On Friday morning JJ Sutherland is on to
"...he was once a controversial Cold War spy, now he's considered a wise man of national security and something of a rock star."JJ Sutherland then jumps in with, "In his two years at the Pentagon the reviews have been good." To back this up we hear from
- Brent Scowcroft, "close friend" and former National Security Advisor : "He's a professional to the core. He is a devoted patriot and someone that I thing everyone can respect."
- William Cohen, former Defense Department head under Clinton: "Secretary Gates has brought the Pentagon some distance back towards where it optimally would be."
- And Richard Danzig, former Secretary of the Navy and Obama advisor: "The building collectively heaved a huge sigh of relief after Bob came, and they saw how he worked and how he dealt with them."
As far as Gates CIA career is concerned, Sutherland tells us that Gates "was tough, ambitious and didn't suffer fools...Also an unapologetic Cold Warrior." Sutherland mentions that Gates was associated with the Iran-Contra scandal, and we do get to hear from Mel Goodman a former "close friend" and CIA colleague who alleges that Gates "fixed" intelligence regarding the Soviets and the assasination attempt on the Pope in the 80s.
In the report Sutherland manages to put in a plug for the idea that the US is "winning" in Iraq. He notes that Gates, in his confirmation hearing in 2006, stated that the US was not winning in Iraq. Sutherland then conjectures "Today, Gates might answer differently."
So what is missing?
Notably, there's not one non-Pentagon, non-CIA affiliated source in Sutherland's piece. This guarantees that we'd never guess that Gates accomplishments since 2006 might make him worthy of war crimes indictments.
We never hear from an investigative reporter like Robert Parry, one of the reporters who broke the Iran-Contra scandal back in the 1980s. Parry has some interesting tidbits about Gates, particularly his involvement in delaying the Iran hostage release in 1980.
It would have been fascinating to hear from John Prados of the National Security Archives regarding details of Gates role in the Iran Contra scandal and in Latin American drug dealing, death squads, and mercenaries.
To contact and include sources such as these would require reporters such as Sutherland to have an interest in providing a diversity of opinion on US foreign, military and intelligence policies - as opposed the endorsement of such policies that a story like this represents.