Tags: gates | memoir | hijacked | defending

Gates Says His Book 'Hijacked' for Political Purposes

Image: Gates Says His Book 'Hijacked' for Political Purposes

By Elliot Jager   |   Tuesday, 14 Jan 2014 07:47 AM

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is defending his new memoir "Duty" in a series of interviews, saying the  book has been "hijacked" by elements from across "the political spectrum to serve their own purposes."

But Gates stuck to his claim that Obama White House officials sought to micromanage too much, telling Yahoo News Global Monday in response to White House criticism, that "they should go look in the mirror. Maybe they ought to think about how they do business."

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In every White House the president sets the atmosphere, Gates added in the Yahoo interview with Katie Couric. "At the end of the day, the president controls what goes on inside the White House. The environment and the style of the White House is established by the president."

In an another interview with The Washington Post published Sunday, Gates also said that he had not vilified anyone with his writing.

"There are no evil people in this book," he told the Post. "There are no villains. And certainly not the two presidents [Barack Obama and George W. Bush] . . . And I think if people read the whole book, as opposed to cherry-picking sentences, then I think it's pretty hard to say that I vilify anybody."

"People will use different parts of the book for their own purposes, and that's just inevitable no matter what you write," he said.

Gates also told the Post that he "detested" the 24/7 political conflict inside the Beltway, especially while wars were being waged in Iraq and Afghanistan. He acknowledged as well that the position of overseeing the nation's military and its war operations took its toll on him personally, although he described the job in one interview as the "greatest honor" of his life.

"The hospitals, the funerals, the condolence letters. Seeing the kids on the front lines. Anybody who is a secretary of defense during war and says they're enjoying the job, that's the person to whom I'd say, 'You better step down!' " he told the Post.

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