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Boehner Brushes Off Robert Gates' Fierce Criticism Of Congress

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AP Photo / Mike Simons

An excerpt in Wall Street Journal from Gates' soon-to-be-published memoir, "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War," reveals his resentment for the way he was treated by members of Congress while conducting two wars. He writes that he took "exceptional offense" at "inquisition-like treatment" from members of both parties whom he said were "creating a kangaroo-court environment in hearings, especially when television cameras were present."

Gates writes: "All too often during my 4½ years as secretary of defense, when I found myself sitting yet again at that witness table at yet another congressional hearing, I was tempted to stand up, slam the briefing book shut and quit on the spot. The exit lines were on the tip of my tongue: I may be the secretary of defense, but I am also an American citizen, and there is no son of a bitch in the world who can talk to me like that. I quit. Find somebody else. It was, I am confident, a fantasy widely shared throughout the executive branch."