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.