What a difference 15 years makes

From Bob Gates’s 1991 10-day confirmation hearing for CIA director: SEN. METZENBAUM: You weren’t at all concerned in your role as to the integrity of the agency, knowing that the impropriety of this act, knowing it violated American laws. MR. GATES: Well, sir, I didn’t have any indication that the action was a violation of ...

605569_gates_smiles5.jpg
605569_gates_smiles5.jpg

From Bob Gates's 1991 10-day confirmation hearing for CIA director:

SEN. METZENBAUM: You weren't at all concerned in your role as to the integrity of the agency, knowing that the impropriety of this act, knowing it violated American laws.

MR. GATES: Well, sir, I didn't have any indication that the action was a violation of the law.

From Bob Gates’s 1991 10-day confirmation hearing for CIA director:

SEN. METZENBAUM: You weren’t at all concerned in your role as to the integrity of the agency, knowing that the impropriety of this act, knowing it violated American laws.

MR. GATES: Well, sir, I didn’t have any indication that the action was a violation of the law.

SEN METZENBAUM:[…] The question we have to decide in our own mind is if he didn’t see the wrong in yesteryear, if he didn’t protest when he was in a position to protest, if he didn’t raise issues when he could have raised issues, if he didn’t report to the Congress when he should have reported to the Congress, what is the magical transformation that has taken place in Robert Gates when he comes before us today, yesterday, and the next several days for confirmation that makes that Robert Gates a different person than the one who didn’t meet those same responsibilities in yesteryear? […] It’s a difficult question for us to decide.

From Bob Gates’s 2006 confirmation hearing for secretary of defense:


Alex Wong/Getty Images

SEN. THUNE: Dr. Gates, I want to congratulate you on a very successful tenure as president of Texas A&M, culminating with the win over Texas in the football game this year. I’m sure your performance in that job is probably measured more by the battle for football supremacy in Texas than just about anything else, and something that my colleagues from Texas no doubt will want to stay out of, I’m quite guessing. 

Carolyn O'Hara is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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