Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (R) describes Republican attacks on the handling of Benghazi as “Cartoonish”
During an interview with CBS News on Saturday, May 11th, that aired on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday, former Secy of Defense Robert Gates said that had he still been part of the current administration that he would most likely have handled the situation in September the same way and described the Republican attacks on the current administration as “cartoonish”.
“Frankly, had I been in the job at the time, I think my decisions would have been just as theirs were,” said Gates, now the chancellor of the College of William and Mary.
“We don’t have a ready force standing by in the Middle East, and so getting somebody there in a timely way would have been very difficult, if not impossible.” he explained.
Suggestions that we could have flown a fighter jet over the attackers to “scare them with the noise or something,” Gates said, ignored the “number of surface to air missiles that have disappeared from [former Libyan leader] Qaddafi’s arsenals.”
Another suggestion posed by some critics of the administration, to, as Gates said, “send some small number of special forces or other troops in without knowing what the environment is, without knowing what the threat is, without having any intelligence in terms of what is actually going on on the ground, would have been very dangerous.”
“It’s sort of a cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces,” he said. “The one thing that our forces are noted for is planning and preparation before we send people in harm’s way, and there just wasn’t time to do that.”
Gates also defended former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has increasingly become the subject of Republican criticism. Gates responded with a simple and emphatic “no” when asked if he believed Clinton could possibly be involved in any sort of a cover up, as some Republicans have baselessly suggested.
The Republicans pursuing this are showing just how desperate they are right now to discredit the Democrats, namely Hillary Clinton. All they are doing is discrediting themselves in the process. They should focus on rebuilding their party instead of trying to bring down the Democratic party. This will only hurt them even more than the damage that has been done with them doing everything they can to derail President Obama. Republicans need to break away from the corporations and the top of the 1% who are currently controlling their party. If they let the Koch brothers to continue to control them they will end up destroying the Republican party and if we’re not careful they’ll take down the United States as well.
Thank you to Think Progressives and Adam Peck for parts of this article.