Gates beats Olmert to the nuclear punch

If anyone is aghast that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert let slip the worst kept secret in international affairs – that Israel is a nuclear state – perhaps they should turn their sights on another blabbermouth: Bob Gates. During Gates’s Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing last Tuesday, the nominee to replace Donald Rumsfeld as ...

605569_gates_smiles5.jpg
605569_gates_smiles5.jpg

If anyone is aghast that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert let slip the worst kept secret in international affairs - that Israel is a nuclear state - perhaps they should turn their sights on another blabbermouth: Bob Gates. During Gates's Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing last Tuesday, the nominee to replace Donald Rumsfeld as SecDef also let the "secret" slip:

SEN. GRAHAM: The president of Iran has publicly disavowed the existence of the Holocaust, he has publicly stated that he would like to wipe Israel off the map. Do you think he's kidding?

MR. GATES: No, I don't think he's kidding. And -- but I think that there are, in fact, higher powers in Iran than he, than the president. And I think that while they are certainly pressing, in my opinion, for a nuclear capability, I think that they would see it in the first instance as a deterrent. They are surrounded by powers with nuclear weapons -- Pakistan to their east, the Russians to the north, the Israelis to the west, and us in the Persian Gulf --

If anyone is aghast that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert let slip the worst kept secret in international affairs – that Israel is a nuclear state – perhaps they should turn their sights on another blabbermouth: Bob Gates. During Gates’s Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing last Tuesday, the nominee to replace Donald Rumsfeld as SecDef also let the “secret” slip:

SEN. GRAHAM: The president of Iran has publicly disavowed the existence of the Holocaust, he has publicly stated that he would like to wipe Israel off the map. Do you think he’s kidding?

MR. GATES: No, I don’t think he’s kidding. And — but I think that there are, in fact, higher powers in Iran than he, than the president. And I think that while they are certainly pressing, in my opinion, for a nuclear capability, I think that they would see it in the first instance as a deterrent. They are surrounded by powers with nuclear weapons — Pakistan to their east, the Russians to the north, the Israelis to the west, and us in the Persian Gulf —

Whoops.

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

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