ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Nobody else in the Obama administration has been mired in Pakistan for as long as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. So on a trip here this past week to try to soothe the country’s growing rancor toward the United States, he served as a punching bag tested over a quarter-century.
“Are you with us or against us?” a senior military officer demanded of Mr. Gates at Pakistan’s National Defense University, according to a Pentagon official who recounted the remark made during a closed-door session after Mr. Gates gave a speech at the school on Friday. Mr. Gates, who could hardly miss that the officer was mimicking former President George W. Bush’s warning to nations harboring militants, simply replied, “Of course we’re with you.”
Mr. Gates, who repeatedly told the Pakistanis that he regretted their country’s “trust deficit” with the United States and that Americans had made a grave mistake in abandoning Pakistan after the Russians left Afghanistan, promised the military officers that the United States would do better.
His final message delivered, he relaxed on the 14-hour trip home by watching “Seven Days in May,” the cold war-era film about an attempted military coup in the United States.
It is interesting to me and others that Gates would, one, go to the trouble of playing a particular movie during the flight and, two, bother to mention it in an interview with the Times.
Gates, from his days at the CIA, is not to be trusted. Why, his people run coke and operate black torture sites in every far-flung corner of the world. He is an agent of unlawful government. He represents death and misery and slavery.
There are deep divisions within the military. They are going to crack open soon. So the question I put to all of you is this: Who do you work for? What shall be the fate of your children when your terms in office expire, when you no longer wield power to the benefit and protection of your kin? What shall be the fate of future generations in a world of lawlessness and tyranny?
Who do you work for, gentlemen? What lies have been whispered into your ears to secure your complicity in events of the disastrous past eight years? Did it all work out as well as you had hoped? As you had been promised?
Either you defend the law or you do not.
Where do you stand, Mullen? How about your generals? Are you fit to look in the eye the boy on the sidewalk who salutes as you march down the street, as you jut out your chest and claim to defend both him and his rights?
...Or are the curtains not quite matching the carpets over there?
Aren't you boys done licking the boots of your CIA masters? Or have you not defiled your uniforms quite enough?
Any assassination of Barack Obama will be executed by the CIA, it will be enabled by the Secret Service, and it will be capitalized upon by turncoats in the Pentagon, the same geniuses who deposit 7-series compressors on Murray Street and who can't seem to win a war against goat herders.
It's time for everyone in a uniform and within earshot to determine sides. Do it now, before you get caught flatfooted. Identify your targets and sidle up to your weapons.