Gates takes offense at Obama’s memoirs comment, then writes tell-all memoir

Former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates (Melina Mara/The Washington Post) Former defense secretary Robert M. Gates (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

In his new book, "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War," former defense secretary Robert M. Gates describes a moment when President Obama warns those in his inner foreign policy circle that they shouldn't distort his words if they later chose to recount the session in a tell-all book.

"I was put off by the way the president closed the meeting," Gates wrote on page 393, recounting a gathering that included Vice President Biden as well as himself.  "To his very closest advisers, he said, 'For the record, and for those of you writing your memoirs, I am not making any decisions about Israel or Iran. Joe, you be my witness.' "

"I was offended by his suspicion that any of us would ever write about such sensitive matters," Gates continued.

Apparently, irony isn't something they teach at the Pentagon.

Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.
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