After speaking to some other national security policy experts very close to Bob Gates and General Brent Scowcroft, I changed course and began to see the value of Gates staying at DoD.I hope Clemon's hunch is right. Christ, I hope he's right.
My hunch is that Gates wants a chance to make the kind of leaps in the Middle East I have been writing about for some time. He wants to try and push Iran-US relations into a constructive direction. He wants to change the game in Afghanistan -- and the answer will not be a military-dominant strategy. He wants to try and stabilize Iraq in a negotiated, confidence building process that includes Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and other regional forces. And he wants to support a big push on Israel-Palestine peace and reconfigure relations between much of the Arab League and Israel.
As for torture...and whether Obama's administration will go or should go after the war criminals in Bush's cabal..check out this column by Jack Goldsmith at WaPo. Personally, I don't buy into Mr Goldsmith's logic...but it never hurts to listen to the other side of the argument.
My problem with his logic is the pov that charging people with crimes will hinder future presidents in getting opinions and options from smart intelligent individuals.
Extraordinary Rendition and Torture are war crimes plain and simple. Never in our modern history has an administration been so callous in ignoring the rule of law and the Geneva Conventions. The people that allowed these heinous things to happen and indeed supported them, need to be held accountable. We need to show the world that we will never again allow criminals such as those in the Bush Administration to run rough shod over common sense and common decency.