Robert Gates has been confirmed by the Senate with enormous support. While much has been made of Gates’ “fresh perspective” on the war, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa. ) pointed out that it is the president who structures policy. And this president is notorious for selectively listening to advice.


Reuters/Alternet:

WASHINGTON, Dec 6 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly confirmed Robert Gates as the next defense secretary, replacing Donald Rumsfeld, an architect of the increasingly unpopular Iraq war.

The Senate voted to approve President George W. Bush’s nominee only 24 hours after Gates won the unanimous endorsement of the Armed Services Committee — and just as a long-awaited bipartisan report arrived, urging more diplomacy and fewer U.S. troops in Iraq.

Senators from both parties praised the ex-CIA chief’s candor; Gates had bluntly told them the United States was not winning the war in Iraq.

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