Gates’ ten­ure

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

Pen­tagon spokesman Ge­off Mor­rell tele­phoned re­cently to take is­sue with Pen­tagon of­fi­cials who were quoted in this space sug­gest­ing that De­fense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates ap­pointed Bill Clin­ton’s deputy sec­re­tary of de­fense to an ad­vi­sory panel as a way to po­si­tion him­self to stay on in a fu­ture, per­haps Demo­cratic, ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“He has no plans to stay on past In­au­gu­ra­tion Day 2009,” Mr. Mor­rell said of his boss, Mr. Gates.

Mr. Gates’ limit on his ten­ure at the Pen­tagon fol­lowed a re­cent speech in Texas where he ex­pounded on the dif­fi­cul­ties and virtues of pub­lic ser­vice dur­ing wartime.

He quoted Ben­jamin Franklin on life in pub­lic of­fice: “The pub­lic is of­ten stingy, even of its thanks, while you are sure of be­ing cen­sured by malev­o­lent crit­ics and bug-writ­ers, who will abuse you while you are serv­ing them, and wound your char­ac­ter in name­less pam­phlets, thereby re­sem­bling those lit­tle dirty in­sects that at­tack us only in the dark, dis­turb our re­pose, mo­lest­ing and wound­ing us while our sweat and blood are con­tribut­ing to their sub­sis­tence.”

“We live in a time of great ne­ces­si­ties,” Mr. Gates said. “Our coun­try faces many chal­lenges at home and abroad. It is pre­cisely dur­ing th­ese times that Amer ica needs its best and bright­est, from all walks of life, to step for­ward and com­mit to

pub­lic ser­vice.”

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