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-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Intelligence sources question Gates' independence from Cheney, Rumsfeld
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2006 14:58:13 -0500
From: Larisa Alexandrovna
Organization: Raw Story Media, Inc.
Intelligence sources question Gates' independence from Cheney, Rumsfeld
Many current and former intelligence experts, officers, and policy makers are questioning the rationale for the seemingly unexpected nomination of Robert M. Gates to the post of Secretary of Defense, RAW STORY has learned.
Gates was named as President Bush's chosen replacement for the beleaguered Donald Rumsfeld just one day after the Democrats swept the midterm elections last week to win majorities in both houses of Congress.
One former senior intelligence officer, who served during the Bush 41 presidency, believes that by and large the Gates appointment is simply buying time and providing cover, while allowing Rumsfeld to take the fall for the execution of a now-unpopular war. This source also believes that the fall of Rumsfeld might serve as notice for Cheney to curtail his inner hawk.
"Cheney cannot be removed, except by feigning ill health, as he is an elected official," said this official, "but he can be marginalized."
But the Baker vs. Cheney argument does not stand up to scrutiny. Simply put, when Gates served in the administration of President George H.W. Bush, he had far more in common with Cheney than he did with other members of that administration, including those currently involved in attempts to intervene in Iraq policy.
Certainly Gates' business activities might make it difficult for him to push back against the formidable Cheney.
Gates has been on the board of directors for Parker Drilling Company since 2001. A major client-partner of Parker is Halliburton. In 2004, for example, Halliburton landed the Iride-Samaria Project in Mexico for $175 million, and Parker was brought into the project to provide the rigs and crews.
Serving on the Parker board with Gates is John W. Gibson, who until 2004 served as chief executive officer of Halliburton Energy Services and who acknowledges having gone hunting with Vice President Cheney.
Another member of the Parker board is Robert E. McKee III, who is currently the chairman of Eventure, a Shell-Halliburton joint project, as well as being the senior adviser to the Iraqi Oil Ministry
Retired US Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who most recently served as Secretary of State Powell's chief of staff and who has been a harsh critique of the Bush administration, believes that Gates will do well.
"[Gates is] a solid guy who has made his way through the bureaucracy largely by doing what he was asked to do -- and in present circumstances, I believe that will be a positive," said Wilkerson.
"Rumsfeld's greatest failing was that he thought he was always right and acted accordingly," he continued, "in spite of even the President's directions. Gates will follow the rules and the direction. And one hopes the President will listen to Baker-Hamilton and make their recommendations the "rules and the direction."
Read the whole article:
Managing Editor - RS, Investigative News Team
Raw Story Media, Inc.
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