyn Forest, near the crash scene, where 22,000 top Polish officers and troops were killed by Soviet troops 70 years ago. It had been intended to help the reconciliation between Poland and Russia.


  43. jon baker Says:

    As I recall, the Serbs managed to shoot down one of our F22s over the former Yugoslavia. Probably with a heat seeker. After all, its supposed to be “invisible” to radar, not thermal tracking devices on a missle.

    On a side note, is this the Polish President that has spoken out against The EU and the whole global warming power grab?

  44. rickl Says:

    jon baker: That was an F-117, not an F-22. But yeah, it wasn’t good to have that plane fall into the wrong hands.

  45. Steve G Says:

    You pointed out that a NYT article indicated that there about 30 (50?) meetings regarding the new Obama nuclear posture. I believe that these were not so much meetings as the Obami fraternity beating up on Gates to get him to adopt Obama’s stupid policy. In other words, as a result of these “meetings”, Obama moved his position 0% and Gates moved his position 100%. I still don’t understand what Gates is doing in this administration. In my opinion he is a man without honor and his being characterized as “comfortable” with the Obama posture reinforces my view that he has become a hack.

  46. jon baker Says:

    rickl, thanks

  47. rickl Says:

    Steve G: I don’t pretend to know whether Gates is a patriot or a political hack. But I hope he stays on. Can you imagine the kind of malevolent tranzi marxist Obama would replace him with? The mind reels.

  48. betsybounds Says:

    rickl: If Obama wants to replace Gates with a malevolent tranzi marxist, he will, and Gates’ own wishes will have little if anything to do with it. Maybe Gates thinks that by staying where he is, he provides some level of sanity to the otherwise insane policies of this administration. Of course, that leaves him open to being humiliated by constant over-ruling, or to the maneuver of being co-opted, or developing a type of Stockholm Syndrome. I’ve never trusted Gates anyway, he was advanced to his present position to calm things down after Rumsfeld, and had a pretty long career in intelligence before that.

  49. SteveH Says:

    Jon Baker i think you’re prob refering to Check President Vaclav Havel who is the most outspoken. But i believe most of the eastern euro leaders are keen to the fraud of global waming.

  50. John Says:

    Pot meet kettle.

    “I really have no response to that. The last I checked, Sarah Palin is not much of an expert on nuclear issues,” Obama said in an interview with ABC News.

    “Now, the president with all the vast nuclear experience that he acquired as a community organizer, and as a part-time senator, and as a full-time candidate, all that experience, still no accomplishment to date with North Korea and Iran,” Sarah Palin

    Mr. Obama was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.

  51. Michael Says:

    Advice to the President:

    If you keep your mouth shut everyone wonders what kind of idiot you may be.

    Once you open your mouth everyone knows.

  52. SteveH Says:

    I love Sarah Palin. My gut just keeps telling me she’d do more good for our side not running for President. At least not for a few more years. I like her on the sidelines driving liberals crazy.

  53. Sergey Says:

    Anthrax is not a transmittable disease, it can not cause epidemic, it infects only those who inhale or digest spores. This makes it sutable only for targeted assassinations and small-scale terrorist attack. This is why it hardly can be classified as biological weapon of a strategic importance.
    Speculations about diversion in connection with Polish aircraft crush are baseless. The Polish pilot was adviced by Russian dispatcher to land in Minsk, but he insisted on landing at Smolensk military base after 3 or 4 attempts to land in thick fog and eventually touched a tree top. Pilot error is the only possible cause of catastrophe under such circumstances.

  54. Sergey Says:

    John Backer: no, Serbs shoot down F22 by old, even obsolete Soviet anti-aircraft system which used another radar frequency. F22 were invisible only for next generation of radars, operating at higher frequencies. Invisibility is achieved by using interference of radiowaves and is efficient only in narrow range of wavelengthes.

  55. rickl Says:

    rickl Says:
    April 10th, 2010 at 9:45 am

    All were to attend a memorial service in the Katyn Forest, near the crash scene, where 22,000 top Polish officers and troops were killed by Soviet troops 70 years ago. It had been intended to help the reconciliation between Poland and Russia.

    I just remembered that it was the Nazis who discovered and excavated the site of the Katyn Forest massacre, and brought it to the world’s attention.

    How weird is that?

  56. Sergey Says:

    When two totalitarian regimes accuse each other in horrendous crimes, you can safely trust both.

  57. Sergey Says:

    I can not imagine how this disaster could benefit Russia, given that Lech Kachinsky’s twin brother Jaroslav, who now most certainly will come to power, is more virulent Russia-hater than his relatively moderate deceased twin.

  58. expat Says:


    I read in Der Spiegel that the Russian air traffic controllers even notified Belorussian authorities to try to get the plane to divert while it was in their airspace. Also the Smolensk airport was closed at the time because of the fog. There should be lots of recordings to back this up if 2 countries were involved.

  59. Sergey Says:

    Since “black box” of the aircraft was found in working condition and all communication between pilots and traffic controllers were recorded in it, we will know the truth very soon. In such accidents all documentation is studied by commission with participation of specialists from both countries involved, there is no possibility of cover-up or deliberate desinformation.

  60. neo-neocon Says:

    Sergey: if the black box is examined by specialists from both countries and they report an accident and/or pilot error, that would certainly be enough evidence for most people.

  61. Steve G Says:

    I agree that Gates appears to provide some adult experience but his real role is to give Obama cover. As we can see from the new nuclear posture, Gates finally caved to Obama. And. Obama used Gates concession to trump Palin (not too successfully). I think it better if Obama did not have Gates’ cover. Let Obama stand by his policies without having Gates to throw under the bus. After all, is Gates really keeping Obama from doing stupid things?

  62. jon baker Says:

    thanks SteveH and Sergey.

  63. NeoConScum Says:

    I listened to a fascinating and thoroughly frightening chat between Hugh Hewitt and Frank Gaffney re-what Obama is unilaterally giving up and/or freezing on our nuke capacity. NO requirement for the Russians and Chinese(for God’s sakes)to stop modernizing, R & D, etc. Only us. This loathsome twit is a cancer on our might, our 1st place, our strategic thinking-planning and our influence on Tyrants watching their step.

  64. Artfldgr Says:

    betsybounds Artfl, How do you do your research? Are these things you’ve had your hand on the pulse of for a long time, or are you always discovering new things? You amaze me!

    me? i have a memory like that (but in some other areas i forget things completely. i dont know why). and i am always reading new things. though most of what i read is science related. history wasnt my strong point other than through family history.

    the internet though makes my memories more concrete or amplifies them… in other cases i sometimes am just lucky. information seems to just pop up serendipitously. (and we have remarkable facilities to link things)

    most of it is memory and my covering a broad swath of stuff. i spend a lot of time reading and have done so since an early age. internet just made a lot of it free. though i used to read more textbooks

    tell you the truth i am mostly bored, and don’t have a drive to mischief (actually quite the opposite). so lacking funds i study, and study and study, and do my own work and i get lucky in other things (like the photography, or other odd job i did). most of the time i have very little outlet for the things i discover, solve, and or figure out, not to mention what i create with my skills. not much outlet.

    but some friends get a kick out of it… and its more fun asking me than going to the library. and sometimes lucky people can get what they need to make a big buck. and i am pretty damn lucky. sometimes bad luck, some times good luck, all kinds of luck. lot o luck of all kinds 🙂

    so there you have it.. boredom is my secret.. 🙂

    i have also heard said that i was efficiently lazy
    and suffer from ART – a socially acceptable obsessive compulsive disorder. i also suffer from innovating/inventing/solving a condition not socially acceptable until it turns cash. 🙂

  65. Ashley Mireles Says:

    There is noticeably a lot to identify about this. I think you made some good points in features also.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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