Robert M. Gates

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Dr. Robert M. Gates is the current United States Secretary of Defense. He was nominated to succeed Donald Rumsfeld on November 8, 2006, one day after the 2006 elections. Gates was a member of the Iraq Study Group, and he has held a number of senior positions in previous administrations, including Director of Central Intelligence from Nov. 6, 1991 to Jan. 20, 1993.

Gates is the only person in the history of the CIA to rise from an entry level position to become the Director. He came up through the analyst ranks, becoming the deputy director for intelligence (DDI) from 1982 to 1986, and then deputy director of central intelligence (DDCI) from 1986 to 1989. After that, he moved to the White House, and worked as Deputy National Security Adviser for President George H.W. Bush from January 20, 1989 until November 6, 1991.

Dr. Gates served as Interim Dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M from 1999-2001, then he was the President of Texas A&M University from August 1, 2002 - November 8, 2006. Gates was offered the chance to become the nation's first Director of National Intelligence, but he declined.

He is the Chairman of the Independent Trustees of The Fidelity Funds, and serves on the board of directors of NACCO Industries, Brinker International, and Parker Drilling Company.

Dr. Gates received his bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary, his master's degree in history from Indiana University, and his doctorate in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University. Dr. Gates is 62, and he and his wife Becky have two adult children.


Iran-Contra Scandal

Gates was a senior figure at the CIA during the Iran-Contra scandal, and he was investigated by the Independent Counsel, Lawrence E. Walsh. In fact, Gates was originally nominated to become the Director of Central Intelligence in 1987, but he withdrew his name because of questions over his role in the scandal. In his final report, Walsh concluded that there was

... insufficient evidence to warrant charging Robert Gates with a crime for his role in the Iran/contra affair. Like those of many other Iran/contra figures, the statements of Gates often seemed scripted and less than candid. Nevertheless, given the complex nature of the activities and Gates's apparent lack of direct participation, a jury could find the evidence left a reasonable doubt that Gates either obstructed official inquiries or that his two demonstrably incorrect statements were deliberate lies.


In 1984, Gates advocated using airstrikes against the pro-Cuban government of Nicaragua. Source:Gates advocated airstrikes against Nicaragua in '84, documents say - USA Today, Nov. 26, 2006.)

Arming Saddam

During the 1980s, the United States provided weapons and aid to Saddam Hussein to help him during the Iran-Iraq War. As the Deputy Director of the CIA, Gates was personally involved in these efforts.

Slanted Intelligence

Formcer CIA analyst Jennifer Glaudemans said that Gates had a consistent history of slanting intelligence to fit both his own views and that of his political masters. Source: Washington Monthly, Nov. 21, 2006


  • "Frankly, right at this moment there’s really nothing the Iranians want from us, and so in any negotiation right now we would be the supplicant." Souce: David S. Cloud. "Gates Says U.S. Has Few Options to Halt Iran’s Atomic Plans." The New York Times. January 19, 2007. News Article
  • "I sat in the situation room in secret meetings for nearly 20 years under five presidents, and all I can say is that some awfully crazy schemes might well have been approved had everyone present not known and expected hard questions, debate and criticism from the Hill. " Source: ?


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